The real difference is not between Catholic & Protestant but between rich and poor

THERE IS LITTLE hope of a new IRA ceasefire, the loyalist death squads may restart a full campaign of assassinations and terror. We may be heading back to a situation of bloody murders every other day. After the British government's carry on during the 'peace process', after Drumcree, after the bombs, after Harryville there is a pessimistic mood throughout the six counties. So where do we go from here?

IRA bombings and shootings are a thorn in the side of the ruling class, an unpleasant pain but nothing likely to prove fatal. Neither side can win a military victory. There is no way that a small guerrilla army can defeat the combined might of the RUC, RIR and British Army. The last 27 years are living proof. [French translation of this article]

Republicans see the working class only as victims of the system and not as people with the potential power to overthrow it. The bravery or diplomacy of the few becomes a substitute for mass action. The IRA campaign and the manoeuvres of a few politicians become central.

Some republicans seem to be genuinely surprised that the 'peace process' collapsed. How can anything be expected from the British state which was responsible for Bloody Sunday, for smashing the miners strike, for running down the NHS?

How can anything be expected from the Dublin government which wants workers to take a pay increase of just 1% over inflation for the next three years while the economy is delivering huge profits, which wants to cut the pay of junior nurses, which wants to give the bishops the right to sack teachers who don't attend church?

Yet we are expected to line up with our bosses and rulers in Orange and Green blocs. And what does all this mean for us? Working class people are drawn into alliances with bosses who won't even pay a living wage, with clerics who preach superiority and bigotry.

Taking up issues that effect us because we are working class does not mean that we can ignore partition, sectarianism and occupation by the British Army. But why should we fight for a united capitalist Ireland, either as a 'step in the right direction' or as an end in itself. Joining the six to the twenty six counties offers nothing to working class people in either state. It certainly won't hold any attraction for working class Protestants, and it won't deliver any great future to working class Catholics either!

We have no interest in re-dividing poverty on a more 'equitable' basis. The only Ireland worth fighting for one where every working class person stands to gain. Do we unite with all sorts of nationalist bosses and gombeens to "free Ireland"; or do we unite with our fellow workers - against Orange and Green divisions - to fight for the sort of Ireland we want to live in and our children to grow up in? We see in the common struggle for an anarchist Ireland the solution to partition, the destruction of exploitation and the withering away of sectarian hatred.

From Workers Solidarity 50 1997 this article was translated into French

  


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