|Organisation:||Socialist Labour Party|
|Authors:||Alan Bruce, Maurice Coakley, Anne Conway, Betty Purcell|
|Discuss:||Comments on this document|
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This month we intend to post up documents from the Socialist Labour Party which existed in the late 1970s and was a serious attempt to construct a further left platform party.
Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive, a Socialist Labour Party internal discussion document which in 14 pages engages with issues facing the SLP, most notably, The National Question, The Women’s Movement & The Left and finally The Economic Crisis, Trade Unions and Politics.
As the Introduction notes:
We have written this document as a contribution taking place before and during the conference. It is not a tendency document nor is it intended for voting on; although we will be arguing in support of the general lines of the 3 main policy documents voted for by the NEC.
And it also notes:
The first task of any Socialist party is to look reality hard in the face. We must be modest about ourselves. We are a small party, we have a few hundred members. We all want to build a mass Socialist party. The question that face us is how this is to be done.
And it argues for ‘non-exclusiveness’ in mass campaigns, asserting that ’this is the key to building’ those campaigns and ’to break down the sectarianism which has always paralysed the Irish left’.
There’s much else including a critique of Dr. Noel Browne’s views on Socialism and Republicanism where they suggest that ‘[he] seriously underestimates the role of British Imperialism in Ireland and consequently is confused about republicanism’ and also argue ‘that Socialists must have a positive approach to the women’s movement, that we must recognise its independence, that our women members should actively participate in it, and that w should seek to integrate feminist conceptions into our theory and practice, always remembering that without the liberation of women we will not achieve true socialism’.
They also note ‘we do not have a section on agriculture. This is not a reflection on our disinterest but of our ignorance. The Irish left is of course almost entirely centred in towns and knows very little about the countryside; indeed it is usually steeped in urban chauvinism…. We believe the starting point must be around the question – what programme would be capable fo drawing the most oppressed layers in the countryside – the small farmers, the agricultural labourers, the rural unemployed and underemployed – into struggle alongside the urban working class’.