jump to navigation

What you want to say – 30th March 2016 March 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

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


1. EWI - March 30, 2016

Was dragged along to ‘Batman v Superman’. It’s every bit as bad as the trailers suggested it would be (incidentally, I agree with the reviewer who insists on calling’s DC’s answer to the MCU the ‘Murderverse’).

Many nonetheless-successful modern writers and directors appear to have no particular inclination to tell a remotely coherent story to audiences. The accountants still love them, clearly.


Starkadder - March 30, 2016

Won’t bother to see “B v. S”.

It’s odd how the DC TV shows (“Arrow”, “Supergirl”, “The Flash” ,not to mention the DC Animated stuff) are excellent, and yet their films (Superman Returns, Green Lantern, Jonah Hex, the Snyder-flicks) are so terrible.*

If you suspected Snyder was a right-winger after “300” you may
be right-he wants to adapt the turgid Ayn Rand novel “The


* The exception being the fine Nolan Bat-flicks and the terrible
TV show “Gotham”.


EWI - March 30, 2016

I’d forgotten that Snyder was responsible for the racist, xenophobic, homophobic mess that was ‘300’ (another Frank Miller adaptation like ‘BvS’, incidentally).

BvS is a genuine video nasty. I hear there’s an even worse ‘R’-rated version going to be out there on DVD. I’ll certainly try to avoid his movies from now on, like the equally obnoxious Matthew Vaughn (aka Matthew de Vere Drummond).


2. irishelectionliterature - March 30, 2016

Grim stuff. Listening to the lady is heartbreaking. I was (born?) in the same institution in the Navan Road prior to being adopted…… Just wondering were Boys more popular for adoption than Girls or did it suit the nuns to keep the girls as a steady stream of workforce for the Laundries.


WorldbyStorm - March 30, 2016


Liked by 1 person

gendjinn - March 30, 2016

My father was an altar boy in Whitehall in the 50s and occasionally did the mass at High Park Convent.

One story he tells of a woman leaping over the railings to attack the priest in the middle of mass, raking her nails down his face with every ounce of her strength. When he related the story to his mother the comment was “Ah, the poor woman.” It was only years later he finally comprehended what was going on.

Everyone knew what was going on. The few that tried to do anything were punished – I’ve heard one story of a Guard trying to pursue something back in the 70s in the northside of Dublin getting shafted because he wouldn’t drop his investigation of child sexual abuse by one priest.

The deal Ahern et al cooked up to cap the financial liability of the church needs to be repealed. All of the churches assets in Ireland should be confiscated in partial payment for their crimes. We certainly should never pay the church a single penny for any of the schools we the people already paid to have built.


irishelectionliterature - March 30, 2016

That deal with the Religious was despicable, even by Bertie and Michael Woods standards.
Yeah blind eyes turned everywhere all for ‘The Greater Good’ .


gendjinn - March 30, 2016

One hand definitely washing the other there. I’m sure the church has plenty of documentation of collaboration by the state. Plenty of those in power with relatives responsible.

Did you ever read the Iain Banks book Complicity?


3. paulculloty82 - March 30, 2016

So, Labour want that young whippersnapper, Brendan Howlin to take over as party leader. I’m indifferent as to who they choose, but one would have thought that Sherlock was the only survivor who could be considered a change in direction?

Liked by 1 person

4. Alibaba - March 30, 2016

Ever figured how some can do a deal with Revenue for ‘aggressive’ tax avoidance; thereby getting a 50 per cent discount and ensuring that their names will not be published in the Revenue’s quarterly list of defulters? Read on:



5. Jolly Red Giant - March 30, 2016

For the past number of months activists have been campaigning against the outsourcing of services at universities across South Africa in an anti-privatisation campaign led by the ‘#outsourcingmustfall’ campaign.

