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Left Archive: United Irishman – An t-Eireannach Aontaithe, Meitheamh (June) 1975, Official Sinn Féin June 15, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Official Sinn Féin, Workers' Party.
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UIJUNE75

To download the above please click on the following link. UI JUNE copy

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This edition of the United Irishman from Official Sinn Féin is one of a series of United Irishman and Starry Ploughs that date from the period of the feud between the INLA and the OIRA in 1975.

This edition has a front page that argues for the ‘Civil rights answer to civil war’ and references a two page spread on Job Crisis Grows – More Firms Collapse. In relation to the death of Liam McMillen which the previous May edition had considerable coverage of there is a letter from OIRA volunteer Noel Jenkinson in Parkhurst Prison on the ‘phenomenon known as the I.R.S.P. and the serious damage being done to the Republican Movement to the advantage of the British’. Another letter sending regrets on the death of Liam McMillen from the Irlandsfronten, Norway is printed. The Editor notes that: ‘…many other tributes have arrived at Head office from all parts of the world…we feel that readers would like to know that a special commemoration was held in New York at which the oration was delivered by Liam Kelly, formerly of County Tyrone’.

The editorial does not mention those events, but instead examines in part ‘the end, however temporary, of the Provisional campaign…’. The Sinn Féin Platform column looks at both the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill and ‘the total bankruptcy of the Government’s Northern policy’. There’s also a reprint of a message from Sinn Féin to the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

There’s another long article on International Women’s Year which is prefaced as ‘the contribution by some female members of Sinn Fein to the on-going struggle to secure women’s rights. Some comparisons with Socialist countries are included to illustrate how far the women of Ireland must progress to secure equality with men’.

On the last page there is a short piece ‘I.R.A. denies attack’. It notes that the ‘Irish Republican Publicity Bureau has been asked to release the following statement issued by GHQ Irish Republican Army’ and ‘Mr. Costello has accused the Irish Republican Army of an attempt on his life. The Irish Republican Army did not shoot Mr. Costello.’

Workers’ Party Statement on Paris Massacre January 8, 2015

Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.
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The Workers’ Party of Ireland condemns today’s brutal and murderous attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which has produced understandable anger and indignation throughout France, Europe and the world.

The WPI expresses its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims and takes this opportunity to express its firm support for workers’ rights to carry out their work free from the threat of terrorist attack by the enemies of peace, freedom and social progress who have nothing to offer humanity other than misery, obscurantism and reaction.

These criminal terrorist actions will serve only to increase the clamour for further repressive state measures and add fuel to the racists who will use this attack as cover for their vile, virulent toxic beliefs.

Solidarity with the journalists and staff of Charlie Hebdo.
Solidarity with the French people.
For freedom and social progress against racism, obscurantism and reaction.

Workers’ Party of Ireland
7 January 2015

Workers’ Party Welcomes Release of the Cuban 5 December 19, 2014

Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.
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5 released

The Workers’ Party of Ireland welcomes the release of the remaining members of the Cuban Five after long years of false imprisonment in the US. The WPI salutes the Cuban heroes who were unjustly arrested by the FBI on 12 September 1998, falsely charged with espionage, wrongfully convicted in a U.S. federal court in Miami in 2001 after a political prosecution by the U.S. government and unlawfully imprisoned in the United States in maximum security prisons for 16 years. Their release after this long time is a cause for celebration.

It is important, however, to remember the context in which these brave men lost their liberty.

The Cuban people have had to fight from the earliest days to preserve the gains of their revolution. From the beginning the U.S. commenced a campaign of aggression including economic and financial sanctions, sabotage, assassination attempts, slander and misinformation, military training of Cuba’s enemies, attempted invasion and open terrorism. These acts of imperialist aggression continued with the aim of destroying the Cuban Revolution, reversing its gains and bringing Cuba under U.S. control.

Terrorist groups, hostile to socialism and the government of Cuba, operated openly in the U.S., particularly in the southern Florida region. The existence of these terrorist organisations and individuals has been well documented and despite its obligations to prevent and prosecute terrorism within its jurisdiction the U.S. government failed to take steps to prevent terrorist attacks against Cuba and, on the contrary, provided a safe haven for such terrorists and provided them with sustenance and support contrary to the provisions of UN Resolution 1373.

