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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

The Litmus Test of Republicanism

Republican: n 1 of or supporting a republic
n 2 a person who supports or advocates a republic, usually in opposition to a monarchy

Republic: n 1 a form of government in which the people or their elected representatives possess the supreme power
n 2 a country in which the head of state is an elected or nominated president [Latin "respublica", literally: the public thing]
adj 3 a democratically elected country, free from monarchy and the rule of a monarch


Charlie Clarke, Irish Republican Socialist Party • 27 October 2006

The invasion of Ireland by the British some eight hundred years ago has been the catalyst behind insurrection after insurrection to remove the British colonial forces from these shores. The Irish natives were subject to an imposed British monarchy, having to forfeit their freedom and sovereignty in the face of defeat and that has been the way ever since. So, with failed attempt after failed attempt, using the French, Americans, Germans etc. as allies in their aid we find ourselves in modern times.

The 1916 uprising was probably the most poignant of insurrections in recent years seeing the British answer to the Irish problem - bombardment with heavy artillery. The leaders of the uprising, Pearse, Connolly, Clarke etc. were killed by British firing squad days after their surrender at Killmainham gaol in Dublin. A few years later, circa 1920-21 we witnessed the split in the Republican movement with the Republican left refusing to recognise the 26 county proposed settlement of the British, and the Republican right accepting the terms of the British monarch and becoming Free Staters. Republicanism was traded in return for constitutional nationalism.

Today we find ourselves in the mirrored position of the Republican left of 1921. The right have yet again sided with the investor, property and prosperity. They have been wined and dined by the bureaucracy of the world forgetting that they once stood in tandem with the respectable working class of Ireland. All connections with the proletariat have been severed as they have accepted the embrace of the Celtic Tiger.

Aran jumpers and tweed jackets have been replaced by the Armani suit. The heavily fortressed incident centres of the seventies and eighties have been steadily replaced with multi-million pound buildings, fully equipped with the state of the art, cutting edge technology. The hand-painted signs have been replaced with impressive digital imagery canvassed high outside the prospective buildings, a sure indication of prosperity and wealth.

So where does that leave us now. With the forthcoming Water Rates in April 2007, the GFA stalemate at Stormont, the outing of British agents burrowed and strategically placed within the P$F and PIRA, and the pending situation of the PSNI being accepted and endorsed by Provisional $inn Fein the working class Republican surely feels more and more isolated and hard done by as the politicians get concession after concession, carefully gift wrapped in their fat cat salaries from the British. Prosperity has sided with the Republican right at the detriment of the class that voted them there, with the resounding chants of "et tu Brute" masking the cold steel that has repeatedly stabbed them in the back.

Let's look at the issue of the British agents within the PRM. Hand picked aids of the PSF pro-agreement leadership have seemingly been positioned there since the eighties, enabling the British to obtain complete control of the thinking and direction of the Party. Was the GFA that was hailed as the process to end the war that plagued this country for eight hundred years with cavalcades of scores of cars parading throughout the north a victory for Republicans, or was it the carefully choreographed deal of a British government intent on strengthening their hold on the occupied six counties of Ireland? The latter is certainly a plausible option to give careful consideration.

Another hardship for the proletariat is the pending water charges. This is in addition to the 37% of the current rate bill going to the water service for the water pumped into houses. The British government, have yet again opted to privatise natural resources for profit. So what does this all mean for the average working class family of north and west Belfast? Well, it's quite simple.

From April 2007 the population of the north of Ireland will be greeted with their first water rates bill totalling somewhere in the region of £350 - £500. Those who refuse to pay will eventually be fined and jailed. The British have now began to push this legislation forward through Parliament in what seemed as an unprecedented step to shaft the working class of the north. Is this the case, as they say that if it is left to Stormont it will never be implemented and the Devolved British government residing in Stormont castle will face a deficit of millions of pounds for their annual budget, or is this the real reason for the stalemate in the GFA?

All the politicians who endorsed and signed up to the GFA, those Members of the Legislative Authority of the British Empire in "Northern Ireland" have already accepted the water charges. They have already signed up to the implementation of these rates that charge for what in any third world country is classed as a human right. The problem is though that they will never be able to convince the working class that it is in their interests to impose yet another extortionate levy upon an already heavy laden class.

