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What you want to say – 4th May 2016 May 4, 2016

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. Gewerkschaftler - May 4, 2016

Through use of the “Warnstreik” (a warning strike during negotiation) tactic, German public servants have won an offer of 2.4 % wage for the next couple of years and improvements for apprentices and a renegotiation of grades. The membership of the biggest general services union (Verdi) have yet to vote on the offer.

Because price inflation is so low this could be represented as an increase in real wages. I’m not so sure this will be case when rent increases are factored in.

IG-Metal are also pressing significant wage demands (about 6%) this year.

Either way it’s unlikely that we’ll see an increase in real wages to match the increases in productivity that workers have delivered over the last two decades. So no re-balancing of internal demand within the Eurozone ‘core’ is likely to occur.

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Gewerkschaftler - May 4, 2016

should have read 2.4% wage increase backdated for this year and the same next year…

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fergal - May 4, 2016

Gewerks-can German public sector workers go on strike- I was under the impression they couldn’t?

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2. Gewerkschaftler - May 4, 2016

Obama’s plans to force through TTIP as part of his ‘legacy’ suffered a number of blows this week.

The depth of the subservience relationship that the US expects from the EU was clear in the Greenpeace leak of negotiating papers. Greenpeace has made a significant contribution to this campaign, both materially through the leak and symbolically by erecting reading-booths where the public can read the leaked material.

Hollande (for what’s that worth) seems to be moving towards veto or postponement, as are some German politicians and EC technocrats.

This is a case where stubborn extra-parliamentary international pressure has paid off.

So far. But I don’t trust S&D further than I can smell them.

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Gewerkschaftler - May 4, 2016

Larry Eliot seems to think TTIP is stalled.

I’m not so sanguine.

Then there’s CETA which has been agreed but faces a battle to get it ratified. If it’s passed many US firms may use Canada as a Trojan horse to erode democracy and working conditions and environmental standards even further within the EU. EU firms will of course try the same vis-a-vis Canada.

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Ed - May 4, 2016

Did you see BTW, Elliot is also predicting an imminent showdown over Greece after the botched deal last summer comes apart:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/may/01/europe-illusions-shatter-as-greek-tragedy-plays-on-austerity

He’s been consistently right about Greece, going back to 2010.

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3. Starkadder - May 4, 2016

Following Vox Day and the Hugo Award ruckus, and the World Fantasy Award and Lovecraft’s mug, a new controversy involving
fantastic fiction and the far right has emerged.

It turns out one of the jurors for the Bram Stoker Award, David A. Riley, was an active member of the National Front in the 70s, and that a “David Andrew Riley” was also making comments on BNP websites. Riley has now
stepped down:

http://file770.com/?p=28435

http://file770.com/?p=28446

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4. Starkadder - May 4, 2016

My apologies. I was trying to link to the blog, and had no idea it would
embed in the comments section.

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5. Brian Hanley - May 4, 2016

Whatever about the hysteria over Gerry Adams use of the ‘N’ word, (and I fully accept that Adams is no racist) Sinn Féin reps and others are now getting into dangerous territory by talking up the ‘Irish slaves’ myth.

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Laochra Uladh - May 5, 2016

Below are parts 1 to 3 of “Men of the North,” a series chronicling Newry during Operation Harvest, and the lives of the city’s republicans from that era.

http://laochrauladh.blogspot.com/2015/09/men-of-north.html

http://laochrauladh.blogspot.com/2016/04/men-of-north-part-3-operation-harvest_23.html

This past April was incidentally the first anniversary of the death of Joe Campbell. The next installment on the latter half of 1957 (covering the Curfew and Edentubber) will be up shortly. All comments or contributions are welcome and can be sent to laochrauladh@gmail.com. Go raibh maith agat.

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CL - May 5, 2016

“Adams’ comments regarding the Irish being sold as slaves are a reiteration of a claim he made on Sunday saying “50,000 Irish men and women were shipped as slaves to Barbados between 1652 and 1659″.
That claim was subsequently rejected by historian and slavery expert Liam Hogan who told TheJournal.ie that the figure of 50,000 is wrong and that the most credible estimates were 10,000 at most.
“The exploitation and dehumanisation of African people by Europeans in the Americas has no analogy in Irish history and this fact should be respected,” said Hogan.

-there is unanimous agreement, based on overwhelming evidence, that the Irish were never subjected to perpetual hereditary slavery in the colonies, based on notions of ‘race’.-
https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/liam-hogan/%E2%80%98irish-slaves%E2%80%99-convenient-myth

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Starkadder - May 5, 2016

My history textbook in school said that “the Irish were sold as slaves in the West Indies” after Cromwell’s campaign. And this was in the mid-90s, and it was a modern Irish textbook.

Mind you, it also had approving chapters on Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers, which would no doubt have drawn the wrath
of David Quinn.

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sonofstan - May 5, 2016

speaking of the wrath of Quinn and his ilk, I’m at the heart of at least two evil empires at once today – a conference on the Frankfurt school, in a Jesuit university in Rome.

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Michael Carley - May 5, 2016

That’s not very far from the Stadio Olimpico and Roma are playing there on Sunday if you’re sticking around that long and you can put up with the Fascist gits. Just saying.

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sonofstan - May 5, 2016

Leaving on Saturday unfortunately – have seen Roma play before in a rather tense match against Milan, where we were much too close to the away fans for comfort.
On fascism etc. A lot of anti-immigrant graffiti about the place, and that’s in Monte Mario (pretty upmarket)

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Michael Carley - May 6, 2016

That kind of attitude has been descending from the North for a number of years.

