Final word to Mr. Cahill

Owen Jones owen.jones at
Sun Aug 6 08:22:32 MDT 2000

 I largely agree with Gary here - firstly it is irrefutable that the
Loyalist butchers have links with the RUC and the state apparatus of the
unionist statelet, and in fact a renowned lawyer who dedicated herself to
fighting for the rights of nationalists was assassinated recently after
investigating the link in 1998 - the consensus is that she was murdered by
the RUC. Indeed, the squads also have links with fellow lumpen fascist
groups in England, such as Combat 18 who recently joined the Orangemen in
terrorising the ordinary nationalist working class people of Garvaghy Road.

 However, although the death squads themselves were composed of lumpens,
there is a working class expression in the reactionary Unionist movement,
representing by groups such as the PUP. It is progressive sections of the
protestant working class as represented by the PUP that must and can be won
over by Republicanism in order to finally expel the British occupation of
the north of Ireland and reunify the island.

 The dream of a united Ireland is not as distant as it one seemed. There
were two principal reasons for its division eighty years ago - firstly, the
Irish working class was thoroughly radicalised at the time and the
possibility of a seizure of power was conceivable, which terrified the
British bourgeoisie who thereby split the Irish proletariat; there were also
valuable economic interests in the industrialised north. Today, the north is
not economically vital to the British bourgeoisie, and if anything they are
looking for an opportunity to final dump it. There is also the fact that
whilst previously Ireland was not an attractive prospect for the protestant
working class of the north, with the massive power of the Church, the
development of capitalism there in the past fifty five years has diminished
its power.

 The demographic trend in the north of Ireland for the past century has also
meant a gradually increasing Catholic population who will inevitably soon be
a majority, but now all it needs is a small portion of the protestant
working class to be won over to a united Ireland. What does frighten me is
that when the nationalist community are the majority, the loyalist death
squads will terrorise and ethnically cleanse Catholics from the north to
maintain their majority.

 As for the IRA, I differ with Gary. Although they had a firm base amongst a
large section of the nationalist working class, their tactics of individual
terrorism was always going to fail against the colossus of the British State
machine. There were opportunities to try and build a broad working class
movement against British occupation but they were all lost. They also
consistently failed to try and win over protestant workers to the Republican
cause. Even though I am as against the capitulation of Republicanism to
'our' ruling class as you are, it is a real admission of the failure of
their tactics to remove British occupation via individual terrorism. However
now they have gone and replaced their old bad tactics with ones that are
even worse and are not going to deliver the north from its occupation in the
medium term, even if unification is inevitable. I do agree that the British
Left always failed in its solidarity with the working class Republican
movement; the biggest caricature of this is the "Alliance for Workers'
Liberty" that not long ago produced an entire issue devoted to denounced
Irish nationalism, featuring a sinister looking guerrilla on the front

 I also agree that it is a common misconception that the nationalist working
class is solely Catholic. For example, one of the IRSP's leading martyrs was
a protestant by virtue of birth. What was always unfortunate about the IRSP
was their faction fights were slightly more bloody than they are in groups
here because they happened to have guns. However, the INLA has affirmed it
will not surrender its arms unlike the IRA.



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