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This Week At Irish Election Literature October 28, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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Some posters 33 years apart….

A “Show Your Solidarity with Korean Women – Decriminalization of Abortion” leaflet picked up at the Dublin Protest during the week.

A “Government Block Repeal of The 8th , but women wont wait -Referendum Now!” leaflet from the AAA

From 1982…”The Role of Officers in Sinn Féin” published by The Sinn Féin Education Department as part of the ‘Republican lecture series’

From the 1992 General Election a leaflet from Marian White who was running for Democratic Left in Dublin South

Then two old Fianna Fail booklets

From 1951 a Booklet produced to mark a celebration of 25 years of Fianna Fail which was held at The Capitol Theatre (formerly the La Scale Theatre)

and finally From 1981 a Booklet produced by Fianna Fail, “Campaign Manual- Notes for Canvassers and Speakers”

Time Flies …… October 27, 2016

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It was this day five years ago that we went to the polls to elect Michael D. Higgins (Campaign leaflets here) . What a Campaign it was and one of the dirtiest too. Did we ever think we’d see the day where Fianna Fail wouldn’t contest the Presidency? (officially at least!). I wonder did Mary Davis , Dana and David Norris relaise what they were letting themselves in for. The very late swing away from Sean Gallagher due to the final debate on RTE’s Frontline , which was one of the most amazing evenings television I’ve witnessed. This captures a part of the action..

The whole “entrepreneur” narrative from Gallagher that reflected where we were at the time. Here’s Sean Gallagher with hair from a 1984 Ogra FF booklet
Indeed I met him canvassing the night Rovers won the league out in Belfield and he kindly posted me a T-Shirt and Baseball cap and some other material from his campaign. I also met Mary Davis during the campaign where she sat in my section, seemed a very nice lady but ill suited to such an election campaign.
The total collapse in Gay Mitchell’s vote when he lost his deposit (and showed the hardcore FG vote to be 6.4%).
It really was a spectacle and I think we’re glad with the result we ultimately got.

His inability to speak in anything but hyperbole… October 27, 2016

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Fantastic point made on KCRW’s Left Right and Centre podcast – where one contributor noted the above about Donald Trump and how where issues of seriousness and substance simply can’t be addressed by him at all except in an overheated fashion. And how this doesn’t actually play as well with many conservatives as might be expected.

Little Britain October 27, 2016

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Thanks to the person who sent this article by Archon of the Southern Star

THE British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, intends to force British employers to surrender to the government a list of all their foreign workers and EU citizens – including those from Ireland. It’s part of her plan to ‘prevent immigrants taking jobs that British people can do.’
For the 600,000 Irish-born immigrants in Britain the future is suddenly dark. They’re wondering if the place is returning to the bad old days when job hunters were met with signs declaring: ‘No Irish, no Blacks, no Dogs need apply’?

And it’s a feeling reinforced by an unpleasant speech Rudd gave at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham earlier this month. In her vision of a post-Brexit Little Britain, where racism and bigotry are barely concealed, non-EU workers will be the first to be booted out.
Then it will be the turn of EU citizens who do not have British citizenship – and this could include Irish academics, doctors, nurses, bus drivers, architects, office cleaners, builders, engineers, teachers, and highly educated graduates in finance and technology.
Rudd will publish the lists of names that she wants from employers, with the intention (presumably) of shaming businesses, universities, hospitals, factories, etc, that she considers are not doing enough to employ genuinely British people. Also for the chop are landlords who do not certify the immigration status of their tenants, taxi companies and those sinister Johnny Foreigners skulking within the banking and property area.

In there too will be pregnant women forced to hand over their passports and to produce proof of right to remain in Britain before they give birth at NHS hospitals. The response from civilised English people to the government plan has been one of horror and disbelief. Business leaders denounced the Tory shift to the extreme right as reckless, pointing out that immigrants benefitted the UK economy in a huge way.

