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Fight The Far Right

March 27, 2019 Leave a comment

I abhor the scapegoating of the weak including immigrants, travellers and the poor. Scapegoating the weak covers up for the monstrous savagery of the Irish Government and the Irish Super Rich.

I am also very seriously concerned that hate posts may incite some people to commit savage acts of violence such as have happened in other countries

I have therefore  cut all associations with the following facebook sites: Gemma O’Doherty; Stand and Unite: Anti-Corruption Ireland

The 78,000 Irish millionaires and billionaires have massive wealth of at least 230 billion Euro and 3000 extra people have joined the club in the past year alone. Government is refusing to tax this wealth in order to solve the housing and health crises and other austerity issues.


Big Surge to Far Right in German State Elections    https://wp.me/pKzXa-1gl

Far-right AfD makes big gains but fails to topple mainstream parties

Exit polls put party second in German state elections in Saxony and Brandenburg

Kate Connolly in Berlin, Guardian, Sun 1 Sep 2019

 The anti-immigration Alternative für Deutschland party made strong gains in two crucial state elections in Germany on Sunday, increasing its support significantly but failing to oust the mainstream parties.

But the sharp shift to the right in Saxony and Brandenburg – AfD came second in both states – is a blow to the ruling coalition of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD), both parties having lost thousands of voters to AfD.

The AfD was also able to mobilise several hundred thousand people who had never voted before, initial analysis showed.

Exit polls showed the CDU remaining the strongest party in Saxony but losing more than six points to secure 33%, while AfD reached 28.1% – a gain of 18 percentage points, and a larger share of the vote than pollsters had predicted.

In Brandenburg, the SPD, which has governed there since 1990, narrowly clung to first place, winning 26.6% and losing 5 points, while AfD secured 24.5%, a more than 10-point rise and a larger share than predicted.

AfD’s success in Saxony and Brandenburg, both in the former communist east, reflects the breakdown of support for Germany’s mainstream parties, the centre-right CDU and the left-of-centre SPD and, as elsewhere in Europe, the increasing fragmentation of the political landscape.

More than 5 million people were eligible to vote, about a 10th of the population.

Turnout was significantly higher than at the last elections in the states in 2014 – up 12 points to 60% in Brandenburg, and up 16 points to 65% in Saxony – in what was billed a historic poll, AfD’s first real electoral test in the region since it entered the national parliament as the leading opposition party two years ago.

Formed in 2013 as an anti-euro party, its strength has grown on the back of its opposition to the arrival in Germany of almost 1 million refugees in 2015.

It campaigned in Saxony and Brandenburg under the slogan “Vollende die Wende”, or “complete the transition” – promising to rectify the mistakes of the mainstream parties after German reunification almost three decades ago and to address the inequalities between citizens of the former east and west.

Björn Höcke, a leading AfD member based in the state of Thuringia, which votes on 27 October in what is expected to be another nail-biting election, said the polls offered “a strong indication that we’ll have a good future in Brandenburg and Saxony and in the whole of Germany”. Höcke represents AfD’s radical right contingent, whose influence in the party is likely to be strengthened by the result.

The Green party was celebrating gains in both states, of 3.3 points in Saxony, where it reached 8.6%, and 3.8 points in Brandenburg, reaching 10.2%, even though it failed to perform as strongly as had been predicted.

But it is likely to be an important player in the formation of coalitions in both Saxony and Brandenburg, where the SPD-Left party partnership lost its majority. All the major parties have ruled out forming a coalition with AfD, even though the CDU has come under pressure from its right wing to do so.

Because the slump in the performance of the mainstream parties was not as severe as predicted, the beleaguered grand coalition in Berlin under Merkel will gain some breathing space, as will the CDU’s chairwoman, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

She has failed to convince as a leader since taking over from Merkel in December, but will probably benefit from the CDU’s better than expected showing in Saxony. Merkel, who has led the country since 2005, has said she will not stand for re-election. The next German federal election is expected to be held between August and October 2021.

Analysis of the results showed that in Saxony, home to the notorious anti-immigrant campaign group Pegida, often seen as the protest arm of AfD, voters’ main motivation for choosing AfD was out of conviction for its political message, while the majority of AfD supporters in Brandenburg said they voted in protest against the policies of the mainstream government.

———————————————————–IMPORTANT ARTICLE,  By Justine McCarthy in Sunday Times

RETURN TO HUMANITY WILL HALT A CELTIC TRUMPLAND

If Ireland is to withstand the epidemic (of far-right politics) afflicting other countries, the cracks in society must be addressed.

We can avoid the hellish fate of other countries, (which have drifted to the far-right), by sticking together as a people!

HOW CAN IRELAND AVOID BECOMING A CELTIC TRUMPLAND? NOT BY LOCKING THE COUNTRY’S GATES TO IMMIGRANTS. NOT BY REVERTING TO SOME MYTHOLOGICAL ARCADIAN PAST. NOT BY LOWERING TAXES FOR THE BETTER-OFF AND MULTINATIONAL EXECUTIVES, OR BOWING AND SCRAPING TO THOSE WHO WE ELECT TO WORK FOR US.  WE DO IT WITH FRATERNITY.  BY CARING FOR EACH OTHER, BEING KIND, BEING FAIR, LISTENING, HEARING. BY STANDING TOGETHER. BECAUSE DIVIDED WE WILL CERTAINLY FALL.

We’re Deluding Ourselves if We Think We’re Too Savvy to Press the Self Destruct Button

Sunday Times , Sept 1, 2019

  Scadenfraude..What a deliciously chewy German word to convey the pleasure to be had in others’ mis fortunes.  ———                        ———         —————    ——

——–    —————     ———-    ——–           ——–      ——-    —

           Yet here we are on this Emerald Isle , all bustling vibrant youthfulness, a tech haven and gay tourism destination, where everyone looks suddenly at least 6 ft tall and 26 whole countries love us so much , they stand united wih us against the old enemy. For its new national anthem, Ireland should purloin that old Supergrass number: “We are young, we run green . Keep our teeth nice and clean”. You don’t see the Irish electing lobotomised megalomaniacs or voting to commit economic hari-kari  by going solo.Whatever about the Saints bit, there’s a reason why this brain-sodden land was dubbed the Island of Saints and Scholars.

It is said that to the cynic, there is no greater joy in life than a good gulp of schadenfraude. If that is so, Ireland has reached a dangerous depth of cynicism. THIS COUNTRY IS IN NO POSITION TO FEEL SUPERIOR TO OTHERS

A majority may feel proud of recent constitutional reforms allowing citizens to live and let live, but being a smallish peripheral island does not immunise Ireland against the virus of reactionary dumbed-down politics that is washing over other lands.

As far as liberalism and tolerance is concerned, Ireland is still catching up with the UK and America, which legislated for womens reproductive rights, anti-racism and inclusivity long ago. Ireland is no Intrepid Pioneer. Trends elsewhere usually surface here eventually but, with the incubation of social media, they emerge faster nowadays. We’re deluding ourselves if we think we’re too savvy to press the self-destruct button as others are doing. Have we not learned that the unimaginable is what inevitably happens in the 21st century.

Crossing our fingers will not stop the epidemic reaching Ireland’s shores. Like any divided society, anger seeps easily through the cracks. With the Republic’s population nearing 5 million, of whom 13% were born outside the country, the scope widens for deeper and yet more divides: urban and rural, religious and secular, old and young, the travelling community and the settled community, native born and new Irish, and above all the have lots and the have nots.

If this were a genuine republic, those social crevasses would be neither as wide nor as numerous, and there would not be a discernible scream of primal fear in the furious invective emitted on Twitter and Facebook. Many people are scared by the rapid changes taking place.

Along with the authority of the Catholic Church, the certitude of its unbending rule is gone too.  While this secularisation of society is liberating for many, it is scary for others, especially as the population grows and becomes more diversified. They filled marginalised and cast adrift. Many who feel this way were, until recently, part of the consensus. Being edged out of the mainstream is a new experience for them.

We witnessed this phenomenon after the 2008 economic crash, when erstwhile masters of the universe-bankers, builders and property developers, depicted themselves as the victims of rather than the primary contributors to the catastrophe.

Unlike other historically marginalised cohorts-gays, women, non-catholics, immigrants-the newly marginalised are unaccustomed to being second class citizens. They regard themselves as epitomising Irishness, failing to accept that the island of bishops’ croziers and comely,  pale maidens is gone.

Between this, gathering economic clouds and the vulnerability of the good Friday Agreement, Ireland is vulnerable behind its swagger. If it is to withstand the epidemic (of far-right politics) afflicting other countries, the cracks in society must be addressed.  Having one rule for those in charge and another for everyone else is repugnant to republican ideals. It is wrong that a government minister delivers a garda station for his well-heeled Dublin constituents while citizens in remote rural areas have none, or the denizens of a red brick leafy suburb can stop a metrolink development while the plan ploughs ahead to bulldoze the homes of less well-off citizens nearby.

Drive through inner city communities plagued by drug-gang violence to reach your seafront mansion to snort cocaine for the weekend or issue gagging writs to stop the publication of information in the public  interest because you having money means you have privileged access to the courts.

None of this is fair. None of this is right. None of it is sustainable because, sooner or later, the fear turns to anger. People begin to despair of democracy when they feel they are being talked down to, their questions are being evaded, their TDs’ DÁIL VOTES are being ignored by the government, and the civil service is acting as though its job is to protect politicians at the expense of the people. Opportunists are waiting to swoop on that anger for their own selfish interests and advancement.

Citizens have a responsibility too, especially in our age of coarse, polarised discourse, when self-described patriots and Christians denounce others as “whores”, “scum”, “sheeple”  and “psychopaths”. These are conditions that militate against unity and undermine the republican ideal of fraternity. Beware of prophets bearing grudges.

