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What you want to say… Open Thread, 27th February 2013 February 27, 2013

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. beibhinn - February 27, 2013

Does anybody know how much money the unions have contributed to the Labour party over the last few years, or where one might find that information?

CMK - February 27, 2013

You’ve more chance of finding out the third secret of Fatima than getting that information. But it’s a very, very good question.

Joe - February 27, 2013

Presumably unions and the Labour Party publish accounts – and you might find the info there?
A question: Which unions do and which unions don’t contribute to the LP? Afaik, SIPTU does, IMPACT doesn’t. Not sure after that. (Does UNITE contribute to the British Labour Party?!!)

Jim Monaghan - February 27, 2013

The Irish sections of UK unions are fairly autonomous. My memory of being a WUI delegate is that the accounts show everything. If you want an end of this then propose in your branch

Joe - February 27, 2013

I recall an agm of the Dublin Corporation branch of IMPACT (LGPSU even?) in the 80s at which the resident Millie proposed a motion that the union affiliate to the Labour Party. To this day, I regret not having proposed an amendment to replace the word “Labour” with “Workers’”. The motion was defeated, as the amendment would also have been.

beibhinn - February 27, 2013

Thanks all for your comments on union contributions to the LP. Would like to map it a bit more precisely across the unions, to see what trends there may or not be and what consequences any financial support might have had for either party. I suspect that LP coffers have been enormously swelled over the years by union ‘aid’ and that the LP would not like to see that source of revenue shrink. Labour will indeed be toast after the next election, I expect. I’d like to see them burnt toast.

2. Dr. X - February 27, 2013

Speaking of which, how are the northern parties funded? I know some of them fund themselves by means that are less than avowable, but I was thinking of the more mainstream parties.

Does the DUP rely on the widow’s mite, or do they have any more well-heeled backers in the shadows, for example?

3. RosencrantzisDead - February 27, 2013

Noonan has announced an end to the ELG scheme to much fanfare and claims that sound not to dissimilar to ‘we have turned a corner’. However, the scheme was due to end in June 2013 so its demise has only be hastened by a few months. Why hasten it?

According to NamaWineLake (I know, I know), Bank of Ireland was not happy at having to pay the charge associated with the ELG and it is implied that this early cancellation will mean the BOI will not have to pay for this year. (http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/time-to-consider-your-deposits-in-permanent-tsb-as-minister-withdraws-elg-scheme-from-28th-march-2013/)

So it would appear that we have lost money thanks to this little move by the Minister for Finance.

LeftAtTheCross - February 27, 2013

“we have lost money”

Depends on who the “we” is in that statement, doesn’t it.

Those that matter, neither you nor I, are winners as usual.

RosencrantzisDead - February 27, 2013

Very true, LATC.

4. doctorfive - February 27, 2013

Seems to be a growing swell against austerity over the last few months, internationally of course. From quarters that would have been more ‘grown up’ about it previously.

Talk of stimulus/some sort new US/EU deal also. Trying to view most things with an eye on German elections but it’s like there are some cracks appearing. Euro stabilised to some degree but they’ve sunk everywhere in the process. The lunatics pushing it since 2008 are still in place but there at least appears to be more space given over to an alternative view then before.

Feels that politics is running well behind events of whatever comes next anyway

Paul Mason was on Novara yesterday. Interesting discussion. He reckons Tsipras is the new Allende.


WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2013

Paul Mason is good I think. Tsipras as the new Allende. That’s not necessarily the best thought in the world, from the point of view of where the future may take him (and us).

doctorfive - February 27, 2013

No, though there may not be many good thoughts about the future (indeed present) of Greece.

5. CB - February 27, 2013

Episode 12 of the History Show on Near FM – Irish Nationalism and Zionism. https://archive.org/details/AidanInterview Previous episodes of the show are available here: http://nearfm.ie/podcast/tag/the-history-show/

6. Gewerkschaftler - February 28, 2013

Stéphane Hessel is dead.

That ‘who?’ would be the response of most people, all of whom have heard of Bono, is symptomatic.

Time for outrage against the dictatoriship of the financial ‘markets’.

7. Jonathan - February 28, 2013

Some things never change: Danny McCoy of IBEC shows how we can fix our economy through less taxes, less regulation, more privatised services, more debt, and more ‘flexibility’ in the labour force! I wonder do they have the same press release that they put out every time; they just change the numbers and dates to fit whatever year they happen to be in.