Throughout the 1990s attacks against Cuba continued. The U.S. disregarded reasonable requests from the government of Cuba for assistance in the prevention of terrorist acts against Cuban territory and failed to take any or reasonable steps to prevent incursions into Cuban airspace at a time of increased terrorist activity against the citizens and territory of Cuba. Faced with U.S. complicity in acts of terrorism and the necessity of preventing terrorist acts against its territory and citizens, the Government of Cuba, as a sovereign nation, was obliged to take steps to defend its national territory and people.

Against this background the Cuban Five were on a mission in Miami to monitor the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups which acted with impunity and which, with the active assistance of the U.S., carried out a campaign of terrorist attacks on Cuba. This was a legitimate project which posed no threat to the U.S.

It was in the course of this mission that the five Cuban heroes were subjected to a grotesque perversion of justice which violated the most basic rules of fairness which led to their unjust conviction and to the imposition of excessive and disproportionate sentences. Earlier this year the Centre for Human Rights and Constitutional Law produced a detailed report which comprehensively challenged the basis of their imprisonment.

The continued imprisonment of the five Cuban patriots in the US together with the ongoing economic war against Cuba and the EU restrictions and “common position” on Cuba remained evidence of imperialism’s efforts to extinguish Cuba as a beacon of hope and socialism for progressives throughout the world.

USAID which operated a multi-million dollar program, disguised as humanitarian aid, aimed to incite dissent in Cuba. Alan Gross, who worked with a contractor for USAID was convicted under Cuban law of illegally smuggling and distributing satellite communications technology with subversion as its object. It also engineered a subversive programme using social media designed to create political unrest with the aim of overthrowing the Cuban government.

It is now clear that these efforts have failed and will fail. The Cuban Revolution remains an inspiration. International respect for Cuba has grown stronger and the commitment of the Cuban people to national independence, socialism and solidarity is undiminished.

The Workers’ Party of Ireland has persistently campaigned for the release of the Cuban Five. We extend our congratulations to the heroic Cuban Five and their families, to the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people. We will continue to support socialist Cuba and work to end the criminal blockade.

Central Executive Committee

Workers’ Party of Ireland

The Rising Tide – LookLeft 19 in shops now September 15, 2014

Posted by guestposter in The Left, Workers' Party.
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LookLeft19FrontCover

LookLeft 19 is in Easons stores and hundreds of selected newsagents across the island now. Still only €2 this issue includes former Workers’ Party President Séan Garland’s assessment of the career of Eamon Gilmore, an exclusive article by Greek economist, Yanis Varoufakis, on the failure of European Social Democracy, an interview with new Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger, an examination of the growing militancy among trade union members in Ireland and John Cooney on Scottish Independence and much, much more…

Contents include:

CLASS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

The links between Irish corporate and clerical elites, Richard McAlevey investigates.

RACISM, NORTH AND SOUTH

Brian McDermott and Kevin Squires discuss the rise of racism on both sides of the Border.

THE OIREACHTAS’ NEWEST SOCIALIST
Kevin Squires meets Ruth Coppinger to discuss her aims in the Dáil.

CAN RENT CONTROLS WORK?
Osal Kelly discusses how to put a lid on a the bubbling housing market.

WHAT IS TTIP?
Dara McHugh and Padraig Mannion discuss the threat to democracy from the secretive trade deal.

RISING TIDE OF EXPECTATIONS Workers are seeking a new militancy in the trade union movement, Francis Donohoe explores.

THE FORUM Seán Garland bids an unfond farewell to Eamon Gilmore. Also featuring John Cooney, Anna Quigley, Cian O’Callaghan, Marie Moran and Gavin Mendel-Gleason.

WHAT NEXT FOR EUROPE?
Yanis Varoufakis and Terry McDonough discuss the fall of European social democracy and look at how the Left can rise instead.

RADICAL PROTESTANTS
Conall Parr looks at the legacy of radical Protestants in Northern Ireland politics

GLAM ROCK AND ANARCHY
Dara McHugh talks music, politics and petty theft with pioneering Dublin folk band Lynched.

