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Left Archive: Wake Up, Act Now – Extinction Rebellion, Autumn 2019 November 11, 2019

Posted by leftarchivist in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. xr-2019.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Alan Kinsella of Irish Election Literature for forwarding this document to the Archive. A short leaflet produced and distributed by Extinction Rebellion during recent demonstrations – one slight caveat, this may have been produced by XR in the UK, but is not badged as such and the tone is generalised rather than location specific.

In twelve pages it covers considerable ground under various headings ‘Truth Now’, ‘Change Now’, ‘The Time is Now’ and ‘Everybody Now’.

All of us, the ones we love and every other living thing on our planet, are threatened by the climate and ecological emergency. Extinction Rebellion are trying to prevent this and you can help. We need everybody to take action – right now.

And it warns:

Societal collapse
The combined escalation of all these issues puts societies under threat. In the words of David Attenborough: “the collapse of our civilisations is on the horizon”.
For many people across the world these problems are already a reality. Even in the rich world, we face imminent and growing danger. We a re the last generation who can act to fight this crisis – it’s now or never.

It paints a picture of environmental collapse and argues that:

We’re not simply acting in our own interests, we’re acting for all humanity and future generations. We act out of love for our planet and all life on it and we appeal to you to join with us. We need everybody now.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

Left Archive: Workers and the Celtic Tiger – Why Partnership Doesn’t Pay, Kieran Allen, Socialist Workers Party, 1999 November 4, 2019

Posted by leftarchivist in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. workers-and-the-celtic-tiger.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

Published in 1999 by the Socialist Workers Party and written by Kieran Allen, it engages with the position of workers during the Celtic Tiger years. Carolan Duggan, shop steward and Vice President of SIPTU writes in the Introduction that while big business sings the parses of the Celtic Tiger:

It is a very different story for workers. Politicians say that we should be grateful for the jobs and the new buzz. However, employers should be grateful to us because it is our labour that has created this boom – even though we are seeing little of it.

And:

One statistic tells the whole story. In 1987 when Charles Haughey first agreed the Programme for National Recovery with the top union leaders, the same of the national economy going to profits, interests and dividends was 31%. The share going to wages, pensions and social security – in other words the working class – was 69%. Ten years later this has changed. The share of the national cake going to unearned income has increased to 41%. The share going to working people has decreased to 59%.

In a series of short chapters the document engages with Pay: How Workers Have Lost Out, Tax Cuts Galore, Business Unionism or Fighting Unions? And Why the Union leaders Love Partnership amongst others. It concludes:

The lords of poverty who run this system are tightly organised. They have their press, their army, their politicians who are bought. If we are to win our side has to be equally organised into a party that can move as one to defeat the employers and their system.

Left Archive: Pre-Budget Statement by United Left Alliance – 2013 October 28, 2019

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To download the above please click on the following link. ula-budget.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Alan Kinsella of Irish Election Literature for this document.

This statement, issued by the United Left Alliance in 2013 has a broad scope, seeking to critique previous budgets by successive governments of the state and offer an alternative. It covers areas such as the ‘debt’, the USC, a wealth tax and a Financial Transactions Tax in various sections.

The Executive Summary notes:

The ULA proposes a socialist alternative to the budget proposals of the government and the other parties in the Dáil. We say that those who are responsible for the crisis should pay for it, not those who are the social and economic victims – the ordinary working people of Ireland.

And:

We propose to take the burden of the crisis off working people, improve their lives and revive the Irish economy. This can only be done by taking the decision-making of the banks and finance houses out of the hands of management whose only goal is profit; and embarking on a major public investment program. If the current investment rate of 10% of GDP (EU average is 18.5%) continues, Ireland will become an economic backwater with impoverishment for generations and run down public services. Only a reversal of current policies can stop that.

And:

As part of democratic public control of the banks, mortgages should be written down. There should be increased lending to domestic small business. The state however, must invest in public infrastructure including schools, hospitals, water, public transport, energy and state-built housing. The privatisation of state-owned enterprises and utilities must stop; our natural resources must be nationalised and the public service cuts of recent years reversed.

