Independent Left’s Irish Socialist Podcast
Here you can listen to an Irish socialist podcast for a discussion of news, interviews, socialist ideas, and reviews from an independent left perspective. Podcast creators Aislinn Wallace and Shane McNally of Stage Left Ireland have produced several revolutionary podcasts. For users of SoundCloud, you can follow the Stage Left podcast here or of Spotify, here, and get alerts when the latest goes live.
A good socialist podcast needs to combine insightful commentary with an open mind, willingness to engage with a wide range of socialist and left tradition through interviews and reviews with humour. Marxist podcasts don’t have to be dour. And in the case of Stage Left, we also bring you an Irish perspective on national and international affairs as well as on Irish history and politics.
Irish Left With Ukraine: Solidarity Meeting With Ukrainian Socialist Yuliya Yurchenko
On 21 November 2022 Irish Left With Ukraine – a campaign of anarchists, socialists and trade unionists united in support of the left in Ukraine – organised a solidarity meeting at the Teachers Club in Dublin. The chair of the meeting was Nóirín Greene, former executive member of the ICTU and the speakers were (in order of how they appear in this Irish socialist podcast version of the event) David Joyce, ICTU International Officer; Seamus Dooley (NUJ, guest speaker) and Yulia Yurchenko, Ukrainian socialist.
So much of the left in Ireland and internationally has a blind spot when it comes to listening to the voice of the left in Ukraine. But not to do so is to violate a fundamental principal of activism from below, nothing about us, without us. Taking a position on the war in Ukraine without listening to what the left in Ukraine are saying would be like taking a position on a strike without listening to any of the strikers. Here’s a chance to listen to an English language account of a socialist who is part of Sotsіalniy Rukh (SR; The Social Movement).
Irish socialist song with words by Jim Connell
Irish socialist Jim Connell is probably best known as the author of The Red Flag. In 1911, he also published Workers of Ireland in Jim Larkin’s paper the Irish Worker. His song was based on a tune attributed to Michael Joseph McCann and published in The Nation in 1843 as O’Donnell Abú.
Workers of Ireland, why crouch ye like cravens?
Why clutch an existence of insult and want?
Why stand to be plucked by an army of ravens,
Or hoodwinked forever by twaddle and cant?
Think on the wrongs ye bear,
Think on the rags ye wear,
Think on the insults endured from your birth;
Toiling in snow and rain
Rearing up heaps of gain,
All for the tyrants who ground you to earth.
Your brains are as keen as the brains of your masters
In swiftness and strength ye surpass them by far
Ye’ve brave hearts that teach ye to laugh at disasters,
Ye vastly outnumber your tyrants in war:
Why then like cowards stand.
Using not brain or hand
Thankful, like dogs, when they throw you a bone!
What right have they to take
Things that ye toil to make?
Know ye not, comrades, that all is your own?
Rise in your might, brothers, bear it no longer,
Assemble in masses throughout the whole land;
Show these incapables who are the stronger,
When workers and idlers confronted shall stand.
Through Castle, Court and Hall
Over their acres all
Onward we’ll press like the waves of the sea!
Claiming the wealth we’ve made,
Ending the spoilers’ trade;
Labour shall triumph and Ireland be free!
Melanie Gruben published an EP of songs in the run up to Christmas 2022. She can be followed on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MelanieGrubenMusic / Instagram: @melaniegrubenmusic / Bandcamp: www.melaniegruben.bandcamp.com and YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MelanieGrubenMusic
Socialist Podcast 20 September 2020: the Green’s Waste Action Plan
A recent Tweet by Aislinn Wallace went viral when she supplied a terse response to their proposed Waste Action Plan (WAP).
Aislinn and Shane discuss how the Green Party’s focus on the individual, as well as the tendency of neoliberalism to moralise against the working class means they don’t have an approach capable of solving a climate crisis that requires fundamental structural change.
While the Green Party’s Carolyn Moore wrote a piece for thejournal.ie that gives a useful synopsis of fast and cheap fashion, Shane and Aislinn see this as an approach that touches only at the fringes of the underlying crisis; on that puts the onus for change overwhelmingly on the least well off and which avoids entirely the deeper causes of environmental crisis.
