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Mazda's Maps and Mwikiboxes

neonduke

Continuity Menshevik
I know my Father subscribes to the Marxist interpretation of the Workers Party as he saw first hand the old Unionist Party and Paisleys attempts to divide the Protestant and Catholic working class. If you have read Moloneys "Secret History of the IRA" he can attest to Gerry Adams story around the grounds up creation of cross community pressure groups and how the Protestant members were targeted for Anti-Papist propaganda by Paisley and the Ulster Unionist Party, as he was there on the ground as it happened.

My "Uncle" (not blood but who my Dad was raised with) was high up in the Orange Order. He can remember the events of 1969 very well, he remembers the IRA being seen as a busted flush and the concern of the "Big House" establishment being Communist subversion and a May '68 happening in NI.
 
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Uhura's Mazda

{{{The Independents}}}
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
Progressive Democrats

During the 1980s, the Leader of Fianna Fail was Ireland’s Nixon, Charles Haughey. He symbolised everything that was wrong about the corrupt old Fianna Fail. Not only did he wiretap journalists, he also kept an iron grip on internal dissent, enriched himself with corporate backhanders and party slush funds, and followed the time-honoured habit of promising the world on the campaign trail with no intention on fulfilling his promises. In terms of ideology, he was the perfect summation of classic Fianna Fail corporatist populism – until he wasn’t.

However, many of his opponents within Fianna Fail took him at his word on it, despite distrusting him on every other topic under the sun. One of these opponents was Desmond O’Malley, a scion of a Limerick political dynasty which also produced the guy who played Sergeant Harper. O’Malley had supported the more liberal candidate, George Colley, in the leadership election that Haughey had won, but was disappointed not to be held in favour by the new leadership, despite being kept on in Cabinet. He stood against Haughey in two attempted leadership coups before being pushed out of the party in 1985, partly for publicly opposing Haughey’s call for a United Ireland and partly for breaking the whip by supporting the sale of contraceptives.

Even at this point, he had to be pushed very hard to go through with starting a new party, and spent several months in discussions with other FF TDs and a Fine Gael activist called Michael McDowell, who took on the role of bullying O’Malley into going ahead with it by turning up at his house at all hours with fresh ideas. When they finally launched, the hope was that they would attract both anti-Haughey Fianna Fail members and right-wing Fine Gael supporters who were opposed to the Labour coalition. In the event, only a token FG TD joined, with the balance being made up of waifs and strays from Fianna Fail. The pick of the crop was Mary Harney, a rare-for-the-time woman in politics who had been expelled for voting in favour of the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

The Progressive Democrats (legitimately the worst name they could have picked out of the available options) nevertheless caught the public imagination in a time of frustration with the main parties. Their policies were mostly your standard quasi-Thatcherite privatise-and-cut stuff, with a bit of much-needed social liberalism and anti-clericalism thrown in. Thanks to hype and to large corporate donations, they were able to run a solid campaign in 1987 and won 14 seats. But being in Opposition was now very difficult, because upon becoming Taoiseach for the third time, Haughey had suddenly decided that he was in favour of privatisations and spending cuts – and he had the support on this of Fine Gael, now cut free from their partnership with Labour.

Now that their ideological niche had been swallowed up, the PDs were forced to run personalised campaigns along the lines of the old-line parties, with slogans like “Dessie can do it!” with no clear mention of what ‘it’ actually was. When they did enter Government in 1989, after losing over half their seats, they had a prime opportunity to remove Haughey as Taoiseach – you know, the guy O’Malley had been blasting for the past decade. In the event, they worked together quite amicably, and the ideological split was now so narrow that Haughey seemed to share most of their positions on tax cuts and used the threat of breaking up the Coalition as leverage to hold his more traditionalist backbenchers to the new line. When the PDs did make a ruckus, it was not about policy but about personality: when it transpired that FF Presidential candidate Brian Lenihan had used undue influence a few years before, they threatened to quit if he wasn’t sacked as a Minister. They got their way. The Coalition only broke down when evidence of Haughey’s corruption mounted to astronomical proportions in 1992 - which the PDs should have known, as they’d been telling everyone for years.