Tensions have been rising across university campuses. The flash point for the stuggle has been at Walter Sisulu University as private security run by Xhobani Security have engaged in assaults against students protesting against rising fees and cuts to services during a student strike that has been underway for the past week. University authorities have been excluding students who are in receipt of student assistance funds amounting to the exclusion of several thousand of the 21,000 students who attend the university. Campus security workers have been on strike for several weeks against plans to privatise campus security to a private company and other workers are campaigning to be directly employed by the University rather than by private companies on low wages.

Private security guards belonging to Xhobani Security who have been hired to break the strike by campus security workers have been parading around the campus armed with live ammunition and have been engaged in an ongoing campaign of assault and intimidation against student activists.

On Wednesday morning a prominent student activist, Vusi Mahlangu, was kidnapped on his way to a meeting of ‘#outsourcingmustfall’ activists. At approx. 2.30pm his taxi was cut off by a car of armed and masked men and he was dragged from the taxi and thrown into the back of a car. The car of armed thugs followed Vusi in his taxi for over 30 minutes before being caught. He managed to send a WhatsApp at 4.30pm saying that he had been beaten and was bleeding. He indicated that his phone’s battery was almost dead and has not been heard from since. Friends reported the kidnapping to local police who refused to take any action to attempt to find Vusi saying they wouldn’t act until he was missing for 48 hours. Public pressure has now forced the police to make a public statement that they were investigating the disappearance of Vusi.

Widespread protests have taken place on Walter Sisulu University campus today. Xhobani Security responded by opening fire on those protesting wounding one of the striking workers and two students. Xhobani Security have used live ammunition and rubber bullets in confronting protesters and police have arrested one of the security thugs and charged him with attempted murder for shooting one of the protesters.



6. Spot the Contradiction - March 31, 2016

Excellent article by Cindy Sheehan on Trump, Sanders etc: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/coke-pepsi-antics-cindy-sheehan-on-us-presidential-primaries/

It’s funny how some socialists turn their noses up at SF in Ireland then run round campaigning for someone with Sanders’ record, not to mention the fact that he’s a standard-bearer for one of the twin parties of US imperialism.

The contradictions of the CWI, eh?


CMK - March 31, 2016

What’s your point?

Sheehan herself says this about Sanders in the article you’ve linked to: ‘Even though I would never sell my soul and register as a warmongering, corporate Democrat, Sanders made a brilliant political decision in doing so. The campaign would not be raising this kind of money or attention if he had done the honorable thing to run as an independent, or third-party candidate.’

‘A brilliant political decision’, eh?

You need a new user name.

No-one in the CWI in the US is blind to Sanders faults, of which he has many. But the political question remains: is his candidacy a hopeful sign for the US working class or is it not? Is there another force on the horizon that will bring about mass change for the US? Is Sanders laying the basis for the development of a political to the Left in the US and outside the Republocrat nexus?

What’s your view on Sanders’ candidacy?

The CWI in the US has been consistent in its criticism of Sanders’ position that if he loses the primaries he will row in behind Clinton. Instead he should go all the way to the election itself.


Jim Monaghan - March 31, 2016

The CWI are criticising Sanders from within his campaign. Could you tell me why Yes to sanders (warts and all, eg Israel) and No to Sinn Fein. Both Sanders and SF are leaving the door open to coalition with the Right. In Sanders case he operates within a rightwing party.
One critique
and debate here http://newpol.org/content/sanders-and-democrats-reply-jason-schulman.
The former allies of our SWP here.

Personally I can see the attraction of the Sanders campaign and whether in or out of it, a positive engagement is called for.


Michael Carley - March 31, 2016

[CWI but not bothered about disagreeing with it in public.]

I would think the practical difference is that there is room to the left of SF where it is possible to build alternatives; in the US, the Democratic party is where you have start, and a Sanders candidacy would represent an opening. If nothing else, he is detoxifying the word `socialism’.


dmfod - March 31, 2016

Also there is a mass grassroots involvement of thousands of newly politicised people who are moving to the left in Sanders’ campaign – which isn’t the case with SF.

