CPI summer school: An assessment

The recent CPI national school on 21–23 June began with the national chairperson giving a good introduction, which was followed by a brief talk on Irish history, with a different slant on the roles played by the state and its allies the church and its sycophantic followers.

Questions were posed to the audience about how we can change the tide of political discourse and about recent phenomena, such as Does the role of Greta Thunberg teach us anything?

Next was a talk, attentively listened to, by two stalwarts of our party on the all-Ireland nature of our struggle: Contemporary challenges: Partition, Brexit, the EU, and the border poll.

Comrades were keen to get into their discussion groups to dissect the opinions heard, and this was brought back to the meeting. Fascinating stuff!

On Saturday afternoon we discussed the class structure of Irish society. Who are the ruling class, north and south? How are they linked to imperialism? The comrade presenting this topic was well prepared with various visual images that caught our imagination and the questions that are at the core of our basic understanding of all that is wrong in this state.

After tea an outline of the party’s history was brief and yet extremely interesting, and I, and others, wanted more of it.

The social evening was extremely enjoyable, and stories heard, serious topics discussed and yarns were relived, with the odd hangover the next morning all part and parcel.

Sunday morning, and “Building a Leninist party” was a most interesting talk. Socialism is a science to be learnt, and organisation is crucial, along with theory. These are core elements in our thinking. We are people in struggle and have no time for those Marxist academics sitting in the high towers of academia pontificating to all and sundry.

Our personal behaviour is important, and the new media were touched upon, and a particular remark caught this writer’s attention: “You don’t own your own image rights,” and must know what democratic centralism is.

The health service was dealt with next, and comrades were given the raw facts of the continued privatisation in the Six Counties and the ruinous health system in the 26 Counties.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the talk on the environment: “Saving the planet”—a riveting talk that caught the imagination of many of the comrades present, with a list of further reading given to follow up.

Youth and ideology was the next theme, with the role of the Connolly Youth Movement in awakening the youth from their slumber well outlined, with descriptions of their various campaigns and steadily increasing membership. The speaker gave us all hope as we left the summer school for the four corners of Ireland after a brilliant weekend along the River Blackwater.

My thanks to all who arranged and participated.