Saturday, September 19, 2015

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Op-Ed: One Ireland One Vote And A New Phase Of Struggle

Sean Bresnahan promotes One Ireland One VoteSean Bresnahan is a member of the Thomas Ashe Society in Omagh and current PRO of the 1916 Societies.

Republicans at this time must find the space to assess together how the struggle in Ireland can move forward. At present it’s stuck in second gear, existing rather than progressing.

Part of that can involve looking and learning from independence movements ongoing in Catalonia and Scotland, searching out the positives to be gained from a referendum campaign – and perhaps more importantly the pitfalls and what we must watch out for and be careful of along the way.

Sovereignty and democracy are not outdated notions but enduring concepts that retain key value to those still on our political journey. With that in mind, an all-Ireland referendum can become a genuine tool of struggle and a credible alternative to the failed status quo. The time is now to fine-tune and roll out anew the One Ireland One Vote proposal, to the republican base and the wider Irish people, with the time ahead, the run-in to 2016, offering a unique opportunity to get stuck in, to grasp the bit between our teeth and go for it.

The times that are in it present huge difficulties for people all over Ireland, but in those same difficulties lie opportunity – opportunity to depose the failed, counter-revolutionary apparatus of state, whether North or South, that has brought our people to the brink of despair. Whether it’s water charges in the South, welfare reform in the North, housing shortages, homelessness, debts, national debt, you name it, the solution lies in the democratic Irish Republic laid out by the visionary leaders of 1916. That is the message we must take to the doorstep, that is what One Ireland One Vote must mean to those at the coalface today.

People are looking for solutions, gravitating towards republicanism as they do so, often without even realising it. The political ground is shifting. The status quo is in crisis, with seemingly nowhere to turn, and events on the ground have those in the corridors of power on the run for the first time in decades. Indeed in the South the raw energy exploding on the streets of our cities and towns is something arguably not seen in generations.

With the above in mind, we must work to make republicanism relevant to all engaged in struggle throughout Ireland. We need to open up the conversation, to demonstrate how republicanism, built as it is on the principle of mutual solidarity, offers a vehicle for everyone to band together and achieve a truly progressive society, a new democratic arrangement that wrestles power from global capital and returns sovereignty to the Irish people, offering a better life and life prospects for us all.

One Ireland One Vote can help deliver that end. It is within our grasp if we believe in it and in our ability to see it made real. The argument we have come to an end of a revolutionary cycle and must wait on events is for the optics, the events are here and now and are happening all around us, in Ireland and beyond. As republicans we must believe this is not the end but the beginning, the beginning of a new cycle in the revolution, a new phase in the struggle for freedom. Together we must work to put One Ireland One Vote at the centre of that struggle, together democracy and the will of the people shall prevail.


DaithiD said...

I worry when I hear (mainly British MP's actually) talk of the need to make things relevant to the public. It sounds conceited to me,and usually something elites say in the need to appear open to participation. Which brings me to the 'conversation' you envisage, given the criteria listed, its only going to be more of the same isnt it?

Ozzy said...

Well I see the water issue as been the closest thing to Michael Davitts land league.
So you could recruit people from the One Ireland One Vote.
I am not an expert on Irish History..but isn't that kind of what happened to Davitt and Daniel O connell.
They started off down one road before turning their followers toward breaking the link with England.
They created Nationalists out of nothing. pretty much.
Also, I have been thinking about the courts system.
I read in a book that the 1919 War of Independence was "won" by the Irish.
Not by flying columns but by the fact that Republicians set up their own court system.
The Brits knew the game was up for them in Ireland ..due to the fact that No Irish were using the Brit-scum "justice" system in Ireland.

Fast forward a bit...Today we have the Brits closing down their courts and Cutting off Legal Aid to people.
Thus denying the populace access to "justice"
So the Brits ( the fools ) are creating a vacumn.
Could the 1916 societies start a restorative justice system.
The first step would be to research why the Irish 1919 court system worked.
Obviously no PIRA could be involved as the long term aim would be to open up the people's Courts to Unionists.
Also, the Celtic peoples had their own statutes so that could be the basis that the law would use.
It's something to aim for. Although full of difficulties.
But in short..there are answers from the Irish past and indeed also from SNP and Catalonia too.
Gud luck.

frankie said...


