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More Discussion of The Lost Revolution September 27, 2009

Posted by Garibaldy in Irish History, Workers' Party.
1 comment so far

There is a thread discussing The Lost Revolution at the SF Keep Left blog here.

Fight! Fight! Fight! September 27, 2009

Posted by Garibaldy in Irish Labour Party, Lisbon Treaty.
8 comments

In the blue corner, Declan Ganley. In the slightly more red corner, Prionsias De Rossa. Allegedly

Kenny interview… September 27, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
1 comment so far

Well, for a man whose party poll ratings are somewhat in decline Enda Kenny seems remarkable chipper to judge from an interesting interview in the Mail on Sunday today with Jason O’Toole.

First prize for outstanding statement of the obvious…

‘I believe deep down, the electorate are just turned off this Government hugely.’

Hmmm… still, I think there’s more than a word of truth in what he says next…

If the economy rectified itself in the morning, I think they’re still going to change the government..’

Interestingly the next 90 days are put forward as the keyy time…

THE next 90 days are crucial for the Government, which faces the arduous tasks of getting the Lisbon Treaty, Nama and a savage budget ratified. Mr Kenny might not be counting chickens but is he preparing his party for a snap general election within the next 90 days?
‘We are, yeah. Absolutely. If there’s an election
in three weeks or three months, we’ll be
ready. We have a more medium-term operation
and then a longer one.

I take a different view. The Green Party convention on NAMA and the Programme for Government which I think is on the 10th is actually more pivotal. All else flows from that. And if that is passed, from talking to people inside the GP, then they’re dug in for the long haul. And Kenny recognises this to some degree…

Mr Kenny says the Greens are ‘floundering around’ and wonders if they will be able to get the required two-thirds majority support from party members for a revised programme for government.
‘We don’t know yet whether that’s going to get through or whether they get a two-thirds majority for their support for Nama,’ he says. ‘It’s interesting that 85pc of the Green supporters
say they don’t support the Nama thing.
‘In fact, when they voted at their meeting recently, the Government proposal was in fourth place among Green supporters. Obviously, if there’s a general election the Greens are going to be in serious trouble with a number of their seats.’

Some of us with residual sympathies for the GP who have watched uncomprehendingly as they have inched closer and closer to the political and electoral brink have warned that the result of their policy approach in the past twelve months means they’re likely to be in trouble with all their seats. More than serious trouble too.
So perhaps Kenny is merely being humourous. In a way.

And he won’t be drawn on whether FG will deal with the GP in the wake of an election…

‘The fact of the matter is the FineGael party stands alone here. My priority is to maximise our votes and seats, and an overall majority is achievable giving the mood that is out there with the potential landslide against the government.’

He also accepts that Lisbon has flaws…

‘Sure. Obviously, no treaty is ever perfect. This is not a treaty for Ireland, this is a treaty for 27 countries and 500 million people and they all have their different agendas starting off, different cultures, different traditions.
But it’s about the group within Europe and how we can stand together for the benefit of everybody.’

And while I’m always dubious about the FG approach I can’t help but think, as with Labour, that their rather understated policy on NAMA is probably winning them friends…

‘On a financial crisis as big as this – the biggest in the history of the State – you would have thought they would have produced a raft of opinions and give this to all the parties and say:
“We want to sort this out. These are
our views. What are yours?” Instead of that, they said during the summer, “It’s Nama and Nama only.”
‘Our view was stated six or eight months ago: Set up a recovery bank and get money for small businesses.’
Nama is ‘not fair’ because ‘it protects the banks and the speculators and it does not protect the taxpayer.
He says Fine Gael’s proposal would ‘allow the banks and the speculators who caused this problem in the first instance to take a hit for it before you expose the taxpayer’.

Harsh words for Alan Duke, somewhat more emollient ones for GFG, over apostasy with regard to NAMA…

Mr Kenny claims Alan Dukes’s enthusiasm for Nama is a result of an obvious conflict of interest.
‘Alan Dukes is a former minister for finance, former leader of Fine Gael, and he’s now on the board of a bank.
Alan Dukes, speaking as a director and a public watchdog of Anglo Irish, gave his view and I disagree with that view. Anglo Irish stand to be a very substantial beneficiary from Nama.
‘My job is to stand by the taxpayer and the people. The central issues contained in Fine Gael’s proposals were: one, fairness; two, get credit flowing into business now, and three: protect the taxpayer.

Ouch!

