INEQUALITY OF WEALTH IS GROWING IN Ireland and Worldwide

Worldwide the poor (that’s 90% of us) are getting poorer and the super-rich (0.1%) who rule the world are getting very much richer

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Global wealth: 1% own 48%; 10% own 87% and bottom 50% own less than 1%

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

90% are now not earning enough to save anything at all, especially to buy property and so build up wealth.  The poor (that’s 90% of us) are getting poorer and the super-rich (0.1%) who rule the world are getting very much richer.

 Michael Roberts   Marxist Economist

This time last year, I outlined the results of the Global Wealth report published by Credit Suisse Bank (see my post, https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/global-wealth-inequality-10-own-86-1-own-41-half-own-just-1/).  Compiled by Tony Shorrocks and Jim Davies, formerly at the UN, the report last year showed that the top 1% owned 41% of all the personal wealth in the world; the top 10% owned 86% and the bottom 50% of owned less than 1% of all the wealth.  This staggering level of inequality certainly attracted interest and my post on this was the most popularly viewed one on my blog ever.

Now Credit Suisse have published its 2014 report (cs_global_wealth_report_2014_vF) compiled by the same academics.  According to the latest calculations, global wealth inequality has got even worse.  Taken together, the bottom half of the global population still own less than 1% of total wealth.  And the richest 10% still own more or less the same, now 87%.  But the top 1% now own 48% of all global personal wealth!  If you like a soundbite: the top 1% of adults in the world own nearly half of all personal wealth.  There seems to be no stopping the growing inequality of wealth in the world.

The latest analysis comprises the wealth holdings of 4.7 billion adults across more than 200 countries – from billionaires in the top echelon to the middle and bottom sections of the wealth pyramid, which other studies often overlook.  It really is the most comprehensive and revealing account of global personal wealth.

The funny thing is that it does not take all that much wealth to get into the top 1% or top 10%,  Once debts have been subtracted, a person needs only $3,650 to be among the wealthiest half of the world’s citizens. However, about $77,000 is required to be a member of the top 10% of global wealth holders and $798,000 to belong to the top 1%.  So if you own a home in London (average value now $750,000) on your own and without a mortgage, you are part of the top 1% and many people can claim to have $77,000 worth of property after the mortgage in the US and Europe.  Do you feel rich if you do?  This just shows how poor the vast majority of people in the world are: with no property, no cash and certainly no stocks and bonds!

Global household wealth has now reached $263 trillion, or about four times the annual product of the world’s working population.  The average wealth per adult is now $56,000, a jump of $3,450, or the biggest annual increase since the global financial crisis.  Global wealth now stands 20% above its pre-crisis peak and 39% above its 2008 low.  On a regional basis, North America and Europe led the gains with increases of about 11%. In contrast, aggregate wealth in Latin America was largely unchanged, whereas Asia-Pacific (including China and India) recorded a small rise of around 3%. Excluding Japan, the region recorded a gain of about 4%, with Chinese wealth rising by 3.5% and Indian wealth falling  1%.

The number of dollar millionaires has increased significantly since 2000, rising by 164% over the period, to 34.8 million. The US has 41% of all global millionaires.  According to the report, the number of global millionaires could exceed 53 million in 2019, a rise of more than 18 million. China could see its number nearly doubling by 2019, to 2.3 million adults. Brazil and Mexico will underpin the number of millionaires in Latin America, which could reach 921,000 in five years.

What is also valuable in this year’s report is a measure of median wealth (the 50% point in wealth distribution) as well as mean average wealth.  Global median wealth has been falling every year since 2010, while mean wealth has been rising. The poor are getting poorer and rich are getting richer.  And the top 1% are getting further away from the top 10%.

The report also shows that wealth inequality is much higher than income inequality and this is a worldwide phenomenon. This is important because there is always much talk about income inequality and this being due to people having better education and skills etc.  But it is wealth that really matters and that is down more to inheritance and luck rather than skill, something the report discusses.

The report finds that inequality in both wealth and income trended downward globally from the late 1920s to the 1970s and then started rising.   This U-shape in the 20th century confirms the findings of Thomas Piketty in his now famous book on inequality, Capital in the 21st century (see my post
https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/thomas-piketty-and-the-search-for-r/).

That brings me to a brand new study by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, close colleagues of Piketty, on the wealth inequality in the US since 1913 (SaezZucman2014Slides).  The study combines income tax returns with Flow of Funds data to estimate the distribution of household wealth.  Again they confirm the Credit Suisse study and Pilketty’s work (which uses the same data) that wealth concentration has followed a U-shaped evolution over the last 100 years: it was high in the beginning of the 20th century, fell from 1929 to 1978 and has continuously increased since then.

Saez and Zucman make the point that the rise of wealth inequality is almost entirely due to the rise of the top 0.1% wealth (the uber-rich) share, from 7% in 1979 to 22% in 2012, a level almost as high as in 1929. The bottom 90% wealth share increased up to the mid-1980s and then steadily declined (see graph below).

 

And the main reason that happened is that the 90% are now not earning enough to save anything at all, especially to buy property and so build up wealth.  The poor (that’s 90% of us) are getting poorer and the super-rich (0.1%) who rule the world are getting very much richer.

  1. I’ll be meeting Tony Shorrocks, one of the authors of the Credit Suisse report, in a week or so; if you have any questions for him, let me know.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Restore Pay, Allowances,Conditions and Pensions of the Defence Forces

Shocking Endangerment of Irish People By Government. Varadkar is Minister for Defence. Pay, Pensions, Allowances, Conditions of Service Must Fully Be Restored IMMEDIATELY

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As Members of Defence Forces leave in droves due to appalling pay and conditions and existing vessels are tied due to lack of staff:

Confirmed by Taoiseach Who is Also Minister for Defence in Dáil: Construction of Multi-Role Vessel has been put Out to Tender  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1kf

 “The 200 million Euro MRV ship could easily accommodate a whole infantry company and all its equipment, who could be launched onshore by landing craft. The ship would also have the capability to launch helicopters from its flight deck”.-Irish Examiner  October, 2017

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Tax Credit for 80 Days Per year at Sea is A new Strategy to hold Down Pay and Conditions of Defence Forces and Public Service Generally https://wp.me/pKzXa-1kf

The use by government of a Tax credit rather than a pay increase or a pensionable allowance to increase remuneration has serious consequences for all defence forces staff and, indeed, public service workers generally.

Clearly it is part of a new government strategy  to prevent staff shortages being used by employees to drive up pay or even to  force full immediate or more rapid restoration of cuts in pay and pensions

Disadvantages for Staff

  1. It is not a pensionable increase in pay or allowances
  2. IT IS TEMPORARY and specific task related remuneration. It is very narrow in application-only for those who spend a minimum of 80 days at sea in the year concerned. If in a subsequent year a sailor spent 79 days at sea it would disappear!
  3. It is easier for government to prevent it being successfully claimed by other defence force personnel and others—it is a strategic device to keep down public service pay generally by plugging gaps in staffing  in an ad hoc and retractable way which is completely at the discretion of government
  4. Even if Labour Relations Committee recommended its application to others, it would be easyier for Govt to reject the recommendation(Is it within terms of reference of LRC)
  5. Government introduced it unilaterally  and could withdraw it unilaterally
  6. Government will use this “concession” to help it resist claims for increases in pay pensions and allowances

 —————————————————————RTE: Scaling back of air ambulance will not put lives at risk, Taoiseach says

“There were no air ambulances at All 6 years ago”-Varadkar

Irish Times:Shortage of pilots forces Air Corps to cut back on emergency service it provides to Health Services Executive  Conor Lally, Nov 16  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1kf

The Representative Association of Commissioned Officers (Raco) and PDForra, the organisation representing rank-and-file Defence Forces members, have said remuneration and conditions must be improved.

Senior military personnel who would normally manage the EAS, which operates out of Custume Barracks, Athlone, Co Westmeath, had been stepping in to fly missions to ensure the service was maintained.

However, informed sources said the shortage of pilots had now reached a critical level and senior Defence Forces management had been left with no option but to effectively close the service one day per week

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     Leaders Question By Seamus Healy TD Calling for Full and Immediate Restoration of Defence Forces Pay and Conditions and Reply by Minister Richard Bruton TD on behalf of Government

Deputy Seamus Healy

The public is rightly and intensely proud of our Defence Forces. Irish soldiers have given their lives in the service of peace around the world, protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable citizens. Thousands of their families at home have endured the absence of a father or a mother during the long period of overseas service. Our Air Corps fly air ambulances and save hundreds of lives annually. The Naval Service patrols the equivalent of 220 million acres of sea, over 12 times the landmass of Ireland and 15% of total European fisheries. The navy has intercepted some of the largest drugs shipments in EU waters and is a vital component in Ireland’s war on organised crime and drug gangs.

Our Defence Forces, however, are in deep crisis. In particular, there is a recruitment and retention crisis. This week the Chief of Staff, not known for his outspokenness, sent a coded message to the Government when he said, “Some great people are making the choice to leave the organisation and the level and trend in the churn is a matter of concern for me”. The Representative Association of Commissioned Officers, RACO, president made the point more clearly when he said ships are unable to go sea, aircraft are not flying and units are operating below strength across the board.

The designated strength of the Defence Forces is 9,500 personnel. Its current strength is below that number by as much as 1,000. Already this year, there have been 558 discharges. The turnover rate referred to by the Chief of Staff is at 10.3%, which is devastating for our Defence Forces. That rate of turnover means that the Defence Forces will never return to full strength and will fall to 7,500 by 2030. The situation is so bad that even recruits in training are paying to get out of the services.

The Government is presiding over a situation where our Defence Forces personnel are the lowest-paid workers in the public service with some earning less than the minimum wage and up to 85% earning less than the average industrial wage.

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

In view of the understrength numbers, the significant turnover rate, the large number of personnel, including new recruits, leaving the service, and the number of naval protection vessels out of commission due to the lack of personnel and the underspend in the Department of Defence, will the Government improve the pay conditions and allowances of the Defence Forces, including the immediate and full restoration of all cuts in pay allowances and services? Will the Government increase immediately the basic minimum hourly rate of pay to at least the living wage ? Will the Government withdraw the tender for the €200 million multi-role warship to use that money to improve the pay, conditions and allowances of our personnel?

 

Deputy Richard Bruton

I join with Deputy Healy in recognising the debt that we owe to all those who work in the Defence Forces. Their work, particularly abroad, has made us all proud and contributed to Ireland’s international reputation. This must be acknowledged.

The Government has recognised that there are particular problems in the Defence Forces. This is why there was a comprehensive examination undertaken by the Public Service Pay Commission of the pay conditions in the Defence Forces. That work has been done. The commission’s report has been accepted by the Government and by RACO. That provides for a whole series of improvements in pay conditions in the Defence Forces. It has been accompanied by a detailed implementation plan, setting out how that will be done.

