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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week December 8, 2013

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

Brendan O’Connor has a seasonal twist on the “we all partied” line. It’s all part of a convoluted condemnation of the ESB workers.

So the people of the kingdom kept working, and they were happy, and they never had to throw a tantrum. But King Bertie knew that if he stopped giving the people who worked for the kingdom sweeties, they would stop working and have a tantrum, so he kept giving them more sweeties. And the people got used to having as many sweeties as they wanted. They even decided that sweeties grew on trees, and that they would always have more than they could ever eat. And so they all started swapping their sweeties for gold, and even the poor people started collecting more and more gold and giving more and more sweeties for it, until, one day, the people found they had no more sweeties and they had too much gold and no one wanted to buy the gold anymore. But still, even though this put a dark shadow over the land, there was peace in the land and no one had a tantrum.

Perhaps the most glib response to the death of Nelson Mandela is Niamh Horan’s column. The opening line makes says it all.

How many men could relegate Bono and Bill Clinton to standing like wallflowers in a room full of beautiful women?

The stupidest reaction, however, comes from Eoghan Harris, who reduces everything once again to a familiar theme.

EVERY hero becomes a bore at last says Brecht. Nelson Mandela has escaped that fate so far. But the saturation coverage of his heroic life is helping Sinn Fein, and indeed Irish society, to hide from all the awkward questions raised by the Smithwick Report.

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1. Gerard Murphy (@gfmurphy101) - December 8, 2013

Of course the SINDO continue their union bashing , they were at it in 1913 & as this article shows, part of the same company were at it in 1984 too…..but sometimes it can be exposed for the ideological driven propaganda that it is

EamonnCork - December 8, 2013

Great, great find Gf.
I also saw a tweet saying we should remember the action of former Irish rugby internationals Moss Keane and Tony Ward in refusing to tour South Africa. Which struck me as a bit unfair to the vast majority of Irish internationals who did tour in 1981, when we were the first country to do so since 1976, earning the plaudits of the South African sports minister for being, “South Africa’s best friends,” and being hailed by South African rugby’s President Danie Craven as, “an example to the rest of the world.” Current Labour Party Councillor Gerry McLoughlin felt so strongly about the need to show solidarity with our friends in South Africa that he quit his job to do so. While there the Irish team refused to meet with an Irish citizen who was being evicted from his home in South Africa by the government because of anti-apartheid activities. The whole thing was probably the most shameful episode in Irish sporting history. McLoughlin or the IRFU have never expressed a word of apology.
There is a segment of Irish society whose attitudes to apartheid would have been reflected by the IRFU rather than the Dunnes Stores strikers and who, then as now, enjoy more political power and influence. It’s a bit sickening to see them trying to camouflage their support for Apartheid by hiding behind the legacy of Mary Manning and her comrades.
As regards the Dunnes Stores strike, the strikers spoke of being abused by customers as ‘nigger lovers,’ of being visited by the Special Branch who regarded them as subversives and of being manhandled by Gardaí. Ben Dunne, who flat out refused to deal with them, is still a media presence and no-one ever has the bad taste to ask him about his Apartheid supporting days. The support for the strikers largely came from the ‘Lefties’ the commentators wallowing in Mandela worship over the past few days are usually so quick to disparage.
Brian Hanley wrote a fine article on the reaction in Limerick to the South African rugby visit in 1970 which is well worth reading. The best article I’ve read on the strike was written by Joanne Spain, then a terrific journalist later a Dail candidate, in An Phoblacht a few years back.

Gerard Murphy (@gfmurphy101) - December 8, 2013

Great piece Eamonn….I can’t claim it as my find, it was a guy I follow on Twitter dug it up, he was doing some research on the dispute….but I was not sure if I should attach his name to it…..

WorldbyStorm - December 8, 2013

+1 to you both. I get the coverage – one way or another he was an historic figure, but it’s sheer hypocrisy given the stance of some media outlets during that period to the ANC and Mandela and the apartheid regime itself to promote themselves as they do now in relation to him.

You don’t know if that Spain piece is on the AP archive online do you EC?

Eamonncork - December 8, 2013

I’d say it should be Wbs. It was three or four years ago which is when I read it.

WorldbyStorm - December 8, 2013


irishelectionliterature - December 8, 2013

Brian Hanleys piece mentioned by EamonnCork above.. http://www.limerick.eu/media/1970%20springboks%20tour.pdf

ejh - December 8, 2013

Why the manuscript-style script?

Mark P - December 9, 2013

Pinched a big lump of this comment for a Facebook comment, Eamonn. It’s great stuff.

doctorfive - December 9, 2013

Been suggested that the Indo editorial was written by John Feeney

2. CL - December 8, 2013

Is Brendan O’Connor plagiarizing Stephen Kinsella?

‘Who wants sweeties? Imagine the State as a sweetie distribution mechanism. Within the system, if you do the right things and be nice to the right people, sweeties will be yours.’
Stephen Kinsella.

3. Dr. X - December 8, 2013

I tangled with that . . .person. . . Stephen Kinsella. . . on this site a few years ago.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled on this gem in the Financial Times:

” The Irish economist Stephen Kinsella gave advice on pensions: “Stock up on canned goods and shotguns.””


