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What you want to say – 29th July 2015 July 29, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

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1. Roger Cole - July 29, 2015

Clare Daly TD and Mick Wallace TD will be sent to prison for a month probably in September because of their efforts to search the US military planes landing in Shannon Airport. A group has been established to support them. If anybody is interested in helping please contact: pana@eircom.net or info@pana.ie or Tel: 087-2611597

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dublinstreams - July 29, 2015

just realised the 3 month deadline for paying the fine passed at the end of July I think, I tweeted at him and ask him what the status was he didn’t answer.

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dublinstreams - July 29, 2015

I wrote a blog about unknown Military Flights in Irish Controlled airspace Safety & Politics: turns out via a PQ by POD that Russian, US, France, UK, Canadia have been guilty of it http://dublinstreams.blogspot.com/2015/06/russian-military-flights-in-irish.html Sent this info to Mick becuase he was asking question in the Dail trying to conpare that too issues, no response :/, Its a question if they are truly worried about safety in civilian airspace, or its politics, whether they actually expect all aif forces to use transponders in controlled international airspace

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2. Gewerkschaftler - July 29, 2015

Still trying to get my head and heart around what the defeat in Greece means for the left in Europe.

A properly worked out ‘Lexit’ for left governments from the Eurozone seems now necessary. But that will only win popular support if it is believable and it’s proponents don’t minimise the chaos that is likely to result. Also bolstering anti-Euro sentiment in countries like Poland that haven’t yet been allowed into the cage is important.

Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin seem to have a take on the situation that goes beyond the cries of ‘betrayal’ and the usual fantasies of rupture, and they are there on the ground and talking to the people in Syriza.

The Syriza Dilemma:

Most of those who now support Tsipras do not propose to simply wait for European institutions to become “better.” They see the struggle in terms of an internationalism based on each country adding to the “little fires” that Syriza started and which will lead to changing the European Union. Others see the need for a rupture but want a far more elaborated and extensive plan for an economic transition than the Left Platform has advanced.

Also they see an long marathon of resistance as the most useful role for the Syriza government now. I don’t know that they’ll get a chance, realistically.

Those advocating an exit from the euro acknowledge that there will be costs. Yet they also tend to understate, sometimes rather glibly, the chaos this would entail especially for a state steeped in two centuries of clientalist practices. Along with this comes an exaggeration of what exiting the euro would, in itself, achieve. The economics of a new devalued currency are sure to lead to high inflation and further dramatic reductions in living standards, nor can it of itself produce new competitive industries. Where the depth of the crisis is as severe as it is in Greece, and partly rooted there in the very restructuring of its economy that came with its deeper integration into Europe, changes in the currency are unlikely to restore old industries or develop new ones. It is worth remembering how many states with their own currencies are unable to withstand the ravages of neoliberalism.

That the options open to the Syriza government are even more limited by the way the new memorandum is structured to cruelly discipline Greece’s integration into neoliberal Europe is obvious enough. It should also be increasingly obvious to those in the party whose commitment to the EU was foundational that staying in the eurozone is inconsistent with restraining neoliberalism’s negative impact on most Greeks. It is much to be hoped that Syriza, and the European Left Parties in general, will abandon the notion that an even more centralized transnational European state would be more progressive. But it does not follow from any of this that it would be correct for Syriza to lead a Grexit right now, without a much deeper preparation for dealing with the consequences.

What about resigning from office to free itself from administering the memorandum? It would be highly irresponsible, having entered the state in the first place promising to try to at least ameliorate the effects of neoliberalism in Greece, to step down now after what has been imposed on the Syriza government for its anti-neoliberal orientation and its democratic temerity in calling the referendum. This only deepens its responsibility to do all it still can to restrain the impact of neoliberalism. To do otherwise would be to acquiesce in the goal of those who tried to use the negotiations as a way to bring this government down.

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Ed - July 29, 2015

To be honest, the stuff Panitch and Gindin have been writing about Greece strikes me as deeply unconvincing, and at times cynical and mendacious. Take this for example:

“The Left Platform’s Plan B shrinks from tying these two imperatives together. Moreover, the fact that it is presented as a set of policies that could be readily imposed from the pinnacle of the state reflects what most politicized social movement activists and creative cadre inside the party dislike about the top-down strategic approach of the Left Platform.”

You mean as opposed to the ‘bottom-up’ approach of the Syriza leadership, where all the decisions about accepting the latest memorandum were made by Tsipras and a handful of close advisors, then presented to the rest of the party (and the people of Greece) as a fait accompli, and turned into a kind of personal plebiscite on Tsipras as an individual? I wonder if the ‘creative cadre inside the party’ referred to by P&G had any qualms about that. I was in Athens last week and I heard a ‘politicized social movement activist’ from Thessaloniki who was involved in the campaign against water privatization speaking; he said that they would be going into a new cycle of struggles from the autumn, and he expected things to be a lot harder than they were last time round, because now they would no longer be facing a discredited, unpopular government. That’s the factor that’s completely missing from P&G’s argument: the Troika may well have wanted to bring the government down, but they weren’t worried about Tsipras or anyone else as an individual, they were worried about their programme. If the same individuals carry on in government with a completely different programme, they’ve little reason to be unhappy with the outcome; in fact it could have real advantages, letting someone who’s built up a stock of political capital by standing up to the Troika burn up all that capital doing the Troika’s dirty work.

