Friday 15 August 2003

The Plough Vol 01 No 01

The Plough
-e-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

Number One -August 15th 2003

The failure of socialism? the failure of capitalism!!
Far from making the world a better place, the end of really existing socialism has
represented a disaster of massive proportions and a gigantic social regression. A brief
glance at some facts and figures included in the UN Report on Human Development will
irrefutably prove that all indicators of social developments have dramatically regressed
since the end of communism. Today, Russia's GDP remains almost 30 percent below
what it was in 1990. At 4 percent growth per annum, it will take Russia's economy
another decade to get back where it was when communism collapsed. By the late 1990s,
national income in the ex-USSR had fallen by more than 50 percent (compare that with
the 27 percent drop in output during the great American depression), investment by 80
percent, real wages by 50 percent, and dairy herds by 75 percent. Indeed, the degradation
of agriculture is in some respects worse even than during Stalin's collectivisation of the
countryside during the 1930s. The numbers living below the poverty line in the former
Soviet republics has risen from 14m in 1989 (2 percent of population) to 147m in 1998
(over 40 percent of the population), even before that year's financial crash. The market
experiment has produced more orphans than Russia's 20 million plus war time casualties,
while epidemics of cholera and typhus (eradicated under Stalin) have re-emerged,
millions of children suffer from malnutrition and adult life expectancy has dramatically
plunged. To this must also be added an explosion of crime, ethnic violence and
Now, let's examine the malevolent Maoist regime. About the time of the Communist
revolution (1952 data), the average Chinese lived essentially on half a kilogram of rice or
grains a day, and consumed rather less than 0.08 kilos of tea a year. He or she acquired a
pair of foot wear once every five years or so. At the end of the Mao period, the average
Chinese food consumption (in calories) ranked just above the median of all countries,
above 14 countries in the Americas, 38 in Africa, and just about in the middle of the
Asian ones, well above South and South East Asia, except Malaysia and Singapore.
Average life expectancy rose from 35 in 1949 to 68 in 1982. In the year of Mao's death,
six times as many children went to school as when he came to power. (figures quoted
from Eric Hobsbawm, Ages of Extreme, p.470) With the introduction of capitalism, all
those achievements are now endangered. The private sector's share of industrial output
grew from 2 percent in 1985 to 24 percent in 1995 to 35 percent today. If agricultural
companies are included in the private sector, then the World Bank estimates this sector at
51 percent of the economy. The social consequences have been nefarious. China's income
inequality is now similar to that of the USA and is greater than that of India. The richest
20 percent of urban households receive 44 percent of total urban income, the poorest 20
percent receive 6.5 percent. If the Chinese regime goes the same way the USSR did, the
social regression will happen in a far greater scale than what happened in former Soviet
By Liam O'Ruaric (adapted from a letter to the Irish News)
Forthcoming Political Events.
Events in support of the campaign for segregation in Maghaberry Gaol.
The IRSP fully support the right of the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry
to segregation. We clearly recognise that they are political prisoners
involved in a legitimate form of protest within the jail. We call on all
political activists and former prisoners to come out on demonstrations in
support of the call for segregation no matter who calls those
The IRSP support the establishment of a broad based committee comprising
representatives of all republican groups and other supporters to take up the
demand for segregation. The history of the H- block mass struggles during
the 81 hunger strikes show what can be achieved by a unified campaign
drawing support from a wide base. Such support for the prisoners should not
be seen as an endorsement for the continuation of armed struggle by
Republican groups. We are very clear about the futility of the continuation
of armed actions at this time. It is clear that the vast majority of
Republicans as well as the vast majority of the Irish people reject armed
struggle as a current tactic. We urge other Republicans to take the
political road.
Picket- Na Fianna Eireann Dublin Dame Street 12.30-2.00 Saturday
August 16th
IRPWA meeting in Castlewellan 2.30 Saturday 16th August
Memorial unveiling in Tamney Crescent housing estate Maghera at 3.00pm
Sunday 17th August organised by the Republican Socialist ex-prisoners
memorial committee in honour of Brendan Convery and Gerard Mallon.
Anti-War Movement- Wyns Hotel Lower Abbey Street Dublin 2.00pm to 5.00PM
Saturday 23rd August IAWM Calls Public Meeting To Decide The Three
Representatives From Ireland To The Nov. 2003 European Social Forum and to
Mobilise Participation in the ESF.
The Irish Anti War Movement (IAWM) sent a representative to the European
Social Forum (ESF) Planning Assembly in Genoa in early July. This gathering
was to continue preparation and plans for the 2nd ESF taking place next
November in Paris. At this meeting: (a) Ireland was allocated a total of
three speakers for the Plenary meetings of the Paris ESF, (b) Ireland was
allocated one representative on a new ESF Working Group which will decide
the final details of the 250 Seminars of November ESF.
The IAWM has called a public meeting for Sat. Aug 23rd 2003, 2pm, Wynns
Hotel, Abbey St., Dublin 1, in order to mobilise people from Ireland to
attend the Paris ESF and to address issues (a) and (b) above. The IAWM has
asked in their invitation that as many groups, organisations and movements
as possible be represented at this public meeting.
North East Social Forum One World Centre, Lower Crescent Belfast 7.15pm
Tuesday 26th August Anyone can attend
Ard-Comhairle IRSP 392 Falls Road Belfast 10.30- 5.00pm Saturday
30TH August A/C members and delegates only
Anti- Imperialist Camp in Assisi, Italy Sunday to Saturday 31st August
to 6th September .
Programme of the Anti-imperialist Camp 2003 Assisi, Italy, August 31 to
September 6
Sunday, August 31
10 pm inauguration concert
Monday, September 1
10.30 am
Forum 1 The true story of the Iraqi Communist Party By Ahmed Karim, leader
of the anti-imperialist opposition within the ICP
Forum 2 The road mapand the political military in Palestine Meeting with the
Palestinian delegation (PFLP, Abnaa el Balad, solidarity groups,&)
Forum 3 With Kurdistan In memory of Dino Frisullo, leader of the Italian
solidarity movement
5 am
Round table Trial against the war criminals Liberation movements listed by
US and US as terrorists speak out (Basques, Colombians, Palestinians,
Turkish, Filippinos, Lebanese, &)
10 pm, theater
Tuesday, September 2
10.30 am
Forum 1 The Italian youth between commitment and indifference
Forum 2 The empire: a critical anaysis of Toni Negris thesis by Costanzo
Forum 3 Meeting with the Lebanese National Resistance
5 pm
Round table Beyond Porto Alegre The World Social Forum and the perspectives
of the movement against globalisation with Piero Bernocchi (Italian Cobas
leader), Costanzo Preve, ....
10 pm film
Wednesday, September 3
10,30 am
Forum 1 Kidnapping Meeting with the leader of defence of Slobodan Milosevic,
Vladimir Krsljanin
Forum 2 From Venezuela to Brazil: reform and revolution
Forum 3 Cuba: blockade, socialism and democracy
5 pm Round table La lucha sigue: Class struggle and anti-imperialism in
Latin America By Elias Letelier (Chile), Mario Maestri (Brazil), ...
10 pm Meeting with the Anti-imperialist Poets of America
Thursday, September 4
10.30 am
Forum 1 Revolutionary prisoners: testimonies from Turkey and Israel
Forum 2 Is Maoism still up to date?
Forum 3 Against the imperialist occupation An Iraqi Fedayyin recounts
5 pm round table Christianism, Islam, Judaism with Hamza Piccardo (leader of
the Union of Italian Islamic Communities), Shia leader from Lebanon,
Representative of the Franciscans,&
10 pm theatre
Friday, September 6
10.30 am
Forum 1 The collapse of the German left: from anti-fascism to Americanism
Forum 2 Without truce: The Basque struggle against Spanish oppression
Militants from Euskal Herria speak out
Forum 3 Intifada, Jihad and Arab nation Meeting with the Arab delegations
from Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq&
5 pm Round table Waiting for Godot Transatlantic tensions and the future of
10 pm theatre
Saturday, September 6
10,30 am
Forum 1 Between persecution and integration: Islam in Italy By the lawyer of
the Islamic communities
Forum 2 The European workersmovement and anti-imperialism
Forum 3 Armageddon: religious fundamentalism in the US By Miguel Martinez
5 pm Round table For a resistance movement against the American empire what
alternatives to the imperialist transformation of the Western left?
10 pm Closing concert of the Camp
Accommodation Fees Anti-imperialist Camp 2003 Assisi, Italy, August 31 -
September 6
Hotel / Bungalow Full Board* E 250
Caravan Full Board*E 200 only night's lodging E 100
Tent Full Board* E 160 only night's lodging ¬ 70
Tent under 25 years Only night's lodging E 50
One day fees Hotel/Bungalow only night's lodging E 25 Caravan only night's
lodging E 16 Tent only night's lodging E 12
One meal voucher E 10
PLEASE NOTE: * Includes lunch and dinner (3 courses). Breakfast is not
For information and reservation please contact the Reception Service at:
registration form
Please note that reservations are only valid upon payment of a deposit of
30% of the total amount to the following Italian bank account: Campo
Antiimperialista account N°: 679/53 bank name: Banca dell'Umbria transfer
codes: ABI: 6235 - CAB: 21800 - SWIFT: CRPG IT 3P
Irish Social Forum Conference Crescent Arts Centre Belfast 10.00 am-5.00pm
Sunday 23rd September .
