Posts By Communist Party of Ireland

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May Issue of Socialist Voice Out Now

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The May issue of Socialist Voice is now available online.

Water: Scarce commodity or valuable natural resource?  Jimmy Doran:

As Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael agree to set up another committee to manage the affairs of the rich, water charges and Irish Water have been used as a political football between them. In this centenary year it just goes to show that James Connolly got it right when he wrote: “If you remove the English army to-morrow and hoist the Green Flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain.

Opinion: Two strategies: Connolly’s (1916) and Sinn Féin’s (2016)D. R. O’Connor Lysaght

James Connolly is presented as the ideological inspiration of the majority of the politically committed in the 26-county Republic of Ireland. Of that state’s four main parties, only Fine Gael would deny him this role, tracing its roots to a compost of John Redmond and Michael Collins. Its rivals, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, and Labour, each describe themselves as the keeper of Connolly’s flame.

Tories’ attack on doctors is only the beginningTommy McKearney

Do you, like me, subscribe to the view that Britain’s Conservatives are an unscrupulous lot, forever searching for new ways to make the rich even richer? With this in mind, and in spite of the absence of documentary proof, it strikes me that the intensely bitter dispute between junior doctors in Britain and the Tories’ secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, is about more than just pay.

Time to get rid of special courts: Paul Doran

With the election now over, the issue of the Special Criminal Court has been largely forgotten—that is, unless you are stuck in one of Europe’s most disgusting prisons, namely Port Laoise, where “slopping out” is still the practice.

Irish GDP: The great con trick: Eoghan M. Ó Néill

Capitalism has been in stagnation for decades. Economic growth has been sluggish, rarely rising above 2 per cent. Ireland, on the other hand, is once again the poster economy of capitalism. Having cast off the shameful remnants of the “Celtic Tiger” years and the financial crisis of 2008, Ireland is once again an economic powerhouse, with the growth in its gross domestic product (GDP)

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The April Issue of Socialist Voice Out Now

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The April issue of Socialist Voice is now available online at http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/index.html

Table of contents:


The 1916 Rising a century later: Eugene McCartan

A century ago this month, on 24 April 1916, members of the Irish Volunteers and the Citizen Army marched out and seized a number of sites mainly in Dublin and a small number of other places around the country. The Rising lasted six days, but its impact still reverberates a century later.

Not a time for diluting our demands: Tommy McKearney

Antonio Gramsci wrote in his Prison Notebooks that “the crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born . . .” Although this was written more than eighty years ago and in a very different world, he might well have been referring to the present day.

Venezuela: The struggle continues: Paul Dobson

On 6 December last year the US-backed Venezuelan opposition achieved a victory in the parliamentary elections, winning a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. As only their second victory in twenty attempts, it must have tasted very sweet following eighteen years of almost continuous losses.

The myth of Irish sovereignty: Eoghan Ó Néill

One hundred years ago Irish men and women lit a spark that they hoped would lead to an Irish Republic, sovereign and free from the stranglehold of British imperialism. The revolutionary forces of 1916 were the product of the economic, political and social oppression visited upon the Irish people by the continued tyranny of Britain.

Strikes and time bombs: Alan Hanlon

The last issue of Socialist Voice referred to the “pensions time bomb.” This is a term dreamed up by the bourgeoisie in the financial sector as part of a campaign to undermine state pensions and defined-benefit schemes. Now some other “time bombs” have arisen.

The Murder Machine: Pearse and education: Graham Harrington

Amid the pageantry of the 1916 centenary, the revisionists and West-Brit media are on overdrive to present the rising as a failed, delusional blood lust. One of the defining characteristics in this is the omission of the real ideas of the leaders, not least Connolly’s socialism and Pearse’s concept of education.

Capitalism is bad for your health: David Hugh Hartery

Going hand in hand with a reduction in the stigma attached to mental illness is a growth in diagnoses. Some of this can be attributed to better health education, leading to fewer sick people going untreated; but with unprecedented numbers now receiving treatment, we have to ask, What part of modern society is making us ill?

Shakespeare today: Jenny Farrell

William Shakespeare died four hundred years ago this month, on 23 April 1616. There is hardly a country or a language in the world that is not familiar at least with his name. Shakespeare’s poetry has had an impact on the English language like no other.

