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The Workers Party in Northern Ireland is calling for a class based response to the European Union debate and is in favour of a Leave Vote as part of a principled, socialist LEXIT strategy.
As part of the LEXIT debate the Party is holding a public meeting on
Tuesday 14th June at 7pm
in the Clayton Hotel.
Ormeau Avenue. Belfast
(opposite the BBC)
The guest speaker will be Elisseos Vagenas a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, who will reflect on the lessons learnt in Greece from the Europe Union and the crisis in capitalism.
More details here
Workers’ Party Position on Right to Choose February 23, 2016Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.
A statement from the AAA-PBP misrepresents the WP’s long-held position on the right to choose, so this is being posted in order to help clarify what it is. The AAA-PBP statement contains in the following:
“Six parties have now committed to repealing the 8th in their election manifesto: AAA-PBP, Workers Party, Labour, Sinn Fein, Social Democrats, Green Party – this has never happened before and represents significant progress. However, apart from AAA-PBP, all of these parties either want to introduce restrictive legislation, or have not made their post-repeal position clear, and none of them support a woman’s right to choose.”
The Workers’ Party manifesto in fact contains the following on page 11
The Workers’ Party recognises that women have the right to control their own bodies, including their fertility, and to pursue all reproductive choices. This is fundamental to any reasonable concept of gender equality in order to achieve full political, social, and economic equality with men.
The Workers’ Party rejects the paternalistic attitude that regards women as second class citizens incapable of making their own decisions. The Workers’ Party supports a full programme of secular sex education for schools, free access to contraception, proper health and social care for pregnant women, the provision of appropriate free and quality child care facilities and adequate support for single and low income parents.
The Workers’ Party believes in a woman’s right to choose and supports the provision of free and safe abortion in Ireland which will include practical facilities to support women seeking an abortion and quality post-abortion care.
It’s a bit bizarre that the AAA-PBP can make this mistake.
Left Archive: United Irishman – An t-Eireannach Aontaithe, Iuil (July) 1975, Official Sinn Féin July 13, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Official Sinn Féin, Workers' Party.
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To download the above please click on the following link. UI JULY
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 feud between the INLA and the OIRA in Spring/Summer 1975 and which have been posted up in sequence this Summer.
This edition has a front page that has the quote ‘Freedom for all Irish People’ from Cathal Goulding. It also has photographs from Bodenstown and an outline of why ‘[Minister for Finance, Richie] Ryan’s budget fails to bluff workers.
The editorial deals with both the Budget in the Republic of Ireland and under the heading ‘Reform’ the Official Sinn Féin/Republican Clubs campaign ‘Sectarianism Kills Workers’. This suggests that:
The RUC are making strenuous efforts to blot out the memory of 1969. This will be difficult while there remain leading figures in the ranks who have a record of sectarian partisanship, to put it at its mildest. Reform of the RUC is still a top priority.
The report on the Bodenstown Annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration is exhaustive, reprinting the oration by Cathal Goulding which covers a broad range of issues from Sectarianism, Intimidation and Rights.
And when the Provisionals ceased their provocation, when it seems there might be hope, out of the ashes of destruction, born of hatred and sectarianism there arose the Irish Republican Socialist Party and its Peoples Liberation army, as if to ensure that bigotry might not die, repression might not wither and sectarian incitement might not fade.
Unity is our struggle, comrades. We will not be diverted from it by any force, however vicious or murderous its attack, whether it comes directly from the British Army of occupation or from groups who might as well be their agents as the so-called standard bearers of revolution. Unity of the working class remains our aim, as our enemy remains British imperialism in all its forms and our objective remains full freedom – social, economic, political and cultural – for all our people.
Later he argues:
The RUC and the UDR are not and never can be acceptable forces of the administration of law and order, whatever emerges from the Convention, whatever kind of deal is done by the middle-class opportunist politicians, whatever the role of the new regime. As the Republican Clubs have made clear, nothing less than the abolition of the UDR and the RUC will be considered satisfactory. And the RUC must be replaced by a police force which is not armed and does not have hand, act or part in political affairs.