You were making sense until you said..."Obviously no PIRA could be involved as the long term aim would be to open up the people's Courts to Unionists."...

So no former paramilitaries on either side are allowed Ozzy. What about current paramilitaries , are they acceptable? Community policing in a residential part of Belfast... The subtitles make for interesting reading.

A republic has to be inclusive. Thats the problem today, some people because of their past are left out of the loop. Ozzy I'll use this analogy. Some of the best people to help who ever stop any type of addiction are former addicts, staying with that "line of though".

We both know how corrupt the police and courts are. And no matter how many review bodies are put in place the policing/courts systems stay the same. Whats wrong with asking former paramilitaries on both sides of the oxymorons for their input, ask them to sit on a review board? Why can't a review board be made including former paramilitaries who came through the diplock court system. Just a hunch, I think "they'd" make sure there would be the correct checks & balances in place to make sure cases like Ivor Bell wouldn't have seen the light of day anymore than "they'd" allowed the imprisonment of Gerry McGeough or the arrests of either Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams to have taken place.

At a guess in Roe House there would be less prisoners if former paramilitaries were allowed to sit on review boards. There are prisoners in Maghaberry today held on remand and the evidence given for their internment is either circumstantial or hear say at best. How many times are they going to arrest people like Colin Duffy? If what happened to Martin Kelly, was to happen to one of the local Taliban or a brother...Every human rights group and "do gooder" would be shouting from the roof tops about human rights abuses at British Prison's in Ireland.

What is allowed to happen today Ozzy is political activists are hauled through the courts at fcuk knows what cost because they wrote what..."Fcuk the Queen or Brits Out" on some wall in Derry? While people like John Patrick SmythJ are allowed out unsupervised!!!!!

Ozzy the whole thing needs over hauled and you can't exclude former paramilitaries just because they spent time in prison.

Niall said...

What struggle? Do you think the ordinary person talks in terms of 'struggle' about the water rates? I think we need to get away from our use of revolutionary language that belongs back in the past and try and use language that identifies more with the modern day.....

sean bres said...

Thanks for the comments guys and Niall, you're right. I have a tendency to use terminology which in truth, as you say, is not only outdated, it likely hinders how the point I try to make will be received by the ordinary 5' 8". And that's who we really need to be aiming at here if we want to make a difference. Would they talk about 'the struggle for a free Scotland'? Probably not. David, I don't mean to be condescending, what I really mean is that we have to take onboard the type of campaigns that are relevant to people in their ordinary lives, and not for self-gain but because that ultimately is what we should be doing. As Ozzy and Frankie seem to be saying, this will develop its own dynamic. What Ireland needs at the minute is a diffuse 'struggle from below' and the 1916 Societies should simply be a part of that rather than try to control it, as republicans have oft-times tended to do. Thanks again for the response

Peter said...

Well said. I wasn't going to comment because Sean thinks I troll him but...there are 4 references to "struggle" and 3 to "revolution" in this one article. It isn't as bad as IRSP articles which are dripping in this type of rhetoric and conjure up images of Wolfie Smyth types sitting round a dinner table. I'll wager that this type of language is a major turn off to the very people Sean is trying to attract. At least he has the good grace to acknowledge your criticism.

sean bres said...

Peter, without dragging up old ground, never once have I suggested you troll my pieces or comments. I've no problem discussing anything with someone like yourself (a unionist) and indeed welcome the opportunity. I've said as much previously. That piece was actually an editorial I wrote for our bi-monthly publication but for the next issue I hope to take this feed-back onboard and row back on the good old rhetoric. Comforts of old eh, sometimes you need to consider letting them go...

Henry JoY said...


you came to mind on Thursday last as I listened to news reports carrying Gerry Adams's comments at the launch of Declan Kearney's 'Uncomfortable Conversations'.

He said a united Ireland will emerge in future but it ...
“may not be the one traditionally envisaged over the years”.

and further commented that ... “We need to be able to consider transitional arrangements which could mean continued devolution to Belfast within an all-island structure ...”

Reminded me of some of your recent astute predictions! He'll probably drip-feed the lemmings the news about the PSNI taking over policing in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan between now and the centenary Easter Message (Lol).

Tain Bo said...

Just a nosey question who gets to decide what is rhetoric and outdated thinking. I am not taking sides but should Sean be silenced because some find his language outdated. I was not aware that language had a sell by date.

AM said...

Tain Bo,

setting aside anything that has been written in Sean's piece, the listener gets to decide and might decide not to listen. There might be no sell by date but there is a turn off point. Danny Morrison once wrote in Iris Bheag that the Marxist language used in the mag sounded like Esperanto. It was one of those rare occasions where I thought he called it right. Inflexion can change and often does. Meaning is more often positional than it is fixed.

Peter said...

The penny is dropping that any constituitional change will involve more compromise. Those pushing for a 32 county republic are pissing in the wind. Teflon Gerry's some operator though! Lol

Tain Bo
"...who gets to decide what is rhetoric and outdated thinking"
The answer to that is: the public. If you are trying to attract support from the public then the laws of political rhetoric maintain that you must speak to them in a language that inspires them to follow you.

sean bres said...

Probably a case of striking the right balance. I'm not going exclusively on the basis of the comments above though Tain, I just think there might be a point in what was said. I'll be the first to admit I can be excessive with the old rhetoric but on reading back over the piece I don't think it was TOO extreme. I accept the advice from Niall nevertheless.

In terms of the comment about Adams and his change of tact on what a United Ireland might mean, I personally have no issue with regional devolution, within a sovereign Ireland, and think it well worth discussing. I don't however believe this is where Adams is headed. Instead these are more likely the opening remarks in a conditioning process, to shift the Irish people towards accepting some form of permanent association between Ireland and Britain, of which a pseudo-United Ireland would be part. The goal posts are being moved and by the time they show their full hand they'll no longer be on the playing field, never mind being moved forwards or backward. The opening salvos in the latest act of treachery...

Henry JoY said...

Spot on Sean.

You're dead right about this being the commencement of a conditioning process.
Here's the rub though, the vast majority will happily grab it. It'll quite quickly come to be seen as a face-saving compromise and accepted by most.
It will especially let all the 'free-state' factions of the hook with regards to impossibility of the 'Republic' as declared in 1916. The more pragmatic Unionists are already looking over their shoulder to the evolving changes in Scotland so eventually there'll be a significant buy-in to new and 'transitional' (in reality read permanent) arrangements all round.

Of course, there'll be the few outliers, a small cadre of fanatics on both sides who'll have to be dragged along screaming.

Maybe, as Bertie proposed at some stage, we're going back into the Commonwealth? More likely though, some new structure that recognises the commonalities between the various peoples and nations on these Atlantic Isles.

Wouldn't be the end of the world, would it?

Peter said...

I know I have been banging on about the commonwealth for some time but I think it will play an important part in any future settlement. At the last Commonwealth Games Paddy Barnes (I think) said that he is proud to represent N.I. in the games but having to stand for God save the Queen and having the 6 county banner raised spoiled the medal ceremony. I would love to see some agreement on neutral emblems and even 26 county participation in the games, especially given the affection there for the Royals. I know republicans are by nature anti-royal but is some realignment with the commonwealth a price republicans would be willing to pay to see agreed constitutional change?

Ozzy said...

The EU decides..NOT the commonwealth.
What a load of tosh.
People need to be woken up a wee bit.
Fell off my chair laughing.
It's irrelevant.

Ozzy said...

Good points I admit I never thought of any of that.
So perhaps there could be a role in advising how the courts may operate..But they couldn't be the public face of them.
Also I see the Austerity as the British state in retreat. Other ideas will have to made to exploit this.
More food banks will be needed for example.

Also I think the 1916 societies should look at GAWKER media and should try to establish a site like this. Only using subliminal messages of Irish support.
I am convinced GAWKER media was funded by MI6 for the purposes of soft power to push the Brit agenda over in the USA.
This has blogs in motoring, Health, techology etc. but it is basically "content Free" as it is done on the basis of "free Usage" rules of others material.
the word is churnalism.
And a lot of money and influence can had for the people who engage in it.
So, basically spend time on it[ Gawker] and you'll see A) how content Lite it is.
And B) How to reach a huge audience.
to control the narrative.
Clever use of the internet should be a priority issue.It is a handy way of raising revenue..Even using areas unrelated to Ireland.
This guy makes 1,000 per month on youtooobe alone

Tain Bo said...

Well, that will teach me not to ask nosey questions and I did get a laugh with an ops I forget the quill crowd are razor sharp.