Talking about SYRIZA’s ‘responsibility to do all it still can to restrain the impact of neoliberalism’ is just empty rhetoric unless you can show how they can possibly do that with the Troika’s shackles in place. If they really weren’t ready to lead Greece out of the Eurozone, and firmly believed that they had no mandate to do so, it would have been better to stand aside; let the Troika find another patsy, another ‘technocrat’, another Papademos to sign a deal and get the banks open again, then go into fresh elections seeking a mandate to break with the Eurozone. The last six months have clarified things for the people of Greece; they know what staying in the Eurozone will entail, for the next decade or more. SYRIZA might still lose under those circumstances, people might opt for the devil they know. But it would at least be more hopeful than their current strategy, which is simply to hang on and hope something comes up. The idea that things will be transformed by the election of left governments elsewhere overlooks the likely effect of what’s been happening in Greece on other countries; quite apart from the pro-Troika parties using the ‘look what happened there’ argument to shore up support, Podemos is less radical politically than Syriza, and Sinn Féin is less radical than Podemos, so if Syriza doesn’t stand up to the Troika, I wouldn’t put money on the others doing so.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 29, 2015

All good points well made Ed.

The most important of which is that Greece is going to be laid waste to use as a ‘dreadful warning’ to beat the left in Europe with.

Like I said I’m still getting my head around the thing.

I don’t have the luxury of having a party line to adhere to – my party has many currents and opinions on the matter 🙂

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Gewerkschaftler - July 29, 2015

They may be unconvincing, but I find the stuff coming out of some elements of the Left Platform equally unconvincing.

Hard to see even a ‘less worse’ option in the current situation.

On standing up to the Troika – well we’ve got to become a lot more smart and convincing about how we go about it.

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3. CMK - July 29, 2015
Gewerkschaftler - July 29, 2015

I’d dearly like to have details of the proposed alternative currency.

When I hear the word ‘smartphone apps’ as a basis for a currency I have to say that I shudder at the naiveté.

This kind of thing needs subjecting to rigorous security testing. But bypassing the existing payments system for a parallel currency could make sense. But not for a principal, internationally traded currency.

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que - July 29, 2015

It shouldn’t have been a currency but a payment system based on the fact that the Greek govt was entitled to tax take and therefore would presumably be good for it. Currency like in that it’s paper with a promise of redemption but it wouldn’t necessarily be transferable 1 for 1 so say Greek govt owes 5 million for medical equipment. They would credit a 5 million IOU to the medical company which could treat it as a bond to be redeemed at a later date or they could transfer it to another company saying here now is your money. The extension of payment via a phone would be something else alright and whole not undoable I would say it wouldn’t be that easy either.

But the thing is mainly that it would be a Payments facility with Euro still legal currency and circulating. It’s emergency oxygen to prevent financial asphyxiation rather than the finished product.

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Ed - July 29, 2015

A completely farcical attempted stitch-up by a corrupt ruling class on the rampage, of which the supreme court is part and parcel (the same judges struck down more liberal citizenship laws because they threatened national purity). The idea that the finance minister of an elected government preparing for a possible exit for the euro can be defined as criminal behaviour shows how unhinged and out of control this discredited mafia are. They haven’t just been defeated politically on the home front, they’ve been crushed; even after Syriza’s climb-down the right-wing opposition are still wildly unpopular; their only pillar of support comes from the Troika, so they’re trying to chalk up some coercive victories in lieu of any consensual ones. If Tsipras and co show even the slightest hint of equivocation in the face of these crooks and their judicial lynch-mob, they’ll be cutting their own throats. Remember when you hear the self-righteous blather from the northern European elites about Greeks not paying taxes: their chosen quislings in Greece are the oligarchs who’ve been robbing the Greek state for generations.

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CMK - July 29, 2015

Well put, Ed.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 29, 2015

Well it was a coup by bank instead of by tank.

Bypassing the elected government is part of the package until they can be replaced.

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4. que - July 29, 2015

Is this a new Facebook group?

https://m.facebook.com/VoteLeftEire

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5. Crocodile - July 29, 2015

Varoufakis profile in latest ‘New Yorker’ – long, gossipy – contains a few interesting details. He got on well with Schauble, on a personal level, but loathed Dijsselbloem. His (Varoufakis’s) wife is the girl in the Pulp song ‘Common People (‘She came from Greece, she had a thirst for knowledge/ She studied sculpture at St Martin’s College’).

