Tuesday, June 19, 2007


(Foto: "Der Spiegel")

The Left is not dead! Despite calculated meeja attempts to bury the Left in Europe, with the victory of right-wing Sarkynose in France, and in Ireland with the disappointing performance of Labour in the recent General Election here; on the contrary, the Left is showing vigorous signs of life right now with the establishment of a new Left Party in GermanyDie Linke, and an increased vote for the Socialist Party in the French Parliamentary elections.


In a vibrant and packed conference in Berlin last Saturday, a new left party Die Linke”/”The Left” was formed by the merger of the Party of Democratic Socialism of Eastern Germany and the Social Justice Party of former SPD leader and former Finance Minister of the Federal Republic, Oscar Lafontaine. In one of the fiery speeches for which he is renowned, Herr Lafontaine pointedly reclaimed the historic territory of the German Left in the tradition of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, iconic leaders of German Socialism both brutally murdered by the Freikorps right-wing militias in 1918 in the aftermath of WW1. Damning the welfare cuts of the previous Schroeder SPD/Green government, Herr Lafontaine stated “We are the Party of the Social State. We need a New Force, The Left, which says; ‘Yes, we want to restore the Social State’ to ecstatic enthusiasm and a standing ovation. Herr Lafontaine went on to firmly position the new party as Anti-War and Pro-Environment.

The new party, also led by Lothar Bisky of the former PDS, will be the second-largest opposition party in the Bundestag with 8% of the national poll but, with nearly 40% of the vote in the five Eastern Lander which made up the German Democratic Republic(DDR) until 1990 and nearly 30% of the vote in the capital, Berlin. Pollsters have rated the new party’s chances as gaining 24% of the national vote in the next election and 44-45% in the eastern Lander, which are the areas surrounding Berlin. The potential in the city of Berlin itself is even higher at 60%. The consequences are dire for the Social Democrats who moved their party significantly to the right in going into coalition with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats after the last election.. Coalesce with the Right at your peril seems to be the message here.


In the French Parliamentary elections on Sunday last, despite cock-crowing media predictions of a landslide for Sarkynose and his UMP Party and the rout of the Socialists, the opposite happened. The Socialists gained more than 50 parliamentary seats and Sarkynose lost his new Deputy Prime Minister, Alain Juppé, to a victorious Socialist candidate. This puts paid to Sarkynose’s plans for gung-ho Yankee-Doodle capitalism in France without opposition and will encourage strong resistance to any attempts to dismantle the social state in France.

The stage is now set, in both France and Germany, the key economies of the EU, for a resurgence of Democratic Socialism, a strengthening of the International Anti-War Movement, the International Resistance to Capitalist Globalisation and the Greed Economy, the fight for Scientific Climate Change Prevention measures, internationally agreed, and the sidelining of the wishy-washy and unreliable Greens. Irish LABOUR needs to note and absorb the lessons of these events immediately.

Beatha don Eite Chlé! Vive La Gauche! Es Leben Die Linke! Long live The Left!

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/Dublin, 19 Meitheamh/JUNE 2007.
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FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/Dublin, 19 Meitheamh/JUNE 2007

It didn’t take long, did it, for the Greens, duped, doped and delivered on a platter to Blank-Cheque Bertie’s soirée at the Áras last week to be rightly snookered by the Warriors of Destiny? Only hours after being sworn in as Minister for Environment, John Gormley finds himself in the shit-pit, kindly filled up for him by The CockRoche, his FF predecessor, who before vacating the office signed an order allowing the M3 motorway to bulldoze its way through the Hill of Tara historic archaeological site despite protests from local groups, national and international academic opinion and the Green Party itself (pre-election, of course). With one swoop, FF have revealed the Greens as toothless “watchdogs” incapable of stopping FF getting away with their outrageous anti-environment policies.