A spell in Opposition followed, which ended O’Malley’s career as Leader. He was replaced with Mary Harney – the PDs’ MEP, a former journalist named Pat Cox, was initially more popular in the parliamentary party, but Harney’s supporters commissioned an expensive poll showing that more voters had heard of her, which scared all but one of Cox’s supporters off. Cox, understandably upset at this, mentioned that he might quit as an MEP if there wasn’t a future for him in the Party – Harney’s people leapt on this and announced his retirement, and then strong-armed O’Malley into standing for his European Parliament seat. Cox ran as an Independent and overtook O’Malley on preferences, keeping his seat and embarrassing the blameless O’Malley into the bargain.

1997 saw the Progressive Democrats go downhill again. One of the main reasons for this was a typo: at the campaign launch, McDowell misread '25,000 public sector job cuts' as '250,000' and nobody in the Party noticed until the other parties started ripping into them as heartless Randians. Having missed the opportunity to correct the mistake, the PDs made the unwise decision to run with it and made it a central campaign pledge. Their original policy, by the way, was one of the lower figures among the parties at that particular election, which reveals a wider point about the Progressive Democrats: they weren't actually all that extreme. Despite the radical-free-market branding, their proposed income tax tiers wouldn't raise a flicker today, and the main difference with the major parties was that they would make a show of consulting the unions before going ahead with similar reforms.

In any case, the four remaining PDs went back into coalition with Fianna Fail, entering a Coalition that would last for the rest of the Party's existence. Once more, their deregulatory bent was along the same lines as that of the FF leadership, meaning that their survival depended on strong personalities making an electoral impression – hence Michael McDowell climbing up a lamp-post to put up a sign reading ‘Single Party Government? – No Thanks!’ in 2002, when they won back a few seats thanks to some canny recruitments from civil society.

But 2002 was an Indian summer for the Progressive Democrats. In 2007, they fell back to just two seats due to lack of differentiation from FF, and voted to wind the Party up shortly afterwards, despite some grassroots opposition to giving up so easily. Harney continued as an Independent Minister in the FF Government until 2011, while Noel Grealish is now an Independent TD and most of the rest joined Fianna Fail or Fine Gael if they continued with politics – apart from Mae Sexton TD, who joined – a bit bizarrely – Labour.

The PDs were founded to get rid of Haughey, to restructure the economy with tax cuts, and to make Ireland more socially liberal. In practice, they enabled Haughey to remain as Taoiseach for another three years, and their economic influence was largely one of shifting the Overton Window in the mid-80s as opposed to actually achieving things in Government. Their campaigns on things like divorce and contraception were largely lacklustre, and their liberal cred is shot to hell by the fact that Malcolm McDowell consistently blocked attempts to introduce civil partnerships. They also replicated the worst aspects of Fianna Fail by enabling a few cute hoor politicians with little common ideological ground to extend their careers - and that's not even going into the dynastic politics: no fewer than three of O’Malley’s close relatives were elected to the Dail on Progressive Democrat tickets.

The question of whether there was any point to the PD split can be discerned by tracing the fate of Charlie McCreevy. Like O'Malley, he was a young Fianna Fail figure in the 1980s. Like O'Malley, he launched a failed leadership challenge against Haughey, although his was considerably more amateurish. He was even involved in the early exploratory talks with the group that was to become the PDs. However, he remained within FF and - unlike O'Malley - ended up as Finance Minister putting PD-adjacent policies into practice. I think the conclusion is quite clear.

Readers will note that the Party saw its most consistent success in O’Malley’s Limerick turf, in the yuppie bits of Dublin, and in rural areas where they could find an incumbent or prominent citizen to run for them.

 
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Uhura's Mazda

{{{The Independents}}}
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
The Green Party

We’re now getting into the modern era with the Green Party, known as the Ecology Party from its founding in 1981 until it changed to the Green Alliance in 1983. The Irish-language version of the name still translates to Green Alliance, but the English-language name has been the Green Party since the fundis split off in 1987. The evolution of the nomenclature is by-the-by, though, because the Party's candidates stood as Independents until the 1984 Euros. Annoyingly, Wikipedia and other election result sites note some candidates as Ecology Party but not all, so I had to do some digging.

By the way, I really love the diversity of green party names in the era before Petra Kelly got big.

