Ireland: Putting working class unity on the agenda!

Socialist Party puts the case for workers’ unity and socialism at Sinn Fein-hosted London conference

Last Saturday, hundreds of people attended “a conference to open the debate” on ‘Putting Irish Unity on the Agenda’. The event, which received considerable media attention in Ireland and Britain, was sponsored by Sinn Fein. Speakers were included from “… the Irish community, the political sphere, from business, the trade unions, academia, the media, arts and culture and others, it will put Irish unity on the agenda.” Sinn Fein MPs, Pat Doherty and Conor Murphy, addressed the event, as well as Labour MPs, John McDonnell and Diane Abbot, former Labour MP, Kevin McNamara, and former London mayor, Ken Livingstone.

The event publicity literature stated: “Together with economic, demographic, social and political trends, there is a strong argument that Irish unity is a realistic and feasible objective within a meaningful time scale.”

Is this the case? How will sectarian divisions in the North of Ireland be overcome? Do current “demographic, social and political trends” on the basis of sectarian-dominated politics, and capitalism in severe crisis, North and South, present a way towards ‘unity’ or towards further division?

What is the socialist alternative? Socialist Party (CWI) supporters argued a socialist case, for building real unity of the working class, Catholic and Protestant, in opposition to sectarian-based politics and the profit system that has wrecked such havoc to the economies of the South and North. Only workers’ unity and a socialist programme can overcome sectarianism and resolve the national question in Ireland.

Here is the leaflet, distributed by SP members during the conference.

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February 2010