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This is a particularly interesting document since it outlines the vision Provisional Sinn Féin [At that time the SF prefix was still used by the WP as SFWP] had of life in a united Ireland in relation to the areas of Environment, Control of Technology, Pollution, Advertising and Consumer Protection. This was the second edition of a document first published in May 1973.
The Preface notes that ‘as most of the [significant changes in Ireland and the world] confirm in concrete fashion the issues which we raised in May, 1973, we have decided to reprint it now, as we get ready or the 1979 electoral test.
It suggests that:
[the “oil crisis”] marked the first major rebellion in the post-1945 era of the primary producing nations against the exploitation of Western multinational capitalism - one of the main causes of poverty and economic imbalance in the world and the system which produced a situation where six per cent of the world in one finny corner of the globe consumed over 40 per cent of the energy and consumer luxuries of the world.
The rich Western nations, and the multinational corporations will continue to exploit as long as they are allowed to do so. The only language they appreciate is their own language - that of the hard bargain, if not the no-option “choice”.
It was possible to ensure that more of the wealth derived form the toil of third-world countries stayed in those countries. Since then the call has gone round the globe. The Third World, the poor majority of mankind is showing a new militancy which is on the increase with each passing day.
It is strongly critical of the EEC and the European Parliament ‘which is neither European (in that it represents only 9 states) nor a Parliament’. And it lays out its position where it intends to boycott the elections.
It makes clear that Sinn Féin will ‘actively contest’ the 26-county local elections ‘educating people in its federalist Éire Nua policies and ensuring that the maximum amount of power and decision making is retained by the people in their own local areas’.
It states that:
We see the need for a new international order and said so even before there was an oil crisis or economic recession. We reject monopoly capitalism, Wester-style consumer society as well as State Capitalism (Communism) under the guise of the ‘Socialist’ tag. We advocate a third way forward, and we see our place in the international order as a member of the non-aligned states struggling to free ourselves and mankind from the curse of all types of colonialism, imperialism and exploitation of people by people. This too has become clearer in the past few years and the wide range of contacts which the Republican Movement has established with liberation movements around the world confirms the wisdom and righteousness of our stand.
And it continues:
There are important sections in the 1973 statement about the control of technology and the activities of multinational companies. These two have been in the news since 1973 - the latter mainly because of the corruption they have been involved with almost everywhere but especially in the poorer post-colonial countries. We cannot afford to forget the lessons of Chile. Nor can we overlook the tactics to thwart the democratic process in case such as these than we can in the case of the persecution of writers, intellectuals and independent-minded political activists in Soviet Russia.
The document is strongly anti-nuclear power. And it takes a very critical line on Multinational Companies. Indeed it argues that:
The fact is that several countries in Europe have learned the hard way about the environmental effects of certain types of heavy industry - smelters, oil refineries, chemical planst, and have either banned extra plants form being built or introduced regulations and controls, which even where they may be inadequate, still eat into the profit margin of the big multinational corporations which operate those industries.
It also criticises the IDA, ‘not only do we try to get the dirty outcasts of European industry to come to Ireland. We pay them large grants to come’. But it also argues: ‘Industrial development, although vitally necessary, must be controlled and the side-efects of any such projects must be evaluated in terms of the grave damage that can result from them. SF is not against industrial development and fully appreciates the short-term attractions of some of these projects for people in areas starved of development opportunities. But the full short term and long term implications of such developments must be placed before the people. We cannot allow the capitalists of Europe and North America to unload the filth, which is no longer tolerated in their own countries in many instances on our door-step in return for jobs which it would be the duty of any proper Irish government to provide in the first place’.
There is considerably more, although a relatively short document it covers a wide range of areas.
Note the slogan on p.16. And the statement:
We believe in people before profits. We believe in public control for the common good while recognisingthe right of individuals to hold personal property. And we believe in local control to restore dignity and a sense of involvement in the individual citizen. If people before profits, public control for the common good, are Socialists’ ideas then we are Socialists. But we are democratic Socialists. We serve neither King nor Kaiser, but Ireland only.