Independent Media Centre Ireland

Unite Calls On Members To Vote Left

category national | elections / politics | feature author Thursday January 13, 2011 15:47author by Jerry Cornelius

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Jimmy Kelly of UNITE calls on Voters to VOTE LEFT

The UNITE trade union, the second largest union in the Republic of Ireland has called on all working people to vote for a left wing government in the general election likely to be held in March.

“Workers should use their vote in the upcoming general election to bring about a left-wing government for the first time in the history of the state,” said Jimmy Kelly, Regional Secretary of Unite the union.

UNITE is an affiliate member of the Labour Party, and is encouraging the party to look left for coalition partners rather than to the old order of Fine Gael.

“The Left has never been stronger. Recent polls put the combined strength of the Labour Party and Sinn Fein at 40 percent. This is substantially higher than either of the right-wing parties. With the support of other left parties and progressive independents, a Left government is now a distinct possibility.”

“We need to remove Fianna Fáil from government and keep their political half brothers Fine Gael out too. A vote for Fine Gael is a vote for more Fianna Fáil policies. They will support massive cuts to public services, privatisation, more job losses across all sectors, and social welfare cuts. There is nothing to be gained by helping Fine Gael back into office.”

“While competition for votes and seats between Left parties is to be expected, we should remember that progressives have more in common with each other than they do with either of the civil war parties.”

“For the first time we have an opportunity to move away from out of touch and outdated politics based on history rather than ideology. We can produce a legacy of genuine alternative views between right and left, social democracy and neo-liberalism. Right wing politics based on the markets has failed utterly. UNITE will be calling on its members, trade unionists and all workers to use their votes to maximise Left wing seats. We urge them to vote for, and transfer to, Left wing candidates.”

“The electorate will decide what the next government will be. We all have an opportunity to elect the first Left government in the history of the state.”


Further information:

UNITE Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly 087 9003217

UNITE (Ireland) Press Office Rob Hartnett 086 3851955

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author by V for vendettapublication date Wed Jan 12, 2011 14:36author address author phone

James Connolly said "..If you have a revolution without socialism then only the accents of the landlords will change.."

With the far less lofty aspirations we have these days, You could rephrase that as:

"If you have an election without voting in a left government then only the accents of the gombeens will change"

And judging by the polls, people have fallen for the old guff again and we won't get even that. Sad.

Watching the frontline last monday, I couldn't help but notice that there was no sinn fein or real left representation even though they were polling the same as FF who had plenty of facetime. You won't see too much of sinn fein in the next month or two on the national broadcaster. Also recently I've noticed more coverage of oldstories about bombing, the IRA, and courtcases relating to same, on TV. Also Pat Rabbit smeared sinn fein in a high profile manner by implying that they would go in with FF and that was trumpetted all over the airwaves. I don't think the powers that be want sinn fein / socialists in government. They want the cosy "hack and slash privatisation & obedience to europes banks" cartel of FG/Labour

Lets all get together and change that. We don't have much democracy but we do still have a vote.
Lets all use it for once and vote for a better society.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Jan 12, 2011 15:38author address author phone

..the accent will go from the peasant gravel of jacky healy-ray to the polished marbles of Major Myres.

Selling out to the blueshites before the election is even announced. Hard to be optimistic when the right has such a firm hold.

author by V for vendettapublication date Wed Jan 12, 2011 20:56author address author phone

Vincent Browne hits the nail on the head

Vote Sinn Fein / ULA for a better future. screw the Fine Gael / labour Privatisation slash and burn bank sycophant Gombeen smug self serving status quo nightmare

author by protest voterpublication date Thu Jan 13, 2011 16:01author address author phone

"We can produce a legacy of genuine alternative views between right and left, social democracy and neo-liberalism"

I have been trying to fathom out what the above sentence in Jimmy Kelly's statement means . Could anybody help me make sense of it .

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu Jan 13, 2011 16:16author address author phone

Ya got me stumped.

Unless it means 'let us put the raspberry ripple into the new blue rinse replacement brigade'.

I think its code for 'The keltik tiger-shark lives, follow us to the enda de electro-cute-hoors rainbow.'

But I could be missing a nuance. Let us know if you crack it. Before CERN snaps you up.

author by p vpublication date Thu Jan 13, 2011 16:55author address author phone

It seems to be some sort of an appeal to the floundering voter.

author by francis hughespublication date Thu Jan 13, 2011 18:07author address author phone

and show the political motivated media that you can see through their agenda setting and excluding and lack of ideological debate and decoys. All the usual spin doctors pumpin out that FG and Labour only show in town. I really appeal to those that may not even vote usually and are sceptical of the process to consider voting this time and for others to maybe even vote number 2 or 3 for people or parties they may not share fully their exact outlook with. I dont know what difference it will make but it will give some hope

author by rianorr - napublication date Thu Jan 13, 2011 21:09author address author phone

A longing for a better future over which you have no agency.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Jan 14, 2011 14:15author address author phone

The keeping of the powder dry until opportunity for agency emerges;

as opposed to closing down altogether and indulging yourself in cynical demolition of any effort to maintain a counter-scope to seemingly insurmountable apathy and complacency.

author by protest voterpublication date Fri Jan 14, 2011 14:31author address author phone

How about telling the truth , even though it mightn't get you many votes .

