The lyrics to Eric Bogle’s haunting folk song, No Man’s Land (The Green Fields of France, or Willie McBride), set against the background of an imaginary young soldier killed in the first world war, are as relevant today on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the start of the second world war which falls on 1 September. War did happen ‘again and again’ with its countless victims and will continue to do so as long as capitalism remains. Indeed, the total number of victims of the second world war dwarfed even the carnage of the first. Estimates of the total number of casualties for the war suggest some 60 million died, 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians.
Theory & History
Sectarian politicians’ power-sharing Assembly not a solution
27 May 2008
The recent tenth anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement was marked by a series of high profile events and much mutual back-slapping. The politicians who negotiated the Agreement were lauded by the media and, once again, the “solution” to Northern Ireland’s problems was touted as a blueprint for similar intractable problems around the world.
AN UNPRECEDENTED wave of anger and revulsion has swept across Northern Ireland in the aftermath of the Omagh bomb. In Omagh virtually everything shut down for a week as the town braced itself for the agony of the funerals.
On the Monday morning shop stewards approached the management of the Desmonds factory, one of the biggest employers in the town, and the result was the closure of the factory for a week. In the town centre only newsagents and florists stayed open. A vigil organised by local community activists on Tuesday evening, and held in a car park close to where the bomb went off, drew a huge crowd.
It is twenty years since the execution style killing by the SAS of three IRA members in Gibraltar. In Northern Ireland these deaths sparked a brief but particularly bloody upsurge in violence. Over the next thirteen days a series of attacks involving the army, the IRA and loyalist paramilitaries left a further eight people dead and 68 injured.
Statement adopted by the Northern Regional Executive Committee of the Socialist Party
The deadlock over parades is unlikely to be broken this summer. There have already been disputes especially over the ‘Tour of the North’ and the Springfield Road. Further confrontation over Drumcree, the Ormeau Road and other contentious routes is certain to follow.