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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Who will fill the vacuum?

Tuesday, J May 2015

Labour’s general election defeat has been described by one high-ranking insider as perhaps ‘the greatest crisis the Labour party has faced since it was created’. Scotland has been lost to the SNP, and UKIP are eating into Labour’s core vote in England. New Labour believed it could turn its back on the working class as they would have ‘nowhere to go’: instead, the working class is turning its back on Labour in kind. Euro-nationalism is currently filling this vacuum in working class representation, almost by default, but the opportunity is there for a pro-working class alternative to Labour if progressive forces can be drawn together down the line.

The working class as the ruling class

Tuesday, J October 2014

On 11 October 2014 the IWCA’s Gary O’Shea was invited to speak at the annual conference of the James Connolly Society in Edinburgh. We reproduce the text below. The speech covers a broad sweep of working class history from the Paris Commune up to the present day, analysing where the working class movement has gone wrong, outlining the political rationale behind the IWCA and some of the lessons learned so far. The failure by the left to abide by democratic principles and to work with the working class in pursuit of what the working class perceives as its own immediate interests is what lies behind the left’s failure, and is also the key to its revival. As the global economy has hit the buffers in recent years, the far-right has emerged as the populist opposition to the political and economic status quo in Europe. If the left is willing to embrace democratic means and meaningfully engage with the working class again then the situation can be retrieved; if not, the road risks being left clear for the far-right to dictate the future, for the second time in a century.



Forever blowing bubbles

Friday, J October 2013

George Osborne has declared that the UK economy is back on the road to sustainable recovery. Closer analysis shows that the recovery so far is based on rising household debt with policy seemingly geared toward inflating house prices, two of the factors that led to the economic crash in the first place. It is not that the powers-that-be are stupid: capitalism has been experiencing a long-term crisis of profitability for decades, and debt-fuelled growth and asset price bubbles have become essential methods of maintaining any kind of economic vitality. All capitalism can offer at its present stage is stagnation punctuated by the inflating and bursting of bubbles. Predictably, the far-right is thriving in this climate, and will continue to make possibly fateful gains as long as our side refuses to challenge them on what historically was always our ground.


The Slow Fix

Wednesday, J April 2013

The decline of the BNP has given UKIP the chance to fill the yawning gap that exists in working class political representation. By way of contrast, the current incarnations of the left are failing, yet again, to make any impression. This is repeating the pattern of recent decades, where the right have consistently out-thought the left in terms of strategy. The ongoing capitalist crisis offers real opportunities for our side, but it also presents great dangers. If the left continues to shirk its responsibility by failing to fully engage with the working class, it leaves the path clear for the continued growth of right-wing nationalism. (more…)

21st century fascism

Thursday, J May 2012

As the Eurozone crisis moves towards some kind of conclusion, the far-right are gaining ground across Europe. Mainstream commentators are noting the parallels with the 1930s, but there is one key difference: then, there was an organised, motivated working class ready to mount resistance. Today, the drift to the right faces no such obstacle.