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Left Archive: Gralton 10, Oct/Nov 1983 September 17, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. jl-gralton10go.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Jim Lane who forwarded this to the Archive.

Concluding our run of Gralton‚’s (other than number number 6 which isn’t in the Archive and which we’d be very grateful for).

This has a photograph of Proinsias De Rossa on the cover and an interview with him inside. There’s a piece by Mike Milotte on the CPI during the war years. There’s also a history of communist organisations in Ireland.

There’s an overview of the Abortion Amendment Campaign and referendum. Also John Goodwillie looks at the issue of nuclear disarmament.

Sadly this would be the last edition of the publication, although it states in passing that some of the articles will be completed in the next issue.

As always a very well produced and readable publication.

Left Archive: International Viewpoint articles, December 1986 September 10, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. international-viewpoint-1986-ireland.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

Many thanks to JM for forwarding this to the Archive, an excerpt of articles from International Viewpoint on the issue of Northern Ireland. IV was the ‘fortnightly review of news and analysis published under the auspices of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International‘. As such it was an expansive multipage magazine format.

This issue is notable for three articles, one on ‘Dutch complicity with British repression’, an entire reprint of a speech by Gerry Adams “The Revolutionary Reconquest of Ireland”, and a piece on Sinn Féin debating abortion policy by Toni Gorton.

The two latter pieces are of perhaps most interest at this remove. The latter notes the reversal of the right to choose policy that had been adopted at the previous year’s Ard Fheis and the course of the debate around that. The reversal meant that:

… the policy now reverts to pre-1985 and says:

We are opposed to the attitudes and forces that compel women to have abortions, we are opposed to abortion as a means of birth control, but we accept the need for abortion where the woman’s life is at risk or in grave danger…

The Adams speech is framed in International Viewpoint as ‘illustrating the process by which the republic leadership came to its decision and the arguments it used to convince the majority of the movement [to participate in parliamentary politics in the formally independent part of the country]’. It notes that ‘there has been a split, which is not insignificant, but whether or not it will become a real challenge remains to be seen’.

It notes that the speech references ‘dual power’ and the rejection of same by the SF leadership in 1986 as against the prevailing situation in 1918.

A useful addition to the archive.

Left Archive: The Irish People: Vol 3, No 33. August 22, 1975 (Official Sinn Féin) September 3, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. the-irish-people.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This edition of the Irish People has a range of articles including ‘How to Beat the Planning Laws’, ‘CIE Jobs Chopped’ and More Demos Threat from A.S.T.M.S. Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staff. This last links with the document posted in the Archive last week.

The editorial, entitled ‘Murder’ notes that the ‘Invitation of the [Official] IRA to all Northern paramilitary groups to sit down and discuss some way out of the civil war situation that seems to be coming to a head, after having been forward for years, will bear fruit.

It is better to light a candle than to sit cursing the darkness and anyone who fears the outcome of a full scale civil war must take a stand now or accept he consequences. The situation has deteriorated to a frightening level in the past week People now feel that they are living in a doomsday situation and that the slightest wrong move could push the entire North over the brink.

Though it notes:

The reaction father UDA to the proposals is discouraging on the surface but a door-to-door survey in Loyalist areas, if it is carried out as promised might show that there is a strong desire at street level for an end to the carnage.

Other issues include the issue of an oil refinery in Dublin, which has under the “Pro’s” Eamon Smullen and the “Con’s” Sean Loftus.

Left Archive: The Trade Unionist – National Federation of Shop Stewards and Rank and File Committees, Issue One, c.1973/4 August 6, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. THE TRADE UNIONIST

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This is a fascinating document. THe NFSSRFC is mentioned here in a piece by Alan Mac Simoin and any further information would be very much appreciated. As a four page tabloid this is a comprehensive and well produced document. As Mac Simoin notes:

There is nothing new in the idea that ordinary trade unionists need to come together to look after our own interests, and the interests of the unemployed and the poor. It was done back in the 1970s to oppose the no-strike National Wage Agreements (forerunners of Partnership 2000). After the NWA was voted in the activists did not shut up shop and go home.

A national federation of shop stewards and rank & file committees was formed. Groups of union activists from Cork, Drogheda, Dundalk, Galway, Dublin, Sligo and Waterford immediately affiliated. Others followed later.

In the editorial it noted:

Many people have asked “what are you are going to do now that the National Wage Agreement has been accepted?

The answer is simple. We will continue to fight for workers’ rights. It has become obvious that democracy is dying in the trade union movement and it is equally obvious that the job of restoring all workers’ rights lies in the hands of the workers themselves.

The time has come once again for the rank and file to organise, to mould ourselves into a cohesive unit, acting together to restore those rights which were handed down to us. There is an insidious force which is operating against the workers today: the combined strength of the Federated Union of Employers (now called IBEC), the Government and our trade union leaders. All of this is pitted against workers’ efforts to raise our standard of living.

The only real strength a worker has is the right to withdraw labour. If any organisation supports the limiting or taking away of that right it will be acting in the interests of the bosses.”

