jump to navigation

What you want to say… Open Thread, 29th March, 2012 March 29, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, European Politics, Irish Politics, Northern Ireland, The Left, US Politics.
trackback

As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

About these ads

Comments»

1. Blissett - March 29, 2012

Jim Stynes. Some man for one man.

Like

que - March 29, 2012

class documentary on him was on Irish times video site – about the good work he did off the field. He was a leader.

Like

2. bjg - March 29, 2012
3. gfmurphy101 - March 29, 2012

just to start some arguments and get peoples blood boiling I’ll post one or two of my own thoughts
On the recent CSO (SILC) REPORT that indicated rising inequality and that “8% income increase for the top income decile in 2010″

http://gfmurphy101.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/an-irish-recession-the-rich-get-richer-and-the-media-dont-report-it/

or on Simon Cowell and what it takes to be a 1%’er

http://gfmurphy101.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/simon-cowell-good-example-of-the-inhumanity-required-to-be-a-1er/

or on how the household charge has proven how pro establishment our media really is

http://gfmurphy101.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/refusal-to-pay-household-charge-has-the-establishment-elites-worried/

Like

4. LeftAtTheCross - March 29, 2012

Eircom applies for examinership: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0329/breaking26.html

Given FG’s stated desire to privatise public assets, as outlined in their NewEra proposals (http://www.new-era.ie/), and Labour’s acquiescence under the cover of the Troika MOU on the “bailout”, it will be interesting to see if the government wavers at all on its plans to procede with the fire sale of state assets in light of the Eircom experience.

The WP statement on the sale of public assets is here: http://www.workerspartyireland.net/mccarthy.html

The WP submission to the Review Group on State Assets is here: http://www.workerspartyireland.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/mccarthy_submission.pdf

The Eircom experience demonstrates the problems associated with the privatisation of public infrastructure. A profitable semi-state company that was run into the ground through debt-burdening for the benefit of asset-stripping vulture capitalists. Plenty of ammunition from the Eircom experience for the Left to mount a convincing campaign to keep the ESB, Bord Gais, Bord na Mona, Coillte in public ownership.

Note the NewEra web-site leads with a privatised Water company. One to note for the CAHWT in terms of Water & Septic Tank charges.

Like

gfmurphy101 - March 29, 2012

Insight in to privatization in Greece courtesy of hacked files at STRATFOR, Ireland beware!

http://gfmurphy101.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/privatization-in-greece-ireland-beware/

Like

5. Tom Redmond - March 29, 2012

CLR,
A while ago you had a discussion on here about class…I think arising from a discussion of the book Chaves …I can not find it in the archieve ….can you direct me to it ?
Ta

Like

6. John Cunningham - March 29, 2012

I’m posting notice of the death of playwright John Arden, whose work included ‘The Non-stop Connolly Show’ and ‘Vandaleur’s Folly’ (on the Ralahine Cooperative Commune).

I’m also posting a report by Sarah Clancy of a celebration in Galway of JA’s 80th birthday, which was published in Saothar: journal of the Irish Labour History Society in 2010

Playwright, novelist and peace activist Member of ‘AOSDÁNA’ & Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Fondly remembered by his life long companion, Margarette D’Arcy sons Finn, Adam, Jacob and Neuss. Grandchildren, relatives and many friends. R.I.P Celebration of his life tomorrow Saturday at his residence in St. Bridget’s Place Lwr from 8 pm until Sunday at 10.30 pm. Cremation in Mt. Jerome Crematorium, Harolds’ Cross Dublin on this coming Monday at 3pm . No Flowers by request, Donations if desired to Cancer Care West.

Arden at eighty, Town Hall Theatre, Galway, 1 October 2010
John Arden first came to general public attention in 1959 as one of the ‘angry young men’ of British theatre, with his play Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance, set in a strike-bound North of England town. A decade later, the ‘British Brecht’ (as he was characterised in The Guardian) came to live in the west of Ireland, with his wife and creative partner, Margaretta D’Arcy, and their children.
The Arden/D’Arcy artistic collaboration has produced several notable dramatic works, including the extraordinary 26-hour epic Non-stop Connolly Show, staged in Liberty Hall during the Dublin Theatre Festival of 1975, Vandeleur’s Folly, a dramatisation of the story of the Ralahine cooperative of 1831-33 toured by the 7:84 company (1978), and The Ballygombeen Bequest (1972), a contemporary tale of eviction. Arden’s and D’Arcy’s has also been a political collaboration, and their campaigning has never been a separate entity to their literary and theatrical endeavour. If Arden has presented moral conundrums weaved into fascinating storylines in unsettling but very humane literary work, in his work for social justice alongside D’Arcy, he has been nuanced, gregarious, funny, energetic and constantly aware of what are often the moral ambiguities present in campaigning for the rights of oppressed people
The celebratory event held in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre on 1 October 2010 to mark Arden’s 80th birthday was multi-layered enough to do this complex character justice. A crowd of several hundred, ranging from young people to those of a similar age to himself braved a squally Atlantic night to see a two-hour-long cornucopia of excerpts from plays, film clips and songs. It featured guest performances from film-maker, Bob Quinn, from actor and director Eamon Draper, from writer and musician, Fred Johnston, and from sean nós singer Treasa Ní Cheannabháin who had, much to her irritated amusement, to learn to sing The Sash for her role on the night.
The whole good-humoured and touching event was produced by actor and director Eamon Draper, who had directed an Irish language version of Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance starring the late Mick Lally in An Taibhdhearc in 1974. The video footage was compiled by Finn Arden, son of the couple. Each segment was narrated by John himself with occasional interjections from D’Arcy. It is a tribute to his writing that passages from decades-old plays had immediacy and relevance, in particular a short excerpt from the Non- Stop Connolly Show. There were other delights, including a clip of a younger and very dapper John acting in Bob Quinn’s film Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoire (1975). There were also a number of touching and humorous clips of film shot by the couple themselves and detailing their own lives and those of their neighbours in Galway’s Woodquay – clips that, arguably, anticipated reality television and that demonstrated some of the unrealised potential of that genre.
The celebration was a reminder of how wide-ranging is the artistic legacy of John Arden and Margaretta D’Arcy. In an era where there is a tendency towards homogenisation and small ‘p’ politics in Irish literary circles, Arden’s work is a reminder of how a talented writer or artist can document and tease out the roots of injustice without ever seeming to lecture.

