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Last few polls in Scotland… September 16, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Politics of Scotland.
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…coming out now…

ICM’s poll for the Scotsman shows YES on 41%, NO on 45%, don’t knows on 14%. Excluding don’t knows that works out at YES 48%, NO 52%. Last week ICM did two Scottish polls – a traditional telephone one for the Guardian which showed a two point lead for NO, and a rather unusual online one for the Sunday Telegraph showing an eight point lead for YES – far and away their best showing in any poll.

UPDATE: Almost as soon as I’d posted Opinium’s Telegraph poll also appeared, with identical headline figures of YES 48%, NO 52%. This is almost the same as their poll for the Observer at the weekend which had a 47/53 split. Tabs for the Opinium poll are online here (I don’t think the ICM ones will be up until the morning).

Turnout will be all in this.

Some good points here from George Monbiot on the media and the campaign. He particularly points to the self-referencing world of the media and media commentators and the lack of critical thinking (indeed it’s notable how for all the contrarian views aired they are rarely fundamentally at odds with the socio-economic or political system).His critique can as easily be applied to the coverage of economic matters as well – indeed he makes the point that “Change in any direction, except further over the brink of market fundamentalism and planetary destruction, requires the defiance of almost the entire battery of salaried opinion”.

Area man says Fine Gael ‘have gone very right wing’… He should know. September 16, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has said he is preparing to be Taoiseach and has accused the Government of “playing around with people’s health and lives”.
Mr Martin said Fine Gael had “gone very right wing” and ruled out going into coalition with that party.

America’s Largest Pension Fund Pulls Out of Hedge Funds September 16, 2014

Posted by Garibaldy in International Finance, United States.
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Fascinating story from gawker. Here’s the first paragraph

CALPERS is America’s largest pension fund, with $300 billion in assets. It just announced that it is pulling all of its money out of hedge funds. Why? Because everyone knows that hedge funds are a ripoff.

Speaking of polls, what of party polling in the UK? September 16, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Labour Party, British Politics, Uncategorized.
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… this hasn’t been much mentioned in all the confusion over the independence referendum, but what’s this? Mixed fortunes for Labour, surely, with some polls showing them well up, others that the figures are tightening in favour of the Tories. Yet, on UK Polling report in its poll of polls and likely projections they’ve gone up to a majority of 44 MPs (from circa 32). In the Guardian/Observer/Opinium poll this last weekend they increased their majority significantly over the Tories.

Could it be, could it be, that Cameron is already diminished by this referendum? That it has shown him in a particularly poor light? If so, what if the vote is a No? Will it then work to his advantage as the man who, by the skin of his teeth, managed to steer this referendum to a successful (as he might see it) conclusion?

Or is it possible that this has allowed Miliband to look a little bit better than hitherto? And perhaps that Labour itself looks better, because it is LP members who are making the running in relation to ‘saving’ the union, not Tories. That indeed this is serving to remind people of how Tory politics has been so uniquely divisive in the UK, to the extent of potentially triggering a rupture not seen since 1921?

And another thought strikes. Doesn’t this work in an odd way for UKIP, so keen on breaking up existing membership of the EU?

Docklands community to mark 50th anniversary of death of Sean O’Casey – this weekend September 16, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Culture night performances and unveiling of important local plaque

This Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sean O’Casey. He died on 18th September 1964 in Devon, aged 84 .
Sean O’Casey, one of Ireland’s most enduring playwrights, spent three decades of his early life living in the North Docks area of Dublin. To mark the anniversary of his death, the local community will be holding two very special events this week – an evening dedicated to the life and works of Sean O’Casey on Friday Evening and Saturday afternoon will see the unveiling of a plaque on the site of the former St Barnabas Church & School where O’Casey attended.

As part of Culture Night celebrations on Friday 19th September, the Sean O’Casey Theatre on St. Marys Road, East Wall will be hosting “What is the stars?” This is a newly constructed O’Casey piece which features scenes and characters from ‘The Silver Tassie’, ‘Juno and the Paycock’ and ‘The Plough and the stars’ alongside a musical accompaniment. In the year that also marks the outbreak of the First World War, this is a powerful piece which highlights a common O’Casey theme, of ordinary people living their lives while “The whole world’s in a state of chassis”. This will be followed by readings and performances of O’Casey material, drawn from his plays, autobiographies and letters. In addition to the invited participants, there will be an opportunity for all performers, amateur and professional to take part and read their chosen O’Casey piece.

On Saturday afternoon, 20th September, a memorial plaque will be unveiled on the former site of St. Barnabas Church, which stood from 1869 to 1969 on Sheriff Street. It’s most famous parishioner was Sean O’Casey, who dedicated a volume of his autobiography to the Reverand Griffin, whom he befriended here. The plaque will recall others associated with the mariners church – the Rev Canon DH Hall , the so called ‘building parson’ who was an innovator of housing reform in the early 20th century , and also the 12 parishioners who lost their lives in ‘The Great War’. The unveiling will take place at 2.30pm at the junction of East Road and Sheriff Street, followed by refreshments and celebratory event.

