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Latest An Phoblacht out on Thursday February 27, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in An Phoblacht, Culture, Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
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For a list of contents see here… but it includes articles on 25 years on from Gibraltar and Milltown interviews with Ann Wright, former US military colonel turned activist, and with Damien Dempsey and the following:

❏ Declan Kearney on talking to ‘dissident’ republicans

❏ Pearse Doherty on Michael Noonan’s promissory note ‘victory’

❏ The Bethany Home and Magdalene Laundries scandals

❏ The horsemeat scandal and the price and politics of food

❏ Taoiseach promises Gerry Adams to raise prisoners with British Prime Minister

❏ Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh meets Marian Price

❏ Ulmmhuchán don teacht le chéile i Muigh Eo faoi lán tseoil | I dtreo na hArd Fheise

❏ Eoin Ó Murchú asks amidst the convulsions in Labour, the Socialist Party and the ULA . . . ‘Is Left unity an illusion?’

❏ Despite the FF poll revival, Eoin Ó Broin insists that Fianna Fáil is not fit for government

❏ Cén chaoi gur tháinig Fianna Fáil ar ais?

❏ Sinn Féin contesting by-elections in Mid-Ulster and Meath East

❏ New Lodge community demands justice

❏ Slogadh 2013 . . . Not just for Gaeilgeoirí (Béal Feirste: Dé hAoine 8ú – Domhnach 10ú Márta)

❏ Nicky Kehoe on ‘The Civil War in Cabra’

❏ Mícheál Mac Donncha . . . Inside 16 Moore Street – Where the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising made their last HQ

❏ Easter Rising 1916 Commemorations

❏ Le Chéile 2013

❏ Le Lúcás Ó Callanáin: An Chinsireacht agus Cruinneshamhail na nÉireannach

❏ Celtic fanzine editor on ‘Impacting on the narrative of sectarianism’

❏ Sport . . . The Ulster Protestant tradition and wearing the green shirt of Ireland

What you want to say… Open Thread, 27th February 2013 February 27, 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.

The Cause of Labour – 1913 and beyond… UCC Friday 1/Saturday 2 March 2013 February 27, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Palestinian One Day Film Festival 2 March February 27, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.


In this crisis there’s only one right answer… even if it’s the wrong one. February 26, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, European Politics, Irish Politics.

I’d wondered in a vague sort of a way what the response to IMF studies demonstrating that austerity wasn’t reducing debt burdens would be from the ECB et al. We know that in this state the rationale for continuing is that there is no alternative, that Ireland is uniquely unable to – for example – raise taxation further because we’re a ‘small open economy’ etc, etc (indeed Brian Hayes was making precisely that case at the weekend in the SBP). Whether one finds that entirely convincing is a different matter – not least because while income tax remains at given levels all other taxes and charges increase. And it is simply insufficient in terms of explaining what credible path to growth exists. But what of other larger states whose room might be, theoretically, greater?

Reading Paul Krugman in the Irish Times though, there is an answer to the question as to a response to IMF studies. He writes:

Given all of this, one might have expected some reconsideration and soul-searching on the part of European officials, some hints of flexibility.

One might indeed.

Instead, however, top officials have become even more insistent that austerity is the one true path.

He continues:

Thus in January 2011, Olli Rehn, a vice-president of the European Commission, praised the austerity programmes of Greece, Spain and Portugal and predicted that the Greek programme would yield “lasting returns”.
Since then unemployment has soared in all three countries – but sure enough, in December 2012, Rehn published an op-ed article with the headline “Europe must stay the austerity course”.

And most crucially…

Oh, and Rehn’s response to studies showing the adverse effects of austerity are much bigger than expected was to send a letter to finance ministers and the IMF declaring that such studies were threatening to erode confidence. Which brings me back to Italy, a nation that for all its dysfunction has in fact dutifully imposed substantial austerity – and seen its economy shrink rapidly as a result.

This is surely the precise definition of adherence to ideology in the face of conclusive theoretical and practical evidence that that ideology is incorrect. It moves the economic policy response to a matter of faith. Now that may be fine for some, but my tolerance for faith based approaches of whatever stripe is very limited indeed. And particularly when they are responsible for the obvious negative outcomes that we see around us in this state and further afield.
Krugman points to a political outcome to economic policies:

Italy isn’t unique: disreputable politicians are on the rise all across southern Europe. And the reason this is happening is that respectable Europeans won’t admit that the policies they have imposed on debtors are a disastrous failure.

Certainly the response in the media is fascinating to the election this week in Italy. Put aside for a moment the point that Berlusconi,’s political longevity is something of a miracle – and I imagine a deeply unwanted one for most of us.

The line has been that only certain options are viable. Berlusconi not being one of them, Monti being acceptable and the left having question marks over it.

It has interesting ramifications too. If Berlusconi can be returned then what of others, say in Ireland. And what of the choices that remain in Italy and beyond?

Household tax redux… February 26, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.

The SBP notes that:

Self-employed workers will not be able to get tax clearance certificates if they do not pay the new property tax, it has emerged.

This had been the general analysis from those involved in the CAHWT, but it is interesting to see it now confirmed. And it is, naturally, yet another salvo in the on-going campaign the government is waging on the issue – particularly since the first of the 1.6 million letters to householders with estimates of their tax liability are going to be sent out in the next week or so.

In many respects the government has played this quite cleverly, clearly learning from the property ‘charge’ debacle. The room for movement is now extremely circumscribed, at least in terms of refusing payment, given, as the SBP notes…

The tax authority has been granted a range of new powers to secure payment of the new tax, including:
• mandatory deduction – from July 1, 2013 – from employment income, occupational pension or certain government payments;
• attachment of a bank account;
• referral of the debt to a sheriff or a solicitor for collection; and
• withholding any refund of other tax against local property tax due.

It will be interesting to see the tactics adopted in the face of these measures.

From Spain: 23rd February 2013 February 26, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, European Politics, From Spain, The Left.

As ejh notes: “The failed coup of 1981, today’s mass protests on the anniversary and a mysterious mock-execution in a mountain village in 1984.”

What we did and didn’t see.

Labour’s new shadow, somewhat to its left… February 26, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.

The news that the dissident Labour TDs are hoping to present a more cohesive face to the world is interesting – to put it mildly. They’re a disparate group, one would think, with more radical and markedly less radical elements. But, a group they now apparently are.

In a way this is extremely clever, although it does raise problematic issues. This Dáil has to be one marked by the most varied opposition seen in the state in many many decades. And yet another group added to the mix isn’t going to make it any less varied. But at least by working together they raise the possibility of carving out an identity, particularly given that the further left appears to be somewhat in retreat in the parliament (though some might argue that it has never quite taken off in the first place).

But what of the relationship with Labour itself? By self-defining as a group they immediately put space between themselves and the LP and generate for better and for worse a degree of competition and rivalry. And note that this has electoral implications. Off the top of my head I can think of at least two of their number who are in constituencies with LP rivals already in situ.

Clearly they are also positioning themselves for more apostates to join them, indeed in that they’re probably being sensible. The Technical Group is too diverse – and perhaps too fractious, at least in terms of the public perception of it, to offer an home to those from the LP who might want to go there. The ULA was never a serious option being too far to the left for them – and of course having its own problems too.

But where is the scope for growth – outside other LP TDs? They’re not a party – and I see no evidence yet that they’re trying to organise in that way – indeed they’ll probably have their work cut out for them simply being re-elected. In that sense they’re not an alternative themselves, but then if their orientation remains towards the LP then growth beyond it isn’ t the name of the game.

And it will be interesting too to see where is the scope for achievement. I’m not discounting what it took for many of them to leave, but what next in terms of useful political outcomes?

Perhaps they the equivalent of the Polish government in exile, awaiting the day when their homeland is liberated (though by who?). Is their ultimate purpose to remerge with the LP, assuming they’ve actually moved that far from it?

Still, I’m trying to think of an occasion when there’s been anything similar in LP history in the Dáil where there was a somewhat leftward division on this scale.

Croke Park II: The Return February 25, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.

Hmmm… wonder if it will fly.

Note by the way the terminology used for increments about half way through the piece above.

Left Archive: Resistance – Civilian Resistance c. 1971, People’s Democracy? February 25, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Official Sinn Féin, People's Democracy.


To download the above file please click on the following link: Resistance

Many thanks to Alan Mac Simoin for scanning and forwarding this document to the Archive.

Unusually there’s no clear provenance of this document. It mentions the Civil Rights Movement, People’s Democracy and the Republican Movement, and the cover is obviously taken from the famous Joe McCann ‘Army of the People’ photograph from the Official IRA. That said it appears to have been written by NICRA or PD members and any clarification on it would be very welcome.

It was written in the wake of internment and before the suspension of Stormont in March 1972.
As such it calls for the end of internment on foot of what it considers to be a mobilisation of the people. It also focusses on Crossmaglen and gives a detailed list of activities in that area such as protests, barricades and other forms of opposition to the state. There’s also a ‘Jail Journal’ reprinted from the Irish Times which consists of a personal account by Seamus O Tuathail, former editor of the OSF United Irishman and his experiences in Crumlin Road Prison.

The document also states the aims of the groups that it represents, most important of which is the establishment of a ‘democratic assembly’ and that:

The Assembly would be organised on a 32-county basis, and would lay the foundation for an all-Ireland democratic republic in the tradition of Tone, Connolly and the 1916 Proclamation.

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