Das Kapital mark 2?: Simon McGuinness

Bernard Murphy’s review of Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Picketty misses what, for me, is the elephant in the room: the role of the Soviet Union in the expansion of workers’ wealth in the post-1945 period. I can excuse (but not forgive) Picketty, and every single other reviewer for this omission, but hesitate to excuse Murphy, given that his review appeared in the newspaper of the Communist Party of Ireland.

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February Issue of Socialist Voice is Out Now

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The February Issue of Socialist Voice is now online.

New challenges and new opportunities for working people

The current election campaign and the election of a new Dáil present new challenges and opportunities for the working people of Ireland.
Working people have experienced prolonged attacks on their living standards, on social welfare benefits, pensions, and public services, as well as the imposition of water charges.

When competition is king

Eoghan O’Neill

Within the European Union and the United States and other advanced capitalist regions they say competition is king. Competition is what gives the modern market economy its legitimacy. It’s taught in second-level and third-level educational institutions, in departments of economics, business, and law

Islamic State and crocodile tears

Alan Hanlon

Hillary Benn, the British Labour Party’s shadow foreign secretary, made a striking statement in the House of Commons in the debate on British intervention in the civil war now taking place in Syria. He compared the situation to that of the Spanish Civil War;

Bímis dílis d’idéil 1916!

Tomás Mac Síomóin

I mbliain seo chomóradh Éirí Amach 1916 cluinfear moltaí á dtabhairt go fuíoch ag boic na bunaíochta do laochra na Cásca. Ach tá ard-chuspóirí na laoch céanna tréigthe, is faoi their, ag na boic chéanna le fada an lá. Ní chluinfear teagasc sóisialach Shéamais Uí Chonaíle á mholadh óna mbéala siadsan, ar ndóigh. Bíodh spléachadh againn ar chuid de cháipéisí bunúsacha ghluaiseacht na saoirse le méid na feille seo a thomhas.

EU membership: a challenge for the serious left

Tommy McKearney

It is being reported that some Scots intend voting Yes in the British referendum dealing with Britain’s membership of the European Union. Apparently their decision is based on the rather shaky principle that if a significant number of English people wish to leave, they will vote to remain.

Rebel without a pause: Bob Doyle (1916–2009)

Jimmy Doran

The centenary of Bob Doyle’s birth occurs on 12 February. He was born into poverty in North King Street, Dublin, and the eventual break-up of his family led to a life of foster care and orphanages, where he suffered hunger and regular beatings.

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January Issue of Socialist Voice Out Now

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Terrorist attacks are an excuse for war

Terrorist attacks on Western soil will inevitably spark hyperbolic responses from the European establishment, and these very human tragedies are often manipulated, for a number of reasons.
They are frequently used as a pretext for targeting and undermining our rights to privacy and personal freedom, or for justifying confused or downright aggressive plans for intervention in foreign countries.

Venezuela: The struggle continues

Robert Navan and Seán Edwards:
When Obama declared Venezuela to be a threat to the United States he wasn’t being absurd. He meant, of course, a threat to US hegemony in the region.

The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela was the greatest challenge to that domination since the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

Price-fixing and cartels

Paul Doran:
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a cartel is an association of manufacturers or suppliers formed with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition.
The sheer number of cartels around the world is astonishing.

When the British government banned the Orange Order

Dónall Ó Briain
Not many people today know that the British government made the Orange Order illegal—twice. How different Irish history might have been if it had remained so!
The Orange Order was founded in 1795 following a sectarian fight in Armagh.

Pivotal moments in recent Irish history

Nicola Lawlor
The left today seems to be missing some important lessons from pivotal moments in recent Irish history. This article is a brief, and simplified, overview of some of those moments. The lessons are worth keeping to the fore in considering any strategy for building socialism in Ireland, because without them such efforts will be wasted, misguided, and even damaging.

Frank Conroy Commemoration

On Saturday 12 December 2015 a very interesting Frank Conroy Commemoration

Alternative media

Tommy McKearney
The new leader of the Labour Party in Britain, Jeremy Corbyn, recently told the Morning Star that he is exploring options for breaking up Britain’s media monopolies.

That Corbyn and his supporters would consider doing so is hardly surprising in the light of the hysterical and vitriolic campaign waged against them by Britain’s press and broadcasters.

