Workers' Liberty 9, January 1988

Tony Benn and the lies the left tells itself about Ireland (1988)

Published on: Mon, 24/03/2014 - 20:54

From Workers' Liberty 9, 1988: an analysis of left "conventional wisdoms" on Ireland, in response to a speech by Tony Benn.


Elsewhere in Workers Liberty we print a recent speech by Tony Benn on Ireland. (Click here to read Benn's speech). Benn is deservedly one of the most respected voices on the left. Apart, perhaps, from his proposal that UN troops should replace the British in Northern Ireland, his views on Ireland are typical of the left — typically wrong-headed. Tony Benn rightly says that the media burkes discussion of the issue. But so does the left — we stifle ourselves with

Editorials: Israel-Palestine, 2 nations 2 states; industrial fightback; USSR moves towards pulling out of Afghanistan

Published on: Sat, 23/04/2011 - 21:28

The insurgent Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank are now teaching the people of Israel that Karl Marx was right when he wrote that "a nation which enslaves another can never itself be free". The first intifada started in December 1987.

Nurses began strike action in January 1988, the first big industrial flare-up since the defeat of the miners' strike in 1985.

After eight years of unsuccessful efforts to crush the peoples of Afghanistan, the government of the USSR started talking openly about withdrawing from Afghanistan.

Click here to download pdf.

Survey: intifada in West Bank; union recruitment campaigns; Labour Thatcherites in NZ; Natal's civil war

Published on: Sat, 23/04/2011 - 21:18

In response to the uprising (intifada) in the West Bank, which started in December 1987, Israel should be made to get out of the occupied territories and allow the formation there of a fully independent Palestinian state.

The GMB and TGWU unions have started a scramble to recruit hitherto untapped sources of union membership - public work schemes, young people, part-time workers, especially women.

Roger Douglas, minister of finance in New Zealand's Labour government, introduced a sweeping Thatcherite programme - flat-rate income tax, big privatisations - without even consulting the Labour

Ireland After Enniskillen

Published on: Sat, 23/04/2011 - 21:13

On 8 November 1987, in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, eleven people were killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb exploded at the town's war memorial (cenotaph) during a Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

Tony Benn called for Britain to set a date for withdrawal from Ireland, and stick to it.

Click here to download pdf.

Solidarnosc after the referendum

Published on: Sat, 23/04/2011 - 21:01

On 29 November 1987 the Polish government called a referendum on a programme of market-oriented economic reforms, asking for approval although "this will mean going through a difficult two to three year period". It got a 60-odd per cent majority on a poor turnout, less than the 50% of the whole electorate which it wanted. The banned Solidarnosc trade union movement, although its leaders and even the majority of its rank and file had swung to pro-market views, had called for a boycott of the referendum. Socialists internationally should support Solidarnosc as a workers' movement - irrespective

The Crimean Tatars: the nation Stalin deported

Published on: Sat, 23/04/2011 - 20:55

Beginning on the night of 17-18 May 1944, the entire Crimean Tatar population was deported and scattered across Central Asia.

Some 100,000 Crimean Tatars, 40% of the population, died in the course of the deportation and the first year after that.

In the 1950s some minor concessions were made to the demands of the remaining Crimean Tatars. But in 1988 the Crimean Tatars were still campaigning for, and being refused, the right to return to the Crimean peninsula.

The Crimean Tatars were annexed into the Russian Empire of Catherine II in 1783. Before then they had had an ambiguous relationship,

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