NO NAZIS AT MALMÖ
Neil Dunne discusses the reactions of Malmö FC to the stabbing of a fan by neo-nazis.

Left Archive: Making Sense, Workers’ Party, Issue 6, 1989 July 28, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Workers' Party.
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WP MS6

To download the above document please click on the following link: WS MS 6 GO

>

To go to the Irish Left Archive please click here.

An interesting issue of the Workers’ Party magazine, Making Sense, from 1989. It has a broad range of articles, from Eamon Gilmore ‘arguing that socialists need to wake up to the realities of Ireland today’, Rosheen Callender examining labour markets, an interview with Alexander Cockburn, Lorraine Kennedy looking at the ‘myth of Mother Ireland’ and Eoghan Harris looking at the influence of Daniel Corkery ‘on the formation of modern bourgeois nationalist intellectuals’.

There’s also a short story by Liz McManus entitled ‘Baby’.

The cover article ‘Making Peace in Ireland: The responsibility of the Republic’ is by Seamus Murphy of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, and offers this potted outline of the history of the conflict on the island.

It is almost twenty years since the British government sent troops to Northern Ireland in the midst of serious civil disturbances. Two years later, the Provisional IRA came into being and launched a vicious campaign of violence against the Protestant population. Loyalists elements responded in kind, and politics gave way to terrorism. Efforts to find a political solution have the far failed, and the killings continue.

Murphy argues that ‘much southern confusion arises form subconscious guilt about the north’. And he continues that ‘the typical southerner… while… abhorring the appalling violence of the IRA and generally supporting the Dublin governments attempts to suppress it… cannot quite bring himself to consciously stand wight he unionist population against IRA violence or express support for the security forces in NI’.

He suggests that ‘the Republic must not lend a sympathetic ear to everyone claiming to be a spokesperson for the oppressed minority in NI. it is perfectly obvious that the democratic parties representing northern Catholics (SDLP, Alliance, WP) are engaged in a serious struggle with a fascist, authoritarian, violent and anti-democratic party (SF/IRA).

It must be made clear that every vote for SF, far from bringing the day of Irish unity closer, actually makes it more distant; it needs to be spelled out that supporting the IRA creates, not just a gulf between the two communities in NI, but a second gulf between the northern minority and the south where SF has no electoral future.

He continues that: precisely because the south has not suffered either at the hands of loyalist paramilitary violence or by security force excesses, it has less excuse for failing to reach out to the unionist community. If the southern community is to fulfil its moral responsibility of building peace, it must resist the temptation to give in to its own emotions and take sides, and instead work at the difficult task of being an honest broker for peace.

He then suggests that were the IRA to ‘achieve a united Ireland’ it is his suspicion that most in the south would abhor the means but accept the end, even if ‘it were built on the slaughter and expulsion of thousands of the Protestant community’. From this he argues that ‘What might in the long run make a difference would be a repudiation of its goal as well as its method; if the southern community is not to be complicit in the IRA campaign, it must build a wide consensus around the position that a united Ireland attained the IRA way could never be acceptable.

Meanwhile the editorial looks at the issue of ‘fighting poverty’ and argues that:

The voice of the poor was heard to great effect in 1798, and helped give birth to democracy. It would be a fitting celebration of the French Revolution if that voice was raised in Ireland to insist that the principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity were accorded more than lip service.

Workers’ Party Easter Oration 2014 April 21, 2014

Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.
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Comrades and friends,

You are all very welcome here today to the Annual Workers’ Party Easter commemoration.

We are here to honour the men and women of Easter Week 1916, to rededicate ourselves to the noble and principled ideals that they set out to achieve.

We also remember with pride and honour all those Comrades and friends of The Workers’ Party who gave their lives in the struggle for a democratic, secular, socialist republic, a unitary state on this island.

Their sacrifice will never be forgotten and we pay tribute today to all those who contributed to the creation of The Workers’ Party as the modern embodiment of the struggle for freedom and the emancipation of the working class.

