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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week October 13, 2013

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.

A stunning victory for Marc Coleman, blowing all comers out of the water.

A budget for jobs, business and growth, or a Budget for Labour? Or, just possibly, a Budget for both? Given what we know, Budget 2014 so far looks more a case of Labour’s way than Middle Ireland’s. The fact that Jack O’Connor – unelected Marxist Leninist Jack O’Connor – led the call last week for a lower-than-agreed budgetary adjustment (€2.5bn instead of €3.1bn) and got his way is telling. No matter how unpopular with the voters, Labour still allows its powerful allies to call the shots.

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1. Jack Jameson - October 13, 2013

Never mind the rest, “unelected Marxist Leninist Jack O’Connor” – really, Marc Coleman?

crocodileshoes - October 13, 2013

Coleman is even more unelected than O’Connor, in that he was rejected by the enlightened Seanad electorate of Dublin University.

WorldbyStorm - October 13, 2013

I was just thinking the same, in terms of siptu surely O’C has much more democratic legitimacy…

Guardian - October 13, 2013

Hmmm democtraic legitimacy. Well, yeah. About as much of that as the elected president of Macra na Feirme or the Irish Countrywomen’s Association.
Which is to say none.
(In this constitutional democracy of ours …)
BTW I can send you a copy of Bunreacht na hÉireann if you need to brush up on your understanding of democractic legitimacy?

sonofstan - October 13, 2013

“Posters on other forums may seek to interpret constitutional democracy: the point is to change it”

WorldbyStorm - October 13, 2013

I’m searching in vain for the place where I mentioned votes for O’C in the context ‘constitutional democracy’ Guardian.

Guardian - October 14, 2013

Split hairs much?
What other type of democratic legitimacy is worth a candle, was the point. Self-selecting group can elect whomever they like, anointing them with whatever grandiose titles they care to dream up, but that’s pretty meaningless to anyone outside the group. If Coleman were elected chief bottle-washer of his chapter of the Donahey & Nesbitt’s toastmasters, would it confer any more or less democratic legitimacy on his views?
@Sos: hmmm, I can’t imagine a more dystopian future for democracy based on universal sufferage, than it being supplanted by the type of non-contested opaque shams that often pass for internal union elections.

WorldbyStorm - October 14, 2013

Guardian, as a former director of a company I’m aware that even they attempt to have some semblance of democracy – though I’d be deeply critical of just how much a sham it actually is in practice – at that level, as do most organisations one can think of. This is welcome. And as it becomes a norm it is increasingly so. It is entirely appropriate that democratic structures be set in place in pretty much all entities where decisions are made, indeed as a democrat – wedded not merely to ‘constitutional democracy’ (though that too), I am fully supportive and active in arguing for precisely that outcome.

Which is why like it or not O’C has more democratic legitimation than Marc Coleman. And it has precisely nothing to do with constitutional democracy.

Does that mean that O’C should have as much authority as the government? Have I argued, implied or stated that? No, I haven’t. And I don’t believe that he should or that that is the case. However he represents a large number of citizens and as such it is also entirely appropriate that that should be taken into account, whether to a greater or lesser extent is a subject of legitimate discussion.

Tomboktu - October 14, 2013

A union leader calls for a national policy line and it is “telling”.

I have yet to see the Sunday Independent decribe as “telling” the situation that arises when IBEC calls for the government to take a policy line.

More telling, to my mind, is that senior officials in gvoernment departments meet senior representatives of business leaders in a formal structure that is not afforded to representatives of citizens, workers, or consumers.

sonofstan - October 14, 2013

Universal sufferage


hardcorefornerds - October 14, 2013

It has an interesting echo in the post below on here, where the SWP/PBPA denounce how “The control of the unions by the Labour Party – Jack O’Connor sits on the Labour Party executive – has been key to disrupting and holding back resistance”. Basically accurate I suppose but interesting to see him as a bogeyman for both right and left.

hardcorefornerds - October 14, 2013

or inaccurate, sorry: http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/a-call-for-left-unity-from-the-swp/#comment-184095
I’d tend towards the view anyway that both the Labour Party and ‘weak’ unions are both symptoms of the same cause, which is the general social attachment to neoliberalism.

Garibaldy - October 14, 2013

This is the point, unfortunately. Alternative protests are hardly getting mass numbers out. I suspect that amongst some there is a tendency to claim that there is much more will to resist than there actually is.

CMK - October 14, 2013

I wish it were so simple. There are flashes when there is some broad support for resistance to austerity. Early 2012 with the Household Tax and early this year when Croke Park II was announced. On both occasions the unions, quite deliberately walked away where they were not actively working to undermine resistance. Like it or not, people are not going to resist when they see that not even the unions are on their side. Also most trade union officials and activists have fully absorbed the dissimulation necessary to be, at the same time, both strident rhetorical opponents of austerity and enforcers for austerity. An example would be last week’s SIPTU conference where there were attacks on the ‘extreme Left’ by speakers, while behind the podium was an enormous banner showing two revolutionary socialists, one who became a member of Comintern. Trying to draw on a tradition of radical struggle while simultaneously working to ensure ordinary people bear the brunt of austerity – which is what the unions are doing – is not sustainable without some economic upturn soon. When people are getting crazily mixed messages from what are supposed to be the vehicles for defending working workers rights it’s no wonder there is no struggle. We don’t even need ‘mass’ resistance, we just need a substantial, organised and determined minority with SOME backing from the unions. The unions will not, under any circumstances, provide that backing. The long term consequences will be to nurture the cynicism about the union movement that the media are cultivating. I’ve probably said this here before but a long struggle, even if it ended with a defeat, is infinitely preferable to this suppression of the class war which the unions are currently doing. I you fight and lose you retain some dignity; if you are denied the opportunity to fight while watching your living and working standards decline year on year, then, well, cynicism and scapegoating are often the only options.

2. Jonathan R - October 13, 2013

Nicky Larkin’s craven apologia for Bono is worth a mention: “But like it or not, over the past 30 years, the little man [Bono] and his band have become the first thing people around the world associate with Ireland. And it’s generally positive. We could forever have been associated with men in flares getting accused of terrorism. But then U2 became bigger than the IRA, particularly in America.”

sonofstan - October 13, 2013

‘Bigger than the IRA, particularly in America’

Because in some other territories, the ‘Ra were still shifting more units?

Johnny Forty Coats - October 13, 2013

Spot on about the IRA’s poor sense of style though. The only well dressed Provo I can recall was Maria Maguire – and she ended up as a Tory councillor in, I think, Croydon.

WorldbyStorm - October 13, 2013

JFC, that’s an amazing story which I wasn’t aware of re Maguire.

Michael Carley - October 13, 2013
Chet Carter - October 13, 2013

To be fair to the Provos, it was all about the music not being the latest fashion.

sonofstan - October 13, 2013


citizenpartridge - October 14, 2013

Larkin is an awful hack regardless, fancying himself as a ‘contrarian’, but isn’t that line about men in flares basically just lifted from Alan Partridge? ‘Men in platform shoes being arrested for bombings’?

Ed - October 14, 2013

Isn’t there a little bit of Partridge in so many Sindo columnists, from Brendan O’Connor to Barry Egan.

Ghandi - October 14, 2013

Theres a name from the past, remember reading her book many moons ago “to take arms” about her arms buying trips with Daithi O’Connell

Jonathan R - October 14, 2013

From Wikiquote: When trying to conjure up images of ‘real Irish people’ Alan Partridge includes: “Bucktoothed simpletons with eyebrows on their cheeks… horses running through council estates… men in platform shoes being arrested for bombings… badly tarmacced drives in THIS country.”

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