SP announces death of the ULA?


Amazing article really – it was the fault of everybody else – we did nothing wrong!

But it does capture a lot of the reality of where the ULA is at right now. Unable to operate as even a coherent electoral bloc and the two main components, the SP & SWP, having voted with their feet for some time now in terms of their real priorities.

Given this reality of recent months it is hard to imagine what the SP’s statement that “we will be diminishing our participation in the ULA” could possibly mean. I guess we get an idea from their refusal to send any representatives to the last ULA national steering committee meeting and proposing the date of a major rally for the CAHWT on 12 Jan – the same day set aside some time ago for a major discussion on the future of the ULA by the steering committee. It would seem the SP have completely pre-empted that discussion by effectively saying there is no future of the ULA as far as they are concerned, except perhaps as a badge of convenience in the Dáil though once the bourgeois media gets through with this statement that would seem rather moot as well.

So on to some of the detail in the article.

While the SP make a correct argument in my opinion in regard to the abortion issue and the danger of an excessive narrowing of focus onto maximising the framework of X-Case legislation (primarily being pushed by the SWP) it is a bit rich for the SP to be claiming they have some kind of consistent principled position on this crucial question of women’s rights.

Despite claiming to be pro-choice the SP, just like the SWP, is loath to argue to publicly for this position and always have a close eye on the opinion polls for what they should be arguing for on this electorally sensitive issue. So in the last election abortion rights didn’t merit a mention in their 8-point election manifesto – http://www.socialistparty.net/component/content/article/63-elections/608-socialist-party-election-manifesto

Even as recently as October 2011 abortion rights wasn’t even deemed important enough to make the cut for issues covered in Ruth Coppinger’s by-election manifesto – http://www.socialistparty.net/component/content/article/63-elections/804-socialist-party-by-election-manifesto

And now we see them fighting with the SWP to see who is the least opportunistic in not putting the basic socialist position of women’s right to choose at the forefront of their intervention – and well done for being better than the SWP in that regard but that is hardly a major feat.

It also shows enormous hutzpah for the SP to claim the moral high ground of defenders of democratic rights when it is they who have been the most trenchant defenders of the openly undemocratic “right of veto” by the component groups that stands at the heart of the ULA’s organisational model.

It is only my opinion but the SP presenting the issue of Clare Daly’s relationship with Mick Wallace as some king of principled stand on their part just doesn’t wash with me – even though their argument is formally correct. I have seen how they have argued this and it has had all the hallmarks of using a political argument for immediate short-term gain in sealing of their membership against following Clare.

The reason the SP motion at the branch council did not get support from the non-aligned, like myself, was that people saw it as a mean-spirited attack aimed at driving Clare out of the ULA rather than being anything about the principled issue of opposing political links with bourgeois populists.

The SP correctly take the SWP to task over their softness towards the trade union bureaucracy in organising the 24 November demonstration in Dublin but it is interesting that they fail to mention their own sectarian stunt of proposing that the CAHWT have its won separate demonstration on the day.

The article is also interesting in that it completely omits any reference to the issue of registration of the name “ULA” for electoral purposes. Perhaps that is because it is the SP who have used their veto to bloc this fairly straight-forward proposal. I guess that would stand somewhat at odds with their claim to have been the real ones who are in favour of moving the ULA forward on a “principled basis”.


1 Response to “SP announces death of the ULA?”

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