I always end up thinking about socialism on the way out of town. Mostly because the James Connolly statue is across from my bus stop, but today in French, the communist paper "L'humanite" came up in a reading comprehension and someone was all like "What!? Communists!?" and the teacher made a big speech about how admirable it to believe in something, or something like that.
This got me thinking about the French strong-left community, and that it seems a lot more organised, and respected than Ireland or UK. For example, "L'humanite" is considered a respectable paper, and is widely available in France, unlike any of the strong-left publications here (Socialist Worker etc) which are arguably undeserving of the status equal to L'humanite.
Whereas the Irish left looks like this:
- Labour: highly centrist SI party
- Green: Good policies initially, but buggered by being a tiny part of a coalition with a right wing party that's now sort of despised for its woeful handling of the recession
- Socialist Party: Has one MEP. Some good ideas but their rhetoric tends to consist of shouting "Those damn neoliberals!!!" and shaking their fists firmly
- assorted terrorists