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FergusD - May 5, 2016

It would depend on what you term slavery. Liam Hogan uses the term “chattel slavery” for the lifetime and hereditary slavery of Africans and people of African origin in America and “Indentured labour” for the forced (as far as I can make out) transportation of Irish (and others e.g. children from England’s streets) to the British Colonies. In theory the identured labourer would be “freed” after some time period, not true for chattel slaves who were owned in perpetuity. It is not clear from the article if that was common and how many indentured labourers lived long enough to be freed. The children of chattel slaves would be slaves, and their children. Not so for indentured labourers it seems (Did they have children? Were women taken from Ireland as well? If not who did they marry? Natives of Barbados?).

Anyway it seems that, a bit like the anti-semitism row, it depends on what you mean by the term you are using.

Sadly though, it seems some US racists use “Irish slavery” to try and deny the specifically African slave experience in America, with its undeniable racist character, and the discrimination and racism thereafter (we were all slaves!).

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CMK - May 5, 2016

Domenico Losurdo dealt with the whole issue of indentured servitude and what it meant legally in early capitalism in his ‘Liberalism: A Counter History.’ If my recollection is correct, indentured servitude was legally not slavery and indentured servants could not be sold and their children were not born into servitude. Also, they retained many rights but were bound to an employer for the duration of the servitude. Crucially, indentured servitude was often time limited and once the period of servitude had elapsed the servants were ‘free’ individuals. This, at least, is how it applied in the 13 colonies in America ruled by Britain in the 18th century.

African slaves, however, were always ‘property’. The children of such slaves were born slaves and many owners sought to increase their ‘stock’ through breeding etc. African slavery is an eternal stain on the US and can’t be eradicated. It fatally undermines any claims that the US was a democracy prior to 1865. It could be argued that the current mass incarceration regime carries on the traditions of slavery in a different guise.

I read Frederick Douglass’ ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass’ last year and it was very moving. Particularly the parts about the ‘internal slave trade’ within the US which was grotesque.

I can’t think of a single text narrating the hardships encountered by indentured servants in the US during the 18th or 19th centuries, though I’m open to be told there are texts by survivors of servitude.

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CL - May 5, 2016

“Many early settlers died long before their indenture ended or found that no court would back them when their owners failed to deliver on promises. And many never achieved freedom or the American dream they were seeking.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/books/review/Lau-t.html?_r=0

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WorldbyStorm - May 5, 2016

I always get a bit troubled by groups of people pitched against each other – and the racist right is a past master at that trying to minimise real differences or collapse historical experiences.

That said I don’t think it minimises the personal and historic realities of slavery of Africans in the Americas to note that indentured servitude was lesser but still appalling and potentially and actually catastrophic for those who were indentured. At the very least some or many of their best years would be gone and their ability to recover from that or build normal lives would be compromised. And as CL notes for some indentured servitude was a life sentence (and for those who were caught in it it doesn’t take much imagination to recognise the hopelessness of their plight). Actually it reminds me of my gran who had a lot of friends in the 1930s and 40s who had been domestic servants in the 10s and 20s. The tales she told of the subjugation some of those women (and it was almost all women) experienced and that in arguably ‘better’ circumstances again compared to indentured servitude in the previous century has stayed with me. It’s not that it’s entirely relative. But repressive contexts are repressive contexts for those experiencing them.

However, it’s also important to keep in mind that the experience of African Americans both then and subsequently was in general and usually in specific worse again with no flicker of hope whatsoever for them or (and this must have been worse again) their children and the after-effects of that experience lasted many generations and blighted their socio-economic and political weight in the emerging US (and elsewhere).

Moreover the experience of the indentured was generally restricted to the immediate people involved and not passed on subsequently to successive generations where they existed – and nor, due to the racist aspect did it impinge in quite the same way for those successive generations, they could, as it were, escape from any negative legacy in a way that African-Americans couldn’t due to continuing racism that restricted their rights even after the Civil War and on in some respects into the contemporary period.

These were all bad, some were worse, some less bad. The African American experience was unquestionably the worst (or as bad as the experience of Native Americans which clearly was that of a genocide at many points) but it’s important to wrest all this back from the racist right by having sympathy with all those who suffered various repressions while also making sure that they can’t be allowed to pretend that different (bad) historical experiences are one and the same or invalidate the experience of African Americans.

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gendjinn - May 7, 2016

One does not have to in any diminish the experiences of another group, to claim to have had similar experiences of oppression to that group.

The 400 years of slave trade between Britain-Africa-America is an horror show but is not the worst thing to ever happen to a people. Is the horror of the African experience of slavery in the US diminished because they suffered less than the Canaanites or the Native Americans?

The nitpicking and demanded hierarchy of victimhood, the belief that if one group is one rung lower on the ladder of suffering it negates any suffering of those on slightly higher rungs? This line of argument is all about driving wedges between people to prevent them coalescing against the groups that perpetrated slavery then and their literal or metaphorical descendants that are still oppressing and abusing to this day.

The Irish were treated like subhumans in their own country for centuries. The African experience in America is even worse. I’m not interested in quibbling about the precise details, I’d rather focus on building bridges with my brothers and sisters, then forging ahead with the movement to redistribute the wealth of the world equitably.

We can’t afford billionaires any longer!

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Phil F - May 6, 2016

Sean O’Callaghan uses the 50,000 figure in the book “To Hell or Barbados: The ethnic cleansing of Ireland”. It wasn’t chattel slavery, in the sense of black slaves taken from Africa to the Americas, but it was more than indentured labour. The book, if I recall rightly, was pretty well-referenced. He went to the West Indies and checked records and so on. And it was published by a reputable publisher.

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Phil F - May 6, 2016

Oops, I should’ve added the author is not the ex-Provo Sean O’Callaghan but an ex-Irish Army officer and subsequently journalist who died in 2000. The book got good reviews too.