The document is 34 pages long and it concludes:

In putting forward these proposals, the ULA is attempting to show that contrary to the repeated claims of government, the ‘Troika’ and economic “experts” the resources do exist to provide an alternative to the policies of austerity, cut-backs and privatisation.
However, such alternative policies cannot be implemented and will not be successful without a radical challenge by the people of this country and the people’s of Europe to an economic system that prioritises profit over people.
In offering these alternative economic proposals, the ULA pledges itself to expend every effort to play its part in building a Europe-wide and international movement of workers, the unemployed, young people and pensioners to challenge the failed doctrine of austerity and private profit.

Irish Left Archive: Reclaim the Republic – Éirígí, 2006 October 21, 2019

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To download the above please click on the following link. reclaim_republic_campaign.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Alan Kinsella of IEL for this, a document from 2006 which engages with the 1916 Proclamation and asks:

So in 2006, do we the people have ownership of Ireland?
Has Britain withdrawn from our country?
Are all the children of the nation cherished equally, or do those with money and power get preferential treatment?
What is the unfinished business to be completed before the Republic envisioned in the Proclamation can be established?

It encourages citizens to display it ‘with Pride’ and that it should be hang in ‘every home, workplace and school in the country’. And it notes that Éirígí are distributing poster sized copies.

The leaflet also notes that:

éirígí is a Dublin based Socialist Republican campaigns group. We believe that a genuine all Ireland Republic can only be brought about by implementing the political programme set out in the 1916 Proclamation. This requires an end to the British occupation of part of our national territory and the creation of a society based on the fundamental principles of liberty, justice and equality for all citizens.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

Left Archive: Revolution in Italy, Irish Socialist Network, 2000s October 14, 2019

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To download the above please click on the following link. pcipamphlet.pdf0

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Alan Kinsella of Irish Election Literature for this document. Produced by the Irish Socialist Network is a little different to many posted here. It seeks to examine the social and political changes that took place in Italy between 1943 and 1948. If anyone knows what the date of publication was we’d be very grateful.

It argues that ‘Although not as well known, the abortive revolution of these years can be compared with the upheavals of the Russian revolution or the Spanish Civil War. The ultimate defeat of the Italian movement can still tell us a lot about the failure of the socialist movement in the twentieth century – and how we can avoid repeating that failure.’

And:

The resistance to fascism in Italy was spearheaded by the parties of the Left, above all the Italian Communist Party (PCI). The Mussolini regime began to crumble in March 1943 when factory workers in the northern cities took
part in a strike wave that mobilised 100,000 workers. Nothing of the sort had ever been seen in a fascist state.

It considers various aspects including the way in which the PCI and Palmiro Togliatti placed national liberation and the destruction of fascism ahead of revolution – and argues that while this dovetailed with the Soviet analysis ‘Having witnessed shattering defeats for the Left in Italy, Germany and Spain, the PCI leader was extremely cautious and averse to risk-taking of any sort.
He was unwilling to sanction any moves to challenge the Italian social structure as long as the country was under Allied occupation, fearing that the PCI would be driven underground once again.’

There is an outline of how ‘the old order’ fought back, including the rise of the Christian Democrats. It also considers the manner in which a mass party was built, arguing act by 1947 when the PCI had two million members it had achieved that status. But it also critiques the PCI for not supporting land occupations and in so doing losing an opportunity to establish a base in the South.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

Left Archive: An Alternative Economic Agenda – People Before Profit Alliance, 2009 October 7, 2019

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To download the above please click on the following link. pbpa-alternative-economic-agenda_0.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Alan Kinsella of IEL for this document that dates from the early days of the economic crisis and outlines the People Before Profit Alliance response to that.

It notes:

People before Profit believes that the resources are there to counteract the impacts of recession on ordinary people. The availability of billions to ‘recapitalise’ the banks and to relieve them of their toxic assets shows that there is no need for any cuts in in health, education or social spending, for any wage cuts or levies.
The financial website Finfacts Ireland reported in October 2008 that “Irish investment of €13.9 billion was put into European property deals last year [2007]. In contrast, the Irish business sector does not even get a total of €200 million in venture capital investment” (www.finfacts.com).

