Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Genesis 11:5-8

with one comment

Eddie Conlon and Brendan Young published their article on the ULA (Where to now for the ULA? – now on the Australian Links site BTW) on 3rd February. The response from the main constituents of the ULA has been ‘no reply’ so far, but it is early days and people are very busy these days. Though their inveterate bloggers have stayed their hands too. In it Eddie and Brendan wrote:

As a bottom line the emphasis should shift from constituents running their own campaigns when they cannot get agreement in the ULA to agreeing to focus on campaigns where everyone is in agreement.”

Of course it is not a direct response to this, more an illustration of the point they were addressing, but on 6th February the Socialist Party announced:

Paul Murphy MEP launched the Socialist Party campaign for a referendum to be held on the Austerity Treaty and an online petition,, for members of the public to sign [and] build pressure on the government to allow the people to vote on this treaty.”

I don’t know if all the constituents of the ULA agree to a campaign for a referendum on the Treaty or if agreement was sought but here is a “Socialist Party campaign for a referendum to be held on the Austerity Treaty and an online petition”. Last year the SWP launched their ‘Enough!’ campaign for a referendum on the IMF/ECB/EU bail out. This was a solo run and, besides, the SP and others disagreed with the aim of seeking a referendum on the bail out. Since then ‘Enough!’ has campaigned on several other issues that an all-ULA sponsored body might have done.

Now the SP has launched an SP campaign for a referendum on the Fiscal Compact. A campaign that could surely and easily be undertaken by the ULA, or, indeed, subsumed into the broad campaign to which almost all the elements of the ULA are affiliated along with other forces. And do we now have two referendums in our sights? One on the bail out and one on the Treaty?

This is not to have a go at Paul Murphy, whom everyone has respect for. The thing to ask is – as with other ranging forays – can this initiative not be brought back to the main column and under the ULA umbrella? Otherwise another, frequently asked, question, will continue to be asked: ‘Where is the ULA’?

Des Derwin

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