HOW CAN IRELAND AVOID BECOMING A CELTIC TRUMPLAND? NOT BY LOCKING THE COUNTRY’S GATES TO IMMIGRANTS. NOT BY REVERTING TO SOME MYTHOLOGICAL ARCADIAN PAST. NOT BY LOWERING TAXES FOR THE BETTER-OFF AND MULTINATIONAL EXECUTIVES, OR BOWING AND SCRAPING TO THOSE WHO WE ELECT TO WORK FOR US.  WE DO IT WITH FRATERNITY.  BY CARING FOR EACH OTHER, BEING KIND, BEING FAIR, LISTENING, HEARING. BY STANDING TOGETHER. BECAUSE DIVIDED WE WILL CERTAINLY FALL.  

 

——————————————————–Christchurch Massacre Exposes Social Media Monster-Justine McCarthy, Sunday Times, March 24, 2019

Extracts:  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1gl

Gemma O’Doherty, a former Irish Independent Features writer posted on Facebook: “New Zealand has all the hallmarks of a classic false flag operation to incite fresh ISIS attacks, create chaos and fear, allow the globalists to take control over people and remove freedoms a la 9/11 . A professional job”

Seamus Healy TD (Tipperary): “Outrageous post. No credibility left.”

Catherine Connolly TD (Galway): “” Shocking and unacceptable post”

Tommy Broughan TD (Dublin Bay North): “I am standing in solidarity with the victims in New Zealand

Cllr Eilish Ryan (Dublin): “O’Doherty’s populism has been a concern for some time. This is a new low.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Huge Split in CWI To Which SP(I), Organisers of Solidarity and Cross-Community Labour Alternative, is Affiliated

Both Sides of Split Claim to be the original CWI-Statements by Both Sides Below

—————————————————————–

Cllr Dónal Ó Cofaigh, Fermanagh, Breaks With Socialist Party : Joins Breakaway new CWI Section in Ireland which is allied  to  the Socialist Party of England and Wales led by Peter Taffe

New Breakaway Organisation Needs to Explain this comment in its statement:

“Wider disagreements which became apparent during the debate included the leadership’s failure to take a clear socialist stance in opposition to the neo-liberal European Union, the threat of a hard border in Ireland, and their increasingly imbalanced position in regard to the National Question.

STATEMENT ON THE REFOUNDING OF THE IRISH SECTION OF THE COMMITTEE FOR A WORKERS INTERNATIONAL (CWI).  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1fv

Drogheda, 20 October 2019  By Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) IRELAND

BACKGROUND

The Irish section of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) was refounded at a conference on Sunday 20th October.

In refounding the Irish section of the CWI we base ourselves on the principles embodied in the first four congresses of the Communist International, the world conferences of the fourth International and the documents, programme and methods of the CWI since it was established in 1974.

At a time when capitalism has self-evidently exhausted its productive capacity on a global scale, cannot meet the needs of the majority of humanity and threatens the total rupture of humanity’s interrelationship with nature, we reaffirm the CWI’s Trotskyist orientation towards the working class as the agent of revolutionary change.

MILITANT SOCIALISM

Those who participated in the refounding conference have either been expelled from, or left, the Socialist Party in recent weeks.

We have refounded the CWI in Ireland because of our opposition to the break by the current Socialist Party leadership from the policies, programme and democratic methods that have been a hallmark of the CWI for five decades.

Underlining this departure was the decision of the leadership to support the breakaway grouping from the CWI in August of this year. We refused to join this new international grouping, known as World Socialist Alternative (WSA), and remain committed members of the Committee for a Workers’ International.

At a Special Conference of the Socialist Party on 21/22 September a motion was passed, aimed at us, which said: “Membership of another international other than the CWI [WSA] is in contradiction to membership of the SP [Socialist Party]” This ultimatum means that unless we joined the WSA and left the CWI we could not remain members of the Socialist Party.

ORIGINS OF THE SPLIT

The conference followed a year-long debate inside the Socialist Party and the CWI that exposed a growing chasm of irreconcilable political differences.

The use of undemocratic methods of a serious nature against internal opponents by the Socialist Party leadership triggered a profound crisis within Ireland and the CWI internationally. These actions represented a fundamental breach with democratic centralist practice.

September’s special conference, and the run-up to it, was a travesty of democratic procedure and debate. We regret that the undemocratic methods that triggered this crisis were decisively endorsed by a majority of the delegates at that conference.

We note that Paul Murphy TD and a number of other long standing comrades have since decided to leave the Socialist Party to form a new organisation. Unfortunately, this new organisation, Rise, also represents an opportunist break from a consistent Marxist policy and programme and does not offer a way forward for the working class and young people.

SOCIALIST PROGRAMME

In our view the key division is rooted in the party leadership no longer being prepared to argue consistently for a socialist programme.

Increasingly there has been a tendency to advocate only piecemeal reforms to the capitalist system. There was a failure to explain the need for the working class and a socialist government to publicly own and control the main industries and banks and run them democratically as part of a socialist plan.

In the 2018 Repeal referendum – during which we enthusiastically campaigned for a ‘Yes’ vote – the main leaflets produced by the leadership failed to link the fight for abortion rights to the need for free and universal healthcare, state-provided free childcare and a living wage for working class women.

This tendency to reflect back existing views in society and not use elections and campaigns to raise the need for decisive socialist change was challenged by us throughout the debate.

Wider disagreements which became apparent during the debate included the leadership’s failure to take a clear socialist stance in opposition to the neo-liberal European Union, the threat of a hard border in Ireland, and their increasingly imbalanced position in regard to the National Question.

IDENTITY POLITICS

The Socialist Party leadership has also adapted to ‘Identity Politics’, which recklessly promotes differences and enhances ‘separatism’ within the working class and middle layers. In essence, this meant giving up on our long-standing policy that all forms of oppression should be confronted through the unity of the working class and all oppressed groups fighting together to end capitalism.

The recent 2019 European election campaign for Dublin saw the party put forward in its main poster the slogan of a “Socialist Feminist Voice for Europe”. The effect of this was to limit the appeal of the campaign and this contributed to a collapse in the vote compared to previous Euro elections.

Solidarity also, unfortunately, lost a majority of its council seats in the last local elections. This was, in large part, the reflection of a loss of confidence in the Socialist Party by working class communities.

It is our position that the leadership of the Socialist Party, over a number of years, turned from the working class and ceased to affirm its centrality as the only force in society capable of defeating capitalism. This represents a decisive and dangerous break from Trotskyism and Marxism.

TRADE UNIONS

The turn from the working class was most clearly demonstrated by the absence of consistent work by the Party in the South in the trade unions over a number of years.

Again, this was in complete contrast to the practice and policy of our Party and the CWI over previous decades. We have always defended the idea that the organised working class are the agents of history through which socialist change will be achieved. To us, it is self-evident that socialists must be active in the mass organisations of the working class, fighting for them to become fully democratic, combative unions.

And yet this principle was abandoned by the party leadership and their supporters. A large number of trade union activists who are members of the Socialist Party also made clear their opposition to the leadership during the debate and have since left the party. This includes the majority of Socialist Party members who hold elected positions within the workers’ movement.

The conclusions we drew, with regret, were that the Socialist Party leadership in Ireland has broken from the methods and policy upon which our movement was built. They have moved in an opportunist and rightward direction away from Marxism. They are moving towards ideas that offer no way forward for the working class and young people who seek a way out of the destructive future offered by capitalism.

We remain committed to building a serious Marxist organisation, orientated towards youth and the working class, in Ireland and internationally. In so doing, we recognise the need to work with others, in a principled manner, including our former comrades.

We will continue campaigning on that proud heritage – begun in earnest in Derry during the civil rights struggle, fifty years ago – for working class unity and socialism, North and South. We will be affiliated to the Committee for a Workers’ International, as we have been since its formation in 1974, and will continue that work going forward.

We appeal to those interested in discussing with us to contact us at:

cwi.ireland@yahoo.com

————————————————————————(I will comment on these statements of Paul Murphy in detail later: For Now note Omissions— No Mention of Irish Unity, No mention of Brexit, No Governmental Perspective for 6-Counties, No Mention of the Role of the Capitulatory Irish Trade Union Bureaucracy, No Claim to have supporting activists in 6-Counties, No Mention of Cross-Community Labour alternative, 6-County Front for SP.  The emphasis on United Front Activity With Sinn Féin which was Contained in Paul Murphy’s original personal statement has disappeared;”“Failing to understand the importance of applying the united front method has resulted in mistakes in the past in relation to Sinn Féin, and can result in mistakes in the future.”- Paul Murphy .Orientation to the Green Movement is now dominant. )

Paul Murphy   Radical Internationalist Socialist Environmentalist (RISE) Launched    https://wp.me/pKzXa-1fv

RISE members include Paul Murphy TD; Dáil Researcher for Solidarity, Diana O’Dwyer; former Press Officer for Solidarity & Socialist Party, Dave Murphy; selected Solidarity general election candidate for Galway, Jessy Ní Ceallaigh; as well as other Socialist Party activists including three former election candidates, trade union activists, abortion rights activists and housing activists.

Below: RISE  “What we Stand For” and Further Down Original Personal Statement by Paul Murphy Issued 7 Months Ago

Press Statement: RISE (30 September 2019)

  • New political group, RISE, launched by former members of Socialist Party
  • Will place Green New Deal with socialist policies on the agenda
  • Seek to contribute to building new left movement in Irish society 

After a year-long debate within the Socialist Party, we have decided to leave and to establish a new democratic socialist political group, RISE. The four letters of RISE give a picture of the politics we stand for: Radical, Internationalist, Socialist and Environmentalist.

All around the world, radical young people and workers are on the move. Ten days ago we saw millions of school students in over 150 countries, joined by workers and other young people, participate in the Global Climate Strike, the largest environmental protest in history. This past Friday, millions more young people and workers marched again. This environmental movement joins the global feminist wave as a social movement mobilising millions. Socialist ideas are becoming popularised, seen for example in the 55,000 overwhelmingly new members of the Democratic Socialists of America. If the coming global recession brings the usual calls for cutbacks and wage cuts, it will be met by the resistance of workers internationally.

