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Irish election fallout

We've noted the results of the recent Irish election here before. The fallout is still being mulled over in a couple of articles that warrant reading:
Among assessments is this argument (drawn from the above)which argues for the sort of politics that need to be raised in contrast to the sort of politics that -- the article considers -- were raised:
The task of socialists is not to follow this decline in political consciousness with pursuit of community politics or attempt to substitute left wing constituency clientelism for the more effective gombeen capitalist one of the larger parties. It is not to talk about a ‘left’ that includes parties itching to get into coalition with the main parties. This gives these parties left credentials they don’t have and further mis-educates workers about what socialist politics are and discredits them. It is not to bury socialism in the language of populist ‘people power’ rhetoric that celebrates unity with, and limitations set by, those who supposedly have no politics The task is to hammer out a political alternative at the national and international level and begin to fight for it. The setback to the left during this election is a lesson that purely local constituency work on reformist political foundations is extremely weak. When the Socialist Party is squeezed out by those who think there is actually a choice between Ahern and Kenny, it demonstrates the low political consciousness of some of their support despite years of activity. A class conscious constituency has not been built and cannot be built by localism.

The economic boom is ending and further attacks on workers interests will be accelerated by this election result. But its end will also begin to end illusions that property will make everyone rich or that some redistribution by taxes will cure structural inequality and the mass of social problems that exist. Workers, at different times and in different places, will fight back. The task of socialists will not simply be to support their demands or generalise their struggle. It will be to give them some political leadership and a political alternative. It will be to fight to win them to a socialist programme, not drop the word or pass it off as mere tinkering with existing society.

This was patently not the approach adopted by the left during the past five years. When tens of thousands marched against war or against the race to the bottom Socialist Democracy put out leaflets explaining the imperialist nature of war and how only a socialist alternative could end it. We understood that the key task was to deepen the political consciousness of those opposed to war not seek to widen support at the expense of political understanding. It was ourselves who warned that ICTU would sell out the workers opposing outsourcing. The alternative of seeking left unity without bothering too much about what it was uniting about has failed. To continue this approach will see the left follow the right wing shift in politics, more and more adopting platforms devoid of political content.

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