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Some thoughts on the Cedar Lounge Revolution… December 23, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

2009 has probably been the most event filled year since we came on-line. Plenty of news. Perhaps too much and given that there was no General Election that’s saying something. Unfortunately a number of our valued contributors were unable to continue to post due to other commitments.

The Left Archive, many of you will be interested to hear, has enough material to see us well into the future. We’ve scanned sufficient documents to see us through to mid 2010 and there’s been considerable assistance in the shape of documents scanned by others to see us further. But there’s always a need for more, and particularly from smaller formations, from gaps in the historical record and so on. 1970 was a significant year in Irish history, and nowhere more so than on the left. We hope the materials posted in the Archive will reflect that. Again our thanks to anyone who has contributed materials and pieces.

Many thanks to AK at Irish Election Literature Blog whose weekly contribution is enlivening the material here.

And also thanks to our newest contributor Tomboktu for a range of posts that have broadened the CLR remit. That’s an important point. There’s always room for more posts and contributions are very welcome from any or all of you. We’ll look at them, see if they fit within the ethos and more than likely post them up.

Thanks most importantly to those of you who posted or commented here this year in the spirit of the CLR. That spirit is best described by reference to our moderation guidelines, one of courtesy and respect for others opinions. That’s been fundamental to this enterprise, not least because the nature of this enterprise, first and foremost a pastime (yep, let’s call it like it is), a means of communication between like minds, a means of putting material from the left into the public domain and to some limited extent a forum for the expression of views mostly from the left. Thankfully it’s just one amongst quite a few sites of a similar outlook.

It’s not important in the scheme of things except to the people who use it. But that’s us, and to us it’s very important, a labour of love, something that is a resource (we hope), a collective effort. You can disagree with everything we stand for and yet, we think, respect that collective effort. And that demands that those who come here treat it and all here in that spirit. If we want a discussion let’s have it. If people want Politics.ie they know where to go. Eagle has a brief message at the end of each comment box… ‘Comment – be civil’. It’s good advice.

Despite one thing and another we’ve managed to retain our light touch moderation and – we think – give a strong defense of our approach and philosophy and mostly in a good humored way. That’s no small thing. Our principles aren’t diminished by opposing critiques. We’ve heard nothing in the last year that has fundamentally altered the trajectory of our beliefs, beliefs shared with those other sites of a like mind, and we’d be worried if anyone here had.

One of the real pleasures of being co-organisers here has been the opportunity to make contact with a range of people on the left and further left over the course of the years. It’s good to know we aren’t alone, particularly in truly difficult times – one need only see how the CDP schemes are being gutted and talk to anyone involved to know that for all the cant about pragmatism those who can least afford it are having cuts forced upon them where they are least acceptable – that there is a strong and principled left still extant despite everything and that is worth something. Progressives of all stripes and none will always get a respectful hearing here… that’s the purpose of the exercise.

So, any changes in 2010? We’re toying with the notion of going back to the original model of slightly longer posts – like the series New Myths of the Peace Process – in between the snappier material. But we’d also be interested in the opinion of others on that score. And any suggestions for improvements across any of the areas this post discusses – Left Archive, contributors, topics, moderation, approaches – would be gratefully accepted in the comments below.

The next Left Archive will be posted up on the 4th of January and there’ll be some discussion posts along the lines of ‘gifts for progressives’ here and there to keep the site open and tide us over Christmas (and some more from AK to wrap up the year on the Irish Election Literature front) but we’ll be taking a break from anything too weighty – events permitting – until the New Year…

Again, many thanks for your support and participation – and many thanks too to everyone else, you know your sites, who’ve made this an educational and entertaining year for us. Sorry if this sounds overly reflective and solemn… that’s not the intention… just we’ve had a few issues we wanted to clear the air about and it’s hard not to sound either too casual or too serious…and any comments you have on improvements, fire away…


1. Niall - December 23, 2009

Congrats on a good year.

On the subject of a return to longer posts, I’d love to read longer posts in the new year, but, at the same time, I’d hate to lose the relatively brief comments on the news stories of the day.

More and more as the year went on, I found this to be one of very few places where common sense prevailed. For me, the CLR has become a much needed antidote to the rubbish promoted by much of the Irish media who seem blissfully unaware of their ideological biases.


2. splinteredsunrise - December 23, 2009

I second that. I’ve been drifting into a “better fewer but longer” approach myself, but that has mostly to do with work patterns.

CLR has two great strengths for me. One is a consistently good take on southern politics, which you really have to make an effort to follow in the north if you want to go beyond the one or two pages in the Irish News. The other is a consistently high (and civil) level of discussion.

Oh, and the Left Archive. Some things I’d forgotten and some I didn’t know about to start with.


3. Jim Monaghan - December 23, 2009

Hi Splintered. Is there any chance we know each other
Jim Monaghan


4. WorldbyStorm - December 23, 2009

Appreciate that…

The reason we’ve done a piece like this which is a bit different from the usual end of year greetings (that’ll be there too) is because myself and the others were aware that there was some concern expressed about developments and we wanted to make it clear what our take is on this. Chekov of Indymedia once said to me that at a certain point there’s a danger the tone changes. That’s something we’re keen to keep a rein on and retain the good stuff.

But splintered I think the level of discourse on splintered sunrise is essentially the same with much the same approach and in many ways given that you address some very heated topics the fact people keep it generally cool is telling.

Jim, we should have a cuppa in the New Year.


5. ejh - December 23, 2009

Eventually of course you will be invaded by teenage libertarians or other undesirables. Best of luck with the light touch when that occurs.


WorldbyStorm - December 23, 2009

That’s a good point. I think it’s a case of we cross that bridge when we come to it. Although I should add that we sort of had a most interesting couple of months conversation with one of the Irish freedom crowd last year before he transcended to meet the singularity.


ejh - December 23, 2009

Oh, was that the one with the fantastic bowing-out post?


6. WorldbyStorm - December 23, 2009

Yeah, spot on. He was off to kick stones along a beach in a country which didn’t tax him or somesuch. One hopes that the wages, standards of healthcare etc were up to scratch…

I must go and find it. It was great.


7. Fergal - December 23, 2009

Don’t contribute to CLR as much as I should!Of this I am certain..whenever you read CLR you’re bound to learn something.


8. Crocodile - December 23, 2009

I can’t read or comment during working hours – public sector, you know, too busy – so I’ve noticed that by the time I get home in the evening things have usually calmed down. Contributions are longer and more considered, usually, less reactive. And those who comment from their places of work are, I have a hunch, on average younger. Lucky buggers are probably in the pub when I’m reading what they wrote at 11 am.


9. yourcousin - December 24, 2009

Congrats on another year CLR. I always enjoyed the “myths of the peace of the process”, but often found myself at a loss to comment. So let it be noted that no comment does not lessen the appreciation of a post, especially those.

I admit that the daily news critique is not my cup of tea being that I’ve got my own recession to deal with, but regardless of the direction you all choose to take you have acquited yourselves well this last year (because while I may not be able to wade through daily critiques does not mean they are not worth while, they most certainly are). Glad to see Garibaldy posting here regularly too, which is odd being that we disagree on almost everything, but I love the civil debate, so what can I say?


Garibaldy - December 24, 2009

Thanks YC.


10. Ramzi Nohra - December 24, 2009

I’d like to add my congratulations. I really like the feel of the blog, and how you’ve kept it going for so long. Very mature standard of debate. Even when people vehemently disagree on issues there has been little overt slaggin.

Merry Christmas everyone! (in a secular democratic sense of course)


11. Gypsy - December 24, 2009

As it’s the season of goodwill and all that I’d like to apologise if my remarks with regard to a certain poster and my expectations of his views on the budget, were deemed as goading. I know he felt that my remarks were merely carping from the sidelines even if I thought I was only doing so tongue-in-cheek.
But sure isn’t that what we’re all doing here (carping from the sidelines) if you look at the wider political landscape out there.
In my defence it was the day of the budget and even after weeks of being softened up I still found it hard to stomach.

Out of interest did I miss out on the details of the sock puppetry call – I don’t always follow here as closely as I’d like to?

That said I hope those that are in a position to, enjoy the break. And to those that aren’t, I hope you get a change in fortune soon.


WorldbyStorm - December 24, 2009

No need to apologise Gypsy. Ah the sockpuppetry issue – best left forgotten.

I think you’re completely right, for a lot of people this is going to be a tough Christmas. For a lot more next Christmas will be even worse.


ejh - December 24, 2009

It’s called “taking courageous decisions” or something


12. WorldbyStorm - December 24, 2009

Again, appreciate all the thoughts… I’ll be putting up a thread on improvements and changes in a couple of days. Myself and the others are keen to know what people think.


13. EamonnCork - December 24, 2009

Quick question. Someone might know this. Clement Casey, Lord Mayor of Limerick 1980-1981. FF or FG?
And happy Christmas to the lot of you.


irishelectionliterature - December 24, 2009

Clem Casey was FF


EamonnCork - December 26, 2009

Thanks. I appreciate that.


14. splinteredsunrise - December 24, 2009

Well, yes. Happy Christmas to everybody, and thanks for another great year.


15. ejh - December 24, 2009

May all (or most) of you survive the gruesome period that is nearly upon us.


16. EamonnCork - December 24, 2009

I suppose, for those of us with young kids, tomorrow morning is our version of the storming of the Winter Palace.


17. Garibaldy - December 24, 2009

The trick Eamonn is to avoid it turning into your Ekaterinburg.


18. ejh - December 26, 2009

Is it over yet?


19. Baku26 - December 30, 2009

Well done. Keep up the good work.


20. Justin - December 31, 2009

My first posting on CLR was an intemperate attack on a political figure, more akin to primal scream therapy than political analysis . I had previously cut my teeth on other sites where entering an argument was akin to entering a Saloon Bar in the Wild West: a fight was bound to break out.

For my first CLR posting I received some gentle admonishment from WBS: ‘ Standards, dear boy!’

I have come to realise that the only way to make your point on the Internet is through reasoned, good-mannered debate. CLR is a model Internet debating society, and while I comment only occasionally, I visit it a lot.


WorldbyStorm - December 31, 2009

It’s almost over ejh… I’ve sort of enjoyed my self-imposed exile of the last week. Refreshing batteries…

Ah, it’s a bit of craic Justin, and hopefully not too much of a debating society – or at least in the right way… and at least some stuff hopefully gets highlighted.

Thanks Baku26…


21. Justin - December 31, 2009

BTW, when i said debating society, I wasn’t referring to that formal mularkey that students get up to. I meant a place where you can find good debate. Brain more than usually addled by too much Xmas cheer!


WorldbyStorm - December 31, 2009

Sorry, Justin, didn’t mean the response to sound like I was criticising your thoughts.. I agreed completely with you…


22. Rights and Responsibilities « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - January 10, 2010

[…] violating moderation policy rather than deleting it. But my hand was forced. On December 23rd, in his review of the year on the CLR, WBS said the following Thanks most importantly to those of you who posted or commented here this […]


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