The December issue of Socialist Voice is out now.
Read it online or download it here.[pdf]
Articles in this issue include:
- “Reform or revolution?” [NL]
- A stealth treaty to further erode national rights [TMK]
- Health worsens as mandarins thrive [MA]
- Is charity the enemy of justice? [RCN]
- Transatlantic trade and investment: Governments to be legally subordinate to corporations [PD]
- Bagenalstown Credit Union and its problems [MA]
- Guidelines for common or convergent action (15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, Lisbon)
- Venezuela in the firing line [TMS]
- Venezuelan students to receive laptop computers and free wifi
- Pensions and pay reduction [JM]
- A moral choice: choose war or peace
- Time to fight back against monopoly [PD]
- Frank Conroy commemoration
- Dublin Community TV: the latest victim of cultural cut-backs
“Reform or revolution?”
This is the question presented by elements of the left, as if that’s it: that’s the sum total of what the so-called left can offer working people. We can either reform elements of capitalism but maintain its essential features, and this will solve the unemployment crisis, inequality, and a variety of other systemic but undesirable features of the system, or we can “call for” a revolution, and the workers, once freed from their union-bureaucrat oppressors, will down tools and seize state power—usually without questioning the role of the European Union. With a ten-point plan to accompany it, we’re all set to save humanity.
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Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland, 5 December 2013
The Communist Party of Ireland expresses its great sadness at the death of one of the great anti-colonial leaders of the late twentieth century, Nelson Mandela.
Mandela was a towering and inspirational figure, a leader of the oppressed of South Africa and beyond. Together with other liberation leaders he was convicted in the Rivonia Trial, concerning two charges of sabotage, one under the Suppression of Communism Act and one under the General Law Amendment Act. Their arrest and trial provoked worldwide solidarity, with money being collected in Ireland and around the world in the early 1960s to be sent to the International Defence and Aid Fund to assist Mandela and the other liberation prisoners in their legal defence.
At this moment it is important to acknowledge the major contribution made by working people around the world to Mandela’s liberation.
Despite spending decades incarcerated in apartheid prisons, he remained unbowed and unbroken. His walk to freedom, with his wife, Winnie Mandela, beside him, was a defining image of the late twentieth century. The white apartheid regime, which for decades nestled snugly under the protective wing of western governments, did not and could not break him or the people’s resistance.
In one of his first speeches Mandela paid tribute to the unbreakable and unselfish solidarity given to the oppressed masses of South Africa by the Soviet Union and the socialist bloc, as against the inaction and active collaboration of almost all western government with the apartheid regime that incarcerated him for twenty-seven years. Mandela also paid tribute to the heroic Cuban internationalists who defeated the invading South African army on the battlefields of Angola, which marked the beginning of the end of apartheid South Africa. No doubt those same western governments will now heap false praise on this champion of human liberation, though they did nothing to help during his long incarceration.
With his passing we also remember the thousands of ordinary citizens, both inside and outside South Africa, who campaigned for his release and for the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime but whose demands fell on deaf ears for many decades.
With the death of Nelson Mandela humanity has lost a deeply humane and committed liberation leader. We salute him and all the great leaders and fighters who struggled, and those who are still struggling, for freedom and social liberation. The long walk to freedom still has many miles to go.
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Statement from the Communist Party of Ireland
The Communist Party of Ireland today warned Irish workers not to fall for the latest ruse by the bankrupt political establishment with its announcement that this failed state will leave the “bail-out programme” — which is in fact a restructuring programme — by 15 December with or without a “precautionary credit line.”
This will not mean an end to any of the current or planned cuts in health, education, or social welfare, nor end the drive for privatisation. Nor will it prevent the need for continuous cuts in the future. The servicing of the debt is costing the Irish people nearly €9 billion per year — similar to the annual education budget. Austerity will be a permanent feature of the lives of working families far into the future.
Debt has become the principal political means for strengthening external mechanisms of control by the EU Commission – dominated by Germany – not just of this state but all member states and in particular over the other heavily indebted peripheral states. The capacity of the peoples across the European Union to democratically affect political and economic changes is being rapidly diminished. Democracy is being hollowed out.
It is simply not in the interests of the Irish political and economic establishment to assert independent actions, their interest lies in ensuring that the current process continues and deepens.
Ireland continues to be at the mercy of “the markets” – those who control the markets are those who control the troika.
Debt is also being used to push through the long-term strategic imperative of economic restructuring that is intended to restore lost inequalities and to impose new ones, not only in Ireland.
The announcement today has more to do with appearances than with reality. Just as we were the poster boy for economic development during the “Celtic Tiger” period, we are now being touted as the poster boy of good behaviour for accepting austerity without a whimper.