It certainly didn’t look just a fiction in referring to what happened to those people or the numbers of them.

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Starkadder - May 6, 2016

I believe a number of Scots were also sold as an indentured servants to the Americas as well, included
defeated Covenanters and Jacobites. The book “Scottish Emigration to Colonial America, 1607-1785”
by David Dobson mentions;

“The failure of the Jacobites in 1746 led to nearly a thousand men, women, and children being banished from Scotland to the American plantations, where they were sold off as indentured servants.”.

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Brian Hanley - May 7, 2016

Nobody is denying the horror of transportation or indenture. But it wasn’t slavery in the way that the use of African slaves is understood. And the issue is used extensively on the American right to attack and undermine African American activism- particularly ‘Black lives matter.’
Trying to place the Irish into a slave narrative also denies the widespread Irish complicity in American racism- we still name GAA clubs after a white supremacist and slaveowner for example, while pretending that Irish republicans have ‘always’ identified with blacks fighting racism. No study of America in the 1800s would support that thesis.
Adams made a silly mistake but it is being compounded by the likes of Martina Anderson tweeting that ‘100,000’ Irish children were made slaves in the 1640s.

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WorldbyStorm - May 7, 2016

Again I think we have to be careful to have solidarity with all those who were caught up in these processes while appreciating the very specific nature of the enslavement of Africans – that said I don’t think responses should be shaped by the US right. It’s not that difficult to shape responses that stand with Black Lives Matter and also acknowledge the differing but in many cases abysmal experiences of a broad range of people caught up in these dynamics.

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CMK - May 7, 2016

+1

Also, the African American experience has been qualitatively different to any group whose ancestors arrived in the US as indentured servants. The post 1865 structures of oppression imposed to replace slavery; Jim Crow; the horrific history of lynchings and ‘race riots’ (i.e. attacks by whites on black communities); right through to mass incarceration and the operation of a criminal justice system tha disproportionately targets African Americans. None of the forgoing apply to any descendants of Irish servants or ‘slaves’.

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CL - May 7, 2016

“the issue is used extensively on the American right to attack and undermine African American activism- particularly ‘Black lives matter.’” Brian Hanley, (above)

Any links or references for this?

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WorldbyStorm - May 7, 2016

yeah, that’s a point I made earlier when I said:

“Moreover the experience of the indentured was generally restricted to the immediate people involved and not passed on subsequently to successive generations where they existed – and nor, due to the racist aspect did it impinge in quite the same way for those successive generations, they could, as it were, escape from any negative legacy in a way that African-Americans couldn’t due to continuing racism that restricted their rights even after the Civil War and on in some respects into the contemporary period.”

Still, I’m not sure that an indenture was quite the same as simply being a servant (bad as that could be as well). It was more akin to an open-ended (in many cases) working prison sentence. It’s also similar to the transportations to Australia. I had an ancestor in the mid 19th century who was transported there from Birmingham due to – cliche as it is – stealing a chicken for food. When they were transported they had no real clear idea what lay in store for them. They survived, albeit they were torn from their wife and children in Birmingham and so on and so forth – again these were in the personal catastrophic events, but a lot of people didn’t. I think it is possible to argue that there’s a continuum of oppressions at work where from not as bad to much much worse. But any one of us caught up in any of them would find them appalling, and it wasn’t any different for those who were caught up in them at the time.

But again, there’s no reason for those who try to pretend that the continuum wasn’t a continuum but instead effectively a similar experience to get away with that line. The point about descendants not being indentured is crucial. The point about race itself, the simple differentiation visually due to skin colour, being something that was carried forward, that even after the Civil War and into the modern period African Americans were murdered and subject to appalling repression in a way that those who were the offspring of the indentured (for the most part – presumably there was some slight/a lot (?) of intermixing and people would have wound up as a part of the African American community),

Just on Adams which I’ve valiantly attempted to engaging with directly. The man was expressing a cack-handed solidarity. It was badly expressed and the n word is never a good look and he shouldn’t have phrased it the way he did, but It wasn’t intended as racist and shouldn’t be taken as such. There’s an awful lot of people making hay from this for their own ends – the Indo is particularly obvious in this, who at any other time would be whining about political correctness gone mad etc.

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SMC - May 8, 2016

As it is book most often cited, Liam Hogan posted a strong critique of O’Callaghan’s book last year https://www.academia.edu/9844492/Directors_Cut_Critique_of_Sean_OCallaghans_To_Hell_or_Barbados

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CL - May 6, 2016
Brian Hanley - May 7, 2016

Fair enough to WBS above, as long as the argument is based on historical facts and not figures pulled off the internet.

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WorldbyStorm - May 7, 2016

Absolutely. I would hate for the solidarity that should be extended to all the victims of the systems of repression at play here to be lacking, while simultaneously keeping in mind as you say the African American experience was much closer to a genocide (or an effective culturecide, if that’s the right term) – an effort to wash away the unique substance of a peoples experience and autonomy, than the experience of the indentured.

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Brian Hanley - May 7, 2016
CL - May 7, 2016

“despite stereotypes casting them as racially pure and isolated, they had complex relationships with the Afro-Barbadian neighbors, friends, and family members with whom they worked, traded, socialized, procreated, married, battled, disassociated from, and identified with”
http://surface.syr.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1132&context=etd

-“The “300,000 Irish slaves” claim is a spectacular exaggeration. There is no scholarship or even logic behind this number. It appears that the meme has taken the guesstimate on the blurb on the back cover of White Cargo (by Jordan and Walsh) and applied it to the Cromwellian era forced transportations from Ireland.”
View story at Medium.com

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WorldbyStorm - May 7, 2016

It’s very interesting to read the comments below one of the pieces that Liam Hogan links to on ‘white slaves’ Irish Central article.
View story at Medium.com

That carnival of reaction and racism from some Irish Americans – and irish too to judge from the comments (and sheer lack of empathy apart from everything else with other human beings and their ancestors) shows the genuine dangers in not getting as Brian says the historical record accurate and not contextualising these matters correctly. Again, it’s not to diminish solidarity with the indentured to accept and acknowledge that the African American experience was vastly worse – nor is it to diminish the latter to say that real repression was experienced by the former, albeit not to the same scale.