Mind your language Part 2

Robert Navan
A newly arrived Martian would find themselves very confused by much of the language used by our mainly right-wing Western media. The confusion would arise from the constant use of words generally associated with the political left.

(Part 1 was published in Socialist Voice, January 2013)

Paulo Freire: Revolutionary educational thinker

Eoghan O’Neill
Paulo Freire was one of the most revolutionary of educational thinkers. His seminal work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, is a major contribution to the concept of learning. It delves beneath the mechanics of the methodology of learning to encompass concepts such as conscientisation

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December Issue of Socialist Voice is Out Now

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The December issue of Socialist Voice is now online.     

No Christmas for the homeless
AROUND THE the country the twinkling of the Christmas lights and decorations beckons us into the glitter-adorned shops and shopping centres, caressing us and persuading us to part with our hard-earned money, to place the little plastic card in the machine to buy that must-have present, to push everyone further into debt in a shopping frenzy to buy goods we don’t really need.

TTIP – A cloak for imperialist expansion
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, now being secretly negotiated between the European Union and the United States, is an agreement designed to attack the gains of workers, to open up public utilities…

Not so much a ‘Fresh Start’, more a political limbo: Tommy McKearney
SO THERE you have it. The Stormont Assembly crisis is over, and we’re told that everything is settled. Well, the crisis has been resolved—that is, until the next kerfuffle arises, sending all hands scurrying back to London for another lengthy round of arbitration.

Maria fighting back:
Maria decided to fight back, on the strength of her political education with the outreach group from UCD women’s studies group in Mid-West Dublin. She received a HETAC level 7, which was a great achievement. She contacted the relevant…..

Global wealth and distribution in October:
The Swiss banking company Credit Suisse published its sixth report on global wealth in two informative and useful publications, Global Wealth Report, 2015 and its complementary Global Databook, 2015.

Sovereignty and democracy at risk in Denmark
Mary Graham in Copenhagen
The Danish people go to the polls on 3 December to vote on whether to shed the country’s power under the Lisbon Treaty to opt out of EU laws on justice and home affairs…….

Reclaim the Vision of 1916 International Poetry Competition,
2016 Following consultations with some of its patrons and supporters working in the arts, Reclaim the Vision of 1916 is delighted to announce that we will shortly launch an International Poetry Competition. We are grateful to Poetry Ireland for their advice.

Health and safety is a class issue:Alan Hanlon

The Safety (Health and Welfare at Work) Act (2005) is the main body of legislation governing the whole area of health and welfare at work. This particular act gives effect to EU Council Directives 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 and 91/383/EEC of 25 June 1991 to introduce measures to improve health and safety at work.

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November Socialist Voice is Now Available Online

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The November Socialist Voice is now available online

In this issue: 

The Right to Change

The Right2Water struggle, which began in the communities and has now developed into a powerful national force, has pushed the government back, and still retains the potential to defeat water charges and secure a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the public ownership of water.

This demand must remain our primary focus, and it can be won, regardless of electoral outcomes. 

Vulture funds: Multi-headed dogs of the dead! | Nicola Lawlor

We have heard a lot about Cerberus in recent times in relation to NAMA and IBRC and the purchase of “distressed assets” and housing and commercial developments, particular to do with Project Eagle in the North of Ireland.

Monopoly capitalism and the Irish economy | Kieran Crilly

Introductory orthodox economics is dominated by the concept of what is called “perfect competition.” This is based on four assumptions. (1) The industry or sector has a large number of small firms that cannot affect the price of the goods if they increase or decrease production. 

Mega-mergers and monopoly capitalism | Nicola Lawlor

A definition of a “mega-merger” is “the joining of two large corporations, typically involving billions of dollars in value.” The mega-merger creates one corporation that may maintain control over a large proportion of the market within its industry. Mega-mergers occur through the acquisition, merger, consolidation or combination of two existing corporations. They differ from traditional mergers because of their scale.

Vulture capitalism at work | Alan Hanlon

Earlier this year, on 12 June 2015, Clery’s department store was closed down and the locks changed, with the loss of 130 jobs and about 300 operators of franchises.
Clery’s was an iconic store, known throughout the country, the main shop in the main street of the capital city.

