The Irish Question

Richard Bos Richard.Bos at
Sun Oct 13 01:18:54 MDT 1996

Jj Plant wrote:
> In-Reply-To: <325FCA0E.7542 at>
> Richard,
> The Irish question is a good one precisely because it is difficult.
> Here are some Irish questions.
> What is the significance of the 'national question' in Ireland today ?

Sounds like an exam question. Of course issues of nationhood and
national self-determination are very important.

> In what
> ways are workers in the occupied six counties to benefit from >integration with the catholic state in the south ?

The six counties were separated from the rest of the country in the
1920s. Re-integrating the two would not be easy, but not insurmountable.
The question poses the possibility that maybe the occupied territory
shouldn't be part of Ireland.

> Precisely how would workers' rights and
> women's rights be advanced by a Sinn Fein government? How do you think you can
> advance the rights to abortion, contraception and divorce by supporting PIRA or
> INLA ?

Why do you want to know that from me so "precisely"? Those are questions
for the people in Ireland to decide. As I said, my roll is to get the
British army out of Ireland, and the Irish people should make their own
decisions. Irish  working class women and men are just as capable of
demanding equality as anyone else. The British working class should show
solidarity with those campaigns as in any other country. I do not
support one organisation over another. You will never get to the ideal
situation as long as the political scene is distorted by the presence of
an imperialist army of occupation. So you deal with who is there.

>How do you think the working class community on the Isle of Dogs can be
> brought to support such forces when over a year after the Canary Wharf bomb
> repairs to their homes have not been completed ?

Are you saying that we shouldn't do anything? I know someone who openly
sells 40 copies of An Phoblacht per week on the Isle of Dogs. We
shouldn't be out there cheering for the IRA. Nor should we be joining
John Major's chorus-line. I think that is where many on the left end up
siding with imperialism. They forget what the struggle is about, and
what the immediate goals are. We should be saying that the time has come
to demilitarise the situation, and pull back from fighting. Start talks
between all the political parties.

What do you think should be done John?


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