We do of course live in a hugely different world from that of 1916 but there is still great relevance and lessons to be learned from what the men and women of 1916 set out to achieve.

The struggle for national independence and political and economic sovereignty remain today vital matters of concern. British Imperialism may well have ceased to exist as a serious world power, but new forms of Imperialism and political and economic subjugation have taken its place.

In particular the United States of America seeks to dominate and control the entire world in its own selfish interests, and the European Union now acts solely in the interests of capitalism and is devoid of even the most rudimentary appearance of democracy or accountability.

In Ireland we are ruled by 2 administrations – in the Dáil and at Stormont – by people who may profess to adhere to the ideals of 1916 but in reality are far removed from the democratic, egalitarian, republican and socialist principles contained in the Proclamation of 1916.

Both administrations are made up of parties that subscribe to dominant capitalist ideology. Neither represents any challenge to the existing economic system which is the cause of social and economic misery.

As we approach the 100th Anniversary of 1916 we will hear all manner of praise for 1916 and even talk of rededicating to the ideals of the proclamation. Just as in 1966, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary, we can expect much symbolism, pageantry and rhetoric. Already there has even been nonsensical talk of national and republican unity.

What we do not want, or need, is a futile and destructive process of all manner of groups and sects competing to claim the title of true inheritors of the ideals of 1916 and ownership of the holy grail.

What would be far more productive would be a national debate on the nature and character of Irish society today and how we might move towards a New Republic in which the values and political ideals of 1916 could be encapsulated in a new political and social order: a New Society which would embrace the values of the common good over individual greed and private profit; collectivism over individualism; democracy and citizenship and political and economic sovereignty.

Such a debate on the nature of society cannot ignore the fact that the fundamental struggle today for freedom and emancipation is the struggle between capital and labour. The greatest enemy facing the Irish people North and South today is Capitalism. It is Capitalism which is the cause of our social and economic ills. Capitalism cannot be reformed or ameliorated. Only its replacement by a Socialist society can bring social and economic freedom.

Ireland today is not the Ireland of 1916. We are no longer a predominantly rural and agriculturally dependent society.

The dominant political and social values are those of the international economic order … Capitalism.

The progressive trends in the independence movement have evolved as well.

Today those progressive trends are to be found in Socialism.

That evolution towards a coherent and scientific socialist ideology was organisationally mirrored in the creation of The Workers’ Party which reached a high point in the 80s. Since then we have had setbacks, reversals and even defeats. But the only hope for the achieving of political, social and economic freedom for the Irish people lies in a rejuvenated and strong Workers’ Party, a Party driven and governed by a strong Socialist Ideology.

If we are to be true to the ideals of 1916 in the world in which we live today, then Building the Party must be our prime objective.

We are under no illusions as to the enormity of this task.

A strong Workers’ Party represents the only hope that real change is possible in our country.

No other Party seeks to bring about the fundamental transformation of society that is needed in order to create a new political, economic and social order.

The Labour Party and Sinn Féin in particular – two parties that profess to speak for the working class – have failed our class.

In the North Sinn Féin (and their DUP partners) have presided over the highest levels of unemployment, poverty, homelessness, educational disadvantage, privatisation of public services, and a health service in crisis. In the South they profess opposition but their one ambition is to be in government. They are akin to De Valera’s Fianna Fáil in the 30s. They are long in nationalist and republican rhetoric, long in populism whilst simultaneously embracing free market economics and big business.

The Labour Party, no strangers to coalition governments, have surpassed all previous betrayals of the working class and labour movements by their participation in this Fine Gael-led Government.

It is the working class that has borne the impact of devastating cutbacks and economic measures that have impoverished hundreds of thousands of our people and will continue to do so for years to come.

Local elections next month are an opportunity North and South to begin a fightback on behalf of the working class. The Party will be standing a small number of candidates. We are proud of the role and record of our councillors in Cork and Waterford, and are hopeful of not only retaining but expanding our number of councillors.

This is a vital part of Building the Party.

We cannot rely on past achievements but on our active involvement in the everyday struggles of working class people in our communities.

This involves bringing into membership of the Party new Comrades, most of whom will not have had our historical experience or background.