The demands were straightforward:

1. A return to free collective bargaining.
2. A national minimum wage.
3. A 35 hour week without loss of pay.
4. Full equality for women workers.
5. Five days work or five days pay.
6. Abolition of restrictions on the right to strike.
7. End of the two-tier picket system.
8. Withdrawal of the ICTU from the Employer/Labour Conference.
9. For greater democracy in the unions.
10. Joint union and rank & file committees at work and throughout industry.

What is evident is just how much activity there was. Strikes in Clery‚and the NCAD, Dublin Corporation and scores of other workplaces are mentioned and reported on.

What is also notable is a report on the first meeting of the Committee of the organisation where the conditions of membership were laid out.

They are:

1: Shop Stewards
2: Branch Committee Members
3: With the approval of the Committee, trade unionists who represent a substantial body of opinion at their place of work.

Left Archive: Oration delivered at the graveside of Séamus Costello by Jim Lane, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Sunday, 3rd October 1982 July 30, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. costello-oration.pdf

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Many thanks to Jim Lane for forwarding this to the Archive, the oration given by him at the graveside of Séamus Costello of the Irish Republican Socialist Party on 3rd October 1982.

In five pages this document covers considerable political and ideological terrain, outlining the legacy of Costello for the IRSP, the political approach that he gave to the party and a reiteration of key principles including a tactical attitude to abstentionism and a critique of others including ‘left-republicans’. The issue of abstention links into an overview of the then current political situation in the North and a staunch defence of abstaining from the Assembly elections.

A key passage is the following:

Séamus Costello, it was often he said, “I owe my allegiance to the
working class”; and of the party he helped found, he said:

We are a revolutionary party and our objective is to create a revolutionary socialist state in Ireland. Part of the struggle for a socialist state entails resolving the national liberation struggle and ending British imperialist intervention, whether military intervention, political
intervention or control of aspects of the economy. This is the basic position of the party.We see the ending of British imperialist intervention in Ireland as an essential prerequisite for
development of class struggle between left and right in this country. The class forces in Ireland have never developed properly in the last 50 years basically because of imperialist intervention and because of the fact that the national struggle remains incomplete.

Here we have a clear exposition of the primary objective of the Irish Republican Socialis Party – a revolutionary socialist state in Ireland.

And the oration continues by noting that:

To achieve this objective, part of the struggle entails resolving the national question. “Part of the struggle” – it is important for us all to reflect on this. It implies, that in the present period of struggle, when so much effort is being put into the struggle for national liberation, that our party be also involved in all other areas of struggle in the interest of the working class, the class to whom Séamus Costello pledged his allegiance exclusively. To a great extent, our party has been greatly inhibited in its efforts to wage struggle in working-class and other oppressed peoples’ interests.

And a further passage outlines the ideological underpinnings of the oration:

The fact that our party recognises that the success of the national
liberation struggle is an essential prerequisite for the greater development of the class struggle does not mean that all our energies go into national liberation and that class struggle be put in abeyance. Important and all that it is, national liberation struggle, which has all the appearance of being a protracted struggle, must not be conducted at the expense of other
areas of struggle. National liberation struggle and the struggle for socialism must proceed at the one time, supporting and stimulating each other.

For more documents from Jim Lane please go here in the Archive.

These include materials for and from:

Associated Organisations: Irish Revolutionary Forces, Saor Éire [Cork], Irish Communist Organisation, Cork Communist Organisation, Cork Workers’ Club, Irish Republican Socialist Party

Associated Publications: An Phoblacht [IRF], People’s Voice

Left Archive: Marxism Today April 1968 (CPGB) July 16, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. mt-april-1968.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

Of most interest is an article on Neo-Colonialism and Ireland by C. Desmond Greaves which engages with a variety of issues relating to Ireland.

It concludes that:

For many years neo-colonialism in ireland as elsewhere was able to divert attention from its activities by flaounging the Communist bogy. Partly as result of international developments, but also partly because its increased blatancy has opened the eyes of many formerly ucmomprehending sections fothe preopl, all has now changed. A national united front, including the communists (Irish Workers Party in the twenty-six counties, Communist Party in the six), is being forged in the course of vigorous struggles on such issues as evictions, land consolidations, co-operative farming, Anglo-Irish Trade Relations, entry into the EEC, as well as such international issues as the Vietnam ar, and apartheid in South Africa. Not for a generation has the Irish movement been so vigorous and united.

In 1967 both the Irish Labour Party and the Sinn Féin party introduced socialism into their programmes. It is a sign of the times.

There is also mention of the June 1968 issue of Marxism Today “the month of the centenary of Connolly’s birth, will devote a large part of its space to his work and writing”.

Left Archive: New Left Journal, Socialist Workers Party, Issue 2 Winter 2006 July 9, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. newleftjournal-winter2006.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who scanned this document for the Archive.

This journal, issued by the Socialist Workers Party, is a full 24 page long document that contains a wide range of articles. Topics covered include ‘NeoLiberalism, Democracy and the State’ by Kieran Allen, ‘Zionism and the Israeli State’ by Deirdre Cronin, ‘Hezbollah – the real story’ by Owen McCormack, and ‘Socialists and National Liberation’ by Sean McGrath amongst others. There’s analyses of raunch culture and a linkage between Shell in Ireland and the Niger Delta.

