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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week July 31, 2011

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Haven’t had time to do this properly this week, which is a shame as I was really looking forward to reading in detail what the petit bourgeois nationalists had to say for themselves this week. (Un)Fortunately Jody Corcoran wrote the first story I read, and provided this gem

But in the private sector, in the same period, average weekly pay has dropped by six per cent, mainly because workers in the real economy have had working hours cut.

Almost a quarter of workers in the exposed economy now only have a part-time job — up more than six per cent since the onset of the recession, according to the report.

Apparently the public sector isn’t the real economy. Sure it’s not.

More rubbish from Daniel McConnell, channelling, I think, Eoghan Harris.

Middle-class homeowners and income earners are to be crucified in December’s Budget because of a host of tax increases and service reductions demanded by the EU and the IMF.

The Government has committed to raising an additional €1.5bn next year in increased taxes, meaning considerable additional pain for the “coping classes”

So all homeowners now appear to be middle class, while lawyers, doctors, accountants etc are coping. One wonders what the unemployed and low paid are doing then. Unless, of course, he means coping as in getting on ok. I doubt it but.

Colm McCarthy seems to have ignored the lesson of the fact that UK growth is massively behind that of France and Germany, whose governments reacted to the crisis very differently to the Tories.

When David Cameron and his Chancellor George Osborne took over in the UK last year, they too faced a daunting budgetary challenge. They chose to put through a pre-cooked emergency budget inside six weeks, blaming the previous administration and gaining valuable credibility in the markets. It is a pity Enda Kenny and his colleagues did not use their political honeymoon to do the same.

I’m beginning to wonder if he has a string in his back that you pull and he repeats a set of stock phrases.

Jody.

It is, then, that as Enda Kenny has found himself, Ireland, as though by chance, may find itself too. To be a great leader, however, he must allow others to also find their place in this new Republic, by which I mean, for example, the Catholic Church — a hard ask, I know.

And to that huge ask: he must also find occasion to step back from politics, to help create a space, as it were, to allow for the rebirth of Fianna Fail.

Because whether we like it or not, this new Ireland to which we aspire will still need a church, renewed in spirit, and a new Fianna Fail, or a version thereof, to also take their place in the times in which we live.

Must be nice to live in a world where everything is so simple, and one person can do so much. And where revitalising two of the most poisonous entities on this island seems like a good idea.

Presidential Election Bulletin… July 31, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
133 comments

It’s very difficult to assess the situation in the Norris campaign. In part, and reading comments elsewhere, one gets a sense that there’s a remarkable animosity towards his very candidacy. At the same time there’s also the issue of why at least three people have left his campaign at this juncture and over this issue.

How much clear space he can put between himself and it is of crucial importance, or at least how much can be clearly explained in a manner that is satisfactory to his potential electorate.

A lot comes down to who was told what and when.

If this was something that was raised but not seen as an issue it’s one thing. If it wasn’t then that’s another.
There’s also tactical and strategic issues here. This wasn’t something that could possibly be unexpected. At some point someone somewhere would release this information and one wonders whether the response to that eventuality was thought through.

Norris appears to be hoping to continue forward, and it’s ironic, in some respects his chances of making it to the ballot paper looked particularly good this week – albeit FF seemed less likely to give any support. It’s worth noting just how difficult it has been for him to get anywhere within a sniff of the ballot paper. In that respect it’s clear that the largest parties effectively closed ranks to keep him out of contention – the Galway example merely being the most pointed.

Even now it’s possible that all this will be another step on the road. But it’s become an increasingly bumpy road. Then again to have got this far, with the earlier controversy, is in its own way quite an achievement and that Norris should, in the most recent polls be the most popular candidate is quite something.

More broadly the contest is pretty dull. Still no sign of an SF candidate, nor of an Fianna Fáil one. But then, why is it such a surprise? This is, in a way, the phony war stage of the campaign. When it kicks off, once we know who is standing… well… telling in its own way as to the shape of contemporary Irish politics. The qestion will be whether Fine Gael can leverage their political predominance into a successful candidacy, or whether even in its currently weirdly emasculated state Labour can do likewise. In a field without Norris, or with a seriously weakened Norris candidacy both those outcomes become more possible.