8. Watty Cox - February 28, 2013

Cathy Winch has an extraordinarily insightful article in the
current issue of Church & State magazine, about the
foolish Christiane Taubira and the
current “idée fixe” of our British-influenced pseudo-intellectuals,
“same sex-marriage”:

The proposed legislation presupposes that sex differences do

not matter as far as procreation and bringing up children are

concerned. This is a mistaken approach…the law should provide for

the norm. The legal position of traditional families should not be

disrupted for the sake of the minute minority. Until now the idea

that children have a mother and father was enshrined in the

official texts; long may it stay that way.

The whole issue is essential reading, and can be purchased
at Books Upstairs in Dublin.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - March 1, 2013

‘an extraordinarily insightful article’
No problems with self-confidence anyway

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2013

+1 Branno. Jesus wept.

9. wind up wink wink - February 28, 2013

“Until now the idea that children have a mother and father was enshrined in the official texts; long may it stay that way”

So until now it was enshrined but by definition until now means its not currently enshrined. So do you want to retain the status quo or the status quo ante.

Watty Cox - February 28, 2013

The Status Quo Ante.
“Same-sex Marriage” is a political dead end and the Irish
Left should not support it. Can you see Connolly or
Larkin campaigning for the right of a “minute minority”,
as Ms. Winch put it, for a piece of statist bullying that
will hurt the family and human procreation?

RosencrantzisDead - February 28, 2013

As I have said before, BICO are left wingers as dreamt up by Thomas Pynchon.

Starkadder - February 28, 2013

“current “idée fixe” of our British-influenced pseudo-intellectuals,“same sex-marriage”

Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway have all legalised same-sex marriage.
Seems to me Irish supporters of this admirable cause might be more Continental-influenced if anything.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - March 1, 2013

I liked Watty and his pals better when they were supporters of Loyalism.

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2013

They sort of remind me of what the RCP turned into.

Though in fairness to the RCP one could make a fairly strong case thatby contrast they (the RCP) have been models of consistency.

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2013

Even if one believed that it ‘hurt the family and human procreation’ which I can’t see how it would since same sex couples are going to exist with or without this and it’s not exactly clear how it would increase or decrease the number of same – it’s kind of entertaining to read it’s a bit of ‘a piece of statist bullying’… when in fact it’s the status quo ante which is the statist bullying. No one under the proposals is forcing anyone bar those who want to get married to get married. No one is forcing anyone not to get married – except under the current system.

CL - March 2, 2013

“This week, Goldman Sachs was one of more than 100 corporations that lodged their support for same-sex marriage in two briefs filed with the Supreme Court. “I think people wanted to attach themselves to what may be the last great civil rights issue of our time,” Mr. Blankfein said.”

Tomboktu - March 2, 2013

“the last great civil rights issue”??? Is that because extreme exploitation in not a great issue or not a civil rights issue/

CL - March 2, 2013

Usually civil rights are taken to mean equality before the law and freedom from discrimination; the right to a job, to a decent income, to be free from exploitation are not included. The civil rights movement in the U.S. killed Jim Crow but not poverty.
“What good does it do to be able to eat at a lunch counter if you can’t buy a hamburger.”
Martin Luther King.

EWI - March 3, 2013

@ WorldbyStorm

They sort of remind me of what the RCP turned into.

Though in fairness to the RCP one could make a fairly strong case thatby contrast they (the RCP) have been models of consistency.

In fairness to BICO, don’t think I’ve ever see anything to convince me that they’re a PR operation masquerading as activists – unlike the RCP, whose current ‘sponsored’ issue is being active in global warming denialism.

10. doctorfive - February 28, 2013

piece in the Weekly Worker says

Even the Irish SWP has passed a resolution condemning its British comrades’ handling of the Delta case.

Is this true?

Mark P - February 28, 2013

There have been persistent rumours that they passed a diplomatically worded but essentially critical motion at their National Committee. If those rumours are true, they haven’t taken any visible action on foot of the motion. No document from them has been circulated to the British SWP for instance, or to other groups in their international current.

Starkadder - February 28, 2013
doctorfive - February 28, 2013

Meant to link that time, sorry.