Like

crocodileshoes - March 29, 2012

Another writer of the left has also died: poet Adrienne Rich.

Like

Heckle - April 2, 2012

A lovely old lady (Noble prize) Polish poet, died in February?
last. Wislawa Szymborska. I checked her main poems.
This one:-
Hatred.

Look, how spry she still is,
how well she holds up:
hatred, in our century.
How lithely she takes high hurdles.
How easy for her to pounce, to seize.

She is not like the other feelings.
At once older and younger than they.
She along gives birth to causes
which rouse her to life.
If she sleeps, it’s never for eternity.
Insomnia doesn’t take away but gives her strength.

Religion or no religion
— as long as she’s in the running
Motherland or no-man’s land
— as long as she’s in the race.
Even justice suffices at first.
After that she speeds off on her own
Hatred. Hatred.
The grimace of love’s ecstasy
twists her face.

Oh, those other feelings,

so sickly and sluggish.
Since when could brotherhood
count on milling crowds?
Was compassion ever first across the finish line?
How many followers does doubt command?
Only hatred commands, for hatred knows her stuff.

Smart, able, hard working.
Need we say how many songs she has written.
How many pages of history she has numbered.
How many human carpets she has unrolled,
over how many plazas and stadiums.

Let’d be honest
Hatred can create beauty.
Marvelous are her fire-glows, in deep night.
Clouds of smoke most beautiful, in rosy dawn.
It’s hard to deny ruins their pathos
and not to see bawdy humor
in the stout column lording it over them.

She is a master of contrast
between clatter and silence,

red blood and white snow.
Above all the image of a clean-shaven torturer
standing over his defiled victim
never bores her.

She is always ready for new tasks.
If she has to wait, she waits.
They say hatred is blind. Blind?
With eyes sharp as a sniper’s,
she looks bravely into the future
— she alone.

Like

popes the memorius - March 30, 2012

That’s a sad loss – I remember listening to BBC radio 3 versions of his plays.

His and D’Arcy’s “Whose is the Kingdom” is a thoughtprovoking chronicle of when Christianity went wrong by becoming a state religion.

Like

Justin - April 2, 2012

I saw the Non-stop Connolly Show in a school hall in South Down as a teenager, maybe 30 years ago. it was brilliant and parts of that evening stay with me as though it was yesterday.

That was a period of great popular drama with people such as Arden, Trevor Griffiths (whose Fall of Eagles had jean Luc Picard playing Lenin), Denis Potter and series such as BBC’s Play for Today and late-night quality drama on ITV. Serious attempts to depict the world. Even the first outing of Kojack was a decent piece of political drama based on a real-life miscarriaqge of justice. (It made reference to Sacco and Vanzetti, something unlikely to happen on “24”) We couldn’t receive RTE where I grew up, so cannot speak about Irish tv drama. On UTV and BBC NI, the drama – tragedy mostly – was confined to the news programmes.

Of course, memories are faulty and there was doubtlessly a lot of rubbish drama around those days, and the awful, racist comedies are forever etched in the mind: but, caveats aside, compare and contrast with today’s dramatic efforts. I enjoy watching mindless shite as much as the next person but not all day every day. Ah well, until the world changes and good popular drama with political nous returns to the screens on a weekly basis, those cold case dramas and Danish murder fests will have to do me. They’re good crack but hardly Trevor Griffiths.

Like

EamonnCork - April 2, 2012

Griffiths’ big TV work, Bill Brand, a 13 part series on a left wing Labour MP in the seventies is actually out on DVD at the moment. I’ve started watching it and am through the first couple of episodes. Think it might be up the street of many of the people on the site here.
It was a different world altogether when a Marxist writing specifically political dramas like Griffiths could have them on primetime TV (Bill Brand) and in the National Theatre with Laurence Olivier basically playing a Gerry Healy figure (The Party). Never mind scripting a big budget Hollywood epic like Reds. Bill Brand, as far as I’m aware, enjoyed really good viewing figures.
For that matter Strumpet City is unashamedly left wing in a way Ireland would never allow a prestige drama to be now. (If they were actually making drama anymore). Griffiths, Brenton, Barker, Bond, Churchill, Edgar, Hare et al were a magnificent group of writers and perhaps Arden could even be viewed as having blazed a trail which they followed.
I’m not very familiar with Arden’s Irish stuff but the earlier English stuff, Sergeant Musgrave’s Dance and Live Like Pigs, were as good as anything written for the English stage since the War. Ferociously gifted man. I saw him, wheelchair bound, at last year’s Galway Film Fleadh going in to see Cabinet of Dr. Caligari early in the morning and enthusing about the prospect. Sorry I didn’t tell him what I thought of his work now.

