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What you want to say… Open Thread, 16th January, 2012 January 16, 2013

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.

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1. Depps - January 16, 2013

Via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ULADublinCentral), this might be of interest to some:



The first meeting on the 19th – the scheduled quarterly nonaligned national meeting – will feature a report back from the non-aligned delegation of Henry Silke, Eddie Conlon and Alan Gibson on their meeting with Joan Collins, Clare Daly and Dermot Connolly. This will lead into a discussion on the general situation and what we think should be the next steps forward for the left in preparation for the meeting on the 2nd. It will take place between 4pm and 6pm in the Teachers’ Club.

The second meeting on the 2nd of February is envisaged to be an inclusive and exhaustive joint-meeting between the entire nonaligned, Joan Collins, Clare Daly, Dermot Connolly and their respective local groups(“JCD”). This meeting is taking place at JCD’s request. It will discuss how the non-aligned and JCD can move forward together, specifically the possibility of these elements evolving into a new group under the ULA umbrella until such a time that the overall ULA project can move forward. Teachers Club in Dublin is booked for 2pm until 6pm for this meeting.

2. yourcousin - January 16, 2013

I see Robert Kees has died at 93, read and enjoyed the one volume version of The Green Flag

3. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 16, 2013

Anyone see the Vincent Browne show discussion about unions on TV3 last night? Though I hate to admit it I thought Fioneen ‘Beaker’ Sheehan caught Browne a beaut about TV3′s non-union policies.

6to5against - January 16, 2013

I don’t know if he did. Browne could comfortably say he thought there should be a union, but Sheehan’s face as he was quizzed about how the NUJ chapel in the INM did nothing to protect Sam Smyth was hilarious. You could almost see the cogs and wheels in his head turning and trying to find an answer that didn’t either (a) paint him as cowardly or dishonest, or (b) cost him his job.
Then he had a go at the unions for not striking over the lower pay rates for new entrants. I’m sure he would have led the Indo in a campaign of ongoing support for PS unions if we had done so!

WorldbyStorm - January 16, 2013

Very good point 6to5against in your last paragraph.

4. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 16, 2013

That’s all true, but the fact is Browne works for a company that doesn’t allow unions at all and all he could do was waffe about how he supposedly has raised it with management at TV3. If Beaker had any cop-on he would have known Browne had a very ‘difficult’ relationship with the NUJ at the Sunday Tribune, to the point of a physical fight with a union rep. Of course since Browne is rude to politicians (or bullys the ones that can be bullied) and comes out with liberal nonsense about how if nobody was paid over 100,000 grand a year Ireland would be a more equal place, he is given some sort of saint status by a publicity-starved left. Read Magill in the early 80s, when Charlie McCreevy was its poster-boy and then tell me about the left-winger Vincent Browne.

ivorthorne - January 16, 2013

Browne is no saint but I’d not hold what he wrote or did in the 80s against him. Many CLR readers were in nappies at the time.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 16, 2013

Apply that logic to almost any other subject- ‘I know I should feel strongly about Thatcher but sure I was in nappies at the time.’

ivorthorne - January 16, 2013

If Thatcher was around today and acted like Vincent Browne, I’d have few problems with her.

A better example would be the Sinn Fein leadership.

WorldbyStorm - January 16, 2013

I see what you’re saying Branno, but surely if people change their views isn’t that at least somewhat to their credit. After all I’m sure you and I had views that we wouldn’t have now… Not saying, btw, that Browne is any great shakes. I find him difficult to impossible to watch and it’s a bit hard to stomach his leftish rhetoric, but I think he’s sincere about certain things.

5. Jim Monaghan - January 16, 2013

“comes out with liberal nonsense about how if nobody was paid over 100,000 grand a year Ireland would be a more equal place” I would add that it would be a better place with less poverty. If this is liberal nonsense, I wonder what is revolutionary. In Ireland where the trade union movement is on its knees, at least Browne allows other opinions. Don’t know where he stands on politics and union recognition but in general I accept that people change. Perhaps he has.

6. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 16, 2013

Browne understands nothing about class- he feels sorry for ‘poor people’ but can’t conceive of the fact that highly skilled workers might earn good money and demand more. He’s main appeal is to moralism and middle class guilt. He can bully a few idiots from the FG and FF backbenches, patronise a few community sector heads, become all warm and fuzzy when questioning women (and at times frankly creepy), and be essentially incoherent half the time – not able to read out headlines properly etc (something he doesn’t forgive in his guests). Nice work if you can get it.

7. Jim Monaghan - January 16, 2013

I think a maximum wage is a possible transitional demand. SF are for it. I am for it. Does it damn it because Browne is for it. He earns more so he would suffer. Middle class guilt. There would be a lot fewer lefties without it. One tragedy is the blatant hypocrisy of our elites. People begin to reject the system is stages, not in one jump. Posing a demand like this which makes sense according to lots of reasons including moralism. It is wrong to be rich when so many are poor.. I don’t think anyone is worth more than 100k.
As a socialist I do not belong to the school of some are more equal than others.
I worked in the Public Sector and morale was destroyed by the overpaid so and sos on top.

que - January 17, 2013

“I worked in the Public Sector and morale was destroyed by the overpaid so and sos on top.”

thats very true and I think you have to have worked in a public sector admin area to really appreciate how true.

smiffy - January 17, 2013

True, but not as damaging to morale as pay cuts across the board. Yes, high levels of pay are an issue among some in the public service but as shown on another post, the numbers paid at those levels are very low, in terms of overall public sector numbers and relative to private sector pay.

