Friday, May 1, 2009


OK folks what have you been doing with your weekends this year? Well, if you're like me you've been out every one since January delivering leaflets, knocking on doors and going to fundraisers. OK not every weekend, but it feels that way.

However, now we're told is the time to really get out to work and not just be doing it at weekends, but 7 days a week. Just dropping leaflets is no longer enough and this needs to be replaced by actually knocking on people's doors every single night. We need to disturb people in their homes, who mostly don't want to be disturbed. We have to smile at some people who can be pretty obnoxious. We have to attempt to get our message over again and again and again and again. We have to convince the people to vote Sinn Féin, or do we?

I would like you to ask yourself why you will be out on the doorsteps doing all this work? Why are you giving up time with your family and friends? Why are you doing stuff that most people would never do in a million years? And once you've done that then decide what you will be saying to the people at their doors.

The two main reasons I will be out each night over the next five weeks are:

1) I believe in the value of Irish reunification and the creation of a 32 county republic and I support the only major 32 county political party that is trying to achieve that.

2) I'm not prepared to sit back and wait for the 32 county republic before tackling what is wrong in this country. The working class of the 26 counties are being crucified by Fianna Fáil and people should be able to vote for a party that will fight for the rights of working people now. These rights include the right to a job, the right to decent welfare benefits, the right to a decent health care and education and the right to a decent pension.

For me, at this time, the most important of these reasons is the second. Unemployment in the South has reached 380,000 and increased by over 180,000 in the past year alone. This figure is expected to pass half a million within the next twelve months. The government response is not to try and prevent this catastrophe by fighting to save jobs. No, they choose to attack working people. They failed to protect jobs at SR Techics, Waterford Crystal and Dublin Bus. They fail to have any meaningful policies to help struggling companies get over the crisis without making any of their workers redundant. They cut welfare benefits at Christmas. They tax the workers, whilst allowing the rich to avoid tax. I could go on, but the list is too long. They simply have no real job creation policies! No real job protection policies! No real retraining policies!

So, given the above what am I going to do? Well, I'll do what I think is right. I'll do what I have been doing since Christmas. I will ask people to vote Sinn Féin, but also Labour and Socialist and I'll tell any party official that tries to get me to stop to fxck off!

I will put forward our policies (which are good ones), I'll talk about the qualities of our local candidate and our European one (both really good too) and I'll ask them to vote Sinn Féin. What I will add is that they should also vote for any party that will attempt to tackle the crisis in a positive manner. I will ask them to vote for any party that puts the interests of working people first.

Yes, I know labour and the socialists etc are not perfect, but hey nor are we. However, we are all a lot better that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. This is for me the bottom line. The people of this country cannot afford to be governed by the right wing ideas of the big two parties. The left need to win the argument. we need to convince people there is a way out of the mess created by a free market, deregulated, greed is good economy.

Most of what I hear form Joan Burton I agree with. Most of what I hear from Joe Higgins I agree with. So what if at the moment they don't want anything to do with us. To me the overriding factor must be the interests of the Irish working class.  Therefore, when your speaking with local people consider asking them not just to vote Sinn Féin, but ask them to vote in the interests of all working people.

Ask them to VOTE LEFT whoever that may be.


  1. Starry Plough,

    I saw Claire Daly on Vincent Brown on Thursday I think it was. While she was very strong on the whole "lets protect the ordinary folks" she didnt articulate well, in my opinion, a clear position on how you do that. She made a fatal error by focussing on Quinn and demanding he make amends only to be told by Vincent, in inimitable fashion, what was she on about he had already paid. Constantin Gurdgiev, the very right wing economist, then had a field day picking her to pieces on some very simple, elementray economic mistakes.

    Gurdgiev is like someone the Reaganites would adore and unfortunately Claire was not able to expose some of the very glaring weaknesses of the philosophy that she had.

    I didnt see how People before Profits guy did.

    On the basis of that show I would have reservations about voting for the Socialists as
    I think their analysis is broadstoke and it failed, in that instance, to make a meaningful contribution to deconstructing the current mess of a system by pointing out its weaknesses.

    I would definitely support a broad left transfer pact but I have concerns.


  2. Jer

    who is the bigger enemy of working people, Socialist Party or FF/FG. I know who I would rather encourage people to transfer to.

    Yes, I think some of their policies are flawed, but they would think the same of us. The left needs to accept we have differences, but we have more in common

  3. Jer and Balbriggan I think you are agreeing here.

  4. Hi BSF,

    We are definitely in agreement. FF and FG are quite happy to continue the current failed economic model. I'd rather vote left than those two.

    I'd like to see all leftist candidates supported down the line so as to maximise the left's representation.

    I'd also like to see a wider swathe of people brought over to the progressive cause and thats going to require a more skillful deconstruction of the right's position than just saying the system is unfair, its a bailout for the rich. We know this already and so does about 75% of the population but unless we on the left can deconstruct the right's position we will fail.

    Take for instance this article from Paul Krugman( the trendy man of the moment in economics)

    He strongly argues why wage cuts are the wrong way to go. Its the type of argument that would have strongly complimented Claire's line that cuts etc are unfair and harm society.

    Its also an argument that would have brought the fight to Gurdgiev on what was supposedly his territory - economics.

    The impact on the audience would have been two-fold:

    (1) People would still have appreciated the stout defence of the ordinary person's interests

    (2) Many who would have bought into the Left cant run an economy trope might have thought hang on these guys make sense and I am convinced by the force, as well as the justness, of their arguments.

    I know I harp on about the need for the left to up its analysis alot but I believe its been a critical failing of the left here and abroad.

    Certainly SF is solidly on top of its economic brief at the moment.

    I hope the other leftists do likewise because its a powerful coalition of right-wing consensus that we are arrayed against.