This must necessarily entail attracting more women and young people to the Party.

On this, the 100th anniversary of the founding of Cumann na mBan, it is worth noting how much of the women’s struggle remains to be won.

Right across society women continue to suffer discrimination. In Employment, both in wages and career opportunities; in terms of reproductive rights; as the primary carers; in fact in almost every walk and area of life.

But our concern for women must not just be about their role in society.

They are glaringly absent from the ranks of the Party itself.

We must not only increase the numbers of women in the Party but women must take on roles of responsibility, leadership, and authority in the Party.

In conclusion Comrades,

We are only too well aware that the Socialist Republic remains to be won. The question is – what do we do to bring it about?

The starting point must be to Build the Party.

Over the next weeks and months the detail of what that means in practice will be debated within the Party.

It is our task to ensure that it reaches a conclusion and that we set about the work that will be required to bring about a renewed and rejuvenated Workers’ Party.

Only that can bring about the democratic, secular, socialist republic we strive for.

Thank you for your attention Comrades.

Left Archive: Ireland – The Workers’ Party – Autumn 1987 December 30, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Workers' Party.
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WP DOC 87 COVER

To download the above file please click on the following link: WP DOC 87

This document provides a sense of the image the Workers’ Party sought to project internationally during the 1980s, particularly – but not exclusively – in Europe. It came on foot of significant gains by the Party in the 1987 General Election where it increased its representation to four TDs and a sense that the party was in the process of making even greater gains.

It states:

The battle for alternative socialist policies in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland received a major boost in general elections held in both areas this year, with substantial gains being recorded by WP candidates.

It notes the four TDs and that ‘in a number of constituencies the WP increased its vote substantially setting the scene for further gains at the next general election’.

It continues:

The election results confirmed a further slide in support for the Labour Party and gave a crushing blow to the sectarian murder and terror policies of Provisional Sinn Féin, whose vote slumped by up to 50 per cent in many constituencies ending up with just 1.8% of the national vote. The Communist Party of Ireland ran five candidates winning only 725 votes, .005% of the national vote.

Since the election the WP has established itself as the leading voice on the Irish Left. The party has proposed talks with Labour for co-operation on social and economic issues, but these were not responded to positively.

Following the election WP President Tomás Mac Giolla pointed out the basis has now been set for a clear development of Left-Right politics in Ireland, something which the conservative parties with the collusion of Labour, had striven to avoid in the past.

‘For the WP the task of building a strong and militant Left Alternative in Ireland, in cooperation with other workers’ communist and socialist parties throughout Europe, is a vital task in winning state power for the Irish working class’.

It also discusses ‘Northern Election Gains’, arguing that it ‘significantly boosted its vote in NI… increasing its total to just under 20,000’. This is suggests ‘showed a reduction in support of rate policies of bigotry and abstention, with the votes of both the Unions parties and Provisional Sinn Féin declining considerably’.

Inside it has an article on the murder of WP supporter Thomas Emmanuel Wilson by the Provisional IRA. And in the course of that it argues:

The WP position on terrorism has been absolutely clear for a long time: we call for its elimination. For this is not an isolated incident. No one is safe: these gangsters have bombed cafes, public houses, slaughtered men and women indiscriminately. And we insist that to label people as ‘police agents’ is a gross distortion of reality.

Other articles discuss the ‘SDLP – Washington connection’, and mentions the Irish Republican Club of North America which ‘opposes secret US funding of the SDLP’. They call for ANC recognition as the ‘authentic representative voice of the majority of South Africans’ and there’s a photograph on page four of MacGiolla and Kader Asmal at a rally in Dublin meeting ANC representative Reg September.

It takes Ken Livingstone’s ‘ignorance’ on the North to task on the same page. There’s also news about a 1916 commemoration in Belfast. Another piece by Sean Garland discusses the WP as a vanguard party and there is a long pieces on Nicaragua.

As noted above, the direction of this is explicitly oriented towards an international audience, and in particular one that, for want of a better term, would be part of orthodox communism and those elements on the left that would orient towards that.

