Éirígí Candidates to Stand in Northern Ireland Local Government Elections

The Irish Times reports that the “republican socialist political grouping” éirígí has announced that they will contest the forthcoming local government elections in Northern Ireland.  From the Irish Times report

About 140 members from across Ireland attended the conference in the Culturlann centre on Falls Road, where delegates voted in favour of running candidates in the council elections.

Éirígí, which was formed in April 2006, has yet to decide in how many of the North’s 26 local government areas it will stand or how many candidates it will put forward. A party spokesman said it was unlikely it would run candidates in the general election in the Republic.

Its Dublin-based chairman Brian Leeson said Northern Ireland was an “irreformably corrupt, sectarian state” but nonetheless Éirígí believed now was the time to contest the local elections.

“We believe there is a real appetite for a radical voice to emerge from working-class communities that will forcefully challenge the British occupation and economic exploitation and deprivation,” Mr Leeson added.

And from the éirígí press release

The Ard-Fheis, which was held in the Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich cultural centre, was attended by more than 200 people and was addressed by speakers from the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Latin American Solidarity Centre, the Independent Workers’ Union, FEE, as well as cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson and rúnaí ginearálta Breandán Mac Cionnaith.

Messages of solidarity were also sent by the Cuban ambassador to Ireland Teresita Trujillo and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Regarding the decision taken by the party membership on the Six County local elections, Brian Leeson said: “Five years on from the formation of éirígí, the party feels the time is right to make an electoral intervention in order to further promote a resurgent socialist republicanism.

“éirígí has no illusions about the nature of electoral politics in the Six Counties and, indeed, across Ireland. The Six Counties is an irreformably corrupt, sectarian state. No amount of elections to local councils, assemblies or foreign parliaments can change that fact.”

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  • Cynic2

    “irreformably corrupt, sectarian state”

    So just how many Prods are members then?

  • “unlikely it would run candidates in the general election in the Republic”

    It’s not much of a 32-county party if it’s not prepared to challenge corruption in the two jurisdictions.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s a huge advance that a minority group is prepared to put its proposed policies before the electorate. Don’t put them down. I am not a supporter or fan of theirs but the more ideas put forward, the better.

  • Neil

    “irreformably corrupt, sectarian state”

    So just how many Prods are members then?

    Are you suggesting that Eirigi is a state? Or is it your opinion that political parties must have members from both sides of the fence or they are sectarian parties? How many Catholics in the DUP/UUP/TUV/PUP then?

  • Drumlins Rock

    they do have a few sitting councillors who defected from SF mainly, so allowing them to attempt to retain their seats is hardly surprising, and therefore neither would contesting others.
    What is most interesting is what is missing, are they going to stand in Stormont elections?

  • pippakin

    This is good news, the north needs a real socialist alternative to Sinn Fein.

  • “a real appetite for a radical voice to emerge from working class communities”

    Time will tell whether it runs candidates in the ‘Shankill’ and the ‘Falls’ electoral areas. At present, it just looks like a sectarian Nationalist party.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Pip, your so far of the make there, as Nevin says they are much more worried about Nationalism than socialism, and (this may risk invoking Goodwins Law) we know the two of them do not mix.
    As for British explotation PMWIROTFLMAO, which way does the 10 billion flow!

  • Neil

    At present, it just looks like a sectarian Nationalist party.

    Deconstruct that. All Nationalist parties appeal primarily to Nationalists. Most Nationalists are Catholic, ergo all Nationalist parties are sectarian.

    Presumably Nev, DR, you would both have no problem accepting then that Loyalist/Unionist parties are equally sectarian, as they appeal primarily to Loyalists/Unionists, the vast majority of which are Protestant.

    Or you could dump the sectarian tag, or at the very least apply it to your own party of choice, presuming it is one of the usual Unionist ones.

  • Cynic2

    Neill

    Am I suggesting that Eigri is a state?

    Not at all. Just thta its a fringe sectarian party. Pot ….kettle…….. etc

    And great to see the fraternal greetings from the PFLP a racist terrorist group. I see Eigri’s campaign to free us all from capitalism and suppression is off to a great start.

  • Neil

    Not at all. Just thta its a fringe sectarian party.

    Nor more or less sectarian than the UUP/DUP/Sinn Fein etc. In fact so much so it almost renders the tag menaingless as the vast majority of people in NI vote for a ‘sectarian’ party – i.e. one that appeals primarily to one side or other of the community.

  • pippakin

    DR

    Well yes, on the surface they appear to be as socialist as SF (not). But as a republican party they may appeal to disenfranchised SF supporters.