This shows now what fate has in store for the totally neutralised Greens. They will be stooges for Blank-Cheque Bertie and his regime of sleazy cronyism and stroke politics. Accompanied by the undemocratic and unconstitutional brazen public bribery of individual TD’s with taxpayers money, the Blank-Cheque Supremo undermines Irish democracy by preferring tribalist fiefdoms instead of equality of citizenship as required by Bunreacht na hÉireann. There is nothing in the Constitution which requires “constituencies”, which are merely arbitrary lines drawn around segments of the population for the purpose of equalising the representation of the people in Dáil Éireann, to be the recipients of Government largesse, at the expense of the general taxpayers, for the purpose of obtaining political support from selected TD’s.

The distribution of tax revenues should be for the common good and not for the personal whims of politicians behaving like a corrupt aristocracy which the republican form of government was supposed to do away with. “Republic” has to mean equal citizenship or it means nothing. We know now that it means nothing to Fianna Failure, the so-called “Republican Party”. And the Greens are now willing partners of this destruction of our democratic politics by an arrogant and pestiferous clique for which the Fianna Failure party is a mere front. The sight of the Gombeen-Ultra, Jackie Healey-Ray, exulting in his loot in Dáil Éireann on the first day of business, should have been enough to make any democrat sick-to-their-stomachs with disgust, yet the Pure Greens sat there and swallowed it.

The extent of the Green Party sell-out is unbelievable: they have abandoned several of their principal policies announced during the election; no co-located hospitals, no M3 motorway through Tara, end of US military stopovers at Shannon Airport, no coalition with FF; all dumped in the bin in exchange for some perceived “influence” at the cabinet table. Nothing substantial or concrete which Blank-Cheque Bertie or Biffo Cowen could be pinned down on. John Gormley gets a reduced Environment Department with the roads section transferred to Noel Dempsey’s Transport Department. Eamonn Ryan gets Communications and Energy/Natural Resources with Marine also transferred to Noel Dempsey. Were they deaf and blind as well? It is quite obvious that Bob the Builder passed on the orders to Bertie and Biffo and they were carried out to the letter.

Trevor Sargent, former leader of the Green Party, for whom this writer once had respect, made a rancorous and petulant attack on the opposition in the Dáil after the formation of the government accusing them of not wanting to engage with the Sinn Féin representatives in an attempt to form an alternative administration; a valid point, but, negatived by the fact that neither he nor his party made any approaches to anyone for the same objective. Even if the Labour/Fine Gael effort ultimately failed, there could have been a left voting-bloc established in the 30th Dáil, which had the greatest ever number of left-wing TD’s elected in any election. This possibility has been seriously weakened, if not neutralised, by the Greens defection to the Party of Sleaze and Opportunism. This writer has no sympathy at all for them as they endure their Purgatory as puppets in the Bertie & Biffo Show.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/Dublin, 19 Meitheamh/JUNE 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007


The result of the Republic’s General Election was, with full-scale Meeja trumpeting, claimed as a great victory for Blank-Cheque Bertie and his Fianna Failure warriors, whereas, on close analysis, it was no such thing. The Blank-Cheque Supremo went into the election with 80 Dáil seats and emerged with 78. His erstwhile partners, the Phoney Democrats, were almost wiped out, returning only two seats. As they went into the election together as a government they lost 8 seats over all, hardly a great endorsement of their claims to any victory.

The rejection of Micilín Mac Doolittle and his Phoney Democrats was a significant political rejection of the type of ranting market fetishism and recycled Thatcherite vomit which has characterised the Phoney Democrat Party since its foundation (we will deal with this in more detail further along).

LABOUR held its base and only reduced its 2002 total vote by fractions of a per cent and several Labour candidates only missed gaining seats by a handful of preference votes, which is the normal hazard of the proportional representation system used in our elections. The result is still a disappointment because of the loss of one seat and the major gains going to Fine Gael. The electorate chose to give majority support to FF and FG and this is the factual starting point for the next election whether we like it or not.

Nevertheless, Labour must tackle its failure to breakthrough to more support from its natural constituency, the 600,000 Trade Union members in Ireland and their families. It is obvious that large numbers of them are still voting for Fianna Failure and it is essential that a concentrated, sustained and vigorous campaign must be mounted now to draw in the largest possible contingent of this constituency to permanent support for Labour and its candidates. Only by doing this in a serious and determined manner can Labour ever hope to be in a position to become the largest party in the Dáil and be the majority partner in a government of the future.