Left Archive: Drug Crime – A Dagger at the Heart of the Working Class, Workers’ Party, January 2001 September 23, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Workers' Party.
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WPDRGSDOCCOVER

To download the above file please click on the following link: WPDRGS

This document issued by the Central Executive Committee of the Workers’s and written by Sean Ó Cionnaith, is sub-titled ‘A Workers Party policy document on Crime, Policing and Detention and Civil Liberties in a changing society’.

In 12 pages it seeks to outline the WP view at that point on Drug Crime.

Crime from drugs is now a dagger at the heart of the working class . It is stopping a proper response to the core issue in society now -the fact that wealth and want are soaring side by side. Itn the strict sense working class communities are the only communities ravaged by addiction and the killer greed of those who get fat on it. The WP is clear on this issue – regardless of class – addiction always ravages and cheapens a person and destroys a family. But only among the working class does it take hold so powerfully that it threatens and ruins the quality of life in the Community.

It argues that the reason why addiction ‘flourishes amongst the deprived’ is ‘because that’s where the market is. Their market is the need for escapism and is born of hopelessness’.

In terms of combatting addiction and drug crime it argues:

There is a golden rule if you want to play your part as a lawful and successful movement against drugs and the widespread anti-social crime that goes with drugs, from the muggings to the murders. Work with the Gardai.

Under the heading ‘Exploiting the Crisis’ it suggests that:

The so-called ‘liberals’ in the upper class and socially insulated independent republics could be in for a shock a the next election. The provisionals use sectarianism to get their cut of power in the north. They are trying to win the same pose in the South by exploiting the genuine drugs scandal. If they get away with it and get influence it will not take the stupid ‘liberals’ who can’t welcome them enough into ‘democratic politics’ long to learn that leopards live by jungle law – and this particular Provo leopard has not changed its spots.

It continues under the heading ‘Civil Rights and the Rights of Society’

Delegates at the WP’s last ardfheis were clear and firm on drugs and crime, sentencing, the use and possible abuse of new laws and Garda powers. And they were angry at the stupid lack of support for addicts who want to quit while Justice Minister O’Donoghue appears proudly in endless newspaper photographs opening multi-million pound jails and reopening ‘refurbished’ areas of Mountjoy when it should be pulled down and rebuilt with the intention to help offenders not to offend again.

And it argues

While we understand the depth of the drugs crisis for those sometimes already on the ropes through the class system, it is still crucial to protect cvil rights and civil liberties and call to account gardai who abuse these powers, and corrupt gardai. We therefore call for the membership of specialist Garda units with special powers to be rotated every three years to prevent any sense of elitism developing through long familiarity.

Further sections engage with ‘Crime and Policing’, ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Prison and Detention’. There is also an Appendix which reprints a speech delivered by Ó Cionnaith at the Workers Party Ard Fheis in 2000 where he introduced the document ‘Crime and Policing’.

Left Archive: Nuclear Power & Ireland, Research Section, Department of Economic Affairs, Sinn Féin the Workers’ Party, c.1980 June 4, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Official Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin The Workers Party, Workers' Party.
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SFWP NUCLEARTo download the above file please click on the following link:

WP NUCLEAR

This document, issued by the Research Section of SFWP is of particular interest appearing as it did during a period where the issue of nuclear power loomed large in the consciousness of Irish citizens due to the possibility of a nuclear reactor being constructed at Carnsore Point. That never came to pass, but the document attempts to engage with the issue.

It is divided into an Introduction, an overview of various technical and scientific aspects of the production nuclear power, a consideration of Alternatives and Buying Nuclear Power as well as a Conclusion.

In the introduction it notes that in 1978:

…we published a pamphlet on Energy which examined the question of providing electricity by using various fuels in order to produce electricity as cheaply as possible. We considered that nuclear power would not give us cheap electricity. Since then there have been further developments in relation to energy sources and we believe that a full and public debate on the issues involved in the energy problem for Ireland is essential.

At this remove it is interesting to see the mention of nuclear fusion reactors, which the text notes ‘Fusion reactors are not likely [to be in use] before about 2,000 or later’.