Lord Bilimoria, the Indian-born chancellor of Birmingham University, said the proposal was ‘absolutely shocking.’ Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn said the Conservative Party had sunk to a new low as it fanned the flames of xenophobia and hatred.
‘What next?’ asked MP Paul Monaghan of the Scottish National Party: ‘Make immigrants and EU citizens wear special badges and stop them owning anything?’
But, perhaps, it was the charismatic Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who best described the Tory line of thinking. ‘Theresa May and Amber Rudd’s picture of Brexit Britain is a deeply ugly one – a country where people are judged not by their ability or their contribution to the common good but by their birthplace or by their passport’.

Interesting too that, whereas the percentage of foreign-born people in Ireland amounts to 16.4%, in the United Kingdom it is 12.3% of the population. Yet xenophobic problems by and large have not been a serious feature of the Irish experience.

Not so in the UK where, after the Brexit vote, police registered a huge increase in hate crimes and complaints of racial abuse. Which raises this question: if intolerance is on the rise in Britain how long will it be before the Irish once again become the target of prejudice? Particularly within a scenario where the British media does little to calm the public’s nerves over immigration!
Of course, historically some of the finest British writers were not slow to take a jab at ‘inferior’ people. JB Priestly, for instance, was partial to the idea of a clearance of the Irish from the Clyde to Cardiff: ‘what a fine exit (that would be) of ignorance and dirt and drunkenness and disease,’ he said in a most refined and sophisticated way.
Indeed Paddy-bashing has a long tradition in Britain. The British essayist, Thomas Carlyle, famously said that Ireland was like a half starved rat that crosses the path of an elephant. ‘And what must the elephant do?’ he asked. ‘Squelch it – by heavens – squelch it!’

Certainly, the Tories are slow to explain the Brexit consequences should Britain definitively pull the plug. How, for instance, will they resolve the contradiction between expressing approval for free trade and at the same time opposing the free movement of people between Britain, Ireland, and Europe?

Such a conundrum didn’t bother two of the vilest newspapers in the world, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, as they recently launched a savage attack on anti-Brexit EU-Remain campaigners.In a front-page editorial, penned by Paul Dacre, the Mail screamed: ‘Damn the unpatriotic Bremoaners and their plot to subvert the will of the British people.’ He described Brexit critics as whingeing, contemptuous and unpatriotic.

This was the same newspaper that called for Irish people to be banned from UK sporting events because the IRA was disrupting public transport. On another occasion it stood accused of publishing ‘some of the most virulently anti-Irish journalism for decades,’ having sneeringly described Ireland as a land of pigs and potatoes.

Last week, the Daily Express hysterically ranted that it was time to ‘Silence EU Exit Whingers,’ which some commentators interpreted as dangerously provocative.
Indeed, the bigoted commentaries on Brexit were reminiscent of the first owner of the Daily Mail, Viscount Rothermere, who during the 1930s supported Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists when it was targeting British Jews.

In an interview in one of Rothermere’s newspapers, Mosley answered questions about Jews in Britain. The comments, if slightly altered, could apply just as easily to the current paranoia regarding emigrants, refugees, EU citizens and the Irish.

Here is what he said about Jews: ‘They must, like everyone else, put ‘Britain first’ or leave Britain.’ When asked if Jews would be persecuted under Fascism, Mosley replied: Bullying or persecution of any kind is foreign to the British character. But those who have been guilty of anti-British conduct would be deported.

He explained that what he meant by Jews or foreigners referred to people ‘who set their racial interests above the national interest and who had not proved themselves worthy citizens of Britain.’ In no circumstances would they be afforded the full rights of British citizenship.
Chilling stuff, if you substitute ‘emigrant’, ‘refugee’, Irish or ‘EU citizen’ for Jew or foreigner! The message then and now is simple: the repatriation or ‘removal’ of all non-white, non-Anglo-Saxons in the UK – and that’s the line the gutter press is now pushing.

