No2CrokePark2 – More May 21, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Progressive Film Club May 21, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, The Left, Uncategorized.
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Only a few days left but seats still available. The club needs this fundraiser to be a success, so that we can keep the wolf (pack) from our door. If you want to reserve tickets (€10 each) Please contact us at this email address or the club one at the end of the message.
As part of this fundraising drive we have a limited edition Bobby Ballagh print for sale at €400. The print, which is framed, is one of a hundred print lot and depicts James Larkin. It can be viewed in Connolly Books, 43 East Essex St, D.2.
Venue: The New Theatre , 43 East Essex Street, Dublin 2
Date: Sat 25th May 2013
2pm – Irish Premiere
Dear Mr Ken Loach (30 mins) a film by Nicola di Lecce and Rossella Lamina.
This film charts a meeting between Ken Loach and laid-off workers at the Turin Film Festival. In 2012 Ken Loach refused a Turin Film Festival career award, in solidarity with these workers, who stated that they had been exploited for years by a subcontractor involved with the festival. In December of that year he met those workers in a public meeting, which resulted in a wonderful display of mutual sharing and empowerment for many Italian workers.
We thank the directors for making this film available to us.
3.00pm Car Trouble (6 mins) by Richard Kearney and Philip Lewis
In the first short film submission following our invitation to Irish directors, we are delighted to screen “Car Trouble”. The film is a very atmospheric and finely crafted work but to say more, might give away the plot.
3.10pm The Angels’ Share (2012) directed by Ken Loach
Screenplay by Paul Laverty
We have been fortunate to acquire the rights for a single screening of The Angels’ Share by veteran British director Ken Loach. For those of you who missed this hilarious comedy on it’s short stay here, this is not a chance to be spurned. As you are aware, we do not normally charge admission fees but in this case we are going to ask for a donation of €10. We need to raise funds for the future development of the film club, particularly as we have planned a Social Justice Film Festival for November this year. Submissions for this festival have been received from film makers in Ireland and from all around the world.
Tickets are now available. We are restricted to 65 seats and ticket sales have been steady. So, if you intend to go, please email us asap and we can reserve tickets for you.
You go to our website (see link below),book and pay by using the PayPal “Donate” button. In the instructions to seller type in “The Angels’ Share”. We will then email you a confirmation.
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the screenwriter Paul Laverty, Deirdre Johnston at GFD Film Library, Eimhear McMahon at Sixteen Films and Frameit Productions.
Pregnancy and class May 21, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
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A fascinating piece in the SBP magazine at the weekend, by ‘mother courage’, who tweets regularly, on the state of our maternity hospitals in this current period of austerity. Frankly, for all the superheated rhetoric about mothers and children that we are hearing at the moment in relation to abortion, the actual situation that faces pregnant women in this state leaves much to be desired.
“Irish obstetricians deliver more than twice as many babies as their counterparts in Britain and Northern Ireland,” a recent newspaper report proclaimed. And I nodded sagely. I’d done my hours of labouring in an unmanned ward until a bed became free in the delivery suite; I’d missed my opportunity for an epidural because the labour ward anaesthetist was “tied up in surgery upstairs”. I’d read the reports of the Rotunda maternity hospital master, Dr Sam Coulter Smith, saying a woman was going to die in his hospital, simply because the staff were too busy to care for her.
I’ve seen some of this first hand, enough certainly to know that claims about the ‘safest’ environment for women anywhere can on occasion be so much pious guff. It can be anything but, this from direct experience, blood pressure machines that didn’t work, diagnoses that were simply wrong, procedures that went seriously awry and so on.
It’s not an experience I would want to repeat and I was in all functional respects a spectator. And when I read that report of Coulter Smith’s I have to agree that at some point some woman in some hospital will not get the attention she requires with appalling consequences.
Doctors and nurses were thin on the ground, but when they were around they were handing out urine samples containers like Smarties. One laconic staff nurse managed to record the blood pressure of two patients in the time that it took a frazzled consultant to pump and release the rest of the room.
