Anne McShane writes on the debacle that is the ULA

I agree with the bulk of what Anne argues in this piece but I must correct her over her critique of my election statement.
Anne claims that my election statement “makes no argument for democracy, working class or otherwise”. She might well take the time to read it a bit more closely as I explicitly argued for “Big business (both Irish-based and the multinationals) must be expropriated and placed under democratic control of new working class organs of direct participatory democracy.”
She then goes on to argue in reference to me that “Contrary to what he argues, we should not be out to “salvage” the ULA – we need to transcend it.”
I am not proposing to salvage the ULA in-of-itself. What I actually argued was “The key task for the upcoming period should be trying to salvage what we can from the ULA for the project of building a new workers’ party” and I then go on to outline the general revolutionary framework I believe such a new party should have.
Anne is right to point out the need for discussion and debate but she would do better to engage with the actual content of those she is debating with.

2 Responses to “Anne McShane writes on the debacle that is the ULA”

  1. 1 ringacoltig
    October 25, 2012 at 20:08

    A few comments from an outsider looking in, if I may be allowed.

    It was always going to be a difficult task to create a new party out of two or more long established groupings who had a history of suspicion, competition and in some cases strong mutual dislike.

    As Anne McShane, in her article pointed out, the project was drawn up between the scenes as fait accomplait but not just to the members of the existing groupings and prospective new members, but also to other left forces who were later “invited” to join but very clearly as second class entities. For that reason it never broke out of the trotskyist family for want of a better term. The ULA’s main players, the SP and SWP / PBP came from that route and Seamus Healy had been there also at one stage. PBP itself is a mystery. What its role was in the ULA, as a separate body to the SWP, I can only imagine.

    It would seem that the ULA was an attempt to run before learning to walk. Maybe the real chalenge at this point in time is building left co-operation rather than a new party. If such huge suspicion exists that groups have rows over which speakers address a rally or on candidate slates, then it hardly augurs well for something beyond that.

    There is a place in the here and now for more left co-operation, not just between the groups that make up the ULA but between genuine left parties, groups and individuals – and I do not mean Labour or Sinn Féin.

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