Home > Uncategorized > Rise of the Far Right: WE MUST RESPOND NOW!

Rise of the Far Right: WE MUST RESPOND NOW!

The Failure of the Labour and Trade Union Leaderships To Stand Up for Workers and the Poor has Created a Vacancy for the Populist Right . It has happened all over Europe. It has happened in the USA. Now it is here in Ireland. Far Right, Peter Casey Came Second in Presidential Election with over 20% of  The Vote

—————————————————————–Yet Another Split in International Socialist Movement as Committee for A Workers International (CWI) SPLITS in TWO  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1bc

WE need a serious initiative, nationally and internationally, in the direction of left unity of trade unionsts and socialists. I would welcome constructive suggestions.

The left is in a very bad state not only in Ireland but world wide. Social democracy, including trade union leaderships, through its capitulation to free market capitalism has opened the way to the rise of the hard right . Though opposed by Brendan Howlin , Brendan Halligan, former Labour Party GS, wants to merge social democratic parties with a wing of Christian democrats as the antidote to the growth of the far right. Almost a million people who voted previously for the French Communist party have voted for Marine Le Pen in a recent election. There are now many kinds of Communist Party world wide, from the wildly ultra-left to the near social democratic and all shades in between. The break-up of the Trotskyist Fourth international after the second world war has if anything got worse. The CWI split is just the latest episode.
There are very genuine people in social democratic parties, communist parties, Trotskyist groups, national liberation movements etc. But all are disunited as the far right grows. Remember that the German Communist Party and the Social Democrats failed to unite against Hitler. Hitler did not have nuclear weapons. Trump and Johnson have nuclear weapons.
WE need a serious initiative in the direction of left unity of trade unionsts and socialists. I would welcome constructive suggestions.

—————————————————————-The Failure of the Labour and Trade Union Leaderships To Stand Up for Workers and the Poor has Created a Vacancy for the Populist Right . It has happened all over Europe. It has happened in the USA. Now it is here in Ireland. Far Right, Peter Casey Came Second in Presidential Election with over 20% of  The Vote

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Local Elections 2019: Little Voter Enthusiasm for Elections as further Rise of Far-Right Beckons in Europe  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1bc

Vote for left wing candidates who are committed to building a united mass movement in the interests of the majority against the extremist pro super-rich government and those who support them. That is the way to strengthen opposition to the far right

Yes the feedback from all sources is a lack of enthusiasm for the elections. Voters understand that these elections can’t change anything including the huge problems in housing, health, education, policing etc. If a co council fails to pass a budget, it is disbanded and the chief executive passes it. Directly elected mayors are just a further destination for blame shifting by neo-liberal governments. The effect of voting to prevent the rise of the far-right in the EU parliament is at best marginal. Why are a million people who voted for the French communist party now voting for LE PEN? Millions who voted previously for social democrats all over Europe are now voting for the far-right. Millions of disadvantaged people have been left vulnerable to far-right parties because the capitulations of workers movement leaders have set aside their interests in favour of the super-rich and their own careers in an ultra capitalist society . This is not new. Failure of the workers movement to unite and protect the interest of the masses led to Hitler coming to power. Fortunately, unlike Trump, he didn’t have nuclear weapons!!
But there is a good reason to vote.

Vote for left wing candidates who are committed to building a united mass movement in the interests of the majority against the extremist pro super-rich government and those who support them.

 

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The Oldest Trick in The Book- Offer to Join A Big Party in the Most Provocative Way. When Rejected set up a new Party

I will form new party if Fianna Fáil will not let me join, says Casey

Irish Examiner Monday, October 29, 2018   https://wp.me/pKzXa-1bc

“I intend to run in the next general election in Donegal”

“I’m 100% serious. If the consensus after talking to them is they don’t want me, I’ll form a new party and I’ll call it the New Fianna Fáil.”

Presidential candidate Peter Casey says he plans to set up a new party if he is prevented from joining Fianna Fáil.

The Derry businessman finished second behind Michael D Higgins in the race for Áras an Uachtaráin.

Mr Casey was initially an outside contender in the presidential election, but his vote surged late in the campaign following critical comments about the Travelling community and welfare recipients.

His support, which had been hovering around 1% in some opinion polls prior to the contentious remarks, rocketed to 23% in the election to secure an unexpected second place finish behind incumbent Mr Higgins, who romped home for a second term with more than 55% of the vote.

After the election result, Mr Casey said he plans to join Fianna Fáil and run as a candidate in Donegal at the next general election.

I intend to run in the next general election in Donegal

He told the Sunday Independent: “I am joining Fianna Fáil.

“I intend to run in the next general election in Donegal.

“And I am going to become a Fianna Fáil TD – with a view to becoming Taoiseach at the head of a renewed and revitalised Fianna Fáil.”

