Sunday, March 28, 2010

At the Crossroads - an entire political philosophy not just Sinn Fein.

La le Phadraig for me was a bit of a disaster to be honest. I had to stay at home waiting for the cops to send over their forensics team to dust down the back window to our house. Some bastard popped the window and had a root around in our house and took my girlfriend's laptop. So that was a fine holiday alright.

But as I noted I was distracted by burglary. Therefore when I read the article "Sinn Fein - A party at the Crossroads" I did so from a certain perspective - someone who had been robbed a few days earlier.

That article was a robust criticism of Sinn Fein as a left wing party. Criticism is welcome. It can promote reflection, assessment and evolution.

But as someone who had been robbed my concerns at the time were not ideological, marxist, republican or even fine gaeler. I was only interested in looking at this issue through the prism of crime.

I scanned through the Communist Party's website searching for what their policy on crime is. How they propose to manage this very serious issue which has a heavy impact on working class areas. As a victim of crime what message did they have for me.

The only reference to crime was sixty years of imperialist crime committed by Nato. If there are policies on crime or crime prevention then they were not on the site. If there are no policies on crime prevention then why not. How can such a deeply important issue be ignored while 60 years of Nato crimes is highlighted.

This is a serious omission on the Communist Party of Ireland's part. Its a failure to speak directly to a real life, real world need.

However they are not the only ones who have ignored this issue on their site. Searching through the Socialist Party's site with the term crime the first article returned discussed “references to ‘neo-Stalinism’, ‘commandism’, ‘lack of democracy’ and other alleged ‘crimes’". If the thug who stole our laptop also committed the crime of "commandism" then this may be of relevance to us and other victims of crime.

Fair dues to the Workers Party who focussed on the issue of crime in their Drug Crime - A dagger at the heart of the working class document.

And also to Sinn Fein with our 19 page publication on crime and policing

But I did not pen this post to obliquely come around to highlighting Sinn Fein's policy work on crime and policing etc as opposed to others. Nor did I write it to have a pop at the CPI in response to their fine contribution below nor indeed to have a go the Socialist party. Both of which are on the same side as us - progressive left wing politics.

Each and every left wing party in Ireland must recognise that we are all at the crossroads. Each left wing party has its weakness. If we are to either separately or together change society then as an entire political philosophy we must up our game and become more relevant to the society we want to influence. The left cannot talk about the crimes of Nato or the crimes of stalinism yet not mention the crimes that immediately affect our own communities daily. And if we do talk about them then they should be readily accessible on the web etc otherwise we are failing to communicate them which is as serious an omission.

As someone who was a victim of crime I went searching amongst progressive parties to determine who had put together actual policies on dealing with the issues of crime and I did not find much solace.

There were 26,793 burglaries in the southern state in 2009. Where will they seek solace and why?
If they end up voting Fine Gael then how many left wing parties can say they gave those voters a genuine alternative.

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