Kieran Allen and David Quinn featured on the Pat Kenny show on RTE, Radio One, on 11/1/2012 in relation to the issue of state and private education in the Irish Republic. Kieran,on this show, essentially suggested that education, as provided by state schools, is inferior to that of private schools. Yet ironically he nominally expresses support for state education over private education.
Contrary to Kieran it is questionable as to whether private education, at secondary level, is superior to that of state education. As Pat Kenny indicated the character of the catchment area is of decisive importance concerning quality of education.Kieran argued, on the show,for meritocracy in relation to the 3rd level postgraduate area. Again Pat aptly pointed out that there is a relationship between merit and economic and social privilege. Meritocracy,then, does not,as Kieran intimates,transcend class relations.
The problem with Kieran Allen is that he wants to have his cake and eat it.He is a prominent member of a Trotskyist organisation,the Socialist Workers Partey who claims to be a Marxist. Yet his arguments on radio and television are that of a left liberal(or left Labour Party member). He is forever offering solutions that can make capitalist society more efficient.He wants to save capitalism not overturn it.
Concerning second level education he argues that state education under capitalism is the desired form of education. He never suggests that all education supported by the state is inherently oppressive and designed to mould its "students" into agents of capitalism --bourgeois education. Neither does he see that 3rd level education is bourgeois and thereby reactionary too.
Communists oppose bourgeois education in all its diverse forms. Indeed communists can set up private forms of education which play a revolutionary role in worker education. So even his preference for public education does not hold. Indeed the SWP is a private institution as is its teach-ins (summer schools etc).
It is time for Kieran and other spokespeople for the SWP to publicly out themselves as left liberals. Both the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party are going the way of Pat Rabitte and Pronsias de Rossa.
Kieran Allen's purpose is to fool the working class into supporting him (and his party) under the illusion that he is a Marxist --dare I say Communist.