Like every Green Party in the world, there have been quite a few Interesting people involved over the years. Both the founder, Christopher Fettes, and one of their early councillors are both quite major in the Esperanto scene in Ireland. He now runs a 55-acre retreat for fellow Esperanto speakers and also Tolkien fans, and I bet he’s been banned from at least one forum in his life. The inaugural policies of the Ecology Party, by the way, included a call to end fractional-reserve banking. I'm not exactly sure when this was dropped (I suspect late 90s/early 2000s) but there is still a minority who take it to Conference every year.

After years of patient work, the Greens elected their first TD, Roger Garland, in Dublin South in 1989. He seems to have been quite keen on the environmental bits of the Green message but not otherwise super progressive. Like most Greens of the time, he wasn’t a supporter of European integration at the cost of localism, which led him to intervene in the European Parliament elections in 1994 on behalf of one of his allies, who was running as an Independent environmentalist and Eurosceptic, instead of the Green candidate Nuala Ahern. However, Ahern won one of two Green seats in an election which truly established the Greens as a relevant force.

As a side note, Nuala Ahern’s father had previously been a core member of Harry ‘Actual Name’ Diamond’s Socialist Republican Party, which won one seat in the Stormont Parliament in Northern Ireland one time. Just casually dropping that in there to fill the David Quota.

By this point, Garland was a has-been: in 1992, his first-preference vote had declined precipitously and he had therefore been defeated, probably largely because he didn't run surgeries or do casework. However, his election had broken the seal for others to be elected – namely, Trevor Sargent in Dublin North. A wingman for Sargent arrived in 1997 in the form of ex-Mayor of Dublin John Gormley. This was a breath of modernity: Gormley had been the first elected representative in Ireland to go in for one of these new-fangled ‘email addresses’, but had showed a slightly less farsighted view of the Internet in 1995 when he launched a ‘virtual Irish pub’ which appears to have been a sort of glorified chatroom designed to attract tourists to Ireland. He was lucky tourist numbers didn't crash down to zero in 1996.

Even while Dublin grasped Greens and modernity with both hands, there were still a number of old-fashioned misfits knocking about. Richard Greene, a Councillor who had been expelled from Fianna Fail, defected to the Greens in 1991. This, however, was most probably on account of nominative determinism, because his values were mainly those of Irish Republicanism and sex-based unpleasantness. He campaigned against abortion, the legalisation of divorce and various European treaties. He has also argued that a randomly selected pair of TDs (who just happened to be Jewish) had no understanding of ‘Christian marriage’. To be absolutely fair, I must admit that he was expelled from the Greens after a while and has mostly fought for his views as part of a series of micro-parties (Muintir na hÉireann, the Christian Centrist Party and the Christian Solidarity Party, mainly).

I will also note that Richard Greene lost his Council seat in 1999, for which he – amazingly – blamed an RTE documentary aired on the eve of poll which delved into the evils of dynastic politics in Ireland. He claimed that his opponents who had been featured in the documentary had thereby received some electoral advantage from being, er, exposed.

Some Eurosceptic Greens, of course, were not expelled for being weird. Chief among these was Patricia McKenna, the other Green MEP elected in 1994, whose beliefs are very much along the same lines as Jenny Jones and - indeed - the majority of the Irish Green membership until the mid-2000s. She stood for the leadership in 2008 and got about a third of the vote, despite losing her Brussels seat some time beforehand. This failure caused her to go off the rails a bit, and within months she was appearing in a hotel-themed reality show called ‘Fáilte Towers’. Along with other malcontents, she formed a new party, Fis Nua (meaning ‘New Vision’), in 2010 which has comprehensively failed to become a Thing. Even another party called New Vision beat them in the 2011 general election.

Let’s go back a bit: the duo of Trevor Sargent and John Gormley proved effective enough to expand their parliamentary party to 6 TDs in both 2002 and 2007. And locally, Greens on Dublin City Council achieved a ban on smokey fuel that ended the classic Dublin smog – although Mary Harney of the Progressive Democrats unjustly took credit for this change. The decisions the parliamentary Greens made in 2007, though, would set them back quite heavily. Sargent (who had been elected as the inaugural sole leader in 2001 as part of the moderation and centralisation process that accompanied the drive for power) promised not to go into coalition with Fianna Fail, but when the results came in, the only coalition that would really work was precisely that. Sargent resigned on principle, to be replaced by Gormley, and the Greens crossed the threshold of Government.