Liked by 1 person

gendjinn - March 31, 2016


promising green shoots for sure. They need the right GOP candidate to nurture them through this vulnerable period. A Trump or Cruz scares most of the wayward back into line, someone more PR friendly like a Paul Ryan won’t be as effective.

I’m trying to get get people thinking about STV/PR for presidency and/or federal elections entirely. There is no constitutional barrier, just legislation. But a compelling egalitarian framing can be made to apply pressure to legislators. More importantly it makes people notice that those who argue the loudest against it are also the loudest with the “ZOMG Supreme Court” rationale for why YOU should fall in line.


CL - March 31, 2016

“In 1993, the GOP demonized Lani Guinier, the most knowledgable, sophisticated advocate of innovative voting systems that empower true majorities and are inclusive of divergent views….
Guinier’s primary focus was on proportional representation in legislative elections,


gendjinn - April 2, 2016

Thanks CL, missed that one. Jill Stein presidential candidate of the US GP was talking STV/PR on commie radio a few weeks back the interview starts about 30 mins in and gets most interesting at 45.

I reckon she gets a lot of Sanders votes if Clinton gets the nod. If.


dmfod - April 2, 2016
gendjinn - March 31, 2016

The spectres of 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan Katrina, supreme court and the nuclear arsenal in the US compared to Ireland, might be a factor in the decision.

This cycle the anti-establishment sentiment on the “left” is more widespread and intense than 2000. There are polls with 10% to 30% of Sanders supporting going 3rd party or home in November.

The civil war is even worse on the GOP side.

Let’s play a game of which candidate demotivates their base the least! Oooohhhhh fun!


7. EWI - March 31, 2016

The Easter Rising had to be ‘inclusive, respectful, non-triumphalist’ according to FG’s quango Ireland 2016. And yet:

Liked by 1 person

EWI - March 31, 2016

I believe that – and I’m open to correction on this – each of the speakers above is a FG supporter. Balance!


gendjinn - March 31, 2016

If you are going to be a cute hoor, there’s little point if you don’t let the entire world know you’re a cute hoor.


Ed - March 31, 2016

There’s something very creepy about the way FG members talk about ‘General Michael Collins’. If SF went around using military titles for their icons we’d be hearing all about it.


EWI - March 31, 2016

Largely clearing Collins’ personal cult out of the Army was an inadvertent good that CnaG did the country.


8. DeDe - March 31, 2016

In tribute to Political Hacktivist Aaron Swartz http://www.versobooks.com have these ebooks free for 24 hours:
– The Boy Who Could Change the World
– Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work
– Revolution in the Age of Social Media
– Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous
– The WikiLeaks Files
– In the Flow


9. EWI - April 1, 2016

Alas, for the thin skins of the descendents of Eoin MacNeill:



EWI - April 1, 2016

(The offence in question – apart from correcting numerous factual mistakes by the OP – was to mention what’s said about him in the Redmond papers in the NLI, and also the Boundary Commission disaster)


CMK - April 1, 2016

That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. You’d think members of the hereditary political aristocracy would be able to take sustained argument and critique. But, clearly not.


WorldbyStorm - April 1, 2016

+1 CMK. The argument about human life was remarkably naive, almost wilfully so, given the nature of ideology across the twentieth century or the experience of imperialism, colonialism or feudalism before it (or indeed the brutal ‘pragmatism’ of bourgeois capitalist democracy in its day to day affairs).

I’d also take issue, indeed I’d go so far as to say I found much of the stuff about religion in comments there in relation to Protestantism and Catholicism remarkably ill-thought out (and that’s putting it kindly). Far too many people arguing from the personal experience rather than any broader understanding of the societal dynamics either north or south.

Fair dues EWI.


Michael Carley - April 1, 2016

What did you say that was so offensive? Any chance we can read the unexpurgated text?


WorldbyStorm - April 1, 2016

Yeah, I’d like to see it too!


gendjinn - April 2, 2016

Me too. Down with this kind of censorship! (and feck yer steady on nows!)


