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More on Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil! May 24, 2017

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More from Archon in the Southern Star. And a mention of us too which is much appreciated. Many thanks to the person who forwarded it!

HAS our dear leader-in-waiting, Micheál Martin, lost the plot? You see, we’re kinda concerned at the red haze that descends on his bright and cultivated brain whenever two expressions are uttered. The unbearable locutions are ‘Gerry Adams’ and ‘Sinn Féin.’

On hearing those words, Martin seems to fasten on something in the future – an appalling vista, perhaps – and for some moments he is unable to respond in a way that appeals to the powers of reasoning and logic. It is as if he suddenly finds himself in the presence of something so ghastly that it fills him with repugnance; which may well have accounted for the weirdness of the comments that he made recently in Arbour Hill, Dublin, at a Fianna Fáil commemoration of the 1916 Rising.

We suspect that this involuntary contraction of well-reasoned thoughts had its origins in an event on June 29th, 1986, when Mickey was a mere Corpo councillor on his way up the greasy pole. On that ill-omened occasion, the Ballyphehane Community Association allowed Sinn Féin to hold a meeting in its community centre.

Needless to say, ‘responsible’ politicos of the Fine Gael variety boycotted the event and demanded that the City Council block other associations from loaning their halls for republican meetings. But Mickey, to his credit, went to the meeting and tackled Gerry Adams on the usual stuff: the military campaign, nothing achieved, etc, etc.

Sad to relate, a frolicsome ‘meeja’ reported that Martin’s presence at the meeting was a sign that Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin shared similar views on basic issues.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. It was a below-the-belt comment and an allegation that has dogged Martin ever since. Indeed he’s been denying any liaison with SF right down to the present day. To add to his woes, crypto-provos in his own party strongly promoted the idea that the two ‘republican’ parties have enough in common to form a government should the occasion arise –and it well might after the next general election.

As far as Martin is concerned, coalition between Sinn Féin and the Soldiers of Destiny can happen only over his dead body, politically or otherwise, and – as he said in a major speech in March 2014 – not even the replacement of Gerry Adams as Sinn Féin leader would be enough to secure a deal with that party.

For many punters, his position of ‘not an inch and no surrender’ is difficult to understand. It is as if Mickey is stuck in a Ballyphehane time warp of political and moral indignation.

And then came his Arbour Hill (of all places) comments where his banzai-style attack on Sinn Féin was premised on ‘the failure of Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin to dissociate themselves from the Provisional IRA.’

To which we say: ‘Ah, hang on there, Mister Martin. Where have you been since April 10th, 1998 when your boss, Don Berto, your party, and the entire political Establishment North and South, agreed that the Good Friday Agreement was the cornerstone of peace and reconciliation, and that the IRA was a thing of the past?’ Snoozing in the land of Nod?

And, what did he mean by this cryptic observation: ‘There were still many appalling stories to emerge from the illegitimate campaign of the Provisional IRA that had to receive proper attention in the Dublin media?’

The Dublin media! Appalling stories! Cripes, has the man read any of the lurid tales written by notorious eccentrics in newspapers such as the Indo/Sindo?

According to Martin, ‘the hidden leadership of the Provisional movement retained the right to kill and maim in our name in spite of constant rejection. For them it retained the right to bomb civilians, to kneecap children and to have a parallel and secret justice system devoted to covering up the crimes of their members.’

Now, that’s a shocking and alarming assertion if he was referring to the current situation in the Six Counties because it renders the Good Friday Agreement worthless.

If intended only for party-political reasons it was despicable, and unworthy of someone who might be Taoiseach this time next year.

Maybe Martin was jocosely talking through his hat or that The Irish Times reported his pronouncements somewhat clumsily? Certainly, the confusion was compounded when he said: ‘The agreed future ratified by the referendums North and South recognised, for the first time in history, the right of the people of Ireland to decide its future.’

True, but as pointed out by a perspicacious commentator on the ‘Cedar Lounge Revolution’ website, ‘it was the “agreed future” and those “referendums” that explicitly brought Sinn Féin to the heart of that process, and in such a way as to make it difficult to sustain the sort of attacks on Sinn Féin that Martin engages in.’

The writer added: ‘It’s a sort of running with and against the logic of the Good Friday Agreement simultaneously. He’s trying the old trick of saying that SF today is essentially SF in 1987 and, in order to sustain that attack, he has to leap back in time, prior to the Good Friday Agreement. His argument attempts to position SF in a narrative where little has changed.’

Put simply, Martin doesn’t make sense, which raises questions about the impact his visceral loathing of Sinn Féin has had on his political thinking, Indeed historians already feel curious about the extent to which Mickey’s political attitudes were shaped by diverse influences when growing up in Turners Cross.

His maternal grandfather took part in the IRA Knocklong ambush of 1919. His paternal grandfather served in the British army and two of his uncles followed in the family tradition and also joined the British Armed Forces – as did one of the four Martin brothers.

On the other hand, his father, Paddy Martin, joined the Irish Army. In the 1980s, he publicly and bravely supported the National H-Block campaign in Cork. It called for an end to the beatings and torture of Republican prisoners in Armagh and the Maze prisons.

Certainly son Mickey has a complex political background and one to provoke curiosity for years to come!

And now for something different: Fine Gael councillor John Buttimer pulled no punches when he described the proliferation of student apartments around CIT and UCC as a form of ‘ethnic cleansing.’

College Road and Magazine Road have been turned into slums and now a development outfit is about to slam another nail in the coffin. It wants to build a five storey apartment complex on Melbourn Road in Bishopstown; and residents blame UCC.

