Unity and Freedom to the Irish People!
Date:September 1986
Organisation:Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist)
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Anglo-Irish Agreement, 1985

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

2nd May 2016

This document adds to the collection of materials engaging with the Anglo-Irish Agreement in the Archive. At 132 pages it is remarkably comprehensive. The contents are divided into four sections. Part One considers ‘Fascist terror in north to conjure up bogey of ‘civil war’. Part Two engages with ‘The Promotion of the illusions and the taboos of bourgeois ‘democracy’. Part Three is ‘The Anglo-Irish Agreement – its ‘Irish dimension’ and its ‘International dimension’. Part Four is ‘the Necessity facing our generation – revolution’.

The Introduction gives a good sense of the overall approach of the document. It argues that the publication…

…is being released… to expose the savage and all-sided ideological, political and military offensive being waged against the Irish people by the foreign aggressor, British imperialism, under the current Anglo-Irish Agreement. This is a criminal attempt to snuff out our rights as a nation to national independence and re-unification by crushing the ongoing heroic patriotic resurgence against the illegal British colonial occupation of the northern 6 counties of Ireland.

It suggests:

This offensive of British imperialism is being waged with the active connivance of the national traitors of the Irish monopoly bourgeoisie, and with the sinister backing of US imperialism, one of the two superpowers, and the EEC powers, members of the warmongering US-led NATO bloc (and partners in crime of our national enemy, British imperialism) in contention with the Warsaw Pact bloc led by the other superpower warmonger, Soviet social imperialism.

It argues that:

The exposure of this sinister conspiracy against the Irish nation, posed by the Anglo-Irish Agreement, is an integral part of the work of the proletarian Party to politically organise the working class and unite and mobilise the masses of the people of Ireland for the revolution, which is the necessity facing our generation, the necessity which we face as Irish people to achieve our nation’s ancient and just cause of national freedom and the necessity which we face in common with the working class and all the nations and people of the world to avert world war by making our contribution to the overthrow of the system of world imperialism, headed towny by the two superpowers, US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism which is the only basis for such wars.

The conclusion is that:

The necessity facing our generation is to bring to fruition the centuries of struggle and the sacrifices of generation of the Irish people, in particular the heroic sacrifices and struggles of the people of the north over the last 18 years, in the final conflict – the insurrection of the entire Irish nation for the complete military defeat and wholesale expulsion of the foreign aggressor, British imperialism, from the northern 6 counties and from Ireland as a whole, achieving national liberation and establish the new Ireland, the IRISH REPUBLIC, in which the masses of the Irish people hold state power as laid down in the solemn and binding declaration, the historic PROCLAMATION OF 1916 OF POBLACHT NA H EIREANN, and thereby for the first time are in a position to decide their own destiny, including the form of their society and government, freed of foreign interference and its internal agencies of native betrayal.

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  • By: CMK Wed, 04 May 2016 14:52:15

    Thomas Carty was never an SP member and was dropped by the AAA as soon as his views, not limited to just abortion, became fully known. Dropped in an open process involving dozens of AAA members. Carty made a big mistake joining the AAA – he should have joined SF, where he probably would be a Councillor now and looking forward to a long political career.

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  • By: Claire Marie O'Brien Wed, 04 May 2016 15:12:50

    OK, just to make this experience complete, now I’ll pretend that Catholic and Protestant are religious identities in Ireland, not political, and that those centuries of conflict and colonialism were really a religious war. In fact, I’ll even pretend that there’s such a thing as a religious war.
    Let’s see. Your delicate atheist sensibilities are “disturbed” by any connection between those “religious” social roles and the overarching dynamic animating Ireland’s political history.

    So. I’m an anarchist who checks out Kropotkin’s veracity with the Vatican. Right. Got it.

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  • By: Claire Marie O'Brien Wed, 04 May 2016 15:29:11

    The Virgin Mary appeared to me in a vision and told me.

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  • By: roddy Wed, 04 May 2016 16:05:53

    Aye, and “the wig” was never a member of the SP either or the”party builders” Peter whats his name mentioned either!

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  • By: Liberius Wed, 04 May 2016 16:20:06

    Claire you’re the one assuming people’s identities, whether they are political or religious is irrelevant, many would argue that in Ireland’s case there is a complicated mix of both in that. Assuming that the people you are talking to must be protestants (politically or religiously) without any kind of credible information because they might happen to have a different point-of-view to you is disturbing; not only because it’s inaccurate in my case, but also because it completely ignores that people can and do come to conclusions as to what solutions should be used in certain situations based on various political viewpoints that aren’t contingent on their background.