The Deputy will be aware of some of the changes such as the 10% increase in the military service allowance, immediate restoration of allowances to the pre-Haddington Road agreement level, the reinstatement of several allowances specific to the Defence Forces such as the security duty allowance, the patrol duty allowance, the Army Ranger Wing allowance, as well as payments to bomb disposal teams. There has also been a return to premium rates for weekend duties and the re-establishment of the service commitment scheme for Air Corps pilots. Another significant development that recognises the important role of the Defence Forces is the recognition that they need to be brought within the wider industrial relations framework. The Government welcomes the decision by the executive of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to accept in principle the application by the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association, PDFORRA, for associate membership. That is an important recognition of the role of the Defence Forces and will provide an outlet to ensure the concerns raised are adequately responded to. The Minister of State is working to facilitate that.

The Deputy raised the issue of particular moneys allocated for ships or underspend being allocated to pay. Unfortunately, that is not possible. We have a unified public pay policy that is negotiated and settled. It is not at the discretion of an individual Minister to take moneys which have been voted for one purpose and then to allocate them to pay increases. There is good reason for that. There must be a consistent public pay policy. At the same time, it must be able to deal with particular challenges. The Public Service Pay Commission report did address particular issues in the Defence Forces within a coherent pay policy. That mechanism has been used and will bring improvements.

 

Deputy Seamus Healy

 

Unfortunately, the Minister’s reply is a further exercise in the Government burrowing its head in the sand instead of dealing with this issue. That is certainly not the way forward. Tinkering at the edges will not solve this problem. The problem is so serious that Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D. Higgins, has felt the need to intervene publicly on this issue.

An Ceann Comhairle

It is not in order to bring the statements of the President into debate in the House. It is a long-standing tradition that we do not.

Deputy Mick Barry

The President brought them into the debate.

 

Deputy Seamus Healy

It is important to realise the serious nature of the crisis in our Defence Forces and the necessity for the Government to deal immediately with this issue. It is open to the Government to use an exceptional measure outside of any public service pay agreement to improve pay, conditions and allowances for serving members of the Defence Forces. On the basis of the Government’s lack of action on this issue in the past and the Minister’s response, I am strongly of the view that Defence Forces personnel should pursue full trade union status and recognition to ensure their pay, conditions of service and allowances are improved.

 

Deputy Richard Bruton

The Government is acutely aware of the needs in the Defence Forces. That is why the general pay round made provision for a 7% increase with particular emphasis on increases for the lower-paid. Above and beyond that, the Public Service Pay Commission examination was established, recognising the particular difficulties in the Defence Forces.

While I will not repeat them, significant changes have been introduced and they have been accepted by RACO. That provides the basis for moving forward in this area. As there is a detailed implementation plan, people know where they stand in terms of the delivery in this area.

The Deputy must be aware that the Minister for Finance and for Public Expenditure and Reform, when he comes here to the House in a couple of weeks’ time, must balance all of the different issues such as the demands for additional pay, the demands for additional services, the pressure on infrastructure and the uncertainties we face internationally. The challenge the Minister faces is t

————————————————————President and Supreme Commander Criticised on Pay For Defence Forces by Government Ministers-Irish Examiner

Mr Higgins’s comments on Wednesday night caused widespread surprise, anger, and bemusement in Government circles yesterday over what was seen as “interference” in political matters.

 “Of course they were deeply unhelpful,” one senior minister said. “We are trying to hold a public pay deal together with sticky tape and Blu-Tack. This will only heighten the pressure on us to loosen the purse strings even further.”

(That is what they said to the Nurses before They took Strike Action-PH)

Full Irish Examiner Article, Friday, September 13  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1kf

By Daniel McConnell, Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, and Elaine Loughlin

Mr Higgins’s comments on Wednesday night caused widespread surprise, anger, and bemusement in Government circles yesterday over what was seen as “interference” in political matters.

As Fine Gael ministers, TDs, senators, and MEPs gathered in Garryvoe, east Cork, for their party’s think-in ahead of the Dáil’s return, Mr Higgins’s comments were widely commented upon.

“Of course they were deeply unhelpful,” one senior minister said. “We are trying to hold a public pay deal together with sticky tape and Blu-Tack. This will only heighten the pressure on us to loosen the purse strings even further.”

Speaking publicly, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed hit a most undiplomatic tone, saying he found the President’s decision to comment “quite unusual”.

“This issue has significant currency and has been recognised by Government also,” said Mr Creed. “I think it’s quite unusual [the President’s comments]. No, I’m not surprised or annoyed to be honest with you, it is an issue out there. Look, he has [commented], and his voice is the same as the Government and the Oireachtas.”

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he does not have “any huge concerns” about Mr Higgins’s interjection.

“I think President Higgins was reflecting concern and a frustration in Government,” he said.

That is why we have had a public sector pay commission looking at Defence Force pay

“That’s why we have improved take-home pay in certain areas on the back of that report, and that’s an ongoing discussion with the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces, as well as obviously the broader improvements in public sector pay which are happening as a result of government decisions.”

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said that plans have been put in place to address pay for Defence Forces personnel. He said changes that have been made will see a three-star private’s pay rise from €21,000 to €28,000 and that Defence Forces staff will also benefit from changes to their allowances.

A spokesperson for junior defence minister Paul Kehoe told the Irish Examiner the Government is “actively addressing” pay, recruitment and retention issues in the Defence Forces.

The spokesperson said the existing pay deal will give Defence Forces personnel pay rises of “up to” 7.4% between 2018 when the deal began and 2020, and that “a newly-qualified three-star private now started on over €28,200, compared to €21,000 before these pay increases were introduced”.

The spokesperson said the independent public service pay commission has also recommended “a series of measures” to improve Army, Naval Service, and Air Corps pay. He said the Government has published a proposed implementation plan for the pay rises, and that it is under consideration by Defence Forces representative bodies.

A spokesman for Mr Higgins told the Irish Examiner he stands by what he said, and he comes from a position where he has a specific relationship with the members of the Defence Forces.

“The comments speak for themselves,” the spokesman said.

On Wednesday, Mr Higgins said members of the Defence Forces should have incomes that are sufficient to provide for themselves and their families.

“It is no secret that changes in conditions for serving men and women has brought its own challenges and, I have to say [as] supreme commander, it has brought hardships,” said Mr Higgins.

He said the challenges that should be addressed with “sensitivity and urgency” and those providing the service should be real partners in interpreting and responding to such changes.

“Should this not happen, there is a real danger of a gap opening up between our expressed appreciation of their work and the circumstances we deliver for its practice,” he said. “Serving men and women should have conditions including an income and prospects that are sufficient to provide for themselves and their families.”

 

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With the number of ships tied up set to rise, it will further weaken our defences against the smuggling of drugs, weapons and vulnerable people into this country, while simultaneously eroding our already meagre search-and-rescue capability. Simple steps could quickly stabilise Defence Forces crisis

Cathal Berry Recently retired senior army officer and former head of the Army Ranger wing and the military medical school

Irish Times, August 13, 2019

Ireland’s Defence Forces are currently in the midst of an existential crisis that has significantly undermined critical State services. Almost a quarter of our naval ships are tied up indefinitely, unable to put to sea for want of crew. With this number set to rise, it will further weaken our defences against the smuggling of drugs, weapons and vulnerable people into this country, while simultaneously eroding our already meagre search-and-rescue capability.

The State is spending millions of euro on equipment, but not recognising that it is people who are the critical component in delivering capability. Militarily, the country is vulnerable and massively exposed.

In the past the Air Corps could have picked up some of this slack by increasing aerial surveillance of our seaborne approaches. With a full-blown staff-retention crisis of its own, however, the Air Corps cannot even meet its own commitments, let alone help out its sister service on the high seas.

Meanwhile, the Army’s cyber unit has been disbanded and its participation in the multi-agency National Cyber Security Centre, a critical piece of State infrastructure, has been withdrawn due to staff shortages.

In summary, the current situation is a case study in how not to run an organisation. Spending millions of euro on equipment, but not recognising that it is people who are the critical component in delivering capability. Militarily, the country is vulnerable and massively exposed.

Home-grown crisis

It’s not as if an international military recession has by chance arrived on our shores, however. This crisis is a completely unnecessary, home-grown, man-made disaster. Over the last 30 years military representative associations have been repeatedly denied specific rights to negotiate sectoral side-deals during national pay talks like everybody else. The cumulative effect has been devastating, with Defence Forces pay now a generation behind everyone else – and the gap is widening. Incredibly, the Department of Defence has the resources to tackle this crisis, but instead chooses to return millions of euro unspent every year.

The solution to the Defence Forces crisis is simple. Stop returning surplus revenue and instead use it to firstly stabilise, then definitively solve the problem. Two steps would stabilise the crisis within 24 hours.

Troops are not looking for any preferential treatment whatsoever, they are simply looking for parity with everyone else

Firstly, pay the national minimum wage for additional, rostered security-duty hours worked. Incredibly, troops are expected to work significant additional hours at night and at the weekend for €2 or €3 an hour before tax depending on the day of the week. No other employer in the State would get away with pulling a stunt like this. This is not a wage, it is an insult.

There are fears in Government that a soon to be announced package of pay improvements for the Defence Forces will not meet the expectations. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
“Over the last 30 years military representative associations have been repeatedly denied specific rights to negotiate sectoral side-deals during national pay talks like everybody else.” File photograph: Alan Betson

All that military families are asking is that the Taoiseach, who is also Minister for Defence, holds himself to the same standard that he expects from every other employer. Troops are not looking for any preferential treatment whatsoever, they are simply looking for parity with everyone else and for their Government to stop breaking the law.

Secondly, sea-going patrol duty allowance for naval personnel must be increased or made tax-free – as it is for all other State employees working offshore to cover childcare and the additional costs of prolonged family separation while at sea.

Staff from the Marine Institute receive an additional €270 gross per day while at sea, personnel from the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority receive an additional €105 tax-free per day and officers from the Revenue Commissioners maritime section receive an additional €75 tax-free per day. At €49 before tax per day for Naval Service personnel is it any wonder they’re leaving in droves when their counterparts are earning four or five times more?

Engagement

Once stabilised the crisis can then be fully resolved by a number of measures.

First, the department must engage in good faith with representative associations on the core pay, technical pay and non-pay reviews as part of the Government action plan to tackle the crisis. (Highly unlikely.)

This is not an industrial relations issue per se, but one of national security

Second, an independent statutory pay review body for Defence Forces personnel must be established like the highly effective model in the UK.

Defence Forces on a UN interim force in Lebanon. Photograph: Defence Forces Press Office
Defence Forces on UN interim force in Lebanon. File photograph: Defence Forces Press Office

Third, given the ridiculous levels of micromanagement by civil servants into all areas of the Defence Forces, there is an urgent need for an independent commission on the future of defence like the recent commission on the future of policing.

Fourth, invest in military housing. As a result of the premature closure of more than half of Ireland’s military installations in the last 15 years there is no longer enough accommodation. The practice of troops sleeping in cars, offices or corridors is completely unacceptable. No other uniformed service in this country would be expected to put up with such a situation.

In conclusion, this is not an industrial relations issue per se, but one of national security. With Brexit only 82 days away our Defence Forces should be at the point of maximum strength, not at the point of historic weakness. The cynical exploitation of the commitment and patriotism of Defence Force families must end in order to stem this haemorrhage of experience and talent. Loyalty should be rewarded not punished.