The fact that the Green’s Waste Action Plan was likely to see increased costs for clothing was put by Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk to Green Party councilllor and Dublin mayor Hazel Chu. She did not deny it, but proposed that VAT reduction might help. For the hosts of the socialist podcast, this was evidence that the Green Party were only interested in window dressing and that we can already see that the government plan to reduce carbon emissions in Ireland by an annual average of 7% by 2030 will fail.
Other topics covered in this socialist podcast from Ireland were the resignations from the Irish Green Party; a possible government implosion; what next for Fianna Fáil, given their catastrophic polling; the return of Brexit and the fires on the west coast of America.
Finally, but a matter of real urgency and importance, the socialist podcasters discuss the growth of the far right in Ireland.
Socialist Podcast 24 September 2020: Stephen Donnelly Is An Entryist
Teachers want to improve the health and safety of the children… which in turn will help healthcare workers because there will be less COVID in the communityNiamh McDonald
Aislinn and Shane are joined by Independent Left’s Niamh McDonald and Eoghan O’Nia to discuss a range of current affairs, starting with the ASTI’s ballot of teachers for industrial action in the school. The panelists offer various insight about this, all supportive of the teacher’s unions, as Independent Left were during the 2020 teachers’ strike.
The occupation of Debenhams by its workers is just the highest profile action by shop workers in a sector that has seen record closures of stores.
This episode of our Irish socialist podcast also looks at the extraordinary popularity of Sinn Féin among young voters.
One important feature of COVID19 in Ireland, but one that is not discussed often enough is the class bias in terms of infections and death. Manual workers and low paid workers are more likely to catch COVID19 and we can see why from the outbreaks in the meat packing industry. These provide examples of the many ways in employers are willing to take risks with the lives of workers and therefore of the community more generally.
Lastly, the Local Property Tax is back in the news. Independent Left have consistently opposed this tax, even though parties like Labour, the Greens and the Social Democrats insist that it is a wealth tax that is fair. It really is not. Both the history of this tax and also the way it is applied today shows that it is nothing like a tax on the wealthy and the alternatives are discussed in this Irish socialist podcast.
Socialist Podcast 30 September 2020 Part 1: the Green Exodus
DJ Walsh who also broadcasts a socialist podcast – SnugCast Pod – that we highly recommend, talks to us about his experience as a member of the Green Party and gives valuable insight into the Green’s role in the Program for Government and the recent Green Exodus: the loss of a wave of members.
Our discussion is both wide ranging, looking at how reform-orientated parties again and again succumb to the policies of the bigger capitalist enterprises as well as how the internal life of the Green Party does not facilitate a bottom-up approach where the members and supporters can drive the direction of the party. “The issue of the Green Party being a broad church is when you try and do something mildly progressive… they say scrap that when they see the possibility of power.”
Also covered were the topics of climate justice and whether the ‘Just Transition Greens’ can offer a way to achieve Eco-Socialism.
Socialist Leaning Reboot Republic talk to Councillor John Lyons about Housing and the Oscar Traynor Development
A Reboot Republic podcast on 29 October 2021, had a panel including socialist John Lyons; architect and analyst, Mel Reynolds and Emily Duffy, former deputy director of Uplift about housing with a focus on the issues around the Oscar Traynor Road development.
US socialist podcast Pastiche interviews Independent Left’s Conor Kostick on Adorno and Music
Listen via the webpage here.
Theodore Adorno was one of the most important philosophers of music and culture more generally. Influenced by Marx’s writings, Adorno wrote hundreds of reviews of new music from a perspective that vigorously polemicised against every piece that made concessions to the ‘culture industry’. Having studied Adorno’s writing in order to help review original Irish compositions for the Journal of Music in Ireland, Conor was contacted by Benjamin Moorse of the Pastiche podcast for a conversation about Adorno, in which he was joined by Andy Wilson of the Association of Musical Marxists and owner of the Traveller in the Evening website.