Spoiler: it didn’t go fantastically well for them. On the plus side, they made up some environmental ground with bans on incandescent lightbulbs and suchlike. As against that, they reneged on some of their oldest campaigns by approving a motorway through National Monuments in the Hill of Tara area and building oil and gas pipelines. And they also remained steadfastly loyal to the woeful fag-end of the Fianna Fail Government until a couple of days before the 2011 election was called. Tarnished with the legacy of that Government, they lost all of their seats.

The stress of the situation was perceptible in 2009, when the funniest incident of the late Noughties occurred. Backbench Green TD Paul Gogarty uttered the immortal phrase "With all due respect, in the most unparliamentary language, fuck you Deputy Stagg! Fuck you!" in the Dail after a very heated debate on the Social Welfare Bill. The absolute best thing was that, even though he quickly apologised for his unparliamentary language, a formal investigation revealed that he in fact had nothing to apologise for, as the word ‘fuck’ had not been officially declared to be unparliamentary by any previous Ceann Comhairle. Gogarty elected not to die on that particular hill, though.

After the defeat, the veterans of the Green Party went their separate ways and looked jealously over the border at their slightly-less-unsuccessful Northern Irish branch. Trevor Sargent started a gardening blog. Senator Dan Boyle (who happens to be a second cousin of Susan Boyle) released a terrible album called ‘Third Adolescence’ with the help of a former Progressive Democrat candidate and is now a staffer for the Wales Green Party. Paul ‘Fuck You’ Gogarty also had a go at breaking into the music business. However, he uses the stage name His Sweet Surprise and his first single was called ‘Wishing on a Photograph’, so there is no way in hell you're going to compel me to listen to that rubbish. Look, I have to draw a line somewhere.

Oh, also, this doesn’t fit anywhere, but one of their junior Ministers was a guy called Ciaran Cuffe, who is a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy and had to resign as Environment spokesperson when it was revealed that he owned shares in oil exploration companies.

In 2016, two Greens got back into the Dail, although it remains to be scene whether the Party can break out of the South Dublin ghetto again.

 

Uhura's Mazda

{{{The Independents}}}
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
Sinn Fein

I probably don’t have to spend a huge amount of time explaining these guys’ story. EDIT AFTER FINISHING WRITE-UP: don't judge, this is good by my standards.

In the 1920s, the Anti-Treaty branch of Sinn Fein refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Irish Free State. They ran abstentionist candidates for a bit, but then the Government used the wily tactic of forcing candidates to make a loyalty oath before they even made it onto the ballot, so Sinn Fein didn’t, so they stopped standing. Meanwhile, their organisation shrank due to the moderates following De Valera into Fianna Fail. And then the oath was abolished altogether, but Sinn Fein still refused to participate in elections – ostensibly because this would be recognising the legitimacy of a partitionist Electoral Commission, but really because they’d do embarrassingly poorly.

This changed in the mid-50s, when the IRA launched the Border Campaign. In a foretaste of the ‘Armalite and Ballot Box’ strategy of later decades, Sinn Fein decided to back them up by running abstentionist candidates once more and won four seats in the Dail in 1957. Most of these were on the aforementioned Border – one of them was won by a guy called John Joe McGirl, which would be a funny name if the guy himself wasn’t a scary IRA man.

Sinn Fein’s abstentionist TDs divided their time between IRA campaigns, prisons and internment camps. Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, for instance, was already in prison when he was elected: he had failed to account for his whereabouts when a Northern Irish police officer had become the first fatality of the campaign. He was moved to an internment camp, from which he escaped while the guards were watching the other prisoners play football, and then became IRA Chief of Staff. Needless to say, with this kind of adventuring going on, constituency casework took a bit of a back seat. The Sinn Fein TDs lost all their seats in 1961, shortly before Ó Brádaigh announced the end of the Border Campaign.

