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What you want to say… Budget Day Open Thread, 5th December, 2012 December 5, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

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


1. Alan Rouge - December 5, 2012

Did anyone read Kathleen Lynch’s very critical piece on charity in the Irish Times last week? There’s a response today in the IT which is a rubbish attempt to justify charity in place of public services that ought to be provided as a matter of democratic principle in you know, a democratic society where human rights ought to be untouchable. There was a UN reporter on poverty here last year who said that human rights were not a policy option. This is precisely what is going on however – people’s rights to an education, to be cared for when sick, to have the means to live in dignity and to live in a home are all subjected to a radical undemocratic fundamentalism. So you have Dan O’Brien on Tv3 last night in a state of apoplexy because Vincent Browne couldn’t “find the money” and sketch out a “workable” social policy to redistribute wealth.

Don’t expect to hear anything about citizens having rights to public services and security in the material conditions of their lives as a core democratic principle today.


2. anarchaeologist - December 5, 2012


3. CL - December 5, 2012

Enough with all this economic crap. Alpha Centaurii here we come.
At NASA a “new line of research hopes to drastically reduce the amount of energy required for warping space-time, and get us to Alpha Centauri in just two weeks time.”


anarchaeologist - December 5, 2012

Whatever about the marches, we really should have some sense of corporate identity for this one. Wonder if they’d let us take a CLR banner on board the spacecraft to AC?


Joe - December 5, 2012

“Corporate identity”? We’ve got to find a better term than that. It it’s “corporate identity”, then I’ll stay behind on planet earth thank you very much.


Michael Carley - December 5, 2012

Why bother? We could go straight to the Starry Plough itself in a fortnight.


4. greengoddess2 - December 5, 2012
dilettante - December 6, 2012

My guess is that Keaveney will struggle with his conscience and that Keaveney will win.


5. RosencrantzisDead - December 5, 2012

This is not Budget related, but does anyone understand the Bishop’s Union, or whatever they are, stance on the recent report on legislating for X?

They claim that the report allows for ‘abortion’ in three of its four recommendations and states that they are against that. In the same breath, they state that the current law is fine and protects mother and child and have also stated that the Church has never taught that a foetus’ life supersedes that of the mother.

See here: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/1205/breaking28.html

Considering that the recent Expert group report is aiming to clarify the existing law, what are they complaining about?


6. Michael Carley - December 5, 2012
Joe - December 5, 2012

You not been paying attention Mick? Reports a few months back that the Real IRA and the Derry Republican Action Against Drugs and some others (possibly including the ETP (my invented initials for a group of ex Provos from East Tyrone)) had amalgamated. The reports said the new entity considered itself to be the IRA. But some papers have started to describe them as the New IRA.


7. doctorfive - December 5, 2012



8. sonofstan - December 5, 2012

FFS – Mary Wilson has just given a summary of what the change in the term of JSB involves which was wrong in every significant detail. She called it Jobseeker’s Allowance’ rather than Benefit, and said that when it ran out, you go on to ‘welfare’ which, she said, was much lower. It isn’t, necessarily, the big difference is that it’s means tested. Completely ignorant of how and on what 15% of the labour force have to live.


9. LeftAtTheCross - December 5, 2012

Anyone go to any book launches recently?


10. Bian - December 5, 2012

Today I read the I.Times article by Kath.Lynch of 24th November last and I agree with very nearly everything that she says.
When she mentions that charity leads to a ‘judgement’ of those in receipt of it i.e. deserving or undeserving; this is exactly the case. It actually comes down to the old w.b.yeats ‘municipal gallery’ poem, where decisions are left to: ‘What th’ onion thought’ or to ‘learn the shepherd’s will’; it really is a changing case of the opinions and even the day to day whims of whoever feels like making future housing decisions for someone. It is so tenuous it is criminal.
When she says that the ‘givers of charity’ feel morally superior; how true this is; but also the receivers feel even more diminished and hopelessly, mutely, aghast and inferior. There are even ‘social’ housing organisations where I have heard (I think correctly) where tenants might not be the only ones to have their key; and even must clarify with the social organisation what colour and if (inside) they may paint their domicile. This; ain’t ‘security’.
I do wish Kathleen Lynch would do an article on ‘inheritance’; not many articles are published on this, for maybe the very good reason that it just might require bravery.
The very lower-range of mid-aged men in this country is quite concerning; they may not be being served well by the ‘non-social’ bigger political party (S.F.?). They are at a ‘hopeless’ age, in that they might just opt to disregard insisting on the very important concept of ‘commonality’ (as Commonwealth – U.K. insist on there) and might just hopelessly opt for ‘social equality’; this will be a MASSIVE disservice to their own future generations of young.
Some kind of intrinsic immediacy to ‘property’ must be done; as Proudhon said (in his latter years) ‘Property is Liberty’.
And that is a SCARY concept; ‘Libery’ for ….. everyone; and it is only when that is introduced and the few that cannot fully managed their own ‘liberty’ responsibility; that the concept of ‘charity’ would be concerned.


