Some critical points on the ULA’s 2011 budget submission

The first point to note is about how this document was produced. It purports to be the position of the ULA and yet it has not been discussed at any branch meeting so the 1/3 of the membership who aren’t in either the Socialist Party or People before Profit have had no input into it at all. And it is highly doubtful that the rank-and-file membership of either organisation had much, if any, political input into the discussion around the contents of the budget submission.

What kind of “alliance” is it where these kind of major political statements are not discussed among the membership?

And then there is the political content. Even within the SP/SWP political framework of reformist socialism this document is very timid.

There is no call to increase the rate of corporation tax or to nationalise the assets of the multi-nationals who dominate the Irish economy. It seems the ULA’s alternative vision is one where Ireland will remain a safe haven for international capital to make super-profits – just so long as there is a “fairer” distribution of the income and wealth among the Irish themselves.

After the “Parade in Defiance” on Saturday 3 December (where the ULA presented as a barely visible part of the demonstration as compared to the SP & SWP who as usual had much higher visibility) I attended a Socialist Party public meeting in Cork on the recent events in Greece.

One of the leading members of the SP recounted an anecdote about a banner at #Occupy Wall Street which read “The System is Broken”. This had been objected to by a young lad who argued that this wasn’t right because it implied “The System” could be fixed and made to work in the interests of working people when instead this economic crisis is inherent to the system of capitalism. He argued for an alternative of “This Is the System” and apparently won the argument and the banner was changed. This was presented at the meeting as a very positive thing and something that coincided with the political approach of the SP.

SP comrades would do well to have a read of the ULA 2011 budget submission in this light. Is it a document that gives the reader the impression that it is about fixing a broken system or does it give the impression that the system is rotten to its core and needs to be changed?

Now I know that SPers can somehow convince themselves that the reformist socialism their organisation continually presents to the working class is actually a version of Trotsky’s revolutionary perspective of the Transitional Programme but I challenge any of them to do the same for the wretched piece of reformism that is the ULA 2011 budget submission.


2 Responses to “Some critical points on the ULA’s 2011 budget submission”

  1. December 5, 2011 at 19:43

    Definitely did not hear any grassroots deliberation around a budget submission. Even for what it was, it was very messy and nearly illegible. Tomas O Flatharta blog represented it in a much better fashion. The angle it taken was to illustrate that “the establishment could choose a different path if they wanted to but choose not to”, yet that point was not even made.

    Have you heard that elections will finally take place roughly at the end of January?

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