Sinn Fein kept out of electoral contests above the Council level from then until another argument about the abstentionist policy instigated the 1970 split which produced the Workers’ Party. Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was by now the ringleader of the anti-electoralist, militarist minority faction which became known as Provisional Sinn Fein and, later, just Sinn Fein.

While the Workers’ Party got very keen on Socialism and got to the point of rejecting Irish nationalism, Sinn Fein didn’t do much in the way of politics for a while, focusing on the practical side of the Troubles. Two lines of political innovation, however, were pursued: the younger generation around Gerry Adams began fighting for a left-wing programme beyond mere Republicanism; and Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s supporters came up with a radical new proposal which they called Eire Nua.

Eire Nua was a fresh look at the old calls for a 32-county Republic (of optional Socialist and non-Socialist flavours) and involved a federal structure comprising the four old Provinces of Ireland. This would include Ulster, of course, but the hope was that including Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan would temper the Protestant majority sufficiently to prevent them from abusing civil rights. This was a potentially alluring compromise, but the radicalised Northerners were reluctant to leave the Ulster Protestants with any authority whatsoever in a United Ireland.

Nevertheless, support for Eire Nua did come from an unlikely source: the Ulster Loyalists. That tendency, after all, wanted an Independent Ulster free from British interference, and came to the conclusion that a hands-off federal government in Dublin would suit their aspirations better than the status quo. A committee was set up which would contract Desmond Boal and the former Clann na Poblachta leader Sean MacBride (CROSSOVER KLAXON) to put forward combined proposals to the British Government and call upon them to withdraw. Unfortunately, Conor Cruise O’Brien got wind of it and lambasted the idea, giving the Loyalists cold feet because they’d been promised utmost secrecy.

As the Gerry Adams generation came ever more to the fore in the early 80s, Eire Nua became an embarrassment to them. Sinn Fein rejected the innovation in 1982 and simultaneously started to consider taking part in elections and maybe even dropping abstentionism for the Dail. In 1986, yet another split occurred when the anti-abstentionists at Conference voted to take seats in the Dail, and a few of the old guard around Ruairí Ó Brádaigh stormed off to form Republican Sinn Fein. RSF still exists, still supports Eire Nua, and currently has a single councillor in County Galway.

In the meantime, Sinn Fein had begun again to contest elections from 1981 (as above, they remained abstentionist for another five years), in which year they participated in the Anti H-Block coalition drawing attention to conditions in the Maze Prison in which a lot of IRA members were imprisoned. The RoI-based operation involved standing a slate of candidates in the 1981 general election, in which two Sinn Fein hunger strikers were elected.

I’ve been a bit naughty with the map, because I’ve included all Anti H-Block candidates, whether or not they were part of Sinn Fein. The official slate’s candidates in Clare, Dublin West and Waterford were all members of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the political wing of the Irish National Liberation Army, both of which were anti-ceasefire offshoots of the Officials.

Additionally, there were three ersatz Anti H-Block candidates not endorsed by the committee: an Independent Republican in Cork South-West, a member of People’s Democracy in Dublin North-Central, and a member of the Trotskyite League for a Workers’ Republic in Dublin North-East. As a side note, the LWR also produced Seamus Healy, now an Independent ‘Workers and Unemployed Action Group’ TD in Tipperary, and a couple of Labour Senators.

Sinn Fein then had another couple of decades’ wait before they broke into the Dail again. In 1997, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin was elected after over a decade as a Councillor and took his seat for the first time in Sinn Fein history. This was a watershed moment as he wasn’t actually a terrible guy, unlike a few of his later colleagues. Four more seats were won in 2002, but SF went backwards in 2007 despite hopes for four or five gains. The GFC propelled them into being the repositories of the left-wing protest vote, and they’re now the third party in the land.

Sinn Fein’s experiment with anti-abstentionism has been mocked as being “the Workers’ Party for slow learners”, but it’s hard to dispute the fact that they’ve far outclassed the WP in terms of electoral appeal.

 
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RyanF

Abbot of Unreason
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
I keep wondering what you'll do next with these David and am surprised each time, never thought there'd be so much mileage in looking at SF through a minor party lens. Particularly found Eire Nua interesting.
 

Uhura's Mazda

{{{The Independents}}}
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
Solidarity-People Before Profit

Like a wily fox, I am cunningly doing two parties in one post today.