Against such a background, for a British government in the 21st century to stir up sectarian antagonism is a measure incredibly beyond the norm, and a despicable course of action.
It’s doubly reprehensible when fuelled by the insane belief that race and cultural differences make some people morally, intellectually and socially superior to others –and yet that seems to be the basis on which the Conservative government is structuring its immigration policies.
Britain is on a slippery slope.

An Phoblacht…November edition out now. October 27, 2016

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In jpeg

Martin McGuinness to British Prime Minister – You Brexit, We Remain
Editorial – Stop Westminster Tories driving us off Brexit cliff
Gerry Adams – The ‘centre ground’ and the politics of Tweedledee and Tweedledum
SDLP, UUP and PBP rhetoric versus Sinn Féin delivery
Media Owners – Denis O’Brien’s News Agenda
Republican Women – Flames Not Flowers
Symbols of resistance – prison crafts
Mary Lou McDonald – A mental health lifeline 24/7
Sinn Féin Youth – Leading from the Front
Bochtaineacht tuaithe níos measa san Iarthar
Carrickmines & Travellers – A civil rights issue
Éigse na mBan – Drama, art and feminist politics
Windsor Park’s new dawn opens under a cloud
British spy cops given Garda licence to roam in Ireland – Lynn Boyaln MEP
Uncomfortable Conversations – Megan Fearon & Declan Kearney
TTIP & CETA – Matt Carthy
Irish support for the Spanish Republic
Dylan dilemma

Signs of Hope – A continuing series October 27, 2016

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Any contributions this week?

The Teachers Strike October 27, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

ASTI are out striking today , so most secondary schools (unless they are purely TUI and Non Union) will be closed. The real issue for schools comes after the mid-term break as “ASTI will withdraw from supervision and substitution from Monday, November 7th”.
The ASTI membership rejected The Haddington Road agreement which contains additional Substitution and Supervision (as well as the pointless Croke Park Hours). However ……

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One, Minister for Education Richard Bruton described it as a normal approach if teachers withdraw from core duties, which he said supervision is

The article goes on to state ….

In relation to the ASTI withdrawal from supervision and substitution duties, the department’s circular states that it is a matter for school managers to decide whether their school can open without health and safety risks while teachers are refusing to carry out those duties.

The circular outlines the arrangements to be made to remove from the payroll all teachers covered by the ASTI directive who have not confirmed that they are available for the full range of duties including supervision and substitution from 7 November.

It states that teachers who wish to remain on the payroll must confirm their availability for the full range of duties – including supervision and substitution – from 7 November onwards by submitting a completed form to the principal as soon as possible.

It confirms that teachers who do not confirm such availability will not be paid for the duration of the closure.

So Teachers who go in to do their normal days work , which is teaching children, will be unpaid as they are refusing to do supervision and substitution which was part of the deal rejected by the teachers.
Now what is crazy about this ,is that ASTI members are not being paid the extra from the Haddington Road agreement anyway as they have rejected it. So they would be doing supervision and substitution unpaid in the first place!

If the dispute isn’t settled then from the 7th of November many schools will have difficulty with supervision and substitution as TUI members will refuse to do supervision and substitution that ASTI members are down for. Indeed my own daughters school sent a note home yesterday stating that they may have difficulty reopening on the 7th after the mid term break. I imagine that there will be quite a number of schools that won’t be able to function from the 7th onwards.
We’ll see how it plays out.


‘Ireland and the Wobbly World’ at NUI Galway, 11-12 November, organised by the ICHLC. October 27, 2016

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Interview with Eoghan Murphy TD October 26, 2016

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In the latest edition of Hot Press, conducted by Jason O’Toole. A very educative one too. Is Murphy, a remarkably youthful 34 and junior Finance Minister at that, positioning himself as a liberal alternative to potential rivals? Hard not to be believe it, given the concentration on social issues by him.