A public statement of some sort would do them no harm as the clock continues tick. The silence wont be forgotten and I wouldn’t be surprised if all this is sitting on file in Talbot Street should they need it.

WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2013

That’s a great, though presumably partisan, piece on CPGB. I’d love to see some of the opposition reformat the British SWP. It certainly needs it. But following Soviet Goon Boy and CPGB and various others it doesn’t look like it. I would echo what Mark P said, there’s no ‘visible action’ and I think that’s troublesome.

One other thing, if the accounts are to be believed the SWP CC really were behind the times in relation to t’internet. Not so much in terms of blogs (although they must realise that for all the pretensions to being a entitites sui generis in UK politics they leak like rusty sieves) but in terms of how people in the contemporary period interact, ie in part often by Facebook etc. It makes them look addled to be honest.

Brian D - March 1, 2013

Talbot Street?

doctorfive - March 1, 2013

Home of Independent Newspapers

doctorfive - March 1, 2013

in so far as it would be a nice stick to beat them with if INM ever takes the notion. When the Wallace thing kicked there was sustained effort to drag every member of the technical group into it, with Sinn Féin and where the wages are going running parallel.

People were asking questions about SF for months if not a year but the indo only magiced it up when the rest of the opposition was weakened. There will be another run the opposition at some stage no one will miss the opportunity to link RBB and co to events across the water. Inaction now will leave them wide open down the road and there will be little point (as there equally is now) carping about procedure and what have you once the Sindo has their story out.

Ghandi - March 1, 2013

and theres me in my office in Talbot Street after wasting an hour lokking for the file doctorfive

11. Pangur ban - February 28, 2013

Would the SWP crisis not merit a thread in its own right ?
We are watching the slow motion train crash of one of britains largest left groupings

WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2013

It would and I’ve a link to Soviet Goon Boy that takes in some of that… will post it up tomorrow some time if that’s okay?

Pangur ban - March 2, 2013

Tomorrow has now passed and no thread

Tomboktu - March 2, 2013

Wow. You posted that within 15 minutes of midnight.

I had a look at the site’s dashboard. He’s working on it. (But, hey, this is a voluntary thing, so predictions of how long it will take go awry.)

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - March 2, 2013

Calm down, its not that interesting!

WorldbyStorm - March 2, 2013

Just too much other stuff yesterday to post it up Pangur Ban, it’s just a short piece directing people to Soviet Goon Boy etc… goes up around 1 o’clock.

12. Pangur ban - February 28, 2013

That would be good
You might even get a few SWP comments …..that’s if they are allowed to use the internet

Mark P - March 1, 2013

I doubt if you’ll get too many SWP comments, and not because they are banned from the internet (or from here). I’d guess though that it’s a sensitive subject in the Irish party, with people having strong views, and they don’t want to end up shouting and roaring at each other over something that happened in a different country in a different party. So there’s probably a certain pressure not to go talking about it in public. Which isn’t entirely unreasonable.

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2013

I think you’re probably right few would interact though talking to SWPers i know personally they’re pretty disgusted with the carry on across the Irish sea and I’d tend to agree one can understand a reluctance for them to get into a potentially divisive discussion. Some statement would be no harm though.

13. Employment figures and recovery? | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - February 28, 2013

[...] Meanwhile, as noted by Jonathan in comments here… [...]

14. Joe - March 1, 2013

Does anyone else feel that the amount of RTE coverage of the resignation of the Pope is … too much?
The type of coverage gets me too.
RTE radio and tv journalists moving to Rome to cover the events, programmes being broadcast jointly from Dublin and Rome.
And the fawning coverage and the going into detail about the pomp and circumstances and Vatican protocols. Reminds me a bit of the British media and their royal family.
Yesterday too, on the radio, they had some chap going into detail about the pope’s last journey out of the Vatican … how he’ll say his prayers, get on the helicopter and go to Castelgondolfo, wherever that is. But yer man described how the Pope would be accompanied by this cardinal and that cardinal and this priest, his private secretary and so on… and then he’d say “and the four women”. He did it a couple of times, detailed descriptions of these clergymen who would be accompanying or doing business with the pope in his last hours in the Vatican and then another reference to “the four women”. I’m assuming nuns but what would I know? Clearly for this bloke it was quite enough to describe them as women. The word chattels (spelling?) came to mind.

