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Socialist Democracy Bulletin - June 2016

Contents

North and South: Failed governments, failed politics
Following elections both sides of the border two new administrations are in place in Ireland. In both elections there were
strong expressions of diiscontent, with significant votes for left and independent candidates.  In both administrations the 
outcome was the continuation of business as usual, with a minority Fine Gael government in Dublin and a reduced 
DUP/Sinn Fein coalition in Belfast. However both administrations have been significantly weakened.  (read more)

Irish general election: A battered austerity regime returns to power
On Friday 6th May Enda Kenny was appointed Taoiseach and the government of the 32nd Irish Dail established. Kenny and 
his Fine Gael party had been roundly trounced in the polls and his Labour party coalition partners decimated. Now, after 70 
days of horse-trading, he had been returned to power. The austerity programme of Irish capital, enforced on behalf of the 
Troika, although slightly dented, remains in place.  (read more)

The Irish left opposition: reformist strategy hits the buffers
We have ten socialist TDs, six in an alliance. The issue of water charges has been pushed into the long grass. Positions in 
the Dail were to act as a platform for socialist policies and for broader mobilizations, yet the socialist groups co-operated with 
left union bosses in shutting down the Right2Water mobilizations in favour of a movement of electoral lobbying around the 
rebranded Right2Change. (read more)

Assembly election: stability proves elusive in the North of Ireland
The May 2016 Stormont elections in the North of Ireland passed in silence, with the main issue persuading people to vote. 
The reason for the apathy was that voting makes very little difference. There is only one possible administration and the 
programme for government had been agreed in advance and accepted by both the political parties and civic society.  (read more)

People Before Profit: less than meets the eye
The election of two Socialist Workers Party/People Before Profit candidates at the end of a lacklustre election campaign in 
the North of Ireland was like a lightning flash, providing excitement and colour.  The results was generally welcomed by political 
commentators as showing that the Irish peace process had come of age and that the Stormont assembly had matured to the 
point where it could accommodate a socialist presence.   (read more)

Nuit Debout: a new chapter in European workers struggles
It was not so long ago that the hopes of many socialists were pinned on the struggle in Greece. In the Syriza experiment it 
was believed that a left reformist government, in control of the state apparatus and with the electoral support of the working 
class, could face down the European powers and the global financial institutions.  (read more)

Abortion laws in the north: politicians, prosecutors and the punishment of women
At the end of March the US presidential contender Donald Trump provoked widespread outrage for his comment that - if the 
procedure were outlawed by the Supreme Court- there should be “some form of punishment” for women who undergo an abortion.   
This comment, which was just the latest in a series of ant-women statements by Trump, was rightly condemned. (read more) 

Irish Banking Inquiry – yet another coat of whitewash
The establishment of inquiries and tribunals in response to the scandals and abuses that erupt regularly in public life in Ireland has 
a very long tradition.   They usually take the format of long drawn out proceedings followed by the publication of a report.  Though 
such inquires have covered a range of issues - from clerical sexual abuse to political corruption – they all end the same way.  The 
fundamental issues are never addressed and no institution or individual is held to account.  (read more)

A new administration in the North of Ireland
At one level the establishment of a new administration in the North of Ireland can be presented as a sign of strength. In the face 
of three parties crossing over to opposition the Democratic Unionist party and Sinn Fein have acted decisively, appointing an 
independent unionist as Justice Minister and compensating Sinn Fein for blocking this key post by awarding them key posts 
in finance and health.   (read more)



 

Next edition - August 2016

 

The Need To Learn History - 04/07/16

Observations on the Left and the Northern Assembly election - June 2016

Socialist Democracy Statement on the Brexit vote - 29/06/16

Brexit: The Hangover - 27/06/16

Loughinisland massacre report - 16/07/16

The Tallyman and the SWP’s election strategy in the North - 12/06/16

Colombia: The Language of Peace - 01/05/16

Fresh Start : A regime of crushing austerity - May 2016

May Day 2016 in Belfast - 02/05/16

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