Like

WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2012

EC, and ohers, really appreciate this, I love DVDs and these are great suggestions. That said I’m eating Community the US series at the moment,.

Like

EamonnCork - April 3, 2012

Must check Community out. Big disappointment the last year for me has been how many of the much hyped US series have been not worth following. Boardwalk Empire (tired Scorsese rethread), Treme (Downright embarrassing hipster and record nerd stuff, and that’s from someone who doesn’t have a problem with either hipsterism or record nerdery) and Luck (unfocussed and boring), all came billed as the new Wire and/or Sopranos and merely showed that HBO can get it wrong too. Never mind Mad Men, the fantasy of a million GQ magazine readers. The only series I’ve warmed to is Friday Night Lights and I suspect I’m absurdly biased on account of my American football proclivities. And Game Of Thrones to a degree. Homeland has a certain slick brilliance as well.
Thought I’d love that BBC White Heat series, if there was ever a series tailor made for me, but it is extraordinarily dire.

Like

WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2012

Slate love Friday Night Lights, so I’m prepared to give it considerable leeway. Yeah, heard much of that re Luck, Boardwalk and even Treme. But I’ve not seen any of them yet, so don’t know. MadMen leaves me conflicted. I like a lot of it and yet, and yet…

GOT is great. Homeland, haven’t got past episode 1 yet. Not heard of the BBC one. My favourite series of last year was the one set in the BBC, The Hour.

Like

EamonnCork - April 3, 2012

Loved most of The Hour but thought the last episode fell apart which can be a problem with series which set up an intriguing complex storyline with lota of threads. Pulling them together can be a bit haphazard in the end. The John Simm one with Jim Broadbent as his Alzheimered dad whose name I can’t remember was also pretty decent.
The fact you haven’t heard of White Heat says a lot, if it had been any cop at all with its sixties, seventies, eighties political background you’d surely have heard plenty of chat about it. It’s the BBC’s BIg Bow Wow.
Mad Men reminds me of Dr. Johnson’s comment about the Giant’s Causeway, ‘worth seeing but not worth going to see,’. If it’s on I get a vaguely pleasant feeling as it wafts by but it doesn’t seem to be of any great moment.

Like

EamonnCork - April 3, 2012

In fairness, Breaking Bad is very good, I’ve followed that on DVD rather than TV so it slipped my mind.

Like

Pope-Kultur - April 3, 2012

Breaking Bad is indeed to be recommended – partly because of the unlikely anti-hero, but also it is convincing about the realities of middle-class precariousness in the US.

Like

WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2012

Couldn’t agree more about the Hour. Excellent up til the last episode. I liked it though for a couple of reasons, that it showed up how the state is class driven, how on a personal level that can be confused/complex, a sense – just a sense – how the bolshie working class guy might twenty years down the line be much more comfortable as a sort of ‘new’ establishment a la Thatcher. And so on.

Haven’t seen Breaking Bad, but it sounds great from what you’re all saying.

Perhaps it’s the sort of ‘hey, look how sexist/racist it used to be’ having its cake and eating it that gets me about MadMen. And as people say it’s much much less deft treatment of class than it likes to think of itself.

Like

ejh - April 3, 2012

Talking of the Seventies, it’s the Shrewsbury Two

Like

Brian Hanley - April 3, 2012

Talking of the seventies, can you imagine a mainstream series like ‘When the Boat Comes In’ now?

Like

Ed - April 3, 2012

My view of Mad Men is, it’s very watchable, I’ve seen the whole of the first four series, but ultimately I wouldn’t give a damn if all the characters died in a plane crash or were savaged to death by wolves. I know half the point of it is that it’s style over substance, but it just doesn’t get you in the gut at all.

Speaking of seventies TV programmes where Marxists were let run riot on screen, I just found out the other day that the reason why John Berger’s Ways Of Seeing has never come out on DVD is that they can’t clear the copyright for all the paintings and ad images that appear in it, damn shame. They’re showing the whole series in one go tomorrow evening in the BFI in London but smarter folk than I have bought all the tickets in advance:

http://www.bfi.org.uk/whatson/bfi_southbank/film_programme/april_seasons/ways_of_seeing_john_berger_on_the_small_screen/ways_of_se

Like

Dr. X - April 3, 2012

Mad Men is good if you like to watch horrible people being horrible to each other. It’s also a soap opera for people who think they’re too good for soaps.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - April 3, 2012

“Ways Of Seeing” looks interesting.

Didn’t catch it in the 70s but it’s here on Youtube:

Like

Ed - April 3, 2012

Yeah it’s definitely got a bit of soap in it, I think the bits I’ve enjoyed the most are the random soap-style disasters, like the time the English management guy lost his foot to a motorised lawnmower. I kind of wish they’d just cut loose and have a proper catastrophe like the plane crash in Emmerdale or the tram bloodbath in Coronation Street. You couldn’t have something like that in The Wire or The Sopranos, it would ruin the show, but I think it would be the making of Mad Men.