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CL - May 7, 2016

” Found in the websites and forums of white supremacist conspiracy theorists, this insidiously claims that indentured servitude can be equated with chattel slavery. From Stormfront.org, a self-described online community of white nationalists, to David Icke’s February 2014 interview with Infowars.com, the narrative of the ‘White slaves’ is continuously promoted.”
https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/liam-hogan/%E2%80%98irish-slaves%E2%80%99-convenient-myth

To conflate Stormfront and David Icke with the ‘American Right’ is quite a stretch.
The ‘American right’ includes the Republican Party and much of the Democratic Party too.

To say that the false equation of indentured servitude with chattel slavery “is used extensively on the American right to attack and undermine African American activism- particularly ‘Black lives matter.’” is misleading.

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Dr. X - May 11, 2016

In 2011, I visited the city of Cape Coast in Ghana, which has a perfectly preserved slave trader’s fortress, which is now open to the public.

The tour guides will tell you some horrifying stories. The bit that stayed with me was standing in the underground cell where captured people were kept before being pulled out and put on the slave ships to the Americas and the Caribbean.

In this room there was a thick black line running around the walls at about head height. The guide told us that archaeologists had excavated the room in the 1970s, and concluded that this line was the top layer of a mass of compacted human feces. Enslaved people were kept in this room for up to months at a time.

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6. ivorthorne - May 5, 2016

Anyone catch Pat Kenny on water charges the other morning? It was an incredibly one sided interview. A snide remark about Paul Murphy’s legal aid and 2 interviewees who were both in favor of water charges. Constant references to breaking the law etc.

Fascinating, isn’t it, how people like Ryan Tubridy and Pat Kenny jump to the defense of people like DOB and steer the conversation away from certain topics when some people are not there to defend their “good name”, yet when it comes to ordinary folk or lefties, there’s no need for balance.

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WorldbyStorm - May 5, 2016

+1

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CMK - May 5, 2016
WorldbyStorm - May 5, 2016

Definitely agree CMK.

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7. CL - May 6, 2016

“The failure of the left to organize and stand up against the bailouts of Wall Street is what opened the door for the Tea Party, which effectively tapped into that genuine anger. Millions of independents and Republicans who would vote for Bernie, will instead choose Trump’s right populism if their only alternative is Clinton’s corporate politics.”-Khama Sawant
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/04/its-not-about-bernie-why-we-cant-let-our-revolution-die-in-philadelphia/

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8. Phil F - May 6, 2016

On something completely different. Neat little collection of (4) articles on Gramsci the revolutionary: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/rescuing-gramsci-the-revolutionary-four-articles/

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9. Phil F - May 6, 2016

Lutte Ouvriere on the world economy today and threats of crash:https://rdln.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/lutte-ouvriere-on-the-world-economy-and-threats-of-crash/

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10. Gewerkschaftler - May 6, 2016

Frédéric Lordon is one of the most incisive critics of the EU order of things. I disagree with him strategically on his call for a return to the national level of organisation but his analysis is sound enough.

He writes here in Jacobin Magazine with a first-hand experience of Nuit Debout about the relationship between horizontal and vertical organising. ND came, to here him tell it, out of a couple of small concentrated groups of activists having the right plan at the right time.

At the beginning of Nuit Debout there was a small number of people who agreed that the situation was less depressing than it seemed, that there was a welter of grievances that just needed a spark to set them off, and that François Ruffin’s film Merci Patron! might well serve as a catalyst. Then there was a slightly bigger number of people who took it upon themselves, really decisively, to combine words with action.

Then along came the El Khomri bill (the Labor Law) whose explosive potential was even more remarkable. And then the slogan “After the (March 31) demonstration we’re not going home” took shape. But if people were going to stay overnight, that really couldn’t just come from nothing: we needed sound equipment, tents, stuff to eat and drink, a screen for the unauthorized “wildcat” projection of Merci patron! in Place de la République, communications about the event — things that don’t just come about thanks to the operation of the Holy Spirit.

Rather, they came through the dogged efforts of a few dozen people — who were indeed people around the paper Fakir and the Convergence des luttes collective. The launch of Nuit Debout would not have seen the light of day — or at least, would not have happened as it did – if it weren’t for the determined action of a quite small ultra-mobilized collective.

It’s hopeful to hear that they are making overtures to the trades unions and and the victims of racism and Islamophobia in the suburbs and realise that they have to adapt their political culture appropriately.

There are major invisible social barriers that we need to break through in order to join educated urban youth together with the unionized working classes. Indeed the barriers separating each of them from the segregated youth in the suburbs are nothing less than fortifications.

In that case, we’re having to start from scratch. In the 2000s there was the beginning of a political construction, particularly with the the Mouvement Immigration Banlieue (MIB). But everything fell apart. The so-called riots in 2005, which were in fact an uprising of an eminently political character, had doubtless created the conditions, or let’s say the potential, for wider politicization. But we collectively missed this opportunity.

The generalized abandonment has allowed only two alternatives to prosper in these neighborhoods: the individualism of drug dealing, or else what religion has to offer. That speaks to the immense obstacles we face. We have to start again right from scratch.