The question for socialists in Ireland and around the world is how to participate to help build these movements while also advocating for the necessary eco-socialist change. We have been involved as activists in the movements to defeat the water charges, for abortion rights and for the right to housing, to halt climate change and environmental destruction, and many other issues. The conclusion we have drawn is that socialists need to participate in these movements in an open, non-sectarian way, willing to work alongside others who don’t share all of our views, while putting forward our own ideas. In our view this is an important part of socialists contributing to the rebuilding of the broader workers’ movement, including active trade union and housing movements and a new broad mass party of the left.

Our members have joined and are helping to build Extinction Rebellion. We will work alongside hundreds of other activists for the most effective ‘Rebellion Week’ of civil disobedience in October as part of building the mass movement necessary to stop climate change.

One of our key priorities as a group will be to prepare and launch a Green New Deal with socialist policies for Ireland. At this moment of ecological, social and economic crises, a transformative plan is needed – for free, green and frequent public transport, for a rapid and just transition to green energy, including a green jobs programme in renewable energy and care work, for a sustainable model of agriculture that supports our small farmers, for quality low carbon de-commodified public housing, a 4 day week, and a planned economy under the democratic control of working class people.

We recognise that division amongst the left can be demoralising for working class people who rightly want to see maximum unity against the right wing parties and their policies. Although no longer a part of the Socialist Party, we are committed to co-operating with the Socialist Party and others on the left on a day-to-day basis and will remain part of the Solidarity – People Before Profit grouping.

We will be building RISE as a radical socialist organisation and producing a regular political magazine and website with analysis and commentary (www.letusrise.ie). We also want to contribute to the building of a broader mass party of the left, with a vibrant democratic culture of debate and discussion. This is desperately needed to challenge and end neo-liberal and capitalist domination, which, with its drive to privatise and cut back, has prioritised the needs of big business and the market over our lives and our future.

Information for Editors:

RISE members include Paul Murphy TD; Dáil Researcher for Solidarity, Diana O’Dwyer; former Press Officer for Solidarity & Socialist Party, Dave Murphy; selected Solidarity general election candidate for Galway, Jessy Ní Ceallaigh; as well as other Socialist Party activists including three former election candidates, trade union activists, abortion rights activists and housing activists.

RISE website is www.letusrise.ie

ENDS
————————————————————-

Wikipedia Account of Split in CWI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_a_Workers%27_International#Sections

What We Stand For

RISE fights for democratic socialism – a classless society, free of oppression, exploitation, war and environmental degradation, where wealth and resources are commonly owned and democratically managed for the good of the many, not the few. This means building powerful mass movements of workers and the oppressed that harness the unique economic power of the working class to end the unjust system of capitalism. We fight for every possible reform but never limit ourselves to what capitalism can offer. In the words of James Connolly, “our demands most moderate are, We only want the earth.” 

Quality Public Services for All

 

  • Quality, free, accessible public services, democratically run by workers, service users and local communities. Fund them through taxing profits and wealth and by taking private services into democratic public ownership. Reverse privatisation and outsourcing.
  • For a free Irish National Health Service – abolish healthcare for profit and incorporate it into the public system. Invest in improved pay and conditions for health workers to help end waiting lists. Massively expand mental healthcare.
  • All education should be free and accessible to everyone – abolish fees and ‘voluntary contributions’, nationalise private schools, colleges and school book publishers and take the education system out of Church control. Stop excluding students with disabilities, learning difficulties or ASD from our education system. No to authoritarian, neoliberal education – for holistic, participatory education with democratic decision-making by staff, students and communities.
  • A National Childcare Service to provide free childcare for all based on parents’ needs and preferences. Ensure excellent pay and conditions for childcare workers.
  • High speed internet free of charge to all communities.

Housing is a Human Right

  • Decommodify housing: for quality housing as a human right and universal benefit, not a source of profit.
  • Build a diverse and powerful movement of all those affected by the housing crisis, including private renters, the ‘locked out generation’ stuck living at home with their parents, council tenants, HAP tenants, migrants and homeless people.
  • Ban economic evictions and introduce real rent controls – base rents on incomes, not landlords’ greed for profits. No one should have to pay more than 20% of their income on rent.
  • Build 100,000 public homes in three years, including Traveller-appropriate and student accommodation, and nationalise all suitable vacant properties for public housing. Take the major construction companies, land banks, corporate landlords and vulture funds into democratic public ownership.
  • A public retrofitting programme of all homes and public buildings towards a zero carbon standard.

A Socialist Green New Deal 

 

  • Fight climate change and inequality – invest in a rapid, just, and democratic transition to 100% publicly-owned green energy and a zero-carbon economy by 2030, creating tens of thousands of jobs and ensuring no workers or communities are left behind.
  • Free, green and frequent public transport, accessible to all communities with quality pay and conditions for workers.
  • Develop ecologically sustainable agriculture and fisheries: bring big agri-business into democratic public ownership, reform subsidies to incentivise a shift away from dairy and beef farming with increased incomes for small and medium farmers, expand diversified afforestation.
  • Take the bin service back into council ownership with free waste, recycling, and composting services. Ban non-recycled plastics.
  • No carbon tax on workers. Tax the big polluting industries.
  • Keep fossil fuels in the ground! No new licenses for exploration and drilling. Re-nationalise existing reserves. Expropriate the wealth of the big oil companies to invest in renewable technologies.

End Sexism, Racism, Homophobia and Transphobia!

  • Separate Church and State – end Church control of hospitals and schools. Ensure full compensation for abuse victims by seizing the assets of religious orders.
  • Progressive, consent-based, LGBTQ+-inclusive sex and relationships education at all levels. Marriage equality in the North and full rights for the trans community, North and South, including accessible trans healthcare. Free provision of PREP and PEP through the health service.
  • Full abortion rights, including free abortion on request, and free contraception, North and South.
  • Tackle gender based-violence: invest in domestic violence shelters, paid domestic violence leave, sexual assault treatment units, counselling for survivors and rehabilitation for offenders.
  • End Direct Provision and unjust immigration controls – no to inhumane and discriminatory treatment of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. A socialist world would have no borders.
  • For trade union campaigns to oppose racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and the far right, which divide the working class and benefit capital.

Workers’ Rights 

  • A 4-day week with no loss of pay, increased annual leave and two years’ paid leave for parents.
  • €15/hour minimum wage, without exemptions.
  • Repeal all anti-trade union laws and replace with a Charter of Workers’ Rights which includes mandatory union recognition, the right to establish pickets and workplace occupations, and to engage in political and sympathy strikes.
  • Support and help build an active rank and file base to create democratic and fighting trade unions, North and South, that can restore public sector pay, reverse cuts, and fight for equal and better pay and conditions for all workers, regardless of gender, race, disability, immigration status or religious background.
  • Close the gender pay gap – raise pay in traditionally female jobs like care-work and part-time work. Zero tolerance for workplace sexism, harassment and discrimination.
  • End precarious work – for secure, permanent, full- or part-time contracts for all who want them.
  • Outlaw unpaid and low-paid internships and ‘work experience’ schemes. Increase unemployment payments. Stop harassing the unemployed.
  • For a guaranteed right to quality employment.

Economic Equality 

 

  • Repudiate the bankers’ debt.
  • Abolish regressive taxation on workers: no to carbon tax on working people, broadcasting tax, water charges and the property tax!
  • Break with Ireland’s corporate tax haven model of development – abolish corporate tax breaks, double the corporation tax rate on big business, introduce a financial transactions tax, a millionaires’ tax and higher income tax for those earning over €100,000. Abolish the USC and replace with a High Income Social Charge on incomes over €100,000.
  • Use the Apple Tax and the hoarded wealth of the rich to fund quality public services and a socialist green transformation of the economy.
  • Nationalise the banking system and the core sectors of the economy currently controlled by major corporations, including construction, natural resources, the big retail chains, logistics, distribution, transport and telecommunications, and run them as part of a democratically planned economy to serve people’s needs not profit.

A New Workers’ Party and a Left Government 

  • We need a new party of the working class, drawing together left, environmental, anti-austerity and community activists, trade unionists, and fighters against oppression, to take on the power of big business and the capitalist class and fight for socialism.
  • No to coalition with establishment and pro-capitalist parties! For a left, socialist government to fight the power of the capitalist class and implement socialist policies, backed by movements on the streets and in the workplaces.
  • For a secular socialist constitution that enshrines human rights and abolishes the “rights” of capitalist private property.
  • Full voting rights for 16 year olds and immigrants.
  • For democratic workers’ control of workplaces and the broader economy and participatory economic and political decision-making by popular assemblies and elected Councils of workers and communities. Under capitalism, “democracy” ends at the ballot box with the right to vote for interchangeable politicians every five years while the workplace remains a daily dictatorship. Democratic socialism would massively expand both economic as well as political democracy.
  • For workers’ unity between Protestants and Catholics against sectarianism and capitalist exploitation, and a united struggle for socialist change as the basis for a just and lasting peace in the North.

A Socialist World

 

  • Solidarity with struggles of workers and the oppressed internationally.
  • Oppose all imperialist interventions – End US military use of Shannon Airport and withdraw all occupying troops.
  • No to the bosses’ EU – For a Socialist Europe!
  • No more Fortress Europe: End the EU’s racist and deadly immigration policies.
  • Oppose EU militarisation and Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).
  • Ditch the EU fiscal rules, Maastricht criteria and neoliberal directives, which obstruct investment in essential public services, promote privatisation and undermine workers’ rights.
  • For left governments and revolutionary movements across Europe to break with the bosses’ EU and create a fundamentally different, democratic, and eco-socialist Europe.
  • Democratise the internet, democratise the global economy: bring the major internet companies and all the major multinationals under international democratic control!
  • For a Global Green New Deal as part of an international struggle for socialist change not climate change.

This is a statement from the SP about the departure of Paul Murphy –

http://socialistparty.ie/2019/09/paul-murphy-resigns-socialist-party/

As for some of the other comments – WbS says that ‘PM is doing particularly well’ – I don’t know how you can suggest that going from a member of a party with hundreds to leading a group with less than a dozen is ‘doing particularly well’.

