This Easter marks the 85th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin (Ireland) against British imperialist rule. The outstanding leader of that movement was James Connolly. There have been many attempts to portray him simply as an Irish nationalist. But Connolly was, first and foremost, a militant workers' leader and a Marxist. He alone in the annals of the British and Irish Labour Movement succeeded in developing the ideas of Marxism.

The devolved assembly at Stormont was suspended for the fourth time six months ago in October 2002. Now Blair, Ahern, Adams and Trimble are attempting to raise it from its coffin once more. Democracy, or what passes for it in Belfast, can be switched on and off like a tap it seems. The Stormont assembly represents not an attempt to solve the problems facing ordinary working people, but a scheme to share power between representatives of the main sectarian parties.

In Southern Ireland the economic miracle is well and truly over. As we have predicted and explained for some time now, the Celtic Tiger phenomenon did not mean that capitalism had solved any of its contradictions. Now in the context of a declining world market the only road open to the bosses to protect their profits will be an assault on workers living standards.