Perhaps first by systematically showing our solidarity with these districts’ inhabitants every time the police attack them. And above all by avoiding trying to politicize people in the manner of missionaries! People are fighting there now, or have been doing so for a long time, and no one can go and teach them what they have to do. And yet, amidst all these difficulties Banlieues Debout are starting to arise. So something is possible.

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11. Starkadder - May 7, 2016

FergusD: “Sadly though, it seems some US racists use “Irish slavery” to try and deny the specifically African slave experience in America, with its undeniable racist character, and the discrimination and racism thereafter (we were all slaves!).”

On the whole “Irish Slaves” topic, there have been at least two books published about Irish men who became prisoners of the Axis in
WWII and were made do forced labour.

They are “Suddenly, While Abroad: Hitler’s Irish Slaves” by David Blake Knox, and “The Emperor’s Irish Slaves: Prisoners Of The Japanese During The Second World War” by Robert Widders.

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12. CL - May 7, 2016

“The votes for Gerry Carroll and Eamonn McCann are a coherent statement that Sinn Fein is now viewed as Establishment.”
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/sinn-fein-gets-outflanked-on-the-left-in-its-very-heartlands-34692341.html

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13. roddy - May 7, 2016

Carroll’s voters think SF are so establishment that they gave over 50% of their transfers to SF.

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Dr. Nightdub - May 7, 2016

And let’s face it, he had a big surplus to transfer

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14. makedoanmend - May 7, 2016

Of course SF is part of the establishment. They hold seats in two different legislative institutions. If memory serves, they had a debate about becoming part of the establishment lasting serveral years and the ‘establishment’ side prevailed.

It’s a bit like saying one has proof SF is a political party.

Are Left parties or personalitites any less a part of the establishment when they hold seats in the same legislative bodies?

Or is everyone a bit like FF (Fianna Fudge)? Prop up a relatively unpopular regime – i.e. give it real legitimacy. But stand ready to claim they really are an opposition in waiting, so they really weren’t propping up and legtimizing the current crowd?

What’s more interesting is that there is now another legitimate Irish Island political party. Might the Left become a more uniting force in an non-territorial capacity than SF?

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15. roddy - May 7, 2016

I congratulate Gerry Carroll on his election but to say that he represents voters in any sort of cross community way is very wide of the mark.Of his 3k surplus ,over 1500 went SF,over 800SDLP ,over 200 WP ,with Unionists not even exceeding double figures and the rest non transferable( most likely dissos)

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16. Jim Monaghan - May 7, 2016

https://freelancelefty.com/2016/03/24/cuba-easter-1916-and-bob-geldof/#comments

Empires are far from benevolent creations. Their natural instinct is to pillage, steal, oppress, torment and kill. As institutions of great power, they have no inclination to heed reasoned arguments put forward by those who wish to end or at least ease their apparatus of repression. This is the obvious lesson taught by the history of empires, be they British, French, German, Belgian or American. Empires only treat subjugated peoples like human beings when they are forced to do so. Sometimes this comes from peaceful mass movements. More often than not, it comes from violent resistance.

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yourcousin - May 8, 2016

The part of that on Cuba is fairly ridiculous.

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17. Alibaba - May 7, 2016

Yesterday, it all came down to jobs for the boys. Snouts in the trough, simple as that.

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18. Alibaba - May 8, 2016

So, the proposal to hold a referendum to Repeal the Eight Amendment which was previously agreed by Fine Gael and Labour is to be put on life support by a ‘citizens’ convention’ forum. Kinda says it all eh?

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Tomboktu - May 8, 2016

A convention might turn out to be useful. Before they made a decision to hold a referendum on marriage equality,* the government referred the question to the Convention on the Constitution. That allowed the arguments to be rehearsed before a random sample of citizens working with a sample of politicians, listening to and questioning legal and psychological experts, and campaigners from both sides. I think that one of the most useful results of the Convention is that it persuaded doubtful political leaders that they could support the removal of the ban without serious harm to their level of support.

____
*There was debate about whether a referendum was in fact needed to remove the ban on same-sex couples getting married, but that was the dominant view at the time, and thuse the route that was chosen,

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Alibaba - May 8, 2016

I’d like to think you are right. Remember, however, the achievement of marriage equality was a “core” issue for Labour in the last government. And so much work had been done behind the scenes by various lobbies for years to win this.

I suspect that the watering down of the previous commitment to a referendum was done to keep Fianna Fáil sweet. It is on record as opposing a referendum and would dread the proposect of this issue causing splits in its ranks.

As posed by another commentator on Facebook, the programme of this government is “to bury Repeal the 8th with one para in the entire document”.

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19. Jolly Red Giant - May 8, 2016

I see that a SF councillor is up to the usual SF antics of attacking the AAA – retweeting scurrilous anti-Paul Murphy newspaper articles with snide comments.

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20. Jolly Red Giant - May 8, 2016

I see that a SF councillor is up to the usual SF antics of making bogus attacks on the AAA – re-tweeting anti- Paul Murphy newspaper articles with the expected snide comment

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21. Michael Carley - May 8, 2016

Eamonn McCann’s victory speech includes the possibility of industrial action disrupting the EU referendum, and a song:

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22. roddy - May 8, 2016

that’s twice you said that.Are you trying to compensate for Mark P’s absence? Where is he by the way?

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Jolly Red Giant - May 8, 2016

No denying that a SF councillor is engaging in the right-wing smear campaign against Paul Murphy there roddy – not surprising.

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23. Tomboktu - May 8, 2016

That shocking incident the other day where the economist doing some maths on the plane was questioned by the FBI reminds me of a less worrisome time, about 15 or 20 years ago, when I decided to make a pendulum with a coin, hanging from a pencil, so I could test/observe the pendulum retain its plane of oscillation as the plane turned. I was observed by a member of the cabin crew, and she wanted to know if I was doing psychic readings.

