There was no glorious period of Labour Party socialism, and never will be. It is a bosses' party which at times of crisis is every bit as willing to attack the working class as the Tories. Some of the left in the Labour Party, unable to avoid it's rotten record, will put their hope in some future Labour government led by the 'left'. Their hopes are as futile as those who see a majority Labour government led by socialists bringing in socialism in Ireland.
The strike wave that rocked France in the closing month of 1995 is yet another example of the great fighting spirit of the French working class. Yet when we look at the causes of the strike and the relative weakness of French workplace organisation the question that emerges is 'if they can do it, why can't we'?
Sundays (Sept 22nd 2002) Reclaim the Streets was a great success. Over 1,000 people took part in the four-hour party. Despite attempts by the Gardai to whip up a panic because the organisers refused to meet with them in advance of the party the day was trouble free and very good humoured.
Today for the first time since 1918 the population of Ireland, north and south are going to the polls. The questions are somewhat different in the two jurisdictions but they amount to the same thing, acceptance or rejection of the Stormont 'peace' deal.
The results of the 2001 Life and Times survey in the north of Ireland confirm that sectarian attitudes are spreading and deepening. In 1998 we warned that
"the structures proposed in the [Good Friday] agreement actually institutionalise sectarian divisions. Politicians elected to the proposed Assembly must declare themselves either 'unionist' or 'nationalist' - those who refuse will not have their votes counted in measuring the cross community support necessary for passing legislation. We are supposed to line up behind Catholic/Green or Protestant/Orange banners and seek the best deal for 'our community'. The concept of working class interests is not even considered".
Monday 23rd July 2001 saw two separate demonstrations take place outside the Italian embassy on Northumberland Road. Both had been called to protest the savage repression of the anti - G8 Protests in Genoa.
May Day (2001) saw a very successful and well attended demonstration that forced the Dublin Stock Exchange to shut early. Some 300 protesters joined a demonstration called by Globalise Resistance which blocked the street outside the exchange.
This was a talk I prepared for a WSM public meeting in 1994 based on an analysis of the early information coming from Chiapas. The talk was given in June, some five months after the start of the rising but despite that early date it touches on the essential themes that I return to again and again over the subsequent years in the dozen or so articles I was to write on the topic.
The lack of serious discussion of the Zapatistas by the revolutionary left is surprising. There exists a certain amount of (mostly) uncritical reporting by individuals and a few essays aimed at putting the rebellion in a broader context. But the 'official left' either remains silent, or worse, produces ham fisted and lazy critiques that merely compare the rebellion to Cuba and Ché Guevara and say 'they failed, so will the Zapatistas'.
BETWEEN 1986 AND 1999 Bill Gates, the richest man on earth, earned over 14 million dollars a day from the increasing value of his Microsoft shares alone. Yet over one billion people on this planet live on less than one dollar a day. Some put Gates' wealth down to hard work, but the reality is that some of these low earners are working far longer hours.