American unemployment: The real and the bogus | Bernard Murphy
The American economy is the model of what neo-liberal pundits in Ireland and elsewhere believe a progressive modern economy should be. Hence, the international corporate media circus has been trumpeting the glad tidings: the American end-of-summer unemployment figures are down to 5 per cent

The real structure of the Irish economy | Kieran Crilly

In this article we analyse different branches of the Irish economy according to the dominance of one firm or a small number of firms. 
Supermarkets
This sector is dominated by five firms: Supervalu, Dunne’s, Tesco, Aldi, and Lidl. 

Anti-fascist conference in Athens | Bill O’Brien

A conference on the rise of fascism in Ukraine took place on 10 and 11 October in Athens. Representatives from many countries took part in this large event. 

Inequality in Ireland: A tale of two cities

The 85 richest individuals in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3½ billion. The world is grossly unequal, and is becoming more and more so. 

Letter from Havana | Seán Joseph Clancy

As I write here on the 27th of October an overwhelming majority of 193 member-states of the United Nations, at their General Assembly in New York: 

Lifting the illegal blockade against Cuba: UN echoes universal demand

With the support of 191 of the 193 member-states of the United Nations, the General Assembly voted in a new resolution on the 27th of October for an end to the US blockade against Cuba. 

Water for the people, not for corporate profits! | Paul Doran

All across the globe, facilitated by the World Bank, country after country has had its water privatised. Many large corporations use the vast resources of the African continent to pillage water and then sell if off in their European subsidiaries, and make huge profits. Nestlé is one of these companies.

What happened in the Catalan elections? | Tomás Mac Síomóin

In the parliamentary election in Catalunya on 27 September the independista Junts (“Together”) won 62 of the 68 seats required to have an absolute majority. 

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September Edition of Socialist Voice Out Now

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September Edition of Socialist Voice Out Now

Much ado about nothing:  
The “peace process” in the North is going through one of what appear to be regular spasms, this time resulting from the killing of two men who the press claim were former members of the IRA in Belfast. The fall-out from the killing of Kevin McGuigan on the 12th of August rumbles on as a result of comments made by the chief constable of the PSNI, George Hamilton, which sowed confusion and provided the pretext for current developments…………

Lansdowne Road (the Haddington Road Extension)  
Alan Hanlon
This headline sums up the proposed Lansdowne Road Agreement. Brendan Howlin and union leaders have been making a lot of noise about pay restoration and the end of the so-called financial emergency. It has been hyped in the bourgeois yellow press that civil and public servants would receive a pay increase of €2,000 per annum under the deal.      Howlin and the Labour Party spin doctors have tried to give the impression that but for them the nasty Fine Gael party would have given nothing. This is nonsense. The Labour Party is a willing partner in the austerity programme.

Don’t privatise the banks?  
Nicola Lawlor
Very early in the present crisis the CPI argued against nationalising the banks, on the grounds that this would be socialising tens of billions in debts, would bankrupt the state, and would create conditions for a general downward restructuring of the economy. The party introduced and popularised the slogan “Repudiate the debt” as the clearest anti-imperialist class position, which attempted to challenge both the Irish establishment and the European Union and indeed the global financialised economy.

All is not quite what it seems:   
Tommy McKearney
According to an article by Hugh O’Connell on the web site journal.ie, our now ailing and tetchy Labour Party leader has commissioned a company called Marmalade Films to produce a series of short social-media-based advertisements commending the party’s performance in government.1 These short film clips deal with the themes of jobs, families, and business, asserting that the Labour Party is good for all three, though offering little evidence to support the claim.

One step nearer to privatising schools    
Dónall Ó Briain
The national school on the island of Inis Meáin, Co. Galway, needs a second teacher—not because of the number of pupils (there are only nine) but because of the number of subjects to be taught. Up to now the solitary teacher has been expected to teach the whole national school curriculum.

Samir Amin: A life that continues to be lived:
Nicola Lawlor
Samir Amin is recognised as one of the most important and most inspiring living Marxist theoreticians and philosophers. I would strongly recommend that people read his regular articles in Monthly Review (posted on the MR e-zine) and his books, most notably his recent publications The Law of Worldwide Value (second edition, 2010) and The Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism (2013).

Reasons why I am not a capitalist
Richard Bryant
1. It is not the perfect system that it has been advertised to be. It had a beginning and a middle, and we are now at the end. It will not self-perpetuate into the indefinite future. The responsible solution is to search for alternatives not rooted in austerity and oppression.