I explained what I was in fact doing was physics, not psychics, and I explained the phenomenon I wanted to observe, but from her face, I think she thought that it sounded like pure rubbish. But I was left in peace to swing my pendulum of a coin hanging from a pencil for the sake of my own little bit of science.

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24. Gerryboy - May 8, 2016

So. After years of street agitation, left journalism, book writing and allround shit-stirring, Eamonn McCann has finally been elected to public office and promises to be an Elder Anti-Statesman.

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oconnorlysaght - May 9, 2016

It is good that my old sparring partner, Eamon McCann is now in Stormont. It is good, too, that Gerry Carroll is elected. The big q. is whether their victory can be part of a 32 Co.strategy exposing both Brit colonialism and the less direct finance capitalism of the ECB. Above all, they should beware of getting housetrained. On past from, this should not be too difficult for Eamon, but he is not as young as he was. In the long run, if they are effective, we may well see pressure being brought on Villiers or her successor to scrap PR, as happened when NI Labour started having an effect in the late 1940s.

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oconnorlysaght - May 9, 2016

Correction:’the late 1920s.

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25. fergal - May 8, 2016

is any body else here annoyed by Michael Fitzmaurice td? Why? He seems to be on the radio as much as Eamon Ryan. He tries to come across as some kind of ‘super solutions man’- a kind of Irish TD version of McGyver. He spouts an awful lot of shite- of course multinationals should pay the effective rate of 12.5% corporation tax, but we’ve got to be realistic, if that happens they’ll leave the country and go to Poland a la Dell.
I think he’s a spoofer and hopefully these Endapendents will be flushed out for what they are over the next few years- demagogues and right wing stooges

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Jolly Red Giant - May 8, 2016

He is a carbon copy of a FF parish pump politician – a gene pool indo who would happily vote for any and all austerity if he could get his turf cutting machine onto a bog.

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crocodileshoes - May 8, 2016

And he can’t say a sentence without the word ‘lookit’.

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Ivorthorne - May 8, 2016

He can be annoying. He’s a little bit of a deal-man and often looks at things as though there is just one “national” interest as oppossed to various competing interests. It seems like he’s one of those people who went presented with two competing arguments believes that the truth or best option must be somewhere in the middle. Except when it comes to things that he personally cares about like turf . . .

Not a bad bastard, but one somewhat lacking in imagination and understanding. A perfect cog in the machine that is the status quo.

On the theme of annoying people, Julien Mercille has started to annoy me. I usually agree with the general orientation of his arguments, but he uses good statistics with bad, overlooks nuances and overstates his case. It has the effect of playing up to those who are already converted while undermining the argument to those who were on the fence.

Here’s one that popped up in my feed this morning:
http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/pink-tax-girl-ireland-2756670-May2016/?utm_source=facebook_short

Women pay more for men for some comparable services but he undermines the argument by not comparing like with like, using statistics from foreign surveys without the proper caveats and then positioning the argument in terms of a particular ideology. Most of the comments to the piece are negative even though most people would agree that it is at the very least problematic that companies are engaged in naked profiteering.

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crocodileshoes - May 10, 2016

Are politicians being coached to say ‘lookit’, or ‘look’, or ‘listen’ before every remark? It is supposed to make you seem a no-nonsense, get-to-the-point type, who doesn’t let verbal niceties get in the way of a straight answer. Instead it’s like ‘the reality is…’ a few years ago – a guarantee of something partisan or contentious about to be said. Fitzmaurice is also a proud resident of ‘the real world’, that planet inhabited only by strivers and wealth creators where none of us public servant types is welcome.

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26. roddy - May 8, 2016

jrg ,I have’nt a clue what you’re talking about.

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Jolly Red Giant - May 8, 2016

Didn’t stop you making a comment though – did it.

A SF councillor re-tweeted an Irish Indo article ridiculing Paul Murphy for seeking legal aid – and added a derisory comment for good measure.

Clearly SF are still smarting from losing the by-election and coming in behind the AAA in the general election in DSW.

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27. DublinDilettante - May 8, 2016

Bitter and green as they are, I’m lapping up the angry tears of shinners over West Belfast. *slurp* *slurp* *sluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrp*

Liked by 1 person

28. paulculloty82 - May 8, 2016

Looks like the brand-new Government is already planning a neoliberal makeover of the health service:

https://mobile.twitter.com/colettebrowne/status/729250527771561985

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Jolly Red Giant - May 8, 2016

That tweet will go ‘viral’

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fergal - May 8, 2016

This new government could be viciously right wing- now that the labour party is no longer there to put brakes on them! Joking aside- Varadkar wants to make work pay…and on the Clare Byrne show yesterday he mentioned about five or six groups of people who are covered by social protection but not the unemployed- very curious- no prizes for guessing what happens next
Harris Minister of Health- like having Dracula in charge of the blood transfusion ward- how come nobody ever talks about the elephant in the room when it comes to health.? Why are private consultants working for the HSE? How can it be in their interest to have an excellent public health service? Surely, people go privete when the public system is bust…why would a private consultant work towards an excellent public health service, if there was one there wouldn’t be any ‘need’ for private consultants
Housing, same ole, same ole- another tax cut for the boss class- from the people who brought you the tourism vat cut- vat for houses to be cut to 9%. According to the builders this will ‘help’ them build more houses- it will, but it won’t stop the price of houses from going up, it will increase builders’ profit margins at the expense of forgone vat revenues. No massive council house building plans, no boost for cooperative housing, no rent controls, no help for self- builds, no compulsory purchasing of land, no price controls on house(that would be the end of civilisation as we know it or as Michael ‘Solutions’ Fitzmaurice might say, lookit!)
Shane Ross as Minster of Transport- we’re on the road to greener, cheaper and more efficient public transport with Shaneo, that’s for sure.
Jesus!

