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The President of Britain… January 19, 2018

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An interesting if overblown documentary on Channel 4 at the weekend, repeated from last year, entitled “Spying on the Royals” which looked at the Duke of Windsor in the 1930s and early 1940s. The man sailed close to the wind in relation the the Nazi’s and was under surveillance from both the British and US intelligence services. But perhaps more intriguing than this was his palpable desire for relevance. On one occasion he communicated an interest to the Labour party that he might return to Britain to serve as President of Britain.

Mention also made of a most curious operation – an intelligence group set up by ultra-wealthy New Yorkers named The Room (Later the Club) which functioned on behalf of FDR. They too were spying on the Duke of Windsor.


Suffragist City: Women and the Vote in Dublin January 19, 2018

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In February 1918 the Representation of the People Act was passed and women who were over 30 years of age were finally allowed to vote. Eleven months later, the voters of Dublin elected Constance Markievicz, the first woman to win a seat at Westminster.
Suffragism was the conviction that votes should be extended to women. By the early years of the twentieth century, the suffrage campaign had gained sufficient momentum to be regularly debated in parliament. The 1910s was a decade of great social and political turbulence. The Home Rule crisis, labour unrest, the outbreak of the First World War, and the Easter Rising splintered the cosy certainties of the British Empire. The cause of suffragism added to the tumult as women asserted their political rights. Suffragists in Ireland endured ridicule, assault, and imprisonment in their quest for social justice but 1918 was their year of victory. This exhibition tells their story.

See also: New Voices in Women’s History on Saturday 17 February from 10am to 2pm at Dublin City Library and Archive

Location details and opening hours: Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street

#nomorehashtags… January 19, 2018

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God I hate hashtags… for example there’s the #FBPE one, ably outlined here,

…for those in the UK and elsewhere who want to express their pro-EU sentiment. It means #FollowBackProEU.

For those who feel that’s performative enough, what about this:

There have been accusations among some UK users that the hashtag has been used to criticise and undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Brexit and his leadership of the Labour party. In part this reflects a divide along party political lines, with Lib Dem and Scottish National party users of the hashtag being critical of the position Labour has taken. Some Corbynites have instead conglomerated around a different hashtag – #PCPEU – standing for pro-Corbyn, pro-EU.

Why not #PCPSB – Pro Corbyn, pro-Soft Brexit. Or #PCPRSMACU – Pro-Corbyn and pro-Single market & Customs Union. Urgghhhhh no, no more.

An issue bigger than politics but with Political Ramifications January 19, 2018

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Rang a friend this morning to gauge his reaction to the Dail debate yesterday. He was utterly shocked at Martins speech. He is pro life and will never be voting FF or FG again. Feels that there are a lot like him too. Independents such as Mattie McGrath, Michael Collins and the Healy-Raes will walk in. This issue is bigger than any Political Party for him.
Due to Martins position, much of the public will see it as FF policy. There will quite a reception if FF do Church gate collections.
The dynamics in constituencies may change with members that backed certain candidates will switch to others. Interesting too to see what way Michael McGrath goes in this debate. Feels that FF and FG whilst not being hammered in rural Ireland, will do well to make any gains.
A vast swathe of the electorate will now see themselves as unrepresented by the traditional parties, almost like Brexit, Trump etc . Renua and a smatter of Independents to fill the vacuum .
“I’ve more admiration for Clare Daly and Ruth Coppinger today than I do for the rest of them. You might disagree with them but at least you know where they stand. “
I was shocked at his reaction and hadn’t expected it at all. He wouldn’t be out canvassing for The Pro Life Campaign or anything like that. Interesting to see if that feeling is widespread and if it has any electoral ramifications?

We have learned nothing? January 19, 2018

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Karl Brophy in the SBP writes at the weekend at his concern over the poll in the Daily Mail which asked:

If it cost the Irish government €9bn per annum for NI to unite with the ROI, how would you vote in relation to a referendum on a united Ireland.

He writes:

Of people who expressed an opinion one way or another a total of 60 per cent answers that, yes, they’d be willing to have the government pony up that amount…

He continues:

Whether uniting Ireland would cost us €9bn isn’t the point. the poll question and answer is clear: a UI has the support of six out of ten people even if it costs the Irish government €9bn.

Which is bad according to him because apparently in other polls indicating support for a UI when asked a supplementary question about increased taxes support falls from around 2/3rds to 1/3rd. And…he continues by arguing that €9bn p.a. would be more than the 2009/2010/2011 budgets combined in their impact and would occur every year.

Now here I hit a problem, because on the one hand he argues €9bn as a figure doesn’t matter, indeed later he suggests that ‘[a UI] may in fact, ultimately , deliver a big annual economic dividend and cost nothing at all’, but on the other, he uses the figure as if it does matter. I’m not certain that that is consistent. Not least because he goes into great detail about possible tax rises – both direct and indirect on foot of the €9bn. And given that he artificially excludes any other inputs, i.e. those from NI Itself which might or might not generate incomes – or from the EU or IMF or whoever, it does seem to be over-reifying what is, after all, a rather thin poll. The other side is that he doesn’t prod at the €9bn. But why not? Why not try to assess if €9bn is a realistic figure, or €1bn, or €20bn? One can imagine so many variables dependent upon each of those figures.

