Proper Politics

Pádraic Mac Coitir focuses on political fragmentation among radical groups working against the development of proper politics. Pádraic Mac Coitir has been apolitical activist from childhood. 

How often do we hear those who claim to care about the woes in society talk of the need to 'work together'? The place in which I live, West Belfast, is not dissimilar to other parts of the country. It is made up of thousands of people who have an interest in politics which manifests itself on the odd occasion such as elections and protests. I'm not being condescending but that is not enough if we want to change the corrupt system which is bringing misery to many.

Is a political party the answer? If that party is truly revolutionary then possibly it could be. If it reverts to type and becomes part of the establishment then of course that kind of party is not worth anyone either supporting or joining.

Sinn Féin is the best example of how a once radical party which had some revolutionaries in its ranks can be sucked into a system it swore to bring down. It is now the complete opposite to what it claims to be. Once it abandoned the core issues during negotiations their once sworn enemies knew they had them and there was no going back.

Anyone who has read the article about phone calls Bill Clinton made to Adams will see how easily he was flattered and had his ego massaged. Of course the calls were carefully edited but now that we see where the leadership of SF is going it comes as no surprise.

Although SF does very well in elections in both the North and the Free State they are still in no position to bring about the end of British occupation and overthrow a corrupt system in the Free State. I'm not fixated with them but merely pointing out the dangers for others trying to emulate them. There are many out there committed to the goal of a Socialist Republic and it is indeed unfortunate there is little unity among the different groups/organisations.

I can understand the frustration with some but if we look at the state of society today I would argue now is the time for people to get together. We will always have our differences on certain issues but it's not good enough for us complain and whinge about the peelers, prisoners, injustice and all the things we have faced for generations. Other things that should concern us are the rise of food-banks, the many losing benefits, unemployment rising, poverty becoming more rife and all the effects this has on the working class. People don't necessarily have to join a political party to combat all of the above. If we sit and discuss the way forward we will bring others with us and even if it is as simple as setting up residents groups and giving power back to the people and away from those who purport to represent them it is a start.

All my adult life I have been involved in politics and have met many like-minded women and men and continue to meet many and we get frustrated and think we are banging our heads off a brick wall but those sentiments are natural. We only need read of how frustrated the great revolutionaries in our country and those involved in other countries got. So never mind those who we see and hear on the radio and TV so get out and get involved in proper politics!

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

2 comments to ''Proper Politics"

  1. Pádraic very well put, like a breadth of fresh air on a balmy Summer's evening. Maybe something like Sean Bresnahan's Éire Nua ideas? I agree most of your points about SF as an establishment party but not only in the North, in both sides of the border. Someone said there will be no Irish solution until the Brits are out but it's also looking that there won't be one especially a socialist one until SF are gone too.

    I like the idea of togetherness and community and I think that should be the new politics, a far cry from the 'New Politics' rhetoric that we hear all too often from establishment quarters.
    However, lately in the 26 counties we have experienced a major political awakening, albeit 'protest' one in the anti water campaign. This is something that should keenly dissected but unfortunately it is not. We should look into the role played by communities, the left and republican parties, the trade union movement and Independents.

    I conclude that what should have been the makings for a revolution awakening was usurped by trade union establishment figures using the catchy 'unity' slogan and directed it into the long boring and arduous political establishment arena. Like Brendan Ogle said "we have done our job now it's over to the political parties." They did all this in the centenary year of the 1916 Rising with the help and direction of political parties especially SF, unions and socialist politicians. The clever thing is they did it with blessing of many in the communities but worse socialists.

  2. That's just it....too many egos involved!


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