Thursday 13 April 2006

The Plough Vol 03 No 22

The Plough
Vol. 3- No 22

Thursday 13th April 2006

E-mail newsletter of the
Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) 1916-A Blow For Democracy

2) IRSP Speech in Cork

3) Privatisation =Did You know?

4) Letters



5) From The Newspapers



7) What’s on


Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s opinion piece in The Observer (1) will give British readers a taste of the sort of arguments that one can find in the Irish media on the 1916 Easter Rising on its 90th anniversary. Reactions have been cautious at best and hostile at worst: that the Rising was a criminal, undemocratic, sectarian act, led by a fanatical madmen who had no 'mandate' from the people, caused untold carnage and misery in the heart of Dublin and was roundly denounced on all sides at the time. Far from being celebrated such an event should be denounced.

For Wheatcroft, the Easter Rising was “a bloody rebellion against parliamentary democracy” because the rebellion occurred in a democratic state and the insurgents had not electoral mandate. The rebels thought it was an irrelevance as the Act of Union had been contrived without a democratic mandate and the British presence in Ireland persisted without a democratic mandate. (2) Leaving aside how far democracy existed under the Union, a clear majority had voted for the Irish Parliamentary Party in the previous election but it was then obvious that the democratically endorsed Home Rule Bill of 1914 was going to be frustrated by Loyalist, British army and Tory opposition. What was the importation of arms to Larne and the Curragh mutiny, aided and abetted by the Tory opposition, if not an undermining of democracy? More generally, what characterises critics of the 1916 Rising is their inability to understand the colonial nature of the relationship between Britain and Ireland. (3) British rule in Ireland was entirely a product of conquest, and the threat of superior force by the imperial power was the context in which all Irish political discourse was maintained. This was vividly illustrated only three years later when the democratic will of the first Dail was met by state terrorism.

Some of the 1916 critics will deny that Ireland was then a colony or that the Rising can be understood through the prism of anti colonialism, and argue that it was an Eastern Europe or Balkan ethno national type problem. As to the inappropriateness of an anti-colonial struggle between 1916 and 1923, Nicholas Mansergh, a leading Irish and commonwealth historian stated in 1965:

"The contribution of Ireland was successively to weaken the will and undermine belief in Empire. Beyond a certain point, it was not worth it. Stanley Baldwin summed it up when he said there must not be another Ireland in India". (4)

The revolutionary assertion of an indigenous national sovereignty in the context of the imperial world of the period gave 1916 and its Proclamation global significance. Subjugated peoples everywhere found inspiration in the Easter Rising; Gandhi and Ho Chi Minh for example. “Its imaginative power hastened the end of the imperial and colonial ages and, critically, its wider context as both cultural and political revolution created a template that changed the world.”(5) The Easter Rising was globally recognised as a blow for democracy, and no such thing can be said of any ‘deeply divided’ societies ethno national conflicts.

Critics say that celebrating the Rising would be to ‘glorify violence’ and that the insurgents had suspect democratic credentials as the majority of voters supported the Home Rule party. It is unquestionable that violence has been central to the emergence of modern Ireland, but the same could be said of most of the countries that have emerged since the French Revolution. It is true that the insurgents of 1916 did not seek an electoral mandate before the Rising, but neither did the French revolutionaries in 1789, 1830, 1848 or 1871. Neither did Garibaldi or Algerian and Vietnamese revolutionaries. It was the Tories and the Unionists who first abandoned constitutional procedures and introduced the gun in Irish politics. It was Bonar Law who stated that

“there are things stronger than parliamentary majorities”. Had this not happened, it is doubtful whether the Rising would have taken place. Instead of focussing on the suspect democratic credentials of the insurgents, it is reasonable to concentrate on the deliberate denial of democratic principles by Tories and Unionists. If critics are so concerned about commemorations that lead to unnecessary violence, they should begin by opposing the carnival of militarism and glorification of British terrorism that is Remembrance Sunday. In a typical ten minutes on the Western Front, the numbers of people slaughtered in the interests of British imperialism was greater than the total numbers who died during the Rising. While the Rising was very much a reaction against the Great War and militarism, the Poppy is a celebration of it

Other critics have argued that the Rising was unnecessary, constitutional nationalists could have achieved just as much without any recourse to insurrection as Home Rule was inevitable given that a Home Rule Bill was enacted on 18 September 1914 (implementation delayed until after the war) and that the Empire was being dismantled. In fact the modest measure of Home Rule enacted by the House of Commons was rendered meaningless by the combination of armed revolt by the Ulster Unionists, the mutiny against Parliament by the British Army, and rejection of the decision of the elected chamber by the unelected House of Lords and by the British Conservative and Unionist party. So, after nearly three decades of debate and three Home Rule Bills, and even with Home Rule formally on the Statute Book, it was still not going to come into force.

