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What’s Left? The Irish left in numbers 2018… June 13, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Interesting to revisit this thread from 2012, which in turn revisited a thread from 2008 on party memberships on the left in Ireland which linked to this on indymedia.

Of course the ULA is no more and there is now the SDs. So, what do people think the balance is? I’ve been hearing anecdotally that some parties have had an uptick in interest from people on foot of the referendum. Could that be true?


1. John A - June 13, 2018

Seems to be a bit of revival in the WP in recent years – I would say at least about 50 active members in Cork now and they seem to have much bigger numbers in Dublin and Belfast, and active groups elsewhere. To an outsider they seem to be as big, if not bigger, than the Trot groups which is strange when they have no TDs. Also, bigger presence of Connolly Youth Movement in Cork than I’ve seen before, at least a couple of dozen.

Liked by 1 person

2. Joe - June 13, 2018

WP have recruited a fair few new members since 2012. Recovered from near-fossilisation. Still tiny though.

Not sure about numbers in SP and SWP. Do we count them separately from their fronts/brands – Solidarity and PbP? On that, I’d say PbP has probably increased membership more than Soldarity – PbP seems to be a bit looser, a tad less centrally controlled?

Does the ISN still exist?

Thought the estimation of SF numbers was low. Surely that would be 5000+ north and south at this stage?

The SDs seem to have a decent size membership. They’re the major new development on the left – unfortunately, given they are soft social democrats at best.


3. GW - June 13, 2018

I don’t know how big the Dublin and Belfast DiEM25 “spontaneous collectives” (DSC in the movement jargon) are. But they are there.


WorldbyStorm - June 13, 2018

An interesting thought. and certainly their approach is one I’d feel very close to.


4. Dr. X - June 13, 2018

The key point is not this or that variation in the size of the alphabet soup, the key point is how far, and to what depth, left ideas are spreading among the “broad masses” or the general public, or whatever you want to call them.


Pasionario - June 13, 2018

One thing I took away from the abortion referendum is that Daly and Coppinger in particular are now seen as real political players who are actually capable of influencing change, as Varadkar himself admitted. Back in the 90s and early 2000s, Higgins was by contrast very much an outsider on all fronts and had no real effect on policy.

Whether Daly and Coppinger’s influence over social issues can be extended to economic issues remains to be seen of course. But there is room for a well-organized left opposition to extract economic concessions, if the conservative governing parties find themselves constantly looking over their shoulder — the Italian and French Communist Parties played such a role in the post-war years.


Pasionario - June 13, 2018

Another way of putting this is that their contribution has been “normalized” and can no longer be dismissed as fringe rantings. That itself constitutes progress.


WorldbyStorm - June 13, 2018

Very true.


WorldbyStorm - June 13, 2018

Just on your point Dr. X. I think that’s more than half right, how the ideas resonate is vital, but it is important that there are activists out there too, and that can and I believe does reflect the broader health of the left to some degree. Moreover I also think it’s necessary to have the political players Pasionario references out there as well in positions where they can influence change..


5. Starkadder - June 13, 2018

“Does the ISN still exist?”

I believe their website hasn’t been updated in months.


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