Cathal Berry retired from the Defence forces in 2019. He is a former head of the Army Ranger wing and the military medical school

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As President Higgins urges Improvement in Defence Forces Pay and conditions, Minister For Defence and Taoiseach must not be allowed to use BREXIT to delay increases .Pay, Pensions, Allowances, Conditions of Service Must Fully Be Restored IMMEDIATELY

———————————————————–Letter From Dr Ed. Horgan (Comdt. Retired) to Irish Examiner https://wp.me/pKzXa-1kf

“While good equipment and training are necessary, good morale and conditions for our soldiers are far more important.”

Dear Editor
In recent times our Irish Defence Forces have been treated with serious neglect bordering on irresponsibility by the Irish Government. This happened previously after World War II, and as a result when Irish soldiers were sent to the Congo in 1960 several soldiers died due to inadequate equipment and training. While some improvements were achieved, when the conflict in Northern Ireland erupted the Defence Forces transport fleet was so unreliable that it took some units weeks to deploy to border areas. Now this is all happening again at a time when Brexit could increase security needs, and international terrorism could bring serious security threats due to US military use of Shannon airport. While good equipment and training are necessary, good morale and conditions for our soldiers are far more important. While the Irish Defence Forces active numbers have been reduced to below 8,800, the Department of Defence has well over 300 civilians not only duplicating many of the responsibilities of serving army officers, but also exercising a stranglehold over most aspects of military management regardless of their lack of military knowledge. Ireland does not have an army and should never need an army unless we planned to invade some other territory. What we should have is an adequate Defence Force capable of ensuring the sovereignty of Irish people and Irish territory. The present strength, equipment and morale of the Irish Defence Forces falls so far short of this vital requirement that our Government leaders could be accused of treasonous behavior. Ireland does not need expensive squadrons of fighter aircraft and battle tanks to defend its sovereignty. We have never had the capacity to defend Ireland by conventional military means and never will have. The only way Ireland can be defended is by actively planning, training and equipping our Defence Forces for guerilla warfare, which is how we got our independence. Our neutrality and island geography are vital parts of this defence. This requires a well-resourced volunteer Permanent Defence Force, backed up by equally well-resources Reserve Defence Forces and Civil Defence organization. Good morale and working conditions are vital towards achieving this, and these three defence elements can also be tasked to do very many other useful services including UN peacekeeping, as hopefully they will never be required to defend our sovereignty, which was achieved at huge cost.
Dr Edward Horgan, (Commandant retired), Newtown, Castletroy, Limerick

———————————————————Withdrawal of Naval Service ships ‘neon sign’ to drug smugglers-Irish Times

Guns and drugs:“The end result is there will be more drugs on the streets of Dublin, PortarlingtonBallina etc. And more guns, since the guns come in with the drugs.”  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1kf

But decision to purchase 200 million Euro Warship for use “at home and Abroad” remains in place!!!

Conor Gallagher, Irish Times, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, 

The mothballing of almost one-quarter of the Naval Service’s ships will have a significant effect on the State’s ability to stop drug smuggling through Irish waters, security sources say.

A week ago, the head of the Navy, Cmdr Michael Malone, announced the flagship LÉ Eithne and patrol vessel LÉ Orla were being brought into port as the service “cuts its cloth” due to severe manpower shortages.

The LÉ Róisín will be out of service for some months while it is being refitted. Planning documents state the LÉ Eithne and LÉ Orla will likely remain in port for between 15 and 18 months while personnel are recruited and trained to man them. However, informed military sources said the prevailing belief among Naval Service senior staff was the vessels LÉ Eithne and LÉ Orla would never sail again.

“The staffing problems are getting worse, not better, and there is absolutely nothing to suggest that is going to change,” an officer said.

Cmdr Malone’s decision is seen as prudent by most Naval officers due to the lack of staff needed to safely crew the two ships. But there is widespread anger with the Government that the staffing levels have deteriorated to this point.

Both vessels have played a key role in operations to target drug smuggling into Ireland and other countries, particularly as part of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (Maoc), an EU-funded international anti-drugs agency.

Intercepting shipments Ireland is one of seven members of Maoc and the contribution of the Naval Service is highly valued within the organisation in

intercepting drug shipments and gathering intelligence on smugglers passing through Irish waters. Typically, Naval Service ships are tasked with investigating suspicious ships which are spotted by the Air Corps’ two maritime patrol aircraft. They also often receive intelligence from other navies.

Naval Service ships have assisted or led several high-value, anti-smuggling missions in recent years, including the interdiction by UK authorities of a boat carrying 500kg of cocaine in 2018.

In 2008, the LÉ Orla assisted in Operation Seabight, which resulted in the largest drugs seizure in Irish history. About €750 million worth of cocaine was recovered off the coast of Co Cork.

Naval plans state the current patrols of the service’s remaining six vessels will not be altered, meaning the withdrawal of the LÉ Eithne and LÉ Orla and the refit of the LÉ Róisín will leave a large gap in coverage of Ireland’s coasts.

“This is like a neon sign for drug smugglers. The deterrent factor is gone. Everyone will think ‘Paddy is easy, let’s land them on the coast of Kerry’,” a military source said.

Guns and drugs “The end result is there will be more drugs on the streets of Dublin, PortarlingtonBallina etc. And more guns, since the guns come in with the drugs.”

Intelligence suggests maritime smugglers are increasingly travelling around the north of Ireland on their way to mainland Europe in an effort to avoid detection. The LÉ Eithne, which has the longest range of any Naval Service vessel at 13,000km plays a key role in monitoring such vessels.

“Ireland has a massive sea mass. Nine vessels is like having two Garda cars patrol the entire island. Now it’s like having 1½,” an officer said.

The mothballing of the LÉ Eithne would also have implications for the service’s search-and-rescue capabilities, sources said. It is the only ship capable of refuelling helicopters at sea which effectively doubles the range of the Coast Guard’s Sikorsky helicopters.

The ship’s helipad has not been used for many years but helicopters are able to winch a fuel hose up to them while hovering above.

—————————————————————The Taoiseach and Minister for Defence, Leo Varadkar, has said the Naval Service is short staffed and will be “cutting its cloth to suit the measure”.

Does this mean that Foreign fishing vessels and drug sugglers can take advantage?

Will the  purchase of 200 million Euro warship for “service at home and abroad” be abandoned? https://wp.me/pKzXa-1kf

Taoiseach acknowledges Naval Service is short staffed

RTE  8 Jul 2019 15:09

The Taoiseach has said the Naval Service is short staffed and will be “cutting its cloth to suit the measure”.

Leo Varadkar said he was briefed on the matter and that crews will now be spread across five ships instead of seven.

His comments follow a letter, published in the Irish Times over the weekend, in which Commodore Michael Malone said the ships’ companies had spoken about the pressure they were under by not having the ships fully manned.

He said this was exacerbated by operating nine ships while only having the manpower for six-and-a-half ships.

Commodore Malone said he had taken the decision that the Naval Service now needed to “cut our cloth to measure”.

He said he would achieve that by placing the LÉ Eithne and LÉ Orla in an operational reserve capacity until “adequate numbers of sufficiently qualified and experienced personnel are available”.

In a response on twitter, Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe said the ships were in dock for planned maintenance and the crews were redeployed to other vessels.

Fianna Fáil’s Defence spokesperson Jack Chambers said there has been “too much spin and deflection” on the retention crisis in the Defence Forces.

He accused Mr Kehoe of being in a “bunker of denial” over reports that two naval ships had been taken out of service due to insufficient crew numbers.

Minister Kehoe should immediately publish every naval ship maintenance schedule for 2019 to verify his new claims. There’s been too much spin and deflection on this ongoing retention crisis https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/political-row-over-two-docked-naval-ships-deepens-1.3949634 …

76

Jul 7, 2019

 

 

Political row over two docked Naval ships deepens

Minister denied two ships were docked over crew shortages, citing ‘maintenance’

irishtimes.com

 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Chambers said he was quite surprised that Minister Kehoe would so publically dismiss the concerns of such a senior officer in the Defence Forces.

 

—————————————————————Two of seven(9?) navy Ships to Be Tied up due to Lack of Staff-Irish Examiner

Will Purchase of 200 Million Euro Warship (MRV) for service “at home and abroad” be scrapped?

“PDforra has repeatedly stated in recent years that the naval service does not have the manpower to run all of its ships and criticised the lack of proper accommodation for sailors at the Naval headquarters in Haulbowline Island.

As a result of poor pay and soaring rents, up to 80 sailors are currently sleeping on ships when off-duty. PDforra president Mark Keane told the committee that on average 11 or 12 were sleeping nightly on each ship.”

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/naval-vessels-docked-by-staff-shortage-933471.html

https://afloat.ie/port-news/navy/item/43114-naval-vessels-docked-by-staff-shortage

Irish Examiner  June 28,2019

A tie-up of two ships in port indefinitely is planned by the Naval Service due to a deepening manpower crisis. Of the three services in the Defence Forces, the naval service is suffering the most from a haemorrhage of personnel for better paid jobs in the public sector.

The Irish Examiner has learned that the nine-ship fleet will be reduced to seven as the navy’s flagship, LÉ Eithne, and coastal patrol vessel LÉ Orla will be taken off operational duty for the foreseeable future. Despite her age, LÉ Ciara, which was purchased from the British in 1988, is to remain on patrol.

Ideally, the navy’s newer P60s — LÉ Róisín, LÉ Niamh, LÉ Samuel Beckett, LÉ James Joyce, and LÉ William Butler Yeats — should each have a crew of 50, but are normally operational with 45. Sources in the naval service have indicated the manpower crisis had often led in recent times to them sailing with crew numbers as low as 34.

Both the LÉ Eithne and LÉ Ciara were due for major refits, but according to a source will receive “minor maintenance to achieve a certain readiness level” in the event they need to be redeployed during a major emergency.

In a statement, the Defence Forces press office said Flag Officer Commanding the naval service, Commodore Michael Malone, was “currently managing the consolidation of naval service assets”. This was “due to ongoing personnel challenges and to Óglaigh na hÉireann’s commitment to valuing its personnel, their welfare and safety”.

It added that military authorities continue to examine all recommendations and options with the aim of maximising the effectiveness of the Maritime Defence and Security Operations. The general secretary of PDforra, which represents enlisted men in the Defence Forces, told an Oireachtas committee yesterday that “the navy is in a dire state”.

Gerard Guinan, whose association represents more than 6,500 enlisted personnel in the Defence Forces, told the Oireachtas committee on Justice, Defence, and Equality that the “naval service was down personnel, probably to its lowest level ever.”

He said the delay in the publication of the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) report into possible improvements of allowances for the Defence Forces “has been extremely frustrating” for his members, who are the lowest paid public servants.

“To say we’re angry[about the delay] is an understatement,” said Mr Guinan.

It is expected this report will now be published next Tuesday. Leaks suggest the PSPC is only recommending a small increase in allowances, amounting to 96 cent per day after tax for Defence Forces personnel.

Mr Guinan said: “96 cent a day after tax won’t be enough to save the navy. It is not an overstatement to say we have lost significant numbers of highly qualified and outstanding soldiers, sailors and aircrew over the past few years.