However a Fianna Fáil spokesman said: “Mr Casey made clear during the campaign that he has zero allegiance to Fianna Fáil; we will not be facilitating any personal crusades of his.”

In response Mr Casey, speaking on RTE’s Today with Miriam show, said he would set up a new party if Fianna Fáil refused to admit him as a member.

“They definitely need someone like Peter Casey to shake it up,” he said.

“I’m 100% serious. If the consensus after talking to them is they don’t want me, I’ll form a new party and I’ll call it the New Fianna Fáil.”

– Press Association

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Kitty Holland: Support for Casey reflects rage of those feeling left behind

But that big surge in his support cannot be ignored, nor those who voted for him blamed. The blame should be lain squarely at a political, trade-union and media class which is either oblivious or inured to just how real the struggle continues to be for huge numbers of people, just to get by.

Kitty Holland, , Irish Times, Monday, October 29, 2018,

There are two dangers when talking about Peter Casey’s strong showing in the Presidential election – taking it too seriously and not taking it seriously enough.

Though his vote surged from a predicted 2 per cent in polls taken before he made his nasty, inaccurate Traveller comments about Travellers, and later his lazy lamentations about a supposed welfare state, to 23.25 per cent, let’s remember again – he did not win the election and only 44 per cent of the electorate were bothered to vote for anyone, much less Casey.

But that big surge in his support cannot be ignored, nor those who voted for him blamed. The blame should be lain squarely at a political, trade-union and media class which is either oblivious or inured to just how real the struggle continues to be for huge numbers of people, just to get by.

The Traveller comments certainly resonated with thousands of voters, and I’ll come back to that, but to dismiss a growing and widespread rage – particularly among 20- to 50-year-olds, and those living in huge swathes of rural Ireland – would be as arrogant as it would be stupid.

Socially Ireland may seem more inclusive than ever. Look how compassionate we have proven ourselves voting for marriage equality and repealing the Eighth Amendment, our governing classes tell us. These two measures were delivered, of course, only when it became politically impossible not to, and importantly they cost the same governing classes nothing.

Austerity

Economically, however, life is as hard as ever for the vast majority of us. Austerity as an ideological project, we’re told, is over but the benefits – workers’ rights eroded, sky-high rents, six-figure salaries and bonuses for those back at the helm of the property boom – are still being reaped by a minority. They never let a good crisis go to waste.

So we are almost at full employment? But people are getting up earlier than ever and dropping their kids to childcare they can hardly afford and with which most of us are getting zero help with from the Government. We are working longer hours than ever – often at home on our laptops into the night, often in jobs we do not know will still be ours in a year’s time, or where we cannot even be sure what hours, if any, we’ll work next week.

We’re barely able to pay mortgages or rent – those of us lucky enough to have a home – and if we or our children get ill we avoid the GP for fear of the €60 bill, or the emergency department for fear of the €100 charge. If our children get to third level we weep at the thought of the charges, meanwhile, in blind dread of even thinking about what we’ll live on when we retire, following the dismantling of our pensions. We’re not just “squeezed” or fed up. We’re raging.

In April I visited Castlerea, Co Roscommon, to talk to people about the forthcoming abortion referendum. On a Saturday lunchtime the main street was all but deserted. More than half the shops were boarded up. A woman I spoke to in her empty bar told me: “You might be worried abortion in Dublin. We’ve more to be thinking about here. We’re just forgotten about.”

Casey’s vote was marginally stronger in rural areas than in urban areas, and particularly in areas populated – however sparsely – by Travellers. This will have been a painful election for our small (30,000) Traveller community, but Casey clearly spoke to the only experience many people have of Travellers, which is negative. It too cannot be dismissed as just racist – racist though much of it is – or ignorant, but listened to.

We know the statistics – the 80 per cent unemployment, the seven-times risk of suicide compared with the settled community, the homelessness, the low school attainment, the poverty, the high levels of domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, and some criminality. By any measure the Traveller community is not flourishing and the only experience they have of many in the settled community is negative.

Political leadership

The Traveller community – particularly their women – want to do their part to address this. But as a vulnerable, impoverished community they cannot do it alone. We must demand political leadership on this, and fundamental to that is addressing the accommodation crisis. Without culturally appropriate housing which respects the community’s ethnicity, Travellers cannot begin to properly address their profound problems.

So, welcome to the very Irish fruits of six years of vicious austerity followed by a selective, localised recovery for the few.

The political class, the trade-union movement and the media can dismiss Casey as a man who “brain farts” and his voters as “racist” or “deplorable”. If they do, they downplay the realities of people’s struggles and will deserve increasing irrelevancy and disdain.

I have no doubt President Michael D Higgins, constrained as he is by his office, will continue to do what he can to articulate those struggles. Also-ran Peter Casey was clearly seen by many as a man who heard them.

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