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What you want to say – 20th July 2016 July 20, 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. Philip Ferguson - July 20, 2016

Here’s an interview I did last week with Paul Embery, the national organiser of Trade Unionists Against the EU, across the ditch. Paul was a firefighter for a number of years and is now London regional organiser for the Fire Brigades Union. The interview covered firefighting, the union, issues facing firefighters, the Brexit vote and more: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/interview-british-firefighter-organiser-paul-embery-on-firefighters-issues-the-state-of-the-british-working-class-and-the-brexit-vote/

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2. Philip Ferguson - July 20, 2016

And here’s the Fire Brigades Union statement on the vote and where to (the FBU, btw, had a Remain position): https://rdln.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/british-firefighters-union-statement-in-light-of-brexit-vote/

We have quite a bit of stuff on firefighters, mainly NZ, but not exclusively: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/firefighters-coverage-on-redline/

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3. Gewerkschaftler - July 20, 2016

Italy is still going to have to rescue it’s particularly bad banks by forcing losses on small investors who were fraudulently sold bonds as being as safe as bank deposits. The consequence would be a serious shock to the Italian domestic economy at least if not to wider European banking.

Italy had hoped that European Court of Justice would rule against the principle of making small investors responsible for bank losses but the ECJ ruled in favour.

This means either Renzi has to tell the EU (fronting for W. Schäuble) to get stuffed on this matter, or face major losses to 5 Stars in this autumn’s elections. 5 Stars are currently running on a ticket of exiting the Eurozone, for which there may well be majority support in Italy. Italians are still significantly against leaving the EU.

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ejh - July 21, 2016

Italy is still going to have to rescue it’s particularly bad banks by forcing losses on small investors who were fraudulently sold bonds as being as safe as bank deposits

This sounds like various Spanish bank scandals that happened a few years ago and are still ongoing…

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4. gendjinn - July 20, 2016

Rumours are that Ivanka Trump is responsible for the Obama passage in Melanias speech.

Great to see the imperial dynastic struggles are more important than winning the presidency. Time to re-read Tom Holland’s Rubicon again for preview of how all this ends.

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5. Jolly Red Giant - July 20, 2016

The Irish government have just got hit with a €280million increase on their EU contribution because they allowed a handful of MNCs to do a tax dodge and distort the GDP figures.

You really couldn’t make this sh*t up.

http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2016/0720/803620-economy-and-eu/

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6to5against - July 20, 2016

One question I haven’t seen asked or answered about this 26% increase in GDP and the corresponding increase in EU payments is how much tax money the Irish state gained from the moving of corporate funds here last year.

Presumably its not very much, because otherwise they would hardly have bothered moving the money here to begin with. But, also presumably, it explains at least in part the mysterious surge in tax income last year that left the gov’t perplexed at the time.

We’re apparently only talking about a handful of company’s here, and we know the amounts involved. So shouldn’t we check if this corporate financial engineering raised even enough to cover the increased EU payments.

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Joe - July 21, 2016

Yep, very good question.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 22, 2016

And it’s very likely that ‘we’ i.e. the public purse of the Irish state lost out on this wizard wheeze.

Being a tax-haven within the EU is good for Ireland because…erm…because… well because they say so.

And GDP growth is always good – it stands to reason dunnit – despite being a) mainly illusory and b) the benefits of what isn’t illusory going to the owning class.

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Ed - July 21, 2016

‘But Angela …’

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6. Tomboktu - July 20, 2016

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7. Joe - July 21, 2016

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/01/trial-swedish-man-accused-terrorism-offences-collapse-bherlin-gildo

He clearly can’t be a terrorist if he’s involved with a group armed and funded by MI6…

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8. CMK - July 21, 2016

Sinn Fein’s credentials as an establishment party have taken a big leap forward with their support for changing Dáil standing orders so that the ECB gets advance notice of, and chance to offer an opinion on, bills to the Oireachtas concerning money and banking matters.

Even for a party as cynical as SF this is stupid stuff. No doubt roddy will be on here ranting about ‘neo-unionist’ Trots and what not but none that can conceal the fundamental fact that Sinn Fein are rapidly dispensing with any ‘anti austerity’ position they have in the Dáil which is, of course, in keeping with their implementation of austerity in Stormont.

If they were even half-hearted in their ‘anti austerity’ stance they would oppose the very notion that the ECB has any right to a first look at bills in the Dail. Some ‘republicans’!

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RosencrantzisDead - July 21, 2016

Isn’t that amendment to the Standing Orders required by Council Decision 98/415/EC, though? All members of the Eurozone are required to refer bills on money and banking matters to the ECB for an opinion.

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CMK - July 21, 2016

I’ve no doubt that is the case legally, but politically SF have a choice to oppose this by voting down the motion (which will pass in any event because the Right wing parties are all in favour of being supervised from Frankfurt).

That SF didn’t bother to vote against the motion is, yet again, a sign they are burnishing their ‘respectability’ as a potential ‘safe pair of hands.’

Given what the ECB have inflicted on this society any genuine ‘anti austerity’ political force is duty bound to fight any advance in that outfit’s influence.

Pearse Doherty may well have nodded in the direction of the fact that ‘hands are bound’ by EU Treaties but that’s not really good enough.

Considering that the Fiscal Rules are really starting to pinch on the policy options open to government to resolve pressing issues like the housing crisis, it’s unacceptable to legitimate the ECB as some kind of benevolent neutral stakeholder, when we know from experience that it is a vicious neo-liberal institution impervious to the human consequences of its insistence on adherence to neo-liberal dogma across the Eurozone.

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RosencrantzisDead - July 21, 2016

The ECB have been legitimated by various referendums and the machinations of Eurocrats.

And surely having SF vote against something as a token, safe in the knowledge that it will pass anyway, would be the height of cynicism. That really would be to masquerade as a party of change while secretly relying on the fact that such change will never occur.

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CMK - July 21, 2016

That’s not the point. The principled position would be vote against it, particularly given their public stance regarding the EU and the diminution of sovereignty in the various EU treaty referenda here.