A worldwide example of outdated rhetorical speech is accepted and practiced it also has its denouncers.
Religious thought did not die off as it maintains the numbers to stay afloat.

On the opposite end if a person or a small group of people use historical language it can be viewed as outdated and sidelined as less than progressive thinking.

Monarchies are outdated and have no place in the modern world but they are not sidelined. Two examples of wealthy and powerful institutions that would fall under the rhetorical language, when broken down a separation as theirs is a rich prestige history, and they escape the irrelevant trap.

The term peace process is now rhetorical as we live in the information age do we really get to decide what is relevant or do we just side with what we believe is in favour.

frankie said...

When James Connolly said in January 1897 "If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs."

Can someone explain what is out dated about it...Or how it isn't relevant today?

He understood what Jefferson said...

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” – Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)

One of the founding fathers of the now Corporate States of America Benjamin Franklin understood what needed to be done and did it..

A study of American Colonial history

The English officials asked how it was the Colonies managed to collect enough taxes to build poor houses, and how they were able to handle the great burden of caring for the poor.

Franklin's reply was most revealing: "We have no poor houses in the Colonies, and if we had, we would have no one to put in them, as in the Colonies there is not a single unemployed man, no poor and no vagabonds."

"It is because, in the Colonies, we issue our own paper money. We call it Colonial Script, and we issue only enough to move all goods freely from the producers to the Consumers; and as we create our money, we control the purchasing power of money, and have no interest to pay.

It wasn't that long ago the Gaddifi and Sadam wanted to break away from Standard Oils Petro Dollar and got wiped of the face the of the earth. Somehow I doubt if Ireland under a Republic envisaged by The United Irish men or in the 1916 ‪proclamation or what the PRM originally argued for (amongst other things) took a leaf from the founding fathers of the CSA and had her own version of Colonial Scrip.. in a nutshell I doubt if NATO would carpet bomb Ireland to oblivion. The powers that be may set up a Cuba type embargo. And I don't think the embargo would last that long...Ireland produces more than enough food to feed the country and around it's shores there is more than enough oil and gas to give everyone almost free energy...

sean bres said...

Loving that last post Frankie. I have written an article on this which will be on our website Thursday morning. Maybe Tony can run it that evening after I send the link, I'd love to hear your opinion on it. I'm sure it'll appear on the Quill at some point either way...

DaithiD said...

Sean,you must be delighted that ISIS also share your economic analysis, and must be following their gold backed dinar with great interest.
Frankie, please cost hiring professionals who know how to structure energy production,the gas and oil rigs, the hiring of professionals to operate them, and also the cost of facilities for cracking the fuel into useful hydrocarbons and storable gas, and the professionals to operate and maintain those plants into your analysis.It doesnt just bubble up from a hole neatly into barrells, and Ireland would need to pay for all this upfront,before any energy return.Thats all after you compensate any other companies who have contracts with the Government, otherwise Ireland will be banned from world trade.It doesnt seem so free to me.

DaithiD said...

Sean my comment was slightly tongue in cheek.Austerity isnt my field of expertise, ill happily concede that, I cant be expert at everything, I dont expect it of others.But if you are going to write a thesis on structuring the world economic system, people will be entitled to ask what qualifies you to do so.You wouldnt want to come across as some crank, like the ISIS finance people.Otherwise you might be in the business of condemning governments for loading massive debts on the population, whilst simulaneously claiming the currency the debts are in is worthless.(Incase you missed it : It cancels out)

sean bres said...

Take 'er easy hass, my own comment was tongue and cheek also

frankie said...

PressTV Videos

Published on Feb 13, 2014

A Simple Question part 1

A Simple Question part 2

The government has confirmed that republicanism is still punishable by life imprisonment and that it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen. According to the law, to "imagine" overthrowing the British crown or waging war against Queen Elizabeth II is punishable by life imprisonment.

In "part 2" at around 5mins 27seconds Adrian Cousin's from Counterfire explains that while the 1843 law hasn't been used in "modern times" on the UK mainland, there is precedents for draconian laws to be used when the state feels threatened enough. Such as in the miners strike when Parliament re-enacted a law from the 17th/18th century that prohibited "Besetting." Basically meant if you are on strike and someone crossed the picket line and you called them a scab, you can be brought before a court and jailed...

Calling for abolition of monarchy is still illegal, UK justice ministry admits