alternative would be to at least try to build a movement
that could build significant active support in the
South and win over at least some important segment
of the Protestant working class community in the North.
It is a strategy that might well fail. But at least
it would be a fight worth fighting."
there you have it.
should at least try to build a movement that could
build significant active support in the South and
win over at least some important segment of the Protestant
working class community in the North." Why didn't
we think of that.
wait, we did. That's what we were and are attempting
to do in the Republican Socialist Movement. And, while
I'm not intending to ask them, mind you, I imagine
the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party,
and the Workers Solidarity Movement, amongst others,
would all say that they have been trying to do that
we can probably dispense with these introductory comments
and move straight on to the advanced course. So, let's
see how Mr. Boyer suggests that we go about the task
of winning over 26 country workers and significant
portions of the six county Protestant working class
as well . . .
odd. That part of the discussion seems to have been
sarcasm isn't probably the most effective tactic which
could be offered in resolving this question either,
but it was genuinely earned in response to an article
that lured us in with the promise of explaining why
Britain remains in the six counties and then goes
on to lecture us on the obvious.
there any of us engaged in Irish socialist political
activism who do not have as their objective to win
to our banner a significant section of the six county's
Protestant workers, as well as a major segment of
the working class in the 26 counties? Has this not
been the objective of Irish socialist activists since
Connolly's time and well before? Is the advice given
actually advice that needed to be heard?
last question was intended to trick you, as its proper
answer is "no", while the preceding questions
called for a "yes". I just wanted to make
sure you weren't drifting off.
the point I feel compelled to make: Irish socialists
aren't idiots. Seemingly, that needs to be said. Because
for as long as I can remember, American, British and
European socialists have been inclined to provide--with
pedagogic demeanor and patronising tones--advice to
Irish socialists that does little to enlighten them,
but much to insult their intelligence. And it annoys
the fuck out of me.
chiefly annoys me, because after they finish telling
you how important it is to engage the 26 county working
class and Protestant workers in the six counties,
and you respond with information about the work your
party is undertaking towards those very goals, the
speakers soon after end the discussion. Never, not
once, have I had the experience of the party relating
such wisdom to me respond to the information provided
about the efforts of the IRSP by saying: "Really?
I don't know anything about your party, but if you're
already working towards these objectives, I'd like
to hear more, as it sounds like something I'd be very
further annoys me, because, when I've explained that
we already had that part of the equation figured out
and enquire into the strategy for accomplishing those
objectives, I have never had the speaker reply with
other than a strategy which either we or some other
organisation has already--unsuccessfully--tried, vague
platitudes that are about as novel as the advice on
26 county workers and 6 county Protestant workers,
or a brief lull of dead silence followed by a change
wouldn't necessarily be so annoying, and might even
be vaguely amusing, were it not for how common it
is for the individuals providing the advice to be
engaged in some way, shape, or form in support--at
least in a verbal sense--for some organisation devoid
of a class orientation in its political agenda, such
as the Provos, the Reals, or the Continuity. The annoyance
quotient is pressed into the stratosphere by the extreme
regularity with which such advice comes from the mouths
of those who rarely champion any of the socialist
organisations active in Ireland, but instead align
themselves with various reformist republican groupings,
or even backward-looking militarists. And, when these
individuals actually know something about Irish politics,
their comments on my own movement seem to be generally
limited to reiterations of the most virulent black
propaganda ever produced about the IRSP and INLA.
don't wish to be misunderstood to be describing Mr.
Boyer as one who has never provided support for the
IRSM. Certainly he often did so when he was in the
H-Block/Armagh Committees in North America, even if
that was two decades ago, and he did recently seek
information for a positive article about our movement
in relation to the defense of the communities of North
Belfast. And, I won't even mention how the years that
he wrote for Irish Northern Aid's periodical the Irish
People provided that organisation and Sinn Fein with
more of a Left posture than their policies actually
merited, because I don't want to appear bitter.
I am simply making the point that I am easily annoyed,
because I think people should know this. I realise
that this attribute of my personality can be easily
determined by anyone with just a passing acquaintance
with myself. I know that this tendency of mine is
well known by a great many people. But since so many
people seem to find value in stating the obvious,
I am only trying to give them what they want.
writer is a member of the Irish Republican Socialist
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