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.


7 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?

  3. Helmut Oberlander

    The latest split in the so called workers party comes as no surprise. In the early nineties the democratic left taking all their TDs in the Irish Republic. When it came to the big vote in Dun laoghaire, bus loads of supporters of the WP and OIRA members were given stamped, up to date party cards and were told to vote against any proposals put forward by De Rossa and his ‘gang’. Gang was the term used by the anti De Rossa group by the northern leadership and what was left of the official IRA. Following that in the late nineties, another crack developed in the now failing WP. For those who do not know, the vast majority of WP members in Belfast and Newry were official IRA members and most were ex prisoners and seasoned veterans of the robbery squad and the hit squads. Ironically the hit squads (group B) were never used defend the Catholic, nationalist and republican community, the people who they were supposed to protect. They were used by the leadership to protect the senior members and the businesses that they controlled. While loyalist gunmen murdered all around them, the only people that retaliation would be used against was the PIRA. But when the businesses started, no response would follow any attacks on ordinary members and supporters were attacked. The pubs, clubs, the building construction company and the property deals took first place over everything else. To get back to the point, rank and file members tried to discuss the problems of the downward slide of the party and the movement. This was met with threats of violence including murder and kneecapping to anyone who disagreed with the ‘leadership’. I use the term leadership very lightly as they controlled the party and group B like the Stalinist animals that they ARE! Just to remind anyone who can’t remember what the split was about, the now Official republican movement wanted to discuss three points, Number 1, no democracy in the movement, Number 2, No accountability for any money that was going through the movement (party) and Number 3, the movement had lost its way politically, they had too many friends in police stations, very comfortable relationships with loyalist paramilitaries, especially when it came to building construction contracts, building site security and God only knows what else. As for being republicans, that was a total farce, republicans were now forced to be socialists, communism was the way forward and even though the once mighty USSR had fallen, member were now told to admire the perfect example of socialism, the D.P.R.K= North Korea, funny, they don’t talk about that place much now. No more $100 Dollar bills. Now there’s another chapter 😂. Thankfully the armed wing of the workers party did not go ahead with the threats against the O.R.M but they are still there, to the best of my knowledge the last person to be shot by them in 2019 was a member of group B, he was clipped for selling their guns and told to leave the country. So without giving it all away, I think that it is a case of watch this space and see what happens 💥🤣. Seamus the shit 💩 has a lot to answer for. As for me, for anyone who would like to question my credentials, I’m a veteran, a grandfather, nothing to prove to anyone, been there, T Shirt and the rest. People before profit, remember that one 🤬.

  4. Pingback: The Official IRA and Workers Party In The Wake Of The De Rossa Split | The Broken Elbow

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