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Peter Hadden

Northern Irish Perspectives

Discussion document

(Summer 1974)

Written in [Summer] 1974.
Transcribed and marked up by Ciaran Crossey.

Editorial Note from ETOL: Peter Hadden drafted the nearly all of the Northern Ireland Perspectives documents for the CWI in Ireland. These documents were presented at CWI conferences for debate. They were meant to offer a broad political forecast, to help orientate the political work of the membership. While some small modifications were made in the discussion process, it would be fair to say that the final documents are essentially those drafted by Hadden, which is why they are included in this collection.

1.The problems facing the working class in Ireland have resulted from the tactics and strategies of British Imperialism over the past 4 centuries. The partition of the country and the sectarianism between Protestant and Catholic workers in Northern Ireland have been deliberately created and fostered by the British ruling class, as a means of dividing the Irish masses and thus facilitating their continuing domination and exploitation.

The rising of the United Irishmen in 1798 was a revolt of the peasantry, artisans, craftsmen and small manufacturing bourgeoisie against their conditions. The peasantry were bowed down with exorbitant rents while the artisans, craftsmen and small manufacturers suffered from the policy of the British Bourgeoisie at that time. This was to restrict the development of industry in Ireland to ensure that it would not develop into a serious competitor with British industry and to see that Ireland would remain as a source of cheap agricultural produce for the British market.

This revolt was put down partially by brutal repression but also by accentuating the sectarian division between Protestants and Catholics. The seeds of this division dated from the plantation of Ulster (1610). The Land wars and the Home Rule movement of the late 1800s were also opposed by the British authorities using the sectarian weapon. As Randolph Churchill said in 1886, explaining how to oppose the Home Rule bill; the “orange card” is the one to play. The 1916–23 “War of Independence” was met with the same tactics – repression and sectarian division.

At this time Ireland’s seaports were vital to Britain for her naval fleet and an independent Ireland could have been used as a base for attacks on the British mainland itself. These reasons alone were sufficient to warrant total opposition to independence from the British Bourgeoisie.

Added to this was the emergence of the Irish working class, especially the unskilled workers, as a fighting force. The first meeting of the Irish TUC took place in 1894. Connolly’s Irish Socialist Republican Party was formed in 1896. The 1907 strike in Belfast and the 1913 lock-out in Dublin in which 20,000 workers were involved directly, showed the growing combatavity and militancy of the class. The 1916 rising and the execution of its leaders mobilized the great majority of the Irish population outside the North-East against British Rule.

While the leadership of this struggle was in the hands of petit-bourgeois nationalists like de Valera, Collins and Griffith its mainspring was the terrible social conditions of the workers and small farmers. From 1916-1918 Trade Union membership rose from 65,000-250,000. Embryonic soviets flared up briefly in a few areas. The Trades Council in the city of Limerick controlled the city for a short period. The 1919 engineers strike in Belfast put the working class virtually in control of the city and also showed the potential for united working class action throughout the whole island. The Russian revolution raised the flag of the proletariat on a world scale, and Ireland was no exception. The British ruling class met this threat of social revolution by continuing to whip up sectarianism between Protestant and Catholic workers in the North East.

The Ulster Volunteer Force, a reactionary Protestant force was organised there by Edward Carson who was Solicitor-General in the 1900-1906 Tory Government in Britain. These tactics led to the partition of the country and the setting up of a “Protestant state for a Protestant people”. All the deaths and suffering in the North over the past five years (1,000 plus dead) have arisen from these conditions which have been created by British Imperialism.

The scourge of emigration which has resulted in the population of Ireland today being only half that of 1840, the high unemployment rate, the bad housing and low wages also find their source in the economic and political dominance of British Imperialism and the continuing existence of the Capitalist system in Ireland.

2. History moves on and with it tactics and strategies come under review and are changed. The military-strategic reasons that existed in the end of the last century for opposing “independence” no longer apply. Britain is no longer a great naval power. The importance of the Irish ports has largely disappeared. Also, because of the advent of nuclear weapons, Ireland has lost much of its military-strategic significance as far as Britain is concerned.

From the 1930s and especially with the advent of Fianna Fail to power an attempt was made in the South to build up a viable independent economic base behind tariff walls. The failure of this was testified to by the years of economic stagnation which followed and by the tens of thousands who emigrated every year.

