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Correspondence: Still no room on the internet Ė SD-ISN exchange

21 November 2006


Dear John,

Thank you for your mail.

We'd appreciate it if you could correct an inaccuracy in your statement. You gave readers the impression that Leftline included an article about Anton Pannekoek. In fact, as was clearly stated on our website, that article was written by our member Fintan Lane for the labour history journal Saothar and was not published in Leftline.

There are other inaccuracies in your communciation, but we'll allow any readers to puzzle out those. Frankly, we don't believe that a 'debate' or polemical exchange between the ISN and Socialist Democracy would justify the expenditure of energy and time that it would involve.

Best regards,

Paul Moloney

SD reply

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your letter.  We apologise for any implication that the Fintan Lane article was carried in Leftline.  We were of course referring to the article carried in full on your website but not in Leftline.  Please send any other inaccuracies and we will correct them immediately.

We mentioned the article to underline our basic argument that there is plenty of space on the internet for debate.  All that is needed is the political will.  You have now informed us in a very direct way that you donít have that will Ė neither the time nor the energy to discuss with us.

Thatís a pity. We made available time and energy to discuss with you not because we disagree and want to attack you, but because we thought that there was a common desire to advance a socialist revolution and fraternal discussion would help that.

There is one outstanding issue.  You havenít told us why.  You havenít said what elements of our political programme are so repugnant as to make discussion with us a waste of time.  It is not at all clear what policy underlies your pick and mix approach to other socialist groups and why you are anxious to ally with some but not others.

We are fairly thick-skinned.  You donít have to talk to us.  You do have a duty to your members, supporters and the workers you may ask to vote for you to explain your alliances and the political positions on which they are based. Ambiguity can carry you for a certain amount of time, but you canít indefinitely fudge the issues of revolution and reform.


John McAnulty


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