On the more general issue of reps leaving the SP – this is a problem face by all groups that could be considered on the far-left (and not so far-left – SF lost dozens of councillors and a couple of TDs over the past few years through resignations). There are enormous opportunist pressures as a result of the nature of bourgeois democracy on groups that attempt to stand on a principled basis in the electoral process. Look at what happened the WP in the 1990s. The remarkable thing is that the SP has actually managed to maintain and build a coherent revolutionary marxist organisation over the past 25 years – despite playing a prominent national roles in numerous campaigns and facing all the opportunist pressure that exist in the political sphere – indeed the SP is the only political party on the far-left that has succeeded in this.

Last point – there is an ongoing and persistent narrative that the SP does not and will not work with other groups or broader campaigns – this is utter nonsense as demonstrated by all the different national campaigns that the SP has been involved in. What the SP will not do is compromise on its principled political position for the sake of electoral gain – and that is an approach that many on the reformist left have trouble squaring the circle on.

——————————————————-Breaking News RTE: Paul Murphy TD Leaves Socialist Party

https://wp.me/pKzXa-1fv

Here’s Paul Murphy’s statement on Facebook Today:
“After an extensive debate within the Socialist Party, a group of members, including me, have decided to leave and intend to launch a new socialist group. When we decided to leave, the Party accepted that and we all aim to have an amicable and cooperative relationship in the future in the interests of working class people. Ruth Coppinger, Mick Barry and I did a joint interview with the Irish Times earlier today about some of the issues we debated, which will be published tomorrow. I will continue as a member of Solidarity – People Before Profit and all six TDs in Solidarity-PBP will continue to work together closely in Dail Eireann and in building and assisting struggles in workplaces and communities. We will be launching our new socialist group next Monday at 1pm in Buswell’s.”

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Full Irish Times Article Following Interview With Paul Murphy TD, Mick Barry TD, Ruth Coppinger TD    26/09/2019

Paul Murphy leaves Socialist Party to launch new group

Harry McGee  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1fv

The Dublin South West TD Paul Murphy is leaving the Socialist Party and will launch what he describes as a new socialist group next Monday.

Mr Murphy, who has been a TD since 2014, is leaving after the party failed to resolve an internal year-long dispute over the extent and level of co-operation it should have with other left-leaning parties and movements of the left.

Mr Murphy and a small group of his supporters had argued for deeper engagement with parties such as Sinn Féin and the Green Party, and with grassroots left-wing groups and movements such as Extinction Rebellion. A majority of party members opposed this approach.

Another area of contention surrounded the level of engagement in civil campaigns such as Together for Yes.

Mr Murphy, and the two remaining Socialist Party TDs, Ruth Coppinger and Mick Barry, met The Irish Times as a group on Thursday. The three TDs said the parting was amicable and the two groups would continue to work together.

“There was a genuine discussion on the struggle for socialism. We exhausted that process of debate,” Mr Murphy said.

He said that rather than pulling the party apart it was better to recognise the reality of the differences that existed. And that meant two separate entities, but ones that would collaborate and cooperate.

Mr Murphy’s new group will still be involved with the broader Solidarity-People Before Profit alliance but will no longer be part of Solidarity.

Mr Murphy decided to leave the party ahead of its national convention last weekend. Unusually he did not attend the convention.

“Our side of the party would have placed more emphasis on engaging in broader movements and participating in coalitions with others,” said Mr Murphy.

“[That includes] working with people who are not socialist but agree on important movements in the here and now,” he said.

No elected representative will leave the party with him. Among those who will join Mr Murphy’s group are former spokesman Dave Murphy, Diana O’Dwyer, and a number of trade union members and abortion rights activists.

Difference of emphasis

Mr Barry said there was a difference of emphasis of engagement but he believed they had more to do with relations with existing political parties such as Sinn Féin than new grass roots movements.

He said a “big majority of Socialist party members have chosen not to go with the new group”.

The two groups disagreed over the extent of involvement of the Socialist Party in grass-roots movements such as Extinction Rebellion, the youth climate change strikes, new socialist groups in Britain and the US as well as civil society coalitions such as Together for Yes. Mr Murphy has argued in favour of more engagement with these groups and movements while his Socialist Party colleagues argued that the primary focus should be on building up the strength of the party.

There were disagreements over the extent of the party’s role in Together for Yes, the broad umbrella group which campaigned to repeal abortion laws.

While supporting it, and participating in its campaigning, the majority view, as set out by Ms Coppinger, was that the extent of its involvement should be limited.

“Together for Yes was very conservative and very linked to the Government… It was in effect the Government campaign. (It was) not willing to advocate a pro-choice position which we believed was necessary.”

Mr Barry said Mr Murphy had raised the issue that a significant number of workers and young people had voted Sinn Féin and they were an anti-establishment force.”

“It’s something of a different issue (now) given the Sinn Féin tack to the right and the support for the market and coalitionism,” he said.

“For us that’s problematic. We have members in the North of Ireland who are building cross-community socialist politics and building a base for fighting in the trade union movement,” he said.

Ms Coppinger said the Socialist Party also viewed Sinn Féin as a sectarian party as “they can only represent one side of the divide” in the North. She said there was a huge appetite for working class politics in the North.

“The reality is that Sinn Féin are part of the establishment of the North where they are implementing cuts and the austerity programme,” she said.

Mr Murphy’s group also looked more favourably at the influence of Momentum in the Labour Party in Britain and looked at the possibilities for such movements in Ireland.

Ms Coppinger said they all supported Jeremy Corbyn and his attempt to have a left programme for the Labour Party. The difficulty, she argued, was Mr Corbyn was “imprisoned by the Blairites.

“He is trying to tack between the right and the left,” she said.

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Original Personal Statement by Paul Murphy 7 Months Ago

Irish Times: March 7, 2019

The challenge of how to compete with Sinn Féin for left wing votes is at the centre of differences in political strategy between leading members of the Socialist Party. Dublin South West TD Paul Murphy advocates challenging Sinn Féin with a so-called “united front” approach. Mr Murphy explains this approach in detail in a paper called “The United Front method and putting forward a Socialist Programme today”, published on November 20th. In explaining the united front approach, Mr Murphy cites a definition from the “Executive Committee of the Communist International Theses on the United Front”. By this definition, the tactic is “nothing other than the proposal made by the Communists to all workers, whether they are members of other parties or groups or of none, to fight alongside them, to defend the elementary and vital interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie. “Every action for even the smallest demand is a source of revolutionary education, because the experience of combat will convince the working people of the necessity of the revolution, and will demonstrate the meaning of Communism to them.” He says this can be “applied to today’s situation to win over workers looking towards other organisations”. Mr Murphy also cites Trotsky in expanding his argument, adding: “Trotsky made it clear that even in a specific united front, there was a need for clear differentiation from other forces.” ‘No common platform’ He then quotes Trotsky thus: “No common platform with the Social Democracy, or with the leaders of the German trade unions, no common publications, banners, placards! March separately, but strike together! Agree only how to strike, whom to strike and when to strike! Such an agreement can be concluded even with the devil himself, with his grandmother, and even with Noske and Grezesinsky. On one condition, not to bind one’s hands.” In effect, Mr Murphy says this would allow Socialists join in common action with others “in order to achieve real gains for the working class” while maintaining their own independence as the “revolutionary” party. “The united front method also means revolutionaries fight in that movement to expose the limitations of the other organisations and ideas, to prove the superiority of revolutionary ideas and seek to win a majority to a revolutionary programme and the leadership of the revolutionary party.” An example of how this was applied, according to Mr Murphy, came during the Dublin South West byelection in 2014. It saw Mr Murphy beat Sinn Féin, who had been expected to take the Dáil seat, on the back of an anti-water charges ticket. His victory is widely credited with pushing Sinn Féin and then Fianna Fáil towards a position in favour of abolishing water charges. Sinn Féin did not initially favour of non-payment of the charges, as the Socialists had. “Here, a very critical and ‘hard’ approach was taken to Sinn Féin, on the concrete issue of water charges to illustrate in practice the weaknesses of their programme and approach, and win over their supporters,” Mr Murphy says. “A consistent element of our campaign was appealing to Sinn Féin supporters to vote for us to apply pressure on Sinn Féin ’to change their position’ and ‘join with us in campaigning to build a mass movement of non-payment’. Weak position “In the election leaflet the comrades themselves quote, it clearly says: ‘The election of Paul Murphy would make it clear to Sinn Féin that a weak position on Water Charges in the future will not be tolerated’. “This was a theme running through much of our election posters, leaflets and other material. “Failing to understand the importance of applying the united front method has resulted in mistakes in the past in relation to Sinn Féin, and can result in mistakes in the future.”

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The byelection is also used in a paper from others in the movement, replying to similar arguments that had been previously made by Mr Murphy. This paper, is called: “A brief contribution on some political issues mentioned by PM” and is written 3/7/2019 irishtimes.com – Paul Murphy uses Trotsky to explain how Socialists can compete with ‘sectarian’ SF – Wed Mar 06 12:42:27 GMT 2019 https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/paul-murphy-uses-trotsky-to-explain-how-socialists-can-compete-with-sectarian-sf-1.3816304?mode=pri… 2/2 by Laura F, Stephen B, Kevin M, Joe H, and dated October 10th last. The authors are understood to be Laura Fitzgerald, Stephen Boyd, Kevin McLoughlin and Joe Higgins.

