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What you want to say – 21st September 2016 September 21, 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. trevor - September 21, 2016

I think you should repost this. It’s one of the best Irish blog posts I’ve ever read and recently returned to it.

“It’s 2pm on a Sunday afternoon and I’m standing in the Croppies’ Acre in Dublin. Down the street the SWP are holding a conference in the Aishling hotel where Wittgenstein stayed in ‘48 after he came off the train at