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Sports Special – what you want to say… July 28, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Here’s our weekly thread for people to talk, sound off, discuss, give out, or whatever they want about sport… and by the way, if anyone has posts they think would be appropriate for the site on sport send them in…

Revolutionary defeatism July 28, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in The Left.

Albeit not quite in the way one V. I. Lenin meant.

I mentioned to a comrade recently that I’d been in the UK last Summer and driven from London to Chester. It’s quite a drive. You take the motorway north and it brings you through the still beating industrial and commercial heart of the island of Britain. Around Birmingham it’s particuarly noticeable, a vast megapolis of industry of one sort or another. And it’s one of those things, that it is lays bare just how embedded capitalism actually is.

My friend in response said that when he first visited the United States in the 1990s he had precisely the same thought, that the sheer entrenched nature of capitalism made him think ‘we’ll never overthrow this’.

I had a not dissimilar experience driving from Newark into Manhattan one evening in the early 2000s passing mile after mile of industrial plants and suchlike.

And it’s important to reflect upon that, not because that insight is particularly profound, but because it is – as always – necessary to assess the social, socio-economic and political weight of capitalism as it is now.

Of course those are the outward manifestations. And in some ways perhaps they’re almost the easiest to address, retooling an industrial plant for a purpose is much easier than engaging with the underpinnings of the social relations that sustain it in the first place, changing hearts and minds as it were.

Left Archive: Making Sense, Workers’ Party, Issue 6, 1989 July 28, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Workers' Party.


To download the above document please click on the following link: WS MS 6 GO


To go to the Irish Left Archive please click here.

An interesting issue of the Workers’ Party magazine, Making Sense, from 1989. It has a broad range of articles, from Eamon Gilmore ‘arguing that socialists need to wake up to the realities of Ireland today’, Rosheen Callender examining labour markets, an interview with Alexander Cockburn, Lorraine Kennedy looking at the ‘myth of Mother Ireland’ and Eoghan Harris looking at the influence of Daniel Corkery ‘on the formation of modern bourgeois nationalist intellectuals’.

There’s also a short story by Liz McManus entitled ‘Baby’.

The cover article ‘Making Peace in Ireland: The responsibility of the Republic’ is by Seamus Murphy of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, and offers this potted outline of the history of the conflict on the island.

It is almost twenty years since the British government sent troops to Northern Ireland in the midst of serious civil disturbances. Two years later, the Provisional IRA came into being and launched a vicious campaign of violence against the Protestant population. Loyalists elements responded in kind, and politics gave way to terrorism. Efforts to find a political solution have the far failed, and the killings continue.

Murphy argues that ‘much southern confusion arises form subconscious guilt about the north’. And he continues that ‘the typical southerner… while… abhorring the appalling violence of the IRA and generally supporting the Dublin governments attempts to suppress it… cannot quite bring himself to consciously stand wight he unionist population against IRA violence or express support for the security forces in NI’.

He suggests that ‘the Republic must not lend a sympathetic ear to everyone claiming to be a spokesperson for the oppressed minority in NI. it is perfectly obvious that the democratic parties representing northern Catholics (SDLP, Alliance, WP) are engaged in a serious struggle with a fascist, authoritarian, violent and anti-democratic party (SF/IRA).

It must be made clear that every vote for SF, far from bringing the day of Irish unity closer, actually makes it more distant; it needs to be spelled out that supporting the IRA creates, not just a gulf between the two communities in NI, but a second gulf between the northern minority and the south where SF has no electoral future.

He continues that: precisely because the south has not suffered either at the hands of loyalist paramilitary violence or by security force excesses, it has less excuse for failing to reach out to the unionist community. If the southern community is to fulfil its moral responsibility of building peace, it must resist the temptation to give in to its own emotions and take sides, and instead work at the difficult task of being an honest broker for peace.

He then suggests that were the IRA to ‘achieve a united Ireland’ it is his suspicion that most in the south would abhor the means but accept the end, even if ‘it were built on the slaughter and expulsion of thousands of the Protestant community’. From this he argues that ‘What might in the long run make a difference would be a repudiation of its goal as well as its method; if the southern community is not to be complicit in the IRA campaign, it must build a wide consensus around the position that a united Ireland attained the IRA way could never be acceptable.

Meanwhile the editorial looks at the issue of ‘fighting poverty’ and argues that:

The voice of the poor was heard to great effect in 1798, and helped give birth to democracy. It would be a fitting celebration of the French Revolution if that voice was raised in Ireland to insist that the principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity were accorded more than lip service.

Thermidor July 27, 2014

Posted by Garibaldy in History.
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Plaque for Robespierre Concergerie Paris

In line with the posts earlier this month on the American Declaration of Independence and the Storming of the Bastille, I thought that I’d note the fact that it is the 220th anniversary of the coup of Thermidor against Maximilian Robespierre and his supporters on 9th/10th Thermidor Year II (27th/28th July 1794).

A quote from the man himself.

The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.

A collection of memorabilia relating to the conflict on the island… July 27, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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…is reported about here. The collector Peter Moloney is looking for a good home for it. This is a very real issue for many with such collections, the ability of institutions to satisfactorily display and conserve them is often limited (indeed that was one reason the Left Archive came into being to make it easy to disseminate left materials publicly). Any suggestions?

The largest known private collection of memorabilia charting the bloody history of Northern Ireland is being offered free to a good home.
Despite spending most of his life building up the remarkable 38,000 item archive, retired London-based architect Peter Moloney wants to hand it over to a suitable institution that can preserve it.


Power July 27, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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From yesterday’s Guardian, an example of unrepresentative (in the sense of democratically legitimated) commercial power and influence in a profile of Murdoch et al….

he is given secret briefings by intelligence agencies


After the bomb… July 26, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.
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…interested in nuclear holocaust fiction? You might think you need look no further than here. You might be wrong. This, here, surely is the most comprehensive overview ever on the topic. You’ll find Cold War thrillers, post apocalyptic novels, science fiction novels (the previous two not necessarily being the same thing at all) and more.

I’ve read a fair few of the books on the list…though I’ve got to admit to more of an interest in straight SF. It’s an odd experience reading the list, knowing that, at least so far, we’ve dodged that particular bullet of global nuclear annihilation. So far. It remains sobering to read this particular wiki entry.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Rubyhorse July 26, 2014

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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In the mid 90’s I lived in Cork for a period. Rubyhorse were a Cork band just releasing their first album. One of my co workers knew one of them and I went to see them live a few times and bought the Album ‘A Lifetime In One Day’. The Album was good, although they were better live.”Horses” and “Touch and Go” were two particular favourites. They were big enough in Cork but hadn’t been heard of much in Dublin.
Their lead singer , David Farrell, was the ultimate showman, Cork and cocky he had an incredible stage presence. He was so confident he was almost dislikeable but worked the stage well.
In 1997 , rather than relocate to London as many Irish bands had done, they moved to Boston in the US and started again from scratch. They built up a following there got signed to a major label (Interscope) and moved to LA. They recorded an album that was never released….. and split from the label.
They toured the US for a number of years and performed on The David Letterman show and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. They split in 2004. In their time in the US they released four albums ‘Rise’, ‘Any Day Now’, ‘Goodbye To All That’ and ‘How Far Have You Come?’.
They did some renunion gigs in Cork recently.
Their Facebook Page

The first album ‘A Lifetime In One Day’ is available to Stream on Grooveshark
“Fell On Bad Days”

Learning the World, or conservatism and climate change, two steps forward, one and a half steps back… July 25, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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…this Slate piece here from earlier in the month is excellent in showing how conservatives in the US have modified their approach to climate change. And so they should, most would think, given the scientific consensus, and that consensus is difficult to overturn, if not indeed impossible.
So, here is the V 0.2 response…

(a) pro-science, anti-alarmist rhetoric exemplified by the climate optimists.

And that optimism:

Meanwhile, the optimists point out, more carbon in the atmosphere means greater plant productivity and new opportunities for agriculture. In fact, Heartland communications director Jim Lakely told me in a phone interview, “The net benefits of warming are going to far outweigh any negative effects.” Indeed, the institute recently published a study arguing just that.


Free Education July 25, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, Irish Politics.
1 comment so far

Here’s a most useful bit of analysis all the way back from 1998 and in the Independent which while examining third level education makes the case that:

ONE OF the more interesting facts to emerge from the figures published by the Comptroller and Auditor General in relation to undergraduate costs in the year 1994-95, is that it is probably as cheap to keep students at most of the courses in university as it is to keep them on the dole.

Of course the situation has changed since then, and it would be handy to have a sense by how much and in what ways, but still a thought-provoking

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