I fundamentally disagree with the notion the ECB has been ‘legitimated’ by EU treaties and while that is legally and formally true, their role since 2008 has utterly de-legitimised them in the eyes of hundreds of millions of Europeans.

The ECB will play a central role in the coming Italian banking crisis and its role will not be to help ordinary Italians caught up in it, but to use the crisis to force the Italian state into structures of permanent austerity like in Greece.

An economic crisis like that experienced in Greece, taking place in one of the ‘big’ EU states would really change the balance of forces. Yet, I’ve no doubt the ECB will force Italian society through the mincer to ensure the European banking system remains stable and intact.

It is an institution with no democratic basis and SF playing along with it by voting for this motion is sure to be surprise to many of their voters. No matter how they try to spin it.

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RosencrantzisDead - July 21, 2016

I do not agree that it is always more principled (or even the more principled position in this position) to vote against something knowing that it will pass or knowing it will be imposed anyway.

Labour voted against the bank guarantee. They knew well that the guarantee would pass regardless of their votes. This does not suggest that Labour are principled or that their vote on that occasion was principled.

I do agree with you about the ECB and its baleful influence. It needs to be tackled. But a petty matter like this will not do anything to impact that one way or another. Thus, I think this falls well short of demonstrating that SF are insincere or that this constitutes a ‘big leap forward’ in them becoming an establishment party.

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RosencrantzisDead - July 21, 2016

Just found the relevant extract from Pearse Doherty’s contribution to the motion:

The importance of sovereignty is a deeply held belief of Sinn Féin and we have argued for it on many occasions during referenda on treaties. This is not, however, the place to go over past referendum debates. Legally, it seems clear cut that the two paragraphs in the motion compel national authorities, including parliaments, to consult the ECB regarding proposals in its field. In fact, according to a reply from the Minister the ECB has given 33 opinions at the request of the Ministers for Finance or Public Expenditure and Reform and that does not include the times the ECB gave an unsolicited opinion.

The guidelines are clear, though, that “National parliaments have to decide on the basis of their own rules of procedure how to comply with the obligation to submit for the ECB’s prior opinion draft legislative provisions which have been proposed by one or more of their members and which fall within the ECB’s fields of competence”. That is what we are doing here today and I believe, as an Opposition finance spokesperson, that the approach taken is an attempt to make the best out of a bad situation. In this new political reality, where Opposition Deputies and motions can win support, that means a new system to consult the ECB is required. At least the motion before us today allows a committee to set its own timeline for the ECB to respond to it. The ECB has to be asked its opinion but by no means does it have to be listened to and nothing here today will change that. I disagree completely with the Fianna Fáil position that we should consult the ECB prior to Second Stage as that would prevent legislation being tabled by the Opposition. The consultation should take place after Second Stage.

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Jolly Red Giant - July 21, 2016

And confirming the point that CMK was making –

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RosencrantzisDead - July 21, 2016

Not really. Stating that I) this procedure of referral is carried out anyway and I) that the opinion of the ECB will not need to be followed is hardly ‘support’ except in the weakest and shallowest sense of the term.

More from Doherty:

As an institution, the European Central Bank is unaccountable and secretive in its operations. We know too that it played an important and extremely damaging role in this country’s banking crisis. The ECB is no friend of this country. Let us be clear about that. It is one of the reasons bondholders were paid despite the fact that we are told that should never happen again.

Earlier this year I was in Brussels at a conference organised by my colleague Matt Carthy, MEP, and it was clear that it is not just Irish people who see the ECB as a problem institution. There is Europe-wide disillusionment with the seemingly untouchable nature of the ECB and its policies. It needs to be reformed and its mandate reviewed so that it takes employment and solidarity into consideration rather than having a pure focus on managing inflation. We should listen to what it has to say because we have to – that is what the law states – but that is where its role should end in terms of this country’s law making process. From that point of view, I have no problem supporting the motion because it is just a case of ticking the box and moving on.

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Michael Carley - July 21, 2016

SF reaching for the empty formula?

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RosencrantzisDead - July 21, 2016

Pretty much.

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gendjinn - July 21, 2016

SF could have said the same, then stated they wee voting against it because sovereignty/principle.

But they are also trying to deal with brexit & probably see little value in token moves that can only antagonize allies in Europe.

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Ed - July 21, 2016

Whose allies, though? Anything other than total, abject servility and willingness to impoverish your citizens on behalf of European banks will antagonize Merkel, Schauble, Draghi and co. They are not ‘allies’, they are deadly enemies, and it’s insulting people’s intelligence for SF to suggest that the ECB can be reformed in some kind of smooth, gradual, non-confrontational way.

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WorldbyStorm - July 21, 2016

It could be that they’re looking further afield in Europe in regard to allies. I don’t think its about cosying up to the ECB establishment.

There’s also the point that one picks ones battles. This is a technical procedure that will have no broader impact whatsoever. Better by far to fight on ground where there’s a chance of rallying people.

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CMK - July 21, 2016

If it’s a mere technicality of no real importance, all the more reason to vote it down.

The change to standing orders further consolidates the principle that the ECB has a legitimate role in vetting legislation here. I would say in ten years time all of the Right wing parties will be trumpeting their economy policies as ‘vetted and approved by the ECB.’ Which leads to the question that if all bills have to be forwarded to the ECB for an opinion will we soon see all political parties obliged to submit their election manifestos to the ECB for an opinion?

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WorldbyStorm - July 21, 2016

I genuinely think this is simply a case of clearing this out of the way, as was stated in SF’s own statement. What’s the point in making a stand on this when there’s bigger fish to fry.

The other point is that one doesn’t have to support the idea that the ECB does have a legitimate role in vetting legislation – something I don’t think it does, while still accepting that this measure is going to go through and there’s nothing that can functionally done to either stymie or avert it. I would liken it to participation in bourgeois elections. Does that participation of the left consolidate or extend capital? On one level perhaps it does. But entering the process can be necessary in order to point out the contradictions. I hope SF will continue to point out the contradictions of the EU – certainly we should hold it to a standard on that. Had they not articulated a clear EU critical line and antagonism to the ECB I’d have been a lot less happy about all this. If they don’t in future that would be a disgrace and a real problem.