    Can I suggest you take a step back from this and consider what you’ve been writing.

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  • By: Michael Carley Wed, 04 May 2016 16:26:07

    @Liberius just so. I don’t think anyone on the CLR believes that conflict in Ireland reduces to a simple religious difference, even if religious identity comes into it, but I’ve never seen anyone here raise religion in a sectarian or prejudiced manner and I have never seen anyone make assumptions about someone’s religion, or lack thereof, and certainly not seen anyone make the step from there to assuming they know somebody’s politics.

    @Claire you have no good reason for making any assumptions about people’s religion on here, nor for making assumptions about their political views based on their (assumed) religion, nor for doing what you seem to have done, which is assuming people’s religion from what they say about politics.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 04 May 2016 16:39:46

    It’s tricky. I don’t really know what to do with anecdotes like that. I’m not disputing that they’re possible I just wonder what they reflect and whether it is a majority or a minority or just one or two individuals with such views. I’ve met a lot of SF members over the years and I’d have to say that my experience would be quite the opposite (bar one).

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 04 May 2016 16:42:09

    I think it would be fair to say that religion isn’t a bit element of peoples identity in respect of those who comment or post on here (for the most part). I’d have thought most people would be atheist or agnostic and perhaps most from an RC background? I’m from a mixed background myself (RC, CofI and atheist) and while I find religious endlessly fascinating for a variety of reasons it’s not the main focus of the CLR – though I suppose if I follow splinteredsunrise’s footsteps…

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 04 May 2016 16:43:17

    Yeah, the Shining Path. Well that didn’t turn out so well. I think there’s very few significant Maoist groups left. One or two parties in Europe that emerged from Maoist roots, is it the Belgian SP that is one?

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  • By: Michael Carley Wed, 04 May 2016 16:45:49

    The Dutch SP started off Maoist:

    The Socialist Party was founded in October 1971 as a Maoist party named the Communist Party of the Netherlands/Marxist–Leninist (KPN/ML). This KPN/ML was formed following a split from the Communist Unity Movement of the Netherlands (Marxist-Leninist).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_Party_(Netherlands)

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  • By: Michael Carley Wed, 04 May 2016 16:47:55

    Aldo Brandirali, the leading thinker of the Italian Maoists (who seem to have been a decent committed bunch by the standards of the Italian far left in the seventies) later became a councillor for Forza Italia …

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 04 May 2016 16:49:02

    Sorry, you’re right, the Dutch ones. They wear it lightly these days.

    Ouch, that’s a bit of a journey isn’t it, Maoist to FI. Ugh…

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  • By: CL Wed, 04 May 2016 17:31:23

    “Walking with the Comrades,” Roy’s new book, is a riveting account of the face-off in the forests of central India between the Indian state and the Maoists or Naxalites, a shadowy, revolutionary guerrilla force with tens of thousands of cadres.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/walking-with-the-comrades-by-arundhati-roy/2011/11/07/gIQAIPR2yO_story.html

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  • By: Gerryboy Wed, 04 May 2016 17:39:10

    Dutch Maoists – maybe it’s an example of Double Dutch!

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 04 May 2016 17:51:58

    In fairness to them they have moved on. Seem to be fairly level headed.

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  • By: Jolly Red Giant Wed, 04 May 2016 18:06:09

    WbS – yes these are anecdotes – but they are numerous (particularly outside the Pale – and they get worse the further west you go) and have been consistent since the foundation of PSF.

    The issue is not the fact that some members would hold these views but the fact that these views are tolerated because they are being expressed by ‘one of us’. The approach of SF is that as long as they are inside the tent and p*ssing out, as long as they are people who will graft at election time etc., then you can say what you want.

    The individual who was expressing the views about Nigeria was a member of SF for about 15 years, left when he wasn’t allowed stand in the local elections, had a brief discussion with me about joining the Socialist Party (and I politely told him that his views would not be compatible with SP membership), stood and got elected as an independent, done all kinds of rotten deals with everyone and anyone, lost his seat, did nothing for three or four years, rejoined SF and was director of elections this year. The views he expressed are not a one off – he has consistently expressed these views for decades now – and continues to do so – and it is tolerated to the degree that this individual can be made director of elections.

