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Pride – the film of the 1980s Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign opens this month August 31, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in 1984/85 Miners Strike (UK), Culture, Economy, LGBT Rights, The Left.

This looks fantastic. A film on how the Miners were supported by the LGSM campaign. The way both groups interacted and, in a sense, further radicalised is educative, not least in later strong support from Miners groups against Section 28 but also in a sense of shared defiance against the right. As can be seen in this piece in the Observer, this is an history that is important because it proves how supposedly different struggles can be linked in a way that generates a mutual solidarity. The film opens in the UK later in the month.

Answers to a sort of 1970’s quiz 3 – including the 1960s! August 31, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Many thanks again to Brian Hanley for the following quiz. Here are the answers. A fourth, and for the moment final, one appears tomorrow!

1) In response to the success of what six-week strike in 1969 did the ICTU introduce the two-tier picket?

2) When did the following trade unions affiliate (or re-affiliate) to the Irish Labour party? The Workers Union of Ireland, the Irish Transport and General Workers Union and the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union?

3) In August 1969 which TD praised ‘the courage, determination and tactical skill of the Bogsiders’ in their defence of Free Derry?

4) Whose death in 1978 did R. O’Connor Lysaght describe as being ‘as great a loss as Seamus Costello’s murder. In the previous decade Seamus had changed little; ___had moved from non-commitment to revolutionary politics.’

5) In what newspaper did the following analysis appear during 1975: ‘We all have or know of a pet Protestant, a hot-house creature, that we hope will not go from us. After all we want to be a multi-denominational society, but can we, where Protestants form less than four per cent of it, and where the few remaining seem more concerned with living a social hari kari as unmarrieds, odd bods, or queers than in out proliferating the Papes around them? Southern Irish Protestants seem quite literally to have given up the ghost of the struggle.’

6) Where in July 1972 did the Irish army intervene to quell rioting following an Orange march?

7) What organisation was launched in the Town and Country Ballroom in Dublin’s Parnell Square during December 1972?

8) Which professional footballer spoke at a rally in support of the Price Sisters hunger-strike during 1974?

9) When was Jim Kemmy first elected as a councillor and for what organisation?

10) A week after Bloody Sunday which League of Ireland club’s players wore black armbands, observed a two-minutes silence and flew the tricolor at half mast over their ground because of that club’s ‘close associations with the players and people of the Bogside and Creggan’?

11) Special Phil Coulter bonus question (following ‘Back Home’ last week). Which anti-internment song, written by Coulter, reached No. 7 in the Irish charts in October 1971?


1) The ‘maintenance men’s (industrial craftsmen) strike involving 3,000 men in 18 different unions.

2) The WUI (1964), ITGWU (1968) ATGWU (1969).

3) Conor Cruise O’Brien.

4) Former Labour TD David Thornley.

5) ‘Hope’ in An Phoblacht, 21 November 1975.

6) St. Johnston, Co. Donegal.

7) The Irish Civil Rights Association (ICRA).

8) Eamon Dunphy, then of Charlton Athletic FC.

9) June 1974. The Limerick Socialist Organisation. He got 1,275 votes.

10) Sligo Rovers.

11) ‘Free by the People’ sung by The Dubliners.

Ah… white collar professionals… August 31, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy.
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…and the apparently hazy acquaintance with and understanding of tax and labour law some of them exhibit, as reported in the Irish Times yesterday:

When broken down by profession, the highest average settlements [with Revenue] were among pharmacists (€37,000), followed by accountants (€34,000), doctors (€30,000), engineers (€29,000) and solicitors (€26,000).

Liabilities in this area include undeclared income, staff not being placed on official payrolls and capital gains tax owed on the sale of properties or share dividends. The details are contained in internal Revenue documents prepared earlier this year and released to The Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act.

This is interesting too, here…

The move has proved controversial, as some contractors claim they acted on professional advice in setting up these companies. In addition, some professional bodies argue that there have been genuine misunderstandings over the tax treatment of travel expenses.

Will those who gave such ‘advice’ face any liability? And given that this isn’t exactly a surprise to many of us…

And over in the UK… August 31, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, European Politics.
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Is this editorial from the Guardian on Tory defector Douglas Carswell just a little too gushing…

Unlike some Eurosceptic Tories, Mr Carswell is not a one-trick pony. He is an independent libertarian-minded MP who argues the need for radical political reform in the digital age and who has championed banking reform too. But it is his implacable Euroscepticism that made him switch to Ukip and which he highlighted in his resignation statement.

Well, libertarian-minded, yes, perhaps… he’s no end of enthusiasm for ‘direct democracy’, ‘recall of MPs’ and stuff like that.

And while it’s heartening to hear about his appetite for ‘radical political reform’ and indeed ‘action to clean up Westminster politics’… could it be that this paragon of virtue also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Carswell#Parliamentary_expenses_scandal Sure could!

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week August 31, 2014

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

Don’t have time to go through everything in the Sindo today, but I’ll be surprised if someone has topped Ruth Dudley Edwards, which starts as follows

Next month, a memorial to Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President and despot who died last year

Good to see her grasp of democracy is as strong as ever.

The Sandbaggers August 30, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.

Am watching the Sandbaggers, a Yorkshire Television espionage series from the late 1970s about the SIS. I have no memory of it from the time but I’m finding it oddly fascinating, not least because of extended exterior shots of London, but also because of the odd mixture of banality and violence that characterises its take on spying.

So there’s a lot of talk and office life, but also cynicism, betrayal and so on. Wait, that is office life! It’s reminiscent of Len Deighton in a way. Fair to say that its approach is that they’re pretty much all, including the protagonists, bastards, every last one of them.

It’s also, perhaps unknowingly, a real insight into social attitudes at the time. It’s not just the everyday and pervasive sexism, but the lack (initially) of lead women characters, though that does change. In a way it suggests that the attitudes the 1960s were meant to have pushed aside, at least in part, continued to exist in many many areas (not that that’s a surprise, but one would have thought there might be some slight improvement).

II’m also watching the near peerless Sapphire and Steel at much the same time (and for a take on that consider this from An Sionnach Fionn), it’s an interesting compare and contrast.

Here’s an overview from the Guardian from last year, which perhaps slightly exaggerates the violence. Interesting too to read the names of other series from the same era or slightly later – Cold Warrior, The Ratcatchers and Spyship. Got to be honest, never heard of any of them.

F-16’s over Dublin. August 30, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I’m not massively exercised by military aircraft or vehicles as such. Anything but, I tend to gravitate to aerospace museums when on holiday. And that’s because of a general interest in aviation, and certain aspects of military aviation in particular. And yet, I’ve got to admit a degree of unease at the sight (and sound) of F-16s over Dublin at the American Football game in Croke Park.

It’s not even as such an issue of neutrality, because in its place I think visiting military aircraft at air shows in Ireland aren’t necessarily problematic – though context is all. It’s more a sense that the appearance at Croke Park blurred certain lines between what are weapons of war – and weapons that have a particular contemporary currency, not least in Israel and Palestine where F-16s are used by the IAF – and cultural/sporting/other events.

I know that’s a fine distinction, but it kind of troubles me. Anyone else have similar issues?

Alistair Cooke’s Letter from America – 1969 to 1980. August 30, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, US Politics.
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Fascinating podcast now available of Alistair Cooke of the BBC’s ‘Letter from America’. It’s remarkable to listen to Cooke explaining the US political system and the events of the time. One wonders if people are better informed today – I suspect they might be a little bit.

They’ve been pulled together from the tapes of two listeners, which is remarkable really. Pretty good quality too, not too much cleaning up in evidence in respect of the sound.

The one’s from 1980 are of particular interest with an insight into domestic and international events during that period, from the Presidential nomination process of the year – and how Ted Kennedy did in the primary – or rather did not, to the invasion of Afghanistan. Cooke was pretty cynical, in a gentle sort of a way. Well worth a listen.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Helen Love – the Radio Hits August 30, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Long live the UK music scene Long live the UK music scene Long live the UK music scene
Each night I get down on my knees And say, hey God, I can’t believe We’re losing the UK music scene
Hey, all you kids, there’s a fab new sound So put your Nintendos and PlayStations down ‘Cos Chris Evans and Shed Seven will save the UK music scene
Hey, Johnny Cigarettes and Steven Wells Don’t get upset, your paper will still sell
Chris Evans and Shed Seven will save the UK music scene.

Cynical, humorous, clever… yep, that’ll be Helen Love, the almost all woman group from Wales (founder members being Helen, Sheena, Roxy and Mark), formed in the early 1990s, who seamlessly melded Ramones inflected punk and bubblegum pop into indie pop. And it is pop, speeding by in two and three minute increments, with great hook laden arrangements.

Conveniently, their first three albums were essentially compilations of EPs and so on, the Radio Hits Compilations. The title, is, as is the way with such things, a humorous reflection on the small fact that many of these never came near being radio hits, no, not one, though they should have in an ideal world. But that hasn’t stopped them having a long and fruitful and continuing career. Favourites of John Peel, they also played with Joey Ramone – subject of their early song (Sheena’s in Love With) Joey Ramone. He also sang on one of their records and Helen Love sang backing vocals on one track on his solo album.

Radio 1 pulls together their early EPs and singles. Check out Rollercoasting which is a love letter to music. Radio Hits 2 and 3 are no less brilliant, the latter including “Beat Him Up” which is feminist, ironic, deeply serious and utterly to the point about violence against women perpetrated by men. When they sing ‘Girl Power’ as a refrain in the opening bars of “Formula One Racing Girls” … it’s knowing and cynical, but it’s also somehow genuine. And if the instrumentation (and composition) is nowhere near as crude as some reviewers make out, well, that’s all for the good because however much they love the Ramones they aren’t the Ramones, but something different again – those tinny keyboards and choppy guitars notwithstanding.

Did they improve across the albums? Well, the production certainly toughened up, and so did the guitars, and there was an increasing dance/electronic tinge to keyboards (Jump Up and Down, Atomic Bea Boy, Big Pink Candyfloss Haircut and so on), but in essence it wasn’t so much an improvement – or that much of a real change – as a redefinition (and some, like myself, will find the dance remixes entertaining).

You might think that if you have Radio Hits, 1, 2 and 3 you have as much Helen Love as you might ever need. This though would be a mistake for they have released subsequent albums right up to the present day, all of which are well worth a listen. Indeed, I’m always struck by how many tunes they have managed to wrest from what seems like an incredibly constrained format. There’s the intro to Girl About Town, or listen to “Greatest Fan” and there’s a chunk of the Go! Club’s joyous melancholy, the tinny keyboards, the summery vocals, the muted guitars, the… well, it’s all there.


Beat Him Up

Punk Boy (with Joey Ramone – natch!)

Formula One Racing Girls

Girl About Town

Diet Coke Girl

Rockaway Beach For Me, Heartbreak Hotel For You

Jump and Down

Shifty Disco Girl

We Love You

Message from Locked Out Greyhound Workers August 29, 2014

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Greyhound Workers Support Group

March to City Hall for the September meeting of Dublin City Council.
Monday coming, 1st September, assemble Liberty Hall, 5pm.

If you support us, please attend our march on Monday and share our facebook event page to spread the word.

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