In the late ’50s and early 60s this attempt was abandoned and instead the southern bourgeoisie looked towards a strengthening of the still existing economic links with the British economy and towards attracting foreign investment generally. The signing of the 1964 Free Trade agreement reflected this development. This agreement, by lowering the tariff walls, made foreign investment in the southern economy more profitable. Huge incentives in the form of grants and tax free periods were offered to encourage foreign investment. These grants and other aids to investors at present runs at an annual rate of up to £30 million pounds. The result has been a huge increase in foreign capital and especially British capital in the 26 counties. Approximately two thirds of Britain’s top hundred companies have subsidiaries in the 26 Counties and British sales to Eire, including imports from Northern Ireland, have increased from £188 million to £577 million last year. (Financial Times, 13/6/74)

This capital and these profits were protected by successive southern Irish governments and no problems of administration existed for the British Bourgeoisie as did in the North. The interests of Northern Ireland now clearly lay in dismantling the border and in some type of re-unification. This was reflected in the Lemass-O’Neill talks in the mid-sixties.

Unfortunately for them the sectarianism they had created amongst the Protestant working class in the North stood in the way of this new turn. The Protestant workers saw that a capitalist united Ireland would mean a fall in their living standards. While these standards are by no mean high in the North, the level of social services, education, and housing are much lower in the 26 counties. They also fear being incorporated as a minority in an extended 26 counties state dominated in so many spheres, education, contraception, divorce, etc. by the Roman Catholic Church. Added to this, many Catholics in the North, while identifying the escape route from their conditions in Northern Ireland along the lines of some sort of a united Ireland, would oppose the fall in their living standards that unity on a capitalist basis would entail.

The Southern ruling class consider the cost of unity too great. While paying lip service to it they point to the £300 million per year that would have to be found to maintain present standards in the North. This is the approximate figure transferred last year from the British Exchequer to the North over and over taxation revenue from the 6 counties to London. This year the figure is approximately 400 million pounds (Sunday Times, 2/6/74). Neither have they any wish to deal with the workers in the Shankill, Falls, Bogside or Creggan. Better to let the British army deal with them as at present. These are the factors which makes unity on a capitalist basis impossible.

3. Trotsky in the theory of Permanent Revolution showed how in a country with a weak bourgeoisie, i.e. a bourgeoisie that had arrived late on the scene of history, the tasks of the bourgeois revolution becomes the responsibility of the working class and the working class revolution. The main tasks of the bourgeois revolution were the distribution of the land from the landlords to the peasants, the unification of the national territory and the development of a viable independent economy.

The first of these was carried out in Ireland by the Land Acts of 1870–1910. These were passed in the British Parliament as an attempt to cut the peasantry away from active support of the Home Rule movement. They enabled 12.5 million acres of land to be distributed to ½ million peasants.

The signing of the Treaty in 1921 demonstrated the inability of the Southern bourgeoisie to carry through the task of unifying the National Territory. Thus partition, this remnant of the bourgeois democratic revolution is still with us. As is the need to build a strong independent economy. The upturn in industrialisation of the past 15 years has resulted from an increase in foreign investment attracted by the lowering of the tariff walls and investment incentives of the 60’s and 70’s. The capitalist class in the South, by opening up the economy to foreign capital in this way, acknowledged their own inability to build a viable economic base. These tasks can only be solved by the working class. Only they can carry them through and then only as part of the socialist revolution.

4. The development of the civil rights movement and its mass support in 1968–69–70, while drawing the overwhelming majority of its support from the Catholic working class, especially the Catholic youth, raised an opportunity for linking with the Protestant workers on their common problems of bad housing, low wages, high unemployment and the rising cost of living.

Tragically, the domination of the Civil Rights movement by the politics of the Communist Party of Ireland and the Official Sinn Fein saw to it that these common working class issues were not taken from a working class position, instead only democratic demands were put forward. This democratic programme found no echo amongst the Protestant workers. Instead by holding a movement to this democratic programme the door was opened to the Catholic middle class elements like Hume and Currie. While the Civil Rights movement could not in itself have cemented the unity of the class, if it had raised the class issues and directed the socialist demands which flowed from these issues towards the organised Labour and Trade Union movement, demanding that the Labour leaders take up the struggle, the labour movement would have been mobilised and the class drawn together.

5. As the Civil Rights movement showed no way forward, disillusionment with the leadership and tactics increased, and with the leaders of the labour movement providing no alternative, sections of the Catholic youth turned to the Provos. The Provos birth, while rooted in the conditions of unemployment, repression and frustration of the Catholic ghetto areas, was assisted by sections of the Southern ruling class who were worried about the struggle spreading to the South. Its growth in the initial stages was greatly helped by the murderous tactics of the British army.

