Socialist Voice

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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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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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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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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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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December Issue of Socialist Voice Out Now

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The December issue of the Socialist Voice is out now. It can be viewed online here or downloaded here.

Articles:

Government forced onto the back foot
The success of the broadly based Right2Water campaign and the community groups that are actively preventing the installation of water meters has forced the government to backtrack to some degree in its strategy of imposing water charges.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/01-water.html

Organised labour is essential for resistance
Referring to the Conservative Party’s handling of Britain’s early post-war economy, Aneurin Bevan of the Labour Party said: “This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organising genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time.” In fairness to the Tories it has to be said that they are rarely short of such organising geniuses.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/02-labour.html

Ireland’s odious debt: A wake-up call

Those who think that only the “loony left” want to cancel or restructure Ireland’s odious debt have another think coming. For influential—and unlikely—voices on the other side of the ideological divide are calling for just that.
Recent articles in two influential bastions of economic journalism, Bloomberg in the United States—the premier global source of investment information—and the Financial Times in Britain
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/03-debt.html

Continued success for #WorkMustPay
The Connolly Youth Movement continues to take part in actions against Job Bridge under the banner of the #WorkMustPay campaign to directly challenge the acceptability of employers taking on unpaid interns instead of providing even the basic respect of a minimum wage for workers.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/04-cym.html

The budget, water tax, and inflation
A household’s income will be affected by the recent budget (2015), and the water tax will reduce the household’s ability to spend. Inflation, expected to be 1.1 per cent in 2015, will reduce the amount of goods and services that a given income will buy in 2015 compared with 2014. Table 1 shows the position of single households in 2015.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/05-budget.html

Suffer the little children
The political establishment under Fianna Fáil and the Green Party made a political decision to plunge this country into debt by deciding to pay billions of euros back to unsecured bondholders and speculators. At the time, Éamon Gilmore of the Labour Party described Cowen and Lenihan as “economic traitors.”
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/06-children.html

Aistear casta cróga

Tadhg Kennelly, Bóthar Casta: Ó Éirinn go dtí na Filipínigh (Baile Átha Cliath: Coiscéim, 2015; €7.50).

Ba ghné shuntasach de shaol na hÉireann sa chuid is mó den fhichiú haois an méid sagart miseanach a chuir eaglais Chaitliceach na hÉireann ar fud an domhain.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/07-tadhg.html

Corporate terrorism

Chambers’ 20th-Century Dictionary defines terrorism as “an organised system of intimidation.” At present, 70 per cent of global trade is controlled by five hundred corporations, and their greed will not be satisfied until they have complete control. One of the main weapons in their arsenal is free-trade agreements.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/08-terror.html

Mexicans fight dollar imperialism
The forty-three students “disappeared” by the municipal police of the city of Iguala in Mexico on 26 September 2014 are still missing. As the state wants to end popular reaction to their disappearance, their families and fellow-students vow to continue searching until they find the forty-three alive. However, it is feared that they were murdered by the police, or their accomplices in the drug gangs, and their bodies burned to avoid discovery.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/09-mexico.html

Colombia: Tragedies often contain elements of comedy
Tragedies often contain elements of comedy; but the recent adventures of General Rubén Alzate of the Colombian army belong more to the theatre of the absurd. The general was captured by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dressed in civilian clothes, along with his lawyer and three other soldiers,
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/10-colombia.html

Reclaim the Vision of 1916: A Citizens’ Initiative for 2016
A group of concerned individuals has established “Reclaim the Vision of 1916—A Citizens’ Initiative for 2016,” in order to reassert the political principles and objectives that animated the 1916 Rising and to show their continuing relevance for Ireland today.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/11-1916.html

In defence of the Spanish Republic
The 3rd Annual Frank Conroy Commemoration at the Republican memorial in Kildare on Sunday 9 November was a huge success, with a large attendance that included Councillors Joanne Pender and Mark Lynch.
Frank Conroy, from Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, died on 28 December 1936 while fighting with the 15th International Brigade defending the Spanish Republic.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/12-spain.html


Cannibalism, concentration camps, and commodification

Jonathan Swift, Liam O’Flaherty, and Tomás Mac Síomóin, Three Leaves of a Bitter Shamrock (Dublin: Nuascéalta, 2014)

Earlier this year—on St Patrick’s Day, to be exact—Connolly Books in Dublin launched an extraordinary collection of three satirical texts, which could hardly be surpassed in their vision of horror.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/13-leaves.html

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November Socialist Voice

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The November Socialist Voice is now available online.

The articles include:

Water charges:  The government can be defeated

Eugene McCartan

The turn-out of more than 100,000 working people on 11 October, followed by the national mobilisation on 1 November, in which approximately 200,000 people took part in local protests around the country, show that the Right2Water campaign is growing in strength and is drawing new forces into resistance against the water charges.