And ouch too for a gloomy prognosis as regards the future… indeed you’d wonder why the man would want the job given what he sees coming down the line…

Does he think Ireland will bounce back soon from this recession?
‘Well, interest rates are going to rise as Europe begins to recover and that is going to cause a difficulty for a lot of people here. Even when France, Germany and the rest of Europe start to move off, Ireland’s going to be quite a distance behind. So there’s not an easy path ahead and it’s not going to happen overnight.
‘But there is so much the Government can actually do here in terms of the way they go about their business
– incentives for employers, protecting employment, get people back to work, you can adjust your VAT, PRSI, all these things.

Thank God though for one bit of news…

There have been whisperings of ex- PD Michael McDowell making a comeback to politics. ‘I don’t contemplate Michael McDowell approaching Fine Gael. He said that his period in public life was over.’

Lisbon leaflet from the CPI September 27, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics, The Left.
38 comments

Forwarded this from the CPI for the Archive. I’ve a few thoughts about the current polling numbers but they’ll keep until early in the week.

bileog-a.jpeg no 1

bileog-b.jpeg No 2

The Northern Wing of The Yes Campaign. September 26, 2009

Posted by Garibaldy in Lisbon Treaty.
23 comments

Over at Sluggerotoole, Conall Mc Devitt of OConall Street has linked a letter he and other “prominent business, academic and NGO figures” signed in today’s Irish Times advocating a ‘Yes’ vote. I have to say that the letter made me quite angry. But not as angry as Mark McGregor, who has kindly agreed to allow me to use his comment on the Sluggertoole thread as a guestpost here.

The bit that interests me is the hypocracy that will see this lauded by the YES side who have been treating the UKIP intervention as a stick to beat the NO side with.

As Gari notes it is also based on lies and not just the one he notes:

Our common membership of the European Union since 1973 has been crucial to the achievement of reconciliation and political stability in Northern Ireland, to the development of North-South relations, and to successful co-operation between the Republic and the United Kingdom

All that, to the level it exists, is due to negotiations and secret agreements between the PRM, the British and the Irish put in train in secret in the mid 80s. Europe had no part in any of it. The key and main factor of it was the Adams camp delivering a defeated republican movement into a partitionist settlement.

Continued membership at the heart of the European Union will help us, North and South, to grow together and to face in partnership the huge economic, social and environmental challenges of the years ahead. This is enabled by our common membership of the European Union and enhanced by the new possibilities offered by the Lisbon Treaty.

False. Lisbon does not in any way address problems and disparity in all-Ireland economics and does not address the differences including currency and banking systems. It has nothing that promotes more partnership, not a single thing.

A second No would bring Ireland’s continued membership of the Union into unknown territory.

That is just a pure lie based on scaremongering. Those advancing it should be ashamed.

It risks unsettling and destabilising our common membership of the European Union which has been so helpful to us in the past and so necessary to us in the future.

More utter ballix. Those involved are yet again lying.

We are committed to a future of positively developing relations within Northern Ireland, between North and South and between Ireland and the United Kingdom. We are convinced that a Yes vote is the best way to underpin and secure that future

Gibberish. This treaty has nothing to do with North South relationships.

A bigger pile of steaming horse manure I have yet to read on Lisbon. It addresses not a single issue involved and makes up issues that have no bearing as reasons to support it.

Those involved mainly benefit from EU funding – perhaps this is the reason they’d invent such a vacuous argument for endorsement.

Shame on the lot of them. Bloody bullshitters.

So there.

Review of The Lost Revolution at An Phoblacht… September 26, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in History, Irish History, Irish Politics, The Left.
34 comments

I’d be interested in peoples thoughts on this

John Hyatt of The Three Johns September 26, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.
3 comments

Meanwhile, and belatedly, many thanks to John of Counago and Spaves for sending me this link to a website set up by John Hyatt of The Three Johns, political post-punk group from the 1980s. The Three Johns are responsible for my entirely tongue in cheek username WorldbyStorm, since it’s the name of one of their songs, and a profoundly political one at that.

It’s good to see that there are an increasing number of their songs now appearing on YouTube, including this one which has a typically cynical take on attitudes to South Africa… English White Boy Engineer.

I also like their take on the nature of the group, as quoted on The Three Johns wiki page:

“We’re not a socialist band. We’re a group of socialists who are in a band. It’s a fine distinction but an important one”

Anyhow, John Hyatt is an interesting guy in his own right, being a lecturer in the UK in culture and Fine Art and an artist in his own right. There’s a good interview with him in a Guardian article from some time back where he talks good sense about the nature of funding for projects in the UK. His site itself is mighty fine with artworks produced by him.

I’m also very taken with his thoughts on art and science…

“We’re looking for proper hard evidence, not just anecdotal, to show that art can benefit health and make people feel better,” he says. “Our joint team has been doing it for a year and a half and we have Treasury funding for another year.”