“The electorate will decide what the next government will be. We all have an opportunity to elect the first Left government in the history of the state.".......... Jimmy Kelly

The reality is that ,whichever party or coalition of parties win the most amount of seats in the Dail , they won't be the next government , only the overseers of the savage cuts that will be dictated by the IMF and EU . It's going to be hell one way or the other . Even if a nominally left-wing alliance such as Sinn Fein /Labour wins the majority of seats they won't be the real government anymore than the present Fianna Fail/ coalition is the real government. There's a very good chance that the euro and the EU itself will collapse within the lifetime of the next administration . The state knows that and is preparing for it , the cuts you have seen so far are nothing compared to what is coming . No matter who you vote for your future will be one of mass impoverishment .

"Lets all get together and change that. We don't have much democracy but we do still have a vote.
Lets all use it for once and vote for a better society." ........V for Vendetta

Without "much" democracy your vote will not change much . You will only get the chance to change the faces of the devils who administer your torment .There will no better society . No matter who you vote for you will get hell . Capitalism can offer only one possible way out of the present economic crisis : war .

"I dont know what difference it will make but it will give some hope"....... Francis Hughes

"Abandon hope all ye who enter here " - the inscription on the gate to hell in Dante's Divine Comedy .

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Jan 14, 2011 15:37author address author phone

...all ye who enter here.'

Well we sorta entered here when the mammies dropped us. Sure its bleak, and set to go bleaker(it always looks darkest just before it goes totally black).

I been down some dark alleys.Some of them prolonged over long enough periods to see me abandon hope of recovery of losses. But I never just rolled over and decided I was going to kiss the bosses arse. Its a personal decision. I'm fightin on. I resigned meself years ago to the fact i'm on a loser. Thats ok. I despise their winners. I aint intending to finish up despising meself.

That said, the powers controlling our current mess are outside the island. In fact they largely exist in cyberspace and what material manifestations they have are hived offshore. Thats largely a result of the hypnotic powers of their moneterist economic system and their psuedo-scientific numerological juggling. I agree, there will be a lot worse before any sane social structures are allowed oxygen. A little historic perspective says things have been worse.

When I feel like whinging I think of Christy Brown and give meself a smack on the side of the head. He couldn't even do that for himself, and look what he achieved. Lotsa people in Haiti would swap our chances for theirs. Just cos ya cant beat them dont mean ya gotta join the fuckers. If it was 1936 in germany would you join the fucking Gestapo or go out resisting???

everyone makes their own choice. Most complied.Ce la vie. Hands up who thinks this island would be in better shape if Tone, Davis, Davitt, Lalor, and all those other seditionists had decided to get a better career with the bank?Good night.
PS. The fuckers are in the process of pulling down their own house. Yer country needs lerts.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Jan 14, 2011 16:15author address author phone

..with the repetition(its a good pick-me-up for those under the long dark cloud/cosh)so try

for an example of those who aint gonna fold just yet.Slawn.

author by Gerard Murphypublication date Fri Jan 14, 2011 16:30author address author phone

By all means vote left, but for the countrys sake get rid of ff, support BUFFO, (BOOT OUT FIANNA FAIL and OBLITERATE) at the next election


author by Des - Nonepublication date Fri Jan 14, 2011 16:53author address author phone

Depends on your definition of ‘left’, bureaucrats such as Kelly mean the ‘Labour’ party. The only people who could be genuinely be described as left are Joe Higgins, Clare Daly and a few independents (not an SP member). The idea of Adams and company described as being ‘left’ is absurd. Just look at the policies they are supporting in the Belfast assembly. I would hope that the maximum number of ‘dissidents’ is elected but the reality is that the ‘alternative’ government of Labour and FG will simply continue the policy of the making the most vulnerable pay for the crisis. Not the financial speculators or the banks whose casino capitalism means their debts are being paid by the most vulnerable. What is really depressing is that the level of protest has been minimal. Anyone but FF is meaningless since the ‘alternative’ will implement the same policies. ‘Cde’ Gilmore’ has made that quite clear. V is absolutely correct.

author by protest voterpublication date Fri Jan 14, 2011 17:41author address author phone

" The idea of Adams and company described as being ‘left’ is absurd. Just look at the policies they are supporting in the Belfast assembly " Des

"Vote Sinn Fein / ULA for a better future. ........" V for vendetta

author by PVpublication date Fri Jan 14, 2011 17:53author address author phone

Jimmy Kelly is a member of the SWP by the way , Des - not the Labour Party .

author by Des - Nonepublication date Fri Jan 14, 2011 18:08author address author phone

Yeah! don't u mean the PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

author by p vpublication date Fri Jan 14, 2011 18:09author address author phone

That’s looking back Opus . Historical perspective if it's worth a damn should surely also be able to tell us something about what we can expect from the future , and that is not what we are getting from the left-wing.

The right-wing knows what is going on , they are well advised and know their history .Analyst Simon Schama says he “smells sulphur in the air”. Marie-Hélène Caillol, the president of the European Laboratory of Political Anticipation think-tank, quoted by wsws last year said,

“This crisis is directly connected to the end of the world order as we know it since 1945—and even earlier since the European colonisation process. Therefore, the whole global fabric centred on the US for 60 years is slowly collapsing, generating turmoil of all sorts.”
Asked where social unrest will end, she replies, “War. It’s as simple and as horrifying as that.”