“We should be hesitant about using labels if they don’t accurately convey what we mean,” they say. “We don’t have the time to go into more generally, but will use the example DSW By-Election just given to try to illustrate the difficulty with the term. “There was no question of a unified approach with Sinn Féin on the water charges. There was obviously an attempt by us to win over people who voted for them by using the water charges and austerity issues, but there is a major difference in the content and tone of our campaign.” Differences also emerge between Mr Murphy and his colleagues on how to describe Sinn Féin. Sectarian Mr Murphy says: “The comrades…respond to my description of Sinn Féin as a nationalist, pro-capitalist party saying the following: ‘Of course they are “nationalist, pro-capitalist party’, the reality is that Sinn Féin are a bourgeois nationalist party – but of fundamental importance to any political description of Sinn Féin is that they are a sectarian party. A party which currently plays a sectarian role in the North – whose armed wing in the past waged an individual terrorist armed struggle, that was overtly sectarian and at times directly targeted working class Protestants.” Mr Murphy then adds further description is needed on the term “bourgeois nationalist party” the Socialist have used for Sinn Féin. “It seems to me that further clarification may be needed. If the comrades mean it is a capitalist nationalist party, i.e. one with a pro-capitalist nationalist programme, as demonstrated by their implementation of austerity and sectarian policies in Northern Ireland, then I completely agree. “However, if the term ‘bourgeois nationalist party’ is used to indicate a party which represents the nationalist aspirations of the bourgeoisie, then it is not a precise description of Sinn Féin. While in the North, Sinn Féin has support amongst a section of the Catholic capitalist class, in the South, no significant section of the capitalist class supports Sinn Féin.” Mr Murphy also corrects his comrades on their understanding of the “united front”. “The comrades begin with an inaccurate historical description of the united front as ‘tactics the Comintern and revolutionary parties adopted in general towards the mass organisations of the working class in the 1920s and 1930s’,” he says. “I will deal below with the question of whether the united front is solely a tactic or a method, or both. Nonetheless, the history is clear. The united front did not originate in the 1920s as seems to be implied [by others]. Bolsheviks “It was in fact central to the success of the Bolsheviks in 1917, and was fought for by Lenin in particular. The most well known example is the united front struggle proposed by the Bolsheviks to stop the Kornilov coup against the Kerensky government in August 1917, using ‘Kerensky as a gun-rest to shoot Kornilov.’ “It wasn’t until later, in particular at the Third and Fourth Congresses of the Communist International in the early 1920s, that the united front was theorised. The same process took place with the transitional method and the workers’ government slogan, both of which were implemented by the Bolsheviks in 1917, for example in Lenin’s ‘The Impending Catastrophe and How to Fight It’, and the ‘Down with the Ten Capitalist Ministers’ slogan demanding that the Mensheviks and SRs form a government without the participation of the capitalist parties. “The comrades are unfortunately wrong to suggest that the united front was then adopted by the Communist Parties. In fact, the tragedy of the 1920s and 30s is precisely that it was not fully adopted or properly implemented.” © 2019 irishtimes.co

———————————————————–Statement by Socialist Party of England and Wales on Split in Committee for a Workers International(CWI)

CWI Re-Founded with determination and confidence

Hannah Sell, Deputy General Secretary, Socialist Party of England and Wales 

“This opposition has taken a right-ward opportunist turn, buckled to the pressures of identity politics, turned away from conducting a systematic and consistent struggle in the trade unions and blunted the socialist programme that the CWI and its sections have fought to defend”.- (this criticism of the other side of the split is expanded further down in this article-the “opposition” includes the Irish section-PH)

 

On Sunday 21 July over 200 delegates at a special conference of the Socialist Party in England and Wales voted overwhelmingly, 84% to 16% (173 – 35 with 0 abstentions) to sponsor an international conference to reconstitute the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI – the international organisation of which the Socialist Party is part).

The international conference which followed over the next four days was attended by delegates and visitors from England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Austria, Finland, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Chile, South Africa and the United States.

Unfortunately, comrades from South Africa and Nigeria who had planned to attend could not due to visa problems.

The international conference’s decision to reconstitute the CWI followed an intense debate and political struggle in the CWI over the last seven months.

This political struggle has been fought between those represented at this meeting who defend the Trotskyist method and programme the CWI was founded on in 1974 and an opposition moving away from this position.

This opposition has taken a right-ward opportunist turn, buckled to the pressures of identity politics, turned away from conducting a systematic and consistent struggle in the trade unions and blunted the socialist programme that the CWI and its sections have fought to defend.

The international conference in London had lively discussions on the world situation and the tasks facing the working class and socialists, the revolutionary and counter revolutionary upheavals taking place in the neo-colonial world, and also a balance sheet of the recent debate in the CWI and tasks for building the re-founded CWI in the coming period.

The re-founded CWI was constituted on the basis of the political and organisational principles adopted by the first four congresses of the Comintern, the founding documents of the IV International in 1938 and the congresses of the CWI.

The determination and confidence of those present and represented at this conference was reflected in the collection which raised over £25,000.

The conference agreed that the International Secretariat will seek to convene a world congress in 2020 of CWI sections and groups that defend the programme of the CWI and also invite revolutionary socialist organisations which are committed to building revolutionary socialist parties based on the working class and which are prepared to discuss and collaborate on an honest and principled basis.

Following the decision of the Socialist Party conference, a small number of our members have announced they have left our party.

They have tried to disguise their decision by claiming they were expelled. This is not the case. The resolution that was overwhelmingly passed by the Socialist Party conference called on all members, regardless of their position in the debate, “to continue to help build the Socialist Party as part of a healthy Trotskyist international organisation in order to prepare for the mighty class battles ahead.”

The resolution agreed was “confident that the overwhelming majority of Socialist Party members will wish to participate in this historic task.”

However, it went to on to explain that, “if a small minority decides instead to build an alternative organisation” based on opportunist policies, they “will have to do so outside of the Socialist Party where they will have the opportunity to test their ideas against the reality of the class struggle.”

Even before the Socialist Party conference had taken any decision a small number of members had clearly made plans to launch a new, rightward-moving organisation, the launch rally of which was held an hour after our conference had finished.

The vast majority of members, however, have come out of the recent debate with a renewed confidence in our party.

We defend the programme and approach of the Socialist Party which historically, in an era of heightened working class struggle, enabled us to lead the struggles of Liverpool City Council and the battle against the poll tax, the latter bringing down Maggie Thatcher.

We were also central to numerous struggles against racism and the far right. At the present time our methods have allowed us to orientate effectively to those mobilised in support of Jeremy Corbyn, campaigning for the removal of the Blairites and the transformation of Labour into a workers’ party with a socialist programme.

We are pioneers of the fight against council cuts. We play a vital role in the trade union movement, including our members playing a leading role in the rank-and-file National Shop Stewards Network. At the same time we have built a significant base on the university campuses.

Most importantly, we are building a party based on a clear socialist programme, currently over 2,000 members strong, which will be able to play a vital role in the mighty struggles of the working class which are ahead.

We will publish further material on the issues in the debate, and the key documents from it, on our websites in the coming weeks.

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Statement by Other Side of Split

From Chinese Section CWI   https://chinaworker.info/en/2019/07/26/20933/?fbclid=IwAR2lFxZ5wg_syavZT5A4jN6uSmEM-uTZ_ogtvTiFOU4p1LWB5UaJ3jaI-X0

 

Huge Split in Committee For A Workers International (CWI) to Which Socialist Party (Ireland) is affiliated. The Socialist Party are the organisers of Solidarity (26-Counties) and Cross-Community Labour Alternative(6-counties)

Bureaucratic coup will not stop CWI majority from building a strong revolutionary socialist international! JULY 26, 2019  Full Statement  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1fv

A minority of the CWI has bureaucratically forced through an unfortunate and damaging split in the worlds largest and most influential revolutionary socialist organisation, the Committee for a Workers’ International

They attacked our sections in Ireland and the USA, which successfully led mass struggles of workers, women and youth, achieving victories while raising the banner of revolutionary socialism in a principled and flexible manner, for “capitulating to petit bourgeois identity politics”.

In addition, in England & Wales, over 100 members, representing a majority of activists in over a dozen key cities, have been expelled from the Socialist Party for supporting the majority of the CWI, and have been forced  to begin the rebuilding of the CWI’s forces there. An SP special congress on 21 July passed a resolution stating that supporters of the CWI would have to act outside the Socialist Party, and were told “goodbye and good ridddance” by the party leadership(Peter Taafe) from the platform.

From Chinese Section CWI   https://chinaworker.info/en/2019/07/26/20933/?fbclid=IwAR2lFxZ5wg_syavZT5A4jN6uSmEM-uTZ_ogtvTiFOU4p1LWB5UaJ3jaI-X0

Those who follow the CWI, in its publications and activities, will be aware of the important debates that have taken place in our revolutionary socialist international during the last 7 months or so. These debates have arisen from a complex world situation, with capitalism economically, socially and ecologically exposed as parasitic and its institutions largely discredited, while simultaneously most workers’ and Left organisations and their leaders internationally have not been up to the challenge. As a result, the workers’ movement in general has not as yet decisively put its imprint on events.

Bold initiatives or conservatism in thought and action

On the other hand, the conditions suffered by large numbers of workers, youth, women, migrants and other layers in society have brought many into action. In the case of mass movements against specific forms of oppression, these have often been marked by ideological confusion, and varying degrees of bourgeois and petit bourgeois influence. The majority of the CWI and its ranks believe the best way to help overcome this confusion is by participating as the most dynamic and programmatically clearest component in those movements, clearly drawing a line between our working class approach and that of our opponents.

The former day-to-day leadership of the CWI which has carried out a bureaucratic coup in the organisation, (the majority of the International Secretariat and the minority fraction it gathered around it), showed a lack of confidence about intervening in these movements. They emphasised the fear that our membership would be intoxicated by petit-bourgeois Identity politics and other “alien ideas” in these movements and preferred, in their own words, to “dig in” and await events within the official labour movement.

 

They attacked our sections in Ireland and the USA, which successfully led mass struggles of workers, women and youth, achieving victories while raising the banner of revolutionary socialism in a principled and flexible manner, for “capitulating to petit bourgeois identity politics”. The majority believes that, far from protecting working class socialist principled, such an attitude would leave our membership unprepared, and petty-bourgeois influences unchallenged in some of the most important mass mobilisations of our epoch. Moreover, these movements have often also been characterised by a strong participation by the working class, and are increasingly being expressed in working class strike action, for example with industrial action against sexism taking place around the world from the USA to South Africa.