Like

EamonnCork - April 3, 2012

I suppose the copyright question is also why Robert Hughes’ The Shock Of The New has never come out on DVD, and presumably never will then. But if anyone’s interested the fantastic Ubuweb have the whole series up on their site. Though I don’t think watching these things on the computer is ever quite the same.
I love the idea of a Mad Men massacre, perhaps they could run into the Manson Family while away on a company bonding weekend in Death Valley or run into difficulties while engaging a rebranding exercise for a Sicilian American olive oil importing concern.

Like

EamonnCork - April 3, 2012

I suppose my main problem with Mad Men is that it presumes you’ll be interested in whether Don and the lads concoct a winning campaign for Brighto Toothpaste or some such. Which is fair enough except that it also requires you to see creative genius at work in putting together such a campaign. The Don presents his new campaign scenes are presented in the way that old Hollywood used to show us Pasteur discovering a cure for rabies or Van Gogh painting sunflowers.
SKy tlantic, to prepare us for Mad Men, ran a documentary last week called Ad Men which presented seventies ads from Alan Parker, Ridley Scott and Charles Saatchi as if they were achievements on the same level as Scorsese’s films from the same time. It was illuminating to see how seriously they all took the making of these ads/

Like

EamonnCork - April 3, 2012

Just to finish the last point, the respect shown to ad men because of the money they made reminds me of those Tiger era articles where we were all enjoined to feel awe at the achievement of some lad who bought two fields and built houses in them, articles which would usually include the observation that though Super Gombeen lived in a 44 bedroom house made out of gold his neighbours said he wasn’t the kind of man who made a big deal out of his money.

Like

Ivorthorne - April 3, 2012

For me, Mad Men is similar to the Sopranos. It invites you to care and identify with characters who, when you stop to think about it, don’t actually deserve it. One of the things I liked about the final season of the Sopranos was it reminded the viewer that almost none of the main characters ever really progressed and that they weren’t all that nice, even if they were pretty human.

It’s easy to get caught up in the Mad Men characters’ appreciation of Don’s supposed genius, because the world of the characters revolves around advertising. It’s easy to forget that all they’re doing is finding a way to persuade people to buy more socks. The world of these Mad Men is shallow, materialistic and pretty ugly, and the characters like it that way. I suspect that the viewers’ bubble will be burst at some point further down the line. Draper is not cool. He is not someone you want to be. He’s a selfish liar who spends his life running and hiding, He’s a conman who never fully commits to his profession.

The reason Mad Men has been so well received by critics is because it touches on all the safe liberal topics that make a show or movie Important (TM). It touches on sexism, homophobia, the Red Scare, drugs, racisim, civil rights and all those other problems that liberal Americans know how to solve. To be fair, it also touches on attitudes to epilepsy and disability, which is a little unusual for that kind of show, but it stays away from issues related to class and economic inequality – which is something a show about 1950s/60s advertising could do quite well.

Like

Ed - April 3, 2012

There was a review of that Steve Jobs hagiography in the New York Review of Books lately that chimes pretty closely with what people are saying about Mad Men (I think it’s behind a paywall so here’s the relevant chunk):

“Steve Jobs cried a lot. This is one of the salient facts about his subject that Isaacson reveals, and it is salient not because it shows Jobs’s emotional depth, but because it is an example of his stunted character. Steve Jobs cried when he didn’t get his own way. He was a bully, a dissembler, a cheapskate, a deadbeat dad, a manipulator, and sometimes he was very nice. Isaacson does not shy away from any of this, and the trouble is that Jobs comes across as such a repellent man, cruel even to his best friend Steve Wozniak, derisive of almost everyone, ruthless to people who thought they were his friends, indifferent to his daughters, that the book is often hard to read.

“Friends and former friends speculate that his bad behavior was a consequence of being put up for adoption at birth. A former girlfriend, who went on to work in the mental health field, thought he had Narcissistic Personality Disorder. John Sculley, who orchestrated Jobs’s expulsion from Apple, wondered if he was bipolar. Jobs himself dismissed his excesses with a single word: artist. Artists, he seemed to believe, got a pass on bad behavior. Isaacson seems to think so, too, proving that it is possible to write a hagiography even while exposing the worst in a person.

“The designation of someone as an artist, like the designation of someone as a genius, is elastic, and anyone can claim it for himself or herself and for each other. There is no doubt that the products Steve Jobs brilliantly conceived of and oversaw at Apple were elegant and beautiful, but they were, in the end, products. Artists, typically, aim to put something of enduring beauty into the world; consumer electronics companies aim to sell a lot of gadgets, manufacturing desire for this year’s model in the hope that people will discard last year’s.”

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/jan/12/who-was-steve-jobs/?pagination=false

Like

Pope-Kultur - April 3, 2012

The first two or three episode of MM promised to be an extraordinarily well done satire on the origins of the purposeful construction of consumer culture. Then they lost their nerve or submitted it to a focus group it decended into soap. And I can only take soap if it’s sufficently camped up. Mad Men done by Almodóvar I would watch.

@Ed – did you have to?

