Independent Media Centre Ireland

the bin tax, the elections and sectarianism.

category international | bin tax / household tax / water tax | opinion/analysis author Monday June 14, 2004 15:21author by john throne - labors militant voiceauthor email loughfinn at aol dot com

The elections, the anti bin charge campaign and the struggle against sectarianism.

I would like to congratulate the left candidates and the anti bin tax candidates for doing relatively well in the elections. All of us who are trying to build a healthy militant workers movement will be glad to see this result. However this is not the end of the question. I would like to remind all of us of the debate that took place before the elections. That is should there be one list of anti bin tax candidates fighting this election or should the various parties run their own seperate candiadates and campaigns.

I believe that the election results show that it was a mistake for the different left parties to run their own campaigns. If the various left parties and individuals and groups who had been involved in the bin tax struggle had come together and run a joint campaign with one anti bin tax candidate in each area then it seems to me clear that a number of results would have been achieved.

One there would have been more anti bin tax candidates elected. This would have resulted from the issue being given more emphasis and also more confidence being generated in the struggle. I can think of at least two or three candidates who would have probably got the small number of extra votes necessary to get elected. The result would have been a stronger campaign and a stronger caucus in the city council to fight on this issue.

Another result would have been a set back for sectarianism and a step forward for the struggle to develop united working class struggle either in the form of independent working class united fronts or the building of a workers party. This clear stand would have helped bring new layers of activists and many older activists into struggle again to build a new united workers movement.

At this time when the SP in particular will be celebrating its electoral success I would ask the serious members of this organization to consider that while they have achieved electoral gains was their position in the interest of the working class movement and in the longer term in the interest of their own organization.

As those of us who are marxists have always explained that while electoral successes can be important in the greater scheme of things they are quite secondary. The decisive issues are the building of an independent working class movement, the development of class consciousness, the understanding that the working class as a whole has to come together and overthrow capitalism. Much more progress would have been made on these fronts if there had been one united list of anti bin charge candidates which would have helped bring together a more unified and militant working class movement and which would have dealt a blow to sectarianism.

John Throne.

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