The European Union has to show to the people of Greece, Spain, Portugal and other EU member-states that if they take the austerity medicine without resistance, it works.
The system itself is in a deep and deepening structural crisis with debt and stagnation just the latest manifestations.
The emperor has no clothes.
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The November issue of Socialist Voice is out now. Download it here, or view it online. Also available to read below.
- Will we or won’t we? [EMC]
- Departments I, II and III and economic crisis [NL]
- Pension benefits wiped (part 2) [Brendan Ogle]
- Printing money to support the debt bubble [NL]
- James Connolly and 1916 [NOM]
- There is an alternative (part 2) [EON]
- Time for more independent leadership [NOM]
- Rail and bus transport: Why nationalisation was the obvious answer [RNC]
- Political statement
- International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, Lisbon: Speech by Eugene McCartan, general secretary, CPI
- The unseemly rise of Qatar [BG]
- A serious defeat for workers and their union [TMK]
- Willie Walsh floats again [MA]
- Letter: Ionad Buail Isteach
Will we or won’t we?
It is now clear that the Irish state will leave the “bail-out” or restructuring programme some time in December. The Government is spinning the argument that when we eventually get the EU-ECB-IMF supervision off our backs we will “regain our sovereignty” and independent action.
The question has to be asked, When have we ever had full sovereignty and independence?
They are claiming that Government policies have worked to such a degree that they may not need any “precautionary credit line” from the European Stability Mechanism, the euro-zone rescue fund. For this state to get access to such funds would require parliamentary approval from a number of countries, including Germany.
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he October issue of Socialist Voice is out now. It can also be viewed online at :
- Debt is a means of attacking your rights and wages [EMC]
- Ireland’s housing crisis worsens [MA]
- How austerity is working [PD]
- Haass unlikely to succeed [TMK]
- Norn Ireland as seen from Britland [NW]
- Capitalist growth and environmental crisis [NL]
- A true son of the Vietnamese people
- There is an alternative (Part 1)[EON]
- US meddling led to Westgate massacre [TMS]
- A century of working-class life [TR]
- A day in the life of a bookshop [PD]
- Guantánamo poems [LC, JF]
- Who would be a whistle-blower? [RNC]
Debt is a means of attacking your rights and wages
The system is determined to overcome its crisis by continuing to reduce workers’ wages and living standards, to undo the welfare provisions won by workers over a century of hard, bitter struggles. The establishment—both the EU and the main Irish establishment parties—continue to argue that we are living beyond our means and that we need to pay the debt and bring government spending under control.
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Peadar O’Donnell Socialist – Republican Forum
Launch of Pamphlet
“Undoing the Conquest: Renewing the Struggle”
Main speaker: Bernadette McAliskey
Chairperson: Mick O’Reilly
2.00pm, Saturday 28 September 2013
The New Theatre, 43 East Essex Street, Dublin 2
The pamphlet contains the papers presented to the seminars organised in Dublin in 2012.
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The May issue of Socialist Voice is out now. It can also be view online (pdf) or below.
- Irish austerity: Change of words but not of policy [EMC]
- Medical cards under savage attack [MA]
- Water and woods to be flogged off [MA]
- Reform or transform? The confusion of growth economics—Part 1 [NL]
- Croke Park II rejected [Anne Casey]
- The capitalist crisis and the demolition of workers’ rights [NC]
- Can we learn from Cuba?—A response [EON]
- Venezuela: Electoral challenge a coup attempt [RCN]
- Colombians call for solidarity [SE]
- The Progressive Film Club: an inspiration and an education [PD]
- Ireland’s neutrality demonstrated again
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Margaret Thatcher has left a deep legacy not only for the people of the neighbouring island but also for the Irish people and for the oppressed and suffering peoples of the world.
Thatcher epitomised the arrogance of the long imperialist traditions of the British ruling class. Her policy in regard to the H-block hunger strikes exposed her deep contempt and hatred for those who opposed British imperialist interests. Under her rule the British army gained greater freedom to develop and perpetrate its dirty war in the North of Ireland, when selective assassinations and the management of loyalist paramilitaries became more central to the British war machine.
Thatcher was one in a long line of British rulers who had a deep hatred of working people, such as her great hero, Churchill, another person who carried as a badge of honour his hatred of Ireland and the Irish people’s struggle for independence as well as for the British working class. Thatcher saw workers as mere cannon-fodder in imperialist wars, whether in Ireland or the Malvinas, or simply strategic pawns in her anti-communist crusades, as with “Solidarity” in Poland.
