Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Enough Campaign And The ULA

The 'Enough' campaign's recent #IrishRevolution July16th protest demonstration drew a crowd of between 400 to 1000 people (depending on who you ask) onto the streets of Dublin's city centre. The event didn't quite live up to its billing, but was an energetic and encouraging demonstration nonetheless, by groups opposed to the EU / IMF deal, and other issue specific groups. The Enough campaign was initiated by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) to try to create a broad opposition campaign against the EU / IMF deal, and to demand a referendum on that deal. Whilst this type of initiative is to be welcomed, I believe that its demands do not go far enough. I also believe that future campaigns ought to be initiated, developed and prepared for under the banner of the United Left Alliance (ULA). Unfortunately, the SWP don't agree with this, and prefer to push ahead with their own 'Enough' campaign.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Debunking The Myths Of Irish Capitalism

There is no alternative. We must rely on foreign direct investments and on the private sector to create jobs. Private is more 'efficient' than public. An entrepreneurial spirit will drive economic growth. These are just some of the mantras that we are exposed to on a daily basis from economic commentators, whom our mainstream media promote as 'experts'. They have a monopoly over our airwaves and newspapers, and use it to espouse their ideas as if they were common sense facts that are irrefutable. However, with a serious analysis of Irish capitalism it is quite evident that their mantras are neither common sense nor facts, and are very refutable indeed. A look through the figures on the Irish economy reveal a very different picture to the one painted by our government and the economic 'experts,' who argue that an economic recovery based on real job growth is to be achieved through attracting foreign direct investments (FDI's) into the country, and a strong Irish entrepreneurial spirit.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Crisis Of Capitalism: What Lies Ahead?

We are often told by the innumerable economic commentators on the issue, that we are currently experiencing the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. However, the current crisis is in many ways different to others because of its globalised nature and because of the ‘advanced’ form of capitalism it exposes. It must be recognised that capitalism as a form of investment in manufacturing has been in decline since the 1970s, with modern ‘advanced’ capitalism now based on financial speculation. The crisis we are experiencing illustrates that far from being part of a boom and bust process, the inherent greed that capitalism predicates itself upon has led to the system destroying itself from the inside out.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Speeches From The ULA Forum

The recent United Left Alliance forum in Liberty Hall (25/6/2011) was the first real opportunity for the different factions within it to debate a possible future programme that the ULA should adopt. Below are the main speeches from the first plenary session of the day, with an introduction from Ailbhe Smith from People Before Profit, and speeches from  Professor Terrence McDonough from NUI Galway, Kevin McLoughlin from the Socialist Party and Kieran Allen from the Socialist Workers Party. In a previous post  I have already put forward my views on the internal debates within the ULA. By watching these speeches, you can make your own mind up. 

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Race To The Bottom Continues...(High Court sanctions cuts to the low paid)

The news that the High Court of Ireland has upheld a challenge from the 'Quick Service Food Alliance'  on the constitutionality of laws setting the mandatory minimum wages of 200,000 low paid workers, is indicative of the race to the bottom in pay and conditions of workers in Irish society.  It is also illustrative of the rotten system we live under. When High Court judges, who on hugely over-inflated salaries themselves refuse to take a pay cut, an issue that will need be put to a referendum,  can condemn the lowest paid workers in Irish society into further poverty, we know we live in a screwed up system.  The Joint Labour Commission (JLC) wage setting mechanism was there to set minimum pay rates for workers in the retail, bar, restaurant, hairdressing and catering sectors amongst others.  These workers, most often women, students or migrants, already victim to low pay, will now face the prospect of further pay cuts in their meagre salaries.