From the beginning the Provos campaign was doomed to failure. It was based at its height on at most 1/3 of the population, while 2//3 were absolutely opposed to it. It was inevitable that it would deepen the sectarian divide between Protestant and Catholic workers. This had been irrefutably borne out by recent events. (Assassinations of Catholics and the Loyalist workers strike.)

British Imperialism, while as previously explained, desiring some type of re-unification, were not prepared to concede it to the Provos campaign. They believed that withdrawal on their part would mean a sectarian civil war, during this conflagration millions of pounds of their investments would be ruined and destroyed. The Southern state would be involved and out of the ashes of the civil war there was the danger of the social questions arising.

Groups of armed workers, even while shooting each other, are viewed with fear by the ruling class. If a strike developed, it’s a short step for armed workers to consider using their guns to settle with the bosses. The battles and events that would take place during such a conflict would give lessons and examples to British workers who are moving into increasing conflict with their own ruling class.

The Southern ruling class, for political reasons talk of unity of the country, cannot afford, as already explained, to pay the price. The Special Criminal Court and the wholesale jailing of Provos along with their open collaboration with the British army and RUC demonstrated clearly where their interests lie.

6. The Provos tactics of individual terror was and is a cul-de-sac for the Catholic youth. The planting of a bomb or the shooting of a soldier turned the attention of the Catholic masses away from the struggle for a program and policies around which to mobilise the power of the working class, turned their gaze away from the road of mass action to attitude of passivity where the armed individual did the job for them. A brief analysis of the development of the consciousness of the Catholic working class, especially the youth, in areas like the Bogside and Creggan bears this out. When the mass movement started in 1968-69, the keenness for ideas and the search for a way forward was uppermost in their minds.

A talk with the great majority of these youth today shows a cynicism for ideas and an attitude of “bomb them out”. The bomb and gun is the solution to all problems. This is the inevitable consequence of the tactics of individual terror. It lowers the consciousness of the masses. These tactics also, and this includes the retaliation policy of the Officials, provide an excuse for ever increasing repression by the army and police. Not to mention the waste in terms of the death and demoralization of some of the most courageous elements of the Catholic youth.

7. The recent Ulster Workers Council strike showed the total opposition of the Protestant population showed the total opposition of the Protestant population to unification on a capitalist basis which was represented to them by the Provos campaign, the Sunningdale agreement and the proposed Council of Ireland. The strike, with all its distortions, showed the immense power of the industrial working class and also underlined the need to win the Protestant workers in the North. The UWC was made up of sectarian elements amongst the Protestant industrial workers. It grew out of the ashes of the loyalist Association of Workers and concentrated on recruiting workers in key positions in industry, especially the electricity generating stations, They were linked by a co-ordinating committee to the UDA, the UVF and other paramilitary Protestant groups.

When the UWC called the strike only a small percentage of workers responded. In one industrial estate in Derry over 95 % of Protestant workers remained at work. When this lack of support of the Protestant workers became obvious to the UWC, the muscle of the UDA, UVF, etc. was used to “get support” for the strike. Road blocks were set up and manned by armed men, houses of Protestant workers still at work were visited and threats were issued. These tactics culminated in the shooting dead of two Catholic bar managers in Ballymena who had kept their premises open.

Nevertheless when the strike began to become effective, many Protestant workers put aside their initial resentment at the methods of intimidation used and because of their sympathy with the aims of the UWC, against the Council of Ireland, Sunningdale, etc, adopted a more tolerant attitude. The mistakes of the Wilson government in sending in the troops to operate the petrol stations and the speech calling the Protestants “spongers” pushed many of the waverers behind the strike. The bringing down of the Executive appeared as a victory in the eyes of the Protestant population and increased the authority of the UWC in their eyes.

While the strike was against Sunningdale it was not opposition from a working class standpoint. The UWC did not oppose Sunningdale because it was no way forward for the workers, they did not want to replace it with workers power, instead they wanted a return to Protestant ascendancy. The strike was reactionary and has raised the possibility of a split in the trade union movement and has increased sectarianism.

