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What happened to the ULA?


Concerned Irishman

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Feb 27, 2009
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With the Traditional Right having brought the country to a state of chasis, and the Labour Party discredited, one would have been forgiven for thinking that the space is wide open for a credible force on the Irish left. The success of Syriza shows how compelling these arguments can be during a time of widespread suffering, when the radical sectors of the Left co-operate, and for a time it looked the the ULA could provide this space. The SP and the SWP finally putting aside their petty squabbling for the greater cause, joined by the WUAG could have provided the basis of a "new mass workers party" that each of these groups constantly prattle on about an urgent need for...

So why didn't it happen? As things stand the ULA lies in flames - wracked with infighting, the SP and the WUAG having deserted it. At best, it will continue on as yet another front group for the SWP, who remain inside it. As per so often with the far-left, defeat was snatched from the jaws of a possible victory - it is conceivable that such a party could have given the Labour Party a run for its money in the next election.

The question is how it ended up at this point, with a country crying out for a legitimate left. What was the basis for the arguments that destroyed the ULA and why couldn't they be resolved? Surely it must have been more substancial than "We think Trotsky actually said X in 1918, splitter!" sort of stuff...
 

Catalpast

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Nov 17, 2012
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26,196
With the Traditional Right having brought the country to a state of chasis, and the Labour Party discredited, one would have been forgiven for thinking that the space is wide open for a credible force on the Irish left. The success of Syriza shows how compelling these arguments can be during a time of widespread suffering, when the radical sectors of the Left co-operate, and for a time it looked the the ULA could provide this space. The SP and the SWP finally putting aside their petty squabbling for the greater cause, joined by the WUAG could have provided the basis of a "new mass workers party" that each of these groups constantly prattle on about an urgent need for...

So why didn't it happen? As things stand the ULA lies in flames - wracked with infighting, the SP and the WUAG having deserted it. At best, it will continue on as yet another front group for the SWP, who remain inside it. As per so often with the far-left, defeat was snatched from the jaws of a possible victory - it is conceivable that such a party could have given the Labour Party a run for its money in the next election.

The question is how it ended up at this point, with a country crying out for a legitimate left. What was the basis for the arguments that destroyed the ULA and why couldn't they be resolved? Surely it must have been more substancial than "We think Trotsky actually said X in 1918, splitter!" sort of stuff...
None of these are actually Left wing Parties IMO

-in that the well being of the Irish Working Class are their Primary concern
 

Hitch 22

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Dec 26, 2011
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5,220
Socialists always get ahead of themselves when they win a few extra votes.

So they start a row about who gets the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Finance and what emblem will be on the headed notepaper, the design of the uniforms of the Praetorian Guard, their strategy for defeating the United States and their plans for first contact with the Romulans.
 

PlanetBertie

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Feb 7, 2011
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Would the Dublin lock-out have left a sour taste in the mouths of the working poor, that they are now middle of road and have no real interest in politics? Just a theory.
 

drummed

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Oct 22, 2010
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37,438
Would the Dublin lock-out have left a sour taste in the mouths of the working poor, that they are now middle of road and have no real interest in politics? Just a theory.
Dunno but anyone who votes for these comedians clearly has no interest in politics anyway.
 

Concerned Irishman

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Feb 27, 2009
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FFS the socialist party aren't even members !!!!
Indeed.

Did you actually read the OP hammer? It clearly states that the SP deserted the ULA, as did the WUAG.
 

Concerned Irishman

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There's your problem.
And yet I'm sure if the crux of the problem was the SWP, surely it would be they who would be made leave the fold and not everyone else? Also (and perhaps I'm showing my own ignorance here), while I'm sure they are not identicle, how different could the SP and the SWP truly be?
 

Spanner Island

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Feb 22, 2011
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With the Traditional Right having brought the country to a state of chasis, and the Labour Party discredited, one would have been forgiven for thinking that the space is wide open for a credible force on the Irish left. The success of Syriza shows how compelling these arguments can be during a time of widespread suffering, when the radical sectors of the Left co-operate, and for a time it looked the the ULA could provide this space. The SP and the SWP finally putting aside their petty squabbling for the greater cause, joined by the WUAG could have provided the basis of a "new mass workers party" that each of these groups constantly prattle on about an urgent need for...

So why didn't it happen? As things stand the ULA lies in flames - wracked with infighting, the SP and the WUAG having deserted it. At best, it will continue on as yet another front group for the SWP, who remain inside it. As per so often with the far-left, defeat was snatched from the jaws of a possible victory - it is conceivable that such a party could have given the Labour Party a run for its money in the next election.

The question is how it ended up at this point, with a country crying out for a legitimate left. What was the basis for the arguments that destroyed the ULA and why couldn't they be resolved? Surely it must have been more substancial than "We think Trotsky actually said X in 1918, splitter!" sort of stuff...
Simple arithmetic... as in none of those you've mentioned have come close to presenting a viable costed alternative with numbers that add up...