LeftAtTheCross - March 1, 2013

That’s a spot on comparison to the British Royals Joe.

The Papacy is an imperialist hegemon. We were in Rome for a couple of days a few years ago on the family holiday and it was quite apparent that the imperial wealth of that city, which was accumulated over the centuries, on which the spleandour of the city was built, is little different to that of the other imperial capitals of London, Paris, Vienna etc.

The RC church is a machine for sucking wealth upwards out of society to maintain an imperial bureaucracy. In return it placates its servants through provision of social supports for those it considers worthy. For those it considers unworthy it also implements discipline and punishment. It is an imperial super state which transcends national borders.

All we’re missing is the media frenzy over the weddings of the heirs. Maybe the RC church should relax its celibacy laws and negotiate a media deal with Hello magazine for the coverage.

fergal - March 2, 2013

intersting point ther LATC- but weren’t the Italians (or the city states like Venice and not the Vatican) far more clever than the British or the French? Happy to set up trading post/ports and fotholds in Asia and the Middle East..never neediing to get into endless wars with the locals..obvious exception is Mussolini.
Doesn’t the modern banking system not come form the trading Italians? Even the word for bank is from “banco” a bench or a table where Venetian traders could buy and sell their spices.. over a table. Credit is form “credito”, debit from “debito” “giro” means a tour or round trip. Bankrupt is from”banco rotto” which means rotten bench/broken bench.
Wasn’t the coverage of the Italian election intersting on RTE? The country was in need of reform. not competitive. in decline for over twenty years etc etc and then in the same breath Italy has the third largest economy in Europe(bigger than France?Germany? or that paragon of competition and reform Britain?

Ghandi - March 1, 2013

I think it is far behind the massive positive coverage given to all things American including the hype around the Presidential elections, which have less interest to the majority who do after all ascribe to being Roman catholics so might be presumed to have some interwest in their leader.

LeftAtTheCross - March 1, 2013

Is he your leader Ghandi?

Ghandi - March 1, 2013

As you well know LATC I don’t have a leader, I make my own decisions. He is of course the head of the Church i am a member of.

Gewerkschaftler - March 1, 2013

I can imagine the RTE coverage – hushed and worthy with no analysis whatsoever.

Which is a shame, because the Catholic Church is an interesting monster facing a number of crises. Because it is so deeply embedded even now in the culture of Europe and the world it can’t be simply written off, whatever it’s manifold crimes and contradictions. It has many strands, not just that represented by Ratzinger and the Vatican.

And I don’t think sub-Dawkinite reactionary knee-jerk atheism (I say that as an atheist) should stop us considering the possibility that a significant number of believers – imbued with the spirit of the mad Rebbe from Nazereth – could be useful allies in the struggle against suicidal capitalism.

It has happened in the past, you know.

shea - March 2, 2013

” Because it is so deeply embedded even now in the culture of Europe and the world it can’t be simply written off, whatever it’s manifold crimes and contradictions . It has many strands, not just that represented by Ratzinger and the Vatican”

do any of the cardinals tipped represent any new strands in thinking. as i understand it they want a younger one and that rules a european out. any clothe the poor feed the hungry priests in the 3rd world would probably get shot before they made bishop or cardinal or would that be to pessimistic.

Anonist - March 3, 2013

The fella from Ghana is reputedly in favour of a financial transaction tax.

My Catholic Church correspondent (aka me Ma) reckons that changes will have to wait until the Pope after the next one.

Who knows how long that will be. Catholic affairs have a very long time perspective.

ejh - March 1, 2013

Four women take care of the papal apartment, including cooking.”

15. doctorfive - March 1, 2013

They’re pulling down part of what remains if the Berlin wall at the moment. Bit over the bridge from Kreuzberg into east. Apartments going up. Live here #eastsidegallery

LeftAtTheCross - March 1, 2013

Is that the bit in front of the O2? Tsk tsk tsk.

Tomboktu - March 2, 2013

I visited Berlin in October, and spent some at bits of the Wall (Mauer) but didn’t get to that part of the it. I visited Bernauer Straße, with its outdoor memorial and marking of tunnels, and the U-Bahn station with the photos and maps of the divided train network. It was interesting to overhear a Dad explaining the significance of the site to his 7- or 8-year-old, who seemed to me to struggle to get the point of the visit on a Sunday when he could have been playing.