I eventually had my medical history taken by a student nurse, sitting on a stool in the nurses’ station. I began as “Number 17″ but ended up the 99th out of 100 patients to be seen that morning. And I still had to join the queue where my ‘bloods’ would be done by a maxed-out phlebotomist greasy with sweat and toil. Of the two, she was the one closer to tears.
Nearly five hours after arriving for what turned out to be a seven-minute consultant appointment, I left the hospital. Tired nauseous, faint and hungry – but not before another queue at reception to have my card marked for my next appointment time. A note that I needed an urgent appointment with the heart specialist was taped to the wall. My crucial 20-week scan, I was told, wouldn’t be until 25 weeks, ultrasound being “completely full up till then”.
Having also experience of what can be termed a difficult pregnancy with bleeds and so on this chills me. Having had a near forensic focus on the events of the pregnancy it is all too clear that women will present with complications and problems that require 20 week scans to be done at 20 weeks and not 25 weeks and so on.
mother courage quotes the following newspaper report:
“obstetrics differs from other areas of medicine in the sense that demand for services can be roughly measured once women present while pregnant.
“However, the exact time of a natural delivery cannot be predicted and so there is no option to operate waiting lists. At busy periods, this means the available staff have to spread themselves more thinly among the patients requiring treatment.”
But again, having seen how stretched the system was in 2008 when resources available were much greater and yet there were grave omissions it is hard to take the above entirely seriously. This is all about resource allocation.
Worth noting one last phrase that irks me but I think contains a telling insight in regard to how Irish medical provision is ordered and perceived by some:
For previous births I had been a semi-private patient (“semi-public, you mean,” the nurse had said, laughing), when there had been long waiting times and – despite the promises – I never saw the same consultant twice, or any consultant at all when I was actually giving birth. Yet I paid the €1,200 for a nice waiting room and the chance to recuperate on a middle class ward.
Class cleavages in this society are often ignored or wished away – particularly by those who benefit most from them, but that is something that some people clearly carry with them even into the context of going through a dramatic and difficult medical process.
It is that, it seems to me, which is at the heart of different provision in health, education and so on. And mother courage implicitly points to the fact that money equals time, that for those able to pay through the system those queues will be manifestly shorter, the consultants available at the required time, the resources that much better.
And for those who have not got the money, are in marginal employments, dependent upon the goodwill of employers, stuck with public transport and public services that are being cut and cut again?
New LookLeft out now! May 21, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left, Culture, Economy.
Ireland’s leading magazine for progressive news, views and solutions – available in Easons stores and selected newsagents across the country – 48 pages for just €2/£1.50
In the new issue of LookLeft:
Rising tide against austerity: Working people and the Fine Gael/Labour Government are on a collision course over the property tax and attempts to cut public sector pay, reports Kevin Brannigan
The G8 comes to town: Kevin Squires looks at the impact the 39th G8 summit will have.
Learning Division: Fifteen years ago progressives recognised the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) as a positive development. However, fears that its structures would allow for communal politics to be institutionalised have been realised particularly in the provision of education, writes Justin O’Hagan.
Mobilising a generation: Young Irish people facing sharply limited opportunities at home or emigration are beginning to mobilise, reports Dara McHugh.
Precious few heroes: With his politically charged songs Dick Gaughan has inspired generations of Left activists, Kevin Brannigan caught up with the veteran Scottish folk singer during his spring tour of Ireland
No turning back from here: The Venezuelan revolution has dramatically changed not only the politics of Latin America also but the globe, reports Paul Dillon.
The tyranny of the credit rating agencies: Democratic accountability is being eroded by credit rating capitalism, writes Srinivas Raghavendra
Of live dogs and dead lions: Following the death of Hugo Chávez, Richard McAleavey assesses the Irish media’s representation of the former Venezuelan President.
Calling the bigots bluff: Do anti-choicers want follow through the with the logic of their argument and imprison women, asks Katie Garrett.
Petition to end Ministers grotesque pensions
Jim Connell weekend
UNITE wins Waterford Glass pensions battle
94% of young people do not want to emigrate
Why shop in a Fair Shop
Objection to Meath mining licence
Fight against privatisation in Sussex University
Bradley Manning on trial
Spanish Civil war volunteers remembered in Inchicore
Workers Beer Company seeks Irish recruits
Glass ceilings and Trade Unions: Union organiser Eira Gallagher discusses the obstacles still faced by women workers.
The Laundries are closed but the system remains: Lone parents have remained a favourite scapegoat for the self-satisfied Irish Right since the foundation of the Free State, reports Laura Caffrey.
Foxes and Hen houses: Conor McCabe maintains his steely gaze on the world of ‘high finance’
Reform from inside: Eric Olwin Wright outlines his vision of creating space for socialist advances within the capitalist economy.
Requiem for a Tory: Brian Hanley’s reflections on Margret Thatcher
Debate: Immigration – concern or opportunity? Stephen Nolan/Gavan Titley
Jemmy Hope on religion, Bill Cullen, Jim Dowson and Alex Ferguson
Tradition and Culture
Great minds think alike: The lives of William Thompson and Anna Doyle Wheeler recounted by Lily Murphy
Our rabble: James Redmond, Head of production of Dublin underground newspaper Rabble, told LookLeft why he believes building an alternative media is important and ponders how it can be done.
Anderson’s song: Barry Healy talks to Rag man Daniel Anderson
The downtrodden and the risen: Kevin Squires looks at some recent graphic novels portraying contemporary and historical peoples’ struggles
Review: Physical Resistance: A Hundred Years of Anti-Fascism by Dave Hann
Gonna shoot you down: Sam McGrath looks at the politics behind Madchester band The Stone Roses
What foot does he kick with?: Kevin Brannigan examines the role players from the Republic had in the modern history of one of Loyalism’s footballing bastions.
Professor Ray Kinsella in the Examiner on the Crisis May 20, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
Thanks to Paddy Healy for the following: I think this is the most important article by an establishment professor of Economics since Morgan Kelly warned about the banking crisis.
This article in the Examiner to-day by Professor Ray Kinsella has far more importance than is given to it by the media, including by The Examiner itself.
In the article he lambasts the policies of successive governments and of the Troika. He advocates staying in the EU but leaving the Eurozone. He sees this course as necessary to restore control by Irish citizens of Irish affairs. Crucially he says this is necessary to rescue Ireland from economic disaster.
Prof Ray Kinsella is Professor of Banking and Finance in the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, UCD. He is Visiting Professor at the School of Banking, Accountancy and Finance at the University of Wales Bangor, is on the Faculty of the Management Institute of Paris, and is adjunct Professor at the University of Bryansk.
He has published, researched and broadcast extensively in the fields Banking and Financial Services, including Regulation, Governance and Ethics.
CAHWT protest in Dublin Central May 20, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Well, here’s a sight you don’t see every day!
Does this make sense? May 20, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, Uncategorized.
On Mr Shatter’s use of the personal information relating to Mr Wallace, Mr Kenny said: “I want to make it clear that the Minister for Justice is not in a position of collecting files on any individual or any member of the House or anybody else.” The Taoiseach said that as a general background to the penalty points discussion “it was brought to his [Mr Shatter’s] attention” that discretion had been applied on fixed penalty points and that was “relevant information to the general discussion here”.
“People cannot have it both ways. You cannot be saying that there should be no discretion used and at the same time avail of discretion,” he said.
But that’s not really the point is it? To put it mildly. I wonder could this cause real long term political damage for both Shatter, Kenny and FG. The response from some in the LP is telling, that which most would expect in such a case, a sense that there’s something deeply inappropriate going on here.
Interview with Rayner Lysaght May 20, 2013Posted by irishelectionliterature in Marxism.
