Forwarded from Domnhall

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Jul 18 13:13:06 MDT 2002

A chairde,

I am over in London visiting the mother's Jewish family - who says us
Shinners are all Catholic sectarians!!

The situation in London is becoming (slightly) more radical than it was last
year (although don't be holding your breath in anticipation of a
revolution). Today the RMT called a near total strike on London Underground
to protest the planned 'New Labour' privatisation (aka PPP scheme) which
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has been fighting for the last 3 years.
Incidentally, there is a fight (led by the trade unions)
to get 'Red Ken' back into the Labour Party and to get him to run for office
under the party - that is sure to get up Blair/Brown's nostrils. Ken seems
likely to get re-elected despite the best efforts of the right-wing press.

Also today a CP member Derek Simpson has won the election to the leadership
for the Amicus (one of the largest and most right wing unions, previously
this union has been a solid supporter of the Blair faction within Labour).
The Blairite current union rep - Sir Ken Jackson (aka Ken Judas) and his
supporters left the national executive meeting prior to having to announce
the result. Some democracy there, then - he's going to look for a re-run
although with little hope. This will be a huge blow to the Blairite TU
leadership and is probably reflective of the aggravation in the
manufacturing sector surrounding the high interest rate/low inflation rate
approach which has eroded this sector in the British economy. While it's a
long way from having a hard core TU leadership, we can see the impact which
someone like Bob Crow of the RMT is having in leading the opposition to the
austerity measures forced on people by the New Labour Government. Also in
the last week there was the first 'national' UK strike in the Public sector
for a generation - over a million didn't go to work from the GMB, T&G and
UNISON for a 6% pay increase.

This new TU militancy has not found its way into the popular consciousness
yet, it appears, although most people I speak to are fully supportive of the
sort of old-style Social Democratic demands being made by the Left of the
Labour Party/Movement. I'm not sure where this can lead - but it is good to
see it.

I'm glad that Paul posted the apology from the IRA - especially that he
quoted them directly, that makes the situation clearer. As for Phil's
acerbic comments about the movement "having abandoned the struggle for
national liberation" - it's all a matter of perspective. If you have your
eyes closed then you won't see. As for the IRA leadership adopting "the
language of new-age group therapy", I wouldn't know not having came across
same. However, what is important is building a consensus for unity - our
circumstances mean that we must learn to speak directly to those who are our
opponents. It will not simply be enough to win a united Ireland by force or
simple majority, we must attempt to neutralise any historical weaknesses
(counter-revolutionary trends) which will disable our future line of motion.
  You may have difficulty with that, many I know do; we have a sharp edge as
well as a smooth one. If we can put arms 'beyond use' then we can do this.

All our actions to date have removed arguments/weapons in negotiation from
our opponents, without breaking our own principles; they are busy clutching
for straws to justify bringing down the six county executive. Who will the
people blame for the destruction of the Good Friday Agreement - them or us?

I hope the man who is lecturing Brian Cahill gives him a tour-de-force on
the need to oppose imperialist onslaughts in even cloudy or difficult
situations. Perhaps then he might lecture the CWI on same.

Is mise le meas,

Louis Proyect
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