The Pope calls capitalism’s bluff:  
Tomás Mac Síomóin
Pope Francis is no 21st-century Karl Marx. But when it comes to the critical analysis of modern monopoly capitalism and its role in the creation of human suffering on a massive scale, the Italo-Argentine and the German Jew sing from the same hymn sheet.

The case against the privatisation of water  

Paul Doran
Here are ten reasons—among many—why the privatisation of drinking water could spell doom for the Irish people and many of the world’s 6 billion-plus people:

No reproductive freedom in Ireland, North or South:   

Scarlett Hoy
The availability of safe, legal abortion and affordable, reliable contraception is really good for women. Being able to decide if and when to have a child (or more children) improves women’s educational outcome, our career prospects, our health, the health of our relationships, the well-being of our…….

Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment:    
Therese Caherty
Abortion is a work-place, equality and human rights issue. Since its formation in September 2014 the Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment has argued that this is the case.

Democratic Programme for the 21st Century:  

Comrades
The Democratic Programme for the 21st Century is timely, not just in its connection to the many coming centenaries and memorials over the next number of years, kicked off with the recent O’Donovan Rossa events……..

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August Socialist Voice is Out Now!

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The August Socialist Voice is now available online

In this issue:

Greek and all European workers paying a heavy price

Eugene McCartan

As events unfold in Greece it’s clear that the EU is determined to make Greek workers pay for the crisis now engulfing the country.
The Greek debt, like the Irish debt, is simply unsustainable and unpayable. The impact and renewed assault on Greek workers will be felt throughout the European Union: it will not be confined or contained within the borders of Greece.

http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/01-greece.html

International Development Bank set up by BRICS states

The “BRICS” countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) stepped onto the stage of global finance last month with the launch of the New Development Bank in Shanghai. The six BRICS countries had agreed to set up the bank at the group’s sixth summit meeting in Brazil in July 2014.

http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/02-brics.html

Social democracy tries to reinvent itself

Tommy McKearney

Just as capitalism has the knack of changing its shape, social democracy also displays an extraordinary ability to reinvent itself, and almost always to the detriment of the working class.

http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/03-soc-dem.html

Racist crime raises its ugly head

Paul Doran

There is nothing more detestable than the hate some people have for people of colour or people of a different ethnicity. This disgusting trait has recently raised its ugly head in Clondalkin, Co. Dublin.

http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/04-racism.html

Maria’s story (continued)

Readers may recall “One woman’s experience of Job Bridge” from the November 2014 issue

I have a new job, working in a call centre. They recommend that we come to work fifteen minutes before every shift, so we can clock in and have our computer turned on, ready for action.

http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/05-maria.html

Painless “postcapitalism”—a utopian dream

Nick Wright

Paul Mason has conjured up a very 21st-century formula for the replacement of capitalism. It combines all the elements of a problem-free route to “postcapitalism,” rather than the old techniques of revolt, revolution, and working-class power, and relies—it seems—on the facility of the internet to permit the free transfer of information combined with the ability of human beings to devise forms of exchange that evade the capitalist market.

http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/06-mason.html

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Statement from the Communist Party of Ireland on the attempts to crush the Greek working class

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The European Union has exposed its essential class nature in its attitude to the Greek people. After months of arm-twisting, bullying and blackmail it has imposed even more draconian austerity on the working people of Greece.

The stance taken by the Irish government was only to be expected, as it long ago surrendered all pretence of defending Irish national and political sovereignty and the interests of our people. They have accepted their role as gatekeepers and willing collaborators in defending the interests of the EU above those of the people. They never fought for the interests of the Irish people, so why would one expect them to champion the interests of the Greek people regarding debt and austerity?

Developments within the European Union confirm the stand taken by the Communist Party of Ireland over many decades regarding the various treaties, the EU’s essential class nature and whose interests it serves.

The humiliation of the Greek people is designed to send a very clear message to workers throughout Europe: that criticism or alternative economic and social policies will be defeated. This is for the purpose of reinforcing the mantra of “TINA”: that there is no alternative to the dominant interests of the monopolies and big business. It is clear that no matter who working people vote for, or how many referendums they have, there is only one economic, political and social policy allowed within the European Union.

The CPI has consistently challenged the illusions deliberately nurtured and fostered by both the EU and its supporters among the Irish economic and political establishment, also including elements within the trade union leadership, all the main political parties, and, unfortunately, sections of the political left.