It also argues that:

Increase the tax base to fund the stimulus package by drawing resources away from the Celtic Tiger elite.
The Irish tax take is the lowest in Europe with government expenditure representing 32.3 % of GDP as against 64% in Belgium or 40% in Germany.
There are now clear limits to which the Irish economy can continue to borrow. The resources for a stimulus package must therefore come from an increase in the tax base.
Over the past decade state policy led to an erosion of the tax base as the political elite followed an aggressive neo-liberal model. The principal beneficiaries were a wealthy elite who increased their income by a staggering €41 billion in the last years of the boom. These layers benefited from huge state subsidies. Property-based tax subsidies, for example, meant the loss of taxes worth €500 million in 2006.

There’s a call for a left alternative.

A new left political alternative is more urgent as every day passes. The People Before Profit Alliance is aiming to build that alternative and also to reach out to others on the left. Those on the radical left and independent activists need to put aside their differences and come together in campaigns, electoral alliances and a new political movement.

And it engages with the broader aspect of the crisis internationally.

The crisis is by no means confined to Ireland despit the home focus of the media. The crisis is the result of an economic system which is based on a great contradiction. There is huge dependence of people on each other across the world, through the global system of production, for the goods needed to maintain our livelihoods.
Yet control lies in the hands of privileged groups who compete, speculate, gamble with funny money and exploit the rest of us. There is only one answer to that: to struggle to take control of the means of creating wealth into the hands of all the people, so that cooperation to produce things we need replaces competition for profit.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

Left Archive: United Left Alliance Fact Sheet on the Austerity Treaty, United Left Alliance, 2012 September 30, 2019

Posted by leftarchivist in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. united-left-alliance-factsheet-v2

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Alan Kinsella and Irish Election Literature for this United Left Alliance Fact Sheet on the Austerity Treaty and why one should vote No in the 2012 referendum on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union.

Bank bailouts, savage attacks on health, education and social welfare budgets; cuts to the public sector; wage cuts; mass unemployment; extra taxes in the form of the universal social charge and the household and septic tank charges; all these attacks have devastated the lives of working class people in Ireland. Far from providing a solution to the economic crisis, these austerity policies have aggravated the situation.

But things are about to get even worse because now the European elites want to institutionalise these policies across Europe with the introduction of a Fiscal Treaty. The Treaty will ensure that there is no escape from the straightjacket of austerity and will mean a further assault on the living standards of working class people in Ireland and across Europe.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Songs about UFOs from The Golden Horde, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Bragg and many more… September 28, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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Last Friday was meant to be ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us’ day (more in another post!) – and it got me thinking, in part because I’m rereading Ken MacLeod’s Engines of Light trilogy (more in another post!) and UFOs figure in that, that the UFO in whatever guise has been a staple of popular (and unpopular) music since the 1950s, or even earlier.

And no wonder – the rise of the very concept of the flying saucer only marginally predates the rise of rock’n’roll and associated musical forms.

British heavy rock/metal band UFO, who started out as a not bad space rock outfit (natch) cornered one part of the market with their very name. And sure, one has to cast the net a little wider – songs about Roswell, or Area 51, or whatever. Perhaps the word Alien will do. Men in black too? But it can’t be too wide. Spaceships per se, or science fiction are out. And a special word for dance and electronica that in the 1990s had a small cottage industry going based around samples from various worthies in the ufology field (as with the excellent Black Dog track below or the Optic Eye track which mixes film samples and audio from real people).

It’s not too difficult actually – Wiki has lists of ‘songs about close encounters with aliens’, most useful. Anyhow, here’s some favourites of mine – particularly the Golden Horde, Megadeth, M83, Husker Du and the Pixies (and Frank Black went on to delve deeply into the mythology on his solo albums) and a fair few others of varying quality! So many more, Bowie, The Stranglers and so on. All suggestions welcome.


