Irish Left Archive: Nuclear Ireland? by Matthew Hussey, Carole Craig, Co-op Books/Focus Ireland, 1978 November 30, 2009Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Miscellaneous.
This is a document, and many thanks to Jim Monaghan for forwarding it, that to some extent runs at a tangent to much of the Archive. But it is without question that in the mid to late 1970s campaigns and activism developed that were centered on issues beyond socialism as such or the North and foreshadowed social campaigns and the rise of the environmental movement and its political face in the Ecology Party and later the transition of that organisation to a Green Party. However, that said, the left in all its forms was involved in the campaign to prevent the arrival of commercial nuclear power on our shores. The Fianna Fáil government had produced a Green Paper on energy, ‘Energy-Ireland, Discussion Document on some Current Energy Problems and Options’.
Indeed the book is explicit in noting that it ‘looks at these opposing views [on nuclear energy] and many others – in the context of the nuclear power station now being considered for Carnsore Point in County Wexford’. Written by Dr. Matthew Hussey of Kevin St. College of Technology and Carole Craig, a journalist, the quote on the back of the pamphlet indicates the approach taken within:
Fission energy is safe only if a number of critical devices work as they should, if a number of people in key positions follow all their instructions, if there is no sabotage, no hijacking of the transports, if no reactor fuel processing plant or repository anywhere in the world is situated in a region of riots, or guerilla activity, and no revolution or war – even a ‘conventional one’ – takes place in these regions. The enormous quantities of extremely dangerous materail must not get into the hands of ignorant people or desperadoes. No acts of God can be permitted.
Hans Alfren, Nobel Laureate
Inside it deals with the science of nuclear energy, safety issues, aspects of the econmics of nuclear power and the political ramifications. it also discusses alternatives. Throughout it is illustrated by Martyn Turner cartoons and strips. It’s actually quite a snappy read and very evocative of the period within which it was produced. Odd to reflect that as recently as this last week, John Gormley was arguing that the nuclear option while not his choice was not something that he would dismiss out of hand.
On a further tangent to this topic there’s some illuminating material inside the Lost Revolution on the agonising within SFWP on the issue of nuclear technology.
New article about Charles Donnelly and Frank Ryan on the Hidden History of UCD site November 29, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
You’ll find it here.
Also news of a new Irish blog called ‘Come Here To Me’ which hopes to publicise worthwhile events, review gigs/movies/books/pubs and collate social/radical Dublin history. Something in the line of Dublin Opinion or CLR. Sounds good…
That latest Public Sector perk… November 28, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, Uncategorized.
Government officials and the public sector unions are expected to begin considering in detail today proposals for reducing the pay bill for next year.
The introduction of a compulsory unpaid leave arrangement for staff in the public service next year is emerging as a central feature of any alternative deal between unions and the Government for reducing the public sector pay bill without across-the-board pay cuts.
The details of the amount of unpaid leave that staff would be obliged to take next year under any such alternative agreement has not been decided. There has been speculation in recent days that it could involve 12-14 days per year.
The introduction of compulsory unpaid leave would effectively represent a reduction in earnings for staff – some unions estimate that it means a 2 per cent cut for every five days of unpaid leave. However, the nominal pensionable pay of workers would remain the same.
Or… when is a pay cut… not a pay cut?
When it sort of is a pay cut?
Communist Party of Ireland: Public Forum Finglas Monday 30th November November 28, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left, Uncategorized.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF IRELAND.
This coming Monday 30th November our third public forum will take place in Finglas, Dublin 11. All welcome
Eugene Mc Cartan
That financial orthodoxy…and a small argument on the economic right. November 28, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
An enjoyable piece from Karl Whelan over on Irish Economy which takes to task some of the assertions made by Pat McArdle in the Irish Times this week and in particular the notion that there is no connection between the monies pumped into the banks and the budgetary crisis. I like Whelan’s stuff. He’s honest and although not on our side of the ideological divide (last week he had an interesting piece on flat taxes, but… it was on flat taxes) there’s usually something worth reading.
McArdle argues that:
If the exchequer were to inject another €4 billion capital into Anglo Irish Bank in the morning, this would increase the EBR by an equivalent amount but would have no impact whatsoever on the GGD.
This is because the international rules treat such capitalisation as a “below the line” transaction, i.e. investment in a commercial State body which is outside the government sector, rather than current expenditure which affects the deficit.
Whelan disagrees. Not least because Anglo ‘is no longer a commercial operation and the government will get back none of the €4bn that was put in this year, nor is likely to get back what it will put in next year’.
It’s funny, I was reading McArdle’s piece on Thursday morning and thinking, hmmmm… that can’t be right – particularly when he started to argue that General Government Deficit was the ‘critical measure’ of fiscal policy rather than the Exchequer Borrowing Requirement, but wasn’t quite certain as to whether it was my own bias that was informing me or something a little bit more grounded. Good to see it wasn’t just me for Whelan dismisses this too. And telling to note that a year ago I probably wouldn’t have recognised that something was slightly amiss. Them’s the times we live in.
But important too to note that McArdle’s piece fits into a discourse of There is No Alternative. His overall point was to argue that:
The €4 billion of “cuts” is required to stabilise the GGD in 2010 at the alarmingly high level of 12 per cent of GDP; without them, the deficit would rise to 14 per cent, the highest in the euro zone. It is unlikely that this would be tolerated by either the markets or the EU.
The estimates given in the April budget, namely €4 billion for the scale of the action needed to prevent the 2010 GGD worsening, stand, irrespective of whether or not the banks are bailed out or the pension fund terminated.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way out of the current fiscal dilemma; fortunately, this seems now to be increasingly realised inside the Dáil. However, the communication of this message to the public at large remains a challenge.
In this case because there is a core of dissenters on one aspect of fiscal policy, that being NAMA, there is an immediate critique, not from the left but the economic right, to point out that his analysis is arguably incorrect and that, as Whelan notes, the capital injected into the banking sector has a direct impact upon the broader budgetary crisis. It is perhaps a sign of how dominant the economic orthodoxy is that it takes IE to provide this critique.
Pat McArdle writes economic commentaries for The Irish Times . He is a former chief economist with Ulster Bank. This is the first of a number of pieces he will write between now and budget day, teasing out the options facing the Government and their implications.
A continuing series? It looks like we can expect entertaining times ahead. At least on that front.
This weekend I’ll be mostly listening to… The Early Years November 28, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Let’s keep it contemporary for a few more weekends. After all it’s coming up to the end of the year and it’s always good to think ones heard something new. Thing is with The Early Years that true enough. But… A couple of weeks ago I referenced Hallogalloo by Neu! in relation to System 7, last week we saw the Horrors reshaping themselves as a post-punk krautrock act influenced by…er… Neu! and what’s this? Why it’s another, earlier, run-through. And while some might be irritated by that I kind of like the sort of cheek of giving that a lash.
It’s enthusiastic indie tinged with krautrock and a rhythm section who know how to get things started and just keep going. Is it new? It sure isn’t, but as with all the best music it sounds new enough. I particularly like their sort of Embrace meets Neu! approach of soft ballads that morph into pulsing noise. And the production on the ballad parts of the songs is crystal clear, something I don’t usually like, but it’s the way it changes that largely makes the songs. Great stuff.
Wiki claims that Damo Suzuki likes them and that he invited them to play as his backing band some years back. And somehow I’ll bet both he and they were chuffed by that, albeit for different reasons.
It’s funny, 1979 through to 82 were heavily influenced, in post-punk, by Krautrock, and here we are thirty odd years later and the wheel has turned yet again.
Like the videos too.
Sad to say their website and Myspace page doesn’t indicate any activity since a single released in July 2008, which is a real pity. Surely now is the time to catch the wave…
All Ones And Zeros (an… ahem… homage to Neu!) from their debut album released in 2007.
So Far Gone
Say What I Want To
More from Irish Election Literature Blog… November 27, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
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Many thanks as ever to AK who runs the IELB. Some great stuff this week. Particularly the last one from one A. Glenn… As AK explains:
A leaflet from a Waterboys benefit concert for the Green Alliance from 1987. At the same time Red Wedge was running in Britain.
The leaflet also advertises a CND demo at the British Embassy to mark the 30th Annniversary of the Windscale Fire.
I’ve been to other benefit gigs in my time, but its not often they are for a Political Party…
A Certain Mr Rabbitte from 1987
Workers Party Youth from 1991. With the ‘Youth Agenda’ of the time.
Lisa Maher from the Socialist Party in the 2004 Local Elections
Joan Collins from the 2004 local elections.
Micheal O’Muireagain Sinn Fein 1992 Dublin South East
and not quite of the Left….
The Alice Glenn Report from 1987.. ‘Why Fine Gael Divorced Alice Glenn’
Our New, um, Government November 26, 2009Posted by Tomboktu in Uncategorized.
Actually, I’m not writing about a new government in the traditional sense of that word, but about the make up of the new European Commission, which was finalised today. (The portfolios have not yet been sorted, though.)
Three European-level political have seats in the new Commission: the EPP (of which Fine Gael is a member), ALDE (of which, more recently, Fianna Fáil has become a member) and the renamed S&D, of which Labour is a member.
The distribution of seats is not good for the Left. Although S&D won twice as many seats as the ALDE in the European Parliament elections last June (184 for S&D to 84 for ALDE), they have fewer seats in the new Commission: 6 out of the 27 for the S&D against 8 for the ALDE.
With only a third of the members coming from the S&D, the next Commission is not going to be good for those of us on the Left.
The list is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8378401.stm)