Socialist Republic, No. 1
Organisation:Revolutionary Marxist Group
Publication:Socialist Republic
Issue:Number 1
Contributors:Joe Harrington, James Gallagher
Collection:Abortion and reproductive rights
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Irish Women United SDLP

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

16th July 2012

Many thanks to Jim Monaghan for donating this to the Archive.

As noted previously the Revolutionary Marxist Group was a Trotskyist group in Ireland in the 1970s. With members drawn from an array of groups including the League for a Workers Republic and the Young Socialists it coalesced with similarly minded grouping in Belfast in 1972 to form the RMG. As the wiki page notes  the RMG ‘rejected the Éire Nua plan’ put forward by PSF at that time. It later became the Movement for a Socialist Republic and later merged with People’s Democracy. And tellingly the title Socialist Republic was later adopted by People’s Democracy in the late 1970s.

This document, issue number 1 of Socialist Republic, paper of the Revolutionary Marxist Group, is a 12 page magazine format production. As noted on the second page

During 1974 we succeeded in stabilising production of THE PLOUGH as a monthly. We improved our coverage of all fields of revolutionary struggle, and in particular our analysis of the strategy of British imperialism and the tasks freaking revolutionaries in Ireland.

Although THE PLOUGH became better known and gained a wider readership, we have for some time felt that the name had little resonance in the working class. Also, the rise in paper and printing costs meant either raising the price or adopting a new format for the paper.

The contents is varied encompassing news on union organisation against redundancies in Limerick, an analysis of Loyalist assassinations in Belfast - which argues that this is a precursor to a loyalist take-over, reflection on the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill in the South and a critical piece on the role of the Catholic Church in Northern Ireland entitled ‘Shepherd versus Flock’.

The centre page article argues that the SDLP has capitulated to Loyalism.

It notes:

The SDLP has accepted that the Northern Ireland Convention will lead to the re-establishment of a loyalist dominated administration in the North. This has forced the party on to a course of intensified capitulation to Loyalism.

The dilemma of the northern catholic middle class is reflected in the strains and tensions within and around the SDLP… …The crisis facing catholic middle class politicians in the North springs from the strength of Loyalism as expressed both in electoral and mass action forms which have sent the North on to a path to the restoration of the loyalist forces as the policeman for Britain in the six counties.

And it concludes:

The nature of any formations emerging from the middle-class political re-alignment re-emphasise that there can be no alternative to working class leadership to carry forward the struggle against Imperialism and the restoration of loyalist supremacy. This perspectives highlights a number of tasks of rthe revolutionary movement. The strategy of the SDLP must be combatted and the trend towards fragmentation aided. There must be no credibility given to illusions that cooperation with loyalist organisations can in anyway benefit the anti-unionist working class.

Also included on page 8 are a programme of demands. These include:

Self-determination for Ireland For the abolition of partition. For the separation of Church and State. Against all forms of wage restraint. No unemployment. No redundancies. For the Independence of the Trade Union movement.

Notable also is the strong emphasis on rights of access to contraception and publicity for ‘ad hoc grouping’ Irish Women United whose charter included ‘women and the law, the right to control one’s own body, the family, women in education, the needs of working women and the idea of special women’s centres’. Part of the ultimate goal of IWU was to build towards a new women’s movement in Ireland. Also worth noting is the article on a meeting in Birmingham where ‘a representative’ of the RMG extended ‘revolutionary greetings…to those fighting for free abortion on demand in Britain’.

Perhaps surprisingly the only reference to the situation outside of Ireland and Britain is a piece on the ‘death of Francoism’.

Other documents in the Archive from the RMG include The Prospects Before Us and Marxist Review and we have quite a number of other documents scanned and ready to post up.

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