International Day of Action Dublin Saturday 27TH September
European Social Forum Paris , St Denis 12-15 November
Here is one reason why!!
Coca-Cola's 'toxic' India fertiliser
Waste product from a Coca-Cola plant in India which the company provides as
fertiliser for local farmers contains toxic chemicals, a BBC study has
found. Dangerous levels of the known carcinogen cadmium have been found in
the sludge produced from the plant in the southern state of Kerala. The
chemicals were traced in an investigation by BBC Radio 4's Face The Facts
programme and prompted scientists to call for the practice to be halted
immediately. However, Vice-President of Coca-Cola in India, Sunil Gupta,
denied the fertiliser posed any risk. "We have scientific evidence to prove
it is absolutely safe and we have never had any complaints," Mr Gupta said.
Face The Facts presenter John Waite visited the plant following complaints
from villagers that water supplies were drying up because of the massive
quantities of water required by Coca-Cola. Villagers, politicians,
environmentalists and scientists have accused the firm of robbing the
community of the area's most precious resource. They say the area's farming
industry has been devastated and jobs, as well as the health of local
people, have been put at risk.
'Disturbing' As part of the probe, Face The Facts sent sludge samples to the
UK for examination at the University of Exeter.
Tests revealed the material was useless as a fertiliser and contained a
number of toxic metals, including cadmium and lead. The lab's senior
scientist, David Santillo, said: "What is particularly disturbing is that
the contamination has spread to the water supply - with levels of lead in a
nearby well at levels well above those set by the World Health
Organisation." According to Britain's leading poisons expert, Professor John
Henry, consultant at St Mary's Hospital in London, immediate steps should be
taken by the authorities in India to ban the practice immediately. The
levels of toxins found in the samples would, he said, cause serious problems
- polluting the land, local water supplies and the food chain. "The results
have devastating consequences for those living near the areas where this
waste has been dumped and for the thousands who depend on crops produced in
these fields," Professor Henry said.
'Good for crops' Cadmium is a carcinogen and can accumulate in the kidneys,
with repeated exposure possibly causing kidney failure.
Lead is particularly dangerous to children and the results of exposure can
be fatal. Even at low levels it can cause mental retardation and severe
anaemia. Professor Henry said: "What most worries me about the levels found
is how this might be affecting pregnant women in the area. You would expect
to see an increase in miscarriages, still births and premature deliveries."
Mr Gupta said local farmers had been grateful for the fertiliser because
many could not afford brand-name products of their own. "It's good for
crops," he said. "It's good for the farmers because most of them are poor
and they have been using this for the past three years." Coca-Cola say they
will continue to supply the sludge to farmers.
Story from BBC NEWS: Published:
2003/07/25 17:51:55 GMT
The 26 County state, has the second highest level of poverty in the western world, second
only to the
US. according to the report "The UN's 'Human Development Report' published in July.
The neo liberal economic agenda and right-wing policies of the present British and Irish
Governments has only accelerated the ever widening gap between rich and poor, whilst
steadily running down essential public services such as health, education and public
. Connolly said that if you hoisted a green flag above Dublin Castle, unless you
established the Socialist Republic, your efforts would be in vain. The IRSP would
say that if you print NHS documents in the Irish language, unless you put public
health before private profit and take profit out of illness, your efforts will be in vain.
If you are sick, or injured, your prospects for speedy effective treatment and
recovery depend on where you live and how much you earn. The lower you are on
the social ladder the unhealthier you will be and the shorter will be your life
expectancy. If you are in a low income group you are more likely to suffer from lung
cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, obesity and violent
accidents; your birth weight will be lower, your diet will be poorer and your life
expectancy will be five years shorter than those in upper income groups. It should
not be so. Good health is a right, not a privilege, or it should be. Access to treatment
and care should be equally available to all.
The IRSP demands
- a graduated income tax, and levy a profits tax upon the pharmaceutical
industry, which will be used to finance research and development within the NHS
and Free State health system, especially in preventative health
care and medicine
- a regulation of the prices charged by multinational drug companies to the NHS
and ROI health system.
- the abolition of all prescription charges and dental charges. If the government
has money to go to war and maintain bases in South Armagh, it should have money
to pay for those health charges.
- that all parts of the health care system, including private hospitals and clinics
be brought under public control.
- opposition to PFI, because health treatment is given on the basis of whether it
is profitable or not, and not on the basis of needs.
- opposition to privatisation.
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