Socialist Democracy

A new Taoiseach: The Election No One Dare Justify


The anointing of Simon Harris as the new Taoiseach  was a decision taken by a deeply unpopular party and was not the result of the balance of forces resulting from a general election.  The south of Ireland has a parliamentary system, which means that it is parliament and not the people who chose the leader, though the only eligible candidates are those who have been elected to this parliament by the people.  None of this formal democracy actually comes across as democratic.     (read more)

A Partnership pay deal that sacrifices workers


A recently finalised agreement on public sector pay in January had ICTU spokespeople describing the talks as "difficult".  In bureaucratic terms this means a bad deal.  In a telling phrase the officials said that: "the new agreement, valued at 10.25% over 2.5 years, represented the “absolute maximum achievable” through negotiations at this time."  The idea that there might be some mode of advance other than negotiations no longer occurs to the union bureaucracy.  (read more)

The Phantasmagoric World of Judith Butler

05/04/24 (​Fairer Disputations) 

One chapter of Judith Butler’s new book, Who’s Afraid of Gender?, is called “TERFs and British matters of sex.” (“TERF” is an acronym for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.) The book has not landed well on TERF Island. “Butler flatters herself if she thinks there’s anything to be afraid of in her work,” writes Sarah Ditum in the Times. Jane O’Grady’s review in the Telegraph is titled “Is this the most incoherent book about gender yet?” (One star out of five.)  (read more)

Donaldson falls


The fall of Jeffrey Donaldson hit Irish society like a bombshell, and was followed by instant silence. The seriousness of the case of sexual abuse is illustrated by the fact that the police decided on arrest despite Donaldson's position, rather than a referral to the department of public prosecutions. Part of the shock came from his much publicised  Christianity, although right wing religious movements are often infected by claims of sexual abuse and Ireland provides an encyclopaedia of such cases.    (read more)

Reply to Palestinian Community Statement


On Good Friday the Palestinian Community in Belfast issued a statement published by the Belfast Palestine Solidarity Campaign.  Essentially it was a call for unity.   However, these remarks have to be put in context. At the previous week's march to the US consulate there were furious scenes at the appearance of a Sinn Féin speaker on the platform following the party’s decision to attend the Biden White House.    (read more)

Beyoncé, Irish Dancing and the Nonsense of Cultural Appropriation


Beyoncé was back in the news once again for a spot of cultural appropriation.  It was not her first brush with cultural Neanderthals, she has been here before for apparently “stealing” Egyptian culture by dressing as Nefertiti.  Added into the mix was a lesser-known black artist, Kaitlyn Sardin, who excels at Irish dancing and dared produce some fusion dance routines.   Beyoncé’s faux pas was apparently to record a country & western album titled Cowboy Carter.  (read more)


Gender identity ideology

Presentation by Orla Ni Chomhrai on why socialists should oppose a dogma which undermines women's rights, gay rights, free speech, and science.

18 October 2021