All of them are torn to shreds quickly when their 'numbers' are scrutinised....

Therefore while people are p!ssed off with austerity (and particularly with austerity 'Irish style') and doubtful that it will achieve anything... they're not thick enough to automatically embrace the bullsh!t of the 'left'...
 

Heligoland

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And yet I'm sure if the crux of the problem was the SWP, surely it would be they who would be made leave the fold and not everyone else?
This is what usually happens with front groups that involve the SWP. Everyone with any sense leaves after a while because they can't work with the cult like crazies, but the SWP stay on to wring the last bit of of publicity (and new members) out of it.

It's happened loads of times before.
 

Concerned Irishman

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Feb 27, 2009
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Simple arithmetic... as in none of those you've mentioned have come close to presenting a viable costed alternative with numbers that add up...

All of them are torn to shreds quickly when their 'numbers' are scrutinised....

Therefore while people are p!ssed off with austerity (and particularly with austerity 'Irish style') and doubtful that it will achieve anything... they're not thick enough to automatically embrace the bullsh!t of the 'left'...
A matter of opinion - Syriza is managing it quite handily under similar circumstances. Besides, it's not like these orgs wrapped up or anything, they just turned on each other and fragmented for no discernable reason - against their own electoral best interests (because they seem too petty and childish to be taken seriously now, if they ever were before - if the SP and the SWP can't even bury their sectarianism enough to make the ULA work, how are they supposed to help the people?) and against their own stated policies of building "a new mass workers party" (which one assumes the ULA could have been the embryonic form of). Instead of doing that, they broke the ULA - why in the name of god would they decide to do that is what I'm wondering
 

jcdf

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Sep 8, 2005
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Would the Dublin lock-out have left a sour taste in the mouths of the working poor, that they are now middle of road and have no real interest in politics? Just a theory.
Political apathy is certainly a big part of this. The Irish have changed a great deal in the past century, in the global scale of things they are amongst the wealthiest people on the planet. I am using real wealth indicators such as ease of access to material goods relative to others as opposed to numbers on banks' computers, something that many do not really care about too much. Many Irish regard themselves as above and apart from political affairs of the world at large. A sentiment shared probably by many others like the Italians. It will require a massive crisis to shake this apathy. Far beyond the economic one we have experienced.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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Oct 12, 2009
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Being of the left in Ireland has always been a complicated matter. There are numerous threads on the relationship of the left with republicanism, nationalism and the largely catholic population of the Republic of Ireland and their hierarchy.

In Ireland's 2& 1/2 party system the Left was largely represented by Labour with an occasional worthy Independent or small Party e.g the National Progressive Democrats.

Labour have held this "half a ruling party" position with varying degrees of success since the foundation of the state. it is only very recently they have completly imploded and are in my view due a drubbing more serious than most are prediciting in the next election . I forsee all their Ministers either not running again or losing their seats with the exception of JB.

The problem with the more left than Labour parties is that they have not come up with an economic policy that is credible. Tax the rich and put people back to work with a state infrastructural development programme is little more than a slogan if it is not fleshed out with fully costed and detailed supporting documentation and a detailed plan as to what is going to happen when the wealthy kick back.

The space shorty to be vacated by Labour will be filled by someone. SF I suppose.
 

Dame_Enda

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Dec 14, 2011
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Concerned Irishman said:
With the Traditional Right having brought the country to a state of chasis
We've never had one other than in the social-sphere. Since when has Benchmarking and the highest welfare rates in Europe (except maybe Portugal for child benefit) been "traditional Right"? The roots of the present crisis were sown in the 2002-7 govt where the PDs had next to no influence because FF could have governed without them and they had no economic ministries after 2004. Remember Bertie calling himself "one of three Socialists in Irish politics". :roll:

The ULA seems to have come apart because of divisions over Mick Wallace being in it.
 

cricket

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Nov 7, 2009
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Genuine question : why have we heard so little of Joe Higgins in the last few months ? Time was when he rivalled Mary O'Rourke for popping up in so many media outlets. In fairness, I at least listen to him, switch Mammy off as soon as I hear the first sound of her whine.
 

Mr Aphorisms

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Concerned Irishman, can I ask what makes them, in your opinion, 'far left'?

As regards to the OP, I think the debacle with Mick Wallace summed up the ULA. They've no policies, leadership, organisation, etc, etc. A lot of working class people I've spoken to all despise their dress sense, seeing it as stupid and not at all what a politician should be at. May be trivial, but it's how a lot of people see them and most working class people don't follow policies of political parties or politics themselves.

If a strong left wing party is to come about, it is going to have to destroy the legacy of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Even when the former destroys itself, it somehow manages to rebuild and come back. This is the main reason for the lack of a strong left in Ireland, the history of Ireland will just never allow a strong left wing party to come seriously close to power.
 
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