11. Mark P - December 5, 2012

A disgusting budget brought in by disgusting politicians in disgusting parties working together in a disgusting government. Also, entirely predictable.

The combination of cuts to child benefit, the property tax and the reduction in the period jobseeker’s benefit will be available for is particularly vicious. I also note that the unemployed will have the wonderful option of “deferring” the property tax and instead building up considerable debt at a 4% interest rate.


WorldbyStorm - December 5, 2012

That last is particularly vile.


Paul - December 5, 2012

It’s probably a ‘job activation’ thing.


Starkadder - December 6, 2012

I only just noticed the PT thing. Absolutely disgraceful.


12. Ivorthorne - December 5, 2012


This is unreal. We’re living in Wonderland. They won’t be happy until we’re all headless.


13. Ruban - December 5, 2012

This Govt. would watch and tax everything.
Be under no illusions whatsoever about that.
At the moment, they are outsourcing loc.auth.maintenance
of underground; to newly wealthy contractors; and then
will charge for water.
All to?…. ensure there will be ‘mess’ for a next Govt.


14. doctorfive - December 5, 2012

BTEA students see contribution hiked %100 to 500. The 300 (already down from 500 in 2011) for, exorbitant, books etc axed altogether. The grant was taken completely in 2010. 750 worse off since two years.

More cuts onto that if you’re also a lone parent along with rent hikes as the property tax gets passed on.


15. Mark P - December 5, 2012

The Daily Mail’s front page did at least give me a laugh.


16. Mark P - December 6, 2012

On a completely unrelated note, I see that some Irish liberal types, mostly academics, writers and a few assorted others, have put out an open letter asking Hilary Clinton to raise the issue of abortion during her visit here.

Irish liberals never saw an imperialist power they didn’t want to abase themselves before.


Irish Liberal Type - December 6, 2012

Yeah because exposing Ireland’s squalid domestic politics to international pressure has always been a total waste of time in the past. Cf. Homosexuality, Northern Ireland.

I guess Irish women will just have to wait till Joe Higgins is elected Taoiseach before they can obtain a life-saving abortion.


Mark P - December 6, 2012

Irish women will gain access to life-saving abortions through keeping up pressure on the government on the streets, and building a movement for women’s rights.

The idea that sucking up to imperial powers, begging them to put pressure on local states, is a way to achieve progressive domestic goals is all too common amongst liberals and NGO people. They call it the “boomerang effect”. It’s mostly ineffectual, sometimes counterproductive and always deeply patronising to the rest of the local population. Irish people have already been won around to supporting (inadequate) abortion rights under the X case and to supporting some (still inadequate) wider rights than those, and they can be convinced to support full abortion rights.

It fits perfectly with the general cultural cringe a lot of Irish liberal types feel, towards Britain, towards the EU and, at least when one of those nasty Republicans isn’t in charge, the US. Precisely what moral authority to they imagine Hilary Clinton, a former Senator who voted for the Iraq war, and a Secretary of State during the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, has?


Irish Liberal Type - December 6, 2012

She has the moral authority of someone who has defended the woman’s right to choose throughout her entire political career.

I wasn’t a big fan of her husband’s presidency either but I liked what he did in the North. And it was hardly “ineffectual”.

Do you really that US involvement in the peace process was “deeply patronising” because I’m pretty sure that it’s only hard-line unionists who share that view. Or should we just have left it to Noraid and Pete King to do all the “patronising”?


WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2012

I’d tend to agree ILT. The idea that all this can be homegrown is a bit fantastical. Any progress requires both protests, action in the Dáil a la JC, CD, MW and others and any extra pressure that can be brought to bear on the government and in particular FG (and FG TDs and their beloved leader who did his own best to show off in front of Obama not a year and a half ago – yes we can indeed) to do the bare minimum in terms of legislation.

The idea that US assistance in the 1990s was ‘patronising’ is a line born of the comfort of the conflict now being an historical memory for the most part. At various stages it was essential in helping put pressure on various parties and groups, not least the UK government. It would have been childish of the Irish state, and a.n.others given the scale of the problem not to seek that any other assistance forthcoming to attempt to resolve the issue whether one likes them, their politics, or not.

BTW, it doesn’t do to underestimate the impact of the European aspect of X. That’s a standard or yardstick that the government, it’s back benchers and all others have to take into account, even if they disagree with it they have to fashoin arguments (like Caroline Simmons et al) to counter it. So already there is an international dimension. As indeed there always has been – because those of us who seek both minimal and in our case maximal provision have never been shy at pointing to the situation in other legislatures and holding them up as normative and appropriate.


Mark P - December 6, 2012

“She has the moral authority of someone who has defended the woman’s right to choose throughout her entire political career.”

Alternatively, she has the moral authority of someone who has defended and advanced the interests of capital and of US imperialism throughout her entire political career and has the blood of tens of thousands on her hands. That Irish liberals are so fond of her, her husband, Obama and other Democratic Party politicians and do actually believe that these people have some kind of persuasive moral authority is disgusting, but not, I suppose, surprising.


sonofstan - December 6, 2012

I would have thought ‘moral authority’ would be the last notion we would want to appeal to in the political struggle for abortion rights. It is precisely the corruption of the political by moralism that we are fighting against.


Richard - December 6, 2012

Maybe we could appeal to the US example of defending women’s rights in Afghanistan and call on her to bomb the villages where Youth Defence supporters live.


17. CL - December 6, 2012

“It has been a great honour for Ireland to have been invited to lead this organisation at such an important time in international relations both politically and economically,” Mr Gilmore said.

“It is a demonstration of the confidence and respect accorded to Ireland internationally, and which was evident again in our election to the UN Human Rights Council in November.”-Irish Times

In response to the U.S drone attacks

‘the UN announced a special unit to investigate reported civilian casualties. Its two leaders, special rapporteurs Ben Emmerson and Christof Heyns, have each referred to the reported tactic of targeting funerals and rescuers as potentially ‘war crimes’.’

No doubt Mr.Gilmore will raise the issue of these ‘potential’ war crimes with secretary of state Clinton.


18. irishelectionliterature - December 7, 2012

Might be of interest to one or two here….
AC/DC Live at River Plate is on at 9 tonight on BBC Four


CMK - December 7, 2012

It interests me! They gave in to iTunes the week before last and the whole back catalogue is now available for download. An ‘unfashionable’ band and I’ve never warmed to Brian Johnson but should be worth a look!


19. John Cunningham - December 8, 2012

The Limerick Trades Council has launched a petition to have retained in Limerick a five-bob-note issued by the Limerick Soviet.
The petition should be supported.
[And if this is the wrong thread for this appeal, could the moderator please move it to an appropriate one]



20. John Cunningham - December 11, 2012

Some of us down here were wondering why a leader of the militant South African miners was filmed wearing an NUI Galway sweatshirt



21. doctorfive - December 14, 2012
WorldbyStorm - December 14, 2012

Odd to see that in the quietus, but very interesting. Way too optimistic.


sonofstan - December 14, 2012

Peace takes the whodunit premise of crime fiction and nudges it into social critique: the perpetrator of violence in his novels is usually a sinister cabal of policemen, property developers, MPs, football club chairmen, local businessmen, minor celebrities, and paedophiles.

Prompts the question as to why – with almost infinite source material – there is no Irish David Peace. Mark P. noted it a while back that Irish writers have been feeble at best, downright dishonest at worst during this crisis – a piece by Anne Enright in the LRB in ’09 (?) of the ‘we lost the run of ourselves’ type sickened me so much I’ve been unable to read anything by her since.


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