Perhaps those parties will be doing that. But that would only work if the ECB is actually popular or regarded as legitimate. A lot of time between now and then to see whether that is the case or not.

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Ed - July 22, 2016

None of that answers the question – who are the possible allies anywhere in Europe who might have been antagonized by Sinn Féin voting against this? Any genuine allies I can think of would not have been troubled in the least by them doing so; they would have welcomed it. Anyone who would have been antagonized is not likely to be an ally under any circumstances.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 22, 2016

Wrong move by SF – all be it a fairly insignificant one.

And it’s a question of making alliances with Europe prepared to challenge the structure and constitution of various EU institutions including the ECB.

Now’s the time to make those challenges because of the weakened and divided state of the current EU.

I not sure any other GUE/NGL party would have voted that way.

Neither a Trot nor a neo-Unionist🙂

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9. Tomboktu - July 21, 2016

The real problem is that our legislators’ bills need to be formally scrutinised for compliance with EU austerity requirements but not for compliance with EU social justice, human rights, anti-poverty, or equality objectives.

Even if the ECB’s comments have no bite, there is something fundamentally wrong with that order of priorities.

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CMK - July 22, 2016

Mick Barry in his Dáil contribution on this made the point that the ECB’s opinion on a money be can be used in any court proceedings arising from the introduction of that bill. So, you could conceivably, actually that should be certainly, see a major bank bringing a case to the courts if the Dáil passed legislation to, for example, stop evictions of those in mortgage arrears. If the ECB had shot that legislation and the government had still passed it, then that would weaken any defence of the legislation surely.

But you’re dead right, Tomboktu, that the order of priorities is fundamentally wrong and SF’s conceding on this is an example of how they are not really thinking things through, in my view.

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RosencrantzisDead - July 22, 2016

Mick Barry is mistaken on that point. Interpretive aids only apply when the legislation is ambiguous (i.e. badly drafted). If there is no ambiguity, the plain language is used.

Second, Dail debates and other matters in the Oireachtas law-making process cannot be used as an intepretive aid before a court. This would include the ECB’s opinion. It also cannot be used to strike down a law.

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10. Michael Carley - July 22, 2016

Magnificent. Jimmy Reid’s speech on alienation when he was rector of the University of Glasgow.

Alienation is the precise and correctly applied word for describing the major social problem in Britain today. People feel alienated by society. In some intellectual circles it is treated almost as a new phenomenon. It has, however, been with us for years. What I believe is true is that today it is more widespread, more pervasive than ever before. Let me right at the outset define what I mean by alienation. It is the cry of men who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control. It’s the frustration of ordinary people excluded from the processes of decision-making. The feeling of despair and hopelessness that pervades people who feel with justification that they have no real say in shaping or determining their own destinies.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/still-irresistible-a-working-class-heros-finest-speech-2051285.html

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11. CMK - July 22, 2016

Corbyn’s unelectability confirmed by Council bye-election results last night in the UK. Four of the worst results for Labour are pasted below.

Hackney Central (Hackney) result:
LAB: 75.2% (+11.2)
GRN: 9.9% (-13.0)
LDEM: 6.3% (-1.1)
CON: 5.6% (-0.2)
IND: 3.1% (+3.1)

Great Wyrley Town (South Staffordshire) result:
CON: 50.9% (+1.2)
LAB: 32.8% (+5.5)
UKIP: 16.3% (-6.7)

Southcote (Reading) result:
LAB: 64.1% (+21.4)
CON: 26.1% (-8.8)
LDEM: 5.3% (+1.0)
GRN: 4.5% (+0.1)

Honiton St Michael’s (East Devon) result:
CON: 39.8% (+0.3)
IND: 23.2% (+2.8)
LAB: 21.6% (+21.6)
UKIP: 15.4% (-5.3)

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Gewerkschaftler - July 22, 2016

Not reported of course in the Blairdian which is full character assassination mode.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 22, 2016

In full cooperation with the Tories, who clearly fear a Corbyn-led Labour party.

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CMK - July 22, 2016

Schrodinger’s Labour leadership candidate: unelectable but keeps winning elections!

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12. Gewerkschaftler - July 22, 2016

I’m sure most people here already clocked it, but in France the de-ligitimation and anti-democritisation of national politics took a significant step forward.

The widely hated El Khomri Labour laws were forced through by executive decree. (49-3).

The President and Prime Minister could neither get a majority in the French Parliament or anything close to popular support in the country.

Pure post-democracy in the service of neo-liberal doctrine.

However (after the summer hols :-)) there are further strikes and mobilisations planed for September.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 22, 2016

legitimation

Illiterati 4th Grade

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13. sonofstan - July 22, 2016

Conor McGinnand his ‘jeremy threatened to call my SF dad’ is the weirdest and lamest thing yet in the saga. The dog whistle intimation that he’d get the ‘Ra on is the least of it.

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Jolly Red Giant - July 22, 2016

McGinn is now saying that Corbyn didn’t say anything to him – that a Labour whip told him Corbyn was annoyed and now the LP whips are saying it wasn’t Corbyn but might have been one of his aides.

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Jolly Red Giant - July 22, 2016

The latest one from Ealge is also a laugh – she claims the cops advised her to cancel her constituency clinics because of threats – the cops say that Eagle asked them what she should do and they told her that it was her decision.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 22, 2016

Not only are they pathetic at organising coups, they are also crap at character assassination.

At least square it with the ‘sources’, morons!

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FergusD - July 22, 2016

Well maybe they don’t have to be clever, just keep up the relentless barrage of lies and innuendo, after all does the MSM ever fact check their claims and issue corrections when they are proven wrong? Nope.

I submitted a complaint to the BBC about a report on their WWW site where it was repeated, with photo, the Eagle claim (lie?) that a brick was thrown through her constutuency office window. It wasn’t, it was the common stairwell of the office block her office is in. Hole covered with a “Remain” poster. Cops take it for an attempted robbery, yet the BBC keep pumping this one out!!

