The January/February Socialist Voice is now available online at http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/index.html.
Apologies to our readers but we had major technical difficulties at the beginning of the year.
Laughing all the way to the bank: Eugene McCartan
We have begun a new year just like the old one: the political establishment treating the people like fools, weaving a web of deception about their failed policies with the pretence that we have “turned the corner” and are on our way back to economic health.
Again Ireland has been touted as the poster boy for compliance, with Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and others from the EU Central Bank congratulating the Irish people on the sacrifice they have made and for taking the medicine dished up by them without a whimper and declaring that the rest of Europe should follow our example.
Political statement: CPI
At its first meeting of 2015 the National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland discussed and evaluated the political and economic situation as experienced by working people, north and south.
It is clear that the imposition of “austerity” is still the central plank of both the British and the Irish governments as well as a requirement of the European Union. It is the means of continuing to attack and undermine workers’ conditions and of ensuring the survival of the monopoly-capitalist system itself.
Urgent need for a living wage: Tommy McKearney
If the slogan “A car in every garage and a chicken in every pot” was once used by a candidate for the US presidency as a definition of prosperity, then a charity shop on every street corner and a food bank in every town centre appears to have become the signal of “austerity for working people” in 21st-century Ireland.
Unite demands that the government treat young workers equally
Unite has reiterated its call for the minimum wage to be increased to €9.65 an hour for all workers. With one in every five people at work suffering deprivation, tackling poverty pay must be the priority.
The elections in Greece: A clear message to the European Union
The working people of Greece have delivered a clear message to the European Union, to the International Fund and to the Greek oligarchs that they have had enough of “austerity,” enough of being bullied, enough of being dictated to by these forces.
Christians need to face their bloody past: Rev. Richard Bryant
Since the horrific massacre at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, I’ve heard numerous discussions in the media regarding “good” and “bad” Muslims. Commentators and journalists ask, “How do we in the west know who is a good or a bad Muslim?”
Pope lashes the “Golden Calf”: Bernard Murphy
For Pope Francisco Bergoglio, economic inequality is the world’s biggest problem. And he sees capitalism as being at the centre of inequality.
As liberation theology was not exactly flavour of the month in the second half of the twentieth century with most of the solidly conservative Irish Catholic hierarchy, many socialists here will find it strange to have an unexpected ally in the Vatican. Yet in the following short extracts, taken directly from his Apostolic Exhortation, a 67-page manifesto published a year ago, the Pope doesn’t mince his words.
Venezuela: New measures announced by Maduro as the economy wobbles
President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela announced numerous economic measures during his annual address to the National Assembly, without announcing an increase in petrol prices, as was expected.
Petroleum in Venezuela is “the cheapest in the world,” he declared, but “the moment has arrived to raise prices.” For one US dollar you can purchase 1,800 litres of subsidised petrol, which generates $12½ billion of expenses for the state. “They may crucify me, but we must do it this year, in 2015,” Maduro said.
The view from Cuba
Seán Edwards interviewed Noel Carrillo, former Cuban ambassador to Ireland, in Havana on 14 January 2015
SE: The Communist Party of Ireland has already expressed its congratulations to the Cuban people on the release of the five Cuban anti-terrorists from prison in the United States, and you have replied. Have you anything to add at this point?
Quo vadis, EU (and Ireland)? Tomás Mac Síomóin
While Europe’s core economies—Germany, France, etc.—stagnate, Spain’s conservative Rajoy government and its Troika neo-liberal gurus are cock-a-hoop at the Spanish economy’s growth rate of 0.6 per cent. Spanish working people bear the enormously heavy costs of this “success story”: shrinking pay packets along with burgeoning poverty, evictions, and homelessness, whole families subsisting on their grandparents’ meagre pensions, child hunger, an unemployment rate of 26 per cent (56 per cent for under-25s), emigration of the young, a growing black economy, etc. g.
Housing action now: Noel Martin
Ada Colau and Adrià Alemany, Mortgaged Lives: From the Housing Bubble to the Right to Housing (Los Angeles: Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Press, 2014).
An Irish Faustus: Reviewed by: Jenny Farrell
Tomás Mac Síomóin, The Cartographer’s Apprentice: A 21st-Century Fable (Nuascéalta, 2013).
It would be unfair to Tomás Mac Síomóin to suggest that he has a one-dimensional or indeed one-sided view of Satan. In his newly translated novel Satan first appears in the apparently kindly shape of Mephistopheles,
Two books on the Spanish Anti-Fascist War: Review Manus O’Riordan
Jack Bourke and John King, From the Shannon to the Ebro: The Limerick Men Who Went to Fight Franco (Limerick International Brigades Memorial Trust, 2014)
Barry McLoughlin, Fighting for Republican Spain, 1936–38: Frank Ryan and the Volunteers from Limerick in the International Brigades (2014)