The Socialist Workers Movement was founded by comrades of the British SWP (you know the ones - they take over every protest movement for their own ends and do horrible things to young female members) in the early 70s, arising out of an ephemeral alliance between various existing Trot sects and a small Labour splinter group, which rapidly became mired in bureaucracy. The more practical members were lured away to the SWM. However, the SWM (like its British counterpart) didn't contest elections with any regularity. This changed when the collapse of the Workers' Party opened up a potential voter base on the left, and the SWP (now no longer a Movement but a Party) contested both the 1997 and 2002 elections without actually breaking into that voter base. In 2005, having learned from the Iraq War protests that fronts can actually be quite popular, they put up a new electoral front called People Before Profit, and began to make electoral progress.

Meanwhile, another Trotskyist group were coming from a very different trajectory. The Militant Tendency within the Labour Party were, again, extremely similar to their British comrades, apart from the fact that they actually modulated their message somewhat to fit in with local conditions. In this context, they contributed to the lively and long-winded debate within Labour as to whether or not the Party should go into coalition with Fine Gael. This was one of the biggest ideological shibboleths in Labour for a good couple of decades, and Militant were of course on the anti-coalitionist wing which held sway for the whole of the 1960s and for brief periods in the 70s and 80s. This had the effect of keeping Fianna Fail in power for longer than might otherwise have been the case.

Suffice to say, Labour grew increasingly unhappy with Militant entryism and kicked them out in 1989, following the Kinnock example. Militant then followed the British Militant example and began running as an independent party. Unlike the Brits, however, the Socialist Party (as it was called) were able to use the electoral system to their advantage. Joe Higgins, a Councillor and campaigner, ran a strong campaign in the Dublin West by-election of 1996 on the theme of water charges, coming very close to winning. He won a seat in that constituency at the next general election, Higgins retained the seat in 2002 but lost it in 2007 - but his vocal criticisms of the Iraq War, water charges, waste charges and various other issues gave him a certain amount of profile. Despite losing his Dublin West seat, he got 12% of the vote across Dublin in the 2009 Euros and received enough transfers to become an MEP.

By this point, the GFC and related matters had become quite important to Irish politics, to say the least. In response to this, in 2010, an electoral alliance was forged between the Socialist Party and People Before Profit, to be called the United Left Alliance - it is worth noting that TUSC, formed largely by the British fraternal parties of these guys, was also formed in 2010. In the 2011 map, I've included all ULA candidates who came from either of the two parties, but not Declan Bree in Sligo-North Leitrim (an Independent who used to have his own micro-party) or Seamus Healy in Tipperary South (Workers and Unemployed Action, a local party based in Clonmel that is descended from the League for a Workers' Republic). Additionally - and ironically - 2011 sees the only occasion on which a PBP and a Socialist candidate contested the same seat, namely Dublin Mid-West. They were allied through the ULA, though.

With the new nature of politics becoming apparent, both the Socialists and PBP won two seats, along with one for Healy. And one of the new PBP TDs, Joan Collins, was a former member of the Socialist Party who had left over a dispute with Higgins - who was also returned to the Dail. Within a year, not only were there tensions between Higgins and Collins, but Higgins was also not speaking to PBP leader Richard Boyd Barrett. And then the other Socialist Party TD, Clare Daly, decided to stand by her personal friend, Independent TD Mick Wallace, when he was found to have fiddled his taxes. She was expelled for this, and Joan Collins joined her, Wallace and a few other left-wing Independents in forming the Independents4Change group/party.

There weren't only personal differences within the ULA, but also political differences. Generally speaking, the Socialists were more boring, non-sectarian and keen to run campaigns based around refusing to pay certain taxes or charges which were deemed unjust. The Socialist Workers were more demonstrative, more interested in foreign policy, and supportive of the Republican line on the North.

The divisions came to a head in 2014, when Higgins' replacement as MEP for Dublin, Paul Murphy, was defeated in his re-election campaign. He blamed this on PBP, who had run their own candidate and not transferred sufficient votes to him. However, at the same time, the ideological gulf was narrowing as members talked with one another, and their methods also converged. In 2014, the Socialists copied PBP in their use of a non-divisive name for their electoral front, and chose to become the 'Anti-Austerity Alliance'. Two seats were won in by-elections at this time, delivered by public dissatisfaction with the FG-Labour Government. As this was now a time of growth, squabbles seemed less important.