An infuriated householder angrily told this newspaper: ‘Those shaggin’ professors of French letters don’t give a damn. Rectal thermometers should be banned for that lot. They cause too much brain damage!’

What you want to say – 24th May, 2017 May 24, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

That Oireachtas Decade of Centenaries All-Party Consultation Group May 23, 2017

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Excellent question in the current issue of the Phoenix (which is well worth a read, not least for some of the internal machinations around the FG leadership race).

Where is the Oireachtas Decade of Centenaries Committee?

Where?

It automatically dissolved with the advent of the new Dáil and government over a year ago but no new committee – set up to commemorate the 1912-21 historic events – has been formed.

That’s a fairly appalling situation – albeit hardly a surprise given the engagement by the last government hitherto on these matters which has been characterised by indifference and/or an effort to control the shape out outcomes.

1916 has been pocketed as a ‘success’ but the next lot of commemorations promise in a way to be even more tricky – for some. Small wonder they want to delay dealing with them…

Flagging enthusiasm May 23, 2017

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How many British flags does one see flown in the Republic? I ask the question because of this story here in the IT about a Donegal hotelier who has received scathing criticism on social media for flying amongst other flags, the union flag – when guests from Britain are staying there.

He’s a former soldier, is ‘passionate’ about a UI but says:

“Some in the unionist tradition claim the (union) flag. If we display that maturity (by displaying the flag), it is a stepping stone to a united Ireland.”

I dislike arguments about ‘maturity’… but he has a point. In any future UI there is going to be some display of union flags (albeit the union may be a rather more truncated one than previously), particularly in the North East. And there in the NE probably on a constant basis for many many years. Parity of esteem has to work both ways if it is to have any meaning and particularly if it is – as it should be – proper for the tricolour to fly in the North. Of course we’re not there yet in that regard, indeed in advance of that day it appears that removing the union flag rather than adding the tricolour (at last at official events and locations) is the order of the day. I find that kind of lamentable but there we have it.

And what of the union flag in the ROI? I’m trying to recall when I saw one. I think again it is in connection with hotels.

What we are reading and the CLR book club Week 21, May 2017 May 23, 2017

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No love for the suggestion we read Sean Swan’s work on the Officials? Really? I’m a bit amazed.

Meanwhile I’m on to the third book in the Europe sequence by Dave Hutchinson.

Pretty good, and weirdly apposite after Brexit, particularly a cold open that plays neatly with the readers expectations. Apparently another is on the way but I have the feeling that to date the second was the best so far.

More seriously, or less, I’ve been dipping in and out of How Music Got Free. Anyone else read that?

Manchester May 23, 2017

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An appalling event in Manchester last night with – as of now – 22 people murdered by a suicide bomber. Campaigning in the UK General Election has been suspended.

Left Archive: Miriam Daly Poster from An Camchéachta/The Starry Plough, IRSP, Iúil/July 1980 May 22, 2017

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He knows his base, unfortunately May 22, 2017

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Leo Varadkar says he will introduce legislation banning public sector workers from striking in essential services if elected Taoiseach.

Just a thought on the UK polls May 22, 2017

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As noted by Dermot O’Connor here, the weekend polls continued to show the BLP increasing its vote.

The Conservative lead over Labour has fallen by six points in the last month, but the party retains a commanding advantage in the latest Opinium poll for the Observer.

Theresa May’s party has a 13-point lead over Labour, with a 46% share of the vote. The party is down one point on last week’s poll.

However, Labour has increased its poll share to 33%, up a point on a week ago and up seven points on a month earlier. The Lib Dems remain in third place on 8% of the vote, with Ukip on 5%. Both are unchanged since last week.

It’s interesting how this is considered in some of the accompanying reporting. For example the Guardian quotes this:

Adam Drummond, the head of political polling at Opinium, said: “With the Conservatives retaining such a significant lead and the Liberal Democrats failing to take flight, Labour-leaning voters who dislike Jeremy Corbyn appear to be gradually returning to the fold, safe in the knowledge that they can vote against a Tory landslide without making him prime minister.

“Although the Tory lead is shrinking, the slow rate of change means that it will be mid-August before Labour close the gap.”

As always, short of catastrophe, the Tories are almost inevitably going to win this one. But. But. The thought strikes on how much self-inflicted damage the BLP went into this election with and how that coloured the last couple of years. Those who inflicted that damage – those who refused to countenance Corbyn’s leadership, really do have a lot to answer for. Their inability to accept his democratic legitimacy is almost certainly going to have cost the LP vital percentage points at the polls. One could go further. Their antics prior to the Brexit referendum almost certainly led to a perception of weakness about Corbyn and the LP that fed in to the result of the vote.

Yet the reality is that – as the old line goes, there’s no life outside the (Labour) party. For those on the centre left in England and Wales (Scotland is obviously different) it is the only game in town. And this has ramifications for how matters proceed over the next number of years.

I think it likely that much the same conditions will pertain in relation to the balance of forces inside the BLP, albeit now Corbyn may well have significantly improved on the last GE outing some years back and under a different leader. For a better result for the LP means many more on the right and centre right of the party being returned. They’re going to have to come to terms with the political terrain they’ve helped shaped. And pretty fast too. It’s going to be an interesting few years ahead, and that’s quite apart from the bigger issues – so to speak.

World Goth Day May 22, 2017

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Is today!

Here’s some songs from goth or allied genres from the 2010s…

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