The collaboration with Paisley, West and Craig, keeping in mind the latter’s oft repeated call for the trade union movement in the North to split from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, underlines these dangers. The idea of Protestant unions has been aired as has the idea of Catholic unions. While this possibility cannot be excluded the signs are that the trade union movement will remain united. The strike also increased sectarianism amongst sections of the Catholic workers. Resentment and anger was expressed during the strike and after the return of the Protestant workers. Throughout the strike and afterwards the need for defence of the oppressed minority in the North, the Catholics, was posed more urgently than at any time since 1969.

As explained, not only the Catholic workers showed a lack of support for the strike call. In the initial stages the great majority of the Protestant workers showed that they wanted to remain at work. This was reflected in the meeting of 300 shop stewards and trade unionists in Belfast who organised, in conjunction with the trade union leaders, a march back to work. These labour leaders were spurred into action by the shop stewards meeting and also the fear that the official trade union movement could be usurped by the UWC. Their “leadership” came at the 11th hour after no serious intervention over the past five years and with virtually no preparation. Two back to work marches were announced and Len Murray came over to “lead”! No effort was made to protect the march or to deal with the need for defence of the workers generally from any quarter.

8. As with the peace committees in 1969 and the calls from trade unionists over the past few years for the trade unions to take up this problem of workers being intimidated and murdered, this opportunity was also missed. The resources of the trade unions provided the means of calling a conference of all trade unionists, shop stewards, shop stewards committees and trades councils and at such a conference organize defence for the back to work marches. Not only for the march but to organise area by area a trade union defence force using trades councils and union branches as co-ordinating centres. These centres to deal with all problems of defence for workers from both sides of the religious divide.

The various paramilitary groups have been shown to be incapable of defending their own areas. The British army has given up all pretension to being a peace keeping body and is exposed in its true role as a repressive force. The only contribution it can make is to withdraw. Only the trade union movement, based as it is on both sides of the religious divide, can provide a defence for the working class.

Instead of the back to work marches being poorly attended (300 approx.) it could, if organised as explained above, have marked a turning point in the situation in the North. Many more works would have turned out to these marches but for the barricades that went up in Protestant housing estates at 6am on the day. However the lack of leadership of the trade unions over the past 6 years and the fact that no measures were taken to organise defence for the march and afterwards provided no great inspiration for workers to run the risk that was involved. The trade union defence force remains the only solution.

The UWC strike raised more sharply the question of a British military and political withdrawal from the North. The sight of Protestants rebelling against Sunningdale, a creation of Westminster, increased support for the demand in Britain to pull out.

The British bourgeoisie are as opposed as ever to this idea. The dangers explained earlier are now even greater. It was a section of the Protestant workers who controlled the North during the strike. The Protestant workers have learnt a lesson in terms of the power that they can wield.

This mood for withdrawal in Britain will be determinedly fought. Having said this, it’s possible that events could develop in the North and Britain which would make it politically impossible for them to remain. In a full scale sectarian civil war the British army would be unable to control the situation. A massacre of Catholics would take place in Belfast and a massacre of Protestants in isolated areas and in the west of the province. The British army have recently revealed plans for creating guarded corridors to evacuate the Catholics out of Belfast. The most probable result of such a civil war would be the withdrawal of the British army and a repartition of Ireland, accompanied by a massive movement of population. Such developments and the creation of a tiny rump of a Protestant state would set the working class movement disastrously back.

10. While the sectarianism within the working class in Northern Ireland has deepened over the last 5 years and extremely serious splits in the labour and trade union movement cannot be ruled out, it is necessary to view these developments and the present situation from an international position in order to put them in perspective.

The developing economic crisis affecting all the capitalist economies is forcing the working class into action, raising their consciousness and increasing their understanding of themselves as a class with interests irrevocably opposed to the interests of big business. This crisis, rooted in the falling rate of profit, is being unloaded unto the working class by means of an attempt by the ruling classes in all the capitalist countries to hold down the share of production at present consumed by the working class. This means an attack on the living standards of the entire labour and trade union movement. These attacks are reflected in the soaring cost of living and in the holding down of wages. The working class are fighting to maintain their standards and the trade unions and the workers’ political parties will in this process become transformed into fighting organizations clearly on the side of the worker.

In Britain sections of the workers from the miners, to the engineers, to the nurses have moved into action. The nurse’s action and the engineers struggle with the Industrial Relations Court were also taken up in Northern Ireland. Recent strikes such as the cement workers in Tyrone, maintenance men in Ulsterbus, workers in the Grundig factory along with many others demonstrate the increasing militancy of the Northern Ireland workers on these basic class issues.