My Flying Saucer – Billy Bragg and Wilco (lyrics by Arlo Guthrie from 1950 no less)


Little UFO – The Golden Horde


Two Little Men in a Flying Saucer – Ella Fitzgerald (1950s)


Books about UFO’s – Husker Du


Motorway to Roswell – The Pixies


Chase the Manhattan – Black Dog


Wobbling in Space – Optic Eye


Year One, One UFO – M83


Hanger 18 – Megadeth


Billy Lee Riley – Flyin’ Saucers Rock’n’Roll (Jerry Lee Lewis on piano) 1950s


Anthem of the Space – Acid Mothers Temple and The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

Left Archive: People’s Voice 4 September 23, 2019

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To download the above please click on the following link. pv_no4.pd

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Jim Lane for forwarding this to the Archive. We intend to post up the remaining issues of People’s Voice over the next three or four months.

This edition from February 1969 has a cartoon of an eviction entitled Cork Scandal on the cover. This, as the editorial notes, was conducted by Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers, where a tenant in the top flat of Carpenters’ Hall was evicted. The piece argues:

Had all this resulted from the actions of a capitalist, you can be sure there would have been noise enough about it from the various Labour bodies. If it had occurred in a combust country, the event would have been availed of to demonstrate ‘once more’ the truth of the claim that communism is unequivocally committed to the destruction of family life. But who cries out when a trade union kicks a family out onto the street..?

The publication continues with a number of pages of analysis of the ASW union and calls upon organised labour to protest.

There is a short piece on the G.A.A. and Civil Rights and another on Angola’s Fight for Freedom. And another mentions ‘street battles in Dublin’ where the indiscriminate batoning and kicking of men, women and children on and near O’Connell Bridge, Dublin on Saturday… by police was an utter disgrace. It cried shortly after demonstrators led by the Dublin Housing Action Committee stages a sit-down on O’Connell Bridge’. Various of those attending, including Sam Nolan and John Feeney are quoted about the incidents.

Finally the publications concludes with the verses of the Internationale.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

Left Archive: Workers Party, John Lowry and Paddy Woodworth debate – Excerpt from Making Sense No. 21, March/April 1991 September 16, 2019

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To download the above please click on the following link. election-leaflet069.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This is an excerpt from the March/April edition of Making Sense from the Workers Party. It constitutes part of an exchange between Paddy Woodworth and John Lowry of the WP – following on from an article Woodworth wrote in the previous edition, Making Sense No.20 (see here).

In this one Lowry argues that Woodworth’s piece was ‘timely, although misleading, and at times highly inaccurate contribution to the debate on the future of the WP’. And he suggests that this was misleading because it conformed to ‘the stereotyped picture of the party painted in the columns of Magill and the Sunday Tribune – that of a secretive communist organisation with a hidden agenda’.

Lowry continues that ‘it is highly pejorative to view the WP as an integral component fo the international communist movement, pledged to an unquestioning acceptance of a Soviet model and forms of organisation. In 1989 the communist world movement collapsed so therefore the WP must accept all the implications and consequences of that, so the argument goes. That is not the history of the WP, and failure to recognise this only distorts the terms and parameters of our present necessary debate.

He states:

The WP has a different and unique history from that of the orthodox communist movement. It is one that is deeply rooted in Ireland’s revolutionary republican tradition.

And he argues that after reappraisal in the 1960s there was a decision ‘by the IRA to create a party of the working class in Ireland’. He notes that international links were forged but that ‘it was not until 1983, in fact, that the WP established formal relations with any eastern bloc party – the CPSU’. He defends democratic centralism (in part arguing that Seamus Costello sought to ‘divert the party away from its course’ and that democratic centralism ‘was accepted by the members of the party as the best means of securing their rights and wishes’).

He further takes Woodworth to task for finding fault in WP condemnations about the Provisional IRA and Provisional Sinn Féin, suggesting this is ‘exactly the return with which we have become so familiar from sections fo the so-called Irish left and FF, who can barely hide their ambivalence boards the Provo’.

He suggests that ‘the WP never had nor has any intention of hiding or denying its past’ and ‘it has only been the consistent and unflinching WP condemnations of the Provos which have exposed the true nature of the beast when all around us others were attempting to make excuses for them’.

He argues that the WP is ‘a modern democratic socialist party’ and ‘the idea that we are a communist party in the Soviet mould is a mistaken one’.

If anyone has the full edition and would be prepared to forward it for scanning we would be very grateful.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We are eager to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

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