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What you want to say… Open Thread, 19th December, 2012 December 19, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

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

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1. irishelectionliterature - December 19, 2012

Nice article giving the history surrounding The Morriseys ‘Charlie’s Song’ (Arise and follow Charlie) http://rockroots.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/charliessong/

2. Justin - December 19, 2012

Walter Benn Michaels, whose book, The Trouble With Diversity has been debated on CLR, discusses his rejection of identity politics with Doug Henwood here


In the first half hour Henwood discusses the fiscal cliff with James Galbraith. Followed by Benn Michaels.

3. dmfod - December 19, 2012

Mandate has launched this campaign asking people to do their shopping in “fair shops” that recognise unions http://www.fairshop.ie/.

I can see where they’re coming from and tactics of this kind can be useful, but the political approach of the campaign is very weak. Mandate only cite positive examples of unionised shops and don’t name and shame shops that don’t allow their workers to unionise. More importantly, I don’t think calling corporations like Tesco, which a while back tried to replace staff with slave labour from JobBridge, or others that pay minimum wage like Argos, or get most of their product from sweatshops like Penneys, “fair shops” is a good way of advancing workers’ rights. Why not just call them unionised shops, which is all they (reluctantly) are.

This campaign is conceding far too much legitimacy to major corporations for the sake of a catchy slogan and also envisages ‘partnering’ with the corporations involved. Mandate’s General Secretary, John Douglas has said that “The initial reaction to the campaign from a number of the major retailers has been fantastic. Already many Fair Shop-nominated employers – seeing the value in the initiative – have been talking to Mandate about developing brand awareness and promoting joint actions”. Assistant General Secretary, Gerry Light has this to say: “Disagreements happen from time-to-time but Fair Shop transcends the day-to-day drudgery of industrial relations and acknowledges those employers who ‘do the right thing’ by their staff.”

I wonder how many Tesco, Penneys and Argos workers would agree?

Tomboktu - December 20, 2012

Daydreaming on the bus on the way home, it occurred to me that there is a similarity in the availability of fresh non-fiction Irish writing between when I was in my late teens and early twenties, on the one hand, and now on the other.
Then: Magill, HotPress, In Dublin.
Now: CLR, Irish Left Review, Come Here To Me, Notes on the Front, Look Left.

Mind you, we also have:

Then: A dire recession
Now: A dire recession

Then: An almighty row over abortion
Now: An almighty row over abortion

WorldbyStorm - December 20, 2012

That’s an interesting thought. There are some real resonances there, and perhaps Hot Press, Magill etc did have an unconscious influence.

Tomboktu - December 20, 2012

Hmm… that wasn’t meant to be a reply to dmfod’s piece about Mandate.

4. Forbolg - December 20, 2012

Has anyone else noticed the cancellation of this week’s scheduled edition of Panorama on official executions by security forces in Northern Ireland in the 70s and 80s and its replacement by an (interesting) look at the charming Barclay twins. A coincidence coming just a week after the Pat Finnucane report.

CL - December 20, 2012

“No doubt the “Reasons of State” argument also informed the ethos of those British Special Branch and intelligence officers who handled the loyalist terrorists who murdered Pat Finucane. It must also be the creed of those politicians who either turned a blind eye to these state terrorists, or encouraged them.

As the Finucane family rightly insists, Sir Desmond de Silva’s inquiry has failed to probe this political dimension.”

5. Red Hand - December 20, 2012

Anyone been watching Love/Hate on RTE? In my opinion over-hyped and overly praised. Saw some nonsense in the Irish Times yesterday that the ‘Trish’ character was Ireland’s Carmela Soprano. Bullshit. In the Sopranos Carmela was a fully fleshed out character with story lines of her own, the women in Love/Hate have walk on parts at best. The dissidents in this series were straight out of the Sunday World and most of the actors are trying way too hard with the Dub-alin accent- ‘in anyways’ ‘is alls’ – a load of shit in other words.

Starkadder - December 27, 2012

I’ve never seen L/H.
An excellent, if very downbeat, crime drama worth tracking
down is the BBC’s “The Shadow Line” starring
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Eccleston and Stephen Rea.

6. Jim Monaghan - December 20, 2012

Has anyone read the History of the CP by Matt Tracy. I have just finished his book on the 50s and 60s republican movement and think he goes too far in ascribing a well thought out entryist position to the CPs and Greaves.But both books are based on archival material and people can weight up the facts somewhat differently as long as the facts are there.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - December 21, 2012
shea - December 27, 2012

its in the house but haven’t sat down to read it yet.

