Both parties are Trotskyist and advocate permanent revolution and political agitation through working class mass action in capitalist societies such as Ireland.

The coming together of the two small left-wing parties should have been the easiest graft in Irish politics but has proved to be the most difficult. (...)

Gino Kenny, Joe Higgins,  Clare Daly and  Richard Boyd Barrett during a United Left Alliance press conference  in Dublin in 2011. The alliance won five seats in the 2011 general election but fell apart before too long. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

There is an old saying in Irish politics that the first thing on the agenda for any new political party is the split. As soon as the two main Trotskyi(...)

James O’Toole, author of 
Revolution, A Beginner’s Guide
. ‘No working class person would use the word ‘proletariat’. So I really wanted to make these words accessible to people from my own background.’   Photograph: Aidan Crawley

At 99 degrees, writes James O’Toole, water might be warm, but it’s still water. One more degree and it becomes something new. So it is with revolution(...)