As parties with over 2% of the vote get state funding in Ireland, it was judged wise to combine the parties into a stronger alliance for the next elections. In 2015, therefore, the AAA deregistered itself and PBP changed its name to 'Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit'. It was under this name that the alliance contested the 2016 election, winning 6 seats and nearly 4% of the vote. A Socialist Party TD, Ruth Coppinger, was the first woman to be nominated for Taoiseach, but it goes without saying that she didn't attract many votes.

Because there's no way of telling which 2016 candidates were from which party without Facebook-stalking them, I've just put them all in the same colour.

In 2017, the Socialist Party changed the name of its technically non-existent front organisation to Solidarity, so the alliance, which is technically just an expanded PBP, is now called Solidarity-People Before Profit. Then, in 2018, the Socialist Workers Party changed its name to the Socialist Workers Network, to reflect the fact that PBP is now their real party. It's all frightfully complicated.

 

OwenM

Your guess is as good as mine.
There's like 10 that have "Fourth International" somewhere in the title. There's also one that's the Fifth International, evidently having decided that the whole Fourth International thing was played out.
I believe the first calling themselves Fifth was the same year that the original Fourth International started.
There's also the slightly more modest "X for a Fourth/Workers/Blah International" formula.
 

Ares96

First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity
Published by SLP
I believe the first calling themselves Fifth was the same year that the original Fourth International started.
There's also the slightly more modest "X for a Fourth/Workers/Blah International" formula.
Many of the various splitter groups in 1970s Sweden formed Communist Leagues rather than Parties, with the (remarkably self-distant) motivation that a Party should be a proper workers’ vanguard organisation, and there should ideally just be one of them. Of course, a) most of them wound up rechristening themselves Parties in very short order, and b) I don’t think the Trots ever followed this scheme.
 

OwenM

Your guess is as good as mine.
Many of the various splitter groups in 1970s Sweden formed Communist Leagues rather than Parties, with the (remarkably self-distant) motivation that a Party should be a proper workers’ vanguard organisation, and there should ideally just be one of them. Of course, a) most of them wound up rechristening themselves Parties in very short order, and b) I don’t think the Trots ever followed this scheme.
I believe in France "league" has connotations (going back to extreme Catholic anti-Dreyfusards, or maybe Boulanger, I think?) of anti-parliamentarism, whether on the left or the right.
The only group I've really seen using the logic you describe above in the UK is the CPGB-PCC (and, one might note, they call themselves a party anyway, they just don't consider themselves the Party, or even the proto-Party).
 

Uhura's Mazda

{{{The Independents}}}
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
I did all of these parties in one map-series but the write-ups for each one was still quite long, so I'm splitting them up and doing the map in the final post for reasons of not wanting to force people to read a 5,300-word screed in one go. And also because I might get more likes.

National Labour Party

What you have to consider about the Irish Labour Party is that it has historically been a very workerist body, anxious to avoid linking itself with any sort of social ideology not only for fear of the Church hierarchy, but also out of knowledge that the mass of working people whom they sought to represent were socially and even economically conservative.

The most indicative piece of evidence as to the nature of the Labour Party is that its original name was ‘The Irish Trade Union Congress and Labour Party’, with the separation of the two only coming later. Most TDs came from the trade union movement and all were loyal to their union as much as – or more than – to the Party itself. This posed a problem in the late 1930s and early 1940s, as the Labour Party welcomed some new TDs: ‘Big’ Jim Larkin, a radical trade union leader and hero to the Dublin workers; and his son, ‘Young’ Jim Larkin, who was less of a showboater but spent most of his political career trying to pull Labour to the Left. That is, until his union had a bit of a crisis in the 1960s and he stepped down from the Dail to focus his attentions on it. This is the kind of mentality we’re dealing with here.