At this stage, with FF negotiating with the Green Party for some sort of shaky coalition, Labour should not offer anything to Blank Cheque Bertie and let him exhaust himself in wrangling with his chosen dance partners. If all this comes to naught and FF requests talks with Labour then the leadership should facilitiate such talks but it should be made clear to FF that no FF/Labour Coalition is in prospect without radical changes in FF policies and attitudes on all fronts:

No Co-Located Hospitals: Universal access to the Health Service regardless of income: A complete reform of the PAYE income tax system with starting rate of 10% for incomes up to €50K and highest rates on a graduated scale only for incomes over €100K; No privatisations of public utilities, ESB or existing Public Transport operators; Additional subsidies for suburban rail and bus services with lower fares; a greater share for mainline Rail and Suburban Rail in infrastructure funding as compared with roads;

A properly funded Social Housing Programme to eliminate waiting lists over an agreed period of time; Windfall taxes on enrichment from sale of lands for development; Implementation of already promised reductions in class numbers in schools and school renewals and construction of new buildings;

Increased funding for Science, Research and Development to stimulate innovation and growth of an indigenous technological industry and services industry capable of expanding its share of the world market and creating jobs locally; Widespread and effective measures of energy-saving and energy management throughout the economy and social life; Reform of the Oireachtas and political system to enhance democratic accountability and participation, especially the empowering of Local Government on the lines of our continental neighbours in the EU.

On the broader political scene, Labour should be an All-Ireland party and moves to establish this should begin immediately. It is likely that Fianna Fáil will set itself up on an All-Ireland basis within the near future and it would be better, politically, for Labour to be ahead of them. It is better, politically, for the Left to have one unity party than the splintering and splittism which has bedevilled us for more than a century now.

Focussed grass-roots activism and the establishment of a politically educated mass membership will counteract compromising tendencies of weak leadership at the top and eventually eliminate this phenomenon from our ranks. Some compromises with Capitalism are inevitable in day-to-day existence, as the Trade Union movement knows, but this doesn’t prevent continuous political development of the working class as a group in society, strengthening and expanding its influence all the time. The Chavez Revolution in Venezuela could not have achieved what it has so far without the previously organised mass support which could be mobilised immediately at times of strategic junctures in the struggle for democracy and socialism.

The time has long since past for this Republic to modernise its political system; away from redundant Civil War divisions, as it has modernised its economy. For too long, Dáil Éireann has been no more than a glorified County Council and proper Local Government deprived of democratic decision making in favour of managerial bureaucracy. The Multi-seat constituency system inhibits TD’s from working as a National Parliament because of competition within parties for local profiles and clientism which is the mode of existence of TD’s and Local Councillors. In no other country in Europe does a minister in National Government decide the configuration of bus routes in their capital cities. This is a job for Dublin City Council and likewise the other local authorites of cities and towns elsewhere in the country.

The PR List system which is operated in other EU countries would provide a more efficient national legislative structure than what we have at present. Parties would be allocated seats on a perecentage basis according to the share of the national vote they achieve in any election. TD’s would be elected from a Party List published before the election and places on the list would be filled by internal party conventions, as currently. Provision could be made for a number of TD’s to be elected by constituency vote as well. This system would remove TD’s from the territorial competition which goes on in constituency politics and enable them to do their proper job as legislators. The idea that “constituencies” are “entitled” to “having a minister” or “minister of state” is anti-democratic and unconstitutional and leads to the Warlord Syndrome of the likes of “Parlon Country”, now, thankfully, obliterated. We are living in 21st Century Democratic Europe not the Celtic Twilight of “Chieftains” and spear-carriers. Parsnip should try his luck in Afghanistan, they still have warlords over there.

The campaign for the next General Election begins now. As things stand this week it won’t be a five – year wait.


FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/Dublin, 07 Meitheamh/JUNE 2007.

Download and print as a poster or e-mail to your friends.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/Dublin, 07 Meitheamh/JUNE 2007.