  • Neil, the sectarian label applies to Unionist as well as Nationalist parties. It’s use isn’t restricted to the religious domain.

  • Brian

    “We believe there is a real appetite for a radical voice to emerge from working-class communities that will forcefully challenge the British occupation and economic exploitation and deprivation,” Mr Leeson added

    HA! Britian would love to be rid of NI and the drag that it is on its coffers

  • JR

    It will be really interesting to see how they do.

  • Neil

    It will be really interesting to see how they do.

    Poorly I’d imagine. Who can they appeal to? SF voters who would rather the peace process never happened I would have thought. So what are their options to re-unify Ireland? Get the guns out again?

    They’ve ruled that out, so what can they do, but emulate SF as they are, and take decades to build up support to the level SF already have? There’s always room for a protest vote, but much as the TUV went down in flames as the new hardline voice of Unionism; Eirigi will likely suffer the same fate.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Every Election needs a Lord Sutch or Lord Buckethead to cheer us up. Six Éirigí candidates sounds like fun.

  • Good to see political choice expanded. Won’t make any difference and few care, but good to see anyway.

  • JH

    People are very quick to label parties as ‘sectarian’ when they simply don’t like their politics. I actually agree with Leeson, sectarianism and corruption is hard baked into the political system here. We just had the culture minister pump money into the Ulster Scots Agency, which occupies a prime piece of real estate and is normally empty, at the expense of developing cross-community sports facilities that are badly needed. Popular opinion doesn’t label the DUP as sectarian when they prioritise their own pet projects over the greater need.

    Actually come to think of it I’d have no problem giving Éirígí some support but that I’d be worried about their links to violent groups.

  • JH

    That sounded a little ‘whataboutery’ish, what I meant was that Éirígí wear their policies on their sleeves when the main parties often try to pass themselves off as unsectarian. They’re all equally complicit as far as I’m concerned

  • redhugh78

    Anyone prepared to put their views to the electorate deserve credit.
    It will be interesting to see how many candidates they select and where they decide to contest aswell as the level of support.
    I would think maybe they will choose larger urban areas to start with.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “Don’t put them down”

    Joe, they are screaming to be put down. From their constitution:

    5.2 Capitalism & Behaviour
    ***
    ….we need only identify some of the defining characteristics of the capitalist system. These include amongst others, those of accumulation, competition, exploitation and individualism. These in turn provoke in the individual the expression of an underlying set of behaviours that mirror the fundamental principles of capitalism. Greed,
    competition, covet-ness, conflict, discrimination, envy, lack of respect for others, and suspicion etc. are prime examples of these behaviours.

    As I said, they’re screaming to be put down. Greed, competition, etc., all existed before capitalism existed. For cruel irony, recall that Sluggers’ man in eirigi, Mark, wrote a piece on visiting churches for sport. He thinks we’re stupid for believing in Deity while he’s too stupid to see that notion of evolutionary biology rather compellingly implies that in this great struggle for the survival of one’s self and one’s offspring, some “accumulation, competition, exploitation and individualism” would rather seem to be in order. That’s why those four things, plus the other things, aka greed, covetousness, etc., predate capitalism. Changing the economic system won’t change what has been fundamental human nature for all of human history. It isn’t philosophy, it’s coded in our DNA. The fact that they don’t seem to grasp that obvious point means that they are screaming out to be put down.

    Oh, and Joe, that’s why Bolshevism failed, why Maoism failed, why Pot Potism failed, etc. They all blathered on about socialism this and socialism that and took no account of the fact that all of the items mentioned are coded in our DNA and so have been expressed for all of human history. The success stories are those who ride the capitalist horse. I use the same analogy with the libertarians, when I remind them that it isn’t the horse or the rider that evince civilization, but the reins.

  • Cynic2

    My guess is that they will be about as popular as the average STD

  • Rory Carr

    I have often found it intriguing how those champions of captalism who argue from a social Darwinian perspective ((“it’s all in the DNA”) are usually also at great pains to herald the example of the stable family unit as the essential basis for society when any fool can see that such a family unit, with its essential dependence on sharing, mutual nurture and the necessity for the input of each family member according to their ability to each other according to their need is an almost perfect microcosm of how socialism would organise society as a whole.

    If it really is “all in the DNA” and if the family unit is the outworking of that strain then it would seem that we are all little embryo Reds really and that it is that rather nasty capitalist virus that is hampering our potential as fully formed human beings.

  • I for one wholeheartedly welcome that Eirigi will now be contesting elections in the Six Counties.

    Its not before time, as the political elite at Stormont have failed the working-class!

    The only way is for progressive forces such as Eirigi to send these career Politicans home!

  • Alanbrooke

    Oh great

    another bunch of idiots to tell us all what to think whether we like it or not

  • Nunoftheabove

    “éirígí has no illusions about the nature of electoral politics in the Six Counties and, indeed, across Ireland”

    It certainly seems to have a few about the nature of the regime in Cuba. 110 political prisoners remaining at the last count. Think éirígí will be able to count on the support of the moribund regime in relation to their ‘comrades’ in NI jails ? Yeah, I should think so.

    Likewise, I feel certain that the verminous imperialist, homophobic, racist, sexist and totalitarian death cult ‘resistance’ in Afghanistan and Iraq can continue to count on messages of support and ‘solidarity’ from éirígí.

    What chavs, what poseurs, what embarassing amateurs this shower are. Self-pitying sloganeering bores.

  • pippakin

    Nunoftheabove

    Eirigi are just playing to the gallery. It was not so long ago some other republicans were doing much the same thing, when they weren’t bird watching in Columbia that is.

  • Tomas Gorman

    Fair play to Eirigi. It will be interesting to see how they do a and more importantly the arguments they make during their campaign.

    @nunoftheabove,

    “What chavs, what poseurs, what embarrassing amateurs this shower are. Self-pitying, sloganeering bores.”

    You really should go easier on the current bulk of Slugger participants.

  • MichaelMac

    They will be fighting elections framed by Britsh legislation. Some legislation good, some legislation bad. You pay your money etc

    When you cut through all the bull it is all about small personalities wanting to be big personalities in a small pond.

    When you hear 19th century hogwash about political elites then you feel you are dealing with 1st year GCSE students.

  • Cynic2

    rory

    There are quite a few available examples that show that your idealised view on socialism is, well, nonsense

  • MichaelMac, maybe your reference to the 19th century proves that U and your cronies are still deluded and believe their own propaganda!

  • I’d be quite happy to see Slugger host an on line debate with Eirigi in the hot seat taking questions, and prepared statements being subject to analysis by opposing parties. Choose the moderator and go for it.

  • Nunoftheabove

    ArdEoin Republican

    Even if that’s true, I think we can say that propaganda’s not all that they believe in which is a lot more than can be said for the rabble you seem to be rooting for who haven’t even managed to get that bit right yet and who have some audacity describing themselves as either radical or even progressive – the sort of people who regard George Galloway as an intellectual.

  • Brian

    Cynic 2

    Rory’s “heroes from history” on his profile include one Josef Stalin.

    Talk about ideological blinders

  • Nunoftheabove I’d much prefer rooting for Eirigi than PSF, especially since they ditched republican-socialism in favour of being partners with the backwoodsmen from the DUP!

  • Nunoftheabove

    ArdEoin

    You’re backing the minisculely less bald of two hairless men scrapping drunkenly over a comb there mate – the lesser of two evils theory. Forgive me but you seem somewhat genuinely excited about what these eirigi guys are all about. All I’m saying is that you’re tremendously easily impressed.

    They’re idea- impoverished political illiterates, wrapping flags and bad history around impotent entitlement-based rage against perceived or in many cases imagined social and economic disadvantages.

    At least have the cop-on to acknowledge that there’s a lumpen element to it and for that matter a sectarian element. They’re a northern working class nationalist Tea Party is what they are, at least be honest about it and don’t call them radical without having your tongue very firmly wedged in your cheek.

    By the way I’m not sure you can honestly say that PSF was ever genuinely socialist in any recognizable sense to begin with (and in sme cases not very republican either) so the idea that they ditched that isn’t really true.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Rory:

    The family unit proves the point. The wife and husband don’t usually share DNA. But their children have their DNA and so it would seem a good idea for wife and husband to cooperate so as to ensure that the DNA that is theirs but now in their children survives to reproduce. The wife and husband also need each other to reproduce in the first instance, so there’s the first reason for each to cooperate with the other. That’s the nuc family. The extended family is more or less the same, with the exception that those cousins more far removed tend to not get quite the same consideration (lesser amount of shared DNA), but they’re still cousins and so still share some measure of one’s own DNA, and so some consideration is extended.

    The argument for cooperation outside the family unit, both nuc and extended, is simply that nothing in evolutionary biology says that being a good shot is a bad thing. So perhaps we extend the level of care outside the family lest we be shot dead by one of the greedy, covetous, envious outsiders. We can call that buying’s one life and one’s peace, a not insubstantial gain in this great struggle for survival of one’s self and one’s offspring. I am reminding some of my US Republican and Libertarian fellow citizens of that very thing right now, what with more and more falling outside the safety net (with expiration of unemployment compensation and ineligibility for welfare benefits unless one has a child in one’s custody), and so better you demonstrate some level of care for the outsider rather than be found shot dead by the desperate outsider.

    For a bonus freebie, recall that the communist brand of socialists were and are internationalists, and not nationalists. Do they not know why some canines form packs and drive other canine packs out of certain territory and take over that territory? In other words, there’s a whole bunch of our human history that can be explained by looking at the behavior of certain pack animals (the ones we share our incisor teeth with). WWI taught Mussolini the lesson and so he went from international socialist aka communist to national socialist aka fascist. And he wasn’t relying on the lesson of all, but the lesson from the declared international socialists. When he saw that they too were picking up arms and shooting each other, he understood that even the true believers couldn’t overcome the pack instinct, and why fight the impossible when you can instead put on the reins and ride it. And so he went from international socialist to national socialist. Lastly, for how unsuccessful was the internationalist experiment, simply recall that when the USSR collapsed, well, how many -stans are there now? The Uzbeks have their own. The Tajiks have their own. And so on. And on the western end we wound up with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and the Ukraine. All in all, a collection of packs formed on the basis of their related DNA. Entirely predictable. Today’s multicultural experiment is the attempt to avoid that breakup, by allowing the pack to be pack within territory inhabited by other packs who are allowed to be their own pack(s). We’ll see how that turns out.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Sorry, for a correction, that line about teeth should refer to those we share our canines and incisors with.

  • Rory Carr

    Too much waffle there, Slappy.

    It simply boils down to this: Co-operation, the socialist imperative, is the modus vivendi for fruitful, meaningful social development.

    In place of that the capitalist experiment would posit “dog-eat-dog”, the outcome of which is constant strife, ever-continuing crises, uncertainty, mayhem and warfare and its watchword is “fear”. A charter suited best for thieves and butchers.

  • malairt

    @Rory
    Can you give any examples of the socialist imperative being implemented successfully? And by successful I mean that the mass of the people live well.

  • Rory Carr

    How about the programme of the post-WWII Labour Government or FDR’s New Deal, post-war Sweden? Indeed any country where public services such as education, health, the supply of basic utilities, transport and infrastructure are undertaken for the public good rather than exploited for the profit of rapacious investors.

  • Cynic2

    What.You want to put Eigri members to work instead of being oppressed on the dole. Fascist!

  • Rory, in practice it seems that conservatives like to spend their own money and socialists other people’s money. Perhaps communitarianism and the building of social capital would be a better way to make social progress.

  • Rory Carr

    Nevin,

    Since all profit on capital invested can only be made from the labour of others and, since the capital originally invested is nothing more than stored-up profit, it follows that, if by conservatives you mean capitalists, then the only wealth they have to dispose of is that which was earned by the labour of others.

    Hardly a case of them liking to spend their own money would you say?

  • Rory, I’d think they still consider it their money whether the sums be large or small. Hence my use of the word conservative rather than capitalist. Those who trade labour for money sometimes might be better off than the other way round. It cuts two ways.

    Manifestations of socialism such as the Trades Union movements sometimes appear to be more interested in empire building than in the interests of their members, let alone the greater public interest.

  • Cynic2

    I look forward to the election and challenge anyone to report an Eirigi canvasser out of bed and up and about before noon any day

  • Nunoftheabove

    Rory

    So beyond what point does adequacy in terms of a share of the profits of one’s labour (which is contentious to say the least in establishing a ‘fair’ baseline for) become greed exactly ? If a company sets a profit target of 15% to stay afloat and survive with miminal growth and to share profits out equitably (in your estimation) in this financial year would mean payouts which would jeopardize the future of the company would you consider it reasonable to do so or would you consider it irresponsible and greedy and self-defeating ?

  • Manus McSweeny

    I for one welcome a new party and perspective entering the electoral contest, sinn fein have stolen the sdlp’s clothes so while yes nationalist voters have a choice between the sdlp of sf it is like being asked to choose between coke and pepsi when their both cola’s meaning reguardless of who gets the seat the electorate will get the same preformance from the role.

    We need a challenge to the Status Quo because its obvious that things aren’t working here so a fresh face couldn’t hurt.

    I for one will be open to hearing their arguements and if they say the right things i would have no problem voting for someone who might offer something new compared to our previous menu which has grown stale and boring.