Mac fanboys hold no surprises by I’d studiously avoided the content of that book. Now it feels like I’ll have have an in-depth conversation with the great white telephone.

Like

ejh - April 3, 2012

ultimately I wouldn’t give a damn if all the characters died in a plane crash or were savaged to death by wolves

That was my problem with This Life

Like

ejh - April 3, 2012

Re: Ways of Seeing – it’s really interesting and I’d recommend it, but dated in a whole lot of ways. (For insatnce he long section of women talking, dominated by Eva Figes, should have been cut right down, though I understand why Berger didn’t want to do that.)

Like

7. que - March 29, 2012

Foreign criminals who commit crimes in this coutry should serve time in their own countries and shouldnt be left back into the country. Those types of criminals should be banned from the country, and their right to free travel removed.

Controversial? The Socialist Party over there in Holland doesnt particularly think so. Other than this measure they seem to be a fairly standard Socialist party.

Are they being realistic, or jingoistic. Seemed unusual enough a call from a Socialist party to warrant comment.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sp.nl%2Fjustitie%2Fnieuwsberichten%2F11656%2F120329-gesthuizen_pleit_voor_terugkeerverbod_buitenlandse_criminelen.html&act=url

Like

8. Roasted Snow - March 29, 2012

Local Elections England

Been on the stomp in North Cambs and Peterborough for Labour, big increase in support for us on the doorsteps which seems in line with the latest poll swing. I’m running as a Labour Socialist candidate in a safe Tory ward and might even have a chance. Fight every cut, defend every job! And well done London NUT today!

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 29, 2012

Good for you and good luck with it. It would be great if you’d keep us posted on how things are going.

Like

Jack Jameson - March 30, 2012

+1 Good luck.

Like

Roasted Snow - March 30, 2012

Gorgeous George Result in Bradford’s got us all thinking now! Stunning victory for Respect and if we couldn’t win there in the week that’s gone then the party is not connecting enough with its core vote. Questions to be asked of Parliamentary Party and the Policies we’ve got. Tories gloating, and why wouldn’t they!

Like

LeftAtTheCross - March 30, 2012

RS,

Can you clarify what you mean by “Labour Socialist candidate”? Is that a separate platform/group affiliated to the Labour party?

+1 on the good luck.

Like

Roasted Snow - March 30, 2012

Put it like this, the remainder of Militant and like ilk that are still active in Labour will decribe themselves in that way and argue for socialist policies on the doorsteps, in the branches and the CLPs. There’s more around than you might think and the IMT of course still pursues an entrist course.

Like

9. maddurdu - March 29, 2012

Joe Costello is telling the Turks some interesting things.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/recovering-ireland-eyes-more-turkish-business.aspx?pageID=238&nID=17118&NewsCatID=345

‘As for opportunities for Turkish companies to do business in Ireland, Costello said Turkish construction firms could be very active again, noting that the Irish government recently spared 2.2 billion euros in building 275 schools this year.’

Like

Oireachtas Retort - March 30, 2012

Lucinda will have a heart attack

Like

10. gerardmadden - March 30, 2012

George Galloway looks set to win Bradford West by-election.

Like

Jack Jameson - March 30, 2012

George Galloway wins Bradford West by-election – Respect candidate takes seat from Labour with 10,140 majority, claiming ‘the most sensational victory in British political history’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/mar/30/george-galloway-bradford-west-byelection

Like

Britpope - March 30, 2012

It looks like convential British parties have for the moment spectacularly lost the British Muslim vote.

Between not good and potentially disasterous on balance – not that I have much good to say about conventional British electoral parties.

Like

Feadog - March 30, 2012

The British Muslim vote? I remember when he campaigned for the British working-class vote. Someone on the radio this morning referred to him as an Islamotrotskyite.

Like

FergusD - March 30, 2012

Galloway isn’t a Trotsyist, frankly he is a megalomaniac.

Like

11. Britpope - March 30, 2012

Much of the Republic’s spectacularly high level of private debt is presumably due to multinationals parking it here to write it off against tax. The fact that Luxembourg (another corporate tax-avoidance / evasion centre within the EU) also has an extremely high per-capita private debt level would seem to confirm this.

External debt by country.

Does anyone have an estimate for how much ‘Irish’ private debt is down to creative accountancy.

Like

FergusD - March 30, 2012

Apparently Galloway used the phrase “By the grace of God…” to describe his win (according to the Guardian, and also distributed leaflets claiming he doesn’t drink. These would appear to be appeals to Islamic attitudes. No worse than politicians appealing to Christian attitudes of course, but should socialists be targeting any religous group at all?

To be fair he does mention austerity and the stupid wars, but still, his approach smacks of opportunism of the wrong kind.

Like

ejh - March 30, 2012

“By the grace of God” is a phrase I associate with Christianity.

Like

TheOtherRiverR(h)ine - March 30, 2012

Is that leaflet actually genuine. It looked very poor compared to his other election literature. It seemed like someone was trying to set him up r it was done by a over enthusiastic supporter.

His win does seem like a shot in the arm for RESPECT.

Like

Feadog - March 31, 2012

I’m back-tracking on my earlier comment on Galloway. Having seen him on Newsweek, I can see that he didn’t campaign for a ‘Muslim vote’. In fact, he said that he was seeking all votes.
All the interviews on the British news bulletins were hostile and it’s clear that the brief from the authorities is to do him in.

Like

12. Chet Carter - March 30, 2012

Galloways direct pitch for the Islamist vote does seem to signal that the left in Britain no longer have any connection with the indigenous working class. The triumph of multiculturalism and identity politics over class struggle.

Like

CMK - March 30, 2012

George Galloway = ‘The British Left’?

Like

John Cunningham - March 30, 2012

By any standars, it’s a remarkable result in Bradford West, and I think a good one. I’ve seen Galloway speak a few times – It’s a remarkable result in Bradford West, and a good one. I’ve seen Galloway speak a few times – I even brought him to a hurling match in Pearse Stadium once – and he is tremendous orator. Of the living exponents of the British radical tradition of public speaking that I’ve heard, he is better than Scargill, and probably as good as Benn and Dennis Skinner. But oratorical skills alone don’t explain Bradford West. As he showed in East London, Galloway has other well-honed political skills, not least the ability to identify key people in the political architecture of a constituency and to charm and suborn them. Now that he has definitively shown how shallow are Labour’s roots in its English heartlands, there’ll be lots of others who’ll be examining the entrails.

Would it be fanciful to compare George with Big Jim Larkin? He seems equally self-absorbed. And he certainly has the same capacity to attract vitriolic hostility from his opponents – both on the right and the ostensible left. So far, moreover, he’s not been so successful in having his charisma bottled for use in other constituencies, and having like-minded people elected.

Oh, and his comment after the Bradford result, arguably, echoes the scene in Warren Beatty’s ‘Reds’ where John Reed (Beatty) learns that his pro-Bolshevik speech before a crowd in Baku has been mistranslated as a call for Jihad. A slight difference of course is that there was no necessity to mistranslate Galloway!

Like

Roasted Snow - March 31, 2012

This has left grass roots Labour Socilaists pleased. It shows exactly where the people of BW are at and then similar constituencies. And rightly so for saying this is more than an Asian vote, it isn’t. It is the vote of the working class and neglected communities, up to over 50%, who see the three main parties as the same. How to differentiate, on the doorsteps I know what I will argue for and my comrades will do if we get in for Labour in council elections but the fight is now to change our working class, TU supported party into the party of the working class. It still is the biggest WC party the place to be is here with me! Fight every cut, defend every job! Smash the Tories!

Like

Chet Carter - March 30, 2012

CMK, he seems to think so!

Like

CMK - March 30, 2012

Fair comment! That’s more testament to his capacity for self-delusion than his grasp of political reality.

Like

Ed - March 30, 2012

1) Galloway got over 50% of the vote, which would have been unlikely to happen if he only got votes from Muslims, who are a good deal less than 50% of the Bradford population

2) Galloway defeated a Labour candidate from a Pakistani Muslim background, so if it was just a question of identity politics, he shouldn’t have stood a chance

3) British Asians ARE part of the indigenous working class in Britain, they’ve been part of the country at least as long as (for example) many working-class people of Irish heritage

Like

Diagree there - March 31, 2012

Ed,

reading the letter from George, and seeing he greeted his supporters with:

“”All praise to Allah!” he yelled, to jubilant cries of “Allah Allah!” And on it went. “Long live Iraq! Long live Palestine!”

He sent out a letter addressed to “voters of the Muslim faith and Pakistani heritage in Bradford West”

I cant help but think that the people who criticise the odious “Alive” seem to be giving Galloway lee way when he is as bad as them.

Considering the comments from George its clear that whatver some of us might like to hope this was not a vote for the British working class politics but a vote for the Muslim working class.

I struggle to see how thats progress, and I think its head in sand to think its about working class politics.

This is from the reactionary Guardian paper. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/mar/30/george-galloway-bradford-spring-labour

Like

ejh - April 3, 2012

the reactionary Guardian paper.

Hey-ho

Like

Ed - April 3, 2012

1) Salma Yaqoob addresses the point about who voted for Galloway here:

“The fact that Respect won in every ward in the constituency, and won by a massive 10,000 majority, testifies that that disillusionment goes way beyond the Muslim community. In the predominately white, middle-class ward of Clayton approximately 900 votes were cast for Respect compared to 40 for Labour.”

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/04/respect-british-bradford#reader-comments

If Galloway was incapable of winning votes from people who weren’t Muslims, he would have got nowhere near 50% of the vote.

2) He can be justly criticised for bringing in religious themes in his campaign language (although it must be said that he was responding to the Labour candidate, who told people that people should vote for him ahead of Galloway because he was a Muslim and Galloway wasn’t); but there’s no comparison between what Galloway came out with and the extreme social conservatism of a publication like ‘Alive!’. The only thing that Galloway linked directly to religion was the fact that he doesn’t drink booze, and I don’t think anyone in Bradford imagines for a moment that a Galloway / Respect-led government would introduce prohibition.

Richard Seymour has a decent comment piece on it here:

http://leninology.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/galloway-wins.html

(and remember, the SWP had an almighty falling out with Galloway and what remains of Respect, so he’s not likely to be a wide-eyed cheerleader)

Like

EamonnCork - April 3, 2012

I’m not a fan of Galloway at all but some of the comment re his election seems to verge close to a ‘but those aren’t real votes, they’re Paki votes’ argument. He won the majority of the votes in the constituency, his victory isn’t invalidated because most of his voters aren’t native English.
I seem to recall the fact that they received big votes from the Irish community being used as a stick to beat some Labour councils in London with not long ago. In fact Boris Johnson is still using Ken Livingstone’s funding of Irish events as a stick to beat him with.