EWI - April 2, 2016

Thanks, but I hadn’t saved it, as it genuinely didn’t warrant this sort of censorship (and which came as a surprise). The factual corrections to her version of MacNeill’s history – and this is the second time that she’s posted this same basic screed – were fairly uncontroversial stuff.

I was sufficiently annoyed to (at 12 midnight) write a much shorter version on the missing parts of MacNeill’s biography (minus the factual corrections. Even I have a limit). I added it as comments to two articles directly referencing her piece elsewhere:



Liked by 1 person

EWI - April 2, 2016

It’s nowhere near the length or detail of the original, deleted version, but:

I honestly don’t know why Maria Farrell has written such a whitewashed account amounting to deification of MacNeill. It ultimately does her ancestor no favours (nor does her demonisation of Pearse, in a caricature of the opinions of the comfortable, partitionist Dublin middle-class). MacNeill was regarded with justification by his contemporaries as having been honest and honourable, but still a very great fool. And not just to the I.R.B. (who planned and organised a rebellion under his very nose), but to the Redmondites who manipulated him with ease into creating a situation where Redmond could take over the Volunteers. His dithering during the Rising while his men fought and died, debating with Griffith whether or not to try to raise the country, also punctures certain neat narratives.

From the Redmond papers:

MS 15,263 /4 1917. Sept. A copy of a letter from Major Ivan H. Price to James O’Connor, Attorney General (1917, Sept. 22), giving an account of his conversation with Eoin MacNeill. Price concludes that this ‘unfortunate man concocted his version [of a story about an attempt at blackmailing MacNeill into giving evidence against John Dillon] for the purpose of getting the Irish Parliamentary Party to obtain his release’ and regrets that Redmond and Devlin ‘should be deceived by a rebel, who has not even now repented’.

MS 15,182 /20 1914 […] Dillon adds ‘MacNeill is a most exasperating man to deal with’; (1914, May 28), on his opinion of MacNeill: ‘My interview … left me with the impression that he is extremely muddle-headed, not consciously inclined to make mischief, but hopelessly impractical and possessed with the idea that he ought to be trusted’

MS 15,192 /4 1905-14. Correspondence with Alice Stopford Green. Green gives her opinion of Eoin MacNeill: ‘I have seldom seen a man more unfitted for action, less fit to lead others in a difficult crisis, and less wise in his judgment of men’

Eoin MacNeill’s final legacy was the absolute catastrophe of the Boundary Commission, and hundreds of thousands of Irish Catholics trapped in an apartheid Orange state for decades.


WorldbyStorm - April 2, 2016

Seems more than fair enough what you wrote, excellent points raised, hard to understand why someone would raise the original topic unless willing to engage with critiques. But I wonder is there a detachment from both the history and seriousness of the events of 1916 there which is representative of a pervasive strand of thinking in the state. All the stuff about its illegitimacy and lack of potential to succeed (in military terms) seems of a piece with it, ignoring the exemplary effect and the seriousness of those involved and as importantly their motivations for being involved.


EWI - April 2, 2016

Like I say, this is actually her second time around in posting pretty much the same screed on Crooked Timber, about her ancestor and ‘his private army’, as she insists on calling it (completely ahistorically. MacNeill was only one among many on first the Provisional Committee and then the Volunteer Executive).

But making MacNeill a saintly, noble statesman cruelly betrayed by the dastardly and bloodthirsty gunman Pearse is just playing to certain comforting myths among the middle-class in this country, as you mention. It completely ignores what were much more complex strands at play (for one thing, Pearse wasn’t even a member of the I.R.B. when he helped form the Irish Volunteers). It’s of a piece with other FG efforts to reinvent Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith and W.T. Cosgrave, with a view to beatification.

I expect better of CT, which otherwise has a very high calibre of academic leftie contributor. It’s not hard to come to the conclusion that Maria Farrell (a fairly dismal right-winger with a CV to match) only has a platform on that blog and any attention at all because of her brother Henry.


EWI - April 2, 2016

Anyone who’s read the letters of other contemporaries who had to deal with MacNeill (such as Pearse) will see much the very same judgement of the man, repeated over and over.


ejh - April 2, 2016

Maria Farrell is a friend of people I know (in the internet sense of “know”) and she always comes over well when we coincide, but I really really wish she wouldn’t write about her family and her personal circle if she’s not going to want them criticised. I’ve not read Crooked Timber for some years now (nothing to do with her) but I do remember a couple of very poor pieces about Garret FitzGerald and Chris Patten, the second of these a genuinely embarrassing read.


EWI - April 2, 2016

Her poppy/Remembrance Day piece, written about her British Army husband and in the for-a-UK-audience style that goes over well in some leafier parts of London, is another low point.


10. Tomboktu - April 1, 2016

At the end of February, Kieran Mulvey publicly tried to reject his commission’s role in protecting vulnerable tenants from discrimination, and revealed he had not known it was part of the job. Today he went on RTÉ to attack the workers in the Luas dispute.

Mulvey is clearly not suited to the job he is in and must resign or be dismissed.


CMK - April 1, 2016

He won’t be dismissed as he is clearly prepared to take employers’ side in disputes. Unions should boycott the WRC and force him to resign. For all the faux outrage from the likes of O’Connor Mulvey remains the archetypal union bureaucrat and his mindset aligns pretty closely with the dominant mindset of the upper echelons of the trade union movement. They will clearly be hoping its a temporary indiscretion. Views like Mulvey’s are perfectly acceptable among trade union officials so long as they are uttered strictly behind closed doors.


Tomboktu - April 2, 2016

Although I would not describe two pretty serious statements within week as an ‘indiscretion’, temporary or otherwise.


11. Joe - April 1, 2016
Joe - April 1, 2016

Two cities, two Irelands? Belfast and Dublin 1916. Talk by Brian Hanley.


12. Starkadder - April 1, 2016

I’ve noticed this piece of European history that I believe should be better-known, especially in this country. Between 1904 and 1906 there was a famine in Spain:

The famine, due to the long continued drought in the south of Spain has caused widespread suffering and privations.
The Argus, 16th August 1905.


The terrible drought and famine of 1905 brought the strikes to an end….After the famine of 1905 anarchism seemed to disappear in the south of Spain. Only a few groups remained in the towns.

Gerald Brenan, “The Spanish Labyrinth”, 1990 edition, (pp. 175, 178)

A debilitating famine, caused by a persistent drought which lasted from the spring of 1904 until summer 1906, bringing death and starvation to the South, raised the expectations of agrarian reformers that the Madrid authorities would vote additional funds for that region.”

Joseph Harrison; Alan Hoyle; “Spain’s 1898 crisis : regenerationism, modernism, post-colonialism” 2000 edition (p.58).


13. Enzo - April 1, 2016

LOOK LEFT FORUM CORK – Co-Operative Alternatives in Ireland

The next Look Left Forum in Cork will be held on Saturday 9th April from 2pm to 5pm at Glen Rovers Hurling Club, Ballincollie Road (Spring Lane) Cork City. Parking is available on site and public transport is available from the city centre on 203 and 207 bus routes.

Speaking at the event will be;


Stephen has been a Co-director of Trademark, the anti-sectarian unit of the Irish Congress of Trades Unions for the last twelve years. He was previously employed in Counteract, the anti-intimidation unit of ICTU which followed working in the former Yugoslavia during the conflict as the co-ordinator of Sava – The Service Civil International working group on Ex-Yugoslavia. Stephen’s experience is in formal and informal education, work place trade union education and community and workplace intervention in the context of sectarian disputes and community tension. His PhD was in Critical Discourse Analysis and he has a Masters in International Human Rights Law focusing on labour rights in societies emerging from conflict. He co-designed and lectures on a CPD in Trade Union Studies and Social Justice at the School of Equality in UCD.