Other articles include the Sinn Féin Platform which quotes Tomas MacGiolla on the economic crisis. There are a number of reports on RUC and UDR oppression in the North There’s a two page spread on Nadezhda Krupskaya, wife of Vladimir Lenin. On international affairs there’s a two page article on Vietnam and the back page has a long piece on the need for an oil refinery in Dublin Bay and suggests that that suggests that ’A really big building site in Dublin would do wonders for trade union organisation’. and ‘The Anglo-American oil companies must love those who are now engaged in an agitation against the building of an oil refinery in Dublin’.
Workers’ Party Statement on Situation in Greece July 2, 2015Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.
The Workers’ Party of Ireland expresses its solidarity with the people of Greece in the struggle against austerity and the humanitarian crisis it has wrought.
We condemn the actions of the EU-IMF-ECB Troika and the continuing efforts to bleed the Greek working class dry by transferring wealth from the workers of Greece to pay for the capitalist crisis. These developments take place in the context of a serious crisis within the capitalist system and the intensification of imperialist competition.
The Workers’ Party expresses its profound disgust at the actions and interventions of the Irish government which has ruthlessly pursued an agenda of austerity, privatisation and protection of the bondholders to the detriment of the Irish working class. It comes as no surprise to see this government play the role of enthusiastic cheerleader for the demand for ever-harsher austerity to be imposed on the people of Greece.
This posturing rings hollow in the ears of the hundreds of thousands unemployed, those forced to emigrate in search of work, those suffering from cuts to healthcare and other public services, those in precarious and under-paid work and those subjected to water taxes and the universal social charge.
Cuts in public services, privatisations and the sale of state assets, job losses, pay cuts and other attacks on the quality of life of workers are for the benefit of the capitalist class. There are always powerful forces supportive of such policies, members of the economic, financial and political elites that dominate individual countries and the whole world. There are political forces in every country willing and often eager to do their bidding, including in Ireland and Greece.
The attacks on the living standards of workers across Europe to bail out the bankers and the speculators are not accidental. They are not the whim of malicious politicians or sadistic individual bankers. They are inherent in the very system of capitalism which ensures that governments are run in the interests of the ruling class and the monopolies. Capitalism, whatever its manifestation, is a system of exploitation which cannot be repaired. The WPI recognises that the capitalist class adjusts its tactics and reorganises its alliances in the struggle for the preservation of its power and interests.
We support the struggle of Greek workers against the vicious attacks on their quality of life by the capitalist system under the mantra of austerity. Whether those attacks take place in the name of the Troika or of the Greek government, the results are the same – a deepening of the humanitarian crisis affecting Greek society and an increase in the power of the monopolies. Austerity is austerity, an attack on the working class, no matter who implements it.
We salute and send our solidarity to our comrades in the KKE confident that they, with their long wealth of experience and analysis, will continue the struggle on behalf of the working people, youth, pensioners, unemployed and poor of Greece. We know that they will continue the struggle to defend the quality of life for workers and to pose the socialist alternative in Greece in the months and years ahead.
The struggle to defend the interests of the working class continues in Ireland, in Greece and across the world – for democracy, for liberation from exploitation and oppression; for the protection of workers’ rights; for social justice; for solidarity; for the building of a society in which the “free development of each is the condition for the free development of all” – for socialism.
No to Austerity! Solidarity with the Working People of Greece!
Central Executive Committee
Workers’ Party of Ireland
01 July 2015
Left Archive: United Irishman – An t-Eireannach Aontaithe, Meitheamh (June) 1975, Official Sinn Féin June 15, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Official Sinn Féin, Workers' Party.
To download the above please click on the following link. UI JUNE copy
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, 2015Posted 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, 2014Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.
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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, 2014Posted by guestposter in The Left, Workers' Party.
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…
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.
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.
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, 2014Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.
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.