The editorial notes that:

We argue here that the democratic deficit has become part and parcel of the neoliberal world order, and how theIrish state has become, despite the hands-off rhetoric, the tool of global capital.This explains how the richest 10% at the top can increase its share of the national income at the expense of everyone else. It also accounts for the fact that the state spends so little on health, welfare or pension payments and that Irish social transfers are among thelowest in the OECD.This disgraceful fact and the Irish government’s position on the war should rock the cosy Irish consensus of tweedledum-tweedledee coalitions.And concludes with a then timely nod to the 2007 General Election. Anti-war and anti-privatisation activists, local campaigners and socialists need to combine to put these issues at the top of the agenda in the election campaign ahead.

Left Archive: Economic and Social Planning – A Position Paper presented by the Administrative Council to the 1978 Annual Conference of the Labour Party, Labour Party July 2, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. economic-and-social-planning-lp-1978.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This joins a range of documents prepared by and for the Labour Party in the 1970s. The frontispiece has a short paragraph that reads:

This position paper is submitted to the 1978 Annual Conference of the Labour Party as a first step towards the development of party policy on this subject. It does not represent party policy at this time.

Across twenty pages it addresses Planning and Development and Institutions for Planning. Within those headings it examines General Issues, Economic and Social Planning, Past Policies, The Need for Growth and Jobs, Role of Enterprise and a range of other areas.

The Preamble is as cautious as the paragraph quoted above, noting that the document is‚ not a planor a blueprintfor economic and social development. It argues:

Economic and social planning should be a continuing activity under the aegis of Government a system of consultation with the trade unions, other organised groups and the community at large.

It also suggests that:

This Position Paper should be seen in the context of the Paper on the Party’s Fundamental Policy Position. It refers to gains for socialism which can be made now and into the 1980s if sufficient support for its views can be mobilised. In this sense this is a Paper to look into ways in which progress can be made in the economic and social fields in the short to medium term.

Left Archive: The Struggle for Socialism Today: A 1999 document by the Socialist Party in Ireland June 18, 2018

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left_unity

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

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive. It is available online in other places including the SP itself but this is a useful format to have the document in.

This is a fascinating document issued by the Socialist Party which includes an exchange between it and the Socialist Workers Party on the issue of electoral cooperation. As the document makes clear, this was at the instigation of the SWP in December 1998.

The introduction notes that:

The Socialist Party welcomes the opportunity to debate publicly the differences between the Socialist Workers Party and us. This is not a matter of sterile point scoring or dogmatic hair splitting.
Our objective is first of all to clarify the points of difference and, by doing so, hopefully to resolve them. The existence of a number of organisations on the left complicates the task of building a Marxist party. Where differences are not fundamental, the needs of the class struggle must override secondary and sometimes petty divisions that may have built up through years of separate existence.

And although somewhat sceptical about the proposals it concludes:

Even if we do not end with agreement, the exercise will not have been wasted.
A public setting out of differences in method and in ideas will be of benefit to our own members and to activists on the left generally. We have to justify to working class people, who instinctively seek the maximum unity of organisation, why there exists more than one organisation which lays claim to the Marxist tradition. If there is no basis for fusion we have to be able to demonstrate that these differences are both serious and irreconcilable, and that a fusion would merely blunt the revolutionary instrument, not strengthen it.

The document outlines its analysis of the SWP and its activities from the perspective of the SP across a range of issues including the development of the SWP, its orientation in regard to Northern Ireland and so on. One of the most interesting aspects is an Appendix which contains correspondence between the SWP and the SP.

Left Archive: Capital – The Ripening of Time No. 9, December 1977 – March 1978 June 4, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. ripening_of_time_9_sml.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who scanned this document.

As noted before with the Ripening of Time series the sheer volume of the publication is beyond providing an clear précis. The topic of this edition is Capital and follows on from previous editions already in the Archive – most notably No. 7 of which some articles are direct successors. The contents includes a piece on The Break-Up of Capital part II, On the Problem of Democratic Unity by Roy Johnston, further Reflections on Agriculture and Book Reviews.

As the introduction ‘to the reader’ notes:

This issue of The Ripening of Time concentrates on identifying the major elements for an examination of the bourgeois class and its origins in Ireland.

And the Editorial from the Ripening of Time Collective argues that:

These last few issues have examined the historical co-existence of different modes of production in Ireland. The complex and contradictory class structure which has resulted from that history will be the object of study for the next few issues. We have started this work and will continue to analyse the Irish social formation from the standpoint that the Capitalist Mode of Prodcution is the dominant mode in the 32 cos. – and thus the fundamental contradiction between capital and labour is the main motor force of class struggle.

The piece by Roy Johnston is particularly interesting in that it covers efforts for left unity in the mid to late 1970s including the Communist Party of Ireland, the Liaison Committee of the Labour Left and Sinn Féin the Workers Party.

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