Over the last number of years Stephen alongside his colleagues at Trademark have been developing an interface worker cooperative programme that seeks to offer practical alternative means to create employment, tackle inequality and also resist and challenge sectarianism by bringing workers together daily to work democratically for joint benefit in which values of trust and democracy replace the dynamics of suspicion and mistrust.




Alice has been involved in community work for over fifteen years, firstly in a voluntary capacity, then in 1999 after gaining qualifications in IT, administration and finance she joined Interaction Belfast where she worked for six years in cross community and cross border projects. Her role entailed helping with funding applications, facilitation of group meetings and developing appropriate financial systems for groups with little support or experience.

In 2005, Alice completed her B.A. degree in Professional Development. In addition she helped win an award for Interaction from the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland for sound book keeping and systems. Alice joined Trademark in September 2006 as Office manager with responsibility for financial systems, procedures and fundraising. As part of the Trademark team she also helps in coordination of all training courses and assistance in areas of research and evaluation and has recently completed a Masters in Education.

The Belfast Cleaning Cooperative is the only cross community cleaning coop in Northern Ireland. They specialise in Contract Cleaning Services and Supplying Commercial and Office Cleaners.
The Belfast Cleaning Society is a worker cooperative. It won its first contract to tend to the needs of the Stars of MTV and also cleaned up after 65,000 customers during Tennents Vital music festival.
The founding members of the Belfast Cleaning Society between them have over 90 years cleaning experience in domestic and industrial settings.



Jimmy Dignam is the Workers’ Party representative for Dublin North West in the 2016 General Election. Jimmy is an anti-austerity activist and has been active in socialist politics for many years. He is a member of the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes, and is active in Right2Water.

Jimmy is a member of the Unite union’s Youth Committee and has been involved in many campaigns including ‘Work Must Pay’ against the Jobbridge intern scheme, Defend Blanchardstown Hospital and the recently established Ballymun-Finglas Housing Action group.

Jimmy is 29 years old and recently married. He works with a fruit and vegetable delivery company based on cooperative principles, and is a member of Bohemian Football Club.


LOOK LEFT FORUM is a progressive left platform for the discussion of local and international, political, social and economic issues and their impact on Irish society.


Event Page https://www.facebook.com/events/1687960724786074/

Liked by 1 person

14. Enzo - April 2, 2016

please tell me I’m not crazy and that I did post about a Look Left forum on this thread last night?


WorldbyStorm - April 2, 2016

You’re not, it got eaten by the spam filter. It’s now showing.


Enzo - April 2, 2016

Cheers, probably all the links!


15. rockroots - April 3, 2016

An interesting ‘storyful’ of insights on modern media, with an Irish dimension.
View story at Medium.com


16. Starkadder - April 3, 2016

Censors working overtime: A book has been banned by the
Censorship of Publications Board for the first time in 18 years:

The book, The Raped Little Runaway, by Jean Martin. was deemed “indecent or obscene” by the board.

The decision prohibits the sale and distribution of the book in the State.

The Censorship of Publications Board voted to prohibit the book at a meeting on March 1st.



The book seems like a rather nasty piece of crap, admittedly, but why go to all this trouble to ban it? It’s not like TRLR is danger of
turning up in your local Easons.


17. Tomboktu - April 5, 2016

I started reading ‘Black Sea: The Birthplace of Civilisation and Barbarism‘ by Neal Ascherson last night, and ran my eye over the table of contents and the index before opening page 1.

I’m now curious to see how ‘Fenians’, ‘Portadown’, and ‘Gaelic League’ are connected to this subject.

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - April 5, 2016

As are we all now! 🙂 Be interesting to hear what those connections are.


Ed - April 5, 2016

I honestly can’t remember anything about the Gaelic League from that book. I can remember Ascherson’s grandfather being on the British Navy ship that evacuated the White armies from the Crimea at the end of the Russian civil war; and there was some mad stuff about Poles living in Turkey and the Pontic Greeks who made their way back to Greece after the fall of the Soviet Union, having left Greece in the time of Pericles and Aristotle. Really enjoyed that book but the Irish connection has slipped my mind altogether.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: