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7/4 – good no-deal Brexit odds? February 21, 2018

Posted by Citizen of Nowhere in Uncategorized.

The non-Citizen has been unwell for the last while, but in between lying low and marvelling at the rainbow colours of my expectoration, my thoughts turned to a little flutter on the Brexit outcome.

Now every World and European Cup at work we play a game of predicting the outcomes in detail match by match, as well as the last 8 etc.  Knowing about as much about international football as I do about bobsleigh racing, I cheat and go for the most likely result as predicted by the odds given by a certain large Irish bookmaker.

This strategy has been remarkably successful so far.  I have thereby gained an utterly undeserved reputation as someone who ‘knows their football’.  I only go down in the league when I let sentiment get the better of me and predict on the basis of personal prejudice.

With this in mind I looked at said bookmaker’s predictions for the outcome of Brexit.  Bookmakers are in it to make a profit rather than push a particular political line and they need good ahem ‘intelligence’ aka insider knowledge and analysis to avoid going bankrupt.

So said bookmaker is giving 7/4 on “No Brexit deal to be reached before April 1st 2019”.  So let’s assume their estimation of the odds minus commission are about 2/1.

That seems to me about right.  And here’s why:  we now know that there are 65 hardline Tory Brexiteers who will boot out the Maybot if they don’t get the hard Brexit they want.  For them a no-deal Brexit is a win.  And they are in the immensely fortunate position of having time on their side.

Anyone who has played party or office politics knows that delay is the easiest tactic to arrange.  All the 65 have to do is ensure that there is no consensus in the British government and the non-process of the last 20 months continues.  Whether under the Maybot’s exemplary leadership or someone else.  They only have to hold out for a further 13 months.

The EU can’t force the British government to come up with a workable plan or even a non-fairydust picture of what they want, and the appetite for putting more effort into doing so is waning on the EU side.  And even if there were any significant appetite in the opposition to make a fight out of Brexit, votes of no confidence can’t force a British government to go to the country in an election.

So 7/4 of no deal in April 2019 seems to me reasonably good odds.  What do the CLR crowd think?


Unsustainable? February 21, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Ah, Kate (the ROI should pay for any hard border) Hoey, the most unlikely Labour MP, though there’s some competition admittedly for that title, is at it again.

“I think there is a need for a cold rational look at the Belfast agreement,” Hoey said in the Huffington Post on Monday. “Mandatory coalition is not sustainable in the long term … We need to face reality – Sinn Féin don’t particularly want a successful Northern Ireland. They want a united Ireland,” she continued.

Given Hoey has been a unionist throughout much of her career – bar a youthful dabbling in far-left politics, perhaps we should not be surprised . There’s something remarkably reactionary about her policy positions. And Simon Coveney is right to call her ‘reckless’.
One aspect of Hoey’s approach which I find fascinating is encapsulated in the following:

“It’s because there’s a total lack of understanding of the pro-union community in Northern Ireland by most of the liberal media in this country and by the liberal establishment.
“And they have a pre-ordained view of what a unionist looks like. I’m pro-union, I’ll do anything to make sure that the United Kingdom has Northern Ireland as an integral part of it on the same terms as any other part of the United Kingdom when we leave the EU.”


Hoey is optimistic about Brexit, which she believes will definitely happen, and about the future of UK-Irish relations after Britain leaves the EU.
But when I ask if she feels Irish as well as British, she hesitates. “I like some Irish music, I like Daniel O’Donnell. Does that make me Irish?”

The point isn’t that she has to feel at all Irish – if she doesn’t that’s entirely fine. It is that she is unwilling or unable to work through the logic of her own position in relation to those who are not pro-union and to almost ignore, or actually functionally ignore, their existence and their legitimacy. So often I feel in thinking about responses to Northern Ireland there’s the necessity – particularly for republicans – to keep in mind that there is a pro-union community, but precisely the same holds true in regard to keeping in mind there is a pro-unity community. Reflecting that both have valid and legitimate concerns and interests as well as, one might hope, shared concerns and interests with one another requires that well short of unity there is a necessity to shape contexts where as best as is able it is possible to allow both identities expression. The problem with Hoey and those like her is that that very idea is regarded as a threat – whereas given the nature of current and future demographic and other change it should be seized upon as an opportunity to ensure that the British and non-nationalist aspects of identity can be safeguarded both well short and on into some sort of unitary state or settlements.

Anyhow, what is also concerning is that there’s more than one voice raised saying similar stuff… The Guardian notes:

Her comments, coming swiftly after similar comments made by the former Conservative Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson and pro-Brexit MEP Daniel Hannan, were also roundly condemned by Labour’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Owen Smith, who questioned their timing.

Hannan’s intervention is particularly entertaining. For in speaking of the following he ignores that his party is in a de facto confidence and supply arrangement with one party he criticises.