The reformist illusions of SYRIZA have come unstuck on the nature of the European Union and the real, existing class interests at the heart of the EU. Equally—as we have consistently pointed out—debt was and is being used as the main weapon against the people, creating the pretext for a massive assault on workers’ rights and conditions, not only here in Ireland but throughout Europe, to justify a massive transfer of public wealth to both domestic and global monopolies, resulting from the privatisation of public companies and assets.

The dominant elements within SYRIZA have accepted plans for a high level of domestic economic supervision by the bail-out monitors of the Troika, including the IMF, as well as an “overhaul” of public administration supervised by the EU Commission.

It is clear even at this early stage that the SYRIZA government has surrendered many of its “red-line” demands and agreed to accept draconian measures in a renewed assault on workers, including attacks on pensions and an increase in VAT by Wednesday 15 July, as a precondition for starting negotiations over a third bail-out package—yet to be defined or agreed—that may total between €82 and €86 billion over three years. And another “red line” has been crossed: contrary to Greek demands, the IMF will be involved in the third bail-out.

In addition, Greece will have to transfer more than €50 billion in public assets to a “trust fund” before they are privatised, including the national electricity service, ports and harbours, and many other vital public assets.

SYRIZA has also agreed to even more ambitious market “reforms,” abandoning its pledge to reverse previous attacks on workers’ rights or what the establishment calls “labour market reforms,” notably on collective bargaining. This is the culmination of the disarming of the working class.

Half the proceeds of the sale of public companies (€25 billion) will be used for recapitalising banks, and a quarter each (€12½ billion) will go to debt repayments and investment; in other words, the people’s wealth is to be squandered in the interests of the rich and powerful.

Reformist parties such as SYRIZA, the SPD in Germany, the British Labour Party, the French, Spanish and Portuguese “Socialist Parties,” the Irish Labour Party and other such political formations throughout Europe have facilitated this continuing assault on workers, siding with their own ruling class, in alliance with the EU, against workers. These reformist parties are the conduit for securing the interests of those same dominant economic and political forces within the workers’ movement. These political groupings have increasingly become essential mechanisms of control over workers and their organisations.

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The June Issue of Socialist Voice is Out Now!

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The current issue of Socialist Voice is now available online 

The articles in this issue include:

A Democratic Programme for the 21st Century

In this issue of Socialist Voice we publish the draft of a Democratic Programme for the 21st Century. The CPI is offering this document as part of the debate that needs to take place in every trade union branch and every community organisation.

Will they, won’t they, do a deal? Eugene McCartan

The mass media both in Ireland and throughout Europe are attempting to shape how working people view and understand the negotiations taking place between the ECB-EU-IMF “troika” and the SYRIZA government in Greece. 

Right2Water conference:

A good beginning: But we need to win the water struggle first

Anne Traynor

In mid-June the five trade unions at the heart of the Right2Water campaign called a second conference, drawing activists from the five unions as well as those opposing water charges in the communities and the political parties involved in the Right2Water campaign. 
     The conference was in two parts. In the first section the delegates broke up into a number of workshops to discuss a draft consultation paper presented by the trade unions, titled “Policy Principles for a Progressive Irish Government.”

James Connolly Festival

The first annual James Connolly Festival took place in Dublin from the 9th to the 14th of May. It was a huge success, with some of Ireland’s leading actors, musicians and poets giving their services to make the festival the success it was.

The 1916 Rising

“We have nothing to celebrate?”

Presentation by Roger Cole to the debate in the Eblana Club, Dún Laoghaire

I would like to thank the Eblana Forum for inviting me to take part in this debate on the 1916 Rising. 
The title to this debate asks do we have nothing to celebrate about the 1916 Rising. So let us examine the core document of the Rising, the Proclamation, and to note that, however the Irish Timesmight claim, we do not need a new one.

Tom Redmond   1938–2015

In late May the death was announced of Tom Redmond, a lifelong member of the Communist Party of Ireland. Tom was a worker, a trade union and community activist, a political thinker, and a great communicator.  

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Tom Redmond

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The Communist Party of Ireland announces the death of our esteemed comrade Tom Redmond.

Tom’s contribution to the cause of the Irish working class spanned nearly six decades. He has left our ranks, but his contribution to the struggles of our party and to the Irish and international working-class movement are immeasurable.