Total crap from Owen Smith here as well:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36864903

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Ed - July 22, 2016

Yes, unfortunately that’s the point of this crap – it doesn’t have to stand up to much scrutiny as long as you can keep pumping it out and journos will swallow it without question. I think it’s mostly aimed at the sort of person who doesn’t follow politics avidly but keeps an eye on the headlines and picks up on the general mood music (which is a big chunk of the population); it’s meant to convey a sense of Labour in constant turmoil and damage the party that way. On the optimistic side, the longer Corbyn hangs around, the more opportunity people have to see how utterly ridiculous and untrustworthy the media coverage is; it may reach a tipping point eventually (Scotland got to that stage already after the independence referendum).

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Gewerkschaftler - July 22, 2016

You both make good points…

… we brings back repressed memories of the times I shared with Corbyn back in the 80s in North Islington Satanist Association. He has, not to beat about the burning bush, a thing for under-age goats.

The rest of us would be looking forward to a bit of standard blood-sacrifice then a clean up and back home in time for an episode of Morse. But, no, Jeremy (or Scrofulatus Potens Minor – as he was known in our happy band of hobbyists) insisted on something altogether more elaborate and time consuming.

Well all I have to say is:

VEGETARIAN PACIFIST MY ARSE!

Should any Guardian journalists wish to contact me through this august forum, I would be only to pleased to furnish them with more details.

For a fee.

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CMK - July 22, 2016

And there’s this, which I think is almost certainly the case. The UK deep state knows its enemy and acts accordingly:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/22/intelligence-services-using-dark-practices-against-jeremy-corbyn

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Ed - July 22, 2016

I think we can guess what the military-intelligence machine makes of Corbyn (especially his vote against Trident) from this quite remarkably frank speech by the head of the Royal Navy to a City audience last night:

“The year before the Falklands conflict, my own vessel, the amphibious flagship HMS Fearless, had been earmarked for scrapping as a result of the Nott Review. An unmistakable air of stagnation and decline hung over the fleet and, to an extent, the nation also, during that deep recession. Yet the audacity of our victory 7,000 miles from home changed how the world viewed our nation and our armed forces. More importantly, it changed how we viewed ourselves … Nowhere was that new found confidence more apparent than here in London, which has since then risen to become the world’s pre-eminent centre of global finance. Here in the Square Mile, the spires of Wren and Hawksmoor have been joined by the glass cathedrals of Rogers and Foster. On the skyline in Portsmouth, meanwhile, the iconic silhouette of HMS Victory will next year be joined by that of a 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier. The City and the Navy are both defined by tradition and modernity in equal measure. Our shared strength reflects the UK’s international standing as determined by history and geography – but our success has the power to shape the UK’s continuing place in the world.”

“As an island nation and a trading power, the UK’s security and prosperity is indivisible from that of the wider world. Our historic relationship with the City of London is testament to this. Three hundred and fifty years ago, the City’s wealthiest citizens raised £16,000, not an insignificant sum back then, to fund the construction of a new warship. The King, so taken with this display of patriotism, named her Loyal London. But those 17th Century Londoners weren’t motivated by loyalty or patriotism alone. They were merchants and traders, they knew that prosperity and security were intertwined; and that a strong, credible Royal Navy was necessary to protect and advance their own commercial interests. From the earliest days of exploration to the height of Empire and beyond, the Royal Navy has always been the guardian of maritime trade. Long before Trafalgar, the teenage Horatio Nelson was protecting the ships of the British East India Company. It was naval power that opened China and Japan to Western markets. It was strength and security at sea that enabled Britain to become both the workshop of the world and the mother of Parliaments. Twice in the last century, the Royal Navy protected the convoys that formed Britain’s wartime lifeline. Now, as the government looks to extend the UK’s economic partnerships, as signified by the creation of a new Department for International Trade in the last 2 weeks, the Royal Navy’s role in supporting prosperity rises to the fore once more.”

“The opening of our new naval base in Bahrain in the next few years will, quite literally, cement the Royal Navy’s commitment to the Gulf. It will also enable us to reach further East. Every major financial centre in Asia-Pacific is on or near the coast. Every rising power in the region is investing in maritime power. And as the economic pull of Asia-Pacific continues to grow, so too does our commitment to security in that region.”

“Far from being a diminished nation, withdrawing from the world, the United Kingdom has both the intent and the means to protect our interests, shoulder our responsibilities and support our prosperity across the globe … So rest assured, the Royal Navy is here whatever the future holds for our maritime trading nation and its great global City.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/first-sea-lords-defence-and-security-lecture-to-the-city-of-london

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WorldbyStorm - July 22, 2016

Jesus Christ. Great find Ed.

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Ed - July 22, 2016

The bit about naval power opening China to Western markets, christ – British people may have forgotten about the opium wars but you can be sure the Chinese haven’t.

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WorldbyStorm - July 22, 2016

It’s the usual cloth-eared stuff from these quarters isn’t it. Michael Carley’s point made a while back about how large nations have no clue whatsoever about what it is like to be smaller nations never rang so true (not least in relation to today’s BIC meeting in Cardiff).

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gendjinn - July 22, 2016

“…large nations have no clue whatsoever about what it is like to be smaller nations…”

Bullies almost never recall what they did.

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Gewerkschaftler - July 22, 2016

And these people steer nuclear weapons around the high seas.

I’m not worried. La la la la….

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14. Pasionario - July 22, 2016

This BBC series from the mid 90s about the Labour Party is worth a look. Many contemporary echoes. Corbyn himself shows up a fair bit. The whole thing is a bit biased toward Blair, but there also some moving interviews with people like Hattersley and Shore where they talk about how Labour tearing itself was an unforgivable gift to Thatcher:

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15. dublinstreams - July 22, 2016

Owen Smith accuses Corbyn of encourage anti-semetic abuse ! http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-36864903 these people should really be careful what they accuse people of

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WorldbyStorm - July 22, 2016

+1

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Gewerkschaftler - July 22, 2016

I’d heard that he had proved to be incapable of leading a campaign of systematic anti-semitic abuse.

