What If They Held A Split And No-one Came? Or Is The Workers Party About To Disappear Up Its Own Orifice?

A year’s free subscription to the Elbow to anyone who can explain what the heck this is about….! And more to the point who is leading it…..? And where are Seamus Lynch and Mary MacMahon these days? Thanks to JM for the tip.

ADDITION: This post recently appeared in the Cedar Lounge Revolution:

1. Gavin Mendel-Gleason – June 19, 2020

From the “What you want to say” thread:

Essentially, a small clique in Belfast have been angling to either seize the leadership or federalise the party. While they would have been afraid to move with Sean Garland still alive, they saw their chance with his death.

Their leadership in Belfast has been characterised by monotonic reduction in the party membership, total isolation from the working class, and almost no real activity on the ground. It’s an approach based on extreme political purity and no interest in growth or adaptation to current circumstances.

Internally they are anti-republican, ultra-left Marxist-Leninists who have tried to purge or suppress anyone who strays from a very narrow line and have been contemptuous of every recent policy proposal or campaign put forward by the party (aside from Brexit which they were the primary proponents of).

Externally, they are very vague social democratic unionists with “gas and water” proposals that could come from the Alliance party.

Internationally they have pursued a strategy of siding with the smallest most sect-like party they can find, such as the New Communist Party of Britain or the Austrian Party of Labour. Parties virtually no-one has ever heard of and no-one ever will because they are designed to be political sects.

I recently canvassed in West Belfast with a number of members who were attempting to breathe a bit of life into things. During my canvass in the heart of former WP territory, I met a woman who had been part of the party band who said she hadn’t seen us in 10 years… Subsequently, the comrades I had been canvassing with were threatened with expulsion – presumably for getting off their arse and trying to contact the historic base of the party.

I’d wager that there are some who just want to liquidate the party assets and view any sort of growth as a hindrance to that strategy. The faster things die, the better off they’ll be. If it’s not driven by material interests than it’s perhaps even worse as it’s one of the most impressively poor leadership strategies I’ve ever witnessed.

But democracy does not favour strategies of perpetual shrinking. When they saw that they were going to lose hold of the party due to the increasing youth membership, they decided to turn to sabotage. When that failed, they decided to split.

When I joined the party 5 years ago, I was unaware that such an atavistic group existed in the party. I can’t say I’m sorry to see them go and given their strategy, they can’t last longer than natural attrition dictates.

Ireland is still without a mass socialist party worthy of the working class and this is really where we have to focus our efforts.


4 responses to “What If They Held A Split And No-one Came? Or Is The Workers Party About To Disappear Up Its Own Orifice?

  1. Pingback: The Workers’ Party in Ireland Splits Again | Tomás Ó Flatharta

  2. Gavin Mendel-Gleason, a supporter of the WP wing which has expelled the “northern business committee” makes a statement open to possible alarming interpretations :
While they would have been afraid to move with Sean Garland still alive, they saw their chance with his death.
A sister party in the foreign fields of North Korea is also called the Workers’ Party.
Was the WP northern business committee trying to avoid a fate similar to the late Kim Jong-Nam after he fell out with his brother Kim Jong-Un?  Presumably Gavin Mendel-Gleason does not have the same clout as Seán Garland or the leaders of the Kim dynastic family?

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