new left

Paul Murphy unveils new political grouping called RISE

Murphy announced he was parting ways with the Socialist Party last week.

TD PAUL MURPHY today launched a new political group, RISE, after announcing his departure from the Socialist Party last week. 

Speaking at the launch in Dublin today, Murphy said that after a year-long debate within the Socialist Party, he decided to part company with it and help form RISE which stands for: Radical, Internationalist, Socialist and Environmentalist.

The Socialist Party, which contests elections under the party banner of Solidarity (formerly the Anti-Austerity Alliance) had three TDs elected at the last election – alongside Murphy, Ruth Coppinger was elected in Dublin and Mick Barry in Cork.

Murphy is currently a TD for Dublin South-West. 

RISE will not be a new political party, but will register as a ‘third party’ with Standards in Public Office (SIPO). RISE will be a unit within Solidarity-People Before Profit, said Murphy. 

Speaking about the split, he said no one who favours the left likes to see the divisions, Murphy acknowledged. 

Left split 

It is not a good thing the left is splitting into smaller groups, he admitted.

He added that RISE aims to contribute to the formation of a “broader left” in Ireland, stating that it will cooperate with other left parties and groupings to achieve that. 

“We’re going to build our distinct group… but we’re also committed to developing a broad left movement in this country.

“We’re for the building of a broader left,” but added: “We’re not it.”

“We are not going to be the Paul Murphy party,” said Murphy. Those in the Socialist Party are “still our friends and comrades”, he added.

In a bid to form some sort of consensus in the left movement in Ireland, RISE is proposing an agreed leftist panel for the upcoming by-election candidates. 

In terms of the next general election, he said RISE is not focusing on running “a raft of candidates”. He said he will be contesting, but does not know whether his former party will run someone against him.

Murphy also said that he would be in favour of leftist parties agreeing to stand an approved set of best-placed candidates in the next general election, though he added that he was not stating that they would come from RISE.

What are RISE’s main priorities?

It plans to launch a ‘Green New Deal’ which includes a call for “free, green and frequent public transport”. RISE members will also be helping to build the Extinction Rebellion Week, where activists are planning civil disobedience in cities around the world next month. 

The group is also calling for a four-day working week with no reduction in take-home pay, as well as a just transition with green energy, including a green jobs programme. 

RISE will cooperate with larger, mainstream parties if they agree on issues.  

However, Murphy said he did not agree with left-wing parties contemplating going into coalition with “right-wing parties” such as Fine Gael. 

“We don’t think Sinn Féin or the Greens represent the change we need,” added Murphy.

While the group wants to increase its membership (there are just a handful of members currently, with Murphy being the only elected representative in the group), RISE wants to build branches in all the main cities and towns around the country.

“People on the left unlike people on the right take politics pretty seriously,” said Murphy, stating that all members are committed to transforming society away from capitalism. 

“Watch what we say, watch what we do,” he said, adding that the “proof of the pudding is in the eating.” 

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