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WorldbyStorm - July 29, 2015

That’s true, that is interesting. I never felt Common People was all that complimentary to her.

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LeftAtTheCross - July 30, 2015

I’m pretty sure I read somewhere, since it was in the news earlier this year, that the Pulp connection has been proven not to be true.

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sonofstan - July 30, 2015

Yeah, I think you’re right – IIRC, it has been established she graduated in June 198?, JC started in Sept so they were never at St. Martin’s together. Incidentally, the old St. Martin’s building on the Charing Cross Rd is now Foyle’s new location, a few doors down from the old shop. I’ve been trying to work out exactly what section now occupies the room where the Pistols played…

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2015

Wow, I’d never realised the Foyle’s connection. Brilliant.

Just re the Pulp connection not being true and good spot LATC, I’m kind of glad given the lyrics.

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Paul Wilson - July 30, 2015

When you find out sonofstan can you kiss the floor for me please?

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2015

Btw, meant to thank you Paul for your kind words on the Damned post. Go see the documentary. You’ll like it I think.

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sonofstan - July 30, 2015

Surely a commemorative gob would be more appropriate? though it would surely get me thrown out….
As was Billy Childish when he was a student there…..

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2015

Speaking of gobs there’s something in the Damned documentary on them which gives pause for thought. 😦

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LeftAtTheCross - July 30, 2015

I was in Foyles this day last week, while on holidays for a few days in London, and wasn’t at all aware of the history of the building. Pity. Interestingly I wasn’t at all impressed by their history section. Being quite interested in 20th century European history I was disappointed to see that basically the history revolved around WWII and British imperialism. Not s single book about Italian or French communism! Or much else of interest bar Jean Jaures history of the French Revolution. The Russian section was all of the Stalin bloodlust variety. Thankfully the few remaining second hand bookshops down the road had a more interesting selection.

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sonofstan - July 30, 2015

LATC – Bloomsbury would probably be more rewarding for you? Skoob Books in the Brunswick Centre, or Judd further up are both worth an hour or three. There’s also Bookmarks on Bloomsbury St, run by the IS/ SWP but relatively catholic (small ‘c’) for all that, and lots of socialist history. And, er, the other one up in Kings’ X ….

I suspect Foyle’s was one of those places, like Bewleys, that way always better in the old days; I like that Ray’s Jazz survives as a unit in there though, not nothing like the old shop.

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Paul Wilson - July 30, 2015

Thanks WBS, will do, yes it was a disgusting habit.

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LeftAtTheCross - July 30, 2015

Thanks for those suggestions SoS. It’ll have to be next time, hopefully sooner than the 25 years since last time. I’d never been in Bloomsbury before last week in fact. The brief trip made me very nostalgic but also shamed me into realising how much of London I’ve no familiarity with despite living there for four years. Those bookshops are on my radar now for next time for sure.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2015

I love those bookshops. I used to work on Leicester Square back in 1990-1 and would go into them every few days on lunch break wishing I had more money. And there were some great second hand record shops around there too – still are, and some first hand one’s too Sister Ray etc. All that block from Trafalgar Square up bounded by Regent Street on the west and the A400 to the East to but not including Oxford Street is one of my favourite places in the world.

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LeftAtTheCross - July 30, 2015

It’s a great part of the world alright. Unfortunately there are less of those bookshops now than I remember from the 80s. How they make a living I don’t know, the rents around there must be huge.

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sonofstan - July 30, 2015

Stll lots of decent bookshops in London, thankfully, though none seem quite as special as Compendium in Camden used to be – but that may be nostalgia kicking n.

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6. CL - July 29, 2015

“So we now have a Europe where the political temperature is rising to boiling point: where the EMU elites are refusing to shift course; and where mischievous lawyers are concocting criminal charges against anybody daring to explore a way out of the trap.

This is a recipe for a European civil war.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11768134/European-alliance-of-national-liberation-fronts-emerges-to-avenge-Greek-defeat.html

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7. Jim Monaghan - July 30, 2015

Noxious stuff here http://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/lethal-legacy-of-pearses-oration-at-the-graveside-of-odonovan-rossa-31414645.html None of these people mention the Redmond blood sacrifice of 50,000 dead for the empire and another possible 50,000 if 1916 had not stopped conscription in it’s tracks.

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8. Jim Monaghan - July 30, 2015
Liberius - July 30, 2015

Never mind how long the changes would take I’d be dubious about whether they’d happen at all; we wouldn’t happen to have geneticist on CLR to clear the situation up would we?

I don’t know about other people but I’m a little sick of nationalists using the dodgy pseudo-science of psychology (in the sense that it’s mostly philosophical concepts without clear empirical data to back up its claims; though how would you even start to collect that kind of data) to explain why their ideas are correct and anyone who disagrees is a self-hating colonial relic. Trenchant opposition to austerity in Greece is held up as being as a result of their unsoiled multi-millennia of history and linguistic purity whilst Ireland’s sub-par anti-austerity credentials are a damning indictment of post-colonial servile tendencies; though doesn’t mention the case of Portugal where they’ve been fairly snivelling towards the troika and whose history isn’t exactly one of colonial oppression and suppression of indigenous language.

