1960s >> 1969 >> no-776-april-1969

Party News: Belfast

In the recent Northern Ireland election, Belfast branch of the World Socialist Party distributed more than 12,000 election statements urging those who wanted Socialism to vote for none of the candidates but to show on their ballot paper that they were socialists.

The election result was a victory for no change, but it is worth recording the peculiar attitude of the Communist Party of Northern Ireland. This time they put up no candidates “so as not to add to the confused situation” (we expect socialists elsewhere who have to spend so much time clearing up the confusion spread by the ‘Communists’ hope this is to be the new party line). They called for a “united opposition” to include “all anti-Unionist forces”. General Secretary Hugh Moore mentioned by name the Nationalist (known traditionally as ‘Green Tories’), Northern Ireland Labour, Republican Labour, National Democrat, and Liberal parties as candidates for “a progressive alliance of the Left, Labour and democratic forces.” (Morning Star, February 22, 1969).

This would appear to be a return to the ultra-opportunist ‘popular front’ line of the late 30s with the Communists voluntarily abdicating their self-appointed role as the ‘workers’ vanguard’ in order to trail behind the most conservative anti-Fascist or anti-Unionist or anti-Tory politicians or party. Will this policy spread to Britain also?