With mass movements taking on new and innovative forms around the world, often but not always outside of the formal structures of the official labour movement, Marxists energetically intervening in these movements with a socialist and class perspective were denounced by the CWI minority faction around the IS majority as “turning their backs on the trade unions”. On the contrary, the forces of the CWI majority retain a strategic, but flexible orientation towards the trade unions, where we have won crucial victories in struggle, sometimes reflected in winning leadership positions in unions in many countries.

Democratic traditions

Having debates in a democratic manner has always been part of the CWI’s rich traditions. In the past we had important debates on Europe and the introduction of the Euro, the character of some of the populist right wing parties, the class nature of the Chinese regime and many other issues. We believe those debates and exchanges strengthened the political understanding of all participants.

Based on the traditions of the revolutionary workers’ movement and its organisations, the CWI has in its constitution and those of its member parties a number of inbuilt guarantees protecting its membership against the possible undemocratic behavior of its leadership. All leading positions are elected and subject to recall, no elected position provides any material gain, and every three years a World Congress composed of elected delegations from the national sections elect an IEC. The IEC leads the CWI in between these congresses and elects an International secretariat that takes functions as a day to day leadership. No one national section or combination of few sections on their own can be sufficiently represented to dominate a world congress. If one third of the IEC members demand the organization of an IEC, the IS has the constitutional obligation to do so. Financial auditors are elected at the World Congress are double checking the finances etc.

But however democratic the rules might be, in a Marxist organization we believe the main guarantee of healthy democracy are not rules, but the existence of a critically thinking membership of workers and youth prepared to hold leaders to account, and with a political understanding and education which allows for full meaningful participation in all key discussions.

The CWI, just like any other organization, is not immune from any phenomena present in society, including the growth of conservative strata and bureaucratism. In our 45 years of existence we have had to fight this phenomena at various levels, and mostly we were able to correct them without too much damage. However, at times it has required the intervention of a politically conscious membership against a degenerated central leadership to safeguard the CWI’s programme. This was the case when the big majority of the CWI rose up against the leadership around Ted Grant in 1992, and has unfortunately had to be the case with the leadership around Peter Taaffe this year. Bureucratic violations of our democratic statutes have never sufficed to stop the CWI’s membership from continuing to build its sections and its international.

The CWI Majority, united and intact in 35 countries around the globe, will continue to fight for a socialist world. We will provide further information and analysis of our internal debate and crisis, including through the publishing of the key internal documents of the dispute, in the near future.

A bureaucratic coup

About half way through an agreed period of democratic political discussion and debate, a minority grouping, based around the majority of the CWI’s International Secretariat and the leadership of the Socialist Party of England & Wales, have declared in an article on socialistworld.net (a valuable resource stolen from the majority of CWI members) on 25 July to have taken at a conference the  “decision to refound the Committee for a Workers’ International” and “convene a world congress in 2020 of CWI sections and groups that defend the programme of the CWI”.

What this really means is that they are founding a new organisation open only to the minority who support their leadership. It is a step taken with no reference whatsoever to any of the CWI’s existing democratic structures. In reality, it amounts to a bureaucratic move with no political or organisational legitimacy.

In the process, this grouping has also illegitimately appropriated the collective material, financial and political resources of the CWI (including its international website and most of its social media accounts), against the clear will of the majority of its sections and members. Out of 45 countries in which the CWI is organised in national organisations, this grouping holds a majority in only seven.

The bureaucratic coup which their actions represent amount to a clear break with entire national sections and members of the CWI in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel/Palestine, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Quebec, Romania, Russia, the Spanish state, Sudan, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Tunisia, and the USA from the CWI, as well as a majority of members in Germany and South Africa who oppose their plans.

 

In addition, in England & Wales, over 100 members, representing a majority of activists in over a dozen key cities, have been expelled from the Socialist Party for supporting the majority of the CWI, and have been forced  to begin the rebuilding of the CWI’s forces there. An SP special congress on 21 July passed a resolution stating that supporters of the CWI would have to act outside the Socialist Party, and were told “goodbye and good ridddance” by the party leadership from the platform.

An accelerated bureaucratic degeneration

In November 2018, the International Secretariat majority (IS – a leading body elected by the CWI’s International Executive Committee), finding itself in a minority on the body which elected it, launched a factional rampage. Beginning with a campaign of distorted and sectarian denunciations of the Socialist Party of Ireland, a political narrative was built accusing the big majority of CWI of having broken with the fundamental principles of socialism and Marxism – in particular, with an orientation towards the working class as the force destined to lead the transformation of society.

At a meeting of the IEC in November 2018 in which the IS majority lost the vote, they launched a minority faction in the CWI (called ‘In defense of a working class, Trotskyist CWI). Immediately afterwards, the IS majority began to disregard the democratic and political legitimacy of the body which elected it. The IEC had unanimously agreed to initiate a year-long political debate on the fundamental political issues which the minority faction placed on the table, during which the IEC would meet again in August 2019 and a World Congress – the highest decision making body of the composed of delegates from national sections – would be organised in January 2020.

The IS majority immediately sought to torpedo this agreement, boycotting the Congress Organising Committee which was elected to oversee the debate. They then declared that the CWI’s democratic structures to be illegitimate, due to the existence of “fundamental political differences”. This amounted to the open rejection of any accountability to those who elected them.

The democratic procedures of a working class organisation, which are especially important at times of debate and disagreement, were completely jettisoned. The IS majority explicitly stated that they could not participate in any meeting where they might face de-selection (which they termed “regime change”) in a democratic vote. The overwhelming majority of the CWI, who defended the fundamental principle of working class democracy, were dismissed as “constitutional fetishists”.

The IS majority, in technical possession of hundreds of thousands of dollars of CWI members’ money, also obstructed the access of an elected auditor of the CWI’s accounts to the books of the organisation, in obvious preparation to run away with this money, which they now appear to have done.

The Orwellian decision taken to “refound” an organisation, against the will of its only existing democratic structures, amounts to a bureaucratic coup. The seizure of the collective assets of an organisation on this basis is especially heinous. While any group of members has the right to separate from the CWI and set up a separate entity, any organisation born on the basis of such methods will be marked by opprobium in the workers’ movement.

This bureaucratic approach represents a complete break from the democratic culture of discussion and debate which has hitherto existed in the CWI, which has seen countless internal debates and discussions conducted in a democratic manner, with a leadership confident to argue its ideas without resorting to bureaucratic measures.

The CWI continues

This bureaucratic sectarian split from the CWI, which has succeeded in disorienting and derailing many honest working class fighters, is a serious setback for the CWI. But as the saying goes: don’t mourn, organise!

As well as the criminal actions of an unaccountable degenerated bureaucratic leadership, this crisis for our organisation has shown its opposite: that the CWI is a healthy and living organisation in which a majority has been able to rise up against bureaucratic degeneration and maintain the unity of the vast majority of our international, despite having to stand up to some of its most authoritative founding leaders in the process.

The CWI majority is united, intact and retains significant fighting capacity in over 30 countries around the globe! We are determined to discuss and debate to draw all the lessons from the crisis we have been through, for how to build a youthful, democratic and powerful world party dedicated to the fight for a socialist revolution. At this very moment, we are intervening in the explosive events of Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, Sudan and elsewhere.

We will soon launch an international website and other publications. 

We call on all CWI members, and workers and youth of all countries to discuss with and join us!

Provisional committee of the CWI IEC Majority:

Stephen Boyd  (Ireland)
Eric Byl
Danny Byrne
Tom Crean
Andre Ferrari
Cedric Gerome
Sonja Grusch
Vincent Kolo
Claire Laker-Mansfield
Andros Payiatsos
Per-Åke Westerlund

—————————————————————–Fourth Article in Irish Times on “Clash” in Socialist Party(I) and CWI

CWI Members Bulletin ,Paste into URL

https://docs.google.com/file/d/1awGh8HkPPhCnIxWGqOHNB_7_sXofHzIh/preview

Socialists Clash over How To Compete With Sinn Féin

Fiach Kelly, Irish Times March 7,2019  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1fv

Murphy describes rivals as bourgeois sectarian nationalists with “an armed wing”

TD Says Key Strategy was applied during Dublin South West  Byelection

Dublin South West TD, Paul Murphy:

“Of fundamental importance to any political description of Sinn Féin is that they are a sectarian party, a party which currently plays a sectarian role in the North-whose armed wing in the past waged an individual terrorist armed struggle”