The museum at Checkpoint Charlie is utterly missable. Although it has some interesting memorabilia, it also has a room dedicated to Ronald Reagan, and another paying homage to NATO.

The route of the Wall has been turned into a “Weg”, a marked walking route. I visited the southerly part of the Weg, at Glienicke Bridge at Potsdam, and walked some of the route of it in parkland outside Potsdam where there were some tiny exclaves of the DDR on the BDR side of the river. On another day, I headed north and did a substantial walk along the Weg.
from Hermsdorf. Part of the rural walk passes along a field where a camp for Ostarbeiter — “east workers” — forced labourers taken by the Nazis from Soviet Union once stood. If it were not for the information on the Berliner Mauer website, you would not kno that at least 700 people died there when they became too ill to work.

I’d like to go back and walk the full length of the Mauerweg some day.

LeftAtTheCross - March 2, 2013

That museum at Checkpoint Charlie is indeed miserable. Did you visit the DDR museum down by the river at the end of Karl Liebknecht Strasse? It’s in the same complex as the aquarium and despite being a total tourist trap it gives a far more even handed view of life in the DDR than one would pick up from a visit to the Checkpoint Charlie museum.

I sympathise with that 8 year old. We spent a fortnight in the city with the kids and by the end of the holiday they were sick of the bloody wall and museums. If you go back there I’d reccommend a visit to the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen. It’s on the s-bahn north of the city. It’s interesting as a museum in terms of the nazi holocaust fof course, but it has a layered interest in the sense that it has been turned into a museum of a museum, in that it looks at how the huseum was used in the DDR as part of the anti-fascist narrative, and goes into the post-war discussion of how to position the museum, what emphasis to accentuate etc. Good to see complexity in a museum, again contrasted with the simplistic good-vs-evil narrative of the Checkpoint Charlie exhibition.

Anonist - March 3, 2013

The protest is part of a much wider protest against the rise in rents in the new centre of Imperial Mercantilism.

The many poor Berliners, who struggle to live on poorly paid precarious work and a punative (Hartz IV) social welfare system, are being forced out especially of the inner city by speculators. The old old story.

Resistance is growing and some of the tenants associations have a solid anti-neo-lib analysis.

Take for example the journal of the Berlin Tenants association – The Tenants Echo. Which leads off with an editorial entitled “Public funds swept clean [while] private wealth continues to grow.”

16. Starkadder - March 1, 2013

“Girls Gone Wild” is now “Men Gone Bankrupt”- the infamous
p*rn company has filed for Chapter 11:


WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2013

Hmmm… too much stuff on ti’internet I presume?

17. Anonist - March 3, 2013

In case you haven’t seen it, Il Divo is an extraordinary portrayal of the man who above all shaped modern Italian post-democratic politics – the insectoid Andreotti. At some point if I recall rightly someone says ‘the man has more than something of the alien about him.’ He is also the man about whom his own mother said ‘when you have nothing good to say about someone, you should remain silent.’

It is more a portrayal of the Christian Democrat psyche and it’s claustrophobic power-complexes than an thoroughgoing analysis of the man’s connections with the CIA/Mafia/P2 and the dubiousness of the Moro affair – although they are more than hinted at.

Recommended and all the actors are superb.

18. CMK - March 3, 2013

Nick Cohen has a profoundly disingenuous column in today’s ‘Observer’ defending the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He compounds his disingenuousness by citing Ian McEwan’s novel ‘Saturday’ to imply, in effect, that those of us who protested against the oncoming conflict on February 15 2003 were indifferent to the suffering of Iraqis under Saddam. The human cost of the Iraqi invasion and its aftermath has equalled and probably surpassed that of Saddam’s regime. No mention of the post 1991 siege and its impact on Iraqi society; no mention of the profound instability in Iraq to this day with bombings a daily occurrence. Most cynically, he brings into focus the current crisis in Syria and uses it as a stick to, he thinks, beat those opposed to Western military intervention. And yet Syria encapsulates all that is wrong with the ‘decent’ Left. No awareness that these regimes often have a social base and considerable popular support. That the groups who will succeed the deposed strongmen in the Middle East, as we’re seeing in Egypt, are not liberals or democrats or socialists but Islamists whose political objectives are diametrically opposed to the world view of Cohen and his ilk. That the West continues to put its geopolitical and economic interests above all other considerations, when it comes to this region. And that Western support for the despots from the 1960s to the present was and is a key factor in generating and sustaining the multitude of Islamist groups who are now contending in Libya, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. It’s laughable, in a very dark way, that for instance when the ‘decent’ Left was in its pomp in Britain 2003-2007 that the UK’s intelligence services were at the same time rendering people to Ghadaffi for torture. Cohen has obviously learned nothing since 2003. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/03/10-years-right-invaded-iraq