Rayner O’Connor Lysaght author ‘of The Story of the Limerick Soviet ‘ was born into an affluent family in North Wales. While a student in Trinity College Dublin he became interested in left- wing politics.
In May 1967 Lysaght became a member of the Irish Workers Group a Trotskyist political party. Lysaght later left the Irish Workers Group and joined the breakaway Socialist Labour Alliance; the Irish section of the Fourth International.
In 1972 he was instrumental in organising the Revolutionary Marxist Group who along with the Peoples Democracy and the Irish Republican Socialist Party called for the legalisation for abortion in Ireland.
Given over 50 years of political activism Lysaght gives his analysis on the current developments within capitalism.
This is his story, in his own words.
To download the above please click on the following links: An Phoblacht No.1 Sept. 1965
Many thanks to Jim Lane for providing the Archive with these documents.
These documents, An Phoblacht, Issues 1 and 2, were published by the Irish Revolutionary Forces, a Cork based republican socialist group composed in the main of former members of the IRA, in September and November of 1965 [for more information see here]. The IRF would become Saor Éire in 1968 (a copy of their publication, People’s Voice is in the Archive here).
These are detailed publications with a broad range of topics addressed of concern to those writing in them. It’s tone is questioning and in obvious opposition to the then Sinn Féin leadership which they considered was essentially deeply conservative and effectively dictatorial in its political line. Indeed they were explicit that their critique about the ‘Socialist Republic’ being foisted upon the Republican Movement in the late 1960s was a sign of its centralisation and political and military weakness.
For example in Issue 1 there is a piece on Progressives Versus Traditionalists: Where does Republicanism Stand? which in its introductory paragraph notes;
Many within that ever narrowing circle of “Sinn Féin Reliables” were noticeably shocked earlier this year when the UNITED IRISHMAN questioned the sanity of Abstentionism in its editorial columns. Frankly, we were more than a little startled ourselves, because this was the first occasion since beginning publication that the U.I. has even hinted at the fallibility of the party line.
It also criticises the IRA from the left as in the following piece:
Most of us are no longer surprised by anything the republican Movement does. however, the IRA statement on the ‘Midleton Anti-Landlord War’ sent a good few of us hardy sceptics rocking. it is not that we object to the ‘Army’ entering into politics. No indeed. We have always held that revolutionary politics and military action are indivisible. But, what sort of politics is this with its: ‘We demand that the de facto government’ do this, and ‘We demand that the de facto government’ do that?
It’s a queer sort of revolution. And to say the least, the whole statement smacks of social democrat influence. We can’t say that the IRA is improving itself by changing from a bourgeois democrat to a social democrat ticket. There’s little difference between them to any revolutionary.
The documents provide amongst the longer articles relevant quotations from a range of figures including ‘Priests on Politics’ and there are articles on Viet Nam: America’s Dirty War, Physical Force: It’s Role in the Irish Revolution and news items from around the world focusing on ‘guerrilla, as well as other forms of revolutionary political action’.
Issue 2 has a number of interesting pieces including one entitled ‘Nationalism is Not Enough’, an analysis of a speech by Cathal Goulding in Drogheda and a long article on the attack by Republicans on HMS Brave Borderer ‘as it departed Waterford’. In the piece which notes that ‘unfortunately no casualties were inflicted’ the anonymous contributor notes that ‘it is a great pity that such men [‘as those who had the courage to take up positions on the banks of Waterford Harbour’] don’t come together with likeminded parties throughout the country, and form a revolutionary party more compatible to their general sentiments. Because they can’t be sure they are never going to receive much co-operation from the crowd they are now tied to’.
One particularly interesting point is that made by Aodh MacElroy where he notes:
…it is not sufficient to make annual pilgrimage to the graves of the martyrs, to do homage and commemorate the hoe roes of yesteryear. Better by far to neglect the pilgrim journey and spend the time mastering the philosophy which motivated the actions of those whose memory we justly revere. Far too many lay their tributes at the shrine and leave as they came, empathy of understanding of what deep motives impelled these men to give their lives for a cause they counted higher than life itself. There is no respect for the dead in remembering the manner of their death, while the cause for which they died lies buried in obscurity and forgotten by those who should keep it alive. James Hope, Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet, Henry Joy McCracken and James Connolly fought to free Ireland not only from the rule of an alien power but to free her also from the rule of an alien class – and it is that alien class that now rules Ireland.
