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The opposition is indispensable.
A good statesman, like any other sensible human being,
always learns more from his opponents
than from his fervent supporters.
- Walter Lippmann

League Of Rogues

Tommy Gorman



Just what was the leadership of Sinn Fein thinking when they decided to have representation at the World Economic Forum in New York? Did they ever imagine that their presence could have any meaningful effect upon the attitudes of those present? At best they were naïve. At worst it was the final betrayal for those within the 'movement' who still harboured the hope that there was still a socialist agenda buried somewhere within Sinn Fein plans.

When Gerry Fitt put donned the ermine mantle as part of his 'elevation' to the House of Lords he was roundly criticised by those who, through the years, had voted for him believing his claim to be of the James Connolly tradition within the political spectrum.

In strictly British terms Fitt's supping with the high and mighty is nothing new. The benches of this 'other place' are creaking under the combined weight of the many former trade union activists and erstwhile labour radicals who cut their political teeth attempting to deconstruct the social system that tolerates abject poverty and celebrates massive wealth, privilege and decadence - a system that spawned the undemocratic body in which they now partake without even the hint of a red face.

The attendance by the President of Sinn Fein at the World Economic Forum in New York should worry even the most quiescent Sinn Fein member/voter. Gathered under the one roof over the same weekend were the lords and ladies of world capitalism, robber barons and assorted US sponsored dictators, military and civilian. Leaving aside natural disasters, floods earthquakes etc. those meeting in New York last week are responsible for the all suffering that the poor people of this world endure.

They assemble to discuss how to better manage or 'improve' the existing world order and that order determines that more wealth and resources remain in the hands of a few individuals than in the those of the billions of people at the bottom of the pecking order, entrapped and enslaved by poverty.

Famines in the poorer countries have more to do with the attitude of global capitalism than it has with drought. The only action taken to address this terrible situation usually revolves around Red Nose and other one-day fund-raisers. Foreign aid in reality amounts to collecting money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries. Nothing changes.

One wonders if during their couple of days in the belly of the beast did any of the Shinners sneak a peek through the curtains of their $2,000-a-night suite at the thousands protesting outside of the Waldorf Astoria against global capitalism. What were their thoughts at the time. Could they have reflected on the vain hope of James Connolly before he gave his all, that:

Ireland may yet set the torch to a European conflagration that will not burn out until the last throne and the last capitalist bond and debenture will be shrivelled on the funeral pyre of the last war lord.
Or maybe the quality of the pate de fois gras on that evening's menu was uppermost in their thoughts?



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