7. John Cunningham - December 20, 2012

As a co-editor, I’m able to announce that Vol. 37 (2012) of SAOTHAR: Journal of the Irish Labour History Society arrived from the printers today. I’ve posted ta preview of the cover and the contents here

Members should receive it in the next few days. Those wishing to purchase a copy can usually pick it up in Connolly Books in Dublin, or by getting in touch with the Society

Tomboktu - December 20, 2012

A piece by “Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh”? An unusual combination of genders?

Joe - December 21, 2012

Ah now Tombo. Where to start with this. We called in to Joyce House 18 years ago with the babby to be told that her name couldn’t be Ní M… it had to be Ó M, the same as the daddy’s.
And there’s many the lass who decided that they would be Ó rather than Ní cos they didn’t want to be defined as any man’s daughter.
So basically, if a person wants to call themselves Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh, then Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh is their name.

Jim Monaghan - December 21, 2012

Mac would mean son, while ni would be daughter. Ui or O would be a lot broader. The Icelandic people use daughter and son.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - December 21, 2012

Will Saothar ever be made available to J-Stor? It is nonsense that this journal is only available to a to few people?

John Cunningham - December 21, 2012

@Tombuktu: Whatever about the etymology of her name, Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh is a widely published author

@Branno’s ULT: Saothar will be on Jstor in the New Year, to the best of my knowledge. As is the case with many other journals, however, the most recent issues will not be made available, so as to maintain the viability of the print edition.
As it happens, the Irish Labour History Society places online each month a different back issue from the back catalogue.. Up at the moment is the 1983 issue, which has interesting articles by Rayner Lysaght on William O’Brien, by Hughie Geraghty & Peter Rigney on 1902 railway strike; by Des Cowman on Irish mining communities, and by Rosemary Cullen Owen on Labour and women’s suffrage.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - December 21, 2012

Thanks for your reply, good to hear it.

John Cunningham - December 21, 2012

Regarding Saothar, that was a very useful complaint raised by Branno’s ULT
There are indices to the journal compiled by the very wonderful Francis Devine, which take us almost up to date
See 1975-2000
and 2001-2011
That, of course, only tells the reader the contents of the journal, but a google search for individual articles might be surprisingly fruitful!

John Cunningham - December 21, 2012

Oh, and Happy Christmas

John Cunningham - December 21, 2012

And the other thing of course is that anyone can join the Irish Labour History Society, and get Saothar and the rest of it. Here’s a link to the form:
I’d highly recommend this course of action (but then I’ve only recently abandoned a Christmas doo)!

8. quw - December 20, 2012

Liam Doran of the Irish nursing organisation talking today about the pay scales of graduate nurses and midwives who are to receive 80% of their normal pay scale.

Doran and the unions are pointing out this is way below the wages in other places and all this is going to do is drive graduate nurses away from Ireland looking for a decent starting salary.

How is this going to work? Isnt this daft cost slashing scheme just going to cause a massive shortage in nursing resources which will eventually force the HSE to back track and reinstate better wages. If you squeeze graduates out then no new nurses into the system will cause its collapse. Or is that a long finger problem

The young are getting shafted roally in europe arent they.

CMK - December 20, 2012

It’s a clever wheeze by civil servants in the HSE to effect the Troika’s desired internal deflation target for wages. I.e. reduce them by 30-50%. All public sector salaries for new entrants have been reduced by 10% at the start of this year (thanks ICTU!) add that to this 20% pay cut and, voilá, you have the guts of your 30% reduction. Add in the 7% ‘pension’ levy and you’re within touching distance of 40% and the USC% and you’re nearly at 50%. Job done. If they can embed that in possibly the heart of the health service – nurses – then they can work their way slowly but surely across the rest of the HSE and elsewhere – as is happening in teaching. Expect the next cohort of Garda recruits to be told they’ll be paid 10/15/20% less than the last cohort; next cohort of army recruits etc, etc

Good to see Liam Doran and the INMO make a bit of a fight about it but, being ‘partnership’ folk, they won’t make too much of a fight of it and, with pained expressions and all the rest of it, they’ll recommend acceptance with probably a sweetener of only a 15% cut from the government as a quid pro quo.