The working people of Ireland must grasp the fact that the national bourgeoisie have won THEIR REVOLUTION, and are no longer a revolutionary, but a reactionary force. This ruling group are now interested only in maintaing their own privileged position and state power over the Irish people, and everything they do will be with that objective in mind.
It is important to contextualise this with other material issued by this group and others associated with it during this period and after. Jim Lane has noted elsewhere that the ‘kernel of the message that [we] sought to pass on to Republicans’ was that the struggle had encompassed bourgeoise democracy in Tone’s time and revolutionary socialism in Connolly’s time.
To give a sense of the general direction of the documents it is perhaps most useful to provide some quotations from the Editorial on the front page of Issue 1 the aims of An Phoblacht are outlined:
The object of this paper are simple: to restate, in terms of existing conditions, the political philosophy that has motivated doctrinaire Irish Republicans from the beginning; to combat all forms of revisionism parading under the banner of Irish Republicanism; and to expose and combat all other pseudo-revolutionary propaganda, especially that aimed at exploiting the deep-rooted grievances of the nation’s working class, by diverting their energies from their true interest — the realisation of the revolution — and attempting to commit them to the attainment of crypto-bourgeois objects.
We are revolutionaries who accept the principles of Irish Republicanism as understood by Wolfe Tone and all subsequent Irish revolutionary theorists. Consequently, our aims are the reconstruction of the nation along the lines compatible to the welfare, security and advancement of the common people of Ireland — that great bulwark of integrity who, throughout the centuries of national adversity, have constituted the heart, the body and the soul of Ireland.
It is scathing of ‘Saturday-night revolutionaries’ and ‘Grattan nationalists masquerading in the garb of Wolfe Tone’ or ‘those spurious individuals who hide their parliamentary leanings behind a revolutionary vocabulary’.
It suggests that:
[The Irish people] are shrewd enough to see that the self-styled nationalists who operate in Leinster House, and the republicans who exhort them to elect Sinn Féin to a 32 county Parliament, differ more in terminology than in essentials. Consequently, although the political hair-splitters of the presently functioning Republican Movement have, apparently, mesmerised themselves with their own sophistry they have fooled very few others.
It asserts that:
If we are to regain our position in the vanguard of Irish radicalism; if we are to again secure a mass support behind the banner of Irish Republicanism; then we must first return to that social, political and economic programme that is both implicit and explicit in our revolutionary tradition.
To regain the backing of our people we must return to that path first blazed by Wolfe Tone, and which was so explicitly defined by his contemporary, Jimmy Hope, who said: ‘It was my settled opinion that the condition of the labouring class was the fundamental question at issue – and there could be no liberty till measures were adopted that went to the root of the evil’.
These documents provide a clear insight into a very specific strand of Republicanism during a period of evident change.
Small blip May 19, 2013Posted by doctorfive in Uncategorized.
Away from Wallace & Shatter there was an interesting segment on Primetime during the week. Two bigwigs from Dimplex and Intel were on to talk jobs and I was preparing for the worst but something unusual happened. The two made great effort to emphasise some of deep structural stuff and gasp, even put Ireland in the context of a wider European jobs crisis.
Claire Byrne made several transparent attempts to reinforce the usual chestnuts but neither took the bait oddly enough. Frontline and Primetime uniformly have little problem getting a few suits to back them up but RTÉ Current Affairs probably want to have a word with themselves when the Intel Vice President is defending minimum wage and welfare against their presenters.
Only a very small sample but the exchange showed up a real difference – at a level of comprehension – between the Multinational and ISME crowd.
Starts around 19mins here