Left Republican Review, Sept/Oct 2000
Organisation: Sinn Féin
Publication: Left Republican Review
Issue:Sept/Oct 2000
Contributors: Info
Eoin Ó Broin, Noam Chomsky, Una Gillespie, Douglas Hamilton, Gerry Kelly, Jackie McMullen, Ronnie Munck
Type:Publication Issue
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

18th September 2023

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This edition of Left Republican Review is the second to join the Archive. As noted previously:

Left Republican Review was in independent journal which began publishing in 2000. It was edited by Eoin O’Broin.

The publication has a wide range of topics. It examines ‘A New Beginning to Policing’, has a piece on Sinn Féin’s ‘new anti-joyriding campaign’, examines ‘Community Restorative Justice’. There is a piece on ‘Irish Republican Economics’. The case of ‘The Castlerea Five’ is addressed along with calls for their immediate release. ‘The Equality Agenda’ is also examined.

On international matters ETA and the Basque Country are looked at as well as an article by Noam Chomsky on ‘After Camp David’. There’s also a review of books dealing with South Africa.

The editorial argues that:

…the British government are preparing the final stages of their Policing Bill before passing it through Westminster. The legislation, as explained by Gerry Kelly In this edition, not only falls far short of the recommendations made by Chris Patten, but fails completely in meeting republican and nationalist demands for a new beginning to policing, a demand underscored by the promise of the Good Friday Agreement.


If the legislation goes ahead. both the British government and Irish unionists will be faced with the harsh reality that nationalist Ireland stands united in opposition to what in reality amounts to a repackaged RUC. The demand for radical change in the nature of policing cannot be eroded, and nationalists and republicans will not rest until our demands are met.


A number of broader questions arise out of the failure of the political process to deliver on the question of policing, all of which need to be discussed. When will unionists acknowledge their role as protagonists in the conflict in Ireland? When will they move beyond their narrow propagandistic defence of the AUC and recognise the real hurt and suffering inflicted by that force on both nationalists and the community at large? When will the British government place the rights of people in general before the political demands of a small unionist and securocrat class intent on damaging the political process for their own narrow ends?

And the penultimate paragraph asks:

However, the most Important question for republicans at this juncture is to ask ourselves if our campaigns, our positions, our strategies and tactics were enough. Could we have fought better on this issue and secured a better outcome? To what extent is the Mandelson legislation a product of our own limitations and failures? The point of such a debate is not to explain away defeat, but to regroup and renew our commitment to real and meaningful change in the nature of policing, so that as we rebuild our campaign for the disbandment of the RUC we do so in full knowledge of both the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign up till now.

And concludes:

The question Is not if but when the RUC will be disbanded, and only the hard struggle of republicans and other progressive forces can make this happen. A open and frank discussion of these Issues can only strengthen our ability to achieve our demands.

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  • By: Tomboktu Mon, 18 Sep 2023 07:52:16

    A few times recently I’ve noticed the publication selected for review in this Left Archive slot and initially wondered why something so recent was included because the design and production quality is so modern. I expect a professional graphic designer might spot details which tell them that the publication is a few decades old, but I can’t tell.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Mon, 18 Sep 2023 08:07:06

    In reply to Tomboktu.

    That raises some great questions. First up the Archive will put documents from recent groups/organisations in order to get a sampling of their output (Anti-Imperialist Action is a good example, similarly with Irish Anarchist Network, both of which are relatively new). So we don’t have a fixed date after with nothing will be allowed, but obviously we don’t carry a lot of contemporary materials (and for election materials Irish Election Literature is the place to go).

    Secondly, that’s a really intriguing observation. The document above is moving towards being a quarter of a century old, and perhaps it speaks to the sophistication of desk top publishing apps as well as the increased use of colour (at least on cover pages) at a reasonably inexpensive cost that allows for high quality output like the above. I think too people simply learned the visual language of political design, broadly speaking, across the years. It’s a bit clunky the design overall, but it works on some level. There’s a strange paradox in that given so many people have access to desktop printers which are pretty high quality the actual printed political magazine is less apparent than it was in the past.

    In terms of design and spotting the time period it was printed in, I’m no expert but – the italicised date which looks like forced italics and set on a black rectangle. None more 90s (even if it was 2000). The overall font on the title, a slightly organic sans serif, the black frame about it. Echoes of David Carson and April Greiman there (though years after the event). Note the sliver of white on the masthead where the underlying paper comes through. Something a bit offset there.

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  • By: banjoagbeanjoe Mon, 18 Sep 2023 09:28:36

    An independent journal?
    Surely SF-adjacent at the very least.

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  • By: Paul Culloty Mon, 18 Sep 2023 14:52:13

    One wonders what Eoin O’Broin would make of the ETA article now – while there was certainly some justification to their campaign under the Franco regime, that largely dissipated once all political parties were legalised, and the Basques achieved one of the highest degrees of autonomy in Western Europe. Yes, Madrid’s GAL counter-terrorism was unconscionable, and the isolation of prisoners was distinctly punitive, but any progress from autonomy to independence could only have gained majority support by a project along the lines of the Ibarratxe Plan, even if Catalonia showed the pitfalls of such an approach:


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  • By: Mat Tue, 19 Sep 2023 10:08:05

    Somebody on the staff liked 2000AD or is it Punch?

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Tue, 19 Sep 2023 12:11:45

    In reply to Mat.

    2000AD or Crisis?

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