Political Statement Communist Party of Ireland-STATEMENT ON NATO & IRISH NEUTRALITY

The Communist Party of Ireland strongly condemns the decision of the coalition government to appoint Ms Louise Richardson, Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, to chair the government’s Consultative Forum on International Security Policy and to draft the final report on the future of the security of this state.

The government intends to hold a series of staged events with “military experts”, both national and international, to pontificate on why in today’s world no one can any longer be neutral and why we should follow the example of Finland and Sweden in joining NATO. Tánaiste Mícheál Martin said that Dame Richardson “has a strong expertise in security policy” and will “play a hugely positive role in chairing the discussions”.

The question must be posed, who has in the past and who now threatens this state? The government has not outlined where the threat to the Irish people comes from and why we need to change our traditional policy of neutrality. The only state to have attacked towns and cities in this country has been the British state – a member of NATO. A state whose security and military policies Dame Richardson fully supports. The other main threat to the Irish people came from the EU, when the Commission forced the Irish government to accept liability for 42% of European bank debt and impose austerity on our population. Remember Jean-Claude Trichet’s threat that “a bomb would go off in Dublin” if bondholders were burned?

They will tell the people why we should increase our military spending in line with NATO, while tens of thousands go without homes and shelter. At the same time, as part of this state’s contribution to NATO’s proxy war in their country, they house tens of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing that war in the middle of a deepening housing crisis.

What is clear is that the central issue to be discussed at these heavily controlled forums is “security”, not peace and neutrality, or a more vigorous, independent foreign policy. They will not discuss the advancement of global peace or enhancing the peace-keeping role of the United Nations.

Richardson, who holds both Irish and US citizenship, is clearly a safe pair of hands. She is totally committed to advancing the strategic interests of US foreign and security policy. She is on record supporting the US decision to invade Iraq without UN sanction because “We [USA] felt strong enough to react on our own, and so we did”. She has also a track record of supporting British military and political policy in Ireland.

The Irish state has clearly brought her on board to secure what they require, i.e. the creation of a false consensus in favour of the abandonment of Irish neutrality to defeat any possible demand for a Constitutional amendment enshrining neutrality.

The National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland issues a call to all those concerned about peace and who oppose this state joining NATO to come together to oppose this “security” roadshow at every opportunity. Not to give it any democratic veneer, but to render it unworkable.

The neutrality of this state is one of the last vestiges of the 1916 Proclamation and the Democratic Programme of 1919. Both advocated that an Irish state must align with the oppressed of the world and not with the oppressors.

The majority of our people are in favour of neutrality and peace. We need to mobilise now against this attempt by the government and the state to abandon neutrality by the back door.