The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Anyone Up for a Serious Alternative?


Philip Ferguson • 28 February 2007

One of the positives of the Stormont election is that in a number of areas there are republican alternative candidates to the capitulationist politics of New Sinn Fein. A second positive is that the republican candidates are not running against each other and splitting the vote.

However, a large problem remains and that is the fact that there is no united platform to maximise the potential of an anti-imperialist vote. With all due respect, for instance, to Francie Mackey and the 32-County Sovereignty Movement (February 20 statement), more is required than simply the 32CSM calling on people to vote for the anti-capitulationist candidates. And the Republican Sinn Fein statement run on this site (February 18) did not even mention that there were candidates other than RSF ones.

Given the scale of the Provo sell-out, surely those organisations which say they continue to fight for a free Ireland have some obligation to the republican base to attempt to work together in order to further that aim. This does not mean merging organisationally or trying to unite around an entire programme. But a serious observer might think that anti-imperialist organisations could at least have been able to unite around a minimum programme for the Stormont elections and thereby maximise the impact that an electoral challenge could make. This would be in the interests of all anti-imperialists - the stronger and more coherent a base for anti-imperialism, the more water each anti-imperialist fish has to swim in.

Conversely, the inability of anti-imperialists to form some kind of combined broad electoral front, or any kind of general broad front, can only strengthen the position of the Brits, their traditional cat’s paw (the Unionists) and their new cat’s paw (the Provos). A messy maze of republican candidates may be better than no candidates, but it is not likely to be much of a match for the slick and well-financed Provo electoral machine. Nor is it likely to help overcome the key problems which face the traditional republican base in the north – confusion, exhaustion and demoralisation.

While the opportunity to pose a broad united anti-imperialist electoral alternative to New Sinn Fein and the traditional Stoop Down Low Party has been lost, there is still time to put together a principled electoral front for the 26-county general election. Because of the much smaller republican and left base in the south, this would be a much more modest effort than the squandered opportunity in the north, but it would at least be an infant step forward.

It could also be an opportunity to begin the task of working towards building a new, 32-county broad front of supporters of Irish national liberation and socialism.

Of course, the question now is: Is there an organisation or group of individuals prepared to take a lead along these lines?





































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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

6 March 2007

Other Articles From This Issue:

Irish Republican Ex-POWs Against the RUC/PSNI & MI5

Whispering Past the Graveyard
John Kennedy

RSF Campaign Reports
Tony McPhillips – Election Agent

Save Derry
Brian Mór

Support Peggy O Hara
Ex-POWs and Concerned Republicans Against RUC/PSNI & MI5

Only the Beginning
Mick Hall

St Bore's Day
Anthony McIntyre

SS Sinn Fein
John Kennedy

Election Guarantees Nothing
David Adams

Coulter's Pre-Election Report
Dr John Coulter

Others Promise...
Brian Mór

The Curse of the Caudillo Complex
Mick Hall

Rest, Do Not Surrender
Dolours Price

...We Deliver
Brian Mór

Super Six Dictator
Dr John Coulter

Anyone Up for a Serious Alternative?
Philip Ferguson

The View from Outside
Jerry Pepin

Boom to Bust?
Dr John Coulter

Tyre Trees
Anthony McIntyre

Cleanliness Not Next to Godliness in the Shankill
Marty Egan

Leadership Needed
Stephen Hughes

Where Does the State of the Union Leave the Rest of Us?
Richard O'Rawe

22 February 2007

Litter & Glass
Anthony McIntyre

Not Worth the Paper Its Written On
John Kennedy

Ballot Box Pressure
Mick Hall

Commission of Truth Needed, Says O Hara
Peggy O Hara

RSF Election News
Press Release

Help Sinn Feign
Brian Mór

British Policing Must Never Be Acceptable in Ireland
Francis Mackey

The Next Step
Dr John Coulter

Conclusions from the Ard Fheis
Brian Halpin

McAleese Should be Criticised
David Adams

The Best Woman to Succeed
Dr John Coulter

Fred A. Wilcox

The Critical History of (Irish pop) Noise
Seaghán Ó Murchú

No Clean Hands
Anthony McIntyre



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