We salute the memory of Tom Redmond: worker, militant communist, trade unionist, working-class intellectual, teacher, artist, writer.  Several generations of young communists and working-class activists benefited from his knowledge and experience. He gave unselfishly, in particular to young activists, passing on his wide experience and his profound knowledge of Irish history and particularly the history of our working class.

We express our deepest sympathy to his four sons Simon, Eoin, Niall, Karl and all his extended family.

The Communist Party of Ireland dips its banners in honour of his passing.

A person’s dearest posses­sion is life. It is given to them but once, and they must live it so as to feel no tortur­ing regrets for wasted years, never know the burning shame of a mean and petty past; so live that, dying, they might say: All my life, all my strength were given to the finest cause in all the world: the fight for the liberation of humanity.          —Nikolai Ostrovski

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May issue of Socialist Voice is Out Now!

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The May issue of Socialist Voice is now available at: http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/index.html

Articles in this issue include:

Spring statement” = winter of austerity

Eugene McCartan

The much-hyped “spring statement” jointly presented by the minister for finance, Michael Noonan, and minister for public expenditure, Brendan Howlin, promised much and delivered little. Though it generated reams of newsprint and hours of mind-numbing radio and television coverage, people will be none the wiser, and no better off.  

Support the bus workers!

It’s in all our interests to support the bus workers’ strike.

 The establishment media have gone into overdrive about the action taken by Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann drivers, members of both SIPTU and the NBRU. The first two-day strikes took place on 1 and 2 May, with two further strikes planned for 15 and 16 May.

Change of strategy at the ICTU

The new general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Patricia King, announced a change of strategy in a speech on 17 April to the annual delegate conference of the Public Service Executive Union.

The malevolent influence of Hibernianism

Tommy McKearney

On 24 April last, small groups of people gathered at a number of places around Ireland on the ninety-ninth anniversary of the beginning of the Easter Rising to celebrate what they have designated Republic Day.

The end of the Viet Nam war

The 30th of April marks the fortieth anniversary of the ending of the Viet Nam war. On that day in 1975 the forces of the People’s Army of Viet Nam and the National Liberation Front of South Viet Nam, under the command of General V?n Ti?n D?ng,

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Alan Hanlon

On 21 April, Right2Water organised another peaceful demonstration of the working class opposed to the privatisation of water and the whole campaign of austerity and forced emigration launched in 2008.

The rise of shadow banking

Nicola Lawlor

Both the EU Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund published reports recently on the growth and risk of the shadow-banking sector.

While estimating the size of the sector and identifying some immediate risks, both reports fail to identify the rise of finance…

Three countries: same failed strategies

Paul Doran

At the end of April two communist parties issued significant statements in relation to the situation in Portugal and Greece. They are of interest to us here in Ireland because of the similarity of conditions: the imposition of massive debt on the people,

Real, existing capitalism and the challenge for an alternative

Eoghan O’Neill

There are times and certain processes in the production of human needs that have become the catalyst for change in society, a change in which the old order of doing things—whether it is ruling, governing, trading, building, creating, destroying, or a myriad of different complexities that steer human development—are incapable of satisfying, or can no longer satisfy, the new social and productive forces in society.

Celebrating five years of Barrygruff with Gruffwuff

Barry Healy

Barrygruff, from Ireland and now based in Vancouver, a finalist in the Canadian “Made in Blog” music blog awards, 2014, has released a compilation

History, looking forward

Seán Edwards

When Eduardo Galeano died, the Uruguayan parliament held a special session to honour him; a previous regime put him in jail. This reflects the changes in Latin America, which Galeano’s writings helped bring about.

Both are wrong!

Richard Bryant

With more beheadings in Libya come more pundits on American television. As a culture we seem keen to explore political, military and the occasional diplomatic solution when it comes to the rise of Sunni extremism in Syria and Iraq. I wonder if there are less obvious religious approaches?

No-one is going to invade Indiana or Arkansas for considering the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Yet the approach by man

The Venezuelan working class reinforces its support for Maduro

Paul Dobson

With an investment of more than $1.2 billion and 2.2 million bolívars, President Maduro approved forty-six projects from the working class of the nationalised Venezuelan Guyana Corporation this month, as the Presidential Council of the Working Class was held in Venezuela’s industrial heartland.