The challenge of how to compete with Sinn Féin for left wing votes is at the centre of differences in political strategy between leading members of the Socialist Party. Dublin South West TD Paul Murphy advocates challenging Sinn Féin with a so-called “united front” approach. Mr Murphy explains this approach in detail in a paper called “The United Front method and putting forward a Socialist Programme today”, published on November 20th. In explaining the united front approach, Mr Murphy cites a definition from the “Executive Committee of the Communist International Theses on the United Front”. By this definition, the tactic is “nothing other than the proposal made by the Communists to all workers, whether they are members of other parties or groups or of none, to fight alongside them, to defend the elementary and vital interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie. “Every action for even the smallest demand is a source of revolutionary education, because the experience of combat will convince the working people of the necessity of the revolution, and will demonstrate the meaning of Communism to them.” He says this can be “applied to today’s situation to win over workers looking towards other organisations”. Mr Murphy also cites Trotsky in expanding his argument, adding: “Trotsky made it clear that even in a specific united front, there was a need for clear differentiation from other forces.” ‘No common platform’ He then quotes Trotsky thus: “No common platform with the Social Democracy, or with the leaders of the German trade unions, no common publications, banners, placards! March separately, but strike together! Agree only how to strike, whom to strike and when to strike! Such an agreement can be concluded even with the devil himself, with his grandmother, and even with Noske and Grezesinsky. On one condition, not to bind one’s hands.” In effect, Mr Murphy says this would allow Socialists join in common action with others “in order to achieve real gains for the working class” while maintaining their own independence as the “revolutionary” party. “The united front method also means revolutionaries fight in that movement to expose the limitations of the other organisations and ideas, to prove the superiority of revolutionary ideas and seek to win a majority to a revolutionary programme and the leadership of the revolutionary party.” An example of how this was applied, according to Mr Murphy, came during the Dublin South West byelection in 2014. It saw Mr Murphy beat Sinn Féin, who had been expected to take the Dáil seat, on the back of an anti-water charges ticket. His victory is widely credited with pushing Sinn Féin and then Fianna Fáil towards a position in favour of abolishing water charges. Sinn Féin did not initially favour of non-payment of the charges, as the Socialists had. “Here, a very critical and ‘hard’ approach was taken to Sinn Féin, on the concrete issue of water charges to illustrate in practice the weaknesses of their programme and approach, and win over their supporters,” Mr Murphy says. “A consistent element of our campaign was appealing to Sinn Féin supporters to vote for us to apply pressure on Sinn Féin ’to change their position’ and ‘join with us in campaigning to build a mass movement of non-payment’. Weak position “In the election leaflet the comrades themselves quote, it clearly says: ‘The election of Paul Murphy would make it clear to Sinn Féin that a weak position on Water Charges in the future will not be tolerated’. “This was a theme running through much of our election posters, leaflets and other material. “Failing to understand the importance of applying the united front method has resulted in mistakes in the past in relation to Sinn Féin, and can result in mistakes in the future.” The byelection is also used in a paper from others in the movement, replying to similar arguments that had been previously made by Mr Murphy. This paper, is called: “A brief contribution on some political issues mentioned by PM” and is written 3/7/2019 irishtimes.com – Paul Murphy uses Trotsky to explain how Socialists can compete with ‘sectarian’ SF – Wed Mar 06 12:42:27 GMT 2019 https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/paul-murphy-uses-trotsky-to-explain-how-socialists-can-compete-with-sectarian-sf-1.3816304?mode=pri… 2/2 by Laura F, Stephen B, Kevin M, Joe H, and dated October 10th last. The authors are understood to be Laura Fitzgerald, Stephen Boyd, Kevin McLoughlin and Joe Higgins. “We should be hesitant about using labels if they don’t accurately convey what we mean,” they say. “We don’t have the time to go into more generally, but will use the example DSW By-Election just given to try to illustrate the difficulty with the term. “There was no question of a unified approach with Sinn Féin on the water charges. There was obviously an attempt by us to win over people who voted for them by using the water charges and austerity issues, but there is a major difference in the content and tone of our campaign.” Differences also emerge between Mr Murphy and his colleagues on how to describe Sinn Féin. Sectarian Mr Murphy says: “The comrades…respond to my description of Sinn Féin as a nationalist, pro-capitalist party saying the following: ‘Of course they are “nationalist, pro-capitalist party’, the reality is that Sinn Féin are a bourgeois nationalist party – but of fundamental importance to any political description of Sinn Féin is that they are a sectarian party. A party which currently plays a sectarian role in the North – whose armed wing in the past waged an individual terrorist armed struggle, that was overtly sectarian and at times directly targeted working class Protestants.” Mr Murphy then adds further description is needed on the term “bourgeois nationalist party” the Socialist have used for Sinn Féin. “It seems to me that further clarification may be needed. If the comrades mean it is a capitalist nationalist party, i.e. one with a pro-capitalist nationalist programme, as demonstrated by their implementation of austerity and sectarian policies in Northern Ireland, then I completely agree. “However, if the term ‘bourgeois nationalist party’ is used to indicate a party which represents the nationalist aspirations of the bourgeoisie, then it is not a precise description of Sinn Féin. While in the North, Sinn Féin has support amongst a section of the Catholic capitalist class, in the South, no significant section of the capitalist class supports Sinn Féin.” Mr Murphy also corrects his comrades on their understanding of the “united front”. “The comrades begin with an inaccurate historical description of the united front as ‘tactics the Comintern and revolutionary parties adopted in general towards the mass organisations of the working class in the 1920s and 1930s’,” he says. “I will deal below with the question of whether the united front is solely a tactic or a method, or both. Nonetheless, the history is clear. The united front did not originate in the 1920s as seems to be implied [by others]. Bolsheviks “It was in fact central to the success of the Bolsheviks in 1917, and was fought for by Lenin in particular. The most well known example is the united front struggle proposed by the Bolsheviks to stop the Kornilov coup against the Kerensky government in August 1917, using ‘Kerensky as a gun-rest to shoot Kornilov.’ “It wasn’t until later, in particular at the Third and Fourth Congresses of the Communist International in the early 1920s, that the united front was theorised. The same process took place with the transitional method and the workers’ government slogan, both of which were implemented by the Bolsheviks in 1917, for example in Lenin’s ‘The Impending Catastrophe and How to Fight It’, and the ‘Down with the Ten Capitalist Ministers’ slogan demanding that the Mensheviks and SRs form a government without the participation of the capitalist parties. “The comrades are unfortunately wrong to suggest that the united front was then adopted by the Communist Parties. In fact, the tragedy of the 1920s and 30s is precisely that it was not fully adopted or properly implemented.” © 2019 irishtimes.co

 

 

 

———————————————————————————

Irish Sunday Business Post

Peter Taaffe says focus of Socialist Party has switched to women’s and gay rights as unions are abandoned By  Michael Brennan    Sunday Business Post  Mar 3, 2019

A prominent English socialist figure has accused the Irish Socialist Party of giving up on the working class to focus on the rights of women and LGBTQ people. https://wp.me/pKzXa-1fv

The Irish Socialist Party includes three TDs – Paul Murphy, Mick Barry and Ruth Coppinger – who are also members of the Solidarity-People Before Profit party.

It has come under fire from Peter Taaffe, the general secretary of the Socialist Party of England and Wales, who was expelled from membership of the British Labour Party in 1983.

Taaffe said the ‘Irish comrades’ did not believe in the possibility of mobilising independent working class support.

He said they had admitted that “the new ‘vanguard’ for change is not the working class” and were instead concentrating on “the forces around the movement for women’s and LGBTQ+ rights”.

This is a strong criticism because it has been an article of faith for socialists like Taaffe that the working class is the main revolutionary force that will replace capitalism with socialism.

There is recent evidence of the strong focus of Coppinger, Murphy and Barry on rights for women and LGBTQ people.

All three were active in last year’s campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment. Coppinger has attracted international attention for holding up a thong in the Dáil to highlight how a jury was told about an alleged rape victim’s underwear during a court case.

Murphy has brought in a sex education bill which he has said would help young LGBTQ students who felt excluded and isolated in school.

Taaffe complained that the Socialist Party and its sister organisation Rosa – set up by women in the party – did not have a clear orientation towards working class organisations during the abortion rights campaign.

“We all agree that they carried out tremendous work in their participation in this campaign, but it was not through clear working class methods and orientation,” he said.

There have been rumblings within the Irish Socialist Party that such campaigns rely too much on middle class students who are not interested in wider socialist campaigns.

Taaffe’s criticisms were published online, in a rare example of dissent between the political parties which follow the philosophy of Soviet revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky.

They meet through an umbrella organisation called the Committee for a Workers’ International.

Taaffe said the Irish Socialist Party had effectively abandoned working within the Irish trade union movement for a period.

“But all the great leaders of the working class – Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky – emphasised the absolute necessity even in difficult periods for organised systematic work in and around the trade unions,” he wrote.

TD Paul Murphy could not be contacted for comment.

————————————————————————————Irish Times

Socialist Party documents illustrate criticism from international comrades

Papers show serious differences between leading party figures on domestic strategy

From left to right: Paul Murphy, Ruth Coppinger TD, Cllr Michael Murphy and Mick Barry TD pictured in 2017. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The inner workings of the Socialist Party are not usually on display for all to see.

Its TDs – Paul MurphyRuth Coppinger and Mick Barry – are the most cogent left wing voices in the Dáil.

Also operating under the Solidarity (formerly Anti-Austerity Alliance) banner, they have led debates on issues such as abortion and water charges.

In our view a tendency has also developed of some leading Irish comrades seeing all struggles through the prism of the women’s movement, rather than seeing how it interconnects with other struggles

Documents recently circulated within the party, however, illustrate how their movement has been criticised by international comrades for an excessive focus on abortion and women’s rights issues.

A collection of documents, including internal policy papers and international policy papers totalling 66 pages, have been seen by The Irish Times, and also reveal serious differences between leading figures on domestic political strategy.

Mr Murphy, Ms Coppinger and Mr Barry did not return repeated requests for comment yesterday.

A number of party councillors also declined to comment, with one saying he had been asked not to speak to The Irish Times. Former party TD Joe Higgins, also named in the documents, did not return calls.

Former Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins was named in the documents but did not return requests for comment made by The Irish Times. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Parent organisation differences

The documents show how differences emerged with the International Section (IS) of the Committee for a Workers International (CWI), the parent organisation of the Socialist Party.

Concerns were raised with Irish members last autumn on “struggles relating to women’s oppression”.

The differences, in fact, pre-date last year’s referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

British activists felt the AAA was not forceful enough in arguing during the 2016 general election for “public ownership of the main sectors of the economy”.

This generation of petit-bourgeois feminists put very little focus on winning material gains for women concentrating overwhelmingly on individuals’ experience of sexism

The sharpest exchanges, however, came over the importance of the abortion referendum.

“It is our duty, as the elected leadership of the CWI, to raise our concerns in order to strengthen the work of the whole international,” the International Section of the CWI said in a paper called Women’s Oppression and Identity Politics – Our Approach in Ireland and Internationally.

“We think the comrades could be in danger of overstating the importance of the victory on abortion rights. In our view a tendency has also developed of some leading Irish comrades seeing all struggles through the prism of the women’s movement, rather than seeing how it interconnects with other struggles.”

It also questioned the future of the pro-choice group linked to the Socialist Party, Reproductive rights against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity (Rosa).

For the IS, the campaign against water charges is held up as a better example of “how united working-class struggle can win, and crucially our role in leading it”.

Role in Ireland

However, the role taken by those in Ireland in leading campaigns to increase awareness around abortion pills in the years before the referendum is praised.