Commenting on the Culture Night event, Fran Laycock of the Sean O’Casey Theatre said: “O’Casey was a unique talent, he captured the voices of those around him and immortalised them in his work. When his characters speak, you are hearing the authentic sounds of Dublin life as witnessed by the playwright. What better way to celebrate his anniversary than by attending these performances in the heart of the community and amongst the people he was very much a part of, in a theatre named in his honour.”

Commenting on the unveiling of the plaque on the site where St Barnabas Church once stood, local resident Marie O’Reilly stated: “So much of the area has changed and important elements of our history are in danger of being forgotten. It is great to see this being prevented from happening – Saint Barnabas Church & School and the sizeable Church of Ireland population played a hugely significant part in the development of the North Docks community, yet many younger people are unaware of this. Commemoration events and the presence of historical markers will keep the great story of our area alive and hopefully encourage people to find out more.”

For further information contact:
Fran Laycock (Sean O’Casey Theatre) – 0876350056
Joe Mooney (East Wall History Group) – 0876698587

See links to event pages (which will feature related articles throughout the week):



Scottish Independence: The OECD speaks September 16, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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From the Guardian.

On Monday the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international thinktank, warned that a yes vote was a potential risk to the global economy, the eurozone and emerging markets. Arguing that the UK was an important member of the group of rich countries, its secretary general, Angel Gurria, said:

Yes, what did Gurria say?

“We clearly believe that better together is perhaps the way to go.”

A ringing endorsement so.

All Out! Dancing in Dulais September 15, 2014

Posted by Tomboktu in Uncategorized.
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With Pride in the cinemas this week, this 23-minute documentary is an interesting backgrounder.

The Youth Vote September 15, 2014

Posted by doctorfive in Irish Politics.

..or what’s left of it.

According to the Youth Council of Ireland

Red C poll has found that 30% of young people aged 18-25 were not registered to vote in advance of the recent local and European elections. The problem is most acute among the 18-21 age group with up to 43% of this cohort not registered.

Figures have increased

from 2009 when our report found that 26% of young people aged 18-25 and 36% aged 18-21 years were not registered to vote.

A small sample of just 412 but presumably close enough to the reality. With thousands having already left or soon leaving, the sight of nearly half those under the age of 25 not voting should be of particular concern to anyone planning on winning a referendum next year. Also the kind of numbers rarely forgotten when ministers are planning where the axe will again fall. The Youth Council ties these findings to an “outdated registration system”, which imo isn’t much more than tinkering in the wider scale of things. The necessity for establishment of permanent Electoral Commission is also claimed – something else I would be sceptical of but maybe more on that later.

More interesting was the voting behaviour from the last elections.

  • In the European elections 29% of young people voted for Independent candidates
  • 26% voted Sinn Féin and 23% for Fianna Fáil.
  • Fine Gael got 11% of the youth vote with Labour receiving 6%.
  • Independents (+9%) and Sinn Féin (+6%) did significantly better among young voters compared to the elections results based on voters of all ages with Fianna Fáil (+1%) and Labour (+1%) doing marginally better among young voters.

While in the locals

  • In the local elections 27% of young people voted for Sinn Fein, both Independent candidates and Fine Gael recorded a vote of 22% with 20% voting for Fianna Fail and with Labour, Green Party and others receiving 9%, 1% and 1% respectively.
  • Sinn Féin did significantly better among young voters at 27% compared to the 15% they received in the election, based on voters of all ages.
  • Independents, (-1%) Fine Gael (-2%)and Fianna Fáil (-5%) all recorded a slightly lower vote among young voters compared to the elections results based on voters of all ages with Labour doing slightly better (+2%).


The Rising Tide – LookLeft 19 in shops now September 15, 2014

Posted by guestposter in The Left, Workers' Party.
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LookLeft 19 is in Easons stores and hundreds of selected newsagents across the island now. Still only €2 this issue includes former Workers’ Party President Séan Garland’s assessment of the career of Eamon Gilmore, an exclusive article by Greek economist, Yanis Varoufakis, on the failure of European Social Democracy, an interview with new Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger, an examination of the growing militancy among trade union members in Ireland and John Cooney on Scottish Independence and much, much more…

Contents include:


The links between Irish corporate and clerical elites, Richard McAlevey investigates.


Brian McDermott and Kevin Squires discuss the rise of racism on both sides of the Border.

Kevin Squires meets Ruth Coppinger to discuss her aims in the Dáil.

Osal Kelly discusses how to put a lid on a the bubbling housing market.

Dara McHugh and Padraig Mannion discuss the threat to democracy from the secretive trade deal.

RISING TIDE OF EXPECTATIONS Workers are seeking a new militancy in the trade union movement, Francis Donohoe explores.

THE FORUM Seán Garland bids an unfond farewell to Eamon Gilmore. Also featuring John Cooney, Anna Quigley, Cian O’Callaghan, Marie Moran and Gavin Mendel-Gleason.

Yanis Varoufakis and Terry McDonough discuss the fall of European social democracy and look at how the Left can rise instead.

Conall Parr looks at the legacy of radical Protestants in Northern Ireland politics

Dara McHugh talks music, politics and petty theft with pioneering Dublin folk band Lynched.

Neil Dunne discusses the reactions of Malmö FC to the stabbing of a fan by neo-nazis.

From the International Brigades Commemoration in Limerick at the weekend… September 15, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Thanks to the person who sent this photo. photo


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