But the left-wing in Ireland say there might be hope if only we ditched the redundant civil war politics . Kelly calls for “ a politics built on ideology rather than outdated politics based on history”. Although Jimmy Kelly is a member of the SWP , the union he leads UNITE is an affiliate member of the Labour Party whose leader Eamon Gilmore has angrily insisted that the Labour Party will not be bound by the IMF and EU programme of cuts –while preparing for coalition with Fine Gael . (Could we have some historical perspective there please ,Opus . Should we believe Eamon Gilmore ? )

Jimmy Kelly isn’t usually an inarticulate man , so what is the seemingly incomprehensible gobbledygook in his press statement all about ? I asked yesterday if anybody could help me explain what Kelly meant when he said “ We can produce a legacy of genuine alternative views between right and left, social democracy and neo-liberalism”.

I would suggest that he is making an offer to Sinn Fein and a deliberately befuddled offer to groups like the ULA to come informally into a future coalition tent. .

author by Annapublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:46author address author phone

Great idea, only I cannot vote in this country and you nor any other fucking unions official would nor have ever cared about the conditions in the multinationals, or would you? So please fuck off, unless I see you one day in my company asking about our conditions, now that would be a brave step indeed which you will never take.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 13:19author address author phone

I'm a little puzzled as to why you put that question me,pv. My party affilliation is posted beside my name. You make your own decisions on the political actors.You seem to have more aquaintance with them than I do. As for the future, I dont do crystal-gazing. I'd be with the girl guides on that one, bi ullaimh.

as for it all ending in war, you dont need a phd in history to see that as a likelihood. Plenty of ordinary joe soaps are predicting that to be the inevitable outcome. I'm inclined to see it as we've been at war since the first caveman decided he wanted two caves to impress yer wan over in the other village and set himself to go clubbing with the neighbour and introduce the work incentive of involuntary eviction.
Maybe it will all end in peace,at least for the less ambitious members of the animal kingdom. Certainly the pentagonal war party is in charge and straining at the leash, with zion playing lead dog for escalation. Lotsa different forces in contention, many of them out of our range, well mine anyway. Thats why I thought it might be a good idea to post up that treasureislands reference; it takes the lid off a few hidden details. The more information, the better chance we have of calling it half right.

author by pvpublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 15:34author address author phone

The transformation of the trade unions into corporatist institutions through partnership allowed the immigrant workers who were producing much of Ireland’s wealth to remain largely un- unionised. The unions turned their back on the new private sector workers to keep union management consensus within the existing unionised workplaces .To keep in with government and employers the unions ignored the no-strike deals being insisted on by multinationals ,and let the various obnoxious systems of “buddying” between workers and management prevail . That way multinational companies kept wages and conditions down in the Greenfield industrial parks . All the unions were interested in throughout the Tiger years was keeping enough members' subscriptions come in to pay for the salaries of union officials .
It was corporatism . The ULA is the way consensus , coalition essentially corporatist politics are being played out today within the left . Nobody arguing ,nobody rocking the boat , everybody together clappity-clap. Yuk.

(Opus -past crystal-gazing is easy enough . I had noted your party affiliations , but was just wondering whether you believed Gilmour or not.)

author by Peadaarpublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 15:57author address author phone

The Unions shot themselves in the foot due to their own selfishness.

The IMF will hopefully confront the Irish Public Sector unions who are amongst the richest employees in the world. Courtsy of money borrowed for them from foreigners by the Irish people.

(Yet they can't sort out A and E departments in hospitals.)

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 16:28author address author phone

As I put it above, political actors.

You can suspend your disbelief to see where the play goes.

We'd all like our own little dictatorship of the true line, left or right, but ultimately we cannot escape the fact that practical politics is about compromise, whatever our distaste. We can theorise til the wheels falls off, and he, like the other actors wil be trustable on some points to different extents. But fuck the personalities, its issues need covering, not sectarian preferences. I see my job as educating me primarily, and passing on any information I think might be relevant. The world is bigger than the politicos, and the control tower is not in Leinster House. More like the elephant in the boxroom, the real wire-pullers are Druids Glen&Co. Lowry&Co are just gophers and flunkies. The mafiosi money behind his laundromat casino(I believe Minister for hahaha Justice Dermo has one slotted for his back yard too).

First get the FFers out, and try to minimise Blueshite influx for tweedletwo. Gilmore seems to be our answer to Blair, but I'd give him the benefit of the doubt for the minit. At the end of the day none of them is inspiring, but then neither is the fucking eloctorate when you see them up close. I always vote independent if I can and follow the preferences down till I hit the civil warriors. Which always stops me dead. Strictly speaking, if I weren't a card-carrying hypocrite, I should spoil the paper and vote for meself.

author by Des - Nonepublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 19:03author address author phone

I don’t know where you got the idea that large sums are being borrowed for public servants, frankly, I’m amazed. Given the extensive media coverage, I thought everyone knew that the IMF/EU were lending at a generous rate of interest to bail out the local ruling elite and their ‘financial institutions’. They are not ‘lending’ any money to public servants. Also the ICTU for all their faults don't run the health service, you can blame cde. Harney for the A & E crisis.

author by PVpublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 19:21author address author phone

Not exactly an answer in a nutshell from Opus there - unless it was a coconut shell, but clear enough all the same : give Gilmore the benefit of the doubt .
Gilmore has ruled out going into government with either Sinn Fein or Fianna Fail . He has not ruled out coalition with Fine Gael and accepts as most people do that the most likely outcome of the next election will be a Fine Gael /Labour coalition .

