Forward [1972]
Organisation: Connolly Youth Movement
Publication: Forward
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

15th October 2007

John O’Neill (of the Irish Socialist Network ) writes about a further addition to the Left Archive. Forward – Is the somewhat erratic publication of the Connolly Youth Movement, youth section of the Communist Party of Ireland. I joined SFWP in 1980. By then the WP and the CPI had ended any joint work or cooperation so as a member of the Irish Democratic Youth Movement (SFWP youth) I had little or no exposure to the CYM.

The CYM had a membership that always appeared to me to be a lot older than IDYM members back then. They always had a significant presence at any demonstration I attended in my youth particularly Anti Apartheid demos or May Day celebrations.

‘Forward’ is pretty well produced for the ‘dark days’ of Getstetner duplicating machines that were the bane of my life, requiring a stencil to be cut on a manual typewriter then placed on the drum of the Gestetner and printed, usually by the turning of a handle, one copy per rotation for one side of the document. A tiresome process not made any easier by the truly noxious smell of the ink it used.

This edition of Forward that I date 1972 by the reference to the national wage agreement being “due to expire in June ’72” (page eight) but it could be from 1971.

The surprising and depressing thing is that the issues for the left contained in Forward remain largely the same today or even worse with the exception of unemployment. NGO’s are still producing reports highlighting the poverty and the Government is still shelving them. The Herald is still sensationalising social problems to sell their rag.

Granted we have moved away from Industrial schools but I read only yesterday in the CPI’s ‘Socialist Voice’ that the late Dermot Kinlen Inspector of Prisons in his Annual Report (2004/05) was damning of our Prison system stating “It was clear that the Minister was merely using St. Patrick’s… as a warehouse for young people who learnt the finer points of criminality in St. Patrick’s which almost certainly guaranteed their progression into the ‘university’ of Mountjoy.” So there’s not much sign of progress or commitment to rehabilitation there after 30 years.

The Crannac Factory takeover similar to the recent book binders occupation in Wicklow and the National Wage Agreements, now called Partnerships, continue to neuter the any radicalism within the Trade Union movement.

‘Forward’ reflects the norms of the time, probably written by party members IMO not very appealing to its target group – young people – but I don’t recall any left wing youth publications that ever were, then or now.

More from Forward

Forward in the archive


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  • By: Joe Thu, 18 Oct 2007 15:40:20

    Probably Teoiric, John, which if my litriú Gaoluinne is up to scratch, is Irish for Theory. Then again, it could be a clever mix of Treoir (Guide) and Teoiric (Theory) which would have appealed to the heads in the Industrial Department, I’d say – Guiding Theory.

    Anyway back to the humour and lefties theme. My brother was a member of the SWP in London in the late 80s, early 90s and I don’t remember any jokes he told me at that time. He left the Swippers a long time ago now and recently he told me this one: Did you hear about the blow up schoolboy who went to the blow up school with blow up teachers and pupils and lived in a blow up house with his blow up family? He ran amok with a sewing needle. The teacher gives out to him: “Not alone have you let yourself down, you let your family down, you let your class down, you let the whole school down.”
    Proof positive that a few years after leaving the SWP, people can begin to get their sense of humour back?

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Thu, 18 Oct 2007 18:35:38

    I don’t suppose anyone has either of them, do they?

    Incidentally, why are there no offers of SWP or Militant/SP material? C’mon guys, plenty of papers were sold at demonstrations over the years…

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  • By: Mark P Fri, 19 Oct 2007 00:13:53

    There is actually a fair amount of old Militant / SP material online already. Personally I don’t have much that’s more than ten years old.

    The SP does have extensive archives though (including almost all of our own stuff and a load of stuff from other organisations). That’s where the stuff that’s already online came from and I believe that the idea is to gradually put more of it online.

    Here’s a good starting point:

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  • By: Redking Fri, 19 Oct 2007 11:44:00

    Aw Joe-that’s bloody awful comrade!!!
    Do you have any more???

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  • By: Joe Fri, 19 Oct 2007 15:16:00

    Loads more Redking. But you’d have to join the ISN to hear them!

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  • By: Joe Fri, 19 Oct 2007 15:24:00

    OK permission received from ISN CEC to share this one.
    Dublin Zoo gets a new Orang Utan from London Zoo. On his first night he goes ape in the cage, wrecks the place. Keeper from London comes over and says we’ll have to get him his mate over too, we’ll have him tomorrow. But that night he goes ape again, breaks out and into the lions cage, jumps on the sleeping lion and makes passionate love to him. When he’s finished the lion jumps up, roars and goes after him. The Orang Utan legs it out into the Phoenix Park with the lion after him. The Orang Utan goes round a corner and sees a newspaper (Resistance) on a park bench. He sits on the bench and pretends to read the paper. The lion legs it past him, stops and goes back and says: “Did you see an Orang Utan running by here just now?” Yer man says: “Is that the Orang Utan that made love to the lion?” The lion goes: “Ah Jays, it’s not in the papers already is it?”