For the past three years, Hyatt has been devoting spare moments to the study of science. “The visions are as great as those of art,” he reflects. “When you get into the realms of abstract maths, you’re struck by its beauty, elegance and harmony, as well as its complexity. Artists and scientists are approaching the same world with different toolkits.

“What I’m asking is whether it’s time to view both toolkits as equally viable, instead of seeing one as full of fantasies and the other full of facts. I hope we’re approaching a time when art and science can work together to understand the world.” And, as he’s fond of saying, understanding requires imagination as well as knowledge.

Here also a link to an unofficial The Three Johns website.

BTW, I notice Death of The European by The Three Johns is on the Counago Playlist… it’s one of those songs that even years later never leaves the iPod. Thanks again to John of C&S.

This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Maserati September 26, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
2 comments

Postrock… ah, post-rock. Post-rock brought Bark Psychosis, Tortoise and many more. Including US band Maserati. Some post-rock is good. Quite a bit really isn’t. My favourite were the near fabulous Trans Am (although I see the remarkable Talk Talk thrown into the P-R pool, and what’s this – Disco Inferno too)… all definitely worthy subjects for another day.

Anyhow, Maserati, and that’s not a very lovable name, are post-rock. The drummer used to drum with !!! (who as it happens are better than their name). The guitarist likes reverb. Lots and lots of reverb. Lots. No, really. Lots. It’s oddly soothing music. It gets loud, but as one critic said there’s no buildup and release, just buildup. And buildup. They say it’s best to see them live, for the full effect y’see. Fair enough. I can get that. But I like it in a sort of admire from afar kind of way…

My hearing wouldn’t take a full gig. Of that I’m sure.

So here are a few samples…

12/16

inventions

Synchronicity IV

Gary Kent Reviews Lost Revolution September 25, 2009

Posted by Garibaldy in Irish History, Workers' Party.
25 comments

I know some readers here read Sluggerotoole, but my impression is that most don’t, so I thought this was worth mentioning. Gary Kent, a British political activist who worked with The Workers’ Party and then the Democratic Left, has reviewed The Lost Revolution over at Sluggerotoole. Kent is a signatory to the Euston Manifesto, and Director of Labour Friends of Iraq. The review is basically a mixture of some comments on the book with his memories, and his inaccurate characterisation of WP policy on the north. I think it’s fair to say that it’s the most critical take on the book I’ve seen, although not all the criticisms are fair.

Irish Left History Project: Independent Socialist Party, 1976 – 1978 September 25, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Independent Socialist Party 1976 - 1978.
53 comments

INDEPENDENT SOCIALIST COVER

Independent_Socialist

We don’t know if there were any more issues, how long it ran for, nor do we know who wrote for it, as none of the articles are by-lined.

As far as the Independent Socialist Party goes, prety much all we know is from John Goodwillie’s article in Gralton, 1983, and from Wikipedia. ,mm ,

Goodwillie:

Independent Socialist Party – formed c.1976 as a replacement for the Irish Committee for a Socialist Programme. Known for the membership of Bernadette McAliskey it was never more then a small group and ceased to function around 1978.

Wikipedia:

The Independent Socialist Party was a far left political party in Ireland. It was founded in 1976 as a split from the Irish Republican Socialist Party named the Irish Committee for a Socialist Programme, calling for more prominent socialist politics and less emphasis on paramilitary activity. The following year, it renamed itself the “Independent Socialist Party” and was joined by former UK Member of Parliament Bernadette McAliskey.

The party entered discussions with the Socialist Workers’ Movement (SWM), with the aim of forming a joint organisation, but the SWM chose instead to join the Socialist Labour Party in 1978. As a result, the Independent Socialist Party decided to disband.

Just flicking through the document it is concerned with Post Office and Aer Lingus strikes in the South, an RUC/British Army raid on Provisional Sinn Féin offices in the North (“We declare our unconditional solidarity [with PSF] as they bear the brunt of determined repression by British forces in the North”).

There is an article in the Independent Socialist which asks:

Are we Republicans? No, not in the sense of traditional republicanism. We are struggling for the establishment of a WORKERS state in each and every country ie: a state in which the ownership and control of production is in the hands of the working class, organised as one in the interests of all. Only by organising in the factories, the communities and local areas can workers gain control of every aspect of their own lives.

The ISP is not only asking awkward questions, fighting for workers’ rights defending gains made over a hundred years and more of struggle, but also seeking and finding answers as to why problems exist – organising not only to protect our class against the onslaught of the system but to overthrow the system of Capitalism, to trasnform society, to establish our own system, the working class system, SOCIALISM.

So, the obvious questions ensue. How large was the ISP membership, did it hold Annual Conferences, Ard Fheiseanna, do people know if it generated a defined set of policies/documents, did it have any elected representatives at any point and so forth?

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