And I’m not even joking.

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16. Starkadder - July 22, 2016

Speaking of ethnic prejudice, a new Texas schoolbook backed by
conservatives describes Mexicans as lazy and unfocused. It also promotes Christian fundamentalist ideas:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2016/07/18/proposed-texas-textbook-describes-mexican-americans-as-lazy-new-coalition-works-to-block-it/?tid=sm_fb

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17. gendjinn - July 23, 2016

Clinton/Kaine. Either Clinton did not watch Trump’s speech last night or doesn’t get how Kaine plays right into Trump’s hands.

Paddy Power has Trump at 21/10 and Sanders at 66/1 today. Wonder if this will change them.

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yourcousin - July 23, 2016

No sabe, el guero who se habla esta no mal por la raza. This move may piss off the Berners but it shores up Hispanics, African Americans, and swing state white males. Not to mention Catholics. Maybe in my head I’m playing by the old rules, but I saw this as the smart move by Clinton. I know millennials were bitterly disappointed when the 74 year old career politician acted like a career politician but I guess I never get tired of watching electoralism fall on its face.

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gendjinn - July 23, 2016

Well of those that had not reconciled them to Clinton already it’s more of a “well we told you who she is” than anything of heat. Most of them seem to have already moved on to Stein since Sanders “endorsement”.

This would seem to be a classical 90s VP strategic pick for the reasons you outline. But I don’t see how it shores up Hispanics anymore than having Trump for an opponent does. And Kaine is a pro-TPP, Wall Street stooge – a fatal flaw right through the heart of the Clinton/Kaine campaign. One Trump was criticising before the pick.

Reagan won. GWB won. Trump wasn’t supposed to be the nominee. And his acceptance speech was far too competent for me to be comfortable about assuming he won’t win in Nov.

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yourcousin - July 23, 2016

Because there is a difference between fear mongering and being to speak to someone in their native language which actually engages them. That is huge. I think this may be the first time in which a conscious choice was made to piss off white millennials and go after minority voters. I think that is interesting and I guess I see something of a blue dog in Kaine and while I may not agree with that political camp I certainly feel more at home with them.

Buts lets turn this around though. Minorities are supposed to fall in line because of Trump, but Berners (and let’s be honest that’s just young white people) need to be catered to. I mean that’s basically the argument for picking a Berner to solidify the base rather than someone like Kaine.

I get that Trump is a very real threat. Believe me, I thought I’d seen the worst with W. But I find myself at 16 year remove from the 2000 campaign on steroids. Stein is still there but again the Greens have done sweet fuck all in the intervening time between their last great white hope Nader.

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WorldbyStorm - July 23, 2016

RCP’s electoral map is interesting. Does Kaine pull voters in from places like GA, NC, PA, etc? Solidify the vote in FL? Push it Clintonwards in states with significant hispanic minorities? It’s going to be interesting.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/2016_elections_electoral_college_map.html

Personally I’d have preferred Clinton/Warren, but that extra senate seat is all important.

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RosencrantzisDead - July 23, 2016

Bullshitting someone in Spanish is still bullshitting them. Might be a little arrogant to think that Hispanics will ‘fall in line’ because the guy can order dinner en español.

But at least he does not think they are all murderers and rapist who need to be kept out with a giant wall.

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yourcousin - July 23, 2016

WBS,
I think he will. I mean so much electoral logic is already out the window. In my head I see Clinton recognizing that she does not mesh with millennials and is playing to her strengths hoping the vestiges of the Obama machine get her some residual millennial votes. So yeah I think he can be a game changer in the swing states. And as a safety check against the misogyny that a double female ticket would endure (obviously not supporting said misogyny, just recognizing it).

As for a Warren/Clinton ticket. I would hate to waste a perfectly good Senator on Clinton.

But that would go back to my original critique electoralism. Don’t worry, I feel strongly that if we keep feeling the Bern we will someday elect a socialist just like France.

RiD
Kaine is fluent, like conversational fluent after doing work in Central America with a Jesuit group. Something which certainly won’t hurt his image. That’s a big difference from saying, “dos tamals por me por favor”.

I think the big shift is the direct link between Kaine and thereby the Clinton campaign away from using surrogates in the Hispanic community.

This doesn’t make them anymore progressive per se, but it does certainly make it less patronizing. I guess I see it as patronizing to assume that all the Dems have to do to win is say, “Trump” and that all Hispanics will simply fall into line.

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WorldbyStorm - July 23, 2016

“As for a Warren/Clinton ticket. I would hate to waste a perfectly good Senator on Clinton.”

Brilliant, I’m going to rob that.

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gendjinn - July 23, 2016

Kaine is a Senator. The senator from Free Trade & Wall Street is his official title I believe. He will be a fantastic supporter for TPP, TTIP, Cold War 2.0 and fracking Dem presidential ticket.

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WorldbyStorm - July 23, 2016

Haha, then I surely won’t be using that line!

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WorldbyStorm - July 23, 2016

just on Kaine, is he quite as Wall Street as is being suggested? From a cursory scan of his positions on campaign finance, financial regulation etc he seems a bit less a shill for them that I’d have expected.

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gendjinn - July 23, 2016

YC, I was polite in dismissing Kaine’s relevance to Hispanics and you missed it. Kaine speaks spanish, big whoop. He does ZERO to shore up hispanic votes and the idea that he does is frankly surprising from someone as informed as you.

Kaine is another DLC/Blue Dog/DINO/Republican in Democrat clothing (that usually makes up 50% of elected Dems). Just like Bill and Hillary Clinton. Just like Obama.

And after the campaign we’ve just had, sticking both your thumbs in the eyes of progressive, independents and polled Sanders delegates – all of which constituencies said Kaine was acceptable to less than 5% of those groups.