He added the deal “represented a bribe to two sets of hardliners” before saying power-sharing was little more than a “permanent grand coalition” which he objected to “on democratic grounds”.
“It’s unhealthy to have the same people in office all the time,” he said. 

Yeah. Hmmm… right.

As one person commenting on it noted, there is a base reason behind a lot of this which is that the BA/GFA represents a real threat to a hard Brexit. Indeed it and the border and the partition of this island is a continuing reminder that Brexit ignored the realities of this island entirely.

Brexit sharks circle and other matters February 21, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Richard North on EUReferendum drew attention to this curious story, one that underscores the fragility of supply chains in the present period (and how under this Brexit, and as ever keep in mind North is a leaver, that fragility will be exacerbated or possibly worse).

KFC was forced into closing many of its restaurants in the UK after it ran out of chicken. 
Branches in Bristol, Berkshire, Cheshire, Devon, Newcastle, Suffolk and Surrey were all affected by an issue with the chain’s new delivery partner. 
Signs were placed on the doors of KFC outlets around the country saying the restaurants were closed due to a “a few hiccups with the delivery today”. 


A KFC spokesperson said: “We’ve brought a new delivery partner on board, but they’ve had a couple of teething problems – getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants is pretty complex.
“We won’t compromise on quality, so several of our restaurants in the UK are either closed, have a reduced menu, or shortened hours over the weekend.
A small thing, for sure, but a sign of the times.

Meanwhile, speaking of North, he has a good overview of the machinations of the libertarian right on both sides of the Atlantic in their efforts to pursue a UK/UK free trade deal.

On the American side, we have the AEI, the Cato Institute, the Manhattan Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The Cato Institute – which was founded by billionaire oil refiner, Charles Koch – is planning to write the first draft of an “ideal” trade agreement between the UK and the US.

On this side of the Atlantic, we have the IEA, the Legatum Institute (rather predictably), the Adam Smith Institute, Civitas and the Policy Exchange – which hosted foreign secretary Johnson’s Brexit speech last week.

What an unlovable crew. And one unmoored to reality. As North notes again, those who champion a life outside the EU in relation to free trade appear blissfully unaware of one or two key facts.

…as Booker first noted back in 2013, under the heading “Forget Brussels – now we are ruled by the giants of Geneva”, what no UK politicians seem to have noticed is the revolution whereby so much EU regulation now originates from global bodies even higher than Brussels, which merely passes it on.

At the time, Efta had just reported that “more than 90 percent” of the EU’s single market rules now came from UN and other global bodies, such as the OECD, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), all of which had to be faithfully transcribed into EU law.

To the enthusiasts at Cato et al these are but details, but curious how they don’t seem to want to engage with them. But North points to the real reason for much of this:

Not content merely to leave the European Union, these people are seeking to exploit it as an opportunity to promote their own political doctrines, based on the notions of free trade and minimal regulation, supposedly guided by the model of the economy in Singapore.

Having met most of the players on both sides of the Atlantic, and known and followed their work for decades, one is struck not by their grasp of the subject but by their most profound ignorance of how the global trading system actually works.

But this ignorance is doctrine-based. They know nothing of the system because they don’t want to know. Ultimately, they are wreckers, determined to tear down the existing order and replace it with their own.

The EU is, as we know all too well, no great shakes. Many of us here want it utterly reformed, or eventually replaced. I know I do. But if I were in the UK today and faced with what are possible potential outcomes of the Brexit process I think I’d be more concerned again with what may be coming down the track.
And some of this points to medium term threats too (which North regards as a real danger to a rational Brexit):

Their initial targets, as the Guardian points out, are food and agricultural standards and public procurement. In the second grouping, the glittering prize is access to NHS contracts for US health care enterprises, leading to charge that the Brexit agenda conceals a plot to privatise the NHS.

Inasmuch as this right wing grouping would indeed wish to see the break-up of the NHS, there is some truth in the charge, although it cannot be said that this ambition represents the Brexit movement as a whole, or even a significant part of it.

It would be more accurate to say that Brexit is being exploited for doctrinaire purposes – a complication we could do without, not least because it fuels left wing hostility to EU withdrawal. Linking Brexit with a plot to dismantle the NHS could be a powerful weapon for remainers determined to reverse the referendum result.

Labour and Left Transfers February 21, 2018

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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Reading a book which had the results of the 1989 General Election (and European Elections) it had a section on “Inter-Left Transfers” . Labour had transferred well to the WP but there were more WP non transferable votes than transfers to Labour.
Labour would have in the past had a transfer pact with Fine Gael and indeed in 1997 one with Fine Gael and Democratic Left. Pretty sure there was an Inter Party Government transfer pact also in 1951. I had a look through old leaflets and couldn’t find any transfer pacts involving the Left and Labour (other than DL in 1997) .
Anyone know if Labour ever asked for transfers to the WP or another Left wing party?
In recent times there has been quite a bit of Left Transfer pacts. Aside from Solidarity-PBP , there were requests for transfers on both sides between the WP and PBP, the Right2Change platform at the last General Election saw a request for transfers between SF and all sorts (although AAA(Solidarity) were omitted).

