The Guardian • Issue #2015

Curry with comrades night – a CPA SA tradition

CPA Port Adelaide Branch article

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2015
Tin Can Alley entertaining comrades at the Curry Night.

Tin Can Alley entertaining comrades at the Curry Night.

Through a close association with the Port Adelaide United Workers’ Club, the CPA Port Adelaide branch has access to two fine venues for celebrations and Party activities. At the Semaphore Workers’ Club – where a fine reputation of regular popular music has been established – there is a venue capable of catering for a hundred people or more with friendly bar facilities, and the welcoming possibility of combining delightful food, stimulating politics, and jovial camaraderie.

This enjoyable combination took place on the evening of Saturday 2nd July. The centrepiece was the internet link-up with comrade Eugene McCartan, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland who reflected on recent elections in Ireland and useful strategies for communicating with people, especially with the working class.

Comrade McCartan detailed the significance of recent election outcomes, which revealed success for the more progressive parties such as Sinn Féin. Though Comrade McCartan suggested that elections, despite their perceived success, have been one of the mechanisms of control in society, they have become one part of the working-class struggle in search of an ideological alternative. Elections or mass struggle was posed as a dilemma facing the Party.

As a result of an insightful question by comrade Michael Perth, the strategy of building alliances with the working class around the way people were suffering from capitalism was raised – especially regarding housing as part of the broader issue of the cost of living. Comrade McCartan drew attention to the issue of taxation versus private enterprise, particularly in the case of housing. Under the European Union, water could not become a state monopoly, whereas communists would see water, for example, resting in the hands of the people, just as housing should.

In challenging capitalism, comrade McCartan urged us to seek where the enemy is weakest. Consequently, he urged that we must understand capitalism thoroughly to succeed in the battle for socialism, especially when the working-class often appears to acquiesce with their exploitation. 

In the case of the British Industrial Relations Act where workers’ rights were tightly limited, McCartan explained that the Party had drafted their own legislation designed to restore the right to negotiate and, of course, to strike. Fortunately, these propositions are now being supported by many politicians.

Eugene explained that successful trade unionism depended on effective communication with workers, using terms that people understand and speaking to workers as equals.

In considering Irish unity, Eugene preferred to view the two parts of Ireland – as the twenty-six counties on one side and six counties on the other as follows:

“Partition has been the major road block to the national democratic struggle of the Irish people […]. The strategy of the Communist Party of Ireland is to develop maximum economic, political and social relations between North and South and to shrink the East-West controls from London […].”

Entertainment throughout the evening from the Tin Can Ally duo included a rousing version of Guantanamera to the delight of all those who support the brave Cuban people in confronting a protracted but unsuccessful six-decade-long illegal US economic blockade. Sri Lankan comrades from the JVP, along with Australia Cuba Friendship Society members and committed unionists joined Party comrades to experience a gastronomical and political feast. ϑ

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