Nor does the ‘increased taxation’ response in previous polls prove to be a deal breaker either, at least not for me.

The reality is that a UI along the terms he presents is unlikely to be an ‘event’ but rather a process that would take many years to come to completion. During that time there would be a shifting of funding and doubtless huge efforts to improve the NI economy ahead of the happy day.

Moreover, I’m dubious about his further contention that ‘we have learned nothing’ because in a poll like this (which let’s face it, is about as abstract as one can get at this point in time) people are happy to spend ‘the government’s money’ and this indicates some great moral failing.

No polls to trump about… January 19, 2018

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Donald Trump wraps up a year in office with the lowest average approval rating of any elected president in his first year.That is according to polling by Gallup, which shows that Trump has averaged just a 39% approval rating since his inauguration. The previous low was held by Bill Clinton, whose first-year average stood 10 points higher than Trump’s, at 49%.


Though to be honest, and perhaps it is just me, that seems quite high. All things considered.

Speaking of which, so does this:

Global confidence in US leadership has fallen to a new low, and the country now ranks below China in worldwide approval ratings, according to a new Gallup poll.
The survey of opinion in 134 countries showed a record collapse in approval for the US role in the world, from 48% under Obama to 30% after one year of Donald Trump – the lowest level Gallup has recorded since beginning its global leadership poll over a decade ago.

Who are these 30% who think all is just dandy?

Because attempting to look at him from beyond partisan framings he seems simply abysmal. I’ve had the experience of living through some interesting US Presidents, Bush, Nixon, Reagan spring to mind. And each of them, whatever else, appeared reasonably competent running – whether one liked them or not – serious and often ideological administrations. Nixon gets a bad rap, and rightly so in some ways, but he was recognisable as a politician of some complexity.

By contrast Trump’s administration is all over the shop – policy made up on the hoof where it is made up at all, albeit with a strong rightward trend at all times (small wonder there, the dangers of electing a businessperson should be evident to all now, though the chaotic aspect should be a warning that business isn’t all it is cracked up to be). A continuing psycho-drama of people on the inside going to the outside, people on the outside going inward and those who are in-between trying desperately to hold onto their positions.

This Week At Irish Election Literature January 19, 2018

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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The Above is I’m told from the mid 60’s , anyone able to give some background?

From the Winter 2017 edition of the “People Before Profit West Belfast News” paper an article “How Do We Achieve A United Ireland?”

“Free, Safe And Legal: Now Let’s Go Win The Repeal Referendum” Leaflet from People Before Profit

1988 Letter from Bertie re Local Crime and Laneways

8th Amendment Oireachtas Debates – Day Two January 18, 2018

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And here comes the unexpected sight of a leader of FF acknowledging a few realities:

The leader of Fianna Fáil has said that he will vote to remove the Eighth Amendment from the constitution.

Speaking during a debate in the Dáil, Micheál Martin said that “if we are sincere in our compassion for women, and if we are sincere in respecting their choices, then we must act.

Clare Daly’s thoughts are pertinent:

She said this was not a debate about whether we have abortion in Ireland or not “we have abortion”

“We have a constitutional right to get information on it, to travel away to get a procedure, but we can’t get this”.

And something quite striking in the context of previous times the issue has come to the fore. People changing their mind in favour of abortion provision.

Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien said he had always considered himself pro-life, but now felt that abortion was not a matter of conscience, but a matter of public health policy.

He said he no longer wanted to be labelled as pro-life, in view of the “vile posters” he had seen in protests outside Leinster House.

“I now consider myself a realist when it comes to women’s health care,” Mr O’Brien said.

And this too… which does echo previous times:

Fianna Fáil’s Lisa Chambers outlined some of the negative comments she had received on the issue of abortion.

“A recent tweet I got today: “you should not try to identify the murdering mothers who are travelling to the UK, and have them jailed”.

“Another said: ‘Women will use abortion as a form of contraception”, and another said: “Women are just too posh to push'”.

Thanks to IEL for pointing to this in comments.

The Colour Red ….. January 18, 2018

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

I see a lot of recent Sinn Féin material has a lot of red, which is unusual as it’s not a colour I would have previously associated with them.
Party Colours do of course change , some samples of Labour using Navy/Blue from the late 60’s and 1973. We’ve seen Party names on the Left change very recently and of course Fine Gael dropped “The United Ireland Party” bit in their name from their material a long while ago.
Is the prominence of Red to do with Acht Na Gaelige in the North? Or is it to attract ex Labour voters? Or is it a move away from a green associated with FF? Or they just like the colour…………

Signs of Hope – A continuing series January 18, 2018

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Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?

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