If the Dems pick Clinton (and she could pick Warren, Sanders or Jesus as her VP and it would make zero difference to my decisions) next week I will never vote, donate, voice support for any Democrat while she is in office. Except for her primary challenger in 4 years.

But I won’t have to worry about that because we are getting Prez Trumppence. Thanks DNC & Clintons!

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yourcousin - July 23, 2016

Gendjinn,
I have to go work on my dog run or my wife will literally kill me. My two hunting dogs have destroyed the backyard over the last four years and if we don’t have a lawn by Labor Day then they will be joining me in my shallow grave. Later this afternoon (MST) I will bust out the work computer and write up a response.

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yourcousin - July 25, 2016

Alright a day late but better than never. So lets do this. There are two issues here which we can unwrap in any particular order that you would like. First is establishing who is a “real Democrat” and the second is your anger at the way the nomination process has worked out this last go round.

So lets start with separating the Real Democrats from the blue dogs and DINOs. To be honest I’ve never seen that saying thrown around for Dems only Republicans. And even then I always felt that those who employed it showed not only a lack of feeling for a big tent political party (or in the last decade a grasp on reality and common sense) but a lack of understanding their party’s history as most RINOs would be from what I would call the mid west school of the party which was conservative if moderate (this part of the party made up the backbone of the civil rights bill votes). I’m not sure who you would consider to be a Real Democrat? Jimmy Carter? I always liked him and respect his post office work but does his military adventurism put him out of bounds? Or how about his pandering to segregationist voters in his quest for the Georgia Governors mansion? Johnson with his Great Society and War on Poverty sounds good, but his ratcheting up of the Vietnam War is probably a no go in you book. The Kennedy bhoys? I mean there is there that little Bay of Pigs incident and there is also the fact that they allowed J. Edgar Hoover to up the pressure on the Civil Rights movement. There is also the grilling of Hoffa which included the hounding him over communists, JFK’s work on the Landrum-Griffin act which forbade communists from holding union office. How about Truman and drafting miners to break a strike? Roosevelt with his pro craft union stance and New Deal sounds good if you can over look the political dynasty and the fact that he interred Japanese Americans. And the fact that FDR increased the FBI’s scope of the precursor to COINTELPRO to root out subversion. So right now I’m going back almost a century and coming up short on who might make a “Real Democrat” because most of those named have done things worse than the Clintons and Obama. I mean we can look to others like Hubert Humphrey whose 1948 speech was pretty moving(and I posted this up previously so forgive the repeat). I’ll embed it here again and the relevant part is around 7:07 in.

Even him with that great speech was actively involved with anti-communist activity and supported the McCarran Internal Security including its concentration camps for subversives.

I’m not sure who else? The Democratic party of the 19th century is a fairly sorted lot and I doubt we would shed much light on Sandersesque social democrats.

The thing is that Those individuals also all did some good things. Often times their Republican counter parts also did some good things (along with a lot of bad). But they represented and continue to represent the employing class and capitalism. Admittedly many of them attempted to soften the blows that capitalism inflected upon the working class but wrapping a pipe in a bandana, while helpful still means beating someone over the head with a pipe. The working class can only depend on itself and no political party will aid in the emancipation of the working class when push comes to shove. To expect other wise only ensure the same disillusionment that you expressed in your previous comments.

I would also point out that many folks don’t see being a blue dog as a bad thing. I guess I find strange that you might expect someone from a rural background and may very likely have served in the military and was enfranchised enough to be a politician be what left coast liberal? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. But then again I’m a red neck who went out and was just off shooting a 70 at the sporting clay course this morning.

I mean he only joined the party proper last year. Did you really expect the Party establishment to just wholeheartedly dump a former Secretary of State, Senator, former First Lady of a prior president and just welcome the Senator from Vermont with open arms? Sanders knew full well about Super Delegates when he signed onto becoming a Democrat. Those Super Delegates exist for exactly this reason. Lets be clear I honestly agree with many things that Bernie Sanders says but if the Obama tenure taught us nothing it is that control of the presidency does not guarantee a progressive agenda throughout a presidential tenure. And I’m very much willing to give credit where credit is due Obama did attempt in his own way many things that could be considered progressive and that were definitely better than his predecessor. But conversely his inability to keep the two Houses of Congress from becoming the Tea Party congress ensures that nothing happens.

This is the point, even if Sanders were named The People’s Commissar tomorrow it would not bring forward either a progressive revolution or The Worker’s Revolution (TM). I’ve said this time and time again state houses are where the parliamentary sea change needs to happen. I didn’t see the Greens build off their run on 2000 for local office. I didn’t see the Obama generation do jack shit even in national by elections. And I will bet you a six pack that the Berners will not stay engaged as a political movement (much like Occupy) past this election. We can check back in 2018.

I would also point out that you are obviously not going to support the DEmocrats anymore and that Trump’s election if and when it happens will be on them. I would point out that the parties are private institutions. No one is obligated to vote for either of the parties or vote at all. though many of us go through the motions even when we do not believe it matters on a macro trajectory level. So you are free to not vote, but I hardly see how that is Hillary’s fault. I mean I want to liken it to Twain’s “The Mysterious Stranger” where one of the protagonist calls something “brutish”, whereby the Mysterious Stranger goes off on a tangent on how Brutes only do what it is in their nature to do. And they never deviate or are duplicitous because they are and have to be true to their nature. I see Hillary and company in the same way. They are simply doing what it is they do. To be shocked that the Democrats attempt to coopt and stifle social movements is like being shocked by the birds and bees.

Well that went on a little long, (which is why the computer was necessary. Sorry for the delay.

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gendjinn - July 25, 2016

YC,

A lot there alright. But you could have saved your wrists and just stipulated Democratic politics in the first half of the 20th century and I would have know to whom and what you were referring.

Wasn’t voting HRC in 08. Haven’t bothered with the Dems since the day Obama voted for retroactive immunity for telcos in 08. Only bothered with them this primary season because I thought Sanders would go the distance.

