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March 01, 2018


Colum McCaffery

The problem, Michael, is that no one - absolutely no one - will disagree with you. Campaigning on issues can never lead to major change because such campaigning is part of our conservative system; it is how dissent is managed. In a previous post you spoke about the need for a left narrative. I think what is needed is a plausible overall argument to be addressed to anyone who is amenable.

There is unanimity on the issues but for most people addressing them comes with a condition: that nothing structural changes. This is how MDH is applauded for what he says and then ignored.

Michael Taft

Colum - I fear you make an excellent point. How do we punch through this? What is that plausible overall argument? No pressure.

Michael Waddell

An alternative narrative, to the current dominant neoliberal consensus, will only be developed if trade unions, campaigning organisations, left wing groups/parties unite around a common radical, transformative programme.
It is almost a hundred years now since the 1st Dáil adopted the Democratic Programme, which itself was a watered-down version of a more radical first draft. We need a new Democratic Programme for our times. Some people somewhere need to work on this.

Colum McCaffery

While the consensus is compatible with neo-liberalism, it is not neo-liberalism. Campaigning is not the antidote. It is part of the system. Priorities are decided and issues resolved by way of putting pressure on the political class/establishment/government. It guarantees that nothing changes. All parties in Ireland - without exception - are wedded to campaigning and the operation of the cargo/pressure system. Working class has now been reduced to the status of a pressure group. I've tried to argue that Labour now has little to lose and should strike out and become the one party of opposition; there's little support for it and the party is fixated on a traditional/familiar left approach.

Here's our system:

This was adopted at a Labour Conference but it is generally ignored:

I'm still working on it all, Michael.

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