In an opinion piece in this morning’s Irish Times, Richard Boyd-Barrett (SWP, IAWM and some more acronyms too) hits the mark about the fragmentation of the Irish left and the ability of some sections of it to confuse being in power with political principle. I won’t produce it wholesale here but this pretty much gets it:
With little evidence of major policy difference or a campaigning track record, the failure of the three mainstream left parties to inspire the electorate was hardly surprising. Further to the left …the problem was fragmentation and division.
Despite a number of attempts to group together socialists and left Independents into an independent left alliance with a national profile, petty sectarianism prevented this from materialising. The socialist lefts’ failure to ditch bad habits of ideological and organisational dogmatism also remain a major block to its advance.
Richard represents the People Before Profit Alliance which is trying to unify the left in this statelet and he bravely brings up the ‘s’ word – sectarianism. The left dare not speak its name for fear of itself being blamed as fractious and dogmatic. I wrote of this in my last posting – the socialist parties and movements fear each other because they cannot agree on whether Koroptkin was right to translate labour power as the preserve of the working class only or other such piece of crap. Reinterpretation of sacred scrolls is no substitute for inaction when the stakes are high. How high? Try this out: Galway water, Shannon airport, direct provision, unsustainable transport planning, Mayo oil, privatisation of health, insufficient support for carers, no schools in the periurbs etc etc etc.
He says that Labour and the other left parties and independents merely end up propping up FF / FG instead of providing an alternative vision and espousing interests that people can relate to on a local and national level.
Rock on Richard! (Even if I do get confused for you by a Trinity academic from Israel.)