SuperSpi, June-July 1978
Organisation:Socialist Party of Ireland [1971]
Issue:June-July 1978
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

23rd April 2012

Many thanks to IELB for scanning this document and forwarding it to the Archive. IELB has posted some pages from this on the Irish Election Literature Blog last week and it can be found here. 

As IELB notes:

The magazine itself is actually quite good with a witty enough cover and some decent columns. The story about the ITGWU conference is one in particular that I enjoyed. I’m not sure how many issues of it were produced .

As he notes the most striking aspect of it is the overtly satirical magazine based approach from the front cover to the general contents. One thinks of Private Eye and more recently The Phoenix (first published five years later). This is a significantly more playful approach than that taken by other documents issued by that party. While the topics are much as might be expected with articles critiquing nationalism, housing issues and Israel, the presentation is again more humorous with cartoons, both illustrative and photographic and a number of stories that appear to be only partially serious. Most notable in that respect is the one entitled “Tall Tales” about an 142 year old man in Lerik-Azerbaijan ‘in the Soviet Union’ who it suggests ‘in his village might be regarded as a lad, as some of his neighbours are enjoying ages of 156 and 167 years’.

But the general tone is very slightly lighter, albeit much of it rests on irony and sarcasm.

Labour News is strikingly critical of the ITGWU. Red Herrin’s directly criticises ‘a group of students at UCD and TCD who are embers of the Socialist Labour Party (Noel Browne), [who have formed] an organisation called ‘Students for Action’ whose express aim is to oppose the Unions of Students in Ireland (USI). Intriguingly there’s less emphasis on ‘actually existing socialist’ states than in other SPI material (one thinks of Advance).

There’s also mention of ‘a joint Socialist campaign against Nationalism by the Socialist Party of Ireland, B&ICO, and the Limerick Socialist Organisation’ which is already in the Archive.

All told another useful addition to the body of work already here from the SPI and an attempt by an Irish political formation to break somewhat out of the traditional discourse extant on the left.

More from Socialist Party of Ireland [1971]

Socialist Party of Ireland [1971] in the archive


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