Gilmore and Enda Kenny have both said that they will “ renegotiate “ , but neither of them will repudiate the terms of the IMF/EU – imposed loan . The workers of this country will be paying for a loan to repay a debt to the international bankers for generations to come. The bankers caused the crisis , but the creators of wealth i.e. the working class , must pay for it .

"I don't accept the deal. We do accept the targets. But within accepting those targets, we have a different view of how they can be achieved” Kenny said recently and added that he wants to “ send the IMF home as soon as possible.”

But they are at home now: this is their country not yours and not mine , dear voter. People can suspend disbelief as much as they like and live in hope , but the reality is that the IMFand the financial institutions own Ireland ,not the Irish voters or their children or grandchildren . The Irish voter has been shafted . The gold has run out of the gold mine and you the Irish voters have been left with the shaft . Now go and tell that horrible truth to the voters Opus, V for V , Jimmy Kelly , Francis , Peader etc .

author by V for vendettapublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 22:33author address author phone

Sinn Fein and Joe Higgins have made public statements indicating that they are willing to burn the bondholders

Labour and FG will not.

Yeah yeah, Ideally we should have a socialist revolution, block capital flight, nationalise all resources, rebuild our society as if people mattered, let the banks and bondholders burn create a small business national lending bank and ruthlessly flush out corruption from top to bottom and jail those guilty of financial treason then develop our clean organic food agricultural sector and develop our gasfields / oilfields etc etc. I know.

However that won't happen in reality. What WILL happen is an election where we are presented with tweedledee and tweedledum. these won't act in our interests but in the interests of corporates and banks.

We should vote for those few who will stand up for our interests. People like Joe higgins and Pearse Doherty who are driven by something other than money and self interest. so vote Sinn Fein / ULA.

We are being guided by the media etc to vote FG/Labour because thats what the powers that be want in order to safeguard their own interests. They DO NOT want us to go with SF or the ULA. That in itself is reason enough to vote for them. However SF also have a very coherent set of policies which are far more socially fair than anything FG/Labour are suggesting. Ditto for Joe Higgins. We are just acting stupid if we vote for anyone that just serves the interests of the rich

That idea being spread that because SF have to toe the line up north means they will be right wing down south is a load of crap. Their hands are tied to a large extent up north by the structure they have to work within and the budget allocated from the right wing tory government in westminister

read their policy documents. And listen to their interviews. Pearse doherty was one of the only voices of sanity on vincent browne and in the dail around budget time. If there is even a residual loyalty and patriotism for the country of Ireland left in the ranks of Sinn Fein then that at least gives us some hope that they will try to do what is right and best for the country. All the rest of the parties care about is money and power and they don't give a rats ass about the poorer classes.

author by PVpublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 23:28author address author phone

Yeah yeah , Sinn Fein and Joe Higgins have made public statements indicating that they are willing to burn the bondholders even though the financial restraints imposed on them by the IMF and EU mean that they can’t .

Yeah yeah ideally we should have a just society where everybody has a right to a decent living but let’s face it that ain’t gonna happen in reality.
What WILL happen is that your Da and Ma will die on a hospital trolley , but that's life .

Look let’s face facts we have a choice between Fine Gael , Labour and Fianna Fail who are all committed to backing the cuts dictated by the IMF and EU , get used to it. and vote for Joe Higgins and Sinn Fein who will really stand up for our interests . Yeah yeah I know it won’t make any difference and that either tweedle dum or tweedle dee will get elected but Sinn Fein have much fairer policies so let’s vote for them instead because they will stand up for our interests even though they can’t.

The media are guiding us into not voting for Joe Higgins which is why they spend so much time promoting him . They are frightened of Joe because they know that he was the real opposition in the last Dail .Yeah yeah in your ideal world children wouldn't face the prospect of permanent poverty followed by world war three , but this ain't Utopia and Sinn Fein simply HAVE to toe the line in the north because the Tories tell them to . That’s not to say that they would do the same in the south which is a completely different kettle of fish with completely different structures. .

In the south Sinn Fein has a coherent set of policies don’t you know which means that their hands would never be tied like they are up there.. Yeah yeah I know revolution workers rights and all that we’ve been saying that for years and no-one would listen so lets face facts it ain’t never gonna happen in our life times At least the poorer classes might have some hope if they vote for the ULA and Sinn Fein . Yeah yeah it ain't possibly ever gonna happen in reality but let's vote for them for that very reason.

I paraphrase of course , but that's all that's on offer in Vfor V's very principled suggestion for an alliance between Sinn Fein and the ULA . To tell you the truth I'd rather vote for Fianna Fail.

author by V for vendettapublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 23:42author address author phone

"I'd rather vote for Fianna Fail"

Judging by your comments PV, you probably will

author by PVpublication date Mon Jan 17, 2011 09:22author address author phone

So let’s be pragmatic . V for vendetta talks about getting real and rules out the prospect of a socialist revolution while arguing that s/he supports “burning the bondholders” i.e. abrogating Ireland’s debt to the international bankers . But if Ireland did repudiate its debt and was allowed get away with it , that would trigger the collapse of the international credit system , because every other debt-ridden country would then do the same thing .