The author of the IT review makes a factual error in the below paragraph though, Denmark’s population is 5.5 million rather than 3 million and Danish is essential just one of three dialects in a Scandinavian poly-centric language (though don’t tell that to nationalists in Denmark, Norway and Sweden). The rest of the quote is suspect as well.

I feel Mac Síomóin has omitted a very effective rhetorical question; to what extent is post-Gaelic Ireland, having embraced Anglicisation, more societally modern and more economically stable than a similar-sized country such as Denmark whose mere three million inhabitants have yet to abandon Danish? To no extent at all, I dare to wager.

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CL - July 30, 2015

A good case can be made for EU funding to deal with SCIS especially as it is impeding economic growth. Seems like a problem our Sinn Fein MEPs should be concerned about.

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9. sonofstan - July 30, 2015

The mood music about recovery is continuing apace, and obviously this suits the government narrative much too conveniently – but is it true? I’m only here the odd weekend, and for a few weeks in the summer, and I don’t do any work here anymore, so I don’t see that much of the economic warp and weft of the country, the way I used to do. Dublin looks busier than it did last year, and, among family and friends, I’ve seen a few people get the sort of jobs that weren’t be filled a few years ago, but it’s all impressions – what are others seeing? Outside the M50?

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CL - July 30, 2015

“Gross Domestic Product grew by 5.2% last year, compared to a previous estimate of 4.8%, making Ireland the fastest growing economy in the European Union, the CSO said in a statement….
The Irish economy is now the same size as it was at its peak in 2007…
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said “robust growth” was being recorded across most sectors of the economy.

“We have laid the foundations for a solid recovery. The task now is to build upon the gains we have made in recent years,” Mr Noonan said.
http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2015/0730/718173-economy-grew-at-faster-pace-than-first-through/

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CMK - July 30, 2015

Well if you’re one of the 280,000 employed in the public sector you won’t notice any difference until early next year and only if you on under 30k. So that particular tranche are feeling any recovery.

Ditto outside the Pale where stagnation continues apace.

Those big leaps in GNP are probably linked to aircraft leasing done from the IFSC. If you look at the stats over the past few years there are a few quarters where GNP leapt up dramatically then hovered around zero for a couple of quarters.

Anyone on the dole, JobBridge or who had to emigrate ain’t feeling the recovery either. The 100,000 families and individuals on the housing list aren’t feeling it nor are the 35,000 households over two years in arrears on their mortgages.

There are deep, intractable problems in the Irish economy in so far as meeting basic needs – housing above all – that talk of ‘recovery’ is just so much nonsense.

There is a bitter irony in Noonan invoking 2007 as some kind of benchmark given what happened in the seven years that followed.

More likely the current ‘recovery’ is a long prelude to the next bust.

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CMK - July 30, 2015

So that particular tranche aren’t feeling any recovery.

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10. Ed - July 30, 2015

Interesting piece by Ambrose Evans Pritchard of the Telegraph, who’s been one of the most refreshing voices on Greece and the Eurozone over the last couple of months:

“Podemos has lost its electoral lead and has dropped to 17pc in the polls, trailing the Socialists by a wide margin. But it would be premature to conclude that this is the end of the story. The deeper message – still entering the collective consciousness – is that no Leftist government can pursue sovereign policies within the constraints of EMU …

“Personally, I doubt that radicals will sweep Spain (or Portugal) in elections later this year. It is too soon. The country is enjoying a cyclical upswing, creating an illusion of recovery even as the current account deficit creeps up again. The worry is what will happen in the next global downturn when the Spanish people discover that they were never really cured [and the Irish people too?]…

“So we now have a Europe where the political temperature is rising to boiling point: where the EMU elites are refusing to shift course; and where mischievous lawyers are concocting criminal charges against anybody daring to explore a way out of the trap. This is a recipe for a European civil war.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11768134/European-alliance-of-national-liberation-fronts-emerges-to-avenge-Greek-defeat.html

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Jolly Red Giant - July 30, 2015

Podemos has been dropping dramatically in the polls because its leadership have been galloping to the right and toning down their opposition to austerity. Rather than push on from the success in the regional elections they have been backtracking like there is not tomorrow (something that has been underway for some time).

