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What you want to say – 3rd August 2016 August 3, 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. ivorthorne - August 3, 2016

This Guardian article is fascinating:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/02/industrial-failure-uk-lorry-trade-truck-driver-squalor-low-pay-no-unions

“This is what market failure looks like. There’s a shortage of HGV drivers in an economy that relies on moving mountains of heavy goods. Road haulage companies complain bitterly that they can’t recruit; operators are turning business away for lack of drivers.

Yet at the same time there are large numbers of the unskilled, especially the young, who need training to get a job, or an upgrade from zero-hours, low-paid work to something better. Easy, you might think, to connect the two – but it’s not happening, according to last week’s report from the House of Commons transport committee.

Employers turn abroad, hiring 60,000, mainly eastern Europeans, yet still not plugging the gap.It’s another case of a British industry failing to deliver, unable to sort out its own problems with a government disinclined to intervene. In a country suffering weak productivity, low skills, ineffectual unions and stagnant living standards, the road haulage industry offers a depressing example of industrial inertia meeting the anti-intervention dogma of government.”

“Failure to train staff is a UK industrial disease, so from next April the government is imposing a levy on large employers to pay for apprenticeships, (resisted by the CBI). But there will be no apprenticeship for road haulage: the government says people should pay to get their own licences, though courses cost £3,000, plus a £230 fee for a stiff test which applicants often require several attempts to pass. They also face long waits to do so, due to lack of government examiner.

The economic orthodoxy says a labour shortage should lead to a pay rise until people are enticed into vacant jobs – but that doesn’t happen as industries conspire to keep pay low, despite the shortages. Truck drivers get an average £26,000 – the median wage – but pay hasn’t risen in years for stressful and responsible work. Unite, representing most transport workers, says there’s a race to the bottom on pay. Employers fill gaps with agency staff instead of raising rates. Big haulage firms subcontract work, often sub-sub-contracted down the supply line, each creaming money off, until the job is done by low paying, fly-by-night operators.”

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2. Ed - August 3, 2016

I’ve just finished reading Martin Wolf’s book about the financial crisis and the recession, The Shifts and the Shocks. I’d recommend it to anyone, but I’d particularly like to see it made compulsory reading for every member of the Irish commentariat. Wolf is an insider in a way that people like Dan O’Brien and Stephen Collins can only dream of being; he refers casually to his conversations with people like George Soros, Larry Summers, Ben Bernanke and Joseph Stiglitz; he’s an economic liberal who supported Thatcher and Reagan in the 80s and has written books trumpeting the achievements of free trade and globalization. But he makes the kind of scathing criticisms of the austerity consensus and the German role in the Eurozone crisis that people like O’Brien would dismiss as far-left populism and economic illiteracy. He’s been saying similar things in his FT columns for years now but it’s great to have it all in one place. Lots of quotable quotes, but this one struck me in particular:

‘A complete separation has emerged between the national level of accountability and the Eurozone level of power. Democracy has been nullified, as politicians of foreign countries—more precisely of one foreign country—and their official lackeys dictate to sovereign countries not just temporarily, in a period of crisis, but indefinitely. This structure cannot hold and, if it can, it should not.’

Merkel and Schauble come out of this account looking like big, spoiled children throwing their toys out of the pram and pretending not to understand the most basic principles of economics so they can shirk off their share of the blame for the crisis (Wolf describes the German interpretation of the Euro-crisis as ‘childish’ and ‘asinine’). One to remember next time you hear a pious tribute from Stephen Collins to the statesmanlike European leaders who, thank God, are there to keep us all on the straight and narrow path.

I don’t expect the wise men of the Irish commentariat will go near it, of course (even thought it was respectfully reviewed in the Economist, their bible for world affairs). But anyone working for SF or hard-left TDs should get hold of a copy and go through it carefully for quotes to wheel out in Dáíl or TV debates: well worth having an authority figure from the heart of the economic establishment who you can cite in support of the anti-austerity case.

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WorldbyStorm - August 3, 2016

“But anyone working for SF or hard-left TDs should get hold of a copy and go through it carefully for quotes to wheel out in Dáíl or TV debates: well worth having an authority figure from the heart of the economic establishment who you can cite in support of the anti-austerity case.”