‘Rethinking the Republic’ – redux… July 30, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, Northern Ireland, Republicanism, Sinn Féin, The Left.
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A while back we marked the launch of Matt Treacy’s book ‘Rethinking the Republic’. In the interim there were various issues, but these have now been dealt with. So, for those of you who have read it here’s an additional resource with which to contextualise it, Jim Lane’s useful Miscellaneous Notes on Republicanism and Socialism in Cork City, 1954 to 1969. The accompanying article was written by Conor McCabe and provides an excellent overview.

I’d be interesting in the thoughts of those who have read Matt Treacy’s text already or would like to comment on it in the context of Jim Lane’s thoughts.

We’ll have more on ‘Rethinking the Republic’ next month. Here in the meantime is a discussion with Matt Treacy and Malachy Steenson. It provides an excellent insight into Matt’s approach and the general discussions about this period of time.

This Weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Eleven tracks for the Summer. July 30, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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My comdrade IELB’s post appears to have gone MIA, no doubt we’ll see it next week, so here’s a few tracks that I’ve been listening to recently. Some are new, some are old and some are in-between. If there’s a common thread to them I can’t tell you what it is. Perhaps electronica/dance, but I’m listening to other stuff too so if the tilt is towards that then that’s simply because these tracks sum up the Summer better for me…

Enjoy.

1 Photek – Closer

Drum and bass legend returns. The bass – the bass… wow! This isn’t the full version, which is well worth a listen, but it gives a sense of the track.

2 Apparat – Black Water
One of the best tracks I’ve heard all Summer, in the electronica area. Emotive, nostalgic. You can download this free from Soundcloud, but I’d recommend getting the album when it comes out soon.

3 Danny Daze You’re Everything

Actually, the bass – the bass… redux! Sadly the longer version has been pulled from YouTube I see. So here’s a shorter one.



4 O Children – Fault Line

I mentioned these guys before, but… I’m still really enjoying their album which for anything contemporary that’s a traditional guitar based group is a bit of a surprise. That said perhaps there’s no surprise at all as it’s easy enough to triangulate their sound, somewhere between goth, Joy Division, post punk. Very post punk in parts.



5 Kavinsky – Wayfarer

French electrohouse filtered through dodgy 1980s TV theme songs and with an added hint of John Carpenter. What’s not to like?

6 Toro Y Mio Still Sound

Now this is poppy. But check out the comments on YouTube complaining about hipsters. Who cares?

7 Ital Tek – Cyclical

Electronica with a hint of something a tad 1992 about this, which works for me.

8 The Milk Monitors- Kick Start

There’s a story behind this. Back in 1989 I picked the MM’s ‘Revenge’ EP up in Freebird second hand. It’s raw garage rock with a faint inflection of the more trash side of goth. Anyhow, I’d listen to it every once in a while because of the sheer energy that underpins the riff. In more recent years it became a sort of litmus test to see what was making it onto YouTube or more widely. It never did, that is until a couple of months ago. So that’s it, I figure everything, however obscure, will soon be there.

9 Mirror People

Cover of the old Love and Rockets track by Monster Magnet vs Adrian Young. This is taken from an interesting album of Love and Rocket’s covers.

10 Covenant – Beat the noise

Featured some years back on the This Weekend I’ll Be… Covenant have been through a line-up change and dirtied up their sound to some degree shifting it from smooth EMB/Futurepop to something a lot grittier. I’m not 100 per cent convinced, but this, this I like.

11 Bob Mould – City Lights (Days Go By) – Morel Pink Noise Remix

Two brilliant singers/songwriters who have worked together for quite some years now. Morel will be known to some as a producer and member of Deep Dish. This is in its own way to me not dissimilar to Apparat, not so much in the sound as in the mood it evokes. This is also available as a download from various sources on the net.

Achieve ABA school for children with autism in Doghnamede closes July 29, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Education, Irish Politics, The Left.
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We’ve been asked to mention the Achieve ABA school in Doghnamede, which caters specifically for children with autism, which is closing due to no continuation of funding from the Department of Education.