EU negotiation terms declassified

Nicola Lawlor

The European Union has finally declassified the terms of reference of the EU Commission in negotiating the highly secretive agreement known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Green light for risk-free speculation

THE EUROPEAN Central Bank plans to buy rebundled packages of debt and covered bonds, secured on assets such as property. It will include buying debt with a credit rating of “junk” from Greece and Cyprus, as long as such countries are under a formal international financial programme.

Transforming a tragedy into an opportunity

Tommy McKearney

Reader could be forgiven for feeling that little more of value can be said about the Mairia Cahill case. The Sunday Independent devoted sixteen pages of one issue to the question,* and it was not alone among the media in conducting this type of frenzied investigation. Broadcast and print journalists, internet trolls and a medley of commentators joined in what was cast as a defining moral issue.

Ebola: EU dithers, Cuba acts

Tomás Mac Síomóin

The yawning gap between socialist and neo-liberal values is reflected in the response to the call by the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, for international assistance to stem the deadly advance of the Ebola virus in Africa. Cuba’s response was immediate and massive; the European Union heaved and brought forth—a mouse!

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The October issue of Socialist Voice is out now

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The October issue of Socialist Voice is out now. You can view it online here.

Articles include:
Socialism: a historical necessity Nicola Lawlor:

The deepening environmental crisis—described in various articles in Socialist Voice over the years—makes the requirement of a transition to socialism not just desirable but absolutely necessary for the survival of humanity.

Water is a human rightKathleen Lynch 

Next to oxygen, water is the most essential element required for human existence. Two-thirds of the human body consists of water. While we need many nutrients to sustain us in life, we will die within days without water. Water is more than H?O: it is integral to human life itself.

Water charge revolutionaries: Eoin Mc Donnell

It seems there’s a revolution going on. The people of certain working-class estates in Dublin and others scattered around the country have had enough, and it’s all-out war against the state—or so it seems. This is what we are to believe from social media: scenes of angry, indignant and ready-to-fight workers who have taken to the streets to do battle with the well-equipped wing of the state and its masters, Irish Water.

Sister Teresa wants out of the euro zone: Tomás Mac Siomion

Spain now has the most politically active and liberal citizenry in Europe. Public outcry, expressed through huge marches in the main cities, has just forced the government to withdraw its proposed abortion legislation (in effect a regression to the Irish model), which was to replace the existing full freedom-of-choice regime

Job Bridge for teachers: Not just a union StruggleEdmund O’Neill

When news of Job Bridge being used for hiring teaching staff hit the air waves in September, Joe Duffy’s hotline was sizzling. The spread of “internship” culture had reached the gates of the public sector, and a lot of people, especially newly qualified teachers, were up in arms. During the rest of the week shows like “Prime Time” pushed out debates on the issue.

Portrait of a patriot” Alan Hanlon

A biography of T. K. Whitaker by Anne Chambers, entitled Dr T. K. Whitaker: A Portrait of a Patriot, has just been launched. Whitaker was born in 1916, and in the 1950s and 60s (May 1956 to February 1969) he was secretary of the Department of Finance.

Tin Town Edmund O’Neill

They want to move us all down to tin town
They want to bring us all down to tin town

Is Leatsa an Tír Seo Gabriel Rosenstock

In ómós Woody Guthrie, a cailleadh ar 3 Deireadh Fómhair 1967.

Is leatsa an tír seo, is liomsa an tír seo

An evening of dialogue on class politics Tommy McKearney

Reluctant to risk getting lost in loyalist East Belfast, the two Dublin trade unionists took a taxi across the city centre to where their union was participating in a public discussion. They were anxious not to be late for an event that marked a new departure for their Cork-based union.

Ireland is a criminal accessory to war: It’s time to shout Stop!

The eighty-year-old Galway peace stalwart Margaretta D’Arcy, who was imprisoned twice this year for opposing US military flights travelling to war via Shannon airport, is continuing her peace campaigning. She is calling on people to join the peace demonstration at Shannon on Sunday 12 October to mark the thirteenth anniversary of the US military presence there.

The making of a monsterRobert Navan

If the Western media were your only source of news you could be excused for thinking that the terrorists of the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) and the United States have always been sworn enemies. The part the United States played in arming and equipping this force is rarely, if ever, mentioned.

 

Fascism in the twenty-first century: Seán Edwards

Samir Amin, “The return of fascism in contemporary capitalism,” Monthly Review, vol. 66, issue 4 (September 2014). Patrick Cockburn, The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising (New York: OR Books, 2014).

Samir Amin begins his essay with a brief discussion of the different manifestations of fascism in the 1930s, distinguishing between fascism in Germany (a developed capitalist power seeking domination), fascism in second-rank powers (Italy, Spain and Portugal), and fascism in defeated (France, Belgium) or dependent states (Hungary, Romania, Croatia).

