Sectarianism: The Vomit of Imperialism
It is well documented that plantation and the carefully planned division of the Irish Working-class in the north of Ireland are the vile spawn of British Imperialism that keeps Hibernians and Fascists in power with more money in their pockets than most of us could ever dream of.
Every morning I drive through both ‘Republican’ and ‘Loyalist’ areas and I see more similarities than differences. The working class in both areas, whether they be on low wages, unemployed or underemployed, all look the same, face the same fears of redundancy, benefit cuts or pay freezes. This divide and conquer legacy keeps Orange and Green charlatans in power and the proletariat, whether they be Catholic, Protestant or Atheist, in their allotted boxes where they will be called upon to vote on a sectarian basis every few years. I will leave it up to the reader to guess who are the real winners and who are put back in their boxes until needed by craven politicians.
As a mature student at QUB some years ago many of my ‘peers’ were later to become senior figures in the likes of the DUP and I was appalled at the condescending, nay hostile, way they talked of working class people who lived in areas like Sandy Row, the Shankill and Taughmonagh etc. It was as if they were ‘ballot box fodder’ and the scum of the earth (God knows what they thought of the Proletariat in Republican areas but that was not for my hearing, as a known Republican).
Despite it’s longevity, sectarianism is not monolithic! The Falls and the Shankill united in the 1930’s over, topically enough, cuts to the meagre ‘relief’ welfare provisions of the day. We are entering a similar period and it is time for Catholic and Protestant working class people not to be fooled by the Orange or Green card being played. United we can sweep these Tory/fascists away. And like Connolly, we are not ‘gas and water’ Socialists, our aim is an Irish Workers republic where Catholic, Protestant and dissenters can take control of the means of production and exchange. I want no part of a ‘wrap the Green (or Orange flag) unitary state. I want a state where the powers of the Catholic Church, the Orange Order etc are not what defines us.
It is time for us to unite irrespective of what church (or lack of one) one attends and we will reap a whirlwind together, united under the Red flag of working class power. The power we can wield, forgetting old shibboleths, will overwhelm the Stormont charlatans and the Leinster House Gombeen men.
United as one class, the working class, we can improve our lives and the power we would possess would be more powerful than anything since the 1930’s. United we stand, only divided we will fail!