Parents banded together and used home tuition payments from the Department as well as any other funding they could raise in order to keep the school going, but the Department has now refused them any further payments. Given that this is forcing the children back into a system which is itself now suffering grievous cuts in terms of SNAs and so on it’s unfortunately all too easy to see what way the Dept. of Education is thinking about this.

The campaign continues with efforts to lobby Enda Kenny Letter to An Taoiseach 26 July 2011 (F). Grim reading, not least since it gives a sense of how the crisis is impacting, and also how Fine Gael are dealing with previously solid commitments.

There’s more on the issue here…

What’s Happening in the UK Far Right? July 29, 2011

Posted by Garibaldy in British Politics.
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The fact that Anders Breivik had links with the EDL has provoked a great deal of debate and discussion about the far right in the UK, including David Cameron ordering the security services to examine the far right in more detail. There had already been a lot of discussion caused not only by the EDL’s series of hate marches, but also by the BNP’s results in the last election and the ongoing bitter divisions within the organisation. Matthew Goodwin, academic author of a book on the BNP, concluded in the aftermath of the elections that the BNP as an electoral force was dead due to its failure to gain support from “women, young people, and more insecure members of the lower middle class”, unlike several counterparts abroad. That the BNP is finished has become a common perception, although others point out that the number of total votes the BNP received had not fallen a great deal, and that its electoral wipeout in Barking had more to do with the mobilisation of the Labour vote than any fall off in support for the BNP. They argue that it remains a real danger, and that complacency cannot be allowed to set in. With the problems besetting the BNP, attention has shifted towards the EDL. So where does all this leave the far right? – that’s the question being asked in in a Guardian podcast feature Matthew Godwin, the journalist Matthew Taylor who spent four months undercover inside the EDL, and Dan Hodges of Searchlight. I’m not sure there’s a lot of revelations in it, but it’s interesting to listen to.

Just this month, Nick Griffin was re-elected as head of the BNP for a four year term. The election, and the run up to it, revealed many of the problems the BNP is suffering from. This video, taken at a BNP meeting held in Brussels, revealed the extent of the split within the party, with its two MEPs at loggerheads, and a substantial proportion of the audience utterly hostile to Griffin. Adding to these tensions were rows over internal democracy, organisation, finance (including the influence of its main financial backer) as well as electoral results. And the equality commission’s success in making their whites-only membership rules illegal also stimulated discontent. The result of the recent leadership election show the toll these arguments have taken on the party. The leaked membership list of a couple of years ago suggested a membership of around 11,000. Just over 2,000 people voted in the leadership election, which Griffin won by just nine votes from his fellow MEP Andrew Brons. It’s clear the BNP hsa severe difficulties, but we should remember that these are problems it would have given its eyeteeth for ten years ago. It’s probably too early to write the BNP off completely the way some people have been doing, especially if Griffin is able to secure a tighter grip on the party, and focus efforts on holding his European seat. The question also remains of where its voters will go, and those people who appear to have dropped out. It’s likely that many voters will stick with the BNP, others will go to the UKIP or the Tories, or stop voting. I doubt myself for all the rhetoric that many Labour voters had switched to them. The activists are a different question.

This seems to be one the threats posed by the EDL. The decline of the BNP is likely to result in some people who had been prepared to give politics a go turn back to the traditional methods of the far right – street thuggery and intimidation (there might be a parallel here with some groups on our own island). And the EDL offers a vehicle for that. The fact that the EDL is peremeated by the culture of football hooliganism makes it a useful vehicle for such people, even if it has a smattering of ethnic minorities who are prepared to make common cause with neo-nazis due to their joint hatred of Islam or paranoia about sharia law. The chants that can be heard at the average EDL march are a mix of English football chants, (England til I die), the updating of some old classics (no surrender, no surrender, no surrender to the Taliban), and other Islamophobic material (Muslim bombers off our streets etc). However, the fact that the EDL can accomodate such diverse groups may hamper it becoming the vehicle the neo-nazis want it to be, and so they may drift off elsewhere. Again, it seems too early to say what’s going to happen.