It notes the events at Three Mile Island in the United States where ‘mechanical and human failures led to a release of low-level radiation into the atmosphere around the Three Mile Island plant’. It continues ‘The anti-nuclear lobby seized on the accident as proof positive that all nuclear reactors are unsafe and therefore should be closed down. Countries with nuclear power plants, the vast majority of them, did not see the wisdom of closing down nuclear power plants’.

In light of the Chernobyl accident only a short number of years later the following appears somewhat optimistic:

The nuclear accident at Harrisburg caused expressions of concern around the world. Energy officials in the Soviet Union and elsewhere let it be known that while increased precautions may be taken the nuclear power programme will go forward.
In an interview with the newspaper Trud Fyodor I. Ovchinnikov, the Deputy Minister of Electricity and Electrification, said that the possibility of a slip-shod attitude existed where private interests, in this case those of the owner of the nuclear energy station, were regarded as of paramount importance.

The section on Alternatives is somewhat cursory, and argues that ‘what the anti-nuclear lobby are asking countries with an urgent and vital need for supplies of cheap energy to do is take a theory on trust, to make an act of faith in the possibility of producing great quantities of electricity in this way.’

The Conclusion clearly points towards the eventual use of nuclear power, albeit suggesting that in the context of reactors produced in the United States ‘the private enterprise approach is obviously not making sufficient safety provisions’ while ‘nuclear power stations built in socialist countries are more advanced on safety… but this may mean they are more costly to build and therefore will not compare favourably with the cost of stations run on conventional fuel’. Interestingly there is no mention made of British or other European reactors.

Left Archive: General Secretary’s Report, Ard Fheis Annual Delegate Conference 1990, Worker’s Party April 22, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Workers' Party.
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WP GEN SEC 1990003

To download the above file please click on the link: WP GEN SEC 1990

This document provides an interesting comparison with the General Secretary’s Report from 1988 which was posted up previously. The latter was produced just prior to the events of 1989, this document produced just after many of them. By 1990 Eastern Europe states had moved from the orbit of the USSR although the CPSU remained predominant in that state. But remarkably during the same period the Workers’ Party had grown, increasing its Dáil representation to 7 seats. This newfound success is referenced explicitly as both opportunity and challenge:

It has increased our political and organisational opportunities but it has also increased the risks for the party if we make political or organisational errors. Our success has projected the strengths of the party into the public consciousness in a way never achieved before but it can also expose our weaknesses if we fail to deal with these.

And it notes that ‘on the positive side we have now achieved the ‘official’ status of a full political party in Dáil Éireann. We have a first class Dáil team with a high level of political acumen. We have a high level of credibility with the working class and a solid electoral base in the whole of Dublin, and an expanding base throughout the country. All this has helped to build the morale of the party members and supporters and has given some hope to the victims of cuts in health, education and social services, to the unemployed, and to those forced to emigrate. We now have a major national and international dimension to our representations.’

But it also notes that:

… it could be argued that our party is not ready for this greatly expanded role but we will never be ready unless we take bold steps to meet all the new challenges.

In terms of the international context it notes that:

Most importantly for us as Socialists, the Socialist Counties have undergone dramatic changes, economically and politically and are likely to see an even greater pace of change in the decades ahead.

And that reflects back to the following:

All of these factors and the many theoretical and practical questions for socialists vis-a-vis the Market, the changing structure of classes, ecology, the role of the State, democracy an the role of the Party, all require careful analysis in the Irish context.

And tellingly it continues:

The pace of change is now such that many Socialists are disconcerted and confused. this is particularly the case for those with a poor theoretical grounding or for those who based their politics on simplistic or dogmatic assumptions about the nature of the world or of change itself. In some respect the Workers’ Party has a number of advantages (and a number of weaknesses) when facing this new phase of political reconstruction. This Ard Fheis can, and will, I’m sure be a good start to us in this process.

As with the other General Secretary’s Report from 1988, an overview of the life of the party is offered across the broad range of its activities. Another notable point is that on page 24 under International Affairs it says;

In recent years we have achieved limited recognition from Governments in some Socialist Countries and have established a dialogue with other Workers’ Parties, Socialist and Communist Parties in many parts of the World.

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