They were forced from a career that they loved and that owed them much more than they ever received. But, they might have stayed if only some earlier intervention had occurred.

PDforra has repeatedly stated in recent years that the naval service does not have the manpower to run all of its ships and criticised the lack of proper accommodation for sailors at the Naval headquarters in Haulbowline Island.

As a result of poor pay and soaring rents, up to 80 sailors are currently sleeping on ships when off-duty. PDforra president Mark Keane told the committee that on average 11 or 12 were sleeping nightly on each ship.

“The older ships do 26-day cycle patrols and are then back in [port] for 16 days,” he said. “The sailors are working onboard 60-70 hours a week and then sleeping on the same ships when they are off duty. They deserve a proper place to go and put their heads down at night.”

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/naval-vessels-docked-by-staff-shortage-933471.html

https://afloat.ie/port-news/navy/item/43114-naval-vessels-docked-by-staff-shortage

————————————————————–Dáil Motion to Restore Defence Forces Pay and Allowances  June 13,2019 https://wp.me/pKzXa-1kf

Those TDs who Voted With Fine Gael in Dáil against Motion for Restoration of Defence Forces Pay and Allowances:

Minister  Shane Ross Independent Alliance, Dublin Rathdown; Minister Sean Canney, Ind Galway, Minister Katherine Zappone, Ind  Dublin South West

 

Those TDs who Did not formally Abstain but Went Missing and, therefore, did not vote for Restoration of Defence Forces Pay and Allowances:

Minister  John Halligan (Ind Alliance) Waterford; Minister “Boxer” Moran (Ind Alliance)  Longford Westmeath; Minister Finian Mcgrath, Dublin Artane; Michael Lowry Ind Co Tipperary; Michael  Harty Ind Co Clare;  Noel Grealish Ind Galway; Michael Healy-Rae Ind Co Kerry; Danny Healy-Rae  Ind Co Kerry.

————————————–

The Private Members Motion Proposed by Fianna Fáil and successfully amended by Sinn Féin was carried in the Dáil by a 2 to 1 majority of Deputies present and voting

The Dáil divided: Tá(Yes), 77; Níl(No), 38; Staon(Abstain), 0.

Despite the clearly expressed will of the Dáil the Government has made clear that it has no intention of implementing the motion.

It can do this because a private members motion is not a Law and is not binding on Government under Dáil rules. If the content of the motion were proposed in Bill, it would be ruled out of order because it impinges on government finances. This is done by the Ceann Chomhairle attaching “a money message” to the proposals. This would still be the case even if the Bill contained proposals to cover the increased state expenditure by new taxation. Opposition deputies and  parties cannot legislate in relation to government finances in any way even if the measure commands a majority in the Dáil.!! So much for Democracy.

The Political Context

But the present government does not have a Dáil majority. Hence, Fianna Fáil is in a position to force the government to implement the contents of the motion or to face defeat in the Dail on the budget (next October) and an immediate General Election thereafter. However the estimates for Government Departments, including Defence, are not specifically subjected to a Dáil vote until the Finance Bill is put to a vote in December next..

The probable next British prime minister says that by October 31,2019,  UK will either have agreed a Brexit Deal with EU or will leave without a deal. It would be very unwise to rely on such declarations as literally anything could happen in the UK in current circumstances.

However, it is well to bear this in mind as the reason given by Fianna Fáil for keeping the minority government in power is the danger of a “no deal” Brexit and the impact that this would have on the Irish economy.

Four by-elections must take place by February 2020 as a result of Dáil deputies being elected to the European Parliament unless there is a General Election before then.

Fine Gael did not win a majority of votes or seats in any of these 4 constituencies in the 2016 General Election.

Government expressions of intention to hold these by-elections should be treated with extreme caution

——————————————————————-Text of Motion

The following motion was moved by Deputy Jack Chambers on Wednesday, 12 June 2019:

That Dáil Éireann:

notes that:

— the approved strength of the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF) currently stands at 9,500;

— at the end of March 2019 there were 8,847 personnel, compared to 9,057 at the end of February 2018;

— 3,200 personnel left the PDF between 2014 and 2018, a figure which equates to 34.7 per cent of the average strength for those years, with 82 per cent of these being premature voluntary retirements;

— the turnover rate in the PDF now stands at 9 per cent overall, with a rate of 14 per cent in the Naval Service;

— there were 256 discharges in the first four months of 2019, by far the largest figure since the reorganisation of 2012; and

— in April 2019 alone, there were 86 discharges, a figure not previously matched in a single month;

further notes:

— the ongoing priority given, by Government, to costly recruitment policies;

— the absence of any retention policy for the Defence Forces;

— the underspend of €92.3 million from 2014 to 2018 in the Defence Estimate (Vote 36);

— the high turnover rate that is leading to the creation of a difficult and challenging training environment for remaining service personnel;

— that some personnel are double- and treble-jobbing in an effort to maintain operational output;

— that insufficient supervision and mentoring combined with poor trained manning levels is leading to unavoidable burnout;

— that there are serious concerns for governance, and the ability to manage risk and ensure the wellbeing of personnel; and

— that recent surveys have illustrated the mental health difficulties, increased stress and low morale being experienced by PDF personnel;

accepts that:

— the impact of operating with reduced numbers is already being felt across the Defence Forces;

— the Army is struggling to fulfil its assigned tasks, domestically and internationally;

— ships are unable to go to sea and aircraft are not flying as a result of personnel shortages;

— defence capability is being seriously undermined; and

— reduced governance increases operational and personnel risk; and

calls for:

— the restoration of military allowances to pre-Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest levels, especially in view of the underspend from 2014 to 2018, to include the service commitment scheme for Air Corps pilots and fixed-period promotion for Special Service Officers;

— the restoration of the supplementary pension for post 2013 entrants;

— a review of the PDF organisation to provide for a training and overseas establishment, bringing the PDF personnel numbers up to 10,500 across all ranks and formations/services;

— a permanent and independent Defence Forces pay body to be established;

— Defence Forces representative organisations to be able to take up associate membership of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions;

— greater military expertise in the Department of Defence, who have made some concerning and damaging decisions affecting the Defence Forces;

— the enhancement of the input and discretion of military management in decisions over current and capital spending;

— the implementation of the Working Time Directive, which the Government is currently not implementing properly;

— a clear and defined role for the Reserve Defence Forces, that would enable them to play a meaningful and worthwhile part in support to the PDF; and

— the undertaking of a comprehensive independent review (involving external and international expertise) of defence policy, the Defence Forces and the role of the Department of Defence.

Debate resumed on amendment No. 3:

To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:

“recognises:

— that the Irish people shares its great pride in our Defence Forces and the contribution made by the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF) and the Reserve Defence Forces (RDF);

— Ireland’s long and well respected history of participating in overseas missions under United Nations (UN) mandates and acknowledges that the Defence Forces have played a vital role as peacekeepers all over the world, in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in UN and UN-mandated peace support missions and, today, some 673 members of the PDF are serving overseas in various parts of the world;

— those members of the Defence Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of the State, including those on overseas peacekeeping missions;

— the dedication and professionalism of the Defence Forces;

— the ongoing implementation of the Government’s White Paper on Defence; and

— the challenges that are faced in relation to recruitment and retention in the Defence Forces;

notes:

— that the Department of Defence has civil and military branches, consistent with its constitutional and statutory mandate;

— that the Secretary General heads the civil element while the Chief of Staff heads the military element of the Department of Defence;

— that both civil and military elements provide supports to the Minister for Defence, and that the Chief of Staff has direct and independent access to the Minister for the provision of military advice;

— that ultimately command and management of the Defence Forces is by the Minister for Defence, on behalf of the Government, ensuring appropriate oversight of defence and of the Defence Forces;

— the importance of the White Paper on Defence, which was prepared by joint civil and military steering and working groups, in providing a defence policy in keeping with Ireland’s defence requirements for the period to 2025 and comprehending a developmental and strategic approach to defence provision, including the ongoing modernisation of defence equipment;

— that the finalisation of the White Paper in June 2015 included, at the arrangement of the Minister for Defence, Dáil statements which provided members with an opportunity for final inputs and that, furthermore, there has been engagement with the relevant Oireachtas Joint Committee on any or all aspects of the White Paper as might be desired by Committee members;

— that a key feature of the White Paper is the provision for future-proofing of policy and capabilities through a new process of fixed cycle defence reviews with a Strategic Defence Review to commence in early 2021, while a White Paper Update commenced last year and is being overseen by a joint civil-military steering group;

— that the Government’s commitment to the Defence Forces capability is evidenced through a 2019 provision for gross expenditure of some €1,007 million, an increase of €60 million or 6.4 per cent over 2018, while the capital allocation has increased to €106 million, an increase of 38 per cent on the 2018 allocation;

— that a significant portion of the Defence budget is delegated to the Chief of Staff, to facilitate the exercise of his functions;

— that all major investment decisions are made via joint civil-military work and approved through a joint, co-chaired, civil-military forum and that this collaborative civil-military approach operates successfully within the Department of Defence;

— that this investment will see the replacement and upgrade of significant equipment platforms over the life-time of the White Paper, including an upgrade of the Army’s fleet of armoured personnel carriers (APCs), enhancement of the capabilities of the Army Ranger Wing, replacement of the Air Corps’ Cessna fleet, CASA Maritime Patrol Aircraft and the Naval Service’s flagship LÉ Eithne;

— that there is a sustained programme of investment in barracks infrastructure to improve accommodation and other facilities across the country;

— the range of actions in place for the development of Defence Forces human resources, training, education, family friendly and a range of other supports;

— the development of flexible and adaptive military capabilities as a pragmatic approach to dealing with future uncertainty and the roles assigned, and that capability commitments outlined in the White Paper include maintenance of a PDF establishment of at least 9,500 personnel;

— that specific shortages in specialist areas are being addressed and that work is underway aimed at addressing these particular challenges;

— the efforts to accelerate the rate of recruitment to the RDF within means and resources;

— that in relation to the Working Time Directive, legislation is currently being considered by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and civil-military work is underway to achieve a graduated solution which respects the unique operational requirements of a military force; and

— that membership of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) by Defence Forces representative associations, as recommended in a recent review of the Defence Forces C&A Scheme, is now under consideration, and that the discussion with ICTU is considering feasibility, taking account of the need to recognise the prohibition on the right to strike, the tasks that Government may require the Defence Forces to undertake, and the necessity that command and control arrangements and military discipline are un-impinged; and

further notes that:

— the focus of pay increases under the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 has been those on lower pay and that by the end of the current Agreement, the pay scales of all public servants (including members of the Defence Forces), earning under €70,000 per annum, will be restored to pre-Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest levels;

— public sector pay policy is determined centrally by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, having regard to public sector pay agreements, and that independent sectoral pay determination bodies, such as one for the Defence Forces, is not consistent with this approach;

— public service pension provisions are laid down in statute and apply across the public service; and

— the Public Service Pay Commission has examined recruitment and retention issues in the defence sector and that its report will be considered by Government and form the basis of engagement with parties to the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020.