Class advice Ed. great point. I haven’t read it myself but I will now.

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3. Alibaba - August 3, 2016

Thinking about books and the fact that today is the centenary of the execution of Roger Casement, I am reminded of reading The Dream of the Celt. Mario Vargas Llosa authors this powerful historical narrative which captures the remarkable life of Casement, including his humanitarian efforts in the Congo and the Amazon, as well as his nationalist heroic role. A fascinating read and from my point of view, a much deserved tribute to the man.

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4. roddy - August 3, 2016

Went to a commemoration for Casement last Sunday at Murlough bay near Ballycastle co Antrim,the place where Casement wanted to be buried.I only learned today that he was buried under 6 ft of concrete in Glasnevin when Dev brought him home in 1965.This was to prevent him being reinterred in the place he expressed as a dying wish to to be his final resting place.Even today Ian og Paisley said he should never be allowed to be buried in Murlough.I dont know who behaved most shamefully,the partitionist staters or the unionist bigot.

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Dr. Nightdub - August 4, 2016

Roddy, since 1922, it’s been a dead heat between them. The object of the exercise is to avoid even having to think about the North: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Dev talked the talk but wouldn’t walk the walk, Richard Mulcahy to the 3rd Northern Division: “The policy of our government is the policy of the Treaty.”
My granda led the burning of Loughguile RIC barracks in 1921, f*** all use it served in the long run.

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fergal - August 5, 2016

Wasn’t that the ‘deal’ struck between Dev and London. We’ll hand over his corpse as long as it’s not sent back up to the Glens- otherwise he stays in Pentonville.

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5. gendjinn - August 4, 2016

Is anyone watching this Trump nuclear weapons brouhaha?

Trump asks why can’t we use nuclear weapons. Something about death and destruction being unthinkable. Then Trump asks if so, why do we have them? Well MAD.

And all of this is supposed to portray Trump as insane and MAD as sane.

Isn’t this where Trump is supposed to light up and tell everyone he can do a deal with Russia & China, get rid of nukes and save us TRILLIONS?

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6. Tomboktu - August 5, 2016

‘militant winemaking group’ is not a term I expect to come across too often

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36978516

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7. roddy - August 5, 2016

There was a “militant WHINE making group” up here one time!

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8. sonofstan - August 8, 2016
WorldbyStorm - August 8, 2016

🙂

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Ed - August 8, 2016

Indeed!

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9. sonofstan - August 8, 2016

I think this may have gone up a while ago, but only came across it today; a thoughtful and dissenting piece from Barra Ó Séaghdha on the musical commemorations of the unpleasantness of a century ago.

http://journalofmusic.com/focus/commemorating-1916-not-thinking-about-it

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10. roddy - August 9, 2016

For anyone who wants an idea of the calibre of those who “policed” us up here for decades,go to the facebook page of former British soldier Allan Woods for his illuminating uptake on the death of Bishop Edward Daly.

Liked by 1 person

Michael Carley - August 9, 2016

It’s special alright:

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11. Daniel Rayner O'Connor Lysaght - August 9, 2016

Would that be the same Allan Woods who had to bow out of organising the refurbishing of Ibrox after his facebook was found to be full of racist crap?

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12. Paddy Healy - August 12, 2016

ABOUT PADDY HEALY-To avoid any misunderstanding
Political Record https://paddyhealy.wordpress.com/about/
Unconditionally Socialist, Unconditionally Republican, in the James Connolly Tradition
In the face of British Cuts in Belfast, EU cuts in Dublin,
Paddy advocates a 32-County Campaign against Austerity, the Establishment of Irish Sovereignty on a 32-County Basis and a Workers’ Republic!
Iar-Uachtarán, Aontas Múinteoirí Éireann, Former President, Teachers Union of Ireland

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13. Paddy Healy - August 15, 2016

SIPTU PROPOSES NEW ICTU CLAMPDOWN ON SOVEREIGNTY OF INDIVIDUAL TRADE UNIONS-Speech by Jack O’Connor, General President, SIPTU.
Full Speech can be read here; https://paddyhealy.wordpress.com/?s=How+Ictu+Failed+Us
ICTU To Become FEDERAL system with final power over unions at Executive Council.
NO call for end to violation of principle of free trade unions under FEMPI ACTS

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