It’s also dangerous and counterproductive to focus unduly on the individuals paid at those levels as the media concentration on them is obviously nothing more than a stalking horse for across the board attacks on pay and conditions at all levesl (as even to cut the salaries of everyone earning over €100,000 in the public sector by 50% would have a negligible effect on the deficit).

As for Sinn Féin’s maximum wage, if they were sincere about it, they would look to achieve the same thing through the tax system.

8. sonofstan - January 16, 2013

‘It’s not fair!’ is never a socialist argument

Jim Monaghan - January 17, 2013

But it can be a good start. Why should the poor pay for a crisis caused by the rich sounds like a good opening for a discussion.
Starting with something like only socialism can solve the crisis is a steep step.

que - January 17, 2013

or why should the rich be able to game the system so you lose automatically

Joe - January 17, 2013

I’m a simple man. A maximum wage of €100,000 is a simple demand which I understand and would support. And if something isn’t fair, and someone says “it’s not fair and we’ll make it fair”, I would support them.
Or put it another way: Maximum wage of €100,000! and A fairer world! sound like socialist demands to me.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 17, 2013

‘Fairness’ can be a doubled-edged sword. The rhetoric of fairness can and has been appropriated by the populist right- you need more than that to win support for the left.

Jim Monaghan - January 17, 2013

I will worry about that when it happens. Get a grip. The overpaid scum use the argument that they are worth it. They are not.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 17, 2013

I’ve heard ‘overpaid’ used about ESB electricians, teachers, staff nurses……workers have a right to win wage rises and by definition they will always be on higher wages than somebody.

que - January 17, 2013

Many things have been appropriated by the populist right. To name but a few – achieving actual policy goals, building solid political support, using the language of fairness.
‘you need more than that to win support for the left’ – its clear that what ever the left knows winning support is not high up there.

People will listen to arguments about fairness and buy into them a lot faster than listening to arguments about the reality of class warfare, the divisions within the capitalist classes etc etc.

The right use ‘fairness’ as a populist clarion call to the voters. The left use terms like ‘core capitalist classes’ as a clarion call to fellow left wingers.

The right communicate effectively enough with the voters to get their votes. The left obviously dont. Is that the danger to be avoided. Is it instead double down on the same approach.

Fairness is not a loaded term and if the Left has people who are reluctant to accept it as a valid expression for left leaning parties then maybe that explains an awful lot about why the Irish left is where it is.

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 17, 2013

FF councillor on radio today- Travellers getting free housing, social welfare and being allowed flaunt law, while hard working people are struggling to pay the bills. It’s not fair.

9. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 16, 2013

Browne’s website politico.ie does have some good stuff- this might be of interest


CMK - January 16, 2013

+1 That is well worth reading. The bit about Gerry Adams, erstwhile IRA commander, being afraid of this Bryson guy was memorable!

Florrie O'Donoghue - January 17, 2013

Much appreciation, Branno, for bringing that to our attention.

While certainly a good read, little to none of the information contained in the article is new are particularly revelatory. Gerry Bradley’s account of his time in the Provisional IRA discusses the formation of these active service units; they did not replace the battalion (etc.,) structure, but were especially chosen units compromising key ‘operators’ to compliment existing structures – a parallel with Dublin, 1919-21, almost.

The security forces successes [in Belfast] at this time have been documented in everything from Brendan Hughes’ accounts to the official British report drawn up in the wake of Operation Banner.

As for the ‘southern leadership’ narraative, this has long been disputed – particularly adroitly by R. W. White in a 2010 article on the ceasefire. In fact, the ironic thing about Ed Moloney’s current insistent refutations that the divide of the period could be traced along conservative/revolutionary, left/right, southern/northern lines is that he, as a writer in the late 1970s/early 1980s, was perhaps the most forceful journalist in pushing this interpretation of the internal tensions.

Re Glover’s article, given the Brigadier is not writing an academic work, and thus includes no footnotes, one cannot rule out that his report was unduly influenced by the capture of Seamus Twomey in Dublin the previous year and the discovery of the ‘secret document’ in giving a date for the introduction of the cell-system.

The Lewis gun discussion is interesting; Malachi O’Doherty recounts in his book The Telling Year how, at the Lenadoon stand-off, he looked behind him to see the barrel of it sticking out of an upstairs window. The source of this gun raises interesting questions in its own right.

Kitson’s still alive. How about that.

Is mise srl.,

CL - January 17, 2013

Kitson wrote the book on counter-insurgency drawing on his vast experience, which included the torture of Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya. Will he be called to testify in the current case in London?

Martin Savage - January 17, 2013

Interesting that Brits factored in the useful prospect of a stickie-Provo feud

10. doctorfive - January 17, 2013
11. doctorfive - January 17, 2013
12. anarchaeologist - January 19, 2013

Just a quick note to record the tragic passing of Niall Hartnett. Anyone involved with the anti-war campaign and especially Shell to Sea would have known Niall and would have appreciated his fundamental humanism and the seemingly endless energy and enthusiasm he brought to bear in everything he did. Niall feared nobody. It’s hard to believe he’s gone and we’re all still here. Sympathy to Carol and solidarity to his many friends and comrades in Mayo, Clare, Dublin and anywhere else. We really won’t see his like again. Niall wrote a great account of his 4 month stint in Castlerea which has just been reposted here: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/101343?search_text=Jail
Erris and Belmullet Court won’t be the same without him.

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