Lutte Ouvriere on Iris peace process

Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Mon Jun 11 23:36:08 MDT 2001

There's quite an interesting (and good) piece on Ireland in the
English-language section of the Lutte Ouvriere site.  It's written by their
British wing, presumably.

Below are the opening paras and the html:

After the so-called "Good Friday agreement", which was signed in Belfast on
April 10th, where is Northern Ireland going?

This agreement may or may not mark the end of the "Troubles", thirty years
on. But above all it aims at providing the British bourgeoisie with a way
to extricate itself once and for all from Northern Ireland - although
whether it can remains to be seen. But, whatever happens, it cannot and
will not clear the economic, social and political mess left by centuries of
British domination
over Ireland.

If the political settlement mapped out by this agreement goes according to
plan, the British bourgeoisie will be able to wash their hands of their
past, present and future responsibility for the permanent damage caused by
their plundering and oppression of Ireland. The powerful vested interests
in the City of London will no longer have to fear political instability in
their Irish
backyard. They will be freer to concentrate on competing with their
imperialist rivals over the much larger financial markets of Europe,
America and Asia. Such is
the real content of this political settlement.

As revolutionary communists, we reject the point of view adopted by the
Republican currents who oppose the agreement. Ironically, after centuries
of oppression and struggle, history has come to the point where the
interests of British imperialism coincide with the fundamental aim of Irish
nationalism for a formally independent, united Ireland thereby splitting
Republican ranks.
But the sort of "United Ireland", in the pursuit of which the dissident
Republicans want to carry on the "armed struggle", has no more to offer
than that which
Sinn Fein hopes to achieve with Blair's help through the agreement. Both
perspectives can only strengthen the subjection of the Irish proletariat to
the world capitalist
market through the rapacious rule of Ireland's aspiring and established

Needless to say we also reject the reactionary point of view of the rump of
loyalist paramilitaries and religious bigots who have pledged to derail the
settlement in the name of the Union Jack, after having been willing, even
if sometimes deceived, auxiliaries of British oppression for decades.

Our standpoint is that of the working class and its class interests, and
the interests of society as a whole. As communists, we know that any
settlement orchestrated by the bourgeoisies of Britain and Ireland can only
be designed to preserve their class interests, at the expense of those of
the exploited. As internationalists, we do not believe that the fate of
society should be
dictated by artificial divisions inherited from a distant and obsolete past.

In this political settlement, the working class of Northern Ireland - as
well as that in the Republic and in Britain - are left in the position of
passive bystanders, whose only role is to rubber-stamp an agreement which
is directly aimed against their interests. The referendum over the
agreement, held simultaneously in May in Northern Ireland and in the
Republic, was a farce
of democracy. Voters were told that failing to back the Belfast agreement
would automatically mean a return to the past virtual civil war. But who
wants more bombings, sectarian
killings, army harassment and pointless bloodshed? This was open blackmail.
But it takes the blinkers of London journalists, or the hypocrisy of
British politicians, to think that the voters of Northern Ireland were too
dumb to see through Blair's game. The large "yes" vote in Northern Ireland
was not an
expression of enthusiastic support for the agreement, far from it. It was
above all a vote against a return to the past, but without much trust or
hope in the future offered by
the agreeement. It was not for nothing that the main slogan of the official
"Yes" campaign was "Give your children a future" - and not "Give yourself a

Full document at:

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