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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 May 2008

Global capitalist crisis: Confidence in a socialist future

Peter Taaffe speaking at Socialist Party congress 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Peter Taaffe speaking at Socialist Party congress 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

'THE GLOBAL economic crisis and the socialist alternative today', was the theme of a two day speaking tour of Ireland last week by Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party (England and Wales).

Kevin McLoughlin, Dublin

On the Thursday, Peter spoke at a meeting of just under 40 in Renshaws Hotel in Belfast. Paddy Meehan of Belfast Socialist Youth also spoke, detailing how conditions for workers and youth are being hit by the oncoming crisis.

Then in Dublin on Friday over 140 packed into the ballroom of Wynn's Hotel in the city centre. Socialist Party (Southern Ireland) public representative Joe Higgins chaired the meeting. The first speaker was Tom Fitzgerald. Tom was until recently an organiser with the Building and Allied Trades Union (Batu). With the crisis in construction, the membership of Batu and therefore its finances have declined. Instead of responding by launching a new recruitment drive to strengthen the union at this vital time, the union 'leadership' has sacked two organisers, including Tom, and intimidated the staff. The organisers and staff, members of the union Unite, have placed official pickets on Batu.

Peter then spoke and gave a comprehensive overview of the world economic and political situation. He dealt with the recent victories and gains for the Tories and to a lesser extent for the BNP in Britain, and of Berlusconi and the extreme right in Italy; how new mass workers' parties can be established; the reasons why the global economic crisis will be very serious for workers (citing that Spain and Ireland will be particularly badly hit); and how the crisis of capitalism will make it even more urgent to build a mass socialist movement in the years ahead.

A lively discussion was followed by music and singing of traditional and labour movement songs. The whole event was very enjoyable and gave a confident and optimistic view of the future for all who attended.

  • For more information on the dispute at Batu, email: tomfitzgerald06@eircom.net
  • Please send messages of protest to Paddy O'Shaughnessy at: p.os@batu.ie Messages of support can be sent to Tom (above) or Unite at: bogle@tgwu.org.uk


    "The meeting was really valuable, both the speeches from Peter and Tommy but also what was said from the floor. The big attendance showed many people are aware that the economic situation is very serious and want to discuss the issues"

    Ann Orr, student from Limerick

    "I thought the meeting was very inspiring in outlining the alternatives to the profit based society"

    Gordon Gallagher, County Meath

    "Instead of feeling bleak about a coming recession, I left the meeting feeling positive that there is an alternative in a socialist society"

    Elisa O'Donovon, Dublin

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    In The Socialist 14 May 2008:

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    Burma cyclone disaster: Wealth and privilege put before aid

    60 year anniversary of Israel: Can there be a resolution of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict?

    Scottish National Party: One year in power - but little for workers to celebrate

    Global capitalist crisis: Confidence in a socialist future


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