– (Minister of State at the Department of Defence)

————————————————————Varadkar,  Fine Gael Minister for Defence And Taoiseach, Refuses Call for full Restoration of Pay, Allowances and Pensions of Defence Forces by Seamus Healy TD in Dáil at Leaders Questions

DEFENCE FORCE Personnel must be treated no less Favourably than Gardaí and Nurses—Healy

Full Debate https://wp.me/pKzXa-1kf

Deputy Seamus Healy (Independent Deputy, Chair of Workers and Unemployed Action, Co Tipperary)

The Taoiseach is the Minister for Defence and is responsible to the Dáil and the public for the state of the Defence Forces. During the recent local election campaign, the undermining of our Defence Forces  by government was one of the most frequently raised issues on the doorstep. It is clear that the policy being pursued by the Taoiseach and his Government, which that commenced with the so-called reorganisation of the Defence Forces and the closure of barracks in 2012, has led to a crisis in the service. There have been significant reductions in numbers, pay, allowances, pensions and conditions of service. There is low morale, anxiety, increased stress and mental health difficulties among serving personnel.

On 1 March this year under the Taoiseach’s watch, there were 210 fewer serving personnel than on 1 March last year. Some 3,200 personnel left the Defence Forces between 2014 and 2018. In the first four months of this year, there were 256 discharges. Staff shortages mean that ships are unable to go to sea and aircraft are unable to fly. This is a picture of a service that is not fit for purpose due to the deliberate policy of this Government.

Please do not tell us that we do not have the money to resource and pay our Defence Forces properly. Ireland is the eighth richest country in the world. We know that the top 10% of financial asset holders have €50 billion more than they had at peak boom levels in 2006, yet they are not asked to pay a single cent in tax on that windfall. We know that the top 10% of income recipients pay a smaller proportion of their incomes in tax than the lowest 10%. In today’s edition of the Irish Examiner, Social Justice Ireland confirmed that the poor in this country are subsidising the rich through tax reliefs.

I wish to take this opportunity to commend the community group, Respect and Loyalty, which is campaigning to raise awareness about the plight of our Defence Forces and is lobbying for the restoration of pay, allowances and pensions.

The Taoiseach is the Minister for Defence. In view of the crisis affecting the Defence Forces and the resulting national danger that he and his Government have allowed to develop, why has the matter of allowances not been addressed in line with allowances in other public sector bodies? Will the Taoiseach fully restore to pre-2008 levels the pay, allowances, conditions of service and pensions of serving and retired members of the Defence Forces immediately?

 

The Taoiseach and Minister for Defence

 

I thank the Deputy very much for raising this important issue. I confirm to the House that the Cabinet yesterday approved the deployment of the Army ranger wing to the UN mission in Mali. That will require a motion of the House, so I ask for the House’s support for that. It is the first time in nearly ten years that the rangers have been deployed in this way. It is something that the Defence Forces very much welcome. It is a big part of our peacekeeping efforts and our commitment to the UN, but it also will help them to maintain and develop their skills. I know it has been very much welcomed by the Defence Forces.

We are investing in our Defence Forces. The budget for defence this year is €50 million higher than last year. What does that mean? It means new vessels. Our fleet has never been as modern as it is now. It means new aircraft—–

Deputy Bobby Aylward (Fianna Fáil, Carlow-Kilkenny)

 

They have no personnel, though.

The Taoiseach

 

—–including fishery protection aircraft that are arriving this year.

Deputy Mattie McGrath(Rural Independent, Co Tipperary)

 

The personnel are all leaving.

The Taoiseach

 

It means improvement to our barracks. It means new equipment. It also means increased pay, pay restoration and increased pensions. It is not the case that money is handed back at the end of the year—–

Deputy Eamon Scanlon (Fianna Fáil, Sligo-Leitrim)

 

It is.

Deputy Bobby Aylward  (FF)

 

The Defence Forces need personnel if they are to work.

 

The Taoiseach and Minister for Defence

 

—–even though that has been claimed by some. Recruitment is going very well but retention is not. I absolutely acknowledge that a large number of people are leaving our Defence Forces for various reasons, not least the fact that, because they are so well skilled, their skills are very much sought after in the private sector where there are also major skill shortages and labour shortages because of full employment.

When it comes to the issue of pay – I acknowledge that pay is an issue for a lot of members of our Defence Forces – the public sector stability agreement, the deal that we did with ICTU and all the trade unions that covers 300,000 public servants, applies to the Defence Forces as well. That means ongoing pay restoration. For the vast majority of public servants, including the vast majority of people in the Defence Forces, they will have their pay fully restored by October of next year. That is already happening in tranches.

However, the Deputy is asking me to single out one group, the Defence Forces, and fully restore their pay, pensions and allowances before everyone else’s. While that might appeal to me as the Minister for Defence, I could not possibly do that as Taoiseach because that would be totally unfair to all the other public servants—–

Deputy Mattie McGrath (Rural Independent, Co Tipperary)

 

Appoint a Minister.

The Taoiseach and Minister for Defence

 

—–including civil servants, local authority workers, nurses, teachers, doctors, all the people who work in this House and all the people who work in the public service all over the country.

Deputy Barry Cowen (FF Offaly,  Fianna Fáil Front Bench Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform)

 

This situation is a little bit worse (in PDF) than the Garda’s.

Deputy Mattie McGrath(Rural Independent)

 

Get out the violin.

The Taoiseach

 

It would simply be not right or fair to restore Defence Forces pay and pensions fully ahead of everyone else in the public service.

Deputy Bobby Aylward(FF)

 

They were (right and fair) for the teachers and gardaí.

 

The Taoiseach and Minister for Defence

 

Everyone must have restoration happening at the same time. Nor would it be affordable to do what Deputy Healy is asking. The public sector pay bill is nearly €18 billion a year. A 2% increase alone is €360 million. We have heard the advice and the criticisms from the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council telling us that we are increasing spending too fast. The Opposition needs to hear that advice as well. If we are going to listen to that advice and heed it and keep spending increases where they should be at around 4% or 5% per year—–

Deputy Barry Cowen (FF,  Fianna Fáil Front  Bench Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform)

 

The Taoiseach said that everything would come from future revenues.

Deputy Brendan Howlin (Labour Party, Co Wexford)

 

Or by cutting taxes.

The Taoiseach

 

—–we need the Opposition to stop demanding additional spending everyday.

Deputy Barry Cowen (FF)

 

The Government tells us that its overruns will be covered by future revenues.

The Taoiseach

 

The Opposition—–

Deputy Micheál Martin (Leader of Fianna Fáil)

 

The Taoiseach is throwing the kitchen sink at—–

An Ceann Comhairle

 

The Taoiseach without interruption, please.

Deputy Barry Cowen  (FF)

 

The Government’s forecasts are not credible.

The Taoiseach

 

The Opposition has a responsibility as well. Government has heard that message. We are going to heed it. We are going to try to keep spending increases under control—–

Deputy Barry Cowen (FF)

 

The party of fiscal rectitude, of course.

Deputy Micheál Martin (FF Leader))

 

The Government should keep telling itself that.

The Taoiseach and Minister for Defence

 

—–at around 4% or 5% this year.

Deputy Barry Cowen (FF)

 

That is going down well.

The Taoiseach and Minister for Defence

 

We also need the Oireachtas to get that too because we cannot get a budget, Estimates or Supplementary Estimates through, if they are necessary—–

Deputy Brendan Howlin(Labour leader))

 

But there will be €1 billion in tax cuts.

The Taoiseach

 

—–without the support of this House. We also need this House to reorientate its attitude to these things as well and come with us in trying to keep public spending under control.

Deputy Micheál Martin (FF Leader)

 

It is the Government that made all the promises.

Deputy Barry Cowen(FF)

 

Go to Mullingar, never mind Mali.

Deputy Pat Deering (Fine Gael, Carlow-Kilkenny)

 

Does Deputy Cowen remember the Galway tent?

Deputy Barry Cowen(FF)

 

That is gone. This Government will be gone one day, too. It will not hang on as easily as it did last time.

 

Deputy Seamus Healy  (WUAG, Co Tipperary) Replies to Taoiseach

Time and again, we have heard the mantra of the public service pay agreement. It has been repeated ad nauseam this afternoon. I remind the Taoiseach that, in November 2016, the Government gave the average garda an extra €4,000 per annum through an increase in rent allowance and other concessions under a €50 million deal.

I remind the Taoiseach that when he and his Government dealt with the nursing dispute under the public service pay agreement, the nursing recruitment crisis forced them to back down and make significant concessions to nurses in pay and allowances. We have a similar situation in our Defence Forces at present. The Taoiseach has acknowledged the significant difficulties that exist in the Defence Forces. The cases of the gardaí and the nurses offer the Government a clear precedent in dealing with the issues in the Defence Forces. All it takes is political will on the part of the Government to ensure the Defence Forces are properly paid and get their proper allowances. It is a matter of political will for the Government to ensure pay and allowances are restored in full immediately. The Government should do this now.

The Taoiseach and Minister for Defence

 

It is not simply “a matter of political will”. As a Government, we need to see the bigger picture.

Deputy Seamus Healy(WUAG)

 

The Government has done it twice already (for other groups).

 

The Taoiseach

 

There were disputes with the gardaí and two of the nurses’ unions. Those disputes were resolved following negotiations and, in the end, in the Labour Court. In resolving those disputes, we needed to make sure we did not bring down the entire public sector pay agreement. We cannot afford to bring it down. We are trying to resolve the Defence Forces pay dispute. We asked the Public Sector Pay Commission to examine issues like allowances that are specific to the Defence Forces. The commission has reported. We have the report and we will bring it to the Cabinet in the next couple of weeks. I hope that will be adequate to resolve this issue. We cannot provide a fast track to pay restoration and additional allowances to one group of public servants without accepting that it will have a knock-on effect across the board.

Deputy Seamus Healy (WUAG)

 

It was done for two groups already.

The Taoiseach

 

It will have a knock-on effect across the board. The public sector pay bill is €17 billion or €18 billion a year. An increase of 2% across the board would amount to €360 million. That is not something we can afford to do.

Deputy Seamus Healy(WUAG)

 

The Defence Forces are entitled to the same treatment (as the Gardaí and the Nurses).

 

Categories: Uncategorized

United States and Britain Rescued Europe from Hitler’s Nazis. Complete Rubbish!A Capitalist Fairy Tale!

Alban Maginness: Why Red Army’s role in bringing Down the Third Reich must not be overlooked—-Belfast Telegraph

After all, without the Russians there would never have been a successful D-Day landing at all. https://wp.me/pKzXa-1jz

The defeat of the Nazis owes much more to the Soviet Union’s victory at Stalingrad in February 1943.

It is estimated that almost 27 million Russians died in the Second World War. That is a staggering figure compared to the combined losses of the Allies, including Britain, France and the USA.

It is incontrovertible that the defeat of Hitler’s armies in Russia marked the definitive turning point against the Germans in the war.

Without the courage and determination of the Red Army, the Nazis would not have been defeated.

The Allied invasion of France in 1944 was therefore a follow-on from the Soviet victory over the German army.

 

Full Article:  https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/alban-maginness/alban-maginness-why-red-armys-role-in-bringing-down-the-third-reich-must-not-be-overlooked-38209304.html

————————————————————-Germany Was Defeated On The Eastern Front, Not Normandy-Oriental Review

Open Dialogue Research Journal

Fuller Discussion below https://wp.me/pKzXa-1jz

ANGLOSPHERE, COLD WAR 2.0, EUROPE, FRANCE, GERMANY, INFORMATION WARFARE, RUSSIA, THE EPISODES
Germany Was Defeated On The Eastern Front, Not Normandy
Written by Eric MARGOLIS on 10/06/2019

Germany Was Defeated On The Eastern Front, Not Normandy

————————————————————–Russian Army reached Berlin First

1,100,000 Soviet personnel who took part in the capture of Berlin from 22 April to 2 May 1945 were awarded with the Medal “For the Capture of Berlin“. https://wp.me/pKzXa-1jz

Russian Army and East European guerrilla forces including Serbo-Croat Partisans led by Tito had already broken the back of the German Army before D-Day.

From Wilson John Haire on Aubane: 37% of Europe is Russian and the Red Army swept through the whole of Eastern Europe, including
taking Austria. Europe also takes in a large part of Turkey. 51 nations compose Europe. Therefore When Britain claims they liberated Europe they are giving a false impressions.

Russia’s most popular newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda asked: “Why does the West want everyone to think that their front wasn’t just the second front, but the main one?”. It added that millions of Soviet soldiers had been killed while the USSR was waiting for the US and Britain to open a second western front since 1943

The hope was that leaving the Russians to fight the Nazis alone in Europe for as long as possible would fatally weaken Stalin’s regime (like it had done with the Czar in WW1) and lead to the collapse of Stalinism. It was a spectacular miscalculation.

Discussion on Cedar Lounge Revolution https://wp.me/pKzXa-1jz

Paddy Healy :It has been a good productive discussion despite initial misunderstandings. Read On to the end !!!

yourcousin June 8,2019

Do we really want to draw information from a web site that uses friends of Richard Spencer as sources? I mean we can, but not sure that will end well.

FergusD  June 9 2016

Who is Richard Spencer? Anyway, regardless the data comes from elsewhere and seems genuine. The information about German casualties on the Eastern Front in WW2 are incontrovertible surely? I don’t attribute Soviet success to Stalin, rather despite Stalin and the hideous apparatus. Seems clear though that people in the West have a skewed view of WW2 and this may help facilitate WW3.

Paddy Healy June 9, 2019

I agree Fergus. Stalin showed his real colours in the post war arrangements. He ordered the French an Italian Communists parties, with their strong Résistance credentials, to join capitalist governments. He wanted capitalism stabilised in the big European Capitalist countries. If capitalism had been overthown in these, it would have quickly led to the overthrow of the privileged Russian bureaucracy which he represented. Of course, it was this privileged bureaucracy itself that restored capitalism in Russia eventually. Among other things, they wished to bequeath their property to their offspring. Trotsky,of course, had predicted this in the 20s and thirties.

Worldby Storm  June 10, 2019

Apologies for joining this late but been tied up with other stuff. I think it’s absolutely reasonable that both are seen as pivotal. The contribution of the Soviets – or more particularly their soldiers – was of unquestionable significance – though it’s also worth noting how the bizarre machinations at the point where the Nazi’s invaded the USSR despite the Soviet’s having intelligence about same and Stalin dismissing that intelligence was a massive self-inflicted blow. It’s also important I feel to keep in mind lend-lease and so on to the USSR from 1941 onwards which was also central to the Soviet war effort at a point where it was necessary. Similarly the Eastern front wore away the Nazi regime. That said, the western front was crucial too, functionally the Nazi’s couldn’t fight a war on two fronts (or effectively three given the fact of US/UK etc invasion of North Africa and later Italy). Moreover let’s not underestimate how difficult a channel crossing/invasion was. I’ve read some of the thinking on whether an invasion was possible in 1943 and at a push it might have been, but the means of transporting soldiers to the beaches of Normandy were very limited. A failed invasion then in the West would have been a significant blow to the efforts to push back the Nazi’s.

In other words it’s not all or nothing. D-Day was very important, the Eastern front was very important. North Africa and on to Egypt was very important. All built up into a coherent whole whereby the states involved pushed back against the Nazi’s. Incontrovertibly the Eastern front was key in significantly destroying the Nazi war machine but then again, and more contentiously so was the bombing of Germany by the US/UK, etc. And it’s worth keeping in mind that the Eastern front was a different sort of a war with – frankly, from the Nazi perspective, a racial component (and from the Russian perspective an existential one) almost entirely lacking from the other fronts.

I’d worry that any single element is taken in isolation. D-Day succeeded in no small part because of the pressure on the Nazi’s in the East. The challenge in the East was lessened in 1944 by the pressure in France. But of course the fight up the Italian penninsula and North Africa had also necessitated the stretching of more scant than might be thought Nazi manpower. I don’t believe all the myths around Britain standing alone, but it was an essential component in the push-back bridging the gap in the west until the US was politically able to join the conflict.

I’ve a relative too who fought on the beaches at D-Day and survived. Their contribution, that of the Soviet army soldiers and so on were all in their own way of supreme importance, each piece building up to the successful defeat of the Nazi’s.

Response by Paddy Healy  June 10,2019

D-Day It has been a good productive discussion despite initial misunderstandings. I think this is a balanced summary by WBS:”I’d worry that any single element is taken in isolation. D-Day succeeded in no small part because of the pressure on the Nazi’s in the East. The challenge in the East was lessened in 1944 by the pressure in France. But of course the fight up the Italian penninsula and North Africa had also necessitated the stretching of more scant (resources)than might be thought Nazi manpower. I don’t believe all the myths around Britain standing alone, but it was an essential component in the push-back bridging the gap in the west until the US was politically able to join the conflict.” I know we can’t mention all forces which contributed but I have a soft spot for the Résistance, The Italian Partisans, Tito’s Serbo-Croat guerillas and the greek anti-nazi fighters.
I initiated the discussion sharply in anger at the media attempt to portray the victory over Nazism as a purely US and British affair
I am of an age that it was in the first world war that my uncle and my mothers first cousins fought in the British Army. I think it was YOUR COUSIN who remarked that it was amazing how his uncle and many others retained their caring human approach having participated in such a savage conflict. My ex-BA relatives had the opportunity to serve the Irish people through membership of the IRA in the war of independence. The military training and war experience they received in the British Army was invaluable in training raw recruits to the IRA. Is olc an ghaoth ná séideann maitheas do dhuine éigin !!!!! Thanks to all for the constructive discussion.

 


WHAT WERE THE RUSSIANS DOING ON D-DAY?

 WELL HERE’S WHAT!

– A Facebook post by Seamus Martin, former ‘Irish Times’ correspondent in the USSR and Russia:  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1jz

It has been sad to see the bickering between the West and Russia on the 75th Anniversary of D Day.  Back in 1944 they were allies in the fight against Hitler and although Soviet Forces were not involved in the Normandy Landings they were busy elsewhere. In fact they were very busy indeed.

I have a personal interest in the matter as I knew some of the Soviet veterans of the conflict when I lived in Moscow as the correspondent of the Irish Times.  Some 26 million Soviet citizens lost their lives in that war. In the siege of Leningrad alone more people died than the combined fatal casualties of the United States and the United Kingdom for the entire war.

 

Of the young men born in 1922 and 1923 who fought in that war, 97% lost their lives. One of the three percent who survived was Yuri Vyzun who fought at Stalingrad, at the huge tank battle of Kursk which was probably the real turning point of the war and who fought street-by-street and house-by-house in the capture of Berlin in 1945. He arrived outside the Reich’s Chancellery in time to see the body of Joseph Goebbels lying in a bomb crater.

 

Much has been made of the mass rape of German women by Soviet troops at that time and there is no doubt that  these horrible events took place but I couldn’t bring myself to include Yuri in that category when I met him in his apartment in suburban Moscow. He was devoid of braggadocio, it took me some time to convince him to wear his war medals for a photograph and he was far more interested in showing me pictures of his four grandchildren than talking about his exploits in Stalingrad or Berlin.

 

My estimation of his character was borne out later by the eminent historian Antony Beevor who, in the introduction to his definitive history of the fall of Berlin, wrote: “One important lesson is that one should be extremely wary of any generalization concerning the conduct of individuals. Extremes of human suffering and even degradation can bring out the best as well as the worst in human nature. Human behaviour to a large extent mirrors the utter unpredictability of life or death. Many Soviet troops, especially in the frontline formations, unlike those who came behind, often behaved with great kindness to German civilians……..”

 

Yuri served in one of those frontline formations.  He spoke well of the allies from other countries especially the Americans after the German capital had been divided into US, British, French and Soviet Zones. “If one of our fellows got drunk and strayed into the American sector he would be well looked after. They called all of us “Ivan” or “Comrade” and they would make sure the offender would get back safely into the Soviet sector.”

As for the British, the class system was particularly evident. “The soldiers were good to us but their officers treated us like dirt.”

 

Yuri didn’t take part in the great parade in Red Square on the 50th Anniversary of Victory in Europe in 1995.  He had become disillusioned with those who came to power in his country and described himself as an “anti-communist” but the real reason he stayed away from the ceremony was: “It’s just that I can’t march well any more”.

 

His disillusionment with the system began with Leonid Brezhnev’s writings on the battle of Stalingrad. “He was claiming all sorts of things mainly trying to show himself in a good light. But I was there so I knew his claims were wrong.”

 

Like many of his comrades in arms he had also been a comrade in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union but he resigned his membership after the storming of the TV Tower by special forces in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1990.

 

“We discovered that our system had been close in some ways to the Fascists we defeated but I am still proud we defeated the Fascists”.  It is a chastening thought that I am now older than Yuri was when I met him in 1995 and I imagine he has since died.

 

I know that another veteran I met died in the first year of this new century. Her name was Valentina Flegontovna Kravchenko and her apartment was closer to the centre of Moscow than Yuri’s. Many women of her age decorated their flats with the holy icons of the Russian Orthodox Church but Valentina did not. The walls of her little place  bore photographs of warplanes. Valentina had been a bomber pilot.  She served in an Air Force regiment that was entirely female from its Commander Marina Raskova through to the pilots to the mechanics and those who worked in the kitchens.

 

Valentina was shot down twice and made her way back through enemy lines to her unit in order to fight on. Unlike Yuri she had remained loyal to the old regime and held Boris Yeltsin in contempt as a traitor to the cause.

 

Further north as that 50th anniversary drew near I visited groups of young Russians at a place called Myasnoy Bor near the ancient city of Novgorod. They were digging for the bodies of soldiers who had been trapped in the swamplands by the advancing Germans. A young woman told me: “I might find someone else’s grandfather and someone else might find mine.”

One of the things they found in one of the little bakelite cylinders worn by Russian soldiers instead of “dogtags” was a short letter. It read:

“TO DEAR MARFUSHKA AND MY SONS VOLODYA AND VITYA.  LIVE HAPPILY WITHOUT ME.  I DIE IN AWFUL SUFFERING, REMEMBERING THE LIFE I HAVE LIVED FOR 27 YEARS- BLINOV, TIKHON ANDREYEVICH.”