The DUP and P$F in particular have placed the British government under extreme pressure to impose these charges under Home Rule, knowing that this would be a fatal blow to any future electoral campaigns that will depend on the proletariat vote to sustain their majority position. This way, both parties will have the strengthened position of laying blame solely at the feet of the British, claiming, as we have already witnessed in recent days that if it were to be left to the discretion of the Stormont contingent then they would never impose this upon the working people of this island.

So, if this is to be considered as the real reason for the hold up in Stormont, then exactly what is the position on policing and the acceptance of the PSNI by P$F and as Republican Socialists what ramifications will any deal bear upon our movement and future contact with the PRM?

This is simple. I refer back to the definitions of both republican and republic. As republicans Sinn Fein should have no problem in refusing to accept the PSNI as a legitimate police service. They should quite easily recognise that in order for the people to receive a fully representational police service, one that is representational of the needs of the proletariat and not biased against them in favour of capitalist investment and the neo liberal agendas of any given country, then this must be established by the people, for the people and from within the parameters of a 32 county Socialist Workers Republic of Ireland. The fact that the British are trying to represent the working class of Ireland in the PSNI by establishing the Patten reports recommendations of 50/50 policing, 50% Catholic and 50% other falls far short of a representational police service. This is a lie.

On the other hand we have P$F asking the public what alternative is there to policing? They have highlighted the vacuum in policing, they have raised this in debate throughout the country and they are correct, in the absence of a fully representational police service of all the inhabitants of this island we are faced with a serious public order problem.

The people of Ireland need to be policed. They deserve a suitable and acceptable police force. It is their right as citizens of a democratically elected country. So, how is this resolved? Is there any legitimacy for Republicans of whatever tradition in the PSNI, with the full implementation of the Patten reports recommendations? The answer is a simple, resounding and blunt "NO".

We as republicans must be on our guard at all times. The capitalist will always try to deceive us. They will mask and cover up their true intentions and hope to bribe us by appealing to that nature of self that resides in every one of us. They will speak to us with honey coated words, use complex language in order to confuse us and parcel up their poison to make it look like sweet smelling fragrance. This is what is happening now. They have taken Republicans to the point of no return. Constitutional nationalists have masqueraded as republicans and are trying to dupe and confuse the grass roots with words of grandeur, assurances of the end dream of a 32 county Socialist Republic and blatant lies. They have chosen once again to favour the investor, the rich, and the capitalist.

Real republicans can recognise this betrayal of republican beliefs, for there is one test that cannot fail. Republicans are anti-monarchy. They desire the complete withdrawal of the British from our island, both economical and militarily. They demand the abolition of partition. Nothing else can compensate for these demands.

Stormont is a British settlement. It has copper fastened partition. It has strengthened the British claim to the north of Ireland. It has heightened sectarianism and split republicanism. It is nothing more than a devolved legislative authority of the British Empire. Republicans have bought into that with their involvement in the GFA. They are trying to sell this settlement as the ideal republican victory, as a road to the promised republic, and the PSNI as an acceptable police service. We must remember, the PSNI are, and will remain to be, the British Crown Forces and a permanent reminder of the occupation of our land.





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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

30 October 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Granny Josie
Anthony McIntyre

Guardians of Perjury
Martin Galvin

Writing on the Wall
John Kennedy

The Litmus Test of Republicanism
Charlie Clarke

Monkey Business
Anthony McIntyre

Northern Invasion
Dr John Coulter

Eamon McGuire: The Life of an Undercover IRA Activist
William Hughes

Deal Will Underline Delusions
David Adams

Blood in the Water
Dr John Coulter

Muslims = Terrorists
M. Shahid Alam

Nothing Could Be More Offensive!
Maryam Namazie

25 October 2006

From Up the Ra to Up the Rozzers
Anthony McIntyre

Just Say No
Martin Galvin

Whither Irish Republicanism
Mick Hall

The Three Stooges
John Kennedy

Jockeying For Position
Dr John Coulter

An Irish Agreement
Liam O Comain

Up the Garden Path
John Kennedy

A Gaelic Experiement
Nathan Dowds

Preventing Prejudice
Anthony McIntyre



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