    Not alone are reactionary views tolerated – elements within SF actively encourage both members, and more manipulatively, supporters to abuse, harass and threaten political opponents (particularly those on the left). This is the result of decades of SF operating with (a) the suppression of dissension (often through the use of violence) (b) the attitude that anyone who disrupts their political agenda must be vilified. It is ‘useful’ to have individuals with a reactionary outlook to use as attack dogs against political opponents.

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  • By: Jolly Red Giant Wed, 04 May 2016 18:20:35

    Been through this before WbS – the ANC’s armed struggle had little or no impact on the Apartheid regime (no more than the Provos campaign in the North didn’t impact on British Imperialism). Indeed, in terms of the struggle of the working class it had the impact of removing many of the best militants from the centre of social and political struggle, removing them to training camps and then using them to engage acts of individual terror rather than being on the front line in communities and workplaces.

    The Apartheid regime knew that the ANC’s military wing could not be defeated militarily – but they didn’t have a problem with that – Apartheid could engage in widespread repression against the black working class and contain the military campaign of MK, it had the military means to do so.

    What terrified the Apartheid regime and the SA ruling class was not the military campaign of MK but the emergence of industrial struggle and the building of COSATU as a vehicle for the focus of this struggle. The ruling class actually removed the ruling group around Botha from the leadership of the NP and installed deKlerk on the basis of trying to do a deal with the populist leadership of the ANC. At the same time the SACP actively encouraged the ANC leadership to compromise with Apartheid (not that big a problem as they would have been pushing an open door with most of the leadership) and the SACP played an active role in pulling the teeth from COSATU and driving the trade union movement down the path of accommodation with the SA ruling class.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 04 May 2016 18:45:37

    Well, I do know members the length and breadth of the island and I’d be very surprised if any of them in particular held the views you suggest, but of course it’s a big party and big parties contain multitudes. I know of one example of what you describe, someone whose views would be considered problematic who is tolerated but that seems somewhat atypical. As to the rest I don’t have an axe to grind either pro or contra so by their deeds we shall know them. Certainly in their public pronouncements they appear extremely careful and participation in various campaigns would suggest that they have shied away from anti-immigrant etc approaches and that wouldn’t be sanctioned from the top. As it grows though I can well expect that pressures will increase.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 04 May 2016 19:06:53

    Do you genuinely think PIRA had no impact on the British? Simply in terms of forcing a militarisation of the six counties that alone sucked resources, changed the nature of the political landscape, etc, etc and ultimately forced the British to an accommodation (that worked both ways of course since PIRA was unable to break the eventual stalemate). I’m not making a value judgement about that, simply describing a factual situation.

    Likewise with MK (albeit arguably in not such a pointed way). And of course as apartheid became ever increasingly repressive, something that it simply couldn’t conceal and this increased its isolation globally. No doubt industrial struggle was important but I’m dubious that it was the most important. Global isolation, the realisation that it was impossible to police millions of people, etc all combined to make the continuation of the status quo impossible. As to an accommodation ultimately it became one person one vote (COSATU itself adopted the Freedom Charter in 1987). I get that from your perspective such struggle is important (and mine too) but there’s a real danger in focusing overly much on it to the exclusion of other factors – for example the regime had been pushing tentatively in a power-sharing direction from the early 1980s onwards in terms of restricted moves in relation to that by 1984 for ‘coloureds’ and Indians. COSATU was founded after that.

    What was achieved may not be enough but it was a massive improvement on what came before.

    And let’s not forget one of the major impacts which was the Namibian front which caused the apartheid regime serious problems in both short and long terms.

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  • By: fergal Wed, 04 May 2016 19:17:37

    Abortion rights- Hilary Clinton is pro choice, George Galloway isn’t who would you trust with the big banks, the economy, workers’ rights,union laws, foreign affairs?
    We’re the only place in europe that hasn’t legislated for abortion..yet, in other places there is no debate- britian’s 1967 legislation is not up for debate, ditto Holland, France, Italy even the right in Spain failed in its efforts at emasculating abortion rights- we tend to blow it out of all proportion a la the USA nstead of dealing with in in an adult way-a medical procedure predicated on a woman’s right to choose.
    I’m not in the least religious but I’ve worked with priests on occasion whose fight for social justice was genuine, imaginative, creative and effective…yet not one of them was pro-choice

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