He’s against the Swedish model in relation to prostitution – that is arresting men who pay for sex and argues that:

We don’t have the resources to police prostitution. We don’t have the resources to police the women in prostitution. We definitely don’t have the resources to police the people who are purchasing, because it’s obviously a much larger number. I don’t see it as a solution.

He is pro-repeal of the 8th and pro-choice. And this is an interesting way to answer a comment in regard to transgender equality which offers – I guess, a rather liberal view of the world.

What are your thoughts on transgender equality?
It was a coffee shop that served alcohol – a daytime place. Frequenting a lady boy bar is how this might sound – and I’m afraid I’m just not cool or dangerous enough for that kind of life! To be totally honest, it’s not something (transgender) I understand a huge amount. I don’t have any transgender friends. But it’s important that everyone’s happy. That’s the most important thing – that people are happy and healthy, right? The government is there to support happiness and to make sure you’re able to be happy and be free, you know? One of the main responsibilities of the State is to protect the minority against the majority. [my italics – was] So, transgender people are definitely in the minority and we’ve got a responsibility to protect them and make sure that they have the same rights as everyone.

But what of politics (and by the way his own path into politics was an unusual one, it quite literally involved a chance meeting with one E. Kenny)?

Any regrets about the budget?
One of my regrets is that we didn’t increase the excise on cigarettes by more. I used to love a cigarette with a pint. I still crave for them sometimes. But they are just killers and the destruction they cause to people’s lives is terrible. We just need to tax them out of existence. Also, we should probably get rid of any VAT on condoms. They say the evidence doesn’t support the idea that this might lead to more condoms being used. I know education has a lot to do with it. Still, condoms would be free ideally, and available everywhere. Too many people are taking too many risks these days.

Hmmm… anything worries the Junior Minister about say any other policy?

As junior finance minister, you’ve an active role to play in the Apple tax controversy. What is your take on this €13-15 million tax demand? I don’t think it
should happen. It’s hard not to think that there’s a political motivation behind it – there’s politics in everything. But it’s a power grab by the (European) Commission to interfere with our domestic taxation affairs – and that’s wrong.
Is the fear that the EU is going to attempt to impinge on our tax policy generally?
No. The European Union can’t. I think this part of what the problem with the debate in the UK
was over Brexit – people were raising fears over the kind of powers the EU has, when it doesn’t have them.

And so it goes. He may be somewhat off message on the aforementioned social issues, but what is his position on the economics? He doesn’t say. One has the feeling that he is deliberately schooled not to.

It’s genuinely interesting both for what is said, and what isn’t.

By the way, this is great…

Are you an atheist?
I think I’m agnostic, but I don’t know.


Media ownership questions at the Independent group? Deploy the anti-SF/anti-socialist/anti-British/anti-liberal/anti-colonial card, quick sharp! October 26, 2016

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Fintan O’Toole’s article on the new report issued by Sinn Féin and compiled by an independent panel of lawyers on media ownership is pretty good. So good in fact that I’d recommend everyone read it.

But one thing it points up is the self-serving approach of Independent newspapers who will simultaneously play the anti-SF/anti-socialist/anti-British/anti-liberal/anti-colonial card (that’s quite some card – isn’t it?) in trying to rubbish anything that might cause them the slightest discomfort. As he notes, a subject worthy of a special feature in the SBP, articles in the IT, further articles in Guardan and the Sunday Times evinced nothing but minor comment in the SI. As O’Toole notes:

This is all perfectly legitimate opinionising, if not especially impressive reasoning. The essential point, however, is that the sum total of the information presented on this event in the Independent papers on Sunday and Monday was to the effect that Shinners, Brits, liberals and socialists (a range of targets for contempt to suit every taste) have produced a tiresome document that you, the reader, don’t need to know about.  

And what of the effects of this sort of stuff. Worth looking at the two comments below his piece (two by Tuesday lunchtime) to see the sort of sterile groupthink from some in regard to these issues. That whooshing sound we hear is the point going right over their heads.

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