More importantly, the 1916 rebels did not act to hasten Home Rule. Home Rule and the concept of an Irish Republic were not simply totally different things, but they were actually diametrically opposed to each other. Home Rule would have granted Ireland a 'caretaker' parliament in Dublin, but the Proclamation set its sights on the higher goal of unimpeded Irish sovereignty—the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies. A Home Rule parliament was simply a devolutionary device to corral the growing demands for Irish democracy into a legislature whose ultimate control lay under the Crown and the Commons. If the notion of an Irish Republic was freehold, then Home Rule would give the sovereign Irish people no more than mere tenancy status in their own country. (6) As to the dismantlement of the Empire, the brutal suppression of independence movements in India, Cyprus, the then Rhodesia - the list goes on - hardly indicates that there was a recognition of the need for the inevitable dismantling of the British Empire. The Rising brought about Irish independence much earlier than would have occurred otherwise, had it not been for the Rising, Ireland would not have become independent until the Second World War –if then.

It is sometimes alleged that the Rising was a mystical ‘blood sacrifice’. As the noted historian Eoin Neeson recently pointed, the Rising was never intended to be a “blood sacrifice”, such an idea has been “one of the most effective and enduring examples of black propaganda this country has been subjected to in modern times.” At the time of the rebellion, Germany was expected to win the European war. Certainly there was not an expectation then that Germany would be defeated. The general consensus was that the war would be followed by a peace conference at which, the insurrectionists hoped, Ireland would be represented, but only if there had been a signal of a determination to achieve independence. The 1916 leaders hoped the volunteers would hold out for three days on Easter Week, thus satisfying the requirement that would enable a victorious Germany to fufill its promise to give Ireland a hearing at the post-war peace conference as an independent belligerent nation; hence the reference in the Proclamation to the ‘gallant allies in Europe’. (7)

For Wheatcroft, the Easter Rising was “the forerunner” of Mussolini’s 1922 March on Rome and Hitler’s 1923 Munich putsch. “Patrick Pearse's exalted (or insane) words about the tired old earth that needed to be enriched by the spilling of much blood …was the very language of Blut und Boden (blood and soil) that the National Socialists would soon use.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

"The tree of liberty must continually be watered with the blood of martyrs and the blood of tyrants".

This archetypal Pearseian phrase was written by Thomas Jefferson. So are we to take it that the American war of independence was a forerunner of fascism? Bare in mind that the most strident critics of the so-called 1916 'bloodshed' are those who enthusiastically take part on the militaristic ceremonies of Empire at the Somme or on 'Poppy day' or try to rehabilitate the 'peaceful' Redmondism -recruiting sergeant for the Empire's war against Germany and Turkey- that lead thousands to their deaths. Those who think that 1916 was a mistake should start promoting the alternative: the imperialist war-monger John Redmond who was prepared to carry a ‘blood sacrifice’ of 50 000 Irish people in exchange for an unfulfilled promise of a measure of local government!

According to Wheatcroft “for Ireland to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the 1916 rebellion is to betray democracy.” “In 1916, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a democracy with limited representative government and a rule of law.” His assertion of the Rising not being a democratic event should be put in a wider context; while the 1916 Proclamation at least accepted ‘the suffrages of all her men and women’, Westminster was "still refusing to concede women the vote on the basis that to do so would be to give in to terrorism" and all Irish MPs were against women's suffrage around the time of the Rising!