I expect, quantitatively, similar levels of evil and suffering to emanate from both Trump & Clinton WHs. It’s just where the bodycounts will be that will differ. Both will shovel as much money to the 0.1% as they can. Both will pump increasingly obscene money into the MIC. Both will endorse fracking. Both will start wars.

What is the point in choosing between Clinton and Trump, when the end point is the same and the only difference is the velocity and perhaps where the massacres are?

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yourcousin - July 25, 2016

I just want to know who is a true Democrat though? Because that colors the whole debate.

I believe there will a fundamental difference in a Trump versus Clinton White House. You may not like Clinton but she perfectly qualified to be president. Trump is not, he has no political history and his business history is built and screwing others over and compulsively lying about everything.

You know I lost almost a decade of my life to the last recession. It is not pleasant to have almost a decade be a financial black hole when you are trying to start out and build a family. The idea of doing that again now in my mid thirties honestly scares the shit out of me.

I just fail to see what Bernie by himself could change.

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gendjinn - July 25, 2016

YC,

Isn’t that a bit of a “no true scotsman”?

The Blue Dog/DLC/Clinton wing of the Democratic party differ with Republicans on social issues only. They both support the MIC. They both support the GWOT. They both shovel money to the 1%.

It is immaterial if they are “true” democrats or not. I’m not in this for the team jersey, I’m in this for the policies and the results.

“I just fail to see what Bernie by himself could change.”

He would have complete control of appointments at the DNC. But in concert with the grass roots movement that he has catalyzed I reckon we could get one or two things of more substance done. At least we will TRY. Clinton is another Senator from Goldman Sachs just like Barrack Obama. You won’t even get an effort in the right direction out of her administration.

I understand only too well the lost decade. But then I also know people who lost a decade in 2000, who only just got back on their feet in 08 and then had that decade taken away from them also. All caused by Democrats AND Republicans working together with capital. As they have done since Reagan/Bush.

If you are relying on the Dems, as led by HRC, for your future then I’d prepare for disappointment and poverty.

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yourcousin - August 6, 2016

I was on holiday in the mountains and the kid broke his arm so this thread is dead and gone. But now I’ve got wait an hour for my work phone to be fixed at the Apple Store so I’ve got a minute (so to speak).

I don’t expect a social democratic program from Hillary. I fear a reactionary groundswell from Trump.

http://www.msnbc.com/thomas-roberts/watch/unfiltered-voices-from-trump-s-crowds-738300483564

What I count on to keep grinding poverty at bay is not politicians but extra parliamentary pressures that can change the tone of the conversation (thinking along the lines guaranteed minimum income type stuff here). I relate to that primarily through workplace organizing and rebuilding a decimated labor movement. I’m not looking Hillary to save me, far from it. The difference is that I’m not looking for Bernie to do it either. Nor was I looking for Obama to do it almost a decade ago. And the irony of ironies since I never voted for him I think you are being unfair to Obama in your characterization of him as a Wall Street politician. Not that I view him as a great progressive voice but I see him as the perfect example of how one person cannot change a system. He may be piloting the ship but he is relying on his crew to make it happen.

Trump on the other hand helps bring out the worst in America which is making the Tea Party look tame by comparison.

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gendjinn - August 6, 2016

yc,

ouch! hope it was a small break and heals quickly.

Obama was targeted by Goldman Sachs the moment he became a senator.

Obama is a Republican. Geithner, Holder, Emmanuel. Romneycare. TPP. And Keystone would have been pushed through if the price of oil had not collapsed. Granted he doesn’t totally suck on identity issues, but he does suck on those too.

A friend of mine in the activist scene in Chicago said of Obama back after his famous DNC speech in 04 – “The only reason Obama is a Democrat is because there is no future for an African American in the Illinois Republican party.” Obama hasn’t done anything to disprove that statement.

I am in complete agreement with you on the strategy forward because there’s little hope or help in the Dems, and certainly none in the Cthulu-Loki alliance.

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18. sonofstan - July 23, 2016
19. Joe - July 25, 2016
Gewerkschaftler - July 25, 2016

Good to hear – I’ve a feeling all kinds of mix and match national and regional political arrangements are going to the rule in Europe.

That’s on a good day.

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Ed - July 25, 2016

This is an amazing sentence, but where were the subs?

“The comments from a man many people [WHO?] have said [WHEN?] they feel [FEEL? HONESTLY?] was a commander in the IRA’

I mean, we all know what he’s getting at, of course, but you might as well say there’s a general vibe that Gerry Adams has a bit of an IRA buzz about him.

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Gerryboy - July 25, 2016

Gerry Adams wore several hats in his time, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he had ‘backchannel links’ to the Provos. It’s not impossible in a close-knit community like West Belfast.

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20. sonofstan - July 25, 2016

Just been polled by RedC – usual ‘if there was an election tomorrow’ questions, plus lots about the Fine Gael leadership.

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sonofstan - July 25, 2016

Oh, and ‘if there wasa referendum on a united Ireland….’

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gendjinn - July 25, 2016

Did you subvert the poll or answer honestly?

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sonofstan - July 25, 2016

Honestly enough – ‘would you be more or less likely to vote FG if Leo/Simon/Frances was leader’? – she eventually accepted ‘no difference’ for all of them…

Liked by 2 people

21. hatfulofhistory - July 26, 2016
22. Michael Carley - July 26, 2016

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Paul Mason in today’s Guardian:

This arrangement is tacitly endorsed when politicians visit. They arrive in hi-vis, shepherded by layer upon layer of corporate goons, speak to a selected worker for the cameras and then address a rally in which – strangely but predictably – nobody ever raises an actual political disagreement. Rights to heckle, to disagree, to boo – which would be normal at a public meeting – are removed in this private and unequal space.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/25/sports-directs-staff-are-treated-no-better-than-georgian-era-factory-workers

British Council employee is being investigated for their private views on royalty:

The British Council has said it will investigate comments allegedly made by one of its senior employees on Facebook that criticise Prince George for living “on public money”.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/26/british-council-to-investigate-employees-reported-comments-mocking-prince-george?CMP=share_btn_tw

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23. Alibaba - July 26, 2016

An interesting review of two books about the history of the Olympics:

‘There were also alternatives to the Olympics. For example, women were not allowed to participate in track and field until 1928. The women’s 800m at Amsterdam that year was, as recorded by Goldblatt, in one of numerous citations of contemporary prejudices, seen as “a pitiful spectacle; to see these girls tumble down after the finish line like dead sparrows. This distance is far too strenuous for women.” Women were then banned from competing in the 800m “on health grounds” until 1960.’

http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/olympics-books-reviewed-gold-at-all-costs-1.2731238

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24. Michael Carley - July 26, 2016

John Simpson in an article on the recent attacks in Europe:

As Le Figaro’s editorial director whipped himself up into a frenzy of imprecision in his editorial, I was reminded of a television interview I once did with Margaret Thatcher at the height of the IRA’s terror campaign. I was never an admirer of hers but on this occasion I thought she was magnificent. “War?” she said as the camera turned over. “War? This isn’t a war. These are criminals, murdering and injuring decent people. We’ll find them and the courts will put them in prison, and there’s an end to it.”

It worked. A lot of other things had to be done, including addressing the serious grievances of the nationalist community in Northern Ireland and changing the whole basis of life and society there. Yet after its appalling early mistakes the British government stopped declaring war and demanding pitiless responses. On the contrary: life went on as close to normal as possible throughout the IRA’s bombing campaign. There’s no doubt that some shameful things happened in secret, but the basic principle – that a civilised society should remain true to its values even when it’s under attack, and perhaps especially when it’s under attack – was maintained; and the IRA was eventually beaten.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2016/07/weeks-magazine-english-revolt

Well now.

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25. roddy - July 26, 2016

Aye the IRA was so badly beaten that it’s prisoners are now ministers and council mayors.Reminds me of comedian Patrick Kealty relating how English people asked him who this ” Real IRA ” was.Kealty replied ” they call themselves the” Real IRA “but the REAL IRA is the government”!

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Phil F - July 27, 2016

They weren’t beaten in military terms. But they were incorporated, bought off. Or their leaders were. And that was certainly a defeat for republicanism.

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Michael Carley - July 27, 2016

I was actually more interested in the second paragraph where he talks about “appalling mistakes” and a “civilised society” remaining “true to its values”. Really?

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Ed - July 27, 2016

It’s an article of faith for British liberals, which can never be refuted by reference to actual facts (Glenanne Gang, Loughinisland, etc.). In all the fuss about that ludicrous row involving the Blairite MP Colin McGinn, I’ve yet to see a single media liberal wonder how people in south Armagh might react when they see him sucking up to the head of the British army.

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Michael Carley - July 27, 2016

It’s an equivalent of the way American liberals talk about the latest imperial crime as a fall from the US’s usual high moral standards. They don’t seem to think that after that many falls from high standards, you should be wondering how high the real standards are.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - July 27, 2016

+1

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Ed - July 27, 2016

A bit like ‘violations of socialist legality’ under Stalin. A whole lot of violations, and not much legality.

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gendjinn - July 27, 2016

I’ve been seeing a US liberal meme of “ZOMG a Trump presidency will destroy our moral authority in the world!” in several places. Then everyone else nods sagely while downvoting & banning anyone questioning the existence of this “moral authority”.

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26. sonofstan - July 27, 2016

on the theme of English/ Irish incomprehension, have a look at 16 ‘facts’ about Dublin that the NT have produced to accompany their production of The Plough and the Stars: the first one has to be a wind up….

https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/blog/16-facts-about-dublin-1916

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Bartholomew - July 27, 2016

Number 16 is funny as well:

‘Dublin Mean Time (DMT), which was just under half an hour before its Greenwich namesake.’

So Dublin is east of Greenwich?

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gendjinn - July 27, 2016

If it’s 12:00 noon GMT it would be 11:30 am DMT. A in “half an hour before”.

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27. Phil F - August 7, 2016

Padraig Og O Ruairc exposes more revisionist contradictions – another really good article by Manus O Riordan reblogged on the irish revolution: https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/padraig-og-o-ruairc-exposes-more-revisionist-myth-propaganda-and-fabrication/

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28. Jim Monaghan - August 7, 2016

Given Halligan’s call for legalising brothels
Survivors’ Statement Opposing Amnesty International’s resolution to decriminalise Pimps and Johns

Amnesty International SPACE International
We are a group of Sex-Trade Survivors from the US, UK, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Ireland and France, and this letter directly addresses you, Amnesty International, regarding your proposed policy of endorsing the worldwide decriminalisation of pimps and johns responsible for human rights abuses in the global Sex-Trade. http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article38675
Original here.

Please note Irish signers

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Ivorthorne - August 7, 2016

I’ve got to the point where I’ve almost no tolerance for this BS. If someone wants to sell sex, then the state has no business interfering directly. Likewise, if someone wants to buy it from someone who is selling it of their own volition, back off.

If you don’t think it is the interests of prostitutes or John’s to do what they do, then there are other ways to influence them without criminalising them. Ultimately, everyone should have the right to make unwise decisions. There’s a limit to that right but we get nowhere near that limit in the case of prostitution.

Liked by 1 person

29. Jolly Red Giant - August 7, 2016

You have to admire the tenacity of Pat Rabbitte to consistently demonstrate how to talk out of your rear end. Listened to him on the radio in the car on the way home with that other a-hole of a presenter (talking about the hatchet job on Tony Blair) when during a discussion on Islamic fundemtalism Pat ‘trotted’ out the old chestnut that the mass movement developing around Corbyn’s campaign is the result of infiltration of the Militant just as in the 1980s and that day would have to be expelled just as before. Pat clearly has forgotten the ‘infiltration’ of the Stickies in USI, the ITGWU and other unions and RTE.

Pat did get one thing right (the stopped clock syndrome) when he said that Corbyn is not interested in getting into parliamentary power or being a parliamentary opposition, Pat decries the fact that Corbyn wants to build a ‘social movement’.

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