 

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August Socialist Voice is Now Available Online

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Contents:

1. Israel: outpost of imperialism

The self-proclaimed “international community” is much preoccupied lately with international law and human rights, and is busy devising and implementing economic sanctions against Russia, Iran, and Syria, among others, allegedly for their real or supposed transgressions.

2. Demand grows for a living wage

The economic crisis that went global after Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 is not over, but the free-market system appears, for the time being at least, to have stabilised. Output is increasing while unemployment is falling in Britain, the United States, and even Spain.

3. They simply don’t care
Western governments and media are using the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH170, with 295 people on board, as a further pretext for pushing for wider sanctions against Russia, which may push the world closer to a war on the European continent.

4. Time for women to get back to activism

Speaking at a seminar of communist and workers’ parties on the role of communists in the struggle for the parity and emancipation of women in Brussels in March 2010, Lynda Walker, national chairperson of the Communist Party of Ireland, said: “In the struggle for parity, for women’s emancipation and for socialism we understand the reactionary role that the European Union is playing and the role of British imperialism.

5. An independent political programme for the trade union movement and for workers

A declaration by the Trade Union Left Forum: Where is the ambition? Jack O’Connor has said on a number of occasions that the “left” lacks ambition and courage. This is certainly true of the official trade union movement. It lacks ambition, courage, and vision.

6. Shared slaughter in an ignoble cause
We are surrounded on all sides by a cacophony of noise about events, media features and academic feastings to celebrate the beginning of the war of 1914–18. “Co-ordinated” is the adjective that occurs to sceptical minds.

7. The First World War and a century of slaughter

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland The 31st of July is the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, which resulted in the slaughter of more than nine million people, with millions more wounded and left physically and emotionally traumatised. It was the first “industrial” war, fought on a scale unprecedented in history.

8. A song for Palestine

The Lives of Strangers Eoghan O’Neill

9. Venezuela has more democracy than the United States

Venezuela is one of the countries that most appreciate their democracy. This is the conclusion of the Chilean NGO “Latinobarómetro” following its study of democratic evaluation in the Latin America populations.

10. Spain’s grass-roots revolution Protest goes political!

The huge anti-austerity demonstration by “indignados” (the indignant) in Madrid on 15 May 2011 generated mass protests in all the main Spanish cities, involving millions of workers.

11. The law of unintended consequences

In bourgeois economics, numerous rules and laws have developed to obscure the class nature of society and the existence of the class struggle. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” is also the law of unintended consequences.

12. Liam and Tom O’Flaherty Summer School

The Liam and Tom O’Flaherty Society has announced its second Summer School, following last year’s hugely successful inauguration. It will be held once again in Inis Mór (Árainn), the birthplace of these two great writers, on the last weekend in August, Saturday and Sunday the 30th and 31st.

13. Return of the Brute

This is perhaps a good time to look at the first Irish anti-war novel, Liam O’Flaherty’s Return of the Brute. When the First World War ended, in 1918, it seemed unimaginable that there could ever be such slaughter again. The arts in particular reflected the sense of exploded bodies and the insanity, a world that had spiralled out of control.

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The May Issue of Socialist Voice is out now

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The May issue of Socialist Voice is out now. View it online or download it from here.

Table of contents:

Vote communist

……. The CPI is aware that no real power or democracy is left at the local government level, that real power lies with the unelected city and county managers, who take their orders and priorities from the minister of the day. The party is using the occasion of these elections to present an alternative way out of the crisis, one centred on the needs of the people and not the EU and IMF and the wealthy Irish ruling class.

The death rattle of the establishment’s independence [EMC]

The recent visit by President Michael D. Higgins to Britain turned into a feast of craven boot-licking by the Irish establishment and their hangers-on. It was trumpeted by the mass media and the ideological soothsayers as the “coming of age,” the “maturing” of the Irish people regarding our past and the historical relationship between the Irish people and the British establishment.

Díspeagadh déistineach [CDF]

Níorbh díspeagadh go dtí é ar throdaithe saoirse na hÉireann i 1916 agus na blianta ina dhiaidh páirtíocht Enda Kenny sa gheamaireacht i Messines na Beilge i mí na Nollag agus arís feacadh glúine bhunaíocht na tíre le linn phornagrafaíocht ríoga na míosa seo caite.

Where are Britain’s interests best served? [TMK]

Alone among Northern Ireland’s unionist leaders, the first minister, Peter Robinson, appears willing to accept reality and recognise the developing nature of the area’s political make-up.

