[Marxism] Re: Labor Media, Neoliberalism, and the Crisis in the Labor Movement

james daly james.irldaly at ntlworld.com
Fri Dec 1 07:51:07 MST 2006

As the one who started this thread, may I make an anecdotal aside? In the
70s the lawyer Mary (Burke) Robinson was a member of the Trilateral
Commission. She went on to become the President of Ireland. That was on a
second round of vote-counting; a populist nationalist Fianna Fail competitor
won the first round but not by enough.

She was endorsed by the miniscule Labour Party, which was ironic, since she
had left the Labour Party (which consistently allied itself with Fine Gael,
the pro-British party from which the former fascist (Marian) Pro-Franco Blue
Shirts came) on the grounds of its acquiescing in Prime Minister (Taoiseach)
Charlie Haughey's nationalist policy of "going over the heads of the
Unionists" (including Paisleyites and loyalists generally) and coming to an
agreement directly with the British Thatcher government over plans for the
future government of the six counties. That approach of his was the only
sane one attempted in the past 40 years' turmoil.

The class reductionist Official Republican movement, whose main activity was
fighting against the Provisionals' nationalist campaign, has now liquidated
into the Labour Party, and looks forward to being in government with Fine
Gael.  Ironically, the Provisionals have now adopted the "principle of
consent", i.e. a Unionist veto over any attempt at a solution of the
national question in Ireland.  Such a principle is analogous to the concept
of "respect" in Mafia circles.

Robinson was a committed antinationalist (there was not a word of the Irish
language, but a quaint quotation from mediaeval English, in her presidential
address), and her agenda was the unpopular British-oriented "liberal
agenda". When asked what kind of President she would be, she said she would
be like Vaslav Havel, attending openings of illegal family planning
clinics -- strangely for a lawyer, seeing in her role as *President* the
same as that of Havel in his right wing subversive presidential *campaign*.

Asked at one stage if she was going to resign, she answered that she had not
yet "eyeballed the Taoiseach" (Haughey). She hoped to become general
secretary of the United Nations, but had to content herself with becoming
the UN Commissioner for Human Rights.

Such are the tools of the ruling classes.

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