“Clearly, the militant and campaigning stance taken by the comrades – for which they were attacked by a layer of bourgeois and petit-bourgeois feminists – was an important positive factor.”

There is some criticism of Ms Coppinger for comments made at an “Englandand Wales Socialism 2014 event”. Ms Coppinger is noted as saying: “Most young women wouldn’t have seen unions doing much for women. I thought a lot of the contributions were from middle-age women and were economic.”

The IS responded by saying the event in question “had a particular trade union focus that had not been the case in many other years”.

“However, in our view Ruth’s comments also reveal a misunderstanding about the necessity of us explaining how economic and social change can be won, and the role of the organised working class in achieving that, as well as an underestimation of the importance of economic issues for working-class women, including young women.

“This generation of petit-bourgeois feminists put very little focus on winning material gains for women concentrating overwhelmingly on individuals’ experience of sexism. In that sense their ideas are a retreat from at least some of the feminist struggles of the 1970s.”

The Irish National Executive Committee (NEC) sent its own document in response. “From the NEC in Ireland, with all NEC comrades, bar Paul M voting for the document,” it notes, and argues: “The IS document could give the impression that the Irish section is soft on, and friendly with the forces of petitbourgeois feminism.

“The IS document says we are in danger of overstating the abortion rights victory. Unfortunately, the IS are understating it.”

The response to the Belfast rape trial last year of rugby players Paddy Jacksonand Stuart Olding (who were both acquitted of rape charges) is also a flashpoint between the IS and Ireland.

The Irish NEC says: “In the context of the Belfast rape trial and presumably in reaction to the ‘I believe her’ slogan that emerged from below, the IS document cautions, ‘we have to be careful not to go along with the conclusion of many petit-bourgeois feminists that every accusation of sexual assault made by a woman against a man has to be accepted. The IS are intimating that we just follow petit-bourgeois feminists. This is inaccurate to say the least. The facts are that when we called the demonstration North and South regarding this trial, we purposely called it under the general title/slogan of ‘Stand with Her & All Survivors’.

 

Socialist Party to present truth in ‘most digestible’ way to working class

In internal documents Paul Murphy advocates ‘united front’ when dealing with Sinn Féin

 

Paul Murphy, left, said: “The guiding line for us all in this debate should be what Lenin, approvingly quoting Trotsky, argued, that ‘ideological struggle within the party does not mean mutual ostracism but mutual influence’.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

The Socialist Party will present the truth “in the way which is most digestible to the working class at a particular time”, TD Paul Murphy has said.

In internal documents discussing Brexit and wider strategy, he asks: “Are we guilty of not ‘telling the truth’ to the working class when we don’t bring a demand to leave the EU?

“We always tell the truth to the working class. But we present the truth in the way which is most digestible to the working class at a particular time.”

In exchanges with members including Joe Higgins, he advocates a “united front” method of dealing with groups such as Sinn Féin.

Lenin

“The guiding line for us all in this debate should be what Lenin, approvingly quoting Trotsky, argued, that ‘ideological struggle within the party does not mean mutual ostracism but mutual influence’.”

He also corrects his comrades’ “inaccurate historical description of the united front as ‘tactics the Comintern and revolutionary parties adopted . . . in the 1920s and 1930s’.”

“It was in fact central to the success of the Bolsheviks in 1917, and was fought for by Lenin in particular,” he says, citing the “struggle proposed by the Bolsheviks to stop the Kornilov coup against the Kerensky government in August 1917, using ‘Kerensky as a gun-rest to shoot Kornilov’”.

Mr Murphy did not return requests for comment.

 

Socialists clash over tactics for competing with Sinn Féin

Paul Murphy describes rivals as bourgeois, sectarian nationalists with an ‘armed wing’

Paul Murphy TD outside Leinster House, Dublin Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The challenge of how to compete with Sinn Féin for left wing votes is at the centre of differences in political strategy between leading members of the Socialist Party.

Dublin South West TD Paul Murphy advocates challenging Sinn Féin with a so-called “united front” approach. Mr Murphy explains this approach in detail in a paper called “The United Front method and putting forward a Socialist Programme today”, published on November 20th.

In explaining the united front approach, Mr Murphy cites a definition from the “Executive Committee of the Communist International Theses on the United Front”.

By this definition, the tactic is “nothing other than the proposal made by the Communists to all workers, whether they are members of other parties or groups or of none, to fight alongside them, to defend the elementary and vital interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie.

“Every action for even the smallest demand is a source of revolutionary education, because the experience of combat will convince the working people of the necessity of the revolution, and will demonstrate the meaning of Communism to them.”

He says this can be “applied to today’s situation to win over workers looking towards other organisations”.

Mr Murphy also cites Trotsky in expanding his argument, adding: “Trotsky made it clear that even in a specific united front, there was a need for clear differentiation from other forces.”

‘No common platform’

He then quotes Trotsky thus: “No common platform with the Social Democracy, or with the leaders of the German trade unions, no common publications, banners, placards! March separately, but strike together! Agree only how to strike, whom to strike and when to strike! Such an agreement can be concluded even with the devil himself, with his grandmother, and even with Noske and Grezesinsky. On one condition, not to bind one’s hands.”

In effect, Mr Murphy says this would allow Socialists join in common action with others “in order to achieve real gains for the working class” while maintaining their own independence as the “revolutionary” party.

“The united front method also means revolutionaries fight in that movement to expose the limitations of the other organisations and ideas, to prove the superiority of revolutionary ideas and seek to win a majority to a revolutionary programme and the leadership of the revolutionary party.”

An example of how this was applied, according to Mr Murphy, came during the Dublin South West byelection in 2014. It saw Mr Murphy beat Sinn Féin, who had been expected to take the Dáil seat, on the back of an anti-water charges ticket. His victory is widely credited with pushing Sinn Féin and then Fianna Fáil towards a position in favour of abolishing water charges.

Sinn Féin did not initially favour of non-payment of the charges, as the Socialists had.

“Here, a very critical and ‘hard’ approach was taken to Sinn Féin, on the concrete issue of water charges to illustrate in practice the weaknesses of their programme and approach, and win over their supporters,” Mr Murphy says.

“A consistent element of our campaign was appealing to Sinn Féin supporters to vote for us to apply pressure on Sinn Féin ’to change their position’ and ‘join with us in campaigning to build a mass movement of non-payment’.

Weak position

“In the election leaflet the comrades themselves quote, it clearly says: ‘The election of Paul Murphy would make it clear to Sinn Féin that a weak position on Water Charges in the future will not be tolerated’.

“This was a theme running through much of our election posters, leaflets and other material.

“Failing to understand the importance of applying the united front method has resulted in mistakes in the past in relation to Sinn Féin, and can result in mistakes in the future.”

The byelection is also used in a paper from others in the movement, replying to similar arguments that had been previously made by Mr Murphy. This paper, is called: “A brief contribution on some political issues mentioned by PM” and is written by Laura F, Stephen B, Kevin M, Joe H, and dated October 10th last.

The authors are understood to be Laura FitzgeraldStephen BoydKevin McLoughlin and Joe Higgins.

“We should be hesitant about using labels if they don’t accurately convey what we mean,” they say. “We don’t have the time to go into more generally, but will use the example DSW By-Election just given to try to illustrate the difficulty with the term.

“There was no question of a unified approach with Sinn Féin on the water charges. There was obviously an attempt by us to win over people who voted for them by using the water charges and austerity issues, but there is a major difference in the content and tone of our campaign.”

Differences also emerge between Mr Murphy and his colleagues on how to describe Sinn Féin.

Sectarian

Mr Murphy says: “The comrades…respond to my description of Sinn Féin as a nationalist, pro-capitalist party saying the following: ‘Of course they are “nationalist, pro-capitalist party’, the reality is that Sinn Féin are a bourgeois nationalist party – but of fundamental importance to any political description of Sinn Féin is that they are a sectarian party. A party which currently plays a sectarian role in the North – whose armed wing in the past waged an individual terrorist armed struggle, that was overtly sectarian and at times directly targeted working class Protestants.”

Mr Murphy then adds further description is needed on the term “bourgeois nationalist party” the Socialist have used for Sinn Féin.

“It seems to me that further clarification may be needed. If the comrades mean it is a capitalist nationalist party, i.e. one with a pro-capitalist nationalist programme, as demonstrated by their implementation of austerity and sectarian policies in Northern Ireland, then I completely agree.

“However, if the term ‘bourgeois nationalist party’ is used to indicate a party which represents the nationalist aspirations of the bourgeoisie, then it is not a precise description of Sinn Féin. While in the North, Sinn Féin has support amongst a section of the Catholic capitalist class, in the South, no significant section of the capitalist class supports Sinn Féin.”

Mr Murphy also corrects his comrades on their understanding of the “united front”.

“The comrades begin with an inaccurate historical description of the united front as ‘tactics the Comintern and revolutionary parties adopted in general towards the mass organisations of the working class in the 1920s and 1930s’,” he says.

“I will deal below with the question of whether the united front is solely a tactic or a method, or both. Nonetheless, the history is clear. The united front did not originate in the 1920s as seems to be implied [by others].

Bolsheviks

“It was in fact central to the success of the Bolsheviks in 1917, and was fought for by Lenin in particular. The most well known example is the united front struggle proposed by the Bolsheviks to stop the Kornilov coup against the Kerensky government in August 1917, using ‘Kerensky as a gun-rest to shoot Kornilov.’

“It wasn’t until later, in particular at the Third and Fourth Congresses of the Communist International in the early 1920s, that the united front was theorised. The same process took place with the transitional method and the workers’ government slogan, both of which were implemented by the Bolsheviks in 1917, for example in Lenin’s ‘The Impending Catastrophe and How to Fight It’, and the ‘Down with the Ten Capitalist Ministers’ slogan demanding that the Mensheviks and SRs form a government without the participation of the capitalist parties.

“The comrades are unfortunately wrong to suggest that the united front was then adopted by the Communist Parties. In fact, the tragedy of the 1920s and 30s is precisely that it was not fully adopted or properly implemented.”

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