let me first thank you for this invitation: It is
an honour for us to be invited to address this meeting
organised by the SRSP-one of the few socialist and
republican groupings left who actually conform to
standards legislation by meaning what they say on
the packet. Let's face it; if we lived in a society
governed by advertising standards there would be more
than the British Labour Party in the dock for false
we don't, we live in a society where a governments
only reason for being is to provide fodder for big
business and novo-imperialism. Fodder to be used,
exploited, exported, burnt out, degrade and tossed
we live in a world where, if governments do not provide
that fodder cheaply enough then it's no problem, other
fodder can easily be obtained from other governments
who will willingly sell the children of their land
into servitude for a pittance in tax such is their
lack of pride.
one of the largest and naturally richest places on
the face of the planet is reduced to selling it's
children into sweat shops and call centres because
it's natural resources have been systematically raped
for centuries by colonial imperialists who retained
their assets and paid little or no reparations on
Africa, where the diamonds and gold under an ANC government
should be the property of the people of South Africa.
Yet we see the mines still in the hands of multinationals
and the people of that nation still enslaved and still
digging their own resources from their own land for
Iraq and Afghanistan the story is much the same. Although
in these nation states the novo imperialists have
the decency to come with painted faces, Bull Pup's
or M 16's at the ready. Here they come as mercenaries
in the pay of high capitalism, resplendent in their
traditional tribal garb.
Ireland and Scotland we know these scenarios well,
it is the way of the bully, the rule of the bigot
and thief. It is the conquerors way and we too have
drunk from this cup. We understand it, however what
I can't understand is why? Why do we let it happen?
Not you and I here today comrades, but we as a society.
Why? The answer seems to be simple; we let it happen
because it's easy to. It's easy (but not cheep) to
dress your kid's in trendy brands even though you
know for a fact they were put together for a pittance
by children and other exploited workers in some far
flung place you will never see and know the pain of.
you're content to spend the equivalent of the average
national wage on a top, jeans and trainers for just
one of your kid's. It's easy to let your kid's spend
your money on Westlife CD's even though you know that
your putting money into the pockets of those who sold
their birth write to sell records by endorsing little
red paper flowers to remember with "pride"
the fallen of an army that levelled large parts of
their home town (in living memory) and who tied one
of the greatest labor leaders of all time to a chair
and shot him. Like I said before it's easy.
I was young the brother of comrade Patsy O' Hara then
on hunger strike once told me an undeniable truth
during a conversation. He said "Just because
you have a bit of carpet and a colour TV in your living
room it doesn't mean that you're not being oppressed".
have changed of course, wooden floors, PC's, FST's
and DVD's now festoon our living rooms but in essence
we are more oppressed than ever and in our unwillingness
as a society to grasp this nettle we oppress others.
Who made your shirt? How much were they paid? How
much did you pay? What was the profits margin? These
are questions every one should be asking but only
a few socialists are.
extrapolate that to include the world and Irish questions,
The Ronald Regan New World Order exploits of Tony
and Bush jnr have reduced the world to a war zone
in waiting. The hypocrisy used as a justification
to get us to this point are as frightening as the
situation it's self. It seems to work something like
this. First Britain and the US sell you what they
call WMD; you go off and use it for its intended use.
Then, the UK and US invade your land and thieve your
oil because you used the weapons they sold you. That's
nice work if you can get it. It's true; it's cool
to be Tony and Doublya. No one, not even the UN can
stand against you. With the media moguls in your pocket
(or is that you in their pay) you can say what you
want and their hirelings will sanitise it and dumb
it down or sex it up for a population devoid of the
ability or will to question the obvious reality gaps.
Ireland the same tactics are employed, no one questions
the government and Pro Good Friday parties. No one
seems able or willing to look beyond the hype coming
from these groups they can't get passed worrying where
the next pair of Reebok is coming from and that is
the only thing that is keeping the GFA alive.
mean come on, what is it for? Who does it serve and
just why in the name of god are the American novo
imperialists involved? I don't even pretend to know
the answers to these questions but I do know this.
It is not for the working class in Ireland North or
South Prod or Taig. It is not the instrument of reunification
it has been touted as. It has, copper fastened partition,
enshrined in law sectarianism to a point never dreamed
of by Carson and Craigavon at the formation of the
Orange State. It has deprived the indigenous (and
I do not use that word out of context) population
of the North of what little cover offered by Articles
II/III of the Republic's constitution. It serves no
one other that the artificially planted Ascendancy
and their artificial state. The reality gap on the
loyalist side is very glaring in Ireland they can't
decide what to worry more about their Britishness
or the next pair of Nike's.
English, as the Scot's and Irish know well have a
decidedly funny take on democracy. First they invade
you, killing as many as they can at the start to terrorise
the others. Then they splash a bit of money about,
buy who they can, kill or forcibly evict those they
can't. Move their own people on to the land then call
an election, blacken all those who stand against them
terrorists and enemies of democracy. Sound familiar?
Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Afghanistan, Iraq and wherever
next. It's the English way, the American way, the
Old Colonial and Novo Imperialist way. The beauty
today is the same as it always been, because you own
the media or it owns you, you get to regurgitate all
the old lines and spoon feed them to the people in
the sure belief that 90% will swallow it whole. Why,
again I ask why? And this time I'm not talking about
society I'm talking about us.
we are the other 10%, and we are shared, marginalised,
compartmentalised and demonised. All by our own hand.
Sectarianism, elitism and sheer inability to work
with other groups and groupings within the left has
handed victory to the enemies of the working class
time and again.
times like this I always remember my first encounter
with the SWP some 20 years ago at Speakers Corner.
It was a Bloody Sunday March that was just forming
up to move off to Kilburn High Road. Back in those
days the march went to Kilburn and the call was Troops
Out and Self Determination for the Irish people. I
miss the old days, but anyway. The NF attacked the
march as it was forming up and comrades from Red Action
and the Socialist Federation ran out to defend the
crowd. It was then that the SWP chose to "slog
anise" "hold the line" they said "chant
slogans they shouted as 200 fascists advanced and
two female comrades were beaten to a pulp in front
of them. I left that day with a bitter, bitter hatred
of all those on the left who stood on the sidelines
and sloganeering and recruiting while a few comrades
fought every one's fight just yards away.
to the eve of the first Gulf War and a meeting in
Conway Mill in Belfast. Eamon Mc Cann, the SWP's Ireland
guru is holding forth on how socialists should be
supporting Sadam in the coming war. Come on Eamon,
the guy gassed the Kurds who were involved at that
time and still are involved in a legitimate liberation
struggle of their own.
the last few years the leadership of the Irish Republican
Socialist Movement has sat down and talked to governments
who have ordered the deaths, imprisonment, torture
of it's membership and exclusion of the IRSM over
the last three decades. I've sat down with loyalists,
unionist politicians and Presbyterian clergymen and
all in an effort to move the Peace Process on beyond
the GFA. In all that time only one group, no not the
loyalists that the INLA hit harder than any other
Group during the late war. Not the Governments the
IRSM had sought to over throw. It wasn't even the
Unionists; of all people it was the Socialist Environmental
Alliance! Colin Brice, an SWP stalwart stood up at
a recent meeting of this group an announced to the
world "while the INLA is in existence we will
not work with the IRSP". Now, I don't know who
ate the cream off this comrades bun when he was a
kid but for a man who claims to be a revolutionary
to stand up and make a statement like that it must
have been bad. The GFA is up the creek, the air is
not fit to breath, people are going to be charged
for water and oh yes, there's a world war starting.
So, what do people like this do? They get all chauvinistic
about who they are going to talk too. Echoes of Spain
during the Civil War or what?
like that comrades, they make me weep! That's the
SWP for you again. Let's face it comrades I don't
like these guy's I find them elitist arrogant hurs
who systematically target, acquire and then proceed
to burn out the brightest most promising socialists
of each generation for no perceivable gain. Don't
get me wrong comrades their great folks if you want
to get your placards seen in the media but I've never
met one in the house of someone who's just been "Pipe
Bombed". I've never seen them with their placards
when loyalist mobs are carrying out pogroms in N.
Belfast. Most of them are nice people personally but
I'm glad-when I sleep over in N. Belfast-that it's
Connolly's son's and daughter's who hold the line
I see the need to work with them, and god love me
I probably will have too one day I'm using them as
an analogy because of personal experience but the
process of political exclusion of other left comrades
they embody is transferable to us all at times.
tell you this comrade's, we are it, we are the 10%
there is No One Else. The Excrement is on the blades
of the air conditioner and we have one hand of cards
to play and we must play them between us. Regan's
New World Order as interpreted by Doublya and Tony
is coming and it is brining with it a war that's casualty
figures will dwarf those of the American Civil and
World Wars I and II combined. Global Capitalism is
marching to war and it's dragging us and the entire
working class with it.
have no Connolly we have no Mc Lean. We comrades are
it. And we had better be up to the task. Sectarianism
within the left is worth A million paid informers
to those who benefit from our disunity. It is their
way of controlling and nullifying us. It is time for
us to put away childish notions, pick up our collective
cross and walk on. Get in there tomorrow comrades
and push your motion but do not be despondent if it
fails by the hand of the slackers. Their small minds
will count it a victory but they'll know full soon
that their fence is on fire and that watery lefty
politics can't cut it any more when Iraq is in flames
as it will be with more and more young Scot's being
sent to fight Tony's folly. Hate them for their actions
despise them for their ineptitude but never, ever
turn your backs on them. Let us go from here with
unity in our minds and strive to build that unity
before it's too late.
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