new swp article on the ula

The United Left Alliance: Build it Big and Broad

A few things jump out at me:

“Marx defined sectarianism as follows: ‘The sect sees the justification for its existence and its point of honour not in what it has in common with the class movement but in the particular shibboleth which distinguishes it from the movement.’

“A sectarian organisation sees itself as the repository of political wisdom, embodied in its ‘programme’ and ability to infallibly read ‘the objective conditions. Instead of being in a dialogue with the working class, it sees itself as the teacher.”

So to have a programme which you present to the working class and use as the basis for leading the wider working class in struggle is to be a sectarian? One can only wonder how those inveterate “sectarians” Lenin, Trotsky and the rest of the Bolsheviks ever managed to make a revolution…

But then that isn’t the point of the ULA – why would anyone be interested in the socialist transformation of society anyway:

“But the ULA itself is not founded as an explicitly revolutionary party and is rather a site whereby broader forces of the Irish left can re-constitute themselves as a plural formation.”


“Most immediately, it should mean a clear attempt to open the ULA to left independent TDs who have worked with us in the anti-household charges campaign. We should seek to build a joint campaign with them on the Fiscal Treaty and, through that, lay the basis for a bigger and broader organisation of the left.”


“The style and tone of the ULA needs to be geared to building the broadest organisation – that positions itself to the left of Sinn Fein.”

So the SWP don’t even pretend that the aim is any version of socialism but just a “broad” party a bit to the left of Sinn Fein.


1 Response to “new swp article on the ula”

  1. 1 Mark P
    May 1, 2012 at 14:50

    In terms of the ULA they are its right wing, wanting to keep it as politically soft as possible. This was apparent at last year’s conference when they were opposed to the use of the world socialism, although then they were (rather dishonestly) presenting this as a mere linguistic change. They are a bit clearer in this leaflet.

    Their scheme is a little more sophisticated than you are giving them credit for in your last line however. They want the ULA to be as broad and loose and amorphous as possible – but they don’t want that for their own organisation.

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