So Ireland will not be allowed to back off from paying its debts. If Ireland defaults then the international bankers would , with the greatest of reluctance, be forced to make an example of Ireland - in the same way that any national bank or building society would be compelled to bring a mortgage holder to heel who had the temerity to explicitly say that he wasn’t going to pay his mortgage arrears .

What the ULA , Sinn Fein, Unite or any of them cannot say –and this explains Kelly’s gobbledygook “legacy of genuine alternative views between right and left, social democracy and neo-liberalism” - is that “burning the bond holders” and getting away with it would certainly entail socialist revolution .

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:02author address author phone

Is it just coincidence , pv, that that happens to be the current mantra from FF?

By the way, we would not be the first country that defaulted on the speculators, spent a brief period standing in the corner, and then they realised their bluff was counter-productive as there will always be a renegade among the capitalists will return to the carcase to see what else can be scavenged.

Failing their return, China has alreadey declared an interest if Brussells cannot sustain a restoration of the status quo ante. China is cash rich, and seeking allies anywhere it can, as NATO/Washington tighten the cordon for a return to nineteenth century Open Door(for corporate pillage)Policies.

Personaly I'm waiting a long time to see the septic tiger curl up, I am not among those who think its repositioning on the national altar will lead to our economic salvation. And, as stated above, I think the problems to be confronted are more diverse than are alllowed for in the prevailing political game.

Too many people thought things were grand till the tiger went mangey. I reckon they were even sicker till he collapsed. But Its not a fucking IRISH problem, and it wont be solved nationally. And if, as the lad said, we are to be part of the solution, rather than the problem, we'll learn eventually that nationalism is a large part of the global divisions policy that keeps us conquered. But then its early days yet. What with the announcement that Baby Doc has just returned to Haiti, I think we should realise just how fucking rich we all(and I'm on as little as any on the island)still are.

author by PVpublication date Mon Jan 17, 2011 14:48author address author phone

Pragmatism will be the mantra for the next coalition as well Opus as soon as they get into power , and neither Gilmore nor Kenny will close Shannon to US troops . I certainly won’t be supporting any of the competing coalitions .

The crash of 2008 accelerated trade war between the world's competing nation states most notably between the huge national economies of America and China .Both are now vying for dwindling markets and resources , more or less openly squaring up to each other in East Asia and in a more hidden way in Afghanistan and Central Asia . America the industrially moribund superpower is trying to contain the emerging superpower China by encircling it - in much the same way as Britain did to Germany before the first world war.

Under such conditions I really don’t think Ireland will be allowed to become any sort of a Chinese zone of influence in Europe . China is by the way as affected by the present political and financial crisis as America and Europe are. The crisis is an international one, and I agree with you when you say that there can be no national solution to it .

author by Des - Nonepublication date Mon Jan 17, 2011 15:22author address author phone

Your comment that the secret super rich bondholders are more important than the rest of the population is revealing. The debt was run up by a 'government' who, without our consent, took on responsibility for the debts of 'financial institutions' and 'developers'. The cost of paying for this debt is placed on the most vulnerable in our 'society'. Repudiation of the debt is a solution, it has been done before, Argentina is a good example and that government who took that decision was certainly not revolutionary.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Mon Jan 17, 2011 15:27author address author phone

you are misreading me. Its about at little bit of independent thinking breaking out. And I've no illusions about Gilmore and his Labour Nua.
Kenny and the Blueshites are deep into NATO, way back, even more so, if possible than FF, who try to pretend some adherence to older FF policies of neutrality.

You probably have this already, but others might find it useful in extracting from the insular analysis so I'll put it up again.

if we had an independent democracy with even one eye open energy would be going into reforming the UN and advocating power to the General Assembly to break the Security Council's great gamesmanship. We would also be more critical of EU imperial policies. But then instead of being Uncle Sam's yes-man we would have actually been a better friend to the US and stood against the Bush wars.

My point was not that China needed to replace Brussells or Washington overnight, but that by signalling we can see over the fences they build we could apply leverage and extract better terms. you're right, it wouldn't be 'allowed' that China get too much influence, but there would be less presumption of our automatic compliance if there was some evidence of a residual vertebra in our national spine. And the first step to preventing any swing to the east would be a scurry to ensure we too got a splash of the salutary quantative easeing, sans usury.

author by PVpublication date Mon Jan 17, 2011 17:50author address author phone

Sorry if I misread you there Opus . It's not very nice when it happens as I found out when Des misread me .I most certainly didn’t say that the secret super-rich bondholders are "more important than the rest of the population ", Des. I think that they are a bunch of parasites.

If Ireland did repudiate the debt though, there would be a run on the euro , Ireland would find itself placed in economic quarantine and most likely thrown out of the eurozone ,credit would be impossible to obtain as happened in Argentina after that country defaulted . Ireland standing alone would sink into a terrible slump and would not be bailed out by any Chavez oil . It would be back to exporting cattle and human beings , only there would be no markets for the cattle and very few jobs for humans under conditions of this particular world slump which is going to get a lot worse - if World War Three doesn’t break out and save us all first , that is.

If it wasn’t accompanied by the type of revolutionary internationalist socialist politics that could draw on the support of workers internationally, debt repudiation would at best result in a retaliatory trade war between Ireland and its creditors - a re-run under immeasurably worse conditions of what happened in 1932 over De Valera’s ending of the repayment of land annuities to Britain , which Britain saw as a breach of their right to bleed the Irish white under the terms of the 1921 treaty .

But a repudiation of the debt would more likely result in bailiffs being sent in by the bondholders to recover their debt in my opinion . As I said above , I don’t think that these super-rich bondholders are more important than " the rest of the population ", but the bondholders think that they are , and they have governments and armies behind them . The bondholders are not going to risk their capital and lose what they consider to be theirs by right. by allowing Ireland to default on the burden of debt that they have been put under .

author by Peadaar.publication date Mon Jan 17, 2011 17:52author address author phone

" Ireland will not be allowed to back off from paying its debts."

How slavish and " tip-the-cap-ish".

Yes the Irish people CAN back off from paying debts created by cowboy bankers.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue Jan 18, 2011 14:39author address author phone

I think you overestimate the unity of them thar bondholders.
And China already lends more to the developing world than the World Bank, by about 10%. Plus Uncle Sam is only printing dollars because China is buying the bonds and keeping him afloat so they can preserve their market for consumer goods.

I'm not advocating a two fingered response, but a change of geo-strategy to make real all that PR shite about us being the most globalised economy.
The problem is our democratic infrastructures have been subducted by the Fed through FDI dependence(and a cultural predisposition to the anglo/wasp mindset after too long a-forelock-tugging).

Our interest rates would drop rapid if they suspected our gombeens had enough gumtion, intelligence, or imagination to look beyond the anglosphere. They would undermine their valued euro(cant blame Berlin, they are petrified of a re-run of weimar inflation).And any who are prayiong to saint Karl for the death of capitalism should go back and read that chapter if they think such simplistic wishful thinking will advance the human plight. We need to tame the system, not kill it. Kill it and you create Stalins and Mugabes and year zero Pol Pots.

author by PVpublication date Tue Jan 18, 2011 20:20author address author phone

Uncle Sam is printing the dollars as part of its trade war with China . That’s what the quantative easing you mentioned in an earlier post is all about , Opus : the US wants to keep the dollar low so as to increase its exports . Meanwhile it accuses China of currency manipulation and insists that the yuan should be revised upwards against the dollar. During Chinese president Hu Jintao visit to the U.S. this week –I think he arrives today - the issue of currency manipulation is going to take centre stage. The consensus emerging between protectionist-minded Democrats and Tea Party Republicans on the matter may partly explain Obama’s reaching out to the far right in his speech in Tuscon last week .

The present currency conflict between the US and China is threatening to erupt into the type of tit –for- tat retaliatory trade war that broke out in the 1930s in the aftermath of the 1929 Wall Street crash - that trade war led to the second world war . The US has to keep the dollar low so as to increase its exports , but China’s growth has been built on its ability to produce cheap goods for export - a revised currency would threaten unemployment and social upheaval in China. Neither side has room for manouevre . Nations don’t go to war because of their bad leaders , It’s the other way around : the nation state system’s need for war produces politicians who are bad enough to go for war .

We don’t need to kill the system you say , but I say that the capitalist system of competing nation states is threatening to kill us all . Pol Pot , Stalin , Mugabe all of them were nationalists who thought that it would be possible to build socialist economies outside of the globalised system of production that capitalism had already fully developed by the time of the outbreak of the first world war . You argue that Ireland with more savvy leaders who had gumtion, intelligence and imagination could under conditions of deepening international economic crisis somehow position this country so as to save it from ruin . That’s what Pol Pot , Stalin , Mugabe all thought.

On the subject of the anglosphere by the way , would somebody please mention to Pat Lawlor that the ULA is supposed to be an all Ireland grouping .

author by PVpublication date Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:44author address author phone

This is what Micheal Martin interviewed by Rte on Monday said :

“One guy said to me, why would you want to take over the helm of the Titanic as you’re heading straight for the iceberg, and no left or right……but there you are.”

Jimmy Kelly is advising the steerage passengers that the Titanic can be steered to the left to avoid the iceberg .

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Jan 19, 2011 13:27author address author phone

we're not in major disagreement. But your jumpimg the gun on me in a few places. My contention is not that Ireland can steer some insular way through the emerging storm and fuck the world, its that we have no hope of addressing the problem through a narrow nationalist we're-all-right program.

We need to dispense with the nation-uber-alles diluted tribalism and get global in our perspectives. Which means we dont move unilaterally, but work with the structures available. Whats left of the UN needs resuscitation and we DO have, I believe, more room to move on things like military neutrality than many believe. There are productive elements in capitalism as well as parasitic. The parasitic has taken over since the berlin wall dropped and the need to keep western workers sweet evaporated so all social programs could be asset-stripped and privateered.

Are you suggesting we return to barter?Utopianism sacrafices the better for unattainable ideals, upon which we all differ. Ultimately, again just my conviction, I believe we have to evolve our way out of this long historic tunnel rather than repeat the failed recipe of counter-militarism.

Capitalism aint ALL bathwater. If you believed that your first move would be to burn your wallet.

As I also said back there, productive capitalism ended in Germany with a bonfire of inflation that had much the same effect as the current credit crunch, it syphoned real wealth into a gambler/speculator class with no interest in productive uses of capital other than as a means to self-enrichment. I think we need to understand capitalism if we are to dismantle and ensure against the destructive re-emergence of this illusory and, literally, idiotic counter-social acquisitive Midas syndrome. I hope that does not further obscure the issues.

author by Maddserpublication date Thu Jan 20, 2011 07:45author address author phone

Is there any parties out there, worth voting for, with a real Marxist economic solution to the crisis that we are all now suffering ? Or are the only options we have at the moment, these wishy washy Lefties who fall short on solving the major hurdle that we face, the emancipation of the working-class ?

author by PVpublication date Thu Jan 20, 2011 14:25author address author phone

Capitalism certainly can produce , it can produce much more than it can sell . Markets become saturated Rival nation states’ over- productivity leads to trade wars and eventually under conditions of slump , to real wars for markets and resources.

Whenever I ask supporters of the ULA what use their electoral alliance will be in the face of the greatest fiscal crisis since at least the nineteen- thirties , they always say the same thing: "radicals can use the election process and the Dail as a platform .” But to say what ? Let’s read what Jimmy Kelly has to say again.

“We can produce a legacy of genuine alternative views between right and left, social democracy and neo-liberalism.”
Gobbleydegook in other words .

Meanwhile right-wing forces across the world prepare to crack-down on real resistance to austerity in their home countries while preparing for war abroad .

What is the historical perspective that the right wing is working from ?

Less than a month after the collapse of Lehman’s Bank in 2008 , Brian Cowen said that this was the greatest financial crisis that Ireland had faced for a hundred years. Alan Greenspan, the former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, said around the same time: "Let's recognize that this is a once-in-a-half-century, probably once-in-a-century type of event.".

These are just two examples ,but people should read the right-wing media and the financial press that is written to advise the elite on "policy options" -they at least make things clear to their readers .
I came across a quote in one paper recently from Franklin D Roosevelt which should answer those on the left with illusions in a neo-Keynsian solution. “It wasn’t Dr. New Deal that got the US out of the Depression, but Dr.Win the War”.

Last week US Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Beijing “ to cool tensions” ahead of President Hu Jintao visit to the US.Just as Gates met with President Hu Jintao , Chinese state media carried images of the debut flight of its newly built J-20 stealth fighter warplane . A coincidence of course ,but a conscious one . As Hu Jintao’s flew into the US for his state visit Tuesday , America’s ally , Taiwan tested a slew of missiles as part of a major military exercise ,the first missile test since 2002 that it has allowed select journalists to attend. Another staged coincidence , both sides knew what they were doing .

The United Left Alliance has not a word to say in its program about the looming threat of war –even though one of its leading lights ,Richard Boyd- Barrett is the chair of the IAWM . Don't people find that disturbing?

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu Jan 20, 2011 15:27author address author phone

capitalism produces bread as well as bullets. And humans were butchering each other before they could even count their fingers, never mind their profits.

We cannot go backwards to solve our dilemmas, we have to start from a planet that needs to feed maybe 8 billion soon, and with a depleting and degenerating environment. Capitalism must be mastered. It need not always degenerate into fascist imperialism, but 'socialism' can generate equally vicious imperial aggression and repression. War certainly is looming, while our media croon us into somnambulance, but we cannot abandon the global structures capitalism has allowed us establish just because they have been hijackled by hoodlums and psychopaths.
Black and white is the Reagan/Bush/Thatcher/Stalinist/Mugabe/neo-con world. It leads to cul-de-sacs, if for no other reason than the fact that socialism has as many interpretations as it seems to have socialists, and they spend most of their fucking time in sectarian backstabbing for their 'faithful' claques with their homogenised dream of a species that aint the human race. If you want to drive your socialist agenda, first recognise that its nationalised incarnations brought us Uncle Adolf(with his National Socialist Workers Party)and Uncle Joe of the Gulag chain.

Use it as tool to analyse, but spare us the implementation of its formulated dictation. If it cannot be achieved democratically it has no hope of enduring other than as another pause on the way to returning to where we are now, back in a heating up re-run(as you rightly say)of the nuclear-armed stand-off the current axis of warriors, under a fresh set of flags and slogans.
If I were to formulate it I would say we need what I think you mean by socialism as a foundation for radical re-evaluation, but with provision for managed capitalist networks of distribution. We need upper and lower limits on personal wealth, with gradations to allow for effort, not some imagined uniformity of impossible 'equality'.
The simple fact is that western populations associate socialism with the excesses carried out in its name, and will not gamble on its implementation unless more coherent arguments are advanced than just phrases from a Gospel according to St Karl. I, at least have more respect for the intelligence of those who may not be as articulate as those who like to think they are in some vanguard of political thought, but have forgotten we are all prone to blindspots.

author by PVpublication date Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:10author address author phone

Yes capitalism can produce bread as well as bullets . No dispute there .But the capitalist system you support is an impersonal economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and it cannot be mastered . Unless you mean that it can be owned , but that’s a tautology because capitalism is by its nature a system based on the private ownership of the means of production.
If you own a car then you get the right to control it within certain limits . You can’t be a drunk in charge of it , you have to stop at traffic lights , obey the speed limits etc. But under capitalism , the capitalist state sets those limits in the interest of those who own the means of production ie the capitalist class .

Capitalism need not always degenerate into fascist imperialism you argue . I’m not sure what you mean by “ fascist imperialism “. Fascism is nothing more than imperialism brought home . When an imperialist nation can’t expand it contracts and imposes imperialist order - ie military/ police brute force without the trappings of democracy- at home . So long as capitalism has room to expand it can afford a limited amount of democracy in what it considers to be its home base . Soon Ireland will be run by the British Association of Chief Constables if the system isn’t overturned : that’s what I think and there’s not a thing that the United Nations will do to stop it . The fact that I call for socialist revolution to prevent that happening , doesn’t make me a nationalist .

