In the wake of Sinn Fein successs in the North , republicans are increasingly having to confront the problem of building a realistic strategy for the very different political situation that exists in the 26 Counties . In this controversial analysis , Sinn Fein ard comhairle (‘National Executive’) member Paddy Bolger , argues that the Sinn Fein concept of an ‘Economic Resistance Movement’ , put forward in 1971 and expanded eight years later , is seriously over-optimistic , and that the national question remains the central revolutionary issue on which Free State workers can be mobilised in a painstaking and gradualist approach .
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , November 1983 .

We may have to accept that the furthest we can go in the foreseeable future is to secure majority nationalist representation by electoral gains in the North , and aim to progressively improve our electoral situation in the South based on intelligently presented national and economic positions , by building a movement for British withdrawal and economic renewal , and eventually achieving what could be called a democratic , neutral united Ireland . This would be an historic gain . (‘1169…’ Comment – …as opposed to the countless so-called “historic” happenings that have taken place during this false-dawn of a ‘peace process’ , which have not only completely de-valued that word , when used in a Six County context , but have actually ensured that the word itself now means the opposite of that which it should!)

In those circumstances , it would then be the strength achieved by Sinn Fein and the working class that would be the factor making possible any further movement from that point towards a socialist republic .
(Next : ‘TELL THE WORLD’ : from 1958)

The book –
‘Troublesome Business-The Labour Party and the Irish Question’, by GEOFFREY BELL , was published by Pluto Press in 1982.
Reviewed here by Ciaran Dowd.
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , November 1982 .

Progressive resolutions about the situation in the North of Ireland were pushed through successive British Labour Party conferences and Tony Benn came off the fence to support re-unification and independence for Ireland . And yet Don Concannon, the party’s spokesperson on Ireland , could still carry out his obscene death-bed call on Bobby Sands to tell him that the British Labour Party did not support his just demands.

It may yet be true , as MP Joan Maynard told an LCI fringe meeting at the 1981 Labour Party conference , that “…Bobby Sands’ death and the votes he got transformed the situation inside the Parliamentary Labour Party . As far as Irish unity went , it was conversions all round..” But the concrete evidence of Maynard’s optimism – with her failure to be reselected to the party’s National Executive Committee at the 1982 conference – is still a long way from being seen .
(Next – ‘YOUNG BLOODS ; CLARE DALY’ : from 2003)

<img src="GLOSSARY OF THE LEFT IN IRELAND : FROM 1960 TO 1983…….
These notes attempt to record the left-wing organisations which have existed in Ireland since 1960 . No attempt has been made to record purely local organisations outside Dublin and Belfast , or microscopic groups which never reached double figures . The larger organisations have been presented in more detail .
From ‘GRALTON’ magazine, 1983.
John Goodwillie.
(NOTE : Links in the following article are as accurate as possible – not all the groups mentioned left a discernible ‘footprint’ .)

SOCIALIST WORKERS MOVEMENT: An organisation in the Trotskyist tradition formed in 1971 mainly from elements of People’s Democracy and the Young Socialists, together with the Waterford Socialist Movement (an affiliate of the Socialist Labour Alliance) , on the basis of orientation to the working class and sympathy with the International Socialists (now known as ‘The Socialist Workers Party’) in Britain . The SWM entered the Socialist Labour Party and dissolved into the Socialist Workers Tendency in 1978 . Re-formed in 1980 when the SWT left the organisation .

SOCIALIST WORKERS TENDENCY: Formed in 1978 in the Socialist Labour Party(SLP) by the Socialist Workers Movement. The ‘Tendency’ group left the ‘SLP’ in 1980 .

SOCIALISTS AGAINST NATIONALISM: Formed in 1980 as an alliance of The Socialist Party, The Limerick Socialist Organisation, and the British And Irish Communist Organisation. Replaced by the Democratic Socialist Party in 1982 .

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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