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A Golden Opportunity

category national | elections / politics | opinion/analysis author Sunday April 18, 2010 00:19author by Michael Gallagherauthor email libertypics at yahoo dot ie Report this post to the editors

Left Unity, Is It Possible?

Having chatted recently to many other people on the left so as to try and gauge the possibility of the broadest ever coming together of a revolutionary left alliance on this island, it appears that we are going to miss the best opportunity in making the biggest electoral impact by the genuine left in years. Too many parties/groups seem to be carrying too much historical baggage about each other. This party won't work with that party for this reason....that party won't work with anyone for some other reason....that party can't be trusted because of past mistakes....sniping.....backbiting.....nitpicking........petty grudges.....personalities.....sectarianism......our view is the right one......we have more experience.... blah blah blah blah blah.

Below is an open letter to all the genuine Socialist organisations in Ireland

Comrades,

I believe, if ever a time was right for a broad alliance across the genuine left in this country, the time is now. This is the time to consider how serious the 'revolutionary' left are. I appeal to you to make at least one attempt to hear each other out in an open, widely publicised, two or three day public forum, for all party members and none.

There are many many people, working people, young people, men and woman, unemployed, disenfranchised and marginalised who want to see a real alternative genuine socialist left in this country. An electoral alliance of all those parties can make some great gains if they come together and hammer out an agreed programme with agreed candidates to make those gains that are their to be seized. An agreed approach can be worked out.

You are all going to be giving the same message (more or less), although each message given by a different messenger, yet all calling yourselves genuine socialists and claiming to represent the working class of your areas. Don't you owe your voters and potential voters at least that much, an attempt at some sort of as broad an aliance as possible? Do you want to be part of a small splinter or a big stick?

From what I've heard of Eamonn Gilmore's speech tonight (Saturday 17th April), Labour are playing the 'flowery language' game ("...what can you do for your country?"....), but they WON'T succeed in reforming capitalism. We will still have capitalism if Labour get into power (coalition or not), but it will be a more controlled and cleaned up brand of capitalism, with a few more crumbs, eventually, falling from the top table. What new system does the Labour Party plan to introduce? Socialism? Fairness? If the abolition of capitalism in this country is on the agenda of any government in the near future, it's only then that the working class can say it has any chance of going forward with any real certainty. Capitalism can't be reformed, it must be abolished.

If the genuine socialists miss this gig (and it's our gig), then we will have missed a great opportunity to grow substantially at the next general election, an opportunity which may not come again for many years.

Will you seriously consider forming a broad left alliance to benefit from the approaching opportunities for the revolutionary left in this country? No serious attempt has been made to bring those left forces together, I implore you to play your part in doing this.

In appreciation,

Yours in solidarity for socialism,

Michael Gallagher.

A copy of this has been sent to all the politcal parties/groups in Ireland who claim and have shown to be genuine socialists.

author by Mark C - Contact.iepublication date Sun Apr 18, 2010 09:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Michael,

Excellent and timely letter, and well said. Hopefully your call will not fall on deaf ears. It also great to see that you call on individuals to join in this endeavour; too often calls for left unity are calls for left unity between parties and factions.

The folks at ZSpace are calling for something similar, though individuals are not welcome.

Mark C.

Related Link: http://www.zcommunications.org/newinternational.htm
author by Observerpublication date Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I do believe that the "too much historical baggage about each other" issue really does represent a huge obstacle regarding the "unity of purpose" we need.

One way to reduce this problem might be to try to wind down the use of WORDS which also carry "too much historical (and emotional) baggage".

As I see things, the really BIG issue facing the "world at large" just now, including the Republic of Ireland, is do we (i.e. humanity generally) go further down the road of tyranny (as in "government of the banks, by the banks, for the banks"), or, do we try (those of us in the Republic of Ireland that is) -- by peaceful, respectful, and lawful means -- to get back on the road of genuine democracy: as in "government of the people, by the people, for the people", through the use of our written Constitution (Bunreacht na hEireann).

I would argue that excessive use of "left", "right", and "centre" tags, etcetera, and all of the associated historical confusion and emotional baggage (and potent energies) such tags can contribute to time-wasting and energy-wasting conflicts of many kinds, and which can play a major role in distracting and deflecting attention away from the core "tyranny or democracy" decisions and pursuits for humanity, are (in my view) very much to the advantage of those who favour and support the "tyranny path".

It is my view that the "divide and rule" (and distract) tactic, which such tags can be used to promote in major ways, has proved itself -- over and over again throughout recorded history -- to be a very powerful and useful weapon in the hands of clever and ruthless tyrants.

If we could each be more clear about our primary purpose, i.e. the main issue which we seek "unity of purpose" on (which is "more tyranny" or "more democracy" from my viewpoint), then perhaps all of the grossly inflated (as I see it) "left", "right", and "centre" historical issues might become much less important, and much less troublesome?

author by Navigatorpublication date Sun Apr 18, 2010 16:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I can easily go along with the idea of "do we go further down the 'increased tyranny' path", or the "increased democracy" one?

That does seem to me to be the big question which all of the individuals who make up humanity need to think very carefully about just now, decide about, and make healthy choices over.

As for "right", "left", and "centre", I feel that if the "centre path" is taken to represent "genuine democracy", BOTH the "left" and "right" paths, by their nature, tend to either veer away from it, or at least always be separate from it, to some extent. And, that all individuals who "veer off" far enough away from genuine democracy, either to the "right" or the "left", eventually end up in exactly the same place (more or less): which might be called "Tyranny Land" for the sake of argument, a place where all of the main activities of life involve never-ending orgies of bullying and deception of one kind or another, and where "left" and "right" tags no longer represent any significant difference.

author by paul o toolepublication date Mon Apr 19, 2010 23:50author email pauljotoole at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is an opertunity.
I hope it will not be lost. There is anger out there and it is rising. If there is no coherent plan to take the Socialist/communist/ humanist model into the future then there is little hope for much needed change to take place.

There is a huge ammount of in-tolerance between the groups of the 'left' (I hate that term - and the intolerance), and it is not without its foundation. There is a genuine lack of trust, a lack of understanding, a lack of cohesive policy among the converted, so there is little chance of evangelising (I use the term in jest) any new commers or retaining their interest and the world continnues on its path to self destruction unabated by any decent challenge from 'us'. Worst of all an inherent fear. The fear that most people I know have is the lack of transparency within established groups, the fear of caucuses and cabals and basically our idiotic self destructive nature. There is also a fear that some groups are dictatorial, and controlled by other sources which are not progressive/change based.

If there is to be a left-alliance I am sure there will be support, broad support. The general public could not stomach another FF coalition, but it may be all thats there because there is nothing posing as much needed, viable opposition. They are truly sick of the situation and want to do something.

Mabey Brendan Behan was right...I mean correct... when he suggested the first topic should be the split. If the ghosts are let out of the closet(s) then they are ready for a fresh perspective.

Paul.

author by Angrypublication date Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The anger is there all right (that's for sure); but, will the people be able to accurately identify the true source and cause of their anger, or, will they end up being hoodwinked AGAIN (and blaming each other), while at the same time failing COMPLETELY to identify the real culprits?

In the middle of a much larger piece of text, I recently noticed the following piece (on the Internet):

"The banks are acquiring an ever increasing stake in our land, housing and other assets through the indebtedness of individuals, industry, agriculture, services and government - to the extent that Britain and the world are today effectively owned by them." (The full text of the Article in question can be viewed at: http://www.whale.to/m/greaves1.html )

As far as I know, there is not ONE single member of the Oireachtas (the Republic of Ireland Parliament) raising the core issue outlined in the above excerpt in public, and the reason (I believe) is that they are deeply afraid of upsetting the bankers in any way.

Similarly with the journalists in the "msm" (main stream media), who, in one way or another, are all effectively "owned" by the bankers, just as our Oireachtas members, in their slightly different way, are also "owned" by them at the present time (for all practical purposes).

Allowing for our oil and gas reserves, I do believe there really is a "Golden Opportunity" just now for us to take back what's rightfully ours from the bankers. However, for that opportunity to come to fruition, I further believe that people will FIRST have to educate themselves accurately regarding the insidious activities of the bankers since 1694, and the now extremely powerful and influential position their sly and secretive ways has slowly but surely placed them in. And, that as things are at the present time, the people will have to rely 100% on what they can find on the Internet, for the purpose of educating themselves on this mainstay issue.

Fortunately, there are already dozens of good-quality articles on the Internet which accurately describe the growing "bankers" threat. Whether sufficiently large enough numbers of people will seek them out, read them, and digest the contents of such articles in useful and sensible ways, is an entirely different matter of course.

If they do, then it's "people power" that's needed after that (in my view): people of the "left", the "right", and the "centre", who TOGETHER are able to find what it takes to constructively harness and direct their anger in gentle but firm ways, for the purpose of lawfully and peacefully pointing out to the bankers -- and to their (at the present time) grossly over-compliant supporters in the Oireachtas and the msm -- that we have had more than enough of all the "control and manipulation" coming from the bankers since 1694, and that we (the people) now want "government of the people, by the people, for the people" -- genuine democracy in other words.

"Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But, to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way: this is not easy." Aristotle (384 - 322 BC)

author by Verdepublication date Tue Apr 20, 2010 21:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I really like this article, but I'm not sure if pulling off left unity is even possible. I mean, look at us. In the eyes of the vast public, we must look a right mess.

Also, good luck getting the anarchists to join up.

author by paul o toolepublication date Tue Apr 20, 2010 21:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with 'angry' that an alliance of strictly so called 'left' is as closed minded as it gets.
It would need to encompass a doctrine which will capture the imagination of the vast public. If it is a logical policy/ mission then it will appeal to the masses.
The Use of the terms of Marksism, socialism and communism I think conjure up very negative images, given the bad press recieved since their initial use and there has been great success in demonising these terms.
The use of everyday language relating to todays situation, and not some distant historical dusty philosophy which is the way they are percieved and recieved and also delivered in recent times, is paramount to success....

An all encompassing enterprise with no political baggage or history for todays Ireland is a must.
Wheres the meeting place....

author by Navigatorpublication date Tue Apr 20, 2010 22:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maybe for most of us it needs to be on the Internet initially? -- a place where a meeting of minds (or something of that sort) can emerge, and hopefully the numbers of people involved might grow?

Among other things, "Internet meetings" are probably also a good way to leave much of the worthless and often destructive baggage of the past behind.

Hopefully, other people will have different ideas to share on this subject.

Last but not least, and as some people will already know, it is of course entirely possible to very usefully and effectively co-operate with other like-minded people without ever meeting up with them physically, and such things have been happening since long before the arrival of the Internet. The Internet though can speed-up (and scale-up) this process in very significant ways, which have never been possible up to now.

author by Navigatorpublication date Wed Apr 21, 2010 14:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've just been informed that Senator Fidelma Healy Eames is organising a national day of protest on May 1st.

“I have been contacted by a number of constituents who have asked that Fine Gael would stage a national day of protest. The purpose of the day would be to enable people to express their frustration and discontent with the way we’re being governed, in particular with the way our resources are being directed one way only – to the banks while hundreds of thousands of people’s futures are destroyed.”

The above piece of text has been copied from her web site:
http://www.fidelmahealyeames.ie/2010/04/national-day-of...nion/

Though I'm not sure if Ms Healy Eames is of the left, the right, or the centre, I do believe the feelings she has expressed in the above statement will strike a DEEP chord in the hearts of many.

My personal hope is that Ms Healy Eames will get plenty of support for her initiative, and that other members of our Oireachtas (across the full spectrum of our political groupings) will soon join her in speaking out in public, regarding this "frustration and discontent with the way we’re being governed" issue.

The difficulties we are faced with regarding the bankers -- who now seem to "own" EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY (almost) -- seem so severe to me, that they really do fully deserve to be put far and away above "party politics".

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