In the South as well, in spite of the open collaboration of the Labour leaders in coalition, and the National Wage Agreement, this movement has also taken place. The corporation workers’ strike in Dublin, engineers and dockers throughout the country, and workers in two of Dublin’s oldest paternalistic firms, Cleary’s and Guinness, the latter never had a strike before in its 215 year history, show the unstoppable movement of the workers in defence of their living standards. The number of day’s lost in strikes in the 26 counties for the period January–April of this year almost trebled over the same period last year. (55,626 January–April 1973. 134,300 January–April 1974.)

These attacks and these struggles do not by-pass the North. The Consumer Price Index is expected to rise up to 18% in Britain and Northern Ireland in 1974. Strikes on wages and on all the problems the workers face will push the basis class issues to the fore. With the deepening of the economic crisis, bigger and bigger movements of the workers, especially in Britain in the near future, are inevitable. The consciousness of the workers will be raised by these events and the Labour leaders will be forced to reflect these new moods. These events will also increasingly pose the need for class unity in Northern Ireland. The workers common interests and struggles will tend to push them together within the traditional organizations of the working class.

The nature of all the present leaders in the North from Paisley to Hume to the UWC to the Provos will be tested in the heat of these battles. None of these leaders and none of the present political groupings in the North will be capable of giving a working class lead in the period that lies ahead. Only a mass Labour Party based on the trade unions can unite the class and mobilize them for the fight to maintain their living standards. The absolute treachery and impotence of the NILP leaders, the only party with links with the trade unions, has placed in doubt the ability of this party to develop and grow, as these trade union links are now being looked at, by trade unions themselves. The possibility of them being broken down is very real.

Whether or not the NILP collapses it will still be a Labour Party based on and built by the trade unions that will provide the structure for class unity in the North. The growth of parties like the Derry Labour and Trade Union Party and the Down Labour Party made up of trade union activists and shop stewards, show the way the advanced workers move. The building of such a mass party would draw together these advanced elements. It is now a question of the greatest urgency. Elements like Paisley and Craig will no doubt exploit issues like rising unemployment by blaming it on Catholics, republicans and communists in a bid to build a reactionary or neo-fascist force. The mass Labour Party, while not ignoring the need to oppose internment, repressive laws and state violence, but by putting to the fore the common working class issues of prices, unemployment, housing and low wages, linking this to the need for the nationalization of the monopolies, banks and major industries under the control of the working class and spelling out the socialist alternatives, and linking with the Labour Party in the South to build an All Ireland Labour Party, is the only road to class unity, and to mobilize the workers north and south for the struggle against Imperialism and Capitalism.

11. The Labour leaders in the South are in open collaboration with the representatives of the capitalist class in the Coalition Government. They are also in league with the bosses in support of the National Wage Agreement. The Coalition can solve none of the problems facing the workers. As prices go on soaring (up over 16% in the last 12 months to Mid May 1974) and the workers move into action, the Coalition Government will be forced to move against the trade union movement and the working class as a whole.

The contradictions between the needs of the working class whose leaders are in coalition and the needs of the working class whose leaders are in coalition and the needs of the ruling class represented by the dominant partner in the coalition, Fine Gael, are fundamental. The needs of big business who finance Fianna Fail and Fine Gael demand that the workers living standards should be reduced.

The workers demand that their leaders spearhead the fight for increased wages. The Coalition and the whole idea of the National Wage Agreements will be shattered on this contradiction. That the Fine Gael party in the coalition understand the tasks that it must carry out if it is to represent its wealthy backers, is shown by the allocation of Ministries in the Government for Industry and Commerce is Labour TD, Justin Keating. He sanctions the price rises. Minister for Labour, Labour TD Michael O’Leary, to deal with strikes (army lorries have already been used in an attempt to break the bus strike) and Minister for Local Government, Jim Tully, is responsible for Housing and in the eyes of the workers, for higher rents, bad houses and high mortgage rates. Any tiny reforms won by Labour in the Coalition are won at the cost of disarming the working class for the struggle that lies ahead. Everyday in Coalition is a day lost that could be sued to prepare the workers and mobilise them for these battles. The vast resources of the trade unions and the Labour Party provide the means of explaining to the workers that their problems are caused by the capitalist economic system. That all that can be expected under this system as it goes deeper and deeper into crisis is an increase in poverty for all workers and their families.

Such an all out assault on wealth and privilege would push together Fianna Fail and Fine Gael together in defence of the class they represent. Explaining and fighting for the Socialist transformation of society and the establishment of a Socialist Ireland, linked to a Socialist Britain and a Socialist Federation of World States, would win the great mass of the working class to Labour and the election of a Labour Government pledged to socialist policies would be an immediate prospect.

12. A look at the so-called Trotskyist section in Ireland shows them to be tiny groupings of, in the main, petit-bourgeois elements with no perspectives and no organisational strength, attempting to find the road to mass support by adapting their ideas and propaganda to suit the prejudices of whatever strata of society in which they are involved. This leaves them at the mercy of every cross-wind that blows and the sudden changes that result can be traced in their publications and observed in their stagnant growth rate.

The Communist Party has managed, especially in the North, to win positions in the unions. CP member Andy Barr is now President of the ICTU. They have done this in a completely unprincipled manner. Mostly by organisational manoeuvres and to a certain extent by their good shop steward record of the small number of industrial workers in their ranks. While they may in the period that lies ahead take in a tiny handful of workers the great mass of the working class will move through the unions to the Labour Party in the South and in the North a mass Labour Party based on the trade union will be thrown up in the struggle. The members of the CP and the Connolly Youth Movement (CP youth section) show a total ignorance of Marxism, summed up in the words of one of their members: “Who wants to know about what happened in Russia in 1917, it’s Ireland I’m worried about.”

The Provos maintain themselves on the basis of their military campaign in the North. The continuation of the campaign has seen great numbers of the youth originally attracted to it dropping away while a smaller section of them have become hardened to continue the fight at all costs. Without the campaign the movement would quickly dwindle to a rump of petit-bourgeois nationalists.

The Officials have been incapable of holding the small influx of members they took in over the period 1969–73. This boost was due to the struggle in the North and the entry of Labour into Coalition in the South. The lack of democracy in the movement has seen many of these elements dropping out. Splits have already appeared in the organisation and expulsions of numbers of left wingers have been going on.

The impression of strength given by all thee movements has only been possible because of the inertia of the Labour Movement as the pressure of the economic crisis pushes the workers into action in defence of their living standards, the workers will turn more and more to their trade unions. Branch meetings will begin to be better attended, more militant fighters will be elected to positions in the union structure. The movement will slowly become transformed as it reflects the needs of the rank and file. The need for political struggle will become more obvious.

The union delegates who attend the Labour Party conferences and who at present are mostly a conservative force will be replaced by delegates demanding that the Labour Party leaders who are financed and supported by the contributions from the trade unions take up the struggle on behalf of workers. The Labour Party will be forced to the Left under the impact of these events and along with their youth sections will attract the support of the advanced sections of the working class. This process will dry up the small trickle of workers who are present, out of frustration with the Labour leaders, move to these different groupings. Their future is one of splits and sterility as the organisation of the working class move into action.

13. The perspectives of our tendency on all major questions facing the Irish Labour Movement have been completely borne out by events. The winning of the working class to our programme, ideas and method will mean the difference between success and failure in the struggle that lies ahead. Failure will be counted in dead bodies of workers and the smashing of all our organisations under the heel of a military police state. Success will be the building of a Socialist Ireland, the eradication of poverty and want in our society and the final victory in the struggle against foreign and native domination and exploitation of the Irish masses which has gone on for the last 800 years.

14. For the tasks that the Irish Section of the Committee for a Workers International has set itself we are still organisationally very weak. Our strength rests as yet almost solely on the correctness of our programme. A monthly paper and one full-timer is totally inadequate at this stage. If we are not to be left behind by events our targets, while being obtainable, must stretch every comrade to their limit. By August 1975 the target for membership should be 80 comrades. By the end of 1975 our paper should be turned out in Ireland. A fortnightly paper will be essential at that stage, and that should not be printed in Britain. At least one other full-timer should be taken on by August 1975. The building of youth movements attached to the Labour parties, especially in the South at present, will very quickly bring us enormous gains. The responsibility for getting these off the ground lies with us. This task cannot wait.

The period we are in is a period of sharp and explosive movements of the working class. Great opportunities will exist for our tendency and for these we must be prepared. Understanding that at this stage in the economic crisis and in our development it is still a question of building a tendency in ones and twos. Building a nucleus of steeled cadres on which to build a mass tendency of thousands and the revolutionary party of tens and hundreds of thousands in this country on the basis of events that lie ahead. Linking with our comrades in the other sections of the Committee for a Workers International to build revolutionary parties on a world scale.

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