The numbers of student nurses being churned out by the third level sector will see huge pressure to fill these vacancies and I expect the whole controversy to fizzle out, the jobs to be filled and the government’s objective of getting a massive pay cut for nurses fulfilled.

phil - December 21, 2012

Course this hse stunt will work. Graduate Irish nurses are competing with Filipino & indian nurses who are setting the rate for the nursing sector. Bemoan the anti worker hse practices but welcome the flexible open labour market that means base wages that are extremely attractive to Asian nurses get set. A confused approach or just blind defence of open borders at all costs . The hse won’t care either way. The Irish nursing shortage will grow and soon we will hear about how we would be lost without the new arriving nurses.

Jim Monaghan - December 21, 2012

3 possible outcomes.
1 Hopefully the government on instructions of teh Troika backpeddles and reinstates the wages.
2. Nurses emmigrate, stay at home
3. Nurses accept it.

Anbyone want to calculate the odds

9. doctorfive - December 21, 2012

Another Labour Councillor gone http://westcorktimes.com/home/?p=14469

10. sonofstan - December 21, 2012

Seems YD have screwed up again with the posters they put up overnight last night on lampposts – such posters are only legal if advertising an event, and permission is needed from DCC. Aodhan Ó Riordain has tweeted that DCC have confirmed they will be removed, and presumably, YD will be fined.

Jim Monaghan - December 21, 2012

I am wary of getting into a war on this. Leftie posters could and will be targetted the same way.

11. eamonncork - December 21, 2012

Folks, thanks for all the good company this year. (including everyone I’ve disagreed with).

Joe - December 21, 2012

Many happy returns to you and yours EamonnC. I’ve been pleasantly on the beer with friends old and new all week. Holding up surprisingly well. There’s life in the oul’ dog yet.

12. irishelectionliterature - December 21, 2012

This is freaky, a US show with special guests ‘Youth Defence’

13. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - December 21, 2012

Cool music, they really get their freak on in YD

14. doctorfive - December 21, 2012

Joe & Dick. Gets good around 3mins

15. sonofstan - December 23, 2012

This line, from Terry Eagleton amused me no end this morning:

” ‘Whatever gifts my parents passed on to their children’ [John] Major remarks in My Old Man: a Personal History of Music Hall ‘the talent to entertain was not among them’ which has to be one of the understatements of the decade’

EamonnCork - December 29, 2012

It actually sounds like a cracking book. I like the joke about Major being the only man who ever ran away from the circus to become an accountant.

ejh - December 29, 2012

Yes, I read the review last night and it looked like great stuff.

16. Starkadder - December 28, 2012

I don’t believe this has been discussed at the CDL before:

”Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens” by Richard

As an orator and writer, Hitchens offered something unique and highly marketable. But for all his professed individualism, he remains a recognizable historical type—the apostate leftist. Unhitched presents a rewarding and entertaining case study, one that is also a cautionary tale for our times.


17. Tomboktu - December 29, 2012

What a title for a scientific paper:

“An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit”


eamonncork - December 29, 2012

Also known as, ‘What Is Bartley Saying Exactly.’

18. CL - December 29, 2012
19. EamonnCork - December 29, 2012

These are well worth watching. I always thought of Kenneth Griffith as being like Ken Russell, the brilliance and the eccentricity are inseparable but the work is compelling if somewhat uneven.
All the same RTE haven’t made documentaries this good about the period.

CB - December 29, 2012

I think the first time I became aware of Griffith was in 1994. It was the 25th anniversary of the start of the Troubles and both the BBC and ITV produced a season of documentaries and dramas about recent Irish history. A lot of the documentaries had been banned when they were first made in the seventies and, in some instances, union members in the BBC and ITV had gone on strike and refused to broadcast anything on screen if the original programme was not going to be broadcast,
The thing that really struck me at the time was that RTÉ didn’t broadcast a single programme on the history of the Troubles and didn’t acknowledge it in anyway.
Thanks to youtube I was able to rewatch Griffith’s documentaries but I do remember he made a programme about the Boer War when he was quite elderly and wore a Sinn Féin green ribbon on his shirt for the duration of the show.

EamonnCork - December 29, 2012

That might have been when I saw these first too. RTE’s track record doesn’t exactly fill you with joy at the prospect of what programmes they’ll produce to mark the upcoming spate of centenaries. Timidity and a desire to get the official imprimatur may well be the order of the day.

20. doctorfive - December 29, 2012

On the 75th anniversary of Bunreacht na hÉireann coming into operation. Here’s a 1937 report on the Dáil debate. Great read.


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