The March 2017 issue of Socialist Voice, published by the Communist Party of Ireland in Dublin, is now out.

Contents include:


Solidarity with the Tesco workers!   Jimmy Doran
Mandate and its members are under attack from Tesco, the most profitable retailer in the country. The company has declared that pre-1996 employee contracts are outdated and wants to cut the pay and working conditions of these workers, despite a Labour Court recommendation being rejected by 97 per cent of the workers. 

Our class needs a strong labour movement:   Tommy McKearney

Do you recall the old Joe Hill song “The Preacher and the Slave,” which included the great line “Work and pray, live on hay, You’ll get pie in the sky when you die”? The song was composed over a century ago, and some may believe that harsh working conditions are a thing of the past. For those who think that, we now have a different, more enlightened type of capitalist employer.
     Then consider a recent posting in the “situations vacant” columns of a rural newspaper. The advertisement read:

The unfulfilled promise of the Fenian Proclamation:    Seán Byers
The centenary year of the 1916 Rising, for all its symbolic importance, can perhaps be best seen as a staging-post in the long struggle to build a social movement that is capable of transforming Irish society. The political establishment is wounded, but not fatally so, while the economic class that has positioned itself as an intermediary between foreign capital and Irish assets continues to thrive under the protection of the state. 

The taxman cometh!
Gabriel Rosenstock translates and introduces a poem by George Mackay Brown

The Marxist scholar George Thomson (1903–1987) was drawn to the culture and language of the Blasket Islands and had a warm friendship with one of its fine memoirists, Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. 

Gerrard Winstanley and the Diggers:    Jenny Farrell
Every so often we look back at individuals in history—not because they made history but because history made them. Their struggle in the cause of liberation from the injustices of property-driven class society provides us with a sense of continuity, direction, and hope. 
     Almost from its inception, bourgeois society exhibited its potential for bloodshed and violence as well as for a vision of a society of equals. The bourgeois revolution in England in 1640–1660 brought to power the bourgeoisie for the first time in history.

EU approves controversial trade deal:   Eoghan M. Ó Néill
The EU Parliament has passed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, and the elements of the controversial deal may now be provisionally implemented within the month. 
     CETA contains almost everything that the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Partnership Agreement (TTIP) threatened. CETA was negotiated not by the national parliaments of EU member-states but in secrecy by unaccountable EU bureaucrats. 

The battle for Madrid that thunders on:   Harry Owens
Peadar O’Donnell recalled how the Spanish Anti-Fascist War looked to Irish eyes:
I went to Spain last July with a party who planned a holiday in a land with a likelihood of sun . . . I walked into a civil war in Achill just as I walked into one in Spain, and it was the same civil war . . . A picture of Achill is a picture of Spain,” [the uproar of which] “rekindled the antagonisms of our own civil war . . . Fishermen in Achill held a steadier light to the events in Spain than the intellectuals in our universities, because they remembered that men like themselves beyond there were struggling strongly amid the uproar.1

Cuba walks the talk:   Tomás Mac Síomóin

The role of Cuba in curbing the spread of the Ebola virus in west Africa is internationally recognised—albeit grudgingly by the United States. The central role of Cuban and Cuban-trained medical personnel in helping victims of the 21st-century earthquakes in Haïti has been less publicised. The doctors attending the protesters fighting against the profanation by an oil company of their sacred lands at Standing Rock, North Dakota, are mainly Afro-American graduates of Cuba’s famous Latin American Medical School, the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina. 

Letter from Trinidad de Cuba:   Seán Joseph Clancy
Michael D represented Ireland well during his recent four-day official visit to Cuba. 
     He arrived on St Valentine’s Day, having been to both Colombia and Peru. All three are countries close to our president’s heart, and exchanges with his counterparts in the latter two will have been more meaningful and informed than they might have come to expect from European officials, who generally blindly toe the NATO and US line and swap ephemeral platitudes, unlikely to rattle a status quo that literally leaves children starving to death in two of the most unequal and corrupt rich countries on Earth. 

An imagined history

■ Allison Murphy, Winnie and George: An Unlikely Union, Dublin: Mercier Press, 2017. 

Last year Socialist Voice published a brief outline of a lecture by Dr Helga Woggon on Winnie Carney, aide-de-camp to James Connolly during the 1916 Rising. In January 1917 Allison Murphy, a former Belfast teacher, produced a book, Winnie and George: An Unlikely Union. The blurb on the back of the book states: “It is a powerful lesson in how love, once discovered, can be greater than the sum of all our divisions.” 

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