Communist and gay rights activist celebrated

Jenny Farrell

Solidarity lies at the heart of the film Pride. It is a film about the seemingly unlikely alliance between a mining community in Wales and the London Lesbian and Gay group “Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners.” This is a true story, and the hero of this film is Mark Ashton

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JCfest

JAMES CONNOLLY FESTIVAL

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Below are a number of links to some of the artist performing at the Connolly Festival 4th – 9th May

4th May

The New Theatre:

1-00pm: Film show: The Republican Congress, episodes 1 and 2 Introduced by Donal Higgins (director) and Donal Fallon (historian).

Tuesday 5th May

The New Theatre 1-00pm:

Revolution and Counter Revolution in Latin America: talk by Fabio Bastidas Colombia

7-30pm The New Theatre

The Red Flag:Mat Callahan & Yvonne Moore

“The Revolutionaries: 1916 and Beyond” Songs and poems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bugCWPlUg0

Workman’s Club 8-30pm till late

The Radicals: Attila The Stocbroker

https://www.youtube.com/user/attilastockbroker1

Maximum Homosapien
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Pz3pUr_sdo

Followed by a night of Ska

Wednesday 6th May

The New Theatre 1-00pm:

Film Mise Éire

The New Theatre 7-30: “The Socialist Voice”

Fiach Moriarty

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgcTzGE3N_Y

Stephen Murphy

Sarah Clancy Poet

http://www.salmonpoetry.com/details.php?ID=256&

Andrew Kearns

http://gallery.copyrighthouse.co.uk/andrewkearns/

Evelyn Campbell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDGxFwW8jPA

Thursday 7th May

1-00pm also Friday lunch time

The New Theatre: “Hairy Jayus” with Donal Kelly

http://www.donalokellyproductions.com/?page_id=30

The New Theatre 7-30pm

“Juno and the Peacock”; Dramistised reading of Sean O’Casey’s play By Ronan Wilmot.

Friday 8th May

The New Theatre

4-00pm “Women’s Liberation over the past hundred years” Micheline Sheehy Skeffington

7-30pm Music night:

Mark Geary

https://markgeary.bandcamp.com/track/fireflies

Saturday 9th May 2-00pm

James Connolly Memorial Lecture:

Speaker: Sister Teresa Forcedes

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24079227

Yearning Curve (Cork) Connolly Books 5-00pm onwards

http://www.breakingtunes.com/yearningcurve

Sunday 10th May

Arbour Hill Military Cemetery: 3-00pm

Wreath-laying at the grave of James Connolly and other leaders of the 1916 Rising:

Oration by Clare Daly TD.

Cobblestone Pub (back lounge): 4-00pm onwards

Live music session.

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connolly_festival

April issue of Socialist Voice is Out Now

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The April issue of Socialist Voice is now available online 

Articles in this issue include:

Building the people’s resistance
James Connolly Festival, 2015
Eugene McCartan
The first James Connolly Festival, sponsored by Socialist Voice, will run from the4th to the 10th of May in Dublin. It will be a week filled with music, theatre, talks, films, poetry readings, and performances by singer-songwriters, with lunchtime theatre and film shows in the New Theatre. (For full details see the festival programme at www.jamesconnollyfestival.com.)

Workers in struggle
After the magnificent one-day strike on the 2nd April by the workers employed by Dunne’s Stores, the management have embarked on a vindictive campaign to punish selected workers for going out on strike to protect and advance their rights.

The workers’ trade union, Mandate, has received reports from members all over the country who have experienced dismissal or cuts in hours, changes in job roles, or changes in shift patterns. Election promises, and business as usual

Tommy McKearney
As Britain’s political parties began their general election campaigns with a series of televised debates, two interesting messages emerged from one of the widely watched, albeit less than inspiring, media events.

ITV’s seven-person debate demonstrated that, for the first time since the 1920s, British politics are no longer bipolar. Secondly, it is now very evident that not only is Northern Ireland not “as British as Finchley” but that it is not considered integral to Britain’s political discourse at all.

Creeping privatization, Kieran Crilly
The Government of Fine Gael and the Labour Party is privatising 10 per cent of Dublin Bus and 10 per cent of Bus Éireann. This is only the beginning, as the private sector will not be satisfied until these services are 100 per cent private.

And lots more….

 

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