Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

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The old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born – call the midwife – Ireland needs a new left party

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cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2020/07/09/the-old-world-is-dying-and-the-new-world-struggles-to-be-born-call-the-midwife-ireland-needs-a-new-left-party/

This is an excellent post from the Cedar Lounge Revolution Blog.

The author is a former member of the Socialist Party, who highlights the need for an organisation which is internally democratic and is not ultimately controlled by privileged components which make all the decisive decisions – in other words a significant departure from the SWN controlled PBP and the SP controlled Solidarity.

Here is the introduction :

Thanks to Shane Faherty for allowing this to be reposted. Much appreciated. Originally posted on

Modern Distortions Culture, society and history, at the beginning of the month.

 

In keeping with the spirit of our times, on Tuesday I watched an online ‘meeting’ with Paul Murphy TD of RISE (formerly of the Socialist Party/ Solidarity) and Brid Smith TD of People Before Profit. It was a virtual version of the public meeting that most of us on the left know, but may not necessarily love.

Paul Murphy TD RISE – Leaflet, General Election, February 8 2020

Campaigners supporting Paul Murphy TD, February 8 2020 General Election

I wanted to know whether the new party being mooted was a runner and what form it would take. Paul’s organisation RISE have been making overtures to members of the Green Party who may be disillusioned with their party entering government with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. He argues that they should leave the party and, along with other groups on the left, launch a new party. Similarly, People Before Profit released a statement proposing the formation of a new left party. Another small group called Independent Left, many of whom are former PBP members, released a statement welcoming the move. The elephant in the room in all of this is that Rise and People Before Profit are part of a parliamentary grouping called Solidarity – People Before Profit. Solidarity have said nothing on all of this. Solidarity and People Before Profit operate a marriage of convenience for electoral and parliamentary purposes. Until last year, they were evenly matched electorally, with 3 TDS and just under 30 councillors each, based on significant gains made at the previous local and general elections. The local elections of 2019 reduced the numbers of councillors for each party. There were gains for Sinn Fein and the Greens, and this was an indication of things to come.

This analysis hits the nail on the head Read the rest of this entry »

Left Politics after Sanders: Think Internationally, Historically and Dialectically – New Politics

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Peter Drucker’s useful article examines radical left electoral initiatives in various parts of the world. It includes descriptions of the Left Bloc in Portugal and the Red-Green Alliance in Denmark. These are examples which should be compared with the experiences of radical left candidates in Ireland.

Drunker concludes with a plan of action leading up to the November 2020 USA General Election. He highlights the campaign of Green Eco-Socialist Candidate Howie Hawkins, rejecting lesser-evilists like Bernie Sanders, who lined up behind Joe Biden of the Democratic Party.

Howie Hawkins Campaign, USA Presidential Election November 2020

And what about the national election this November? Leftists are understandably preoccupied with stopping Trump. But Biden is a terribly weak reed to lean on in the fight against the racist far right.

Particularly in the forty-odd states where either Trump doesn’t stand a chance (California, New York, Massachusetts) or Biden doesn’t stand a chance, a vote by leftists for Biden – up to his knees in the shit of the Iraq war, the destruction of welfare, the growth of mass incarceration, the power plays of Big Pharma and more – is a wasted vote if ever there was one. Especially when there is a clear alternative – presumptive Green candidate Howie Hawkins – who is himself a long-time stalwart of the socialist left.

Given the groundswell on the left toward a critical vote for Biden, independent-minded socialists may be tempted to soft-pedal this debate. I think that would be a mistake. Of course, we shouldn’t push the debate to the point of alienating our allies in the movements. But neither should we imagine that what people do for a couple of minutes in the privacy of a polling booth is harmless.

In times of polarization like these, people and especially activists usually don’t keep their voting plans secret. Their declarations that of course they’ll vote for Biden to stop Trump help keep broad social milieus in the Democratic Party’s orbit. Even more serious, movement organizations’ success in delivering votes to Biden will be the currency for years of their quid pro quos with the Democrats: some crumbs for my base, some jobs for my staff, in return for lasting political allegiance.

For all their imperfections – notably their shallow roots in social movements – the Greens, who explicitly declared themselves anti-capitalist in 2016, offer the clearest possible rebuke to this kind of lesser-evilism. A vote for them is a small but meaningful step in the direction of the future new socialist party. So let’s take and advocate that step.
— Read on newpol.org/left-politics-after-sanders-think-internationally-historically-and-dialectically/

Bad News from Denmark : The 2013 budget: austerity without significant changes

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A crisis looms for the Danish Red-Green Alliance :

Concerning the vote on the 2013 budget, the Red Green Alliance – Enhedslisten has signed an agreement with the government. We have chosen this commentary to present a critical review of this agreement. We conclude that the Finance Law does not meet the prerequisites for voting for it, as adopted by Enhedslisten at its 2010 Congress. An assessment of the political effects of this agreement and the tasks arising from it will be made next week – our national conference next weekend will decide on it. In the immediate future we call for people to transform anger and disappointment into an increased effort in the ongoing struggle against the degradation of unemployment benefits.

Read More Here :

Declaration of the SAP (Denmark)

London conference: New parties of the left

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On Saturday 29th September the British group Socialist Resistance organised a very interesting day of discussion in London on the new European, broad, pluralistic, left parties. It was a kind of update of their seminal conference on the same theme held in London in 2000. Minus one or two of the organisations that have since died or shrunk. As is common on the British left there was no cognisance of Ireland or the ULA in the published programme for the day.

It was also a kind of  ‘film of the book’ of the uneven but instructive  New Parties of the Left: Experiences from Europe (Resistance Books 2011).

 

Both Tomás and I were at the 2000 meeting but as it was a busy weekend I unfortunately could not travel to this meeting. Never mind, technology has since allowed us to attend meetings without actually going to them and many of the speeches were recorded and put up on the Socialist Resistance website. The actual line up seems to have departed slightly from the advertised billing.

 

Below is the line up for the day and then the filmed speeches in the rough chronological order in which I think they were delivered.

Des Derwin

New parties of the left

A day of debate organised by London Socialist Resistance

Saturday 29 September, 10:30am – 5pm

With Stathis Kouvelakis (Syriza), Kate Hudson (Respect), Adam Hanieh (author and activist), Sandra Demarcq (NPA – France), Andrew Burgin (CoR), Alan Thornett (Socialist Resistance), Michael Voss (Red Green Alliance – Enheidlisten, Denmark), and Phillipe Nadouce (Front de Gauche).

At ULU, Malet Street, London, WC1

stathis-kouvelakis-on-greece-6376827

kate-hudson-on-new-left-parties-6376775

denmark-s-red-green-alliance-6376835

the-radicalisation-in-the-arab-world-6376840

the-need-for-broad-parties-of-the-left-6376878

 

 

Vote No to EU Austerity Treaty – Bailout People Not Banks – Public Meeting, Liberty Hall, Monday March 5, 7.30pm

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Say No the Austerity Treaty – Irish Times Front Page Photo, 29.2.2012

First Poster of the 2012 EU Austerity Referendum Campaign

Bailout People Not Banks

Link to PDF of Poster is Here :

Say No to EU Austerity Treaty

More Information on the Danish Red-Green MEP Soren Sondergaard Here :

Soren Sondergaard on Denmark and the Euro

Danish People’s Movement Welcomes Foreign Workers

Public Action was needed to force the government to hold a referendum.

We have extra time after the Lisbon Treaty 1-1 draw – let’s score in extra time and win this European battle on Irish Soil – start the fight back against the parasite banks in Ireland, spread the spirit of rebellion beyond our shores to the rest of Europe.

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United Left Alliance calls for a NO vote in ‘Austerity Referendum’

The five United Left Alliance TDs (Richard Boyd Barrett, Joan Collins, Clare Daly, Joe Higgins and Seamus Healy) today called for a NO vote in the referendum on the Fiscal Treaty – the austerity treaty. Read the rest of this entry »

The Red-Green Alliance in Denmark [from the Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières (ESSF) Site]

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http://www.europe-solidaire.org
/spip.php?article23199

Possible Lessons Here for the United Left Alliance in Ireland

Written by tomasoflatharta

Dec 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm