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Bertie calls the shots

Weeks after humiliation in the abortion referendum, drowning in sleaze and scandal, open about his intention of kicking the Irish working class yet again, Bertie has bounced back – on course to lead a new government.

Bertie is a typical representative of Irish capital.  His aggression towards the Irish working class is only matched by fawning conciliation of reaction.  So the workers are to pay compensation for the abusive crimes of clerics.  There’s clearly no bigoted attack that can be made by David Trimble or dirty trick by the new RUC/PSNI that could break Dublin support for the new sectarian administration in the North.  His response to George Bush and US aggression was to tug his forelock and pledge undying support.

How did such a gangster get re-elected?

One reason is that all the major parties in the election had variations on the same programme.  Most working people realise that in reality they are not being offered a real choice. The biggest electoral upset came from Sinn Fein – a party whose basic programme calls for unity with Irish capital rather than for class struggle.

The biggest immediate problem of socialist militants is that even when left candidates did stand they dodged a head-on confrontation with capital and stood on gas-and-water socialism that misses all the big issues.  Our task, election or no election, is to build a movement willing to face up to the big questions of Social Partnership and the Good Friday Agreement and provide a socialist alternative to greed and reaction.


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