The idea of returning to some sort of a system of bartering within a national economy is indeed a reactionary idea and certainly one that I wouldn’t support. Socialism can never be national socialism . Capitalism greatest achievement was to produce a globally-integrated economy and socialism can only be achieved on the basis of a planned global society .

Finally ,you referred to blindspots ,Opus -sometimes they can be caused by motes in the eye. it’s bad enough you associating me with Hitler Stalin and Pol Pot ,Opus , but when you start identifying me with Mary Harney , Sir Bob Geldoff and Gay Byrne that’s going a bit far . Your constant use of the word “we” betrays you as a nationalist . If you want to be taken seriously with all your criticisms of “nationailsed incarnations” etc, please cut out all that undifferentiated Kime Sabe "we" stuff . Society in Ireland is divided into classes - as is the case all over the world . It’s high time that class politics began to assert itself . “We” are not in this all together .

By the way this article from the wsws this morning about the latest meeting of European Union finance ministers held at the start of this week gives some idea of what “we”- ie the working class - are up against .

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Jan 21, 2011 13:08author address author phone

with that article. Pretty well fits my own assessment. You will have noted that the second last paragraph states that the ones implementing the most draconian slash and burn measures are those very 'socialist and social democratic parties' who rode to power on the ideological formulae I have been criticising.

You label me a nationalist. Hardly. I've worked more outside this island than within it. I would be on a few blacklists for my 'bad attitude' to the same dudes being depicted as mafia thugs in the article. I've met a few up close.

My bugbear is the propaganda war. I dont believe the answer is counter-propaganda, but education and myth deconstruction. Countermyths, and I have witnessed the divisions long enough, are not conducive to raising awareness, perhaps particularly on this island with its psychological colonisation from Rome. Otherwise I think some of our differences are semantic, as you are obviously considering my comments(not something I have found the Left too receptive to doing, and I have been argueing tactics since the sixties and seventies when the marxist/Leninist/Maoists were calling me a lumpen fellow traveller). Some of the same firebrands are happily ensconced in executive multinational positions today, and I doubt it is with altruistic intent.

Shorthand and simplifications have their place, but I think when it comes to public communications phrases like 'socialist revolution' are counterproductive, not just because of their 'cometh the kingdom' vagueness but because they actually stimulate the manageable(by your capitalist manipulators) fears of ordinary workers that their personal property( and I hope you agree there has to be room for such) is under threat.

author by Alan Davis - IBTpublication date Thu Jan 27, 2011 14:26author email alan.bolshevik at gmail dot comauthor address author phone

"Shorthand and simplifications have their place, but I think when it comes to public communications phrases like 'socialist revolution' are counterproductive, not just because of their 'cometh the kingdom' vagueness but because they actually stimulate the manageable(by your capitalist manipulators) fears of ordinary workers that their personal property( and I hope you agree there has to be room for such) is under threat."

One of the places shorthand has its use is probably here in debates between leftists...

Having said that there is no point in putting people off just for the sake of it - the point surely is what is the political content of the programme being put forward.

So what would be the core political content of a programme for socialist revolution that was able to engage with where working people are at now? (some political shorthand will follow)

I think a key aspect should be building a network of our own working class organisations capable of resisting the attacks of the bosses and their government and state apparatus.

Such a programme would openly reject a parliamentary road to socialism, any form of cross-class coalitions (including with the likes of Sinn Fein) and would be concretely internationalist.

Of course such a programme can be presented with greater or lesser skill in engaging with where people are at but surely the primary question in assessing such programmes is the content - presentation style is much easier to correct in my experience.

Unlike the ULA I don't think it is a matter of getting TDs elected (by not being too radical or revolutionary in the platform put forward) who can then support struggles from inside the Dail but rather the election process should be used to highlight the necessity of this hard class struggle perspective irrespective of how that affects immediate electoral prospects.

Related Link:
author by pvpublication date Thu Jan 27, 2011 16:50author address author phone

So grandads aren't allowed to have a point of view ? That's not very socially minded . Things change , the idea of international socialist revolution will in my opinion be taken up again . It's not a question of presentation , people won''t have any choice .

This from Sean O’Keefe Head of Information, Government and Healthcare at KPMG in Ireland . A job with KPMG or one of the other fiscal advisers might be right up the street for those who see themselves as good at presentation skills . A wolf howls on the front cover of the PDF document please note.

“The ‘right’ approach to fiscal adjustment could be hard to sell, politically. It may require an atmosphere of crisis to allow major cuts to government payrolls or transfers and pensions.”‘right’+approach+to+fiscal+adjustment+could+be+hard+to+sell,+politically.+It+may+require+an+atmosphere+of+crisis+to+allow+major+cuts+to+governme

Perhaps ipodman may look at things differently by the time he reaches pensionable age, but that’s a big “perhaps” .It may never happen.
International socialist revolution won’t come out of any love of those three words , but because the continued existence of capitalism as a system is leading humanity to the edge of a precipice . Humanity has never been in such a predicament : what is posed today is the very survival of the human species . Economic collapse leading to mass impoverishment , environmental disaster , World War Three . That is what is coming down the line unless the capitalist system is overturned .

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