Voice, No. 19
Organisation: Socialist Party
Publication: Voice
Issue:Number 19
January 1999
Contributors: Info
Karen Allen, Stephen Boyd, Dermot Connolly, Joe Higgins, Harry Hutchinson, Terry Kelleher, Kevin Lawrenson, John McCamley, Kevin McLoughlin, Ciarán Mulholland, Kieran Roberts, Colin Sinclair
Type:Publication Issue
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Labour Party Democratic Left

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

9th July 2024

This edition of Voice joins one other in the Archive. From early 1999 it was published at an interesting time in Irish political history. The front page argues that Quinn and De Rossa merge parties to form: New Labour Sellout.

And it continues:

More bland than Blair’s New Labour, this merger came out ofthe disastrous results in the last general election in Democratic Left’s collapse from being a political party into unsustainable parliamentary clique. In the past Labour responded to the disastrous effects of coalition by attempting to shift to the left o recoup its base. Now they have moved even further to the right and this merger is part of the process.

Other pieces look towards the forthcoming Local and European Elections, argue for ‘Affordable Homes for All’ and the Joe Higgins Column on page 2 states ‘In 1999, we can really announce our arrival on the political scene in Ireland’.

The editorial looks at the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement and argues that ‘we believe that the Agreement is not a solution, but it may bring a respite for a period from the ‘troubles’. More importantly, in doing that it can pose the opportunity to build the basis for a real solution.’

There’s a strong focus on political activity in Northern Ireland including pieces on campaigns against selling off water services, Northern Ireland Electricity and threats to acute hospitals. A centre spread looks at ‘1999: The Year of Capitalist Slump’’. This argues that ‘a slump will open up a new period, it is likely to spell the end of globalisation.’

International matters are dealt with in some detail. There’s also a report on the Seventh World Congress of the Committee for a Worker’s International and a reply to the SWP which was part of a communication between the SP and the SWP during this period and which is available elsewhere in the Archive.

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  • By: alanmyler Mon, 08 Jul 2024 08:25:36

    About the SP/SWP debate, I clicked on the link. 72 pages of reasoning about why we’re right and you’re wrong? I’m curious wheter 25 years later anyone in the SP or SWP thinks that the energy spent on that debate was worthwhile, given that it was initiated in order to agree for some of electoral arrangement between them, given that PbP is now a thing. Or are both sides still right, as history has proven? 😉

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  • By: Colm B Mon, 08 Jul 2024 09:24:11

    As I understand it, the SP are not part of PBP, but are allied for electoral purposes as PbP-SOL. I think the SP lost three seats to PbP in the recent local elections.

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  • By: alanmyler Mon, 08 Jul 2024 09:48:28

    In reply to Colm B.

    Sure enough, but the SP split numerous times since back then and the Rupture part is now in PbP isn’t it, and as you say the SOL part is in the same Dail grouping at least, so some or more than some of those who would have toed the line above in 1999 might have made that journey to electoral cohabitation in the meantime?

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  • By: irishfabian+ Mon, 08 Jul 2024 12:25:53

    I don’t know about Socialist Party but PBP can reach out to people of all religions and none on the left. It is impressive to be honest.

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  • By: Colm B Mon, 08 Jul 2024 12:54:04

    In reply to alanmyler.

    Yes, the SP has experienced splits since then and a number of organisations and individuals on the left have originated from that stable including:

    RISE/Rupture, Paul Murphy’s group within PbP,

    The few who stayed with the CWI when the Irish SP broke with the English leadership,

    The R2C group led by Joan Collins and Dermot Connolly, both of whom were prominent in the SP.

    And of course Clare Daly’s I4C group, though whether that is a functioning organisation and whether it really is on the left, are open to question.

    Of those groups, only RISE have moved significantly in the direction of the SWN (today’s version of the SWP) by joining PbP. Interestingly a merger between RISE and the SWN was mooted last year but nothing seems to have come of it. Perhaps Pangurbán might be able to update us on that.

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