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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week January 30, 2011

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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A flavour of this week’s fare comes with this story, which explains why unions are superfluous to getting your rights due to the existing employment laws. Sure. It’s then followed up with a story from Louise McBride pointing to various instances where unions have failed to reverse the decisions of government or companies, as part of the following “question”.

If your union means nothing more to you than boring meetings and a magazine which comes in the post every so often (which you fall asleep reading), it could be time to put that few hundred euro you pay to your union each year back into your pocket.

I’m amazed to see the anti-union propaganda take such a crude and silly turn. But I shouldn’t be.

Brendan O’Connor seems deeply affected by the failure of Brian Lenihan to win the Fianna Fáil leadership.

Someone mentioned to me the other day that he saw Brian Lenihan on TV after the result of the Fianna Fail leadership contest and he thought, “That’s a man who is slipping off into the mists of history”. And it was kind of sad, and you found yourself thinking, as you did with Katy French, or Gerry Ryan or George Lee: Is that how that story turned out? Is that how that ended?

I’m fairly sure that the overwhelming majority of people can’t wait to see the back of him. At least for now, as there may be a Mandleson-like return at some point in the future. Or perhaps that should be Haughey-like.

The man who just won’t go away, Michael McDowell, is back, implicitly touting himself for a role in the formation of a new “centre-right” party. It makes you wonder if he considers himself centre-right where the actual right lies.

Which brings me to the reflection that it is only after the FG-Labour coalition takes office that the conditions will be right for a new centre-right party to emerge. There clearly will then be not merely “a gap in the market” but “a market in the gap” as well.

Still can’t resist invoking the magic power of the word “market”, can he? Old habits die hard.

Eoghan Harris uses the fact that Chris Andrews support Michael Martin to suggest that Fianna Fáil is in danger of a swing to the left, one which will endanger, it seems, the state of Israel.

As Holocaust Memorial Day fell last week, I have a question. Why, in a world of struggling peoples, are Andrews and his supporters in Flotilla Fail so focused on one people, and so aggressive toward the state of Israel — a state set up by Jews who escaped Hitler’s mass murder?

Andrews and Flotilla Fianna Fail sum up Martin’s primary problem. In a country crying out for a centrist coalition, pledged to keep taxes and public spending down, Flotilla Fail presents itself as yet another populist version of the Labour Party and Sinn Fein, both in fiscal and foreign policy.

Nah, I can’t follow the thinking here either.

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Comments»

1. Starkadder - January 30, 2011

Who is this Louise McBride? I can’t say I’ve
ever heard of her before.

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crocodile - January 30, 2011

Used to have stuff in the Business Post.

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WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2011

You’ve got to laugh at the casualness of the suggestion about getting people to leave a union. Amazing stuff, shameless really.

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crocodile - January 30, 2011

Union bashers all seem to have two contradictory beliefs about trades unions:
a. They’re outmoded and unnecessary and workers don’t need them in the age of flexibility and enlightened employers … and
b. They have far too much power and influence, have caused the slump through their role in social partnership and are sinking enterprises eg Aer Lingus, in contrast to plucky non-unionised Ryanair.
So which is it? Too much power or to little?

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Garibaldy - January 30, 2011

Crocodile,

It’s a dialectical approach to the trade unions.

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CMK - January 30, 2011

The sad thing about the McBride article is that she’s echoing what many union members are saying already.

The unions have – like a bomb disposal expert – skillfully dismantled any effective resistance to the cuts and austerity agenda. Members have no-where to go and in a time when every pen really counts, it’s reasonable to question the value of union dues.

A union membership nowadays is probably one of the wisest things you could spend your money on. But articles like this, and people’s experience of the union, will sadly force many to think otherwise.

Sad, but true.

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2. WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2011

As for Harris, what precisely is he suggesting? That FF spin back to the right of centre where it’s been for the last two decades or more? And be like…er… Fine Gael?

It’s as you say Garibaldy. None… of… it… makes… any… sense!

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3. CL - January 30, 2011

In fairness to Senator Harris he does clarify matters in this paragraph:
“The adventurism of Andrews & Co sends out a subconscious signal to Moby Dick that Martin and his pals are Recliner Republicans, a radical chic crowd of shapers, supported by those in the public sector class who have far too much Hamas time hanging heavy on their hands.”

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WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2011

Not much he doesn’t… :(

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Garibaldy - January 30, 2011

The concept of the private sector as Moby Dick was inexplicable too I thought.

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crocodile - January 30, 2011

Moby Dick is what the senator makes me.

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WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2011

And ‘Hamas’ time???

WTF

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Paddy M - January 30, 2011

And ‘Hamas’ time???

WTF

Well, launching a few air strikes at (public) hospitals, schools, county council offices and other nests of Islamic fundamentalist/public servant vipers would be an example of a robust approach to public service reform.

I’m sure Moby Dick would stoically endure the resultant collateral damage.

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4. CL - January 30, 2011

(soon-to-be-ex)Senator Harris last week voiced his fear that Sinn Fein would become an armed opposition in the Dail; this raises the surreal prospect of Gerry Adams taking his seat armed with a harpoon.

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5. fergal - January 30, 2011

McBride`s points on unions is the obvious next stage in the destruction of trade unionism here.Workers wages are being reduced,the unions haven`t lifted a finger and it must be added the vast bulk of their members are happy to go along with them.Is there any appetite among union members for a fight?The next stage is if unions accepted paycuts and changes in working conditions why bother to pay your union subs?
It links into the the “there is no alternative”
What is the alternative to a conservative union leadership and membership?Going on strike when people are counting their last penny?
Wonder if McBride has her NUJ card?

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6. Jack Jameson - January 30, 2011

Roll on Tuesday and the end of my public sector taxes paying one of the salaries of the party-hopping, tub-thumping Sindo-populist Senator Eoghan Harris (sponsor: Bertie Ahern).

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alastair - January 31, 2011

You’ll still be paying his academic salary. :)

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7. Psst… wanna leave your Union, save a few quid a year… go on, you know it makes sense… « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - February 10, 2011

[...] to say, that piece picked out from the Sunday Independent recently by Garibaldy about unions should not be seen in isolation. You may remember it, and particularly the quote he [...]

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