Regarding the links between Breivik and the EDL, the group’s leader, Stephen Lennon, was interviewed on Newsnight. I thought he stuck to his script, and just kept going. Every time Paxman hit him with something, Lennon kept to his message, which included reading a part from Breivik’s manifesto that was critical of the EDL for being non-violent and naive. He did, however, warn that something similar might happen in the UK if “working class people” were denied the voice that the EDL was providing them, citing ASBOs served on himself and others that ban them from attending parades. Someone I spoke to thought Paxman had come out on top, but it seemed to me he was under-prepared (mixing up the EDL website with facebook for example) and seemed strangely reticient in the face of Lennon’s refusal to be moved off his script (judge for yourself here).

The participants in the Guardian podcast made the point that the Home Office has refused to classify the EDL as an extremist far-right organisation. The Breivik link has focused some media attention on whether the tolerance shown towards the EDL by the police and the political parties might allow it to flourish. Certainly the EDL leadership, as the Lennon interview showed, is keen to be seen as a democratic and peaceful organisation. However, the Hope Not Hate blog has already produced evidence that Lennon was being economical with the truth. The Labour Party in particular has a responsibility to put pressure on the government and the police to have the EDL treated differently. Its strategy of tension through street marches and provocation against Muslims must not be given the free rein it has been so far. To some extent, it is as dangerous as it is allowed to be.

The signs, then, seem to mixed regarding the far right’s future in the UK. It seems likely that it will be less prominent in mainstream politics, but there is a real danger that its presence in the streets will rise, which is why it is important that groups like the EDL are deprived of the tolerance being shown them by the right within the political establishment.

UPDATE: Meant also to raise the issue of the so-called lone wolf terrorist more. The UK has already seen deaths at the hands of one of these, David Copeland. There are, I think, also around 20 far right people in gaol for terrorist-linked offences – stockpiling explosives etc. It’s far from inconceivable that another one will emerge, probably targeting Muslims.

This Week At The Irish Election Literature Blog July 29, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Election Literature Blog.
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Starting off this week with “Thank Norris it’s Friday!”

From the 1944 General Election Tomas O Dochartaigh, Cathal Brughas nephew, running for Ailtirí na hAiséirghe in Tipperary

then from the 1932 General Election “Please! Don’t Commit any More Murders …. Keep Your Bullwark Against The Terrorists Vote for Cumann na nGaedheal”

Then from the 1948 General Election “To every voter under 30 .. Vote Fine Gael”

And Finally from earlier in the year “A Message from Cllr. John Halligan”

You Are Legend: The 75th anniversary of the formation of the International Brigades who fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil War. July 28, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in The Left.
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A bit late in, but the exhibition goes on for some days.

You Are Legend
The 75th anniversary of the formation of the International Brigades who fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil War.

There will be illustrated talks about the experience of volunteers from Ireland, with information about the involvement from the Shankill and the Falls, in the context of British and Irish contribution to the International Brigades.

Thursday 28th July 2011 at 12noon in
Shankill Library, Shankill Road

Speakers:
Richard Baxell and Ciaran Crossey
With music by Pól MacAdaim and Mel Corry
Followed by light refreshments at 2.30pm

An exhibition about the International Brigades will run from 25th to 29th July in Shankill Library
Organised by Féile an Phobail, Open Hands, International Brigade Commemoration Committee and Belfast Conflict Resolution Consortium.

Oh yeah? July 28, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
11 comments

“The measures will radically overhaul the system so as to make it fairer, more competitive and more flexible so as to increase job-creation in these sectors,” Mr Bruton said. “They will also reinstate a robust system of protection for workers in these sectors in the aftermath of the recent High Court ruling.”

On foot of…

Lower pay rates are likely to be introduced for tens of thousands of workers in sectors covered by the joint labour committee system for setting wages in future under Government plans announced this afternoon.

At the same time workers in such sectors will lose their existing legal entitlement to special Sunday premium rates. Instead Sunday working will be covered by existing legislation that allows employers to recognise work carried out on Sunday either by a special payment, an increased hourly rates across the entitle week or time off in lieu.

Erm…where is the Labour Party in all this?

Enda Kenny = Adolf Hitler. Apparently. July 28, 2011

Posted by Garibaldy in Crazed nonsense....
22 comments

The last European leader to make such a blistering attack on the Pope was the ruthless German dictator Adolf Hitler.

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