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  • By: Ed Hayes Fri, 19 Oct 2007 17:07:11

    Can you be racist against the Germans? Hope not. Here goes…

    A little boy is born to proud parents in Baden-Baden. He is healthy, happy and a bundle of joy. However he never opens his mouth excpt to eat, no crying, no gugling, nothing. His parents are a bit worried by little Hansi’s lack of verbal communication, but they are delighted to have him and just glad he is in good health. The years go by. Hans learns to walk, and run and play with other jungen, but he never says anything. He goes to school and is able to write and as this is a modern German school can work a PC at the age of 5. He seems perfectly happy and is easy and playful around the other kids, but he says nothing, not a ja or nein. It causes some sadness for his folks but they again are just glad he is a good kid.
    On Han’s eight birthday they organise a big party with dozens of local kids and loads of food and toys. At the appointed moment the parents come in with a huge cake which, after Hans has blown out the candles they slice up, giving the biggest piece to him.
    After he takes a few bites Hans turns to his mother and says ‘Mama, this cake is a little bit bland I am afraid.’ His mother drops to the floor in shock while his father grabs him and asks ‘Can you speak Hansi?’ ‘Yes, of course Papa’ answers the boy. ‘But why have you not spoken for all these years Hans?’ The boy looks up at his dad and says ‘because until now everything has been quite satisfactory.’

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  • By: Ed Hayes Fri, 19 Oct 2007 17:07:33

    I’ll get me coat…

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  • By: ejh Fri, 19 Oct 2007 18:04:58

    Heh, that’s splendid. I say that as a Germanophile.

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  • By: Garibaldy Fri, 19 Oct 2007 18:56:12

    Shortened version of old Soviet joke:

    Lenin and the people are on a train. The train breaks down, the people come to Lenin to complain. Lenin gets out and makes a speech, urging the people to unite, overcome the difficulties, and get things moving forward again to socialism. The people get the train moving again.

    Stalin and the people are on the train. It breaks down. The pople come to Stalin to complain. Stalin lines everyone up and shoots some people at random. The people quickly get the train moving again.

    Andropov is sitting in first class eating caviar. The train breaks down. The people come and complain. He pulls the blinds down, and says ‘Look Comrades, we are moving’.

    I could tell what was reputedly Stalin’s favourite joke, but I’ve probably embarrassed myself enough.

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  • By: Redking Sat, 20 Oct 2007 08:45:53

    Uh- oh here goes!
    A hippy is travelling on a bus when a stunningly attractive young nun gets on. Overcome with lust he immediately sits down beside her and says to her “you are the most beautiful nun I have ever seen can I make love to you?”
    The nun, disgusted says “get away from me you maniac!” and gets up and off the bus.
    The bus driver says ” Hey hippy I know how you can get to have sex with that nun” “oh yeah?” says the hippy
    “Yeah-you dress in long white robes and put on a false white beard and moustache and pretend to be God-go to a local graveyard and at 12 midnight jump out and proclaim your self to be God to the nun who will be there saying her prayers ” “Gee thanks” says the hippy and gets off the bus.
    Later the hippy goes to the graveyard dressed as God and at midnight he jumps out from behind a gravestone and in a booming voice shouts “I am God!”
    The terrified young nun falls to her knees and says “Father I am a sinner -do what you will with me”
    The hippy says “you must have sex with me!”-the nun agrees but says that as she is a virgin it must be anal sex.
    The hippy gets down to business and after he is satisfied he whips off the robes and beard and shouts “Haha I am the hippy!”
    The nun whips off her habit and says “Haha I am the bus driver!”

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Sat, 20 Oct 2007 09:09:30

    😮 🙂

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  • By: John O'Neill Mon, 22 Oct 2007 12:56:59

    A joke purported to come from Poland or some other Soviet satellite,

    A kid comes home from second level school to his 6th floor apartment

    Kid – “Da I’m struggling with my homework”

    Da – “what’s the problem son?”

    Kid – “Its democratic centralism, I can’t get my head around the concept.”

    Da – “It’s quiet simple. I’ll demonstrate. Go downstairs to the bottom of the apartment block and shout up when you get there.”

    The son rushes downstairs

    His Da sticks his head out the window and spits down on his son.

    Da – “Now you can spit back at me – That’s democratic centralism”

    Not that funny but I like the sentiment.

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  • By: Joe Mon, 22 Oct 2007 13:31:27

    My favourite from the days of actually existing “socialism”.
    Brezhnev goes to meet his ageing mother and tells her how well he has done. “Mama, I have done so well. I am General Secretary of the Party now. I have a whole floor of the Kremlin to live in during the week, I have a dacha in the Urals and another by the sea. I get driven around in a big limousine. I have servants and secretaries at my beck and call.” His mother furrows her brow and looks worried. He continues: “But mama, have I not done well?” “Yes, Leonid, you have done very well. But I worry all the time. What will happen to you if the Bolsheviks come back?”

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Mon, 22 Oct 2007 19:24:12

    Genius, both of them

    I’m beginning to wonder should we have a Left Jokes Archive as well.

    Shall we start up a page of submissions which we just add them to, including these?

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  • By: John Thu, 21 Aug 2008 15:55:37

    Just to let you now that “Forward” has now reached the internet age in the form of a blog, have a look if you want:

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Thu, 21 Aug 2008 17:29:40

    Great stuff John, we’ll link of course…

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  • By: smokersarejokers Thu, 21 Aug 2008 17:41:40

    Thanks very much mate. It’ll get better soon, hopefully!

    Great site by the way, I check it everyday and the left archive stuff is particularly good, it always promotes great debate on the CYM forum when I post up items from it. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks again, John.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Thu, 21 Aug 2008 19:36:24

    Cheers John, I’m doing up a post about it for tomorrow…

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  • By: Forward from the Connolly Youth Movement… reworked for the 21st century. « The Cedar Lounge Revolution Fri, 22 Aug 2008 06:28:55

    […] trackback Okay, this may seem a bit like a pop will eat itself moment, but as noted in the comments on this thread here is a renewed and refurbished “Forward” from the Connolly Youth […]

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