Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Splitters! Ireland, the SWP and ...PCS?

Whilst most eyes have been looking to mainland Europe for political developments, the British press has all but ignored the Irish political scene. Now like many people Irish politics is sometimes somewhat of a mystery to me but there are one group of candidates that are instantly recognisable....the Trots.

Given the closeness of the two countries and a common language its hardly surprising that the two main Trotskyist groupings are franchises of their "latger British cousins. It has to be said that the Socialist Party Ireland has somewhat of a more successful electoral presence than their Brit "parent" organisation.

In addition to the EU elections , Ireland also had local elections in which the SP ran candidates as part of the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) which proved much more successful than the TUSC run by the SP in the UK. According to the latest edition of The Socialist we are told that the AAA obtained 14 seats in Dublin, Limerick and Cork. Additionally they won an extra member of the Dial. So far so good for such a small organisation.

However the comrades did face one setback, that of the unseating of Paul Murphy the Socialist Party MEP. In a rather bitter tirade comrade Taffe has no doubt of who is responsible:

Unfortunately, Paul Murphy was not re-elected as a member of the European Parliament, despite nearly 30,000 first preference votes. One of the factors leading to his defeat was the shameful decision of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in Ireland to stand against Paul, a sitting MEP, which opened the way for another candidate to win the seat.

This does not bode well for comradely relations in the UK:

This spiteful and blatant example of sectarianism - putting your own short-term narrow interests before the cause of the left and the working class - has been passed over in complete silence by their counterparts internationally and especially in Britain, where the SWP is formally in an alliance in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) with the Socialist Party.

Oh dear, "putting narrow short term interests " before the "class". 

Can't have that can we?

Looking at the way that the SP behaves in the PCS, the words "Pots & Kettles" come to mind. Which continues to amaze as in the same issue, a certain Rob Williams (no, not the on actually in PCS, he got the boot) writes of the recent attempt get Unite to takeover the union:

The NEC motion to continue negotiations was defeated as was an openly anti-merger motion. However, a motion was passed which favoured continued negotiations but emphasised some bottom-line conditions PCS should put on a merger. The next issue of the Socialist will deal with this issue more fully.

Can't wait.

The arguments continue from time to time on the unions (closed) Face Book page. Such an article will be subject to forensic examination by a large number of PCS reps of that I'm sure. A typical view of the whole "merger/takeover" question was expressed quite neatly by the Independent Left who write:

Their analysis is that organised left grouping within Unite, the United Left is weak and they can take it over. As that grouping controls most of the Unite NEC they think they will take over the NEC. Once they have the NEC then they will break Unite from the Labour Party.

Of course this is the sort of machine politics that the SP has successfully practised in PCS (take over Left Unity, LU takes over the union etc). Therefore they believe that Unite will be just PCS writ large.

Could that be the Socialist Party  "putting narrow sectarian interest before the working class"?

Nah, of course not.........

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