Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Left Wing Opponents of Neoliberalism’ Category

Fine Gael Minister Paschal Donohoe TD in trouble – he must go says Councillor John Lyons

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Michael Stone, a businessman and personal friend of Finance and Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe paid for a team to do the postering in two general election campaigns in a row – 2016 & 2020. Stone gave Donohoe an enormous advantage.

John Lyons, a Dublin City Councillor (Independent Left) argues that Donohoe must go.

Paschal Donohoe is in trouble. Not bothering to declare hugely significant donations you receive from a businessman who was heavily involved in the construction industry, whom Fine Gael appoint to the Land Development Agency in 2019, is rotten and revealing of how power operates in Ireland.

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Razem: Building a left alternative in Poland – Federico Fuentes interviews Zofia Malisz

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Polish left-wing party Razem (Together) International Office member Zofia Malisz speaks to Green Left’s Federico Fuentes about the party’s history, Polish politics and Razem’s views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The source is an Australian website, Greemn Left Weekly https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/razem-building-left-alternative-poland

Razem supports the European Network for Solidarity With Ukraine https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

January 10, 2023

razem zofia malisz

Members of Razem at May Day in Warsaw in 2022. The banner reads: ‘Housing! Jobs! Decent Pay!’. Inset: Zofia Malesz. Photo: @RazemWM/Twitter

Could you tell us about Razem’s history and politics?

Razem was formed in 2015 by a group of leftist activists with years of experience in the Polish green and feminist movements, along with members of the Young Socialists.

The impetus for creating a new party was two-fold.

One was the frustration that emerged under the liberal Donald Tusk government (2007‒14). Whenever voices started to demand the government focus on social spending instead of cuts and privatisations, Tusk’s response was to say Poland was still in its transformation stage [towards a market economy] and that now was not the time to build up a welfare state.

See also

Poland sets up ‘terrifying’ pregnancy register after banning abortion

Poland: Caught between Western and Russian imperialism

Frustration grew as neoliberal policies were implemented at breakneck speed to indulge business elites, while people were denied even modest social benefits and public services were being dismantled.

All this occurred as anti-austerity protests were taking place in Greece, something we supported and that inspired Razem.

The other major factor was the protests against the Iraq war and against Poland’s participation in the occupation of Afghanistan. Several activists who went on to build Razem came from these protest movements.

The revelations of alleged illegal US prisons in Poland used to torture al-Qaeda members created huge outrage. Seeing the Polish government bow down to US imperialism unchallenged — and in fact encouraged by the mainstream, including former Solidarność activists — fuelled frustration on the left.

Razem was formed as an expression of this anger and frustration that had built up during the transformation process.

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Voters in the British State Reject Brexit – The Emperors Have No Clothes

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Lots of recent data tells us that voters in the British state – in the nations of England, Scotland, Wales (and in the statelet called Northern Ireland) – reject Brexit. Here is the latest graphic :

Rejecting Brexit – Well Outside the Margin of Error

The polling expert John Curtice publishes lots of interesting information on this and other related subjects.

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John Molyneux – “As capitalism’s crises grow worse, his voice will be missed”

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Many tributes are online paying tribute to John Molyneux, who died in Dublin on December 11 2022 aged 74.

Tempest member Phil Gasper discusses the work and politics of the prominent and dedicated British Marxist John Molyneux. This article comes from the USA based magazine tempest
Source ; https://www.tempestmag.org/2022/12/in-memoriam-john-molyneux/

The Marxist writer and activist John Molyneux died in Dublin on December 11 at the age of 74. John was a longstanding member of the International Socialist Tendency, first as a member of the International Socialists/Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in Britain, later as a member of the Socialist Workers Party/Network in Ireland.

A black and white image of British Marxist John Molyneux. He is a large man with a gray beard and wire-rimmed classes and is wearing a button-down Oxford shirt.
Photo by Hossam el-Hamalaway via Flikr.

John was one of the generation of ’68. He joined the International Socialists in Britain in 1968 after being radicalised by the antiwar movement and the global revolutionary upsurge of that year. He soon became one of the group’s leading theorists and most popular speakers.

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France : Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA -New Anticapitalist Party) Divides Down the Middle

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The congress of the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (New Anticapitalist Party) took place on 9-10-11 December. It resulted in a separation of the party. The first statement published was adopted by the platform winning 48.5% of the votes. The second by the platform obtaining 45.5% of the votes.

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“Wallace’s sympathy for Iranian regime strips bare his faux radicalism” Critique of speech delivered by an Irish Member of the European Parliament, Mick Wallace (Ireland South) – Justine McCarthy, Irish Times, December 9 2022

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Two Irish MEP’s Mick Wallace (Ireland South) and Clare Daly (Dublin) have created a serious problem for themselves, the left in Ireland, and the left abroad. They analyse international conflicts using a politically poisonous method.

This politically poisonous method stalks the mainstream radical left and established anti-war organisations. That poison has a name : Campism. Justine McCarthy accurately observes that the Ireland South MEP is using “victim blaming… the lowest form of defence”. Many readers have not heard the term campism, and do not know what it means. Other readers do know what it means, but do not want us to learn anything more – because they know they use a less obvious version of the same poison and see nothing wrong with this chosen political method. Mick Wallace has given us a chemically pure example of this political poison by denouncing the feminist inspired uprising in Iran. Other practicioners on the left prey on ignorance and prejudice by – for example – refusing to engage in active solidarity with Ukraine – the victim of a violent imperialist, ethnic cleansing, and genocidal Russian invasion.

Pierre Rousset wrote an extensive article on this subject in October 2014. It is recommended reading today.

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Socialist Democracy (Ireland) Leaves the Fourth International

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This reader of the Fourth International site noticed today (December 8 2022) there is no entry for Ireland. Up to a few days ago Socialist Democracy(SD) was on the list, but that entry has now been removed. https://fourth.international/en/organisations

SD left the Fourth International on November 8 2022.

SD has expressed strong public disagreements with the policies adopted by the Fourth International since the mid 1990’s.

Today the organization’s site is a nest of transphobic articles. It promotes a campist policy on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Socialist Democracy & Evangelical Christianity – bet you never thought you would see that coalition !!”

A comrade recently asked me “Socialist Democracy & Evangelical Christianity – bet you never thought you would see that coalition !!” The organization defended the far-right teacher Enoch Burke, who is currently in an Irish jail.

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Solidarity With Palestine, Solidarity With Ukraine – Sotsialniy Rukh (Ukraine) Compared With People Before Profit (Ireland)

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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African Anti-Apartheid Activist

Sotsialniy Rukh Statement on Palestine and Ukraine (in English and Ukrainian)

📣 November 29 since 1978 has been celebrated as the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. For 44 years, the world officially talks about the Palestinian tragedy that has no end.

This day reminds us of Palestine’s ongoing struggle for life and freedom. Despite condemnation of Israel’s policy, which leading human rights organizations say fits the crime of apartheid under the Roman Statute, the de facto Palestinians and Palestinians still have neither protection nor independence. Their homes are being taken, cities bombed, and their lives are totally in vain.

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“Learning at the Teachers” – Anthony McIntyre Reports on a Meeting about Ukraine in Dublin

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Anthony McIntyre 🏴‍☠️ I was just about to leave a premises on North Strand Road last Monday night to make my way to a public discussion in the Teachers’ Club when I heard news that dismayed me. 

Immediately, I felt the words of Bertold Brecht throb in my head.

Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.

A friend told me that just a few hundred yards from where we sat, a rally was taking place on East Wall against migrants. It later prompted the satirical headline from Waterford Whispers,Woman Proud That First Time She’s Ever Protested Was Against Refugees

According to the Sunday Times the protest was “seized upon by some of Ireland’s most vocal right-wing activists.” They are as opposed to helping people in need of accommodation as the people I was going to listen to are in favour of welcoming them. The event in the Teachers’ Club was organised by Irish Left With Ukraine – “a campaign of anarchists, socialists and trade unionists united in support of the left in Ukraine.” During the course of the evening I would gladly hear calls for people to maintain an open door policy towards refugees. 

I arrived slightly late, having stopped along the way to assist a foreign woman attending to an inebriated Irish man who had collapsed on his bottles of beer and was bleeding from a head wound. The meeting was already under way, chaired by Nóirín Greene, former executive member of the ICTU. On the panel of speakers were David Joyce, ICTU International Officer; Seamus Dooley from the NUJ and guest speaker Yulia Yurchenko, a left wing Ukrainian activist.

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UNITE Trade Union says many construction workers cannot afford homes they build – Supports Rally for Housing, Saturday November 26, Parnell Square, 1.00pm

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UNITE is one of the trade unions backing a Dublin Rally for Housing on November 26.

Source : http://unitetheunionireland.org/2022/11/24/saturdays-raise-the-roof-rally-must-signal-turning-point-on-housing/

Support the Anti-Racist Bloc: https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/11/23/racism-in-dublins-east-wall-area-demanding-garda-vetting-for-asylum-seekers-and-refugees-and-using-this-as-an-excuse-to-surround-asylum-seekers-and-chant-get-them-out/

Unite says many construction workers cannot afford homes they build

November 24th: Unite, which represents workers throughout the economy, has called for a large turnout at the Raise the Roof housing rally due to take place this coming Saturday (26 November). 

Commenting, the union’s Regional Coordinating Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:

“A generation has been locked out of secure and genuinely affordable housing.  House prices rose by 77% between 2012 and 2020, while incomes increased by just 23% over the same period.  At the same time, average rents now consume over half the average wage.

“The housing emergency did not arise overnight.  Home building by local authorities collapsed as a direct result of public policy, with new housing builds by local authorities across the country amounting to just under 2,300 units in 2019 – a derisory figure given the level of housing need.  Instead of building homes, funding has been channelled into tax breaks for large investors, lucrative leasing deals for developers and large subsidies for private landlords.  It’s clear that we need a new deal for housing”, Mr Fitzgerald said.

James McCabe is Unite Regional Officer for Construction and added:

“Younger construction workers cannot afford to buy or rent the homes they build, while their older colleagues see their children unable to access secure and affordable accommodation.

“We need a new state-led housing programme focused on building public housing on public land, and on providing high-quality accommodation as well as high-quality jobs for those working in the sector”.

Concluding, Tom Fitzgerald said:

“The housing emergency is not a simple matter of policy failure:  it is a consequence of the policy choices pursued by successive governments.  Whether directly or indirectly, the housing emergency affects all workers, and on Saturday we need to turn out in huge numbers to demand that housing be treated as a human right and public good”, Mr Fitzgerald said.