Her name has become a byword for aggression, selfishness, and rampant individualism. She has left a legacy of destroyed lives, shattered communities, rampant militarism and chauvinism and the destruction of what was left of British manufacturing and raised the adoration of the “market” beyond all previous levels.
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April addition of Socialist Voice is now out. It can be viewed online here
- Time for a radical departure [EMC]
- Cypriots paying the price [EMC]
- Growing threat of NATO membership
- The state of bourgeois political economy [NL]
- William Thompson: political economy and co-operative communism [NL]
- The new pope [MA]
- The question remains: when are we going to talk about class? [PD]
- Can we learn from Cuba? (or where to go from here?) [TMS]
- Financialisation, the euro, and the crisis [NC]
- A modest exposure
- The family, private property, and the state [SOD]
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The March issue of Socialist Voice is out now.
Can be viewed as a PDF here or view it online.
Table of contents:
- Workers continue to pay the price [EMC]
- The passing of a hero
- Austerity hits local services [MA]
- Theft by stealth—the solution of the rich [MA, JA]
- The super-rich dine at our expense [NL]
- Women written out of history [PD]
- Launch of the Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum
- Democracy and the crisis—Part 2 [FC]
- Spain swings to the left [TMS]
- Western commentators shocked by their own darling [BG]
- New abusive measure against one of the Cuban Five
- The hunt for truth [RCN]
- Belfast’s working-class troubadour [RH]
- A fantastic sixty minutes of drama [PD]
From the lead article: Workers continue to pay the price
We need to constantly keep to the fore the following question: What is austerity designed to do?
It is for shifting the burden of crisis onto workers and away from capital, through pay cuts, redundancies, and the socialisation of corporate debt where necessary. Austerity is capitalism’s response to the crisis: to recover growth through increased exploitation and provide state-led guarantees to private investment.
Croke Park I and II are an extension of “social partnership.” Mentally, the ICTU still sees things in terms of giving away rights to placate the interests of the bosses.
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The Communist Party of Ireland expresses its condolences and solidarity with the family of Comandante Hugo Chávez, with the people and government of Venezuela.
Hugo Chávez has left an indelible mark on the history of the Venezuelan people and of Latin America. Through his policies of distributing wealth in the interests of the poor and working people he has transformed the lives of millions.
His Bolivarian Revolution has inspired millions of Venezuelans and has given hope and inspiration to millions of working people throughout Latin America, greatly contributing to the changes now under way in that continent. His revolution broke the spell of “TINA” (“there is no alternative”), so cleverly woven by western imperial interests.
His contribution was to put socialism back on the agenda, with renewed vigour, as the only real alternative to the bankrupt and moribund system that is inflicting great hardship on working people.
His revolution touched not only the lives of the Venezuelan people but also the poor of the United States, to whom the nationalised Venezuelan oil company distributed free fuel for a decade or more. He did more than any president of the United States, from Clinton to Obama, did for the poor of the United States itself.
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A public book of condolences has been open in Connolly Books, Essex Street, Temple Bar, to allow the Irish public to express their condolences and solidarity with the family of Comandante Hugo Chavez and the revolutionary working people of Venezuela.
It will be an opportunity to show our solidarity with the Venezuelan Revolution and to honour the passing of a great internationalists and anti-imperialist.
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February issue of Socialist Voice is out now.
It can also be view here to download, here to read online or below in the embedded widget.
Below is a list of contents.
- We must build on Connolly’s legacy
- CPI calls for support for the ICTU demonstration
- The ICTU’s “better, fairer debt” strategy [EMC]
- 2013: the continuing of the great scattering [EMC]
- James Stewart (1933–2013)
- “Social Europe” for the EU’S privileged [COM]
- The truth behind the myth of “social Europe”
- Rarefied Davos air fosters elite illusions [COM]
- More on monopolies globally [NL]
- Poverty and wealth in France
- Democracy and the crisis—Part 1 [FC]
- Is Ireland a tax haven? [EON]
- Another imperialist intervention in Africa [TMS]
- Slanted media attack Caribbean socialism [TMS]
- Red westerns [AF]
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The Communist Party of Ireland stated that working people should not be fooled by the bluff and spin being carried out by the Irish governments and EU spin doctors.
This is not a deal that will change anything in real terms to the lives of hundreds of thousands of Irish families now struggle to keep a roof over their heads or put food on the table.
As we have pointed out for some time the Irish internal troika (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour) representing the Irish economic elites, has been and continues to be committed to paying this odious debt no matter what the cost to the people. They see no other role for themselves other than as junior partners to the imperialist powers, witness their constant declarations of loyalty to the European Union.
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