Independent Left’s Irish Socialist Podcast
Here you can listen to an Irish socialist podcast for a discussion of the latest news, interviews, socialist ideas, and reviews from an independent left perspective. Independent Left have teamed up with the podcast creators Aislinn Wallace and Shane McNally of Stage Left Ireland to bring you a regular revolutionary podcast. For users of SoundCloud, you can follow the Stage Left podcast here or of Spotify, here, and get alerts when the latest goes live. All episodes will also be hosted on this page, so visit back regularly.
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.
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.