It appears that the Rebels may have had a better grasp of the fundamentals of democracy than their critics give them credit for. While it was not perfect, the Proclamation remained an important step forward in women's rights even before the self-proclaimed cradle of modern democracy at Westminster was able to contemplate the step. At a recent conference, President Mary McAleese argued that the Rising was not sectarian, thus countering some revisionist claims that republicans intended to set up a Catholic-dominated state and persecute their Protestant neighbours. At the same event, Owen McGee threw some further light on the matter by explaining how the Catholic nationalist followers of political parties, such as Redmond's, were vigorously opposed to the IRB on the assumption that it was anti-Catholic and that it would attempt a separation of Church and State such as was being conducted in republican France. These Irish Parliamentary Party supporters and the like were not too concerned whether their state gained Home Rule under a monarch or not as long as its Catholic character remained intact. It would seem from this that Protestant unionists had less to fear from republican revolutionaries than Catholic constitutional nationalists. The 1916 Proclamation set out to guarantee religious tolerance and liberty for all the nation's citizens. (8) While fascist regimes were turning away from democracy, the Easter Rising was moving towards it.

Given that the official ideology of the southern regime is ‘peace and reconciliation’, one could expect that Liz McManus, the Labour party Dáil member on the cross-party committee organising the ceremony, would insist that all participants should be remembered.

"I put forward the view that we should commemorate the civilians who died and people who were doing their duty in the police and the British army as well," she said. In a sign of political ‘reconciliation’ and revisionism, the Irish government is planning a second state ceremony in July to remember those who perished on the Somme in 1916, fighting alongside the British. (9)

The two, however, are incompatible. While the insurgents were fighting for democracy and freedom, those fighting at the Somme were doing it for King and Country. In other words they were fighting for the British Empire, the 300-year project of world conquest, colonisation, ethnic cleansing and genocide. This part of the Irish war effort was successful, as the British Empire gained vast territories in Africa and the Middle East from the Great War, and went on to pile horror upon atrocity right up to Palestine and Iraq today. Far from commemorating the ‘Great War’ as a positive event, it should be acknowledged as a ‘Crime Against Europe’ and a ‘War Upon the German Nation’, in the tradition of Irish foreign policy pioneered by Casement and Connolly. The likes of Connolly thought that a Rising was justified because Britain had embarked in a world war and suspended democracy.

If the establishment really believes commemorations of World War dead might be a potential common meeting ground for unionist and nationalist, and if we are to celebrate a common heritage, then it should campaign for monuments to IRA men like Tom Barry and Dan Breen to be erected in the UK. These men after all were British up to 1922 according to history and are therefore as clearly a part of Britain's past as they are of Ireland. It will argue that here will be opposition to this because of unionist sensibilities and among people who had had relations in the security forces. If Unionists and the relatives of people killed fighting Irish independence have a veto in Britain, why should republicans and the relatives of those who died in the Independence Wars not have the same privilege in Ireland? (10) By confusing the insurgents with those who fought them, those who died in Dublin and those who died at the Somme; the original intent of the 1916 Rising becomes totally deformed and lost.



(1) The Evil Legacy of the Easter Rising, The Observer, Sunday 9 April 2006

(2) Vincent Brown, The 1916 Easter Rising was a success, Village 16 February 2006

(3) On that topic, the actor Samuel L. Jackson was some time ago interviewed by Kate Thornton on ITV about working with Colin Farrell in S.W.A.T. when the following conversation took place:

Kate: What's it like working with Colin, 'cos he is just so hot in the U.K. right now.

Samuel: He's pretty hot in the U.S. too

Kate: Yea! but he's one of our own!

Samuel: Isn't he from Ireland?

Kate: Yeah, but we claim him 'cos Ireland is beside us.

Samuel: You see that's your problem right there. You British keep claiming people that don't belong to you. We had that problem in America too - it was called slavery.

(Last Post: Colin Farrell: Not British, Sunday Business Post, 14 December 2003)

(4) Martin Mansergh, Letter to Village, 15 October 2005

(5) Tom McGurk. The Easter Rising: The shots that changed the world forever, Sunday Business Post, 12 March 2006

(6) Tom McGurk, ibid

(7) Eoin Neeson, Letter to the Irish Times, 6 February 2006

(8) Nick Foley, 1916 Versus Whig History, Irish Political Review, February 2006

(9) Owen Bowcott, Dublin still split on Easter Rising, The Guardian, 10 April 2006

(10) Nick Foley, ibid

IRSP Speech in Cork

(The following speech was delivered to a packed meeting in Cork by Ard-Comhairle member Gerry Ruddy on republicanism today.)

Friends and Comrades, I would like to outline some of the thinking that that we have in relation to the Ireland of the day. Is this the republic that the men and women of 90 years ago set out to achieve when they took up armies against what was then the greatest imperialist power ever in the world? Let us remember what the struggle to build a Republic was about.