The Larkins ran their own union, the Workers’ Union of Ireland, which wasn’t able to affiliate to the ITUC until 1945 but was increasingly aligned to the Party. The reason the WUI was uniona non grata was quite simply that it was to some extent aligned with the USSR. Big Jim talked a good game and was happy to take advantage of Moscow connections, but was more of a fellow traveller than a real revolutionary by this stage. Nevertheless, rural Labour TDs who won their seats by presenting themselves as non-ideological independents didn’t like the new Larkinite entrants to the PLP.

The ITGWU, a transport union, led the charge against the Larkins and the WUI, partly on account of ideology, but also because of personal antipathy between the union hierarchy and the Larkins. The case of the ITGWU also brings home another salient fact: the trade unions who were – as we have seen – difficult to separate organisationally from the Labour Party were made up of trade unionists who individually were just as ready to support Fianna Fail as they were to support Labour, if not more so.

This led to a situation in 1944 in which the ITGWU called on its TDs to leave the Labour Party on account of the Communistic and atheistic tendencies of the leadership, who were after all consorting with the Larkins. Both of these charges were manifestly ludicrous. William Norton, the Labour leader from 1932 to 1960 (yes) was exactly that sort of rural TD who never campaigned outside his constituency, who was very much on the right wing of the Party, and was a member of a Catholic fraternal organisation called the Knights of Columbanus – a membership he took so seriously that it influenced him to help scupper Noel Browne’s Mother and Child Scheme later on.

Some ITGWU TDs left; others remained in the Labour Party. The splitters called themselves the National Labour Party, partly to smear Labour as being somehow treasonous, but also to appeal to Republican sympathies. Dan Spring (father of future Labour Leader Dick Spring) only had a seat in notoriously Republican Kerry North because he had cred on the issue, and the leaflets for the Dublin candidates in 1948 were very heavy on tales of said candidates’ exploits in 1916. In practical terms, this meant that the NLP clashed with Labour over the latter’s acquiescence in the reality that a lot of unions based in Ireland were merely branches of British unions. National Labour thought this was an outrage; Labour could see that the affiliation enabled access to a larger source of funding and believed that internal democracy within those unions should be respected.

In 1944, four NLP incumbents stood, and all were re-elected. Even by 1946, tensions had subsided to the extent that talks were held in Wicklow (considered neutral territory because, while it was NLP Leader James Everett’s constituency, Young Jim Larkin also lived in the county). They went quite well until they collapsed over the British unions issue. Further negotiation was deferred.

Along came the 1948 election, in which, as we have seen, a five-party opposition put out Fianna Fail for the first time. However, it almost wasn’t to be. The NLP (now swollen to five members because a retired TD in Cork had been convinced to take back his old seat) were seen by one and all to be so in hock to their notably FF-aligned union, the ITGWU (who had in the meantime disaffiliated from the ITUC), that they would be forced to support De Valera. As it happened, the NLP were made of sterner stuff. They deliberately avoided a meeting with the ITGWU leadership in which the union would have pressured the Party to go with Fianna Fail, and kept negotiating with the Inter-Party side. For their trouble, James Everett became Minister of Posts and Telegraphs – and National Labour lost the backing of the ITGWU.

In Government, National Labour were a massive embarrassment for one reason, and for one reason alone. James Everett, in his ministerial capacity, had the responsibility of appointing postal staff, and one day he appointed a member of the NLP in his own constituency to become sub-postmaster at a new Post Office, over the head of a rival candidate whose family had been postmasters there for generations. There was an outcry and the incident became known as the ‘Battle of Baltinglass’. Commentators noted that the losing candidate for the job happened to be a woman, and also happened to be Protestant – perhaps this is why the National Labour TD didn’t favour her. To be fair, she was also widely detested by the locals by all accounts and the outcry was largely whipped up by the press rather than the people of Baltinglass. However, it showed that the coalition parties were just as keen on jobbery and corruption as Fianna Fail, and contributed to their defeat.

As both Big Jim Larkin and his inter-war enemies were now dead, and as the NLP was capable of working with the clearly non-Communist Labour Party, both sides merged back together in 1950. The NLP had to accept the involvement of Young Jim Larkin, while Labour agreed to encourage Irish unions to break ties of subservience to the British unions. The ITGWU subsequently rejoined the ITUC in 1959 and re-affiliated to Labour shortly afterwards.