Category Archives: Economy and workers’ resistance

After the Stormont election: the way forward

by John McAnulty

The common assertion arising from the latest election in the North of Ireland is that Sinn Fein now has the upper hand. That reform of the local settlement is now inevitable and Gerry Adams has gone so far as to assert that a united Ireland is now back on the agenda.

However the loss of the overall unionist majority is largely a profound psychological shock rather than a practical issue. The seats are:

DUP SF  SDLP  UUP ALLIANCE OTHER
(inc 2 Green, 1PBP) 
28  27  12  10 8 5

 

So The DUP remains the largest party and would nominate the first minister. The loss of the overall majority relies on the dubious idea that Alliance is not a unionist party – they have in the past designated themselves as unionist to save the assembly and until recently fulfilled a role as lynch pin for the sectarian setup by holding the justice ministry position.

In addition in the coming negotiations Sinn Fein will be facing the British government. They themselves have complained that the pro-unionist positions of the British secretary, James Brokenshire, should make him unsuitable as chair.  They will also be appealing to a Dublin government hostile to Sinn Fein that acts as an agent of reaction in both parts of the Island. 

The settlement in Ireland is not designed to lead to a united Ireland and the issue depends entirely on gaining permission from Britain to hold a vote restricted to the six-county area – permission that will not be forthcoming.  Read the rest of this entry

Rich and poor in Belfast and the six counties

From the latest Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report (#4) (with thanks to Liam O’Ruairc):

•In terms of being endowed with multi-millionaires, Belfast is proportionally banking way above its weight with 35.8 multi-millionaires per 100,000 population, third only to oil-rich Aberdeen (53.0) and London (51.6). Yet as a region, NI has the highest proportion of households with no savings accounts and the highest proportion of households deriving income from disability benefit.

•The “Wallace Park” council ward in Lisburn is the least deprived ward in NI. Whiterock in Belfast is the most deprived. Of the top 20 least-deprived wards, four have switched between the 2001 census and the most recent 2011 census from being majority Protestant to being majority Catholic: “that the four new areas are all in Peter Robinson’s Castlereagh constituency is evidence of a remarkable Read the rest of this entry

Video of the discussion period at Peter Graham commemorative meeting

Public talk on 1960s Dublin housing action committees, Sat, Feb 25

unnamed

Public Housing for All – Dublin Bay North launch, Feb 13

PUBLIC HOUSING FOR ALL –
DUBLIN BAY NORTH CAMPAIGN LAUNCH,
7.30pm, Monday, February 13,
Kilmore Recreation Centre, Cromcastle Rd, Kilmore, Dublin 5.

Speakers: éirígí Dublin Bay North rep Ciarán Heaphey; Dublin Bay North Housing Crisis Community’s Aisling Hedderman. Chaired by Damien Farrell.

#PublicHousingForAll.

Join éirígí Dublin Northeast to help launch the campaign for Public Housing For All in Dublin Bay North area.

The reign of the Landlord, Banker, Developer, Estate Agent and all of the other parasites that use housing to grow rich off the labour of others must be brought to an end.

Please INVITE all of your friends to LIKE this event and join the campaign to turn the Right to Housing from an empty slogan into a reality.

Peter Graham – revolutionary militant

Peter holding Young Socialists banner, Dublin 1968

Peter holding Young Socialists banner, Dublin 1968

by Mick Healy

“In 1966 we in Ireland celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rebellion (1916). The writings of James Connolly, which prior to then had been read little, and then only by the older hands’, began to be read more widely. The younger generation found through his writings that he was not quite as the Christian Brothers in school taught – “only the 7th leader’ of 19l6.” They found in his writings Connolly the revolutionary, the worker, the union organiser and Marxist”.
– Peter Graham, Workers Fight, June 1968.

download-1

Funeral of Peter Graham, Dublin, 1971; Tariq Ali at centre

Comrades who have read about the Irish Revolution know something about the contributions made by Nora Connolly O’Brien, Michael Davitt, Liam Mellows and Frank Ryan, but many do not understand the important contributions made by significant but lesser-known figures such as revolutionary Marxist Peter Graham.  Peter came from 46 Reginald Street in the Liberties of Dublin and attended Bolton St College of Technology. Working as an electrician in CIE he was a shop-steward for the Electrical Trade Union.  He joined the Labour Party, but discontented with their lack of radicalism shifted over to the Communist Party.  Disillusioned with their reformism, he left and became involved with Irish Workers Group and then the League for a Workers’ Republic, an organisation openly declaring itself revolutionary and Marxist, identifying with the Trotskyist current of Marxism.

With single-minded dedication he was the Read the rest of this entry

Can ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ solve the housing crisis? Lunchtime talk, Dublin, Thursday, Jan 26

Lunchtime Seminar: Dr. Rory Hearne, TASC ‘Can ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ solve the housing crisis?’

26 January 2017 – 12:45pm to 02:15pm

On Thursday 26th January Dr. Rory Hearne, TASC, will deliver a talk entitled ‘Can ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ solve the housing crisis?’

An analysis of the effectiveness and likely impact of the Government’s housing strategy ‘Rebuilding Ireland’. The seminar will present a macro-level political economy analysis of the government’s overall approach to housing combined with an in-depth analysis of the government’s social housing statistics, the impact and role of NAMA, the re-emergence of Public Private Partnerships and it will detail some alternative policies that could provide a more human rights and equality orientated housing system.

The seminar will take place in TASC’s offices in Castleriver House, 14-15 Parliament Street, Dublin 2. (Entrance on Essex Street East).

The event, which is free of charge, will run from 12.45 tea/coffee with the seminar starting at 13.00 and ending at 14.15 sharp.

The idea of the lunchtime seminars is that you are free to bring your own ‘brown bag’ lunch to eat. Complimentary tea and coffee will be available.

Please RSVP to Sylvia Byrne on 01 6169050 or by email to sbyrne@tasc.ie if you wish to attend.

Kevin Bean on revolution and counter-revolution in Ireland, c1880-1930

Kevin’s book The New Politics of Sinn Fein (Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 2007) is essential reading for tracing the evolution of the Provos and how the British state drew them into a process of betrayal.  The talk below is from last August (August 2016), given at the Communist University in London.

Where to for republicans?

Paddy Browne is 4th from right

Paddy Browne is 4th from right

by Paddy Browne (1916 Societies, writing in personal capacity; I took this from The Pensive Quill, here)

It was a campaign that sent shivers through the British establishment and rocked it to its foundation. The commitment and ingenuity of the Óglaigh in the IRA and INLA – and the price paid by both organisations and the community in general – will never be forgotten. And while they may not have achieved the ultimate goal they most certainly advanced it.

People have been trying to mimic the campaign from 1997 without major success. They need to realise it is not enough to profess to fight a war when it is far from a reality – when your greatest contribution is to send our young men and women to gaol.

I believe the success of republicanism will come from the trust of the community in which we previously relied – heavily – in the past. It is through them that we must present our argument, for approval, and it is them that we need to support in their time of need.

Before we have unity in Ireland, with substance, we need a social revolution that will Read the rest of this entry

Brief vid of Mairin Keegan at Saor Eire/Frank Keane defence picket