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Department store story June 30, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Intriguing mention in the SBP at the weekend in an article that focused on the new SF Mayor of Dublin. Críona Ní Dhálaigh from the south inner city has stated that she will do all she can for Clery’s staff. No great surprise there, but what of this in relation to another department store:

Meanwhile solicitor Noel Smyth, whose company Fitzwilliam Finance Partners took total control of Arnotts earlier this year, plans to meet union leaders next week to reassure them that he remains committed to the business. Denis O’Brien’s long-term public relations guru James Morrissey is advising Smyth.

‘Public relations guru’? Really? Really?

Some thoughts on the Independent Alliance Candidates announced Yesterday June 30, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

A number of new candidate were announced by The Shane Ross chaired Independent Alliance yesterday.
There were some interesting names among them with a number of decent prospects for seats.
Early days yet but you’d think Carol Hunt would find it difficult to win in the effective 3 seat Dun Laoghaire. That said the only sure thing here is that there will be a Fine Gael seat.
Tuam based Sean Canney in Galway East has a good chance, he polled 5,567 votes in the 2011 Election and once again topped the poll in the Local Elections. Has a decent chance.
Niamh Kennedy topped the poll in the local elections and is highly thought of. Geography is also on her side as currently there are no candidates in her locality. Donegal will be hotly contested but again in with a chance of a seat, possibly at the expense of Thomas Pringle.
Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran is another one who polled well at the last election, the Longford Westmeath By Election and also the Local Elections. Moran is an ex FFer and there is currently a row in FF over running an Athlone based candidate. Were FF to run just a Longford based candidate along with Robert Troy then Moran who is Athlone based would be well placed.
Kevin Callan , a councillor who was elected for Fine Gael in 2014, will be running in Louth. Not a great chance of taking a seat.
Deirdre O’Donovan was one of a number of Ross endorsed candidates elected at the Local Elections polling over 1500 votes in Rathfarnham. She is running in Dublin South West, she may do well but will be hampered by the fact that five of the six councillors elected for Rathfarnham in 2011 will be running in Dublin South West.
We’ll see who else will nail their colours to the Ross mast….
Re this Alliance, I can see whats in it for Ross and the other ccurrent TD’s, in that they fancy being in government…. but what’s the point of being an Independent Alliance ‘backbencher’ ? You might have access to a Minister, but surely you are just lobby fodder like most backbenchers?

And seeing as we’re discussing Greece… default day arrives June 30, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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So, it has come to this then.

Greece is expected to default on its debt to the International Monetary Fund and see its bailout deal expire later today.

By falling into arrears on its IMF debt it will mean it can no longer borrow from the fund.

It’s an abysmal situation – and there are no real upsides – but SYRIZA has pretty much done what it said it would do. And this is interesting too, Tsipras talking last night:

“The greater the number of no [votes], the greater the weapon the government will have to relaunch negotiations. Greece never left the negotiating table, it is still at the negotiating table. ”

Appearing by turns combative and nervous, the 40-year-old leader suggested, for the first time, that he and his radical left Syriza party would resign if the yes vote triumphed in the referendum.

“We will respect the result but we will not be there to serve it,” he told the station.

Where does this go next?

Getting the digs into Greece… June 30, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics.

Pat Leahy has another excellent piece in the SBP at the weekend which asks why is the Irish government so keen to criticise Athens? In some ways it is not a huge puzzle. Despite a nominally social democratic component the instincts of this government are reliably right of centre on economic thinking (it has been breath-taking, albeit not exactly a revelation, just how willing the LP has been to accede to the orthodoxy economically. And one has to wonder just what mechanisms or resources inside that party there are to generate thinking on economics?). And given that that reflects European thinking small wonder that they are happy to attach themselves to the overall approach.

This has led to complete absurdities. Leahy notes that the Taoiseach in a bid to be the best European around (I paraphrase) came out with some bizarre stuff:

Last week he said at least two things that required further explanation, to put it kindly.
When asked by reporters if Ireland would support debt relief for Greece, he responded bluntly: “No.”
Officials later clarified that Ireland would indeed support debt reprofiling – or stretching the repayment periods and lowering the interest rate on debt, generally thought to be a form of debt relief. It was debt forgiveness, officials explained, that Ireland would not contemplate.


Kenny also said that Greece should follow Ireland’s example in correcting its public finances with growth-friendly measures. Here, he asserted that Ireland did not raise income tax.
“In Ireland’s case, we did not increase income tax, we did not increase Vat, we did not increase PRSI, but we put up alternatives to those measures proposed in order to keep a pro-growth policy and make our country competitive, grow our economy and provide jobs for our people,” he said.

To which Leahy responds:

Well, perhaps. The rates of income tax might not have been increased. But Ireland certainly increased taxes on income.
Ask everyone who pays the Universal Social Charge.

But as was noted by 6to5against, VAT increased too – in December 2011 from 21 to 23%. But I suppose such details are irrelevant.

Leahy makes the point that Dublin is merely articulating openly an attitude that is held widely in the EU, and he sums it up like so:

The political atmosphere and personal relationships around the Brussels negotiating table are toxic. But that is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that the two sides remain divided by issues of substance.
Let Schäuble and Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, sum it up.
“We cannot allow any member state to spend money without limit and other member states to be liable for it,” Schäuble said on Friday at a conference in Frankfurt.


The same day, Varoufakis told RTE’s Morning Ireland: “When they say that they want more pro-growth measures, what they effectively are saying is we should reduce the minimum wages, we should reduce the minimum pension further . . .
“To do this in a country where one million families rely on a single pension because everyone else is unemployed, instead of intervening in employer pension contributions, is quite absurd, and it is a proposition that I am simply not prepared to put to my parliament.”

What’s most curious about all this is that we know – indeed the SBP editorial itself argues this – that the EU/IMF approaches are futile in relation to Greece, that they cannot work economically and that what is asked of that state and its citizens is both impossible and counterproductive.

The editorial says:

The Greek people have endured massive austerity, and it has not worked, because their economy is nowhere near as open as Ireland’s is, and is without the basic tax-gathering structures to be able to balance the books as we have.
Their negotiating positions have, at times, been unfortunate and haven’t worked out. But precisely the same thing can be said of Ireland.

And yet, on it goes. Testing the EU and the eurozone to breaking point, and perhaps beyond. And to what purpose? It is impossible not, now, to regard this as ideological and political masked as the inevitable. As and when that latter is demonstrated to be manifestly incorrect one can only assume the ramifications will be considerable.

SF’s Críona Ní Dhálaigh and Independent Cieran Perry elected Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin June 29, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Details here on RTÉ

All this on foot of a pact between SF/LP/GP and most Independents. And look here…

Cllr O’Callaghan said he was running because Fianna Fáil should have a candidate for the position given the “historic” events next year.

He said he feared that Sinn Féin were going to “hijack” the centenary celebrations.

Waiting for the election… June 29, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

A revealing aside in the SBP at the weekend where it noted that on foot of the most recent polls, with FG support holding steady in the high 20s…

The Sunday Business Post has learned that Fine Gael has been conducting focus groups in recent weeks in which it has tested key election messages, and also the timing of an election.

Fine Gael usually conducts focus groups about every six months, but has stepped up election preparations in recent months. The groups were watched live in Washington DC by a firm of political advisers employed by Fine Gael.
It is understood that the groups were asked about their reaction to an early general election, and were largely non-committal. They were also asked about election themes and campaign strategies.

What, one wonders, does non-committal mean? They were neutral about it, or unenthusiastic? Which ever it is is important, but perhaps more important is the idea that FG has been asking this question. Of course it would, wouldn’t it? But given the relative closeness of the election, one way or another, now much less than 9 or so months away…

For those wedded to orthodox interpretations of the Greek Crisis… June 29, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

… this Guardian opinion piece underlines a basic truth in regard to the situation:

The creditors need to have the humility to recognise that their austerity programme has failed. None of the hardship has made Greek debt more sustainable, yet still they demand more. The loss of about 5% of UK national income in 2008 could be answered by pumping in a fiscal injection of 1% GDP. Greece, where 25% of the economy has disappeared, is instead asked to offer up a fiscal blood donation, whose direct effect is withdrawing 1% of demand.

