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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week June 30, 2013

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.

First up, Eilis O’Hanlon with a lesson in feminism for us all.

Fat is a feminist issue, went the famous slogan. Now apparently failure is too, as Julia Gillard is recast as a martyr to the cause after being ousted as prime minister of Australia. Where was the sisterhood when the same thing happened to Margaret Thatcher? On the sidelines, cheering, as she packed her bags, I seem to recall. All female leaders are equal, but, in feminist eyes, some are clearly more equal than others.

Eoghan Harris has decided now is the time to reveal who was to blame over the Anglo-Irish Bank debacle.

Let’s be clear about where it belonged. To blame the Anglo bankers for being greedy, grasping, deceitful and delinquent is like blaming vultures for feasting on human flesh. Those who handle big money need to be subject to constant scrutiny.

An old Chinese proverb sums up the difference between bankers and regulators with Confucian clarity: “We cannot stop the blackbirds of evil flying over our heads – but we can stop them making a nest in our hair.”

Breaking up the Anglo nests was the duty of the three sentries charged with standing guard on behalf of the State: the Financial Regulator, the Department of Finance and the Central Bank. Paul Drury in the Mail put his finger on a fundamental truth: that this first line of defence was defective.

Yep, the public sector.

Amazingly, that’s not the clear winner this week. Instead, we have the following, outstanding for its crassness and revealing a great deal about a certain type of mindset.

As National Indignation Week draws to a close following the Anglo Tapes revelations in the Irish Independent, it is time for a little perspective. Banks in their death throes worry only about liquidity and their time horizon foreshortens. Colourful language and nervous jocularity are not surprising. Nor is the complete absence of any alertness to the broader picture. The bad singing was the only real shock. Anglo Irish was a cooked goose in mid-September 2008 and the managers captured on tape must have known this in their bones.

Colm McCarthy. I’m so glad that the state turned to him in its hour of need. Not that there’s any such thing as a ruling class or establishment solidarity.

71 years …… June 29, 2013

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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The frantic final few minutes of radio commentary as Dublin win against Kilkenny in the Championship for the first time since 1942

as for next weekend… Kilkenny v Tipp and Dublin v Galway…. and thats before the all the other GAA games tomorrow!

Latest SBP RedC June 29, 2013

Posted by Oireachtas Retort in Uncategorized.

FG 28 (+2), FF 22 (-4), Lab 12 (+1), SF 17 (+1), inds 21 (nc)

Dear oh dear. Fianna Fáil progress looking very weak indeed.

Polling done Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

Letter to Irish Times- Paddy Healy Calls on Begg To Account for His Stewardship as a Director of The Central Bank June 29, 2013

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

June 29, 2013

Letter to Irish Times- Paddy Healy Calls on Begg To Account for His Stewardship as a Director of The Central Bank

Sir, – It is stated in the Financial Stability Report 2004: “Section 7 of the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act, 2003 includes the objective of ‘promoting the efficient and effective operation of payment and settlement systems’. At a domestic level, regulation (or ‘oversight’) of payment systems is principally aimed at promoting the orderly functioning of such systems, thereby minimising systemic risk in order to protect the banking system as a whole from the possible ‘domino effects’ that could occur if one or more of the credit institutions participating in a payment system were to encounter credit or liquidity problems.”

ICTU general secretary, David Begg was a director and member of the board of the Central Bank from May 12th, 1995 until summer 2010, a period of 15years. His tenure covered the period between 2003 and 2008 when that body allowed banks to borrow huge sums abroad, a circumstance which has now led to the insolvency of all major banks. It also covered the period in which the individuals who feature on the recently published Anglo Irish Bank tapes interacted with the Central Bank. The blanket bank guarantee also occurred during his period in office.

David Begg was a very senior member of the board of the Central Bank. He was chair of its audit committee/audit and risk management committee on which three members of the regulatory authority also sat.

Mr Begg has a duty to make an early statement to Irish workers in which the role of the Central Bank in the banking catastrophy is clarified. – Yours, etc,


(Former President TUI),

Griffith Court,

Fairview, Dublin 3.

Interview with Colm Keaveney in the Mail… June 29, 2013

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

Conducted by Jason O’Toole there’s quite a bit in there. Some very interesting snippets, not merely about Keaveney’s own curious political journey, but also about internal LP politics. For here you will learn more about his concerns about abortion legislation, what appears to be an attempted push by the LP Central Council against the leadership, his thoughts on running as an Independent for Europe and a deep-seated antipathy to the current leadership.

