Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

“H-Block and Sectarian Civil War – Socialists Against Nationalism”- A Short Read from 1981

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Events have moved on since this pamphlet appeared. Many sections of the 1980’s Irish left, primarily from social-democratic and Stalinist streams, opposed the mass movement in favour of political status for prisoners of war locked up in the H-Blocks and Armagh Jail. People’s Democracy and Bernadette McAliskey, by contrast, advocated a polar opposite policy. https://irishelectionliterature.com/2016/06/06/make-h-block-the-issue-vincent-doherty-peoples-democracy-1981-general-election-dublin-north-central/

The long-term Socialists Against Nationalism (SAN) objective, deletion of Articles 2 and 3 from the Irish Constitution, was successfully achieved in a 1998 referendum on both sides of the Irish border. 21st Century Sinn Féin promotes power-sharing with the DUP. No legal end to the partition of Ireland is possible unless a majority of voters in the state called Northern Ireland vote for it. Now, as we enter the 2020’s, the partition of Ireland emerges again as a reactionary millstone crushing the neck of the Irish working class. Details tell us a lot : If we are to achieve an effective victory over a deadly virus, we need an effective all-Ireland Zero-CoVid policy – the Stormont Government is an obstacle. It was the same over abortion, when Westminster imposed a progressive policy while Stormont was suspended. The wheel of history is turning again. John Meehan January 26 2021

H-Block and Sectarian Civil War a 1981 pamphlet produced by The Socialists Against Nationalism group. H-Block and Sectarian Civil WarDownload

H-Block and Sectarian Civil War – Socialists Against Nationalism

The main player in SAN was the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP), represented in Dáil Éireann by Limerick East TD Jim Kemmy, who first won a seat in the June 1981 General Election. Some years later the DSP joined the Labour Party. https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2007/10/04/jim-kemmy-and-the-democratic-socialist-party/

In the same vein, and following the same logic, the Democratic Left party led by Proinsias de Rossa TD joined the Labour Party in 1999 https://seamusdubhghaill.com/2021/01/24/democratic-left-merges-with-the-labour-party/

An alternative policy

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