Quote, from the Current president of Ireland Mary Mc Aleese

“ It’s fundamental idea was freedom or in the words of the proclamation, ‘the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland’”

-“The kind of Ireland the heroes of the Rising aspired to was based on an inclusivity that famously would cherish ‘all the children of the nation equally oblivious of the differences which have divided a minority from the majority in the past ’”

-“There is a tendency for powerful and pitiless elites to dismiss with damning labels those who oppose them.”

Attacking those who tried Irish nationalism as somehow narrow, sectarian and introverted, she said when talking about the participants of the Rising,

“Others of them were active participants in the international working class movements of their day. Whatever you might think of those involvements they were universalist and global rather than constricted and blinkered”

That’s the tradition from 1916 that our movement and I identify with, the universalist and global.

Of course there is always a gap between the dreams and the reality. The Ireland of today is very different from 90 years ago. The abject poverty that then existed in the main cities of Ireland and that drove the workers of Dublin into the great industrial struggle of 1914 no longer exists. Well, not in Ireland, but certainly, it exists in the rest of the World. We have now what is called relative poverty. Relative poverty by the way means that the rich don’t pay tax and the gap between rich and poor has been getting wider.

Relative poverty needs to be seen in the growth of the economy and the improvement in living standards and health of the nation. Given the wealth that exists, there is no need for anyone to go hungry, live on the streets or even have unfulfilled ambitions to develop their talents to the maximum. And yet in both states in Ireland nearly a quarter of the population have literacy and numeracy difficulties and over a quarter of a million children live in poverty whether we call that real of relative it is still by today’s standards poverty. There is also the growth of the low wage economy particularly in the service industries and the exploitation of migrant workers.

Perhaps the men and women of 1916 would look at Ireland today and say yes that is what we fought for. Perhaps and perhaps not. Certainly James Connolly would have raised his powerful voice against the injustice that exists not merely in the field of industrial relations, not only against the corruption in planning by local politicians, the control of the media by a few rich press barons who try to impose their view of the world on us all. Indeed Connolly was quick in his day to attack the Irish Independent as the voice of the capitalist class. Nothing has changed there.

Connolly would also have tackled the big issues including of course what he called the carnival of reaction, partition.

When the five advisors to the man responsible for the health service, Prof Brendan Drumm, earn a minimum of 163,000 Euros and have an overtime rate of 1500 Euros a day then I know I’m not in the republic that James Connolly died for. People in both states, when in hospital have to almost fight to hold on to their trolleys if they want to go to the toilet. Trolleys mind you, not beds, for there are not enough beds in the health service. And it is unlikely that Mary Harney or her British equivalent in the North will deliver what is an abundantly clear-more bed She seems more intent on providing facilities for private hospitals to operate within the grounds of the public ones. And it is clear that new Labour is intent on continuing to privatise any remaining public utilities.

In Buncrana, County Donegal former workers of Clubman Omega have picketed the company over its failure to implement a Labour Court recommendation regarding redundancies. Needless to say, the workers lost their jobs because the company moved its operations to Lithuania for lower labour costs. 109 jobs have gone in the elastics plant in Limerick. Workers from Poland doing subcontracting work at Moneypoint ESB Power station were paid one third of the legal limit. Although entitled to 18.97 Euros they were in fact paid 5.20 euros.

In addition, of course we have had the scandal of Gama Construction not paying their Turkish workers that which they were entitled to. This information only emerged after the excellent work carried out by Deputy Joe Higgins of the Socialist party.


It appears also that the Garda have a lot to answer for. Apart from the serious allegation, that Garda stations regularly bug the conversations between solicitors and their clients, (something that the PSNI proudly boasts of), it is clear that the culture inside the Garda is wrong. It seems there is nothing wrong with casual brutality to prisoners, nor to also double jobbing as landlords and using intimidatory tactics against tenants, and to planting false evidence against people. Of course, republicans have always known this but now it is gradually seeping into the consciousness of the public. Part of the reason behind the Dublin riots over the Orange Victims march in Dublin was the justifiable hatred of working class Dublin youth for the Garda force, which regularly harasses and intimates them. Do not forget at least one youth has died in mysterious circumstances while in Garda custody.

The setting up of tribunals including the Morris tribunal seem to have uncovered a wide net of corruption that embraces many of the great and good in this society.

Two of the biggest issues facing politicians in the six-counties have to be the peace process and the political process. They are two separate processes.

