Thursday, 30 June 2011

To Be A Student And Not A Revolutionary Is A Contradiction

It was Salvador Allende who once said "To be a student and not a revolutionary is a contradiction."  The logic of this statement seems to have been lost on the current bunch of hacks that run our national student's union, the Union of Students Ireland (USI). Yesterday (29/6/11), their ineptness to lead students in a fightback against EU / IMF brokered package of  austerity was illustrated clearly by two different events.  Early yesterday morning, the USI put out the following statement on its' Facebook page

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Reformism: A Cancer To Socialism

The great James Connolly once said "The day has passed for patching up the capitalist system, it must go." His words ring true more so now than they ever did, and should be noted by some factions within the broad left of Irish politics. The underlying debate that simmered at the ULA forum in Liberty hall (25/6/2011), was on the type of programme that a new mass party (when the ULA goes that way) will adopt. The Socialist Party put forward the case for a strong and principled 'socialist' programme, with a clear and explicit route towards a socialist society.  The Socialist Worker's Party and People Before Profit called for a socialist programme too, but one that is less explicit and is focused more on daily struggle for reforms, with 'socialism' as the "long term" aim. In this approach, they are making a grave error. The objective situation has arrived, and in diverging from DeValera's famous 1918 injunction, "labour must wait", it must be put forward that labour must wait no more!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Talk Is Cheap, It's Action That Matters

Below is the text from a number of emails that I have exchanged with the Labour Party TD for Dublin North East Sean Kenny. The emails relate to the proposed scrapping of overtime and Sunday pay for some of the lowest paid and marginalised workers in Irish society, particularly affecting women, migrant workers and students. I had asked the Labour Party TD to do all he could to protect the the pay and conditions of these workers, and he initially said that he supported my stance on the issue. However, when I asked him which way he had voted on the ULA motion on the matter, he informed me that he had voted against it and with the government. This type of double-speak perfectly illustrates that talk from Labour Party TD's is cheap, and it's action that matters. I am also including the tally count which shows how each TD voted on that ULA motion below my email correspondence with Sean Kenny TD. I would encourage all to contact their local Labour TD and ask them why they voted against the motion.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Songs Of The Working Class

This is a project that I have wanted to do for some time now but with my university and other commitments I have not been able to take the time to put it together.  I had no unified collection of worker's songs in my possession, and I have not come across one in the shops that brings together all the songs that I love.  So, now that I have some free time I have managed to put this little collection together for your (and my) listening pleasure. Of course, it took me some time to choose a final 17 songs for the album, and I had to leave out song excellent songs of working class struggle.  If you feel there is a song that I have not included that should be on the album, please post a comment on this page and I may make some amendments before I finally produce it.  I intend to put all of these onto CD, and sell the album for €5 each, with all of the proceeds going towards the funding of future campaigns against the water tax, home tax, education cuts etc etc... If you would like to purchase a copy, drop me an email and I can post it on to you.

Friday, 17 June 2011

This Is What Class War Looks Like

If you look up the definition of 'war' in the Oxford English Dictionary you will learn that it is "a state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country." The famous military theoretician Carl Von Clausewitz notoriously described war as "the continuation of politics by other means." I have no doubt that at the forefront of Clausewitz’s mind was the form of war defined above by Oxford when he pronounced his aphorism, however I believe that his view of war can be just as perfectly applied to a form that does not include armed conflict, but instead relies on acts of economic aggression to achieve its aims. The war that I am speaking of is of course class war, and it is occurring all around us.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Capitalist Way: Work Longer For Less

When I’m old and grey at 68, and my weary body can’t take any more of the working life, I will look back and curse the current Fine Gael / Labour government for having the shameless audacity to put me to work for three extra years before retirement.  The Social Welfare and Pensions Bill, 2011, was passed through the Dail on June 8th by a massive 107  to 25 votes, in an instant doing away with years of hard fought struggle by the labour movement.  This bill will have huge repercussions for all workers, yet it hardly raised a whimper in the mainstream media.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Irish Dream. Time To Wake Up!

I was pondering recently just why it is that us on the left seem to be consistently correct in our economic and social analysis, yet many in the mainstream consider us to be uninformed loonies or economically illiterate. It was then I remembered a video I had seen of the late and great George Carlin entitled “The American Dream” "Video Clip" and I realised that Irish Society is living in a collective dreamworld, and needs to wake up fast.