4. Jonathan - December 8, 2013

Emer O’Kelly on Brendan Ogle, Asti members, and the members of the ESB group of unions: “When people are driven by ideology, individuals are their pawns. Truth, in the old cliche, is the first casualty. And when ideology and greed take over, the ideologues triumph, because they have divided decent people and made them indifferent to their fellow human beings and their rights.” This from a writer for the Sunday Independent, in an article which seems to imply that we should honour the memory of the 1913 Lockout by bringing in laws to ban strikes? http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/emer-okelly-pampered-teachers-and-spoiled-esb-workers-disgrace-legacy-of-lockout-29819295.html

Garibaldy - December 8, 2013

Great spot Jonathan. Looks like we have found this year’s winner from the same column.

“They might also reflect that in a democracy, the draconian way can sometimes be the moral way: such as passing laws which forbid workers in essential services (and that includes education) to strike. It would be a sad day in a country which claims to believe in the dignity of the individual. But it might become necessary.”

Eamonncork - December 8, 2013

The more you look at this, the more disgustingly nutty it is. You’re right Garibaldy, I can’t see any way that will ever be beaten.

Garibaldy - December 8, 2013

If this were a goal, the footballer who scored it would be seriously contemplating walking off the pitch, never to return.

Eamonncork - December 8, 2013

It’s SISSOTW distilled down to its essence. So powerfully and potently stupid it should be specially packaged , advertised by a black and white ad of O’Kelly and Harris walking across a beach at dusk and sold in a limited edition of 250 at an exorbitant price to special customers.
L’eau D’Emer, Pour l’imbecile.

5. Eamonncork - December 8, 2013

Wonderful stuff. Emer O’Kelly’s use of the phrase, ‘in the old cliche, is the finest example of tautology you’ll ever see.

6. 6to5against - December 8, 2013

Whats gobsmacking about all of this anti-union stuff is that the writers seem to be entirely unaware of the enornous victory they have won over the last few years. They have managed to introduce huge pay cuts and significant changes to terms + conditions and they have done so without any real industrial unrest. Beyond that, the unions have actually acted as their enforcers for large parts of this.

Lucinda, last week, praised ther German SPD for introducing wage cuts and pension changes and compared them to the apparent radicals we have in charge in ireland. And yet she must be aware that the same has happened here, with far less resistance.

They’re going to attack and attack and attack. Its all they know. Despite everuthing that has happened, there have been a number of calls this week to ban strikes in more and more sections of society.

The fact that power cuts are an integral part of any electricity suply system seems to escape them, as they recoil in horror from the fact that there might be cuts next week. Every inconvenience will be paraded as evidence of ‘chaos’, and show how the power of the unions must be curbed.

Its all beyond parody.

WorldbyStorm - December 8, 2013

Beyond parody is precisely it… Did you see Eddie Molly’s missive in the SBP about how Haddington Road was only the start under the heading ‘Time for Reform’!

7. 6to5against - December 8, 2013

I’ve just read the OKelly piece again and it is incredible how many errors of fact it contains. Just some…

This is the 2nd Asti ballot on HR, not the 3rd.
The vote is on accepting or rejecting HR. it is not abut strike action.
There has in fact been no mention of strike action.
Asti members have been carrying out S+S, she says they haven’t.
There is no proposed payment for this work for 3years. She says other unions are already being paid.
The fact that it might carry a payment in 3 years has always been part of HR, though she says it wasn’t.
RQuinn has not threatened sackings. He has threatened redundancies.

This could all have been checked in 10 minutes, but she just didn’t bother. What utter incompetence and dishonesty.

WorldbyStorm - December 8, 2013

That’s a brilliant deconstruction 6to5against.

EamonnCork - December 8, 2013

It’s like with the Lucinda piece Wbs posted up the other day. Not true but ‘truthy.’

8. Mark P - December 9, 2013

Speaking of right wing wankers and the unions:

If any of you boys and girls are thirsty for the delicious tears of right wingers, shed in horror at the apparent victory of the ESB workers, they are flowing freely over in thejournal’s comments section.

Eamonncork - December 9, 2013

Thanks for that Mark, a feast of comedy as a bunch of right wing twits who can’t distinguish between ‘they’re’ ‘their’ and ‘there’ howl in outrage at the inconvenience caused to everyone by a strike that never happened. You gotta laugh, intcha?

9. CMK - December 9, 2013

Or, if you want a laugh and a get to know some of budding fascists, check out the ‘NO to the ESB Strike’ on Facebook…. Have fun, if you do!

Mark P - December 9, 2013

In a way it’s actually interesting that they only got 2,200 Facebook “likes” for that page. I suspect that the inability of the person running it to keep the more obviously rabid elements of his/her worldview in check limited its appeal.

10. Jack Jameson - December 9, 2013

Heard RTÉ Industry Correspondent Ingrid Miley on News saying how “concessions to the trade unions” in new legislation would have been made more difficult by an ESB strike. Concessions? RTÉ – voice of the Establishment status quo as ever.

11. richotto - December 9, 2013

I think its incumbent on all of us to form an opinion on each industrial relations situation on its merits. In the ESB dispute I was struck that most of the public seemed to have an appreciation of the issue which is fairness towards workers even highly paid ones looking to protect a defined benefit pension system and anything that was thrown in the media at Brendan Ogle and the Unions clearly did’nt work this time. Other recent disputes are not regarded with such empathy and rightly so. Power particularly by Unions in manopoly situations should be exercised with due regard to what outsiders can see as justifyable and not just a matter of what you can get away with. I thought the ESB Unions all along behaved with admirable consideration and only did something when they had to.

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