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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Hex – Donette Thayer, Steve Kilbey March 29, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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Hex was a collaboration between Donette Thayer of Game Theory and Steve Kilbey of the Church. It lasted two albums long, starting with the eponymous “Hex” album in 1988 and then the follow-up “Vast Halos” in 1990.

It’s an interesting one, Kilbey’s new-wave/psychedelia infused aesthetic is here and yet it’s oddly muted, perhaps because Thayer brings her own aesthetic – one positioned in indie guitar rock – and a characterful voice as well. I’m always fascinated by joint projects. How do they divide up the composition, the arrangements and so on? But this one I find particularly pleasing because while Kilbey appears to have written much of the music, his approach doesn’t overwhelm it.

I particularly like the cool quality of Thayer’s voice when set against the strummed guitars (and as an aside it’s remarkable to me that Thayer hasn’t done more over the years – a solo album from 1997 is out of print but has some great songs on it to judge from what one can hear online), warm swells of keyboard and nascent electronic percussion. There’s a detachment there. Though for all that it seems to me there’s an oddly pastoral feel to both the songs and the lyrics, and if the basslines – again often electronic – bring to mind the gothier end of post-punk (exhibit A, ‘In the Net’, exhibit B, ‘Mercury Towers’), well that’s no crime in my book.

The second album was released some years later, again under the Hex name, but it was – to my ears at least – slighter, albeit with some interesting individual tracks (as with Hollywood in Winter, see below). But this first album is cohesive from start to finish.


Ethereal Message

In the Net

Mercury Towers

Elizabeth Green

Hollywood in Winter (from the second Hex album)

I misinterpreted this on first reading… March 29, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in The Left, The Right.
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“Right exists to be bigots, debate on Australia racism Act hears”

…or maybe not.

East Wall For All – Events March 29, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Annesley walking tour

Thursday 3rd April -‘ The Dyflin , a 20th century Viking adventure ‘.

Remembering the days of 1988 , when locals built and sailed a Viking longship , as part of the Dublin Millenium year . Video, photos and most importantly- sharing of stories and memories .

Sean O’Casey Community Centre , St. Marys Road , 7.30pm

Sunday 27th April – ‘The battle at Annesley Bridge’ .

During the 1916 Rising a major engagement took place at Annesley Bridge amd in the surrounding areas . Local members of the Citizen Army and Volunteers were involved , and many also fought afterwards at the G.P.O. and on Moore Street. Casualties included civilians caught in the crossfire in their homes on the Wharf Road (East Wall Rd) and Fairview.

Meet: Footbridge at Fairview, beside School , 12pm.
(Tour lasts approx 1 hour , followed by refreshments in a historically related venue nearby , details to follow.)

See community website eastwallforall.ie for recent articles, including a piece on the World War One dead of St. Barnabas parish.


See also (new-ish) East Wall History Group page on facebook , which will feature short pieces and photos which will not be on website.



A number of people have asked when the Lever Brothers follow up event will be taking place , as the original one last year occurred on a bank holiday weekend and many people missed it. This will take place during the History festival 2014 , and will be expanded to include a section on the ‘Tops of the Town ‘ competition which the staff were involved in. If you have any material to contribute please let us know.

Hope to see you at upcoming events

Tony Benn on socialism March 28, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in The Left.

This from a Guardian podcast, an interview from 2006 with Tony Benn on a range of subjects.

An Phoblacht – April Edition now out March 28, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in An Phoblacht, Culture, Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Another Garda scandal
Justice Minister should ‘walk the plank’

Shatter should walk the plank – Fresh Garda scandal rocks Irish Government – Revelation that police station phone calls were bugged by Garda
Alexis Tsipras of Syriza (Greek Coalition of the Radical Left) – anti-austerity leader talks to An Phoblacht

Sinn Féin/An Phoblacht YouTube hits 2million mark

Sinn Féin opposing privatisation of Belfast services

In Pictures – International Women’s Day 2014

Martina Anderson – An MEP making a difference on the ground

Cumann na mBan veteran Marion Steenson talks to Trevor Ó Clochartaigh

Economist Morgan Kelly sets the cat among the pigeons

Easter commemorations 2014

2014 Republican Roll of Honour and Republican Roll of Remembrance
Remembering the Past: The founding of Cumann na mBan 100 years ago
Eoin Ó Murchú: Bí ar an airdeall faoi ról an AE san Úcráín

Book Reviews: The Citizen Army at war; and the trials of the 1916 leaders

Voting rights for Irish citizens in the North and the diaspora

Ireland’s unique and traditional foods and the battle for EU recognition, by Robert Allen
And much more . . .

It’s a giveaway! Pension ‘reform’ in the UK. March 28, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy.

Excellent Guardian political podcast on the latest UK Budget – Osborne’s fifth – with Polly Toynbee, Victor Keegan and Philip Inman – and it dovetails neatly with some thoughts expressed about that Budget in the last few days here on the CLR.

Philip Inman noted that the new changes undercuts the rationale of pensions:

The whole point about pensions is that you make provision for the future, and here is an invitation to not make provision for the future when everybody is in theory living longer.

And William Keegan echoed that analysis saying that it ‘destroyed the whole point of pensions, that being saving for a rainy day’.

Toynbee and the others made the point too that this could lead to an absurd (at least taking a right of centre approach as read) situation where people had ‘blown their pension pot now’ leading to them being dependent upon the state thereafter (and for healthcare too). Actually it’s absurd either way, isn’t it?

Inman suggested that this ‘reform’ was ‘a reward for the top 20 per cent on the income scale who are saving significant sums who have been demanding this ‘freedom’… but they are also the main beneficiaries of tax relief. We spend £42Bn a year on tax relief and about £30bn of that goes to higher rate tax payers. So they are amassing most of the tax benefits through their lifetime and are basically being given a free card to spend it any way they like.’

‘That’s a third, a third of all pension tax relief goes to the top 1%. It’s monstrous,’ noted Toynbee.

I also thought a point, I think from Inman, on the nature of tax relief was very sensible that most people don’t understand it, and that it isn’t tax ‘relief’ but instead a situation where the state effectively gives money to people – and of course higher earners benefit to the greatest degree.

One could say that it was bizarre, but it’s not bizarre. It’s depressingly predictable in what is a rebalancing sharply in favour of those who have significantly more.

This Week At Irish Election Literature March 28, 2014

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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A busy week with the exhibition opening and subsequent commitments so alas no Quiz again this week…….
Here’s the piece from The Irish Times on The Exhibition which also has a gallery and a video interview with myself.
(as an aside the Dev for President poster featured in the interview was previously in a very ugly frame. It was given a new frame for the exhibition, I got the old one back to discover that the Dev poster had been mounted over a picture of The Sacred Heart …. )

Starting off with a 1985 Local Elections flyer which includes the ultimate Celebrity Candidate Sonny Knowles running for Fianna Fail

From there to a leaflet from Denise Parker, Terry Kelleher and Maurice Sweeney who are running for the Anti Austerity Alliance in Balbriggan

Then a leaflet from Éilis Ryan who is running as an Independent in Dublins North Inner City

Finally a leaflet from Shirley Griffin who is running as a People’s Candidate in Ballincollig-Carrigaline

The index of 2014 Local Election leaflets has been updated again

Barricades and ballot boxes Socialists, the workers, and elections. Speaker:Alejandra Rios March 27, 2014

Posted by irishelectionliterature in The Left.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this on.

Kimberlé Crenshaw at the LSE March 27, 2014

Posted by Oireachtas Retort in Gender Issues, racism.
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Just last night and now online

Intersectionalism has stirred plenty of heat and also many positives on the left, within feminism, here and on both side of the Atlantic. So it may be useful get past the call outs, strawmen, vampire castles and hear from the women who coin the idea way back in 1989.


Audio available here

You may have missed this earlier: From the selection in the Left Archive… Presidential Address by Thomas Mac Giolla to the 63rd Sinn Féin Ard Fhéis, December 1968 March 27, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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…a document that went up in the past.

As part of getting people acquainted and used to the extended Left Archive we’re going to link every week to previous documents that have been posted there that may be of interest. This week,

Presidential Address by Thomas Mac Giolla to the 63rd Sinn Féin Ard Fhéis, December 1968.

It was passed to me as a photocopy and unfortunately one or two lines of text are missing at the foot of some pages, while it may also be missing a cover.

It’s only 8 printed pages long and gives a good indication of the thinking of the pre-split Sinn Féin.

There is a telling even-handedness as regards ‘interference’ internationally…

‘… We equally condemn American interference in Vietnam and Russian interference in Czechoslovakia…’ A line that was missing from the United Irishman, some years later.

The impact of the Civil Rights Movement is strongly lauded… ‘… A slumbering and despairing Irish nation has suddenly awakened and showing amazing vigour and maturity has given a severe jolt to two powerful political machines who have controlled the destiny of this partitioned country for nearly half a century…’

But the tensions that the call for Civil Rights within Northern Ireland generated are not clearly teased out. And there is, in retrospect, a significant reference to the ‘… Ban on Republican Clubs… They have taken their full part in the Civil Rights Campaign together with other political organisations. It is only natural that they should since, in addition to denial of Civil Rights, they are denied the right of political existence…’.

That was a difficult road to take.

There is mention of ‘Direct Action’ and ‘extra-parliamentary democracy’ and somewhat optimistically it argues that ‘… Gradually the system of political patronage is being broken down’… A reference to the voting referendum of that year in the Republic of Ireland, with a hint of paranoia as well… ‘and follow this up with new coercive legislation against the mass organisations of the people’.

The section on Republicanism and Socialism is brief. We are told that ‘… True Republicanism and True Socialism are identical as both are based on the Brotherhood of man…’ and that ‘Socialism has nothing to do with either Atheism or totalitarianism as is evident from even a superficial reading of Connolly’. Whatever about the latter, I’m not as certain as MacGiolla about the former.

So, already the tensions that would convulse the movement months later were evident, albeit in submerged form.

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