 

When I returned from Myasnoy Bor my landlady Marina Ivanovna told me her own story of the war although she was not old enough to be a combatant. “My mother had died before the war started. We lived in a village in Western Russia and knew that the Germans would reach us very quickly after they invaded. My father called us together and told us that since our house was the biggest in the village the Germans would make it their headquarters. So we burned our house down and joined the partisans in the forests.”

 

It struck me that Mr. Hitler was a very silly man to take on people who would burn down their own house and it seems that my view was shared by Field Marshal Montgomery.

 

In a memorable statement to the House of Lords on May 30th 1963 he said:

“THE FIRST RULE ON THE FIRST PAGE OF THE BOOK OF WAR IS -DO NOT MARCH ON MOSCOW.

VARIOUS PEOPLE HAVE TRIED IT, NAPOLEON AND HITLER, AND IT IS NO GOOD. THAT IS THE FIRST RULE.”

——————————————————————-D-Day

The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied France (and later western Europe) from Nazi control, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front. (after Germany had been defeated on the Eastern Front-PH)

Why does Russia see D-Day differently to the West?

Analysis by Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Moscow

When countries argue about the present, they often disagree about the past, too. Take D-Day – British Prime Minister Theresa May called it the day that “determined the fate of generations to come”. But Russia’s Foreign Ministry sees things rather differently.

“The Normandy landings did not have a decisive impact on the outcome of World War Two,” said its spokesperson Maria Zakharova this week. “It was inevitable after the Red Army victories at Stalingrad and Kursk.”

Russia’s most popular newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda asked: “Why does the West want everyone to think that their front wasn’t just the second front, but the main one?”. It added that millions of Soviet soldiers had been killed while the USSR was waiting for the Allies to open the second front.

Perhaps if President Putin had been invited to join the D-Day commemorations in Normandy, Russia’s viewpoint might be more positive.

One Russian TV presenter declared: “There wouldn’t even have been a Normandy landing if it hadn’t been for the Soviet soldiers who’d died from 1941 onwards in the fight against fascism.”

Moscow had been fighting German forces in the east for almost three years by the time of the D-Day operations that ultimately led to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany.

Russia lost more than 25 million lives in what it calls the Great Patriotic War – more than any other nation. The country holds a massive military parade every year to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War Two and remember the role of Soviet troops.

 

4 July 1945

U.S. troops occupying Berlin. The army of the Soviet Union conquered Berlin in April/May 1945. Two months later the Western Allied troops also entered the city. On 4 July 1945, the AmericanIndependence Day, U.S. troops officially took charge of their occupation sector in southwest Berlin.

Allies suffered 10,000 total casualties on D-Day itself

THE Long  Foundation’s list isn’t complete, but says that it’s the best figure that we have to date. Of the 4,414 Allied deaths on June 6th, 2,501 were Americans and 1,913 were Allies. If the figure sounds low, Long says, it’s probably because we’re used to seeing estimates of the total number of D-Day casualties, which includes fatalities, the wounded and the missing.

While casualty figures are notoriously difficult to verify—not all wounded soldiers are counted, for example—the accepted estimate is that the Allies suffered 10,000 total casualties on D-Day itself. The highest casualties occurred on Omaha beach, where 2,000 U.S. troops were killed, wounded or went missing; at Sword Beach and Gold Beach, where 2,000 British troops were killed, wounded or went missing; and at Juno beach, where 340 Canadian soldiers were killed and another 574 wounded.

 

Wikipedia

Battle of Berlin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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For the RAF bombing campaign, see Battle of Berlin (air).

Battle of Berlin
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II
The Brandenburg Gate amid the ruins of Berlin, June 1945
Date 16 April – 2 May 1945
(2 weeks and 2 days)
Location BerlinGermany
52°31′N 13°23′ECoordinates52°31′N 13°23′E
Result Soviet victory

·         Suicide of Adolf Hitler and deaths of other high-ranking Nazi officials

·         Unconditional surrender of the Berlin city garrison on 2 May

·         Capitulation of German forces still fighting the battle outside Berlin on 8/9 May, following the unconditional surrender of all German forces

·         End of World War II in Europe and the destruction of Nazi Germany

Territorial
changes
Soviets occupy what would become East Germany during the Partition of Germanylater that year.
Belligerents
·          Soviet Union

·          Poland

 Germany
Commanders and leaders
Joseph Stalin·         1st Belorussian Front:

·         Georgy Zhukov

2nd Belorussian Front:

·         Konstantin Rokossovsky

1st Ukrainian Front:

·         Ivan Konev

Adolf Hitler ·         Army Group Vistula:

·         Gotthard Heinrici

·         Kurt von Tippelskirch [a]

Army Group Centre:

·         Ferdinand Schörner

Berlin Defence Area:

·         Hellmuth Reymann

·         Helmuth Weidling [b]

·         Rudolf Sieckenius 

·         Robert Ritter von Greim

Strength
·         Total strength:

o    2,300,000 soldiers (+155,900–200,000
Polish Army in the East)[1][2]

·         6,250 tanks and SP guns[2]

·         7,500 aircraft[2]

·         41,600 artillery pieces.[3][4]

·         For the investment and assault on the Berlin Defence Area: about 1,500,000 soldiers[5]

·         Total strength:

·         36 divisions[6]

·         766,750 soldiers[7]

·         1,519 AFVs[8]

·         2,224 aircraft[9]

·         9,303 artillery pieces[7][c]

·         In the Berlin Defence Area: about 45,000 soldiers, supplemented by the police force, Hitler Youth, and 40,000 Volkssturm[5][d]

Casualties and losses
·         Archival research
(operational total)·         81,116 dead or missing[10]·         280,251 sick or wounded·         1,997 tanks and SPGs destroyed[11]·         2,108 artillery pieces·         917 aircraft[11]
·         Estimated:
92,000–100,000 killed·         220,000 wounded[12][e]·         480,000 captured[13]·         Inside Berlin Defence Area:·         about 22,000 military dead·         22,000 civilian dead[14]

 

show

·         v

·         t

·         e

Eastern Front

show

·         v

·         t

·         e

Berlin Offensive

 

Part of a series on the
History of Berlin
Margraviate of Brandenburg (1157–1806)
Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918)
German Empire (1871–1918)
Free State of Prussia (1918–1947)
Weimar Republic (1919–1933)
·         1920s Berlin

·         Greater Berlin Act

Nazi Germany (1933–1945)
·         Welthauptstadt Germania

·         Bombing of Berlin in World War II

·         Battle of Berlin

West Germany and East Germany (1945–1990)
·         West Berlin and East Berlin

·         Berlin Wall

·         Berlin Blockade (1948–1949)

·         Berlin Crisis of 1961

·         “Ich bin ein Berliner” (1963)

·         “Tear Down This Wall” (1987)

Federal Republic of Germany(1990–present)
·         History of Germany and History of Europe
See also
·         Timeline of Berlin
·         v

·         t

·         e

The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, and also known as the Fall of Berlin, was one of the last major offensives of the European theatre of World War II.[f]

Following the Vistula–Oder Offensive of January–February 1945, the Red Army had temporarily halted on a line 60 km (37 mi) east of Berlin. On 9 March, Germany established its defence plan for the city with Operation Clausewitz. The first defensive preparations at the outskirts of Berlin were made on 20 March, under the newly appointed commander of Army Group Vistula, General Gotthard Heinrici.

When the Soviet offensive resumed on 16 April, two Soviet fronts (army groups) attacked Berlin from the east and south, while a third overran German forces positioned north of Berlin. Before the main battle in Berlin commenced, the Red Army encircled the city after successful battles of the Seelow Heights and Halbe. On 20 April 1945, Hitler’s birthday, the 1st Belorussian Frontled by Marshal Georgy Zhukov, advancing from the east and north, started shelling Berlin’s city centre, while Marshal Ivan Konev‘s 1st Ukrainian Front broke through Army Group Centre and advanced towards the southern suburbs of Berlin. On 23 April General Helmuth Weidlingassumed command of the forces within Berlin. The garrison consisted of several depleted and disorganised Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS divisions, along with poorly trained Volkssturm and Hitler Youth members. Over the course of the next week, the Red Army gradually took the entire city.

On April 30th, Hitler committed suicide (with several of his officials also committing suicide shortly afterwards). The city’s garrison surrendered on 2 May but fighting continued to the north-west, west, and south-west of the city until the end of the war in Europe on 8 May (9 May in the Soviet Union) as some German units fought westward so that they could surrender to the Western Allies rather than to the Soviets.[15]

 

Second Front. In November, 1943, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt met together in Teheran, Iran, to discuss military strategy and post-warEurope. Ever since the Soviet Union had entered the war, Stalin had been demanding that the Allies open-up asecond front in Europe.

Second FrontIn November, 1943, Joseph StalinWinston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt met together in Teheran, Iran, to discuss military strategy and post-war Europe. Ever since the Soviet Union had entered the war, Stalin had been demanding that the Allies open-up a second front in Europe. Churchill and Roosevelt argued that any attempt to land troops in Western Europe would result in heavy casualties. Until the Soviet’s victory at Stalingrad in January, 1943, Stalin had feared that without a second front, Germany would defeat them.

Stalin, who always favoured in offensive strategy, believed that there were political, as well as military reasons for the Allies’ failure to open up a second front in Europe. Stalin was still highly suspicious of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt and was worried about them signing a peace agreement with Adolf Hitler. The foreign policies of the capitalist countries since the October Revolution had convinced Stalin that their main objective was the destruction of the communist system in the Soviet Union. Stalin was fully aware that if Britain and the USA withdrew from the war, the Red Army would have great difficulty in dealing with Germany on its own.

Categories: Uncategorized

European Elections 2019

Ireland South Constituency  European Election

Deirdre Clune (nee Barry) Has lost her European Seat. The sitting MEP will not be present when the newly elected EU Parliament convenes. She will only join the European Parliament if and when the United Kindom leaves the EU. RTE continually streamed that Grace O’Sullivan and Deirdre Clune had been elected. This is grossly misleading.

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

Desperate attempts were made by Fine Gael HQ to ensure the election of sitting MEP Deirdre Clune in the final days of the election. This included assigning the Fine Gael vote in Counties Tipperary and Limerick exclusively to Deirdre Clune.  But these attempts have failed

——————————————————————————–                                                            Further Desperate Attempt to Save FG Euro Seat of Deirdre Clune(nee Barry)       The Other Two FG Candidates, Sean Kelly MEP (Kerry) and Andrew Doyle TD (Wicklow) have been Banned from Limerick and Tipperary By Director of Elections. But Doyle Refuses to Obey.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1iu

FG Bid to save 2 Seats in Ireland South
Daniel McConnell  
Political Editor, Irish Examiner Wednesday, May 22,

Fine Gael is deeply divided after it was forced to “revise” its division of the Ireland South constituency in order to bolster MEP Deirdre Clune’s flagging campaign, just 48 hours before polling.