After Marriage Equality June 29, 2015

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Was thinking about the Dublin Pride parade at the weekend which I was for a good while. And very impressive it was too. An interesting week, also, for it to take place in given the good news from the United States Supreme Court in relation to marriage equality in the US. And a celebration, and clearly so, following on foot of the referendum here only short weeks ago.

Just on that latter issue of the US Supreme Court decision, hard to be surprised that five of the Justices supported marriage equality given this:

Four liberal justices and Kennedy rejected claims made by lawyers during the legal argument in April that marriage was defined by law solely to encourage procreation within stable family units – and therefore could only meaningfully apply to men and women.

Really, that tired old line about marriage being sole about procreation? Must have missed that bit during the vows – albeit I had a civil ceremony. But back in Ireland this was heartening to read.

Gráinne Healy of Marriage Equality told The Irish Times the parade had been “massive and double the size of last year”.
“It’s fabulous. Something perhaps we’re not so good at is to stop and celebrate what we have achieved. Today is a celebration of what so many people have worked over a decade to achieve – marriage equality.
“There is more to do. The two key things for me are to get the gender recognition legislation through and then to get rid of Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act. The next equality issues are reproductive rights and income inequality.

Greece and German WWII Reparations – English – Die Anstalt 31 March 2015 June 29, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in European Politics, Uncategorized.
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A viral video by a German satire show educates people about the true situation of the Greek reparations claim.
via doctorfive.

Left Archive: Irish Republican Socialist News: A publication of the Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America (IRSP), Issue 1 – Summer 2008 June 29, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America (IRSP), Irish Republican Socialist News: A publication of the Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America (IRSP).


To download the above please click on the following link. IRSN – Issue 1

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the editor of this publication for forwarding it. This was a document produced and distributed in the United States in support of the the IRSP

As the editor notes:

This was published during 2008 and 2011. The first 2 issues were called Irish Republican Socialist News (IRSN) before it was changed to Seven Stars. It was intended to be published quarterly. It was handed out free of charge and was available online. Copies were sent to IRSCNA cummain in Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle, Austin, Medford, Minneapolis, and Detroit. There would have been distributed and left wing events as well as more traditional Irish Republican commemorations. This was a time when the IRSP’s paper the Starry Plough was not being reguarily published and areas such as Belfast and Derry were producing their own news sheets.

At 12 pages long, A4 and with some colour it is a very comprehensive publication. The cover story calls for an end to state repression, noting ‘the detention and vicious assault of five IRSP members in the 26 County State’. It notes that ‘some political groups rallied to the support the 5 victims of state brutality, others were astounding indifferent to the situation…where was the CPI, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party etc during all this?’

Inside it notes that ‘an April article published in the Irish Times [states] that there is no INLA connection to the drugs trade in Ireland’ quoting Det. Supt Barry O’Brien from the Garda National Drugs Unit.

There are also May Day Greetings from the Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America. It notes that:

As this May Day dawns, the workers of the world remain exploited by a global capitalist class in its unending
quest for profit. The Cuban Revolution remains defiant in the face of this and Venezuela continues to pursue a progressive path, but until the working class collectively and globally rises against the capitalist order, a better world for all will remain out of reach. We, the workers, are the ones with the power to build that world, and build it we must.

Another page details the first IRSCNA Ard Fheis since 1999 and another has a May Day statement from the IRSP. There’s an interview the singer songwriter and activist Ray Collins.

There’s a lengthy assessment, ’10 years on from the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement’ and a report which was delivered by IRSP members in Catalonia. Finally there is an IRSCNA Easter Statement which notes that:

The IRSCNA is proud to continue representing the IRSM, building solidarity as well as giving practical aid and support to the best of our ability. We stand firm in the Republican Socialist tradition begun by Connolly and continued today by the IRSP. The IRSM’s political analysis and leadership has never been as sorely needed as now: the Republican Socialist analysis and programme is the only one within Irish antiimperialism
that can both understand the line of march and lead by example.

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