On the peace processes, we in the IRSP have clearly and unequivocally embraced that process. We have worked extremely hard to open up channels of communications with progressive sections of the protestant working class and entered into serious dialogue with them. We have done our best to act in such a manner that no working class area feels under any threaten from our form of republicanism. We have acted as a moderating influence on issues such as parades and have encouraged ex-combatants to act in a positive way within nationalist communities against the many negative influences that arise there. The INLA have assured us that they are not a policing force to curb anti-social behaviour and that their primary purpose at this time is to act if absolutely necessary in defence of working class areas.

On the political process, well that is an entirely different matter from the peace process. What you have now in that political process is cynical, cheap bargaining for the pursuit of an illusory power in Stormont. What you see is not what you get for there is backdoor negotiations taking place all the time. We said from 1994 that this political process was a trap for republicans. Perhaps I could quote some words written by Gino Gallagher,

"Despite the euphoria surrounding the IRA ceasefire many nationalists are already beginning to express doubts. At first if someone was to speak out against what has been termed the 'peace process’, you were immediately viewed as being politically short-sighted or a war- monger. The British response to the IRA ceasefire, in their typically arrogant attitude was to argue and delay over the words 'complete' and 'permanent;' brand Republican prisoners as criminals; and again re-iterate that there will be no constitutional change to this sectarian statelet.

Amidst media speculation, nods and winks and hints about secret deals, the advocates of the laying down of arms have gained no binding agreement concerning political change. British soldiers will wear berets instead of helmets and this is portrayed as a step in the right direction. In reality, it amounts to nothing but a ridiculous gesture. Proposed U.S. investment is portrayed in some kind of charitable fashion. If capitalists invest millions in Ireland, you can be certain that the fat cats expect to reap millions in return. Partition and the Unionist veto remain firmly in place; publicly ratified by both London and Dublin.

The leadership of the IRA has ordered a halt. Sinn Fein has aligned itself with the constitutional reformists of the SDLP and the Dublin government in an unarmed strategy. The Republican Movement appear to have put their faith in a diplomatic war against Britain in the hope that the British Government will react positively. This course can only lead into a political cul -de- sac-. This is undoubtedly a critical period in this campaign and all concerned must speak out, must come together and pool their thoughts in order to ensure that an alternative strategy is advanced. A real peace, a lasting peace cannot be achieved until the British are confronted and forced to withdraw from Ireland. Gino Gallagher Andersonstown.11th September 1994. "

We said in 1998 that the Good Friday Agreement was a failed flawed document and that if produced the good in five years we would hold up our hands and say, we were wrong. Well friends we were right. Eight years on and what have we got.

A Stormont Executive that fell four times, Articles 2/3 gone, the Northern State enshrined in an international treaty thereby legitimising the partition of Ireland, a massive increase in sectarianism between Catholics and Protestants, 28 new peace walls build since the GRA, the prospect of Ian Paisley as a the First Minister as right wing unionism is strengthened. 4 Major acts of decommissioning by republicans and British sovereignty in the six counties strengthen as well as the removal of political status for Irish Republicans and the bargaining away of the gains won by the sacrifices of 7 IRA prisoners and 3 INLA prisoners. Nobody but nobody and I do not care what mandate they had, had the right to negotiate away political status. Shame on those who did. The hunger strikers died for the right to be recognised as political prisoners and rejected the then criminalisation policy.

Today guess what? In the absence of armed struggle, Republicanism is being criminalised even more successfully than 25 years ago. This criminalisation policy by both the Brits and the Fianna Fail /PD coalition is designed to frighten off the middle class voters who may have been attracted by the surface radicalism of Sinn Fein. But it is also because the establishment and the intelligence services recognise the revolutionary core at the heart of republicanism.

I utterly reject the argument from those on the so-called left that republicanism is either reactionary or past its sell by date. Let me put to you a very simple proposition that I as both a Marxist and republican adhere to. The duty of any revolutionary is to support anti-imperialist forces in their struggle for national self-determination. That is not an endorsement of the politics of the anti-imperialists but recognition that without national liberation there can be no socialism. Therefore, friends when you meet so-called revolutionaries today ask them a simple question.

“Do you support the armed resistance to the Imperialist occupation of Iraq? “

If the answer is either no or equivocal then you know you are not talking to serious revolutionaries. You do not even have to ask them their position on the fundamental contradiction in Ireland. It is equivocal! Possibly verbal support for the anti-imperialist struggle but nothing practical and certainly these same people would not be seen dead on a picket line or protest in support of Irish political prisoners.

Britain and the USA, two major imperialist powers, one junior and one senior, are bogged down in an imperialist war in Iraq. They threaten Iran, refuse to recognise the democratic mandate of Hamas in the occupied Palestine land, try to undermine the Bolivarian revolution-taking place in Venezuela. They gave aid and arms to the King of Nepal to suppress a popular uprising. They torture political prisoners; force-feed hunger strikers and support corrupt dictators in Africa. They turn a blind eye to multi national companies using goons and murder squads to assassinate trade union leaders. They have blockaded Cuba for over forty years, and are destroying the very planet we live in. And they dare to lecture Irish republicans about violence!

That is imperialism and that is the enemy. Our enemy is not the British working class. Our enemy is not the protestant or loyalist or unionist working class. Our enemy is most certainly not other republicans. No comrades and friends, never, never, never fall into the trap that so many on the left fall into, of seeing those closest to us in outlook as being our main rivals and therefore our main enemy. Of course, we have differences with others. That is why we exist. We place our movement firmly within the working class and have a socialist analysis. We categorically state no socialism without national liberation and no national liberation without socialism.

But we recognise that others have a different perspective. Our job is to persuade by rational argument, analysis and by our actions on the ground that our view and vision are the way forward for the working class. For example take the crucial issue of policing. Our view is straight forward. North and South the police exist to defend the status quo and defend the rights of property over the rights of individuals or the majority.

Others may well take a different view. But then it is no good complaining about political policing. What do people expect when the RUC and the Special branch were absorbed into the nearly revamped PSNI. Getting what was in effect a sop like the Bloody Sunday enquiry was a double-edged sword. It is clear that the brits are not and never were serious about genuine reform. Look at the Finucane case. The collusion reaches all the way to the top and the blood of Pat Finucane and of hundreds of Nationalists and Catholics rests not only on the loyalist and Brit agents who carried out the actual deeds but responsibility rests firmly with the British government and past and present Prime Ministers. Of course, there is political policing. Why else are they there?

As regards other republicans, may I quote from the 2006 Easter statement of the republican Socialist movement?

“In the current local national and international context, the continuation of armed struggle is not merely futile but is counter-productive to the aims and objectives that republicans seek. To those republicans who sincerely believe that armed struggle is the only way forward at this time we say; look at the meagre gains that the struggle from 69 to 98 achieved, when it had the full backing of many working class nationalists. Do you really think that you can achieve more especially without the support of working class nationalists?

It is time for republicans and socialists to sit down together without grandstanding and chart a new way forward for radical democratic republicanism. We don’t care who convenes such talks or where they are, or if its in a forum, a federation, a congress, a seminar, a conference, a workshop or a summer school. We are prepared to play our part in a politically non-sectarian way without pre-conditions.

In any such talks based on our own experiences we will argue that there is nothing to be gained at this moment in time in trying to build an Anti-Good Friday bloc of republicans. The IRSP have always been open to co-operation. It is inherent in our broad Front policy. We were happy to facilitate other republicans in Portlaosie Gaol. We have supported prisoner protests. However, it is clear that republican unity-whatever that means is not on the agenda.

The IRSP have made its views about the Good Friday Agreement clear. However, we are now 8 years on and we have to look at what is happening today. Those who become obsessed with the past repeat the mistakes of the past. There are huge issues affecting the working class that need to be tackled now and if republicans are not in the forefront of the class struggles then Irish republicanism will become an irrelevance to the needs of the Irish working class because by ignoring the class it will ignore that which gives it its revolutionary potential.

We in the republican socialist tradition do not intent to see that happen. Irish republicanism has a proud revolutionary tradition and we do not intent to see that disappear. However, republicanism has to adapt to the prevailing conditions of today and renew itself with each generation. Socialism is the way forward for republicanism. Without a class analysis, without a clear class perspective, Irish Republicanism will succumb to the banishments of nationalism and eventually accommodate with Imperialism a la Fianna Fail, Clann Na Poblachta, and Sinn Fein.

The IRSP are the only republicans with a clear class analysis of the Irish situation. We are firmly working class believed that neither the national nor the class question can be divorced from each other.

No other republican group shares our analysis. Therefore, while we can co-operate in short term issues in the long term the only course open to us to build our own internal party strength to ensure that there exists a revolutionary core capable of advancing the struggle.

We believe we are the most advanced politically of the republican groups. We are the most stable; with an established leadership, a stable base and a membership that is the most class conscious in Ireland. Sure, we have made mistakes and we will make some more. However, if there are people out there who think that the road to the republic is by taking up the gun talk to us before making that choice. Our movement has been there. Done that!

Now is the time for the head to rule the heart. The only road forward is the political road. Only by engaging in the everyday struggles of the working class can we make revolutionary republicanism relevant to the class. Come join with us in the only struggle that will make a difference.

Privatisation facts

Did you know that…

· Independent sector treatment centres (ISTC) receive 11% more than NHS hospitals for the same operation.

· ISTCs have virtually "risk free" contracts, with a guaranteed income for at least 5 years, whether or not they carry out the operations

· The government has forced local Primary Care Trusts to place at least 15 per cent of hospital procedures with ISTCs, even if there is sufficient (and cheaper) NHS capacity, and patients prefer the NHS.

· 100 new hospitals were promised under the 2000 NHS Plan, almost all using Private Finance Initiative.

· At the end of a PFI contract, usually 25 years, the hospital belongs to the PFI contractors, not the NHS. As someone pointed out at the SOS NHS conference, it is like paying your mortgage off over 25 years and then the building society repossesses your house.

· The government has forced GPs to include a private provider in the four "choices" patients are offered when they need a hospital referral. This is all part of the patient-led NHS.

· The latest PFI hospital to be approved, at Barts and the London, will cost the trust £45 million a year, and it will open with three floors empty because they will be too expensive to run!

(From Workers Power e-news 4th April 2006)



The RSYM is selling tickets for a raffle which will be held at a funraising

event in Belfast on 28 April which will include a ballad group with disco


The prizes are a Hunger Strike commemorative bodhran, a Portlaoise prison

craft, Portlaoise bodhran and a selection of Republican CDs.

Tickets are priced as - 2 euro, 1 pound and 3 dollars each. Available from

the usual outlets.

The funds raised from raffle ticket sales will help RSYM to acquire a

banner, pins and to cover finances for the coming year. It's important work

in establishing the IRSM's youth wing and all sales are greatly appreciated!

As part of the celebration for the 90th Anniversary of the execution of James Connolly the Communist Party of Ireland has organised a weekend of events on the 12th-13th-14th May. On Friday we have booked Liberty Hall to have a celebration of Connolly's Life & Times with visitors coming from India, Venezuela, Cuba and Britain. On Saturday will be an all day conference dealing with contemporary Ireland. On Sunday we have plannedan International wreathe laying ceremony in Arbour Hill.

For further details visit our website , .

Please feel free to comment on the contents of the Plough. We welcome political comments and criticisms.

If you would prefer to receive the Plough as an attachment please e-mail with heading “add attachment”

If you know of anybody who might wish to receive the Plough please send his or her e-mail address to or

If you wish to receive back copies of the “The Plough” Please e-mail” to or tating which numbers you wish.

To unsubscribe to the Plough please send e-mail entitled “unsubscribe” to or

It is the policy of the Plough to acknowledge information and articles from other sources.

The Republican Socialist Youth Movement have re-launched their website.

It can be viewed at

An Glór / The Voice

News sheet of Belfast Republican Socialist Youth Movement

January 2007

Circulation: 400

- Brit police never acceptable

- Maghaberry Prison protest continues

- Assets Recovery Agency, a question of money

- Support the Turkish death fast

- Ard Fheis rejects any move towards INLA decommissioning

- Volunteer Davy McNutt RIP

The Republican Socialist Youth Movement have produced a short video on the situation concerning Shannon airport and its continued use by American troops and the CIA. The video can be viewed at

Subscribe to the bi-monthly “The Starry Plough/An Camchéachta”

P.O. Box 1981, Derry, BT48 8GX, Ireland.



The Starry Plough

IRSP: Pairtí Poblachtach Sóisialach na h-Éireann

James Connolly Society

James Connolly Archive

The Republican Socialist Forum from Derry IRSP is

Republican Socialist Online Merchandise - Website

A website that offers a central place to go on the Internet to find good quality items with a distinct Republican Socialist theme. Proceeds from sales from this effort go towards the IRSM and it’s various projects.

No comments: