Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Six County Elections 2011’ Category

Bernadette McAliskey’s Speech to the January 2013 Bloody Sunday March for Justice – We Have Got to Get Our Act Together or We Are In for One Hell of a Hiding

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Bernadette McAliskey addressing the rally at this year’s Bloody Sunday March For Justice which had the theme ‘End Impunity’. Despite a wet, windy, wintry day around 3500 people braved the elements to march in solidarity with the victims of Bloody Sunday and other injustices

Link to a Video of Bernadette McAliskey’s Speech :

End Impunity! on Vimeo on Vimeo

via End Impunity! on Vimeo.

Some Key Points from the speech :

Is the state of Northern Ireland governed according to the principles of openness, transparency and accountability?

Lawyers and human rights campaigners had to spend a whole day in court to force the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, Alliance Party Leader Mr David Ford, to allow Marian Price spend four hours grieving beside the coffin of her dead sister Dolours. 

Nobody read about this because Mr Ford asked the judge to prevent public reporting of the case in the media.

But Bernadette McAliskey is not reporting; she does not work for the media; so she was only telling us :

The judge told Mr Ford  that his behaviour was “unlawful, unreasonable, and irrational”.

“We are not supposed to say this” advises McAliskey. Read the rest of this entry »

Build the ULA

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Guest post

In advance of the ULA Forum a statement on Building the ULA from Joan Collins TD, Eddie Conlon Steering Committee Member ULA and PBP and Dermot Connolly, Steering Committee Member PBP.

The Main Job Now is to Build the ULA

The ULA has been a success. It has brought together a variety of left and socialist forces and provided a framework whereby they can work together. It has led to a focus on what the left agrees on rather than what divides us.  It has shown that by working together we can have success and develop genuine and  radical political representation for working people.  With the election of 5 TDs the ULA has established a national profile and provided a pole of attraction for those who want to resist the attacks on workers, the unemployed and oppressed.

The key issue now is how we develop the ULA beyond being an alliance into a political force which can draw in new layers of activists and build commitment to a radical reorganisation of society.  The shift from an alliance to a new political formation will take time and cannot be rushed. But if the ULA is not seen to be moving beyond its current configuration, essentially an alliance of the Socialist Party, People Before Profit and the Tipperary Workers and Unemployed Action Group, its growth could be stifled.  Those attracted to it may only see at as a tool of the constituent groups. They will feel they cannot have a real say in what happens  without joining one of the groups. Read the rest of this entry »

ULA: What kind of party do we need? 4

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ULA: What kind of party do we need? 4

Guest post

1. Publish and be damned.

At a People Before Profit Alliance Activists Meeting in May Kieran Allen of the SWP responded to Brendan Young’s call for a ULA publication – not a PBPA publication – by firmly ruling it out. His argument was that to have a publication you need to have agreement on what to say in it and the ULA was a diverse formation and therefore was not in a position to produce a publication. If that were the only obstacle it would be easily overcome by acknowledging that the publication should, in any case, carry debate within the overall context of the agreed message.

On this site Mark P of the Socialist Party took issue with Brendan in response to his article ‘United Left Alliance “A Work in Progress” -Steps Towards a New Party’:

Brendan had asserted that “the production of an independent publication for the ULA – to give expression to our views and an independent identity to the organisation – remains an argument to be won”. Mark P did not agree and commented: Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Out! – Dodgy Survey Suggests “Most Northern Ireland Catholics want to remain in UK”

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Elizabethan Fun - Opinion Poll shows there are 12 million republicans in Great Britain

This Irish News headline caught my eye on the way to work this morning – “Most Catholics Want to Stay in the UK : Poll”.

A table on page 7 suggests a huge swing against a United Ireland among Catholics between the years 1998 and 2010 –

support for “staying part of the UK” rose from 19 to 52 per cent, while “Reunify with the Rest of Ireland” slumped from 49 per cent to 33 per cent.

Readers of this site know that we respect polls based on credible scientific research – how does this poll stand up?

Very badly is the blunt answer. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

Jun 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm

The United Left Alliance in Dublin Central

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The United Left Alliance (ULA) has held a series of launch meetings since the February 25 General Election.

This is a report of the Dublin Central Gathering, held on Monday May 30 in the Teachers Club, 36 Parnell Square.

About 34 people attended. 

The meeting was chaired by Eddie Conlon of the ULA A Steering Committee and the speakers were :

Joan Collins TD ULA/People Before Profit (PBP) Dublin South-Central.

Paul Murphy Member of the European Parliament (MEP) ULA/Socialist Party (SP) –

[Paul took over the seat vacated by Joe Higgins, who is now a TD for Dublin West]

Colm Stephens PBP/Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) Dublin Central.

Joan Collins opened the meeting with fresh news that an actor who shares the socialist TD’s name was recently hit by the property crash – Read the rest of this entry »

Six County Referendum on May 5 – Alternative Vote or First Past the Post?

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Gavin Stamp has published what appears to be an accurate summary of party political opinions about the Alternative Vote Versus First Past the Post Referendum on the BBC website

The six-county summary is interesting – I do not know if People Before Profit has a position – I hope Socialist Workers’ Party members declare a mini unilateral declaration of independence from the London mother-ship – judging from Mark P’s comment

the Socialist Party is a lost cause, this chip will not stray too far from its block! Read the rest of this entry »

Do Most British Far-Left Groups Understand Proportional Voting Systems?

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The answer appears to be a resounding NO!

In Ireland – both sides of the border – we are used to the Proportional Representation (PR) Voting System – it is used for all state elections in the part of Ireland ruled from Dublin – the other bit, ruled from Belfast, uses PR for assembly and local elections, but is lumbered with the First Past the Post method in Westminster polls.

The system is not perfect by any means – but it does mean seats are won more or less in proportion to votes cast – it would be even more proportional if constituencies were larger than the current five seat limit which applies in 26 County Dáil elections, or if we used a list system, as is used in the German State. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

Apr 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Bernadette McAliskey Says Vote for People Before Profit in the May 5 Stormont Assembly Election

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Well Done Bernadette! :

The former Mid-Ulster MP is also supporting Patricia Campbell And other independent left candidates :

A left unity strategy is happening in the six counties, as well as the twenty-six (let us hope the United Left Alliance continues to develop in a positive way after the February 25 result, when  five ULA TD’s won seats in the current Dáil).

Written by tomasoflatharta

Apr 25, 2011 at 10:22 pm