Anyhow, it starts:

It’S been a long time coming since he lost the party whip last September for rejecting the last budget, but it still managed to send shock waves through the corridors of Leinster House last Wednesday when Labour chairman Colm Keaveney officially resigned from the party. For Keaveney, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when Ruairi Quinn failed to reply to questions the Galway East TD had asked the Education Minister.

No fan of Gilmore he:

‘I believe that Labour would benefit from a change of leader. In times of difficulty such as now, there is often talk of sacrifice. One sacrifice that may be demanded is that you, recognising your own limitations, should sacrifice the seals of office for the greater good. However, the question of Eamon Gilmore’s leadership now lies with the Parliamentary Labour Party and with the party’s membership.’

But as O’Toole notes pertinently:

Despite Keaveney’s apparent lack of confidence in Gilmore, there is an abundance of similarities between the two politicians. They both come from agricultural backgrounds in rural Galway East and were both elected as president of the Union of Students in Ireland. Both went on to work as trade union officials ‘in the same branch’ of SIPTU, which ultimately led them on their paths to achieving powerful positions in the Labour Party.

Still no fan though…

But that’s where any resemblance ends, as far as rebel TD Keaveney is concerned. ‘He wouldn’t have been an inspiration for me at all. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I didn’t know anything about Eamon Gilmore or his background,’ reveals Keaveney. And in a clear sideswipe, Keaveney points out that he was the first Labour TD ‘in the history of the State’ to get elected in their Galway East constituency. ‘Unlike Eamon Gilmore and Pat Rabbitte, they couldn’t or wouldn’t get elected in Mayo or Galway — they had to come to Dublin. I have the popular support of the membership of the Labour Party; they voted for me (as chairman). Unlike the leader of the Labour Party — he ran uncontested.’

And there’s more:


Pride: Rainbow Colours… June 29, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Irish Politics, LGBT, Rights.


On foot of Tomboktu’s thoughts here earlier in the week, and given that it’s the weekend of Dublin Pride, here’s an useful piece on Slate.com on the roots of rainbow flags as a symbol of lgbt rights.

One element of the genesis of the symbol is the following, which is connected with this island!

Closeted gay people historically used bright colors to signal their homosexuality to each other. Oscar Wilde was famous for wearing a trademark green carnation on his lapel, and the flower is thought to have been used by him and other Londoners and Parisians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries to quietly express their orientation.

That history has a darker manifestation, in the form of the pink triangles gay men were forced to wear in Nazi Germany in the camps, and clearly the flag is an effort to rework and refashion that. As the Slate piece notes it wasn’t until 1978 that the first eight stripe gay pride flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in San Francisco. And as the piece notes:

…each [stripe is] a different color with its own symbolism: pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for the human spirit.

It’s interesting because a variant of that flag is also used as the peace symbol, albeit with a different development and starting point. Indeed the Slate piece mentions it in passing, almost as an artefact of the past…

Hippies sometimes used a rainbow flag when marching for peace in the 1960s and 1970s, which may have helped inspire Baker’s design.

Though that usage remains current and argably received a boost in the 2000s during the Iraq War.

On an appropriate tangent, I got an email yesterday from Irish Ferries about fares on the Oscar Wilde, their ferry which sails between Rosslare and France. I can’t help but think that Wilde might have been amused at his legacy being commemorated in that way (and given the dispute in 2004/5 appalled at that point given his leftist sympathies).

One wonders what he would have made of the progress made so far as characterised by Dublin Pride 2013, and the way yet to go.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… John Lee Hooker June 29, 2013

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Mid 80s and this small old man, John Lee Hooker appears on my musical horizon…  He was just coolness personified. The hat, the suit, the tapping feet providing all the percussion needed. The cheeky sounding voice half saying, half singing the lyrics to a chiming guitar line. He was class and I loved him.
He appeared and sang in “The Blues Brothers” (clip below) and the same song was also used for a Levi’s ad. He recorded over 100 albums

The John Lee Hooker Website is well worth a visit…

Born near Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1917 to a sharecropper family, John Lee Hooker was one of the last links to the blues of the deep South. He moved to Detroit in the early 1940’s and by 1948 had scored his first number-one jukebox hit and million-seller, “Boogie Chillun.” Other hits soon followed, “I’m In The Mood,” “Crawling Kingsnake,” and “Boom Boom” among the biggest. During the 1950s and ’60s, Vee Jay Records released a remarkable string of more than 100 of John Lee’s songs.

Crime and the recession… June 28, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This from today…

The falls in recorded crime seen across the Republic since the onset of recession have continued into 2013, with most crimes showing further decreases in the first three months of the year.

But what of this, also from the Irish Times (and thanks to the person who forwarded it to me), in relation to a Youthreach worker ‘spared jail’ for theft.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed a three-year suspended term. “Financial crisis has brought an increase in the number of cases coming before us of people with no previous convictions, unlikely to offend again, who had been considered pillars of the community, but who committed theft,” she said.

Ten Days in Dublin Theatre Festival presents “Scabs” June 28, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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SCABSPromo Image04mergeCMYK_01

by Naomi Elster
The Pearse Centre, 27 Pearse Street
July 4th–6th, 2013 @ 8:30pm
Tickets: €10/€8 concession,
Written and Directed by Naomi Elster

It is the autumn of 1913, and Dublin is caught up in a full blown class war. A war that Audeon Kelly thought he would fight to the bitter end. But his young daughter sickens and starves. Tensions creep into his marriage. Violence breaks out on the streets. Difficult decisions have to be made. What will the consequences be – for Audeon, his marriage, his daughter’s life, for Ireland?
Your politics or your family. Your morals or your survival.

About Naomi Elster:
Naomi Elster is a writer and scientist from Laois but now based in Dublin. She writes short stories, plays and short films, and has contributed to blogs such as Tea and Toast and the Irish Feminist Network Blog. She is deputy editor of HeadSpace, a writing and art magazine based around mental health which is distributed for free in psychiatric wards and mental health support centres around the country. She is a core member of the new non-profit organisation Open Learning Ireland which is dedicated to providing free and accessible learning opportunities and resources in the capital and recently hosted a successful, week long free learning festival. She has a first class honours degree in pharmacology from University College Dublin and is researching for a PhD in more effective treatments for breast cancer at the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.

To book contact:
Box Office Phone – 015543635 and 015546255
Booking Online – Book Tickets at 10daysindublin.ie


Conscience… June 28, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

I was talking about the following to a few people over the last few days, the news that last week…

An attempt to allow Fine Gael TDs and Senators a free vote on the abortion Bill failed to get off the ground last night when it came before the parliamentary party.
Dublin South TD Peter Mathews, who has led the campaign for a free vote, was unable to get a seconder for his motion that would have allowed parliamentarians to vote according to their conscience.

In a way it was a perfect example of a very particular form of political activity. Now there were a number of aspects to it. Mathews being a newcomer to Fine Gael was part of it (indeed according to this he joined a month before the election). That would perhaps make people cautious about it.

And yet, and yet, what of Brian Walsh or Billy Timmins, both who have said they will join Mathews in voting against this legislation?

Why didn’t they or any of the four or five other TDs and Senators in FG who have expressed their antagonism to the Bill and their determination to vote against it not second the motion?

The explanations I’ve been offered range from fear of losing advancement either in this government or a successor, an anger and closing of ranks at the sort of attacks directed at TDs and Senators from sections of the pro-life campaigns (something along the lines of ‘we’ve taken the heat and you haven’t, so tough’) and so on.

The current issue of the Phoenix though has an excellent overview of the situation which suggests elements of all the above were true, and that Kenny was ahead of him at all times, not least in that the anti-abortion TDs and Senators calculated that the amendment would be lost if a vote took place allowing Kenny to say the PP ‘had spoken’. Indeed the Phoenix suggests that the anti-abortion cohort’s only hope was that fear of a split from FG by them would pressure Kenny to offer a free vote. ’twas not to be.

Perhaps more pertinently – although following on from the above – this week the supposed threat of a serious split in FG ranks, talked up in parts of the media, now appears to have been almost entirely illusory. Marhews might go, perhaps one or two others, but hardly any more, and that is easily sustainable by both FG and the government. Though should it come to pass one imagines the LP will take quiet pleasure in their ‘partners’ discomfiture.

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