04
Dec
12

Boyd Barrett makes the ULA’s reformism explicit

Richard Boyd Barrett was on Tonight with Vincent Browne last night defending the ULA pre-budget statement – http://www.tv3.ie/3player/show/41/56580/1/Tonight-with-Vincent-Browne

I think he made it pretty clear that the ULA pre-budget statement is about reforming capitalism to make it fairer for working people – a complete fantasy!

This is also exactly the same as how it is presented in the official launch video – http://www.independent.ie/video/video-irish-news/united-left-alliance-launch-of-budget-statement-3312642.html

The whole debate on the Vincent Browne show was about whether the ULA figures for how to reform capitalism were accurate and achievable or not.

I found the discussion about the multi-nationals particularly poor with RBB’s argument boiling down to – “don’t worry the multi-nationals won’t leave Ireland if we raise the tax rate by this little bit”.

I note that the LP speaker said he agreed in principle with a lot that is in the ULA statement but just doubted the details of the figures, even going so far as to say he hoped some of the general principles would be reflected in the actual budget tomorrow. I would hope that this might give any self-describing “revolutionary socialists” in the SP & SWP some reason to think about what their organisations are telling the working class if this rotten social democrat agrees with the principles of the statement.

Constantine Gordiev is an explicitly pro-capitalist economist and even he repeatedly made it clear that his disagreements with the ULA pre-budget statement were primarily about the details of the figures. He clearly saw it as no threat to the continuation of capitalism.

I challenge anyone to argue that this presentation of the ULA pre-budget statement was about trying to convince working people that we need to replace capitalism with a new socio-economic system.

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8 Responses to “Boyd Barrett makes the ULA’s reformism explicit”


  1. 1 littlemicky2012
    December 4, 2012 at 21:37

    One can only admire your persistence given how overtly reformist both the ‘revolutionary vanguard’ groups, that essentially control the politics of the ULA, are now. I am afraid we can expect little better from either now or in the future, they are too far down the reformist line to turn back. Individuals however might see how utterly destructive of the interests of socialism this reformist path is and that I suppose is the reason for your persistence.

    • December 4, 2012 at 22:39

      That is pretty much it as regards the SP & SWP. There are some members who consider themselves to be revolutionary and are serious enough about political programme to be open to having proper discussions that could potentially lead them to break with the leadership’s ingrained reformist impulses.

  2. 3 Mark P
    December 4, 2012 at 22:33

    I’m certainly not going to claim that “this presentation” was about trying to convince anybody of socialist ideas. In fact, I think that Boyd Barrett was very weak and very soft.

  3. 6 Vanessa
    December 5, 2012 at 13:35

    Simple criticism of you’re whole argument is that the ULA is not a revolutionary party. It was, in my mind, a space for revolutionaries to work with reformists that haven’t come to the conclusion that a new system is needed. So yeah, Rbb explained the ‘reformist’ Ula proposal because the Ula are trying to pull lp/sf supporters in so that we can have those discussions with reformists without hostility.

    • December 5, 2012 at 20:51

      Well whatever way you spin that it is still an argument that the job of revolutionary socialists is to spread reformist lies.

      Sorry I just can’t see any justification for that.

      The way revolutionaries get to talk to reformists is through united front campaign work where there is principled agreement on the aims of the campaign with the reformists and there is no need to lie to the working class.

    • December 5, 2012 at 21:42

      “Have those discussions with reformists” – but what discussion is that – a discussion about how radical a reformist programme to put forward? Sorry but I think the discussion to be having with reformists is about the need for an overthrow of capitalism if working people’s needs and wants are really to be met.


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