A New Addition. February 21, 2018

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Interesting new addition to The Social Democrats. Former Sinn Fein Councillor June Murphy has joined them.
Reading the article I see that Cllr Joe Harris (Brother of Eoghan) also joined them a while back.
Could the Social Democrats become a home for more of the growing list of ex SF Councillors?

What you want to say – 21st February, 2018 February 21, 2018

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.

The EU: talking of peace – preparing for war February 20, 2018

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

he EU: talking of peace – preparing for war.
Sponsored by PANA and the People’s Movement.

The Oak Room, Mansion House 17 February 2018.

Speakers: Lynn Boylan, MEP, Senator Frances Black.

Ireland has now joined PESCO – the embryo EU Army. There will be TDs, MEPs and speakers from other EU countries including Denmark – the only country to have an opt out from EU military shenanigans.

Topics include: The latest Developments in the Militarisation of the EU, The cost to Ireland of EU militarisation, The EU, NATO and War and Building a National and European Peace Movement.

Speakers: Lave Broch, People’s Movement Denmark, Luke Ming Flanagan MEP, Lynn Boylan, MEP, Seamus Healy TD, Thomas Pringle TD, Gino Kenny TD, Eamon Ryan TD, Senator Alice Mary Higgins, Dr Karen Devine.

Find out more about the cost to Ireland of membership, both in financial, diplomatic and especially human terms. We will be increasing our military budget by around €2.5bn per annum. Just think of the hospital waiting lists, the housing emergency etc.

Red Smear February 20, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Haven’t mentioned the ridiculous red smear that was attempted against Corbyn the last few weeks. If anyone was less likely to be a patsy of the StB (Czech intelligence service during the Cold War) it would, one think, be Corbyn, who from his ideological orientation was rather antagonistic to ‘orthodox’ communism. There’s a real stupidity in some of the comments to various pieces on this.

But telling too how the Tories have attempted to use this. And really, one has to marvel at May’s response:

Earlier, Theresa May also addressed the allegations about Corbyn and Czech intelligence. She said: “It’s for individual members of parliament to be accountable for their actions in the past. Where there are allegations of this sort, members of parliament should be prepared to be open and transparent.”


NollaigO has a link to a most interesting site which details one B. Johnson’s doings… and as NollaigO notes:

While various politicians and newspapers will continually refer to what Jeremy Corbyn is alleged to have said or done in the (often distant) past, they are reluctant to apply the same scrutiny to Boris Johnson.
Below is a link to a pamphlet by the late Heathcote William showing what they cover up by “..assembling a blistering charge sheet against his target: climate change denial, dishonesty, hypocrisy, incompetence, racism, violence, ‘remorseless self-promotion’, ‘a ruthless and often cruel ambition together with elitism and a ferocious temper when challenged’.. ”

British Socialism: The Grand Tour February 20, 2018

Posted by guestposter in History, Socialism.
1 comment so far

BBC Radio 4 is running a series on “British Socialism: The Grand Tour”. It consists of 12 programmes. The first two are available, 15 minutes each. Tantilisingly, this is labelled “Series 1”, so there may be more in the future.


Episode 1 (yesterday) dealt with Robert Owen, and episode 2 (today) with the Chartists. The rest of this week’s episodes consist of: The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers; The Revolutionaries; and Keir Hardie and Ramsay McDonald. (There is an omnibus edition on Friday evening).

Next week kicks off with Beatrice and Sidney Webb and the Fabian Society; and Ernest Bevin v Stafford Cripps. (No word yet on the remaining 4 episodes in series 1.)


Reel Politics February: Still the Enemy Within – Documentary on Miners’ Strike February 20, 2018

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

A screening of ‘The Enemy Within’ – Owen Gower’s documentary about the 1984-1985 British miners’ strike, with guest speaker Heather Wood (Women Against Pit Closures)
Screening takes place 24/02/18 at 3pm in Workers’ Party office at 24A/25 Hill Street, Dublin 1 (D01A2W4)
Suggested donation €5, or €3 unwaged.

Refreshments available!

‘The Enemy Within’ is an award winning documentary that gives a unique insight into one of History’s most dramatic events: the 1984-85 British Miners’ Strike No experts. No Politicians. Thirty years on, this is the raw emotional story of those who drove Britain’s longest strike. The film weaves stunningly edited archive footage of the strike and never before seen interviews with the real key players of the strike: the miners themselves.

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