Michael Ahern

The Communist Party of Ireland offers its condolences to the family and friends of our comrade Mick Ahern, who died on Thursday 3 April, and in particular to his wife and comrade Julie. Mick dedicated his life to the broad republican struggle,

Dearg le fearg!” [CDF]

The resignation of the language commissioner, Seán Ó Cuirreáin, in protest against the lack of co-operation he found in the state system, not to mention the virtual refusal by some official bodies to comply with the law, has been the catalyst in a vigorous grass-roots language rights campaign.

Water is a human right [EMC]

As the debate continues about the charge the Government may finally set for water, what is missing is an appreciation of water as a basic human need. Once the Government has commodified water, the basic human right to have access to clean water will be turned into a means of creating vast profits for private corporations.

Labour movement news 
The Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union welcomed the report of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that assessed the Government’s “Action Plan for Jobs,” particularly its warning that more must be done to tackle youth unemployment.

Youth view

This is the talk given by the CYM speaker at the meeting “Youth Resistance in Ireland” held in James Connolly House on Saturday 26 April.

Victory Day (Dick Gaughan)

On 9 May each year the defeat of German fascism in 1945 is celebrated. The following song, written by Dick Gaughan, was inspired by the poem by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, “Do you think the Russians stand for war?”

Roque Dalton: Tragic communist poet [TMS]

Roque Dalton (1935–1975) was perhaps the most tragic poet of Central America. In the 1950s he was the brightest of the “Committed Generation,” a group of militant left-wing writers who saw art as a revolutionary act.

Caracas Festival of Theatre a great success [DP]

With more than 649 shows, 152 groupings and 26 public theatres, the Third Caracas Festival of Theatre took over the capital city last month in an expression of popular culture that surpassed all expectations.

Third annual essay competition on the Spanish Anti-Fascist War

The third annual essay competition on the Spanish Anti-Fascist War for second-level pupils in Ireland is now open. The winner will be invited to read their essay in Madrid at the commemoration in February 2015 of the battle of Jarama, accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Letter: “Manifesto to the Citizens of Dublin” [RCN]

The Liam & Tom O’Flaherty Society is searching for the Manifesto issued by a 120-strong group of unemployed who seized the concert hall at the Rotunda (today’s Gate Theatre) in an effort to highlight the apathy of the authorities towards unemployment in the newly founded Republic of Ireland, 19–22 January 1922.

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April Edition of The Socialist Voice is Out Now

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The April edition of the Socialist Voice is out now. Follow the links below or online here.

Contents:

At the same time, capitalist shock-troops are using different negotiating tactics: force and intimidation. On the one hand, employers’ organisations have been leaking stories about pay increases; however, they want the “pay increases” to come from a reduction in tax. In other words, everyone finances pay increases for employers, so they increase their profits, and there is a further reduction in public services.

Recent media reports suggest that, with a supposed “recovery” on the horizon, employers and unions are increasingly making noises about a return to some sort of partnership structure. The leadership of the unions, most notably Jack O’Connor and Shay Cody, have raised the idea of reconstituting some type of formal Employer-Labour Conference.

The offices of the Law Society in Chancery Lane, London, were the venue for the International Commission of Inquiry into the Case of the Cuban Five; but the British government sought to scupper the event before it even began.

On the 19th and 20th of December last the European Council met; and to anyone who thinks that the EU is a benign body of people seeking to ease travel for all its citizens, and various other media-friendly soundbites, you are wrong—very wrong.

There was a major increase in the annual surpluses of the surplus countries between 2000 and 2009 and between 2010 and 2015, as can be seen in table 1. The mean for the countries was up from 4.2 to 6.8 per cent.

Did anyone read about the study partly funded by NASA that says “industrial civilisation is headed for irreversible collapse”? It was reported in the Guardian (London) in March.*

Following the threatened national dispute in the electrical contracting industry that prevented, once again, an attempt to cut the wages of electricians, the Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union has employed significant resources to sustain the terms of the National Collective Agreement, formally registered with the Labour Court.

Enda Kenny has lost control of his government, and of his party, and now even his own position may be in question. The wretched man is thrashing around in despair as his government lurches aimlessly from one mishap to another.

At its recent meeting the National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland discussed the political and economic situation throughout the country.

Give ear to my words, O Lord
Hearken unto my moaning
Pay heed to my protest

“What is needed then is a new kind of imperialism, one acceptable to a world of human rights and cosmopolitan values. We can already discern its outline: an imperialism which, like all imperialism, aims to bring order and organisation but which rests today on the voluntary principle.”

This month we celebrate the 450th anniversary of the birth of Shakespeare. When Shakespeare wrote his great tragedies—yes, the ones studied at school, year in, year out—he had a very great and grave concern at heart.

Missing from many left-wing critiques of transnational corporations is the part played by cinema. We read daily about the depredations of the oil, financial and media giants. In Towards a Third Cinema by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino the cinema is described as “the most valuable tool of communication of our times.”

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