[Marxism] SSP on Ireland

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Apr 6 20:13:11 MDT 2004

Paul Cockshott wrote:
>James Daly cites the fact that the SSP invited a speaker from the PUP
as evidence that our position was biased. We also invited a SF speaker.
It appears that part of the resentment of the IRSP came from the fact
that the invitation did not extend to them.

Well, the PUP is the proto-fascist political party of an ultra-rightist
sectarian militia which kills people simply for being Catholic.

So I wonder what on earth the SSP was doing inviting them along anyway.

Inviting someone from the ultra-right PUP and someone from the
(increasingly mainstream) SF hardly constitutes a lack of bias.  

If Scotland was under imperialist military occupation and a left party
in part of the occupying power invited along a group which supported the
occupation and the middle-of-the-road opposition to the occupation, I
doubt many of us would be impressed that this was politically sound and
a good sign of solidarity.

The IRSP represents socialist republicanism in Ireland and has done for
nearly 30 years.  Since the SSP says it is a socialist republican
organisation in Scotland, one would think it logical that they might
invite the IRSP.  Or, if they felt unable to invite an IRSPer due to the
sad events of the later 80s/early 90s - aka the feud period - at the
very least they could have invited someone from the socialist-republican
school of thought who are not IRSP members, such as Bernadette McAliskey
(or, indeed, James Daly).

I think, frankly, it is a poor comment on the (otherwise in many ways
promising) SSP that they invited proto-fascists and didn't invite
socialist republicans.     

>David Walters remarks that the hottest place in hell is reserved for
the neutrals. This presupposes a belief in hell, which as an atheist I
do not subscribe to. I dont think that concern for their imagined souls
is much of a concern for the SSP leadership. Whether the position of
Militant on Ireland was a weak-point is a matter of dispute. I think
David Walters meant to write "I did not agree with the position of
Militant on Ireland".

The old Militant Tendency (RSL) consistently opposed the demand for the
withdrawal of the British troops from Ireland.  They also opposed
calling for the withdrawal of the British war fleet from the South
Atlantic when Thatcher went to war with Argentina.  That tendency was
*consistently soft* on British imperialism, and it is unfortunate that
some aspects of that softness have been carried over into the SSP.

I don't think that the sensitivities of Orange workers in Scotland has
much to do with it.  It is simply a continuation of the capitulation to
British imperialism which characterised the Grant tendency and continued
after Grant himself had gone.  The SSP is two degrees removed from
Grant, so it might be a good time to clear out the negative aspects of
his politics altogether, most notably the capitulation to imperialism

Philip Ferguson

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