RTE today reports that Paul Murphy Dail deputy for the Dublin South-West constituency is leaving the Socialist Party to form a socialist party. The three Socialist Party deputies co-operate with the three deputies from People before Profit to form a parliamentary group, but among the three Socialists, there is disagreement on the extent to which they should co-operate with other groups such as Sinn Fein or the Green Party. Deputy Murphy is an advocate of more co-operation with groups from outside of the Left, and, in the spirit of co-operation, is splitting his party.
If Westminster politics is the stuff of parody, a denial of reality, then the politics of the Irish Left come straight from the script of The Life of Brian:
BRIAN: Are you the Judean People’s Front?
REG: **** off!
REG: Judean People’s Front. We’re the People’s Front of Judea! Judean People’s Front. Cawk.
BRIAN: Can I… join your group?
REG: No. **** off.
BRIAN: I didn’t want to sell this stuff. It’s only a job. I hate the Romans as much as anybody.
PEOPLE’S FRONT OF JUDEA: Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.
JUDITH: Are you sure?
BRIAN: Oh, dead sure. I hate the Romans already.
REG: Listen. If you wanted to join the P.F.J., you’d have to really hate the Romans.
BRIAN: I do!
REG: Oh, yeah? How much?
BRIAN: A lot!
REG: Right. You’re in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the ******* Judean People’s Front.
FRANCIS: And the Judean Popular People’s Front.
P.F.J.: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters…
LORETTA: And the People’s Front of Judea.
P.F.J.: Yeah. Splitters. Splitters…
LORETTA: The People’s Front of Judea. Splitters.
REG: We’re the People’s Front of Judea!
LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.
REG: People’s Front! C-huh.
FRANCIS: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?
REG: He’s over there.
Last week, the editor of the Financial Times wrote that capitalism must reset itself in order to survive, writing a letter to subscribers saying:
The liberal capitalist model has delivered peace, prosperity and technological progress for the past 50 years, dramatically reducing poverty and raising living standards throughout the world.
But in the decade since the global financial crisis, the model has come under strain, particularly the focus on maximising profits and shareholder value. These principles of good business are necessary but not sufficient.
The long-term health of free enterprise capitalism will depend on delivering profit with purpose. Companies will come to understand that this combination serves their self-interest as well as their customers and employees. Without change, the prescription risks being far more painful.
Free enterprise capitalism has shown a remarkable capacity to reinvent itself. At times, as the historian and politician Thomas Babington Macaulay wisely noted, it is necessary to reform in order to preserve. Today, the world has reached that moment
At the moment when capitalism has reached the crisis predicted by the socialists, the socialists demonstrate that the only people they hate more than the capitalists are other socialist.