19. Starkadder - March 3, 2013

One is tempted to wonder, if Cohen felt so strongly about
Saddam, why he didn’t join the UK Armed Forces. At least
put his money where his mouth is- after all, look at all the 1930s
leftist writers who went to Spain, often putting their own lives in danger in the process (Auden, Hemingway, Orwell, Sylvia Townsend
Warner, Martha Gellhorn).

CMK - March 3, 2013

That, to me, is the ultimate condemnation of the ‘decent’ Left. None of them left their comfortable lives in the UK and went to Iraq to put into practice what they were preaching. Unlike, as you noted, others on the Left who did go to danger zones like Orwell in Spain, but also those who went to Central America in the 1980s and others who took part in activities with the ANC. Their – the ‘decent’ Left, that is – is exposed at a stroke as they knew that the US was unleashing hell in Iraq and having all of the Iraqi trade unionists over to speak in London, and hoping to guilt trip others on the Left, couldn’t make up for their lack of basic solidarity in not going to Iraq itself. They knew Iraq was hell from 2003/4 to 2007/8 and they weren’t going to sacrifice themselves in building that country. Shameful really.

20. Starkadder - March 3, 2013

There’s also the tragic case of Lieutenant Mark Daily, who
died in Iraq. Daily joined up because he was a great admirer
of Hitchens and was inspired by his pro-Iraq war screeds:


CL - March 3, 2013

‘some of Daily’s blood is on his hands.’. Yes.

21. Tomboktu - March 3, 2013

This BBC Radio 4 programme might interest

Vulgar Keynesianism

Duration: 30 minutes

First broadcast: Monday 25 February 2013

Roberto Unger is an American-based thinker who is highly critical of the current ideas from left-of-centre politicians and thinkers about how to restore advanced economies to healthy growth. His devastating attack last summer on what he saw as the shortcomings of President Obama’s plans for a second term made him an overnight internet sensation.

For Unger, what he and others call “vulgar Keynesianism” – the idea that governments should spend more money to stimulate growth and create jobs – has little left to offer. It is unlikely to have a big enough impact and will disappoint both politicians and voters.

Instead, he argues, those who think of themselves as progressive need to think much more boldly and creatively. And this applies not just to ideas about the economy but also to politics and democratic institutions. What he sees as a drab, predictable – and failed – approach needs a complete overhaul.

In this edition of “Analysis”, Tim Finch talks to Roberto Unger about his critique of left-of-centre thinking. He asks him to justify his criticisms of current ideas and to set out his alternative vision. Tim then discovers from figures on the left here in Britain how they react to Unger’s approach and how likely it is that “vulgar Keynesianism” will give way to something new.

Among those taking part: Jon Cruddas, MP; Sonia Sodha; Tamara Lothian; Stuart White and David Hall-Matthews.

Link to the programme page where you can listen online here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qw93v

22. EWI - March 3, 2013

Alan Shatter – put in Defence, but acts as if he’s the Minister for Foreign Affairs:


(Of course, it is completely conincidental that Mr. Shatter’s areas of interest coincide so exactly with those of Israel)

Dr. X - April 18, 2013

The trouble with that sort of comment is that it could all too easily be interpreted as motivated by anti-semitism. I mean, Shatter is a public and unapologetic Zionist. But where you tread dangerously close to the line is when you suggest (or appear to suggest – I don’t think this was your intention) that his politics, and his actions as an Irish defence minister, are determined by the fact that he happens to be Jewish.

23. EWI - March 3, 2013

The PD Remnant school of economics goes for gold:


It’s almost as if they actively want recession.

24. CL - March 4, 2013

Longish piece in the FT on the Irish crisis,-turning the corner again, perhaps..

“So long as the Irish people show a willingness to put up with the vicissitudes of austerity, bondholders can be pretty confident of getting their money back.”


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