Letters issued in parts of the vast constituency by Director of Elections Regina Doherty have called on voters in Limerick and Tipperary to give Ms Clune their number 1 votes in order to ensure Fine Gael keeps its two seats in the European Parliament.

Ms Doherty’s letter called on voters in the city to vote for Ms Clune ahead of her party colleagues Sean Kelly, who is all but assured of a seat and junior agriculture minister Andrew Doyle, who is seen as a sweeper in Leinster.0 But Mr Doyle and his camp are furious at the diktat, which they say was issued “without any consultation.”

Pat Deering, TD for Carlow-Kilkenny, and Mr Doyle’s campaign manager told the Irish Examiner that the team is “very disappointed” with the letter issued by Ms Doherty, which was done as part of a protectionist policy to benefit the two sitting MEPs.

“If they wanted to protect the two candidates, then why run three. This is very disappointing, we were not consulted and I tell you what, we will be going into Tipperary and Limerick tomorrow,” he said.

 

 

—————————————————————-May 19   Deirdre Clune (nee Barry) FG MEP  Down to 7% in Red C Poll-Mick Wallace on 8%,  O’Sullivan Green also on 8% !!!

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

Desperate Attempt to save seat of Deirdre Clune (nee Barry) FG MEP Continues but seems to be failing. Two other FG Candidates were Banned from FG’s Cork  Euro Hustings. Last Week MRBI Irish Times Ireland South Poll FG Candidates:  Kelly 18%, Clune 10%, Doyle 9%

Irish Examiner Tuesday, May 14, 2019  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1iu

Fine Gael has banned a second party candidate from taking part in the Irish Examiner European election debate in Cork amid fears that their involvement could damage sitting MEP Deirdre Clune’s re-election chances. Kerry-based MEP Sean Kelly confirmed that he has been told not to attend the public meeting.Last weekend, Wicklow-based Andrew Doyle said he had been barred from taking part in the event.

——————————————————————————-Wicklow FG Candidate Excluded From FG Cork Euro Launch in Desperate Bid To Save the Seat Of Cork’s Deirdre Clune (nee Barry) MEP

Irish Examiner   Saturday, May 11, 2019 – 06:45 AM  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1iu

A major row has erupted within Fine Gael after junior minister Andrew Doyle was ordered not to attend a hustings event next week, after previously being told he could go.

Mr Doyle, a Wicklow-based TD and junior agriculture minister, and his campaign director Pat Deering, TD for Carlow- Kilkenny, have hit out at Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, who has issued an order that he does not appear at the Irish Examiner event in Cork next Thursday night.

Treat Irish Times MRBI Euro-Poll with Caution!

Ireland South    https://wp.me/pKzXa-1iu

Infamously, Conor Cruise O’Brien commented on the transfer of a number of votes from a H-block hunger striker to Minister Paddy Cooney (FG), scourge of the IRA. Conor thought it was an example of the insanity/irrationality of the mere Irish. It would not have occurred to CCO’B that there was method in the “madness” of the supporters of the hunger striker. As there was no republican candidate to whom votes could be transferred you might as well keep a minister in your own area. Why? To ensure that the area would not be overlooked in the matters of public services, capital investment, location of multi-national companies etc. Clientelism is a huge factor in Irish electoral politics and PR enables strategic voting to take that factor into account.

Ireland South   (4 or 5 seats):

Kelly* (FG) 18  Kerry
Ní Ríada* (SF) 14  Cork
Kelleher (FF) 13     Cork
Clune* (FG) 10   Cork
Byrne (FF) 10  Wexford
Doyle (FG) 9  Wicklow
Wallace (I4C) 8  WexFord
Nunan (Lab) 5  Dublin (Kerry Background)
O’Sullivan (GP) 5     Waterford-Tramore
Gardner (Ind) 2  Kilkenny

No candidate from Limerick or Clare or Laois or Offally

No candidate above 1 % in Tipperary or Carlow

others all 1% or lower

https://www.laoistoday.ie/2019/04/16/confirmed-the-full-list-of-european-election-candidates-in-the-ireland-south-area/     and their places of residence

Earlier on CLR I said: Treat Irish Times Euro-Poll with Caution
1. low 500 sample   MOE 4.4 %
2. Poll for Persons not parties -favours high name recognition candidates-discriminates more than normal party polls against pocketed(localised) and therefore independent candidates
3. 12% + or – 4.4% for a candidate is much more uncertain for example than FF 25% + or – 3.3% in a party poll

Fine Gael Total       18+10+9= 37%

Does this mean that FG are on 37%? NO!

Sean Kelly on  18% is certain to be elected. There is no other KERRY CANDIDATE! Many Kerry supporters of  FF and  Other Parties will vote for Kelly to ensure that Kerry’s interests are “looked after”. There is no candidate at all from Limerick or Clare! These counties are politically closer to Kerry rather than to Munster rivals Cork. Many Limerick and Clare supporters of FF and other parties will vote for Kelly. Limerick and Clare Fine Gael supporters are much more likely to vote for Kelly than for Cork’s Deirdre Clune or Wicklow’s Andy Doyle! I wouldn’t be surprised if he secured  more votes than the 18% he got in the MRBI POLL.  The downside of this is that if he gets a surplus there will be significant leakage to other parties on its distribution!

Minister of State, Andy Doyle (FG) is the only Wicklow candidate. As such his 9% in the poll may be carrying many non-Fine Gael  Eastern regional votes. Although Deirdre Clune (nee Barry) is only on 10%, it is likely that she will be ahead of Doyle on late counts as County Cork has a very large population and there are many minor Cork-based candidates to be eliminated.  But it remains to be seen whether the leakage from Kelly’s Surplus Distribution  and Doyle’s transfers ensures she is not elected particularly in a 4 seats only scenario. On the other hand, her lack of name recognition across the 12 counties and consequent pocketing of her vote in Cork City and County, may mean that the 10% she has received in the MRBI Poll underestimates her actual support. She should definitely be elected in a 5 seat scenario.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Nationalists To Become Majority in Six Counties-Shifting Demographics

April 30, 2019 Leave a comment

See Full ARTICLE  Further Down: ‘Catholic majority possible’ in NI by 2021—-BBC NI

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Belfast Irish News 30 April, 2019
“THE religious divide in schools in NI is at its widest ever with the number of Catholic children at an all all-time high.       https://wp.me/pKzXa-1hW
Official government figures also reveal the percentage of pupils who identify as Protestant is plummeting. There are now more Catholic children at nursery, primary, secondary, grammar and special schools.On school census day this year there were 175,617 Catholic pupils – 50.7 per cent of all enrolments. It is the first time this figure has topped 175,000. There were 114,314 Protestant children – 33 per cent – while 56,408 identified as `other’.”-Irish News

William Considine on Facebook;  In NI, religion is more than religion. These figures show how the plantation of Ulster is unraveling.

Jim O’Donnell on FB;

Will this be basis for the New Republic?
Paddy Healy; William Considine is correct. Religion and even religious background in the six counties is a badge of ethnicity and political allegiance. The British maintained the Protestant/Unionists as an upper caste to control that part of the empire for them and to prevent the emergence of a strong united Ireland next door.. To do this under the cloak of democracy the upper caste had to be a local majority. That is why 3 Ulster counties were excluded from “Northern Ireland” in the Treaty Settlement. These school going figures are regarded as extremely serious by the ruling elites in UK and the 26-counties. In an Irish Times article which called for a”calm debate” some years ago, it also pointed out:”In total, therefore in 2010, at third level there are 20,995 students (59.3 per cent) from a Catholic background and 14,410 (40.7 per cent) from a Protestant background. This is in addition to the figures above. Nationalists/Catholics are in a majority in Queens and New University of Ulster. Many Unionist/Protestant 3rd level students are studying in Scotland and UK. A significant portion are not returning. Jim O’Donnell asks “will this be the basis for a United Ireland?” For to-day, i will just comment that it was the mainly Catholic Irish Rich who crushed the risen people in the civil war!
————————————————————————————————————-

‘Catholic majority possible’ in NI by 2021—-BBC  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1hW

“The difference is even more marked among schoolchildren with 51% Catholic, 37% Protestant.

Only among the over 60s is there a majority of Protestants with 57%, compared to Catholics on 35%.”

 

By Gareth GordonBBC News NI Political Correspondent, 19 April 2018 Demographics are shifting in Northern Ireland

It is likely Catholics will outnumber Protestants by 2021 in Northern Ireland, according to a leading academic.

Dr Paul Nolan, who specialises in monitoring the peace process and social trends, told BBC News NI that there could be more Catholics than Protestants in Northern Ireland by the centenary of the foundation of the state.

However, he says unionists should not be too alarmed because you cannot necessarily equate being a Catholic with supporting a united Ireland.

nsus figures in 2011 showed a narrowing gap in the population

The last census in 2011 put the Protestant population at 48%, just 3% more than Catholics at 45%.

More recent figures from 2016 show that among those of working age 44% are now Catholic and 40% Protestant.

Figures from 2016 of working age population

The difference is even more marked among schoolchildren with 51% Catholic, 37% Protestant.

Only among the over 60s is there a majority of Protestants with 57%, compared to Catholics on 35%.

Dr Nolan said: “Three years from now we will end up, I think, in the ironic situation on the centenary of the state where we actually have a state that has a Catholic majority.”

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Looking at the last census in 2011, Mr Nolan points out although 45% identified as being from a Catholic background, only 25% claimed an exclusively Irish identity.

Image captionFigures among school-age children are more clear

He said: “The future of unionism depends entirely upon one thing – and I mean unionism with a small ‘u’ – it depends on winning the support of people who do not regard themselves to be unionists with a capital ‘U’.

“In other words people who do not identify with the traditional trappings of unionism; people who would give their support for a UK government framework and that’s a sizeable proportion of Catholics provided they are not alienated by any form of triumphalism or anything that seems to be a rejection of their cultural identity as nationalists.”

What’s next?

It is likely there will be “more examination of what a United Ireland might mean,” according to Dr Nolan.

“Does it mean one parliament in Dublin or two parliaments? One in Belfast and one in Dublin?

“I think the more that gets unpacked, the more opinion will move back and forward. Its not going to go just in one direction.

Dr Nolan warns not to rely too heavily on polls for an indication on support for a united Ireland

Dismissing opinion polls declaring support for a united Ireland, Dr Nolan says the polls ask the wrong question.

“If we got to the situation where people go into a polling booth and have to put the mark against a united Ireland, it’s very hard for anyone to predict it. Just ask Hillary Clinton, ask David Cameron, ask Theresa May: were they right to put their faith in the opinion polls? I don’t think so.”

Meanwhile the Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald responded to the DUP leader Arlene Foster saying she would “probably” leave in the event of a united Ireland.

Ms McDonald told BBC News NI: “Of course unionists have to be at home in a new Ireland. It has to be as much a home for Arlene Foster and her family as for mine.

“So, yes, let’s have the discussion.

“As far as I’m concerned nothing is taboo. Let’s talk about the flag, let’s talk about the anthem, let’s talk about every nuance and every aspect of Irish life north and south.”

Categories: Uncategorized

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.

——————————————————————–

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.”

————————————————————-

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.

———————————————————————————————————————-

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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