Last week the Executive in the North of Ireland presented
its budget. It has been presented as a budget that will create jobs, improve
services and reduce poverty. A closer look reveals tax concessions and
incentives for the bosses and cuts in jobs and social spending and increased
taxation for the workers. They are preparing social turmoil in the future.
Michael Collins was a great
Irish revolutionary and nationalist who more than any one person may be
considered to have created modern Ireland. His political tragedy, like other well-meaning nationalists in the age of
imperialism was to attempt the impossible; to try to achieve meaningful
national independence, in Ireland's case uniting both Catholics and
Protestants, without breaking free from the binds of capitalism.
Some disturbing events have been taking place in the south
of Ireland, where two IRSP members have been arrested and are being held under
the notorious “section 30”. This is clearly a case of political victimisation
and should be condemned by all socialists.
As Gerry Ruddy
explains, â€œThe issue of the national question in Ireland is at heart a class
question. The division of the country into two separate states has encouraged
sectarianism, seriously dividing the working class and allowing the continued
exploitation of all workers.â€ This while in the recent period the IRSP in the
South of Ireland has come under attack from political policing.
In spite of its
social and economic policies – and the corruption scandals - the ruling Fianna
Fáil party held its ground in the recent Irish elections. This can be
understood on the basis of the prolonged economic boom and the lack of a
credible genuine left alternative.