The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

The Need for an Anti-Imperialist United Front


Philip Ferguson • 7 February 2007

In a November 23, 2006 article entitled, Not Too Late for a United Front, Mick Hall noted "There is little doubt that former members of the Provisional Republican Movement now make up one of the largest political factions within northern nationalism".

As well as all the people who have left as individuals over the past decade, there is Republican Sinn Fein, the 32-County Sovereignty Movement, the IRSM, Socialist Democracy and independent socialist-republicans such as Bernadette McAliskey and the people grouped around The Blanket and Fourthwrite. Outside Ireland there are also friends of Irish freedom who have been discarded by, or had already seen through, the Adams cabal atop New Sinn Fein.

Indeed, the number of what could be described as genuine anti-imperialists is quite impressive and significant. Mick Hall also rightly noted, however, "their inability to come together to combat their nemesis, even in a small way, has all but left the playing field clear for the opportunistic politics of Gerry Adams' SF."

Indeed, I think it could be argued that the divisions amongst the anti-imperialist opponents of Adams' Surrenderist politics are the biggest single thing that New Sinn Fein has going for it. These divisions can only reinforce moods of demoralisation among the sections of the republican base that disagree with, or at least have serious doubts about, the course of New Sinn Fein.

What is urgently needed is open, comradely discussions among the anti-imperialist forces with the aim of forming some kind of united front. No-one need abandon their particular views and there could be full freedom of action and expression for each group within such a united front.

One of the first challenges of such a united front could be to pose an alternative to the Surrenderistas of New Sinn Fein in the next Stormont elections. I cannot see why it should not be possible to put together an impressive abstentionist argument, political platform and candidates posing a convincing critique of New Sinn Fein on every level - its policies on the national question and on social and economic issues. Although Mick Hall favours taking seats in Stormont, most of the forces which could be united for an anti-imperialist platform should have little trouble agreeing to run on an abstentionist basis.

Within a basic set of points which everyone in the united front could agree upon, each current would be free to raise their own specific analysis.

The way to form such a united front would be for representatives of the anti-imperialist organisations to begin meeting and discussing working towards establishing such a front, agreeing a basic, minimum platform which was consistent with everyone's principles and then organising an open conference with the aim of attracting as many people as possible. The draft platform could be circulated and discussed publicly before the conference and presented for endorsement, along with any additions or amendments which groups or individuals attending the conference wished to put forward.

The conference as a whole could also either select candidates for the Stormont elections or the participating groups could agree to a slate, with each group selecting its own candidates, and additional places on the slate being left open for nominations from the floor at the conference.

Elections in the South are due around mid-2007. Discussions between the components of the anti-imperialist left could also take place about an approach to these elections, although agreement might be much more difficult as some groups have an abstentionist principle in relation to Leinster House and others don't. If agreement could not be reached on the anti-imperialist left regarding a platform for Leinster House, then each group would have to 'do its own thing'. However, that is no reason why collaboration should or could not be fruitfully pursued in relation to the northern elections and at least discussions take place about possibilities for collaboration in the 26 counties and avoiding anti-imperialist groups running against each other's candidates.

If it was not possible to put together a united campaign in the north around the Stormont elections then at least opponents of the New Sinn Fein betrayal should agree to divide up seats and ensure they don't run against each other and split the anti-imperialist vote. Such reckless political sectarianism is in no-one's interests apart from the Brits and their New Sinn Fein collaborators.


Philip Ferguson is Ex-Sinn Fein and a former organiser, Irish Anti-Extradition Committee (now resident in New Zealand)




























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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

13 February 2007

Other Articles From This Issue:

Compromise, Compromise, Compromise
Helen McClafferty

Martin Galvin

The Heart of Collusion
John Kennedy

Bad Tactics
Anthony McIntyre

The Clothes Make the Man
Mick Hall

Follow the Leader
John Kennedy

Dry Your Eyes
John Kennedy

The Foreman
Anthony McIntyre

Mc Cain and Northern Ireland
Fr. Sean Mc Manus

Rumours of Retirement
Dr John Coulter

Liam O Ruairc

If MI5 rules, What was the 30-year war all about?
John Kelly

PRUC Service
Brian Mór

Nationalists Divided Over Sinn Fein Support for British Policing
Paul Mallon

Remember the B Specials?
Dr John Coulter

The Boyne Harriers
Brian Mór

Coming Full Circle
Seaghán Ó Murchú

The Need for an Anti-Imperialist United Front
Philip Ferguson

28 January 2007

Done & Dusted
Anthony McIntyre

Once Again, The Big Transition
Dolours Price

Plastic Bullet
John Kennedy

Provos Embrace Total Collaboration with British Rule
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

British Policing is Not an Alternative
Francis Mackey

$F Hats
Brian Mór

Policing Problems
Tommy McKearney

SF Seeks to Curtail NI Policing
David Adams

Digging Up the Truth
John Kennedy

State Terrorism Par Excellence
Anthony McIntyre

Collusion: Dirty War Crime
Mick Hall

Repeating the Pattern of the Top Brass
Eamonn McCann

Collusion revelations: disturbing but not shocking
Brendan O'Neill

England's Legacy to Ireland: State Sponsored Terrorism
Richard Wallace

Application for Service in HMPRUC
Brian Mór

The Revolution is the People
Michéal MháDonnáin

Rates and PFI Payments
Ray McAreavey

Reviews of 'Century'
Roy Johnston

A Peacemaker at the Start and the Finish
David Adams



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