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29. CL - May 8, 2016

“NYC Health + Hospitals, formerly the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), operates the public hospitals and clinics in New York City. A public benefit corporation with $6.7 billion in annual revenues, HHC is the largest municipal healthcare system in the United States serving 1.4 million patients, including more than 475,000 uninsured city residents…..
The most well-known hospital in the HHC system is Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the United States. Bellevue is the designated hospital for treatment of the President of the United States and other world leaders if they become sick or injured while in New York City….
Brooklyn’s Coney Island Hospital achieved a first place ranking among all New York City hospitals, public or private.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NYC_Health_%2B_Hospitals#Accolades

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30. roddy - May 8, 2016

aye,West Belfast was a real disaster 56% and 4out of 6 seats for SF.

Liked by 1 person

31. Oireachtas Retort - May 9, 2016

Wrote a big essay on the Labour Party in government and why it’s probably time for the party to call it a day

https://oireachtasretort.ie/2016/05/08/how-labour-lost-the-election/

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Michael Carley - May 9, 2016

And it’s excellent.

Liked by 1 person

CMK - May 9, 2016

+1 absolutely. Deserves the widest possible circulation.

Liked by 1 person

32. sonofstan - May 9, 2016

Moral philosopher Allen Wood, speakeing to 3am Magazine:

It is a cause of shame to any member of the human race to be a member of the same species some of whose members could vote for any candidate for president that has been offered by the Republican party. Such people seem to be motivated only by short-sighted greed, ignorance, fear and hatred. It is sad to witness the persistence in our society of the racism and xenophobia that seems to be a permanent part of our political culture. It is shameful to see politicians exploiting these human weaknesses in order to gain political power. It is most depressing of all to contemplate a future in which politicians who do this will continue to have influence over people’s lives. As long as this party exists in its present form, our nation cannot endure as a free society. Still worse, under their policies the human race is being rapidly propelled toward its extinction. It is not possible to exaggerate the importance of what is at stake in our politics at present.

Is he right?
I had a few conversations with Americans over the last week who think he is, and freely use the ‘F’ word while talk about Trump.
Meanwhile the Guardian is concern trolling for victimised Clinton supporters at Harvard who are being bullied by those nasty Bernie-ites.

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CL - May 9, 2016

“Donald Trump is not fit to serve as president. He is not fit to serve on the Meade County board of commissioners. He is not fit to be the mayor of Muleshoe, Texas.”
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435091/donald-trump-republicans-unite

Some Republicans are backing Trump. some not.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/where-republicans-stand-on-donald-trump-a-cheat-sheet/481449/

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CL - May 9, 2016

“the decline of American institutions and mores, from Wall Street and the Senate to cable news and the Twitterverse, made the candidacy of a celebrity proto-fascist with no impulse control not just possible but in some ways inevitable.”
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/16/how-donald-trump-appeals-to-the-white-working-class

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33. Gewerkschaftler - May 9, 2016

So the minority / Majority FG/FF gummint-sorta-thingy is still opposing debt write-downs for Greece.

Out of personal conviction/vindictiveness or is it pure kowtowing in the direction of Berlin?

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34. Michael Carley - May 9, 2016

I have a letter in the current New Statesman.

Liked by 2 people

botheredbarney - May 9, 2016

Congratulations on getting a letter, however short, printed in the New Statesman, making a caustic point about recent ‘routine’ violent public conflict between armed militias in part of the United Kingdom. It’s difficult to get letters published in UK newspapers and periodicals. I’ve failed to get 3 letters printed in two Irish newspapers during the past twelve months. (on assorted nonpolitical topics)

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WorldbyStorm - May 9, 2016

Brilliant stuff Michael!

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Michael Carley - May 9, 2016

The vineyard of English ignorance of the United Kingdom never fails to yield a rich harvest.

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35. Ivorthorne - May 9, 2016

Fascinating:

http://gizmodo.com/former-facebook-workers-we-routinely-suppressed-conser-1775461006?utm_medium=sharefromsite&utm_source=Gizmodo_facebook

The article focuses on right wing sources but one suspects that if something like Newsmax was being filtered, then something like Counterpunch would have been treated similarly.

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36. roddy - May 9, 2016

If it’s where I live ,the conflict was between Republican guerillas and the armed forces of the British state both official and unofficial in sizeable areas whose inhabitants never regarded themselves part of any “kingdom”.As someone who never wants to see another shot fired,I will never allow my neighbours from that time who took up arms to be associated with “echos of fascism”.

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WorldbyStorm - May 9, 2016

That might have been Williams point but surely MC is suggesting how easily supposed ‘advanced’ democracies came to tolerate ‘acceptable levels of violence’, even forget about them, as Williams did, which is somewhat different.

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Michael Carley - May 9, 2016

Just that, though Roddy should remember that there were heavily armed militias from both political traditions, as well as the British Army.

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fergal - May 9, 2016

Roddy,that’s not how I see the above- from here it looks like Carley of this parish is having a go at the writer- Williams- for his smugness or deliberate amnesia at how London accepted violence- a kind of let he who is without sin cast the first stone- looks like Williams’ stone has landed on the violence up north.The Weimar Republic being no better than Britain 70 years later.
Indeed, it seems that London was up to its neck in violence on a very regular basis- not just its footsoldiers but the whole murky role of informers, mi5, force reaction etc- perhaps the real reason why we’ll never have a truth commission for the six counties
Unless Michael I’m misreading the whole thing

Liked by 2 people

Michael Carley - May 9, 2016

The title was taken from Williams’ original article. The original quote, in context was,

All of this prompts questions about how it is that apparently sophisticated political systems succumb to corporate nervous breakdowns. It is anything but an academic question in a contemporary world where theatrical politics, tribal scapegoating and variegated confusions about the rule of law are increasingly in evidence. On this last point, it is still shocking to realise how rapidly post-Versailles Germany came to regard violent public conflict between heavily armed militias as almost routine, and this is an important background to the embittered negotiations later on around the relation between Hitler’s Sturmabteilung and the official organs of state coercion. Ullrich’s insightful account of a de facto civil war in Bavaria in the early 1920s makes it mercilessly plain that any pretensions to a state monopoly of coercion in Germany in this period were empty.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/05/nervous-breakdown-body-politic

Williams was saying that Germans, shockingly, came to “accept violent public conflict between heavily armed militias as almost routine” and that this was a sign of how far wrong things had gone, without thinking that the UK accepted the same kind of violent conflict (whatever your opinion of the rights and wrongs and I didn’t say there was Fascism involved) as routine.

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37. Ivorthorne - May 9, 2016

For those who remember those days, was there any awareness in Britain at that time about how close to fascism it came back in the 70s and 80s?

Don’t get me wrong, the following decades were far from perfect. But we saw the British military shooting dead unarmed civilians in the streets, mass internment, attacks on strikers by the police following pressure from the government, the police and legal system conspiring to jail innocent people for crimes they didn’t commit, fascist football firms engaged in regular acts of violence, the blacklisting of union organisers, right wingers talking about racial civil war . . .

I remember reading V for Vendetta for the first time. At first it seemed like some dystopian sci-fi world but as I went through it and remembered these things, it seemed more like an alternative-past

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Michael Carley - May 9, 2016

David Stifling established a body of patriotic volunteers to be used in case of industrial action.

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WorldbyStorm - May 9, 2016

Sterling… strange all those right wing ex military folk in the 70s. They really hated Wilson. Amazing stuff really. I linked to the guy in the RAF Hawker Hunter who flew along the Thames as a protest against the LP during that period.

Just on that ivorthorne, and I think you’re very right, Hillsborough is part of that – class warfare both submerged and open.

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Ivorthorne - May 9, 2016

So here’s a though, what if Scottish Independence had been put firmly on the agenda at that point in time? (Maybe somebody made Braveheart in 1981)

Would a strong and quickly growing Scottish Nationalism movement have been enough to change these various groups and arms of the state from merely showing fascist tendencies to simply being overtly fascist?

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oconnorlysaght - May 10, 2016

Very probably. The original, Italian, Fascists were blooded suppressing the Croats and Slovene majorities in Istria,
Going to Germany in the same period, the Munich Police Chief showed less hypocrisy than many of his kine when told of right-wing murder squads running riot in his city. He replied: ‘Not enough of them.’ (His deputy would become Hitler’s Minister of the Interior.)

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Michael Carley - May 10, 2016

`Stifling’ for `Stirling’ is not the worst autocorrect.

In fairness, the RAF guy was protesting against the closure of Fighter Command, so it might not have been quite that political.

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WorldbyStorm - May 10, 2016

That’s true, re the pilot, though it’s a hell of a step to take even at that.

I liked Stifling! And my keyboard autocorrect.

Ivorthorne, I wonder would it depend on how strong the movement was, whether it was thought it could be contained politically or by para political measures, etc. It’s a great question. How far would matters go to retain the political ‘integrity’ of Britain (as distinct from the UK).

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sonofstan - May 10, 2016

‘A fascist regime, made you a moron’

Yes, from what I remember, there was plenty of awareness and maybe more than today of what was really happening. In the ’80s to pick one example, Troops Out groups were organised in many UK universities, and I would often find myself arguing against overly enthusiastic SF supporters in places like Sheffield and Bristol as we toured. And the miners’ strike left many people with few illusions about the police and state. Remember too, that an explicitly anti- Falklands war song made it onto TOTP and the higher reaches of the charts; anti-militarist sentiment is much less acceptable here now, after Iraq and Afghanistan.

Liked by 1 person

Ivorthorne - May 10, 2016

Which makes it somewhat more interesting that for many, that time and how close it came to fascism seem to have been forgotten.

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38. roddy - May 9, 2016

Pat Shivers who was one of “the hooded men” who underwent severe torture during the initial internment swoops stated that he actually believed a fascist state had been established overnight.Such was his experience that he could not comprehend that his treatment could have been at the hands of a “democratic” state.

Liked by 1 person

39. sonofstan - May 10, 2016

“Six countries have been responsible for 80% of the growth in Britain’s EU-born population in recent years, research has found”

Strangely, in this story from the Guardian, the country which I reckon must have contributed more EU citizens to the British population than any other isn’t mentioned. That country being Britain.

Liked by 1 person

40. roddy - May 10, 2016

sos,what were you arguing with “overly enthusiastic SF supporters about?

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sonofstan - May 11, 2016

The belief that SF was a socialist party usually….

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41. Jim Monaghan - May 10, 2016
42. roddy - May 10, 2016

Mulholland had form in that his “today tonight” programme was the biggest disgrace to journalism in the history of Irish broadcasting.

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McCorley - May 11, 2016

Their hatchet job on the Workers Party in 1986 was disgraceful alright. That’s what you mean isn’t it?
Or do you object to their expose of the Stardust tragedy, or the award winning stuff on Finglas or on the drugs crisis?

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43. Ivor - May 11, 2016

Listening to Paul Reynolds on RTE, I imagine that the GRA must be considering making their PR team redundant.

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