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Ed - July 30, 2015

I don’t meant to keep doing this JRG, but yes, I was in Spain a few months ago and heard much of that from the horse’s mouths, so to speak (or at least from people who’d known the horses for years, helped them launch Podemos in the first place and disapproved of the turn they were taking after last year’s elections). This article would give a taste of some of the arguments being made:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/05/podemos-iglesias-spain-elections-populist/

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11. Garibaldy - July 30, 2015
CL - July 30, 2015

“In February 2000, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released files that indicated that they had investigated links between Lennon and New York-based Irish Republican activists in the 1970s…

February 7th, 1972) in a rally in Manhattan organized by the Transit Workers Union. Lennon joked at the rally how “the police were particularly cooperative as most of them were Irish”. He then said that “The purpose of the meeting was to show solidarity with the people who are going to march tomorrow in Northern Ireland” Referring to his Irish ancestry, Lennon told the crowd, “My name is Lennon and you can guess the rest.” He added that his native Liverpool was “80% Irish.” Then along with Ono he sang “The Luck of the Irish,” which was his second song written in reaction to Bloody Sunday:
https://lonesomesparrow.wordpress.com/2008/06/08/john-lennon-and-the-ira/

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12. CL - July 30, 2015

“Alexis Tsipras and his SYRIZA (literally an acronym for “Coalition of the Radical Left”) government are agreeing to engage in the largest-scale destruction of a European country’s social fabric since the 1919 Treaty of Versailles.”
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2015/lazarou290715.html

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13. roddy - July 30, 2015

Liberius if you think British colonialism is not an issue ,I have a simple test for you to carry out.Acquire two passports, one British and one Irish and travel anywhere in the world and see what sort of a reaction you get from the natives on the production of either.

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Liberius - July 30, 2015

An interesting experiment professor Roddy, but I don’t quite see how it would show me why it’s accurate to write off opposition to cultural chauvinism, the holding of multi-century grudges, anti-sectarianism and selective stereotyping (like you’re invocation recently of the innate desire of French, English and German citizens towards rampaging expansionism) as post-colonial servile tendencies.

To be absolutely clear about this my belief is that life is far more complicated than many of these over elaborate psychological theories allow for; I also belief that it’s wrong to deny people their own right to determine their identity just because you think they ought to have, or more accurately ought to adore, a certain specified one.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2015

I agree with much of what you’re saying Liberius, but doesn’t that work both ways? i.e. people should have the right to express one if they want as much as not be forced to express one if they don’t want to? No? And then we get into the issue of how that identity is represented politically. Where we reach real trouble.

Then there are issues re multi-century grudges because they may have real presence in the present. You may think partition isn’t that big a deal, and perhaps you’re right in the context of effectively no border, demilitarisation, a changed attitude in the north and representation for nationalists and Republicans in government. But… people are human and the events that led to the partial and at times total disenfranchisement of people can still have a resonance on different levels.

I’m as sceptical as you about psychological theories in regards to nationality. But… I think it depends on how close or far away something is in time. I’m unsure as to whether the Famine had quite the psychological effect at this remove as some seem to think. But I do think it had a massive effect on my fathers generation – he was born in 1930 and those before him. The Holocaust would seem to have had an enormous, and understandable, impact on Israeli thinking. The Greek experience in WWII, or more pertinently under the Colonels, would appear to have had an impact. Losing Empire another sort of impact in England. Gaining partial independence another again in Scotland and so on.

It’s actually a really interesting area.

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Liberius - July 30, 2015

I don’t really see where I’ve advocated that people shouldn’t have the right to express a specific identity if they want to. The key issue for me is that the political movements based around these specific identities often seem to be deeply intolerant of people deviating from those identities, hence all the nonsense thrown into by academic nationalism about people being ‘post-colonial’, having heritable PTSD, being Anglophile (or any other of the applicable -philias) or being insufficiently anti-austerity because of some sort of servile tendency. And from the non-academics we get the coarser stuff like comparing anyone who disagrees with unfavourable people like CCOB (I’ll make an admission here that I’ve never read a single word he ever wrote) or writing them off as ‘West Brits’.
The sectarian events of Ireland’s past may have been tragic, but at the same time I don’t think it really makes sense to argue that just because those events happened that we give a pass to maintaining enmity between peoples. Maybe it’s because I was exposed to a fairly pacifistic strain of Buddhism in my early childhood (also essentially responsible for driving a wedge between me and religion as by the time the republic’s education system started its work I’d been exposed to the notion that there is more than one religion and they can’t all be right, but could all be wrong) but I can’t condone the lack of forgiveness that underpins nationalism in Ireland (take Roddy, he seems intent on holding responsible for the crimes of the past any and all of Britain’s inhabitants right the way from the long distant past to the long distant future). Also just to knock this on the head I don’t believe in partition, and would vote yes to reunification in a referendum if it happened.
The post-colonial psychology, the thing is I can understand the potential effects of things like the famine or holocaust on people and their immediate descendants, even if I think in the case of the famine people have identified the wrong culprit (I’d choose capitalism), but that doesn’t mean I think that it has much in the way of relevance to all people then and most people now. Suggesting as that book reviewed by the IT does that we’re all suffering PTSD as a result of events that happened a long time before we were born seems to be taking it to an extreme level, it’s just too easy to suggest that alcoholism in Ireland is a post-colonial legacy (it ignores the generally high level of consumption across the whole of northern Europe) and too easy to blame the sub-standard level of anti-austerity campaigning (the irony here being that some of the most vociferous anti-austerity campaigning has come from a political group nationalists like to denigrate as unionist) on colonial deference to our ‘betters’.

I’d like to point out at the end here that I don’t actually like talking about these topics even if I often feel I have to, it reminds me of a quote about the Soviet chess grandmaster Tigran Petrosian that I read from journalist Harold C. Schonberg that goes; “playing him was like trying to put handcuffs on an eel. There was nothing to grip.”. That feeling of arguing against an immutable concept that refuses to die irrespective of what it’s confronted with is utterly alienating.

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que - July 31, 2015

Again who says its about adoring an identity.

Every time you talk about identity you assign motivations which might be true of some people to all people.

Freedom to choose identity you write apparently unaware that in your discussion of identity you bring so much negativity to the table but never question or explore why you have that ‘identity’ yourself. Where did those attitudes come from. From what experience or influence did you receive that perspective. Your identity as a person who hears the word nationalist and reacts is not something you were born with. It’s something that people around you influenced you with.

The idea you are free to choose your identity is an illusion.

Identity serves a purpose, is natural, it is part of our ( each person’s) story, and while having a story is not a problem being trapped by your story is. Your approach is to say nobody should have an identity or story influenced on them and that they should choose one. However that’s to deny the human experience and conditioned life.

This is to ignore how you yourself are already conditioned into having an identity and to shoot at the wrong target by denying people a shared identity of there choosing. For to deny any shared identity as invalid is to deny individuals the right to share an identity.

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Liberius - July 31, 2015

It’s just too easy for you to step back into that mould of putting the blame on some sort of insidious group of people that have poisoned my mind against nationalism isn’t it? There is no room for the notion that I might have come to regard placing barriers between myself and others on the basis of where I’ve been born as inconsistent with the human condition. I’m not an endangered species that must be preserved for posterity, I’m not one of 4.6 million, not one of 6.4 million but one of seven billion. No matter what argument you use I’ll never be able to see the cultural artifice you attach to people as intrinsic to their character. Nationalism has no firm basis, what are identified as nations come, go and transmogrify but one thing always remains the same, we are human. That is the only thing that should matter, our shared struggles to survive against nature and our own dark hearts.

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que - July 31, 2015

Again where did anyone say there was an insidious group or that your mind was poisoned.

It’s okay. We can agree to differ.

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que - July 31, 2015

On the line about our dark hearts I hear you. As a human I am once stripped of the form that is me not dark at heart but without that stripping down yeah I am. But at our core we are not dark of heart. The wider family you speak of and our deepest bond, or being part of them once stripped down is proof that at our heart is no darkness. However once stripped down we are not precluded from being part of them while being who we are and having an identity. Our who remains even if we have an identity. More than my name but I still have a name if you get me.

In any instance you are my brother. Of that I have no doubt.

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14. roddy - July 30, 2015

I have given you the benefit of the doubt for a long time as to be honest I cant be arsed engaging with you.However one final example,Conor Cruise O’Brien ( of whom you are an obvious camp follower) was chased out of South Africa by the ANC. Gerry Adams was the only person from the continent of Europe to be asked to join the guard of honour for the most iconic freedom fighter of the 20th century.I think that shows what tradition on this Island can be described as internationalist.

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Liberius - July 30, 2015

Would that be the ANC in charge of South Africa during the Marikana massacre?

Seriously Roddy if you’re going to go as far as dredging up a CCOB to blacken the name of your political opponents you might as well go the whole way and denounce me as a West Brit.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2015

Interesting you mention CCOB for whom I have little or no time, though I’ve been reading Southside Provisional by whatsisname who was in PIRA in the 1970s and then again in the early 1980s and he makes the point that CCOB was a hero of his up to the early 1970s when he pitched towards unionism. Not sure Liberius is a camp follower of CCOB.

That’s a fair point re Adams and the ANC and I think that reflects a genuine meeting of minds. And yes, republicanism in all its forms was pretty internationalist – it kind of had to be though didn’t it, given it was always looking for assistance.

But it doesn’t have to be one thing or another but not both. There were plenty of Catholics and nationalists with a small ‘n’ who served in the British Army over the years. Again reading that book of whatsisnames it’s amazing how many in PIRA had been in the Special Boat Service or other British regiments or Aden or wherever. People change their minds, they often revert to class positions (that’s my read of CCOB), the relationships between these islands are massively complex. I’ve friends who are gaelgoirs who are to my mind close enough to unionist in their thinking, others who don’t know a word of the language or the culture who would be outright republican.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2015

Just on the ANC, I don’t think that being part of Mandela’s guard of honour is necessarily an endorsement of the ANC in 2013-15 but a mark of respect for a genuine ally and a man who while flawed was pretty great in many respects. Nor can SF be blamed for the direction the ANC has taken.

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Philip Ferguson - July 31, 2015

The direction the ANC was clearly taking by the early 1990s was a factor in the rightward shift of the Adams cabal.

One of the last straws for me was after an anti-extradition conference (I was the full-timer responsible for that campaign), sitting in Powers Hotel talking to Pat McGeown and him saying how the Republican Movement had to ‘mainstream’ itself like the PLO and ANC. This was one of the H-Block Marxists!!!

When the leadership were trying to sell support for Good Friday to the membership, they toured leading ANCers like Cyril Ramaphosa around the cumainn – this was late 1990s. I was well gone by then but a friend of mine who was the Cork organiser told SF head office that Ramaphosa was a total sell-out and wouldn’t be stepping inside the door of the Cork SF office. That organiser subsequently left too.

I watched the ANC-SACP evolution with dismay as I had been a regular reader of Umsebenzi and the African Communist for some years. But you can’t deny reality – although many seem to. They were on the path to power and implementing a fairly neo-liberal economic model.

Here’s a couple of things I wrote and co-wrote:
From 1999: South Africa’s non-revolution: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/south-africas-non-revolution/
From the end of 2013: Nelson Mandela and the travesty of liberation: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/nelson-mandela/

Phil

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WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2015

I’m always curious as to how left wing the leadership were in functional terms? And would it be possible to define them in any particular category or categories, i.e. Marxist, orthodox, Trotskyist, left social democrat, whatever?

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Jolly Red Giant - July 31, 2015

The shifting ground in South Africa began in 1986 when Joe Slovo signalled that the SACP would work to come to a compromise with the apartheid regime – this was the starting point of what led to the deal between Mandela and DeKlerk.

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Philip Ferguson - July 31, 2015

Kieran Conway. Funnily enough, I’m reading it right now!

I knew Kieran very slightly as he was the key Army person involved in anti-extradition work.

I never had a clue he was so into Marxism. He always struck me as a rather conservative militarist type.

It’s weird how people in different wings of the Movement often didn’t converse and didn’t really know each other’s politics.

It’s a very interesting book and I admire him for leaving the IRA after so many years and leaving for the right reasons. However, the conclusion that he drew – that Ruairi O Bradaigh was right on abstentionism and that the ‘politicos’ sell out – is, in my view, wrong. The ‘politicos’ were actually all ardent militarists originally and the failure of militarism that led to a reformist political path, as it always has in republicanism since the civil war (where the republican militarists ensured the defeat of the side they were fighting for!)

Phil .

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Philip Ferguson - July 31, 2015
Philip Ferguson - July 31, 2015

Sorry to be posting so much in one thread! But here’s something on how the Provos lost the initiative after Bloody Sunday, partly due to the militarism of the ‘northern radicals’:
https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/the-burning-of-the-british-embassy-40-years-on/

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WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2015

Very interesting Philip and thanks for the thoughts. I’m interested in what you say about how self-contained things were in relation to people’s politics. One thing that struck me about his book is how politics was seriously second place to armed struggle in the 1970s. And there’s a lot of ironies, as you point to, that the Belfast crew were initially more militarist. But what also strikes me is that Conway says himself effectively that by not being pro-Soviet he was able to differentiate himself inside PIRA from the Officials (despite of course coming from them himself). So in a sense any sort of non-orthodox Marxist could quite happily exist inside PIRA but ‘orthodox’ ones would find it tricky. Which in a way makes the arrival of the ex-PDers in the early 80s more explicable (and perhaps makes the relationship with the ANC which was always very ‘orthodox’ a bit less so in some ways).

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WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2015

Thanks too for the links. I’m reading them now.

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Philip Ferguson - July 31, 2015

I’d say Che Guevara was the most iconic freedom fighter of the 20th century.

Mandela is to be respected for the many years in prison, but he became the acceptable face of ‘freedom fighting’ for the western chattering classes and bourgeois politicians precisely because he was in prison and not active as a guerrilla.

If he had’ve been blowing up stuff and killing apartheid cops and soldiers, you can bet he would not have been so beloved of such folks.

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que - July 31, 2015

It takes only a moment to reach out to people and to explore why they end up having the ideas they do. Its can be frustrating but we are in no rush.

It’s always worth while .

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Gewerkschaftler - July 31, 2015

Amen to that, que.

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15. roddy - July 30, 2015

That last post was directed at you Liberius and on thepoint regarding England .Germany and France,I was’nt casting aspersions on the citizens of these countries.I was pointing out that any “socialist federation” could collapse and it’s successor might quite like the idea of a federation but without the socialism.If Jeremy Corbyn came to power in Britain for example (SF’S greatest ally for 30 years) he would still be bound by election results.If things went awry and a right wing government succeeded him they could keep the federation with those of a similar bent (Le Pen and Farage for example) and have a go at anyone who does’nt conform to “western values”.

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Jolly Red Giant - July 30, 2015

The lack of understanding of the role and nature of nationalism in the 21st century, the basis of a socialist federation and the politics of Corbyn is, to put it mildly, astounding.

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16. Gearóid - July 30, 2015

The Connolly Association are digitising and posting online their newspapers over the years. So far it’s put up Irish Freedom, which was published between 1939 and 1944, http://www.connollyassociation.org.uk/irishdemocrat/1939-1944/

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Jolly Red Giant - July 30, 2015

Delighted to see this – a very valuable resource.

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Gearóid - August 1, 2015

Should have the whole thing up by this weekend, great resource. 🙂

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Aonrud ⚘ - August 1, 2015

Great to see, very useful. I’ve added it to the list of resources on the Left Archive site: http://www.clririshleftarchive.org/information/further-resources/

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17. Philip Ferguson - July 31, 2015

An interesting piece by CLR James in 1941 on Connolly and the significance of the Rising:
https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/c-l-r-james-on-importance-of-james-connolly-and-easter-week/

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18. roddy - July 31, 2015

It’s great to be talked down to by the usual suspects on this sight -“professor roddy” ,”coarse non academic”,”lack of understanding”.Thing is lads I dont give a fiddlers about your condesension because the tradition that you denigrate is recognized worldwide by anti imperialist and left wing governments and movements .Monuments and streets named in their honour in Havana,Robben island and countless left controlled cities in Europe and beyond.All you college boys who pose in your “Che” t shirts ,remember these words from Che,s father.-“The blood of the Irish rebels ran in his veins”.No shite there about “narrow nationalism”.And don’t any of you have the brass neck to claim those rebels.Had you been around in1916 you would have been denouncing Pearse as a fascist and Connolly as having lost the plot for throwing his lot in with “bourgeouis nationalists”.Is’nt it amazing how someone like Daly who having been loosened from the grip of the SP began adopting “republican”issues overnight!

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Jolly Red Giant - July 31, 2015

Would these anti-imperialist and left-wing governments include the ANC who regularly take to shooting their own people and Tsipras who capitulated to the troika?

Just as a point to demonstrate – over the past couple of weeks parents and children in Port Elizabeth have been protesting over collapsing schools (qith up to 100 children in a classroom) and a failure to fill teacing vacancies. Yesterday the ANC government claiming that these parents and children are being orchestrated by criminal gangs and are responsible for violence on protests after the police opened fire with live ammunition, stun grenades, water cannon and rubber bullets injuring several people. The education protests have now spread to Soweto. Of course these protestors are the running dogs of imperialism and the ‘left-wing anti-imperialist’ ANC are only defending the anti–imperialist struggle.

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DublinDilettante - July 31, 2015

Actually, the Socialist Party line on Connollyism is quite poor, and pretty close to Clare Daly’s neo-republicanism. Leaving aside your unhinged chauvinist ravings – I have great admiration for Clare Daly; for one thing, she’s the only figure on the Irish left who knows how to address a crowd. But her political judgement has been in fairly steep decline since she parted ways with the SP. I don’t think she used to bang on about fluoride in her SP days; it’s now a preoccupation she shares with many SF heads.

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WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2015

The fluoride thing puzzles the hell out of me. What is it about tranches of Irish political life that get so worked up about it?

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The Devil - August 1, 2015

Roddy, you had me going there for months but you’re a brilliantly executed parody account well done.

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19. Unite Youth Dublin - July 31, 2015

Unite the Union held a seminar on organising in precarious workplaces last week with a range of speakers. Some of you may be interested in our contribution: http://uniteyouthdublin.com/2015/07/27/end-precariousness/

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20. roddy - July 31, 2015

“Unhinged chauvinisticravings”? straight from the Cruiser handbook!

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21. roddy - August 1, 2015

The devil,what about the time your outfit went to north Korea ,sang a nation once again and said there could only be “one Ireland and one people”.Now thats parody!

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22. JM - August 1, 2015

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper R.I.P. Pro wrestler , movie star and champion bag pipe player !

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que - August 2, 2015

I remember being a young lad and seeing a trailer for they live including a scene naturally enough with the sun glasses. I was blown away and didn’t know for years what that incredibly cool movie was.
Found out about 15 years later.

” I’m here to kick ass and chew bubble gum and I am all out of gum”.

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que - August 2, 2015

Rewatching it and that’s one heavily left wing movie.

I mean heavily.

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23. sonofstan - August 2, 2015

Listening to report on This Week and interview with Lucinda Creighton and I think we’re gong to start hearing a right-wing anti-IW narrative developing. It goes like this:
We need to charge for water, but IW is the wrong vehicle because:
Cronyism – poltical appointments and too much government interference
Contracts for supply – basically, the retention of the LA workforce to work for IW was at the behest of the unions – unions bad! – and is inefficient.
Lack of transparency in tendering for meters etc.

Let the market free! will be the warcry.

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24. rockroots - August 4, 2015

DCTV will broadcast a documentary on the Republican Congress tonight at 9.
https://www.facebook.com/RepConDoc

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