Like

sonofstan - April 3, 2012

‘but those aren’t real votes, they’re Paki votes’

It’ll be very interesting, a few elections from now, to watch this play out here. According to the census, there are c50,000 Muslims in the state now: I would hazard a guess – no more – that at least half of these are spread over 2 -3 Dublin constituencies. Most won’t be able to vote now, but that will change.

We walked down the river on Sunday morning towards the Conference Centre and, seeing a crush outside from a distance, assumed the FG shindig was still on. It was only as we got closer that we came aware most of the people we were passing weren’t white, and the crowd outside the centre were predominantly Asian and African. We eventually realised that the blueshirts weren’t attempting to do a Father Ted ‘not at all racist’ demo to apologise for any misperception people might have about their history, and that this was a swearing in ceremony for new citizens. I must admit, old softie that I am, I wiped away a tear seeing all these people in their Sunday best, some with rosettes proclaiming ‘I’m Irish!’ queuing up to be part of us. It’s nice that someone wants to be.

Anyway, sentiment aside, 4,000 people became citizens on Sunday and that’s enough First preferences to get you in with a shout of being elected on a low turnout…….

Like

Ed - April 4, 2012

That’s the problem I have with it – I’m no more of a Galloway groupie than you would be, he clearly has a lot of flaws that I’m sure most people are familiar with, but it bugs the hell out of me when I hear people suggest it’s not a real victory because it was in Bradford.

You have to ask, what do people expect of British Muslims? They don’t want them blowing up Tube trains – fair enough, I don’t want that either, I have to get the Tube to work every day. They don’t want them rioting (I know it wasn’t just Pakistani and Bangladeshi kids rioting but you know what I mean). Fair enough, it’s not very constructive in the long run is it. So what do people want them to do?

Surely they want them to engage with Britain’s long and hallowed parliamentary tradition? But it doesn’t count, apparently, if they vote for someone like Galloway. Even someone like Mehdi Hasan, who should really know better, had a dumb piece in the Guardian the other day berating Muslims for taking Iraq and Afghanistan into account when they vote, telling them they should ‘get out of their anti-war comfort zone’. I know the British press wants people to base their political choices on whether David Cameron is in the habit of eating pasties, but I would have thought it was a good thing if there’s a section of the electorate that cares about Afghans being massacred by the occupation forces.

Like

EamonnCork - April 4, 2012

As regards the ‘anti-war comfort zone,’ Margaret Thatcher won an entire general election in 1983 largely on the basis of prosecuting a war in the Falklands which appealed to the electorate’s sense of national pride. So it’s not particularly unprecedented or odd for voters in Bradford to cast their votes on the basis of foreign policy decisions. As Ed points out you can’t urge people to embrace the democratic process and then suggest their vote somehow doesn’t count if it’s cast for the ‘wrong’ candidate. Though, of course, that’s the line many commentators in this part of the world take on Sinn Fein.

Like

13. Feadog - March 30, 2012

I watched him on Press TV, the Iranian channel that was censored recently. He ran a phone-in programme and was playing the Muslim card to a sickening degree. It was Allah-be-praised this and by-the-will-of-the-prophet the other. It struck me as hypocritical.
To compare him to Jim Larkin is insulting; a better comparison would be to Eoghan Harris.

Like

John Cunningham - March 30, 2012

Feadog: I didn’t say GeorgeG was just like Jim Larkin; I just drew a few comparisons. One of the comparators was a ‘capacity to attract vitriolic hostility from his opponents – both on the right and the ostensible left.’ I suggest that your comment bears this out.

Like

Feadog - March 30, 2012

Ah now John! Sure that’s no comparison at all. Don’t all of us on the ostensible left get that.

Like

14. ejh - March 30, 2012

You might find this interesting, if only because it illustrates a theme I’ve been warming to of late, which is that what’s happened in Ireland it described as a success not because it has actually worked economically, but because of the relative absence of protest.

Like

15. Brian Hanley - March 30, 2012

Both Larkin and Galloway were non-drinkers. Both Larkin and Galloway professed their Catholic faith at various stages. Both Larkin and Galloway were accused of being in receipt of funds from various governments. Both were accused of being splitters and were elected for different parties on separate occasions. Both had money ‘problems’ (of different sorts). However Larkin never dressed up as a cat as far as I know and wasn’t a complete chancer.

Like

Shay Guevara - March 31, 2012

“Larkin never dressed up as a cat as far as I know.”

Maybe not, but the one in this picture here –

http://the-void.co.uk/theatre/stage-review-cats-musical/

– is a dead ringer for that statue of him…

Like

tomasoflatharta - April 2, 2012

“However Larkin never dressed up as a cat as far as I know and wasn’t a complete chancer” – Perhaps Larkin was only a bit of a chancer, but not a complete one!

Like

16. fergal - March 30, 2012

this might cheer a few people up on this site;the Left Front(backed by Communist party) candidate in France Melenchon was placed third(14 per cent) in an opinion poll behind Hollande and Sarkozy,but ahead of Le Pen.Other polls have showed him polling around 12-13 per cent.How’s this for redistribution,wants any annual wage over 360,000 euros to be taxed at 100 per cent.

Like

17. ivorthorne - March 31, 2012

I’m just reading the IT coverage of the household charge debacle and the claims regarding potential cuts to local services. It really is hard to understand the IT’s relentless pro-government approach to this and other issues. The disconnect between the media and the people is shocking. In the same edition, we’re treated to an article from a PR consultant with links to government appealing for less coverage of protests and dissatisfied voters.

Like

Feadog - March 31, 2012

Did you hear the RTE News this morning – a reading from a Government script. Dire warnings, threats, info on how to pay up, figures of those who have paid and are sure to pay but no percentages which would show that the tax is a dead duck.

Like

Dr. X - March 31, 2012

RTE has always been a state broadcaster rather than a public broadcaster, hasn’t it?

Like

EamonnCork - March 31, 2012

That distinction is well made Dr X and it’s grown increasingly apparent in recent years.

Like

ivorthorne - March 31, 2012

I guess what I find surprising is that they continue on in this way even after the people have made their will,perfectly clear. The figures speak for themselves.

Like

Starkadder - March 31, 2012

“RTE has always been a state broadcaster rather than a public broadcaster, hasn’t it?”

I never thought of RTE that way, but you are dead
right in your assement of it.

Like

sonofstan - March 31, 2012

RTE’s report on 6.1 was a disgrace: some chit chat from Enda, bollocks from DDP about how upbeat the delegates were, a very short clip of the march and a few snippets of interviews with anonymous marchers and Ruth Coppinger, before the presentation of the notion that the pay up figure was approaching 50% – as if this were some kind of triumph instead of a humiliating defeat for the govt.

Like

EamonnCork - March 31, 2012

More shameful shite on the nine bulletin, I do believe I heard them say that the number of protesters at the march was dwarfed by the number who’ve paid the charge, as if that meant anything. In recent days they’ve avoided giving the percentage figure most of the time, 700,000 households sounding more impressive than forty odd per cent.
DDP is a perpetual howl, his finest moment being the authoritative pronouncement that Bertie was out of the woods tribunal wise a couple of hours before Ahern resigned

Like

sonofstan - April 2, 2012

I do believe I heard them say that the number of protesters at the march was dwarfed by the number who’ve paid the charge

TBF to RTE, they actually said the number of protesters was dwarfed by the number who HADN’T paid. Doesn’t add much either way.

The rest of the report was equally vacuous

Like

18. TheOtherRiverR(h)ine - March 31, 2012

Excellent turnout at the FG Ard Fheis protest.

Like

Ivorthorne - March 31, 2012

RTE reporting 4000-5000. I’d would have wagered it was more.

Like

TheOtherRiverR(h)ine - March 31, 2012

They always quote the lower end of the estimates if theyre feeling generous – it was good considering the previous meeting in the national stadium.

Like

john.c - March 31, 2012

Paul Murphy MEP said 10,000 were out

Like

19. Ivorthorne - March 31, 2012

I would say that is an overestimate, but probably closer to the truth than 4000.

Like

D_D - April 2, 2012

The always thorough EF of the Socialist Party counted 7,000 in O’Connell Street. He reckoned more joined the throng after his count.

Like

Mark P - April 2, 2012

He tends to have the advantage in such arguments by dint of actually counting. So 7,000 at that particular point would give us that as a minimum figure, plus however many joined along route or turned up at the end.

Like

20. Starkadder - March 31, 2012

Good news: the Egyptian government has pardoned the imprisoned
anti-war blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad :) :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/22/egypt-pardons-blogger-anniversary-protests?newsfeed=true

Like

21. Mark P - April 2, 2012

The AWL have published a long article from an old Irish Workers Group internal bulletin here:

http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2012/04/01/trotskyism-or-chameleonism

Like

22. Dr. X - April 3, 2012

Quick question about Irish media history. I was talking to someone a while back about depictions of race in early 20th century Ireland (with regard to the Somali village that was set up at a Dublin exhibition grounds at that time). I happened to remember that in the 1930s, the Irish Press had a policy of referring to “bandits” in the European colonial possessions as “freedom fighters”. I.e. if they got a press report about banditry in some area of the white man’s burden, they would substitute the latter phrase for the former.

Does anyone out there have a reference for that? Because I’m damned if I can remember where I came across that one.

Like

Brian Hanley - April 3, 2012

I think I read it in one of the essays in ‘Revising the Rising’ (Field Day, 1991) but I’ve not come across an original example of it. Does Mark O’ Brien’s book on the Irish Press mention it?

Like

Dr. X - April 3, 2012

Thanks – I knew I should have it left it to the professionals. ;-)

I’ll look up this “Mark O’Brien” when the opportunity presents itself.

Like

23. Michael Carley - April 3, 2012

Great correction in today’s Guardian:

James Connolly was described as “the Irish unionist and nationalist”. That should have been trade unionist (John Arden obituary, 31 March, page 54).

Like

Dr. X - April 3, 2012

That’s not as bad as the plaque to him down by the IFSC, which describes our man Connolly as a mere “social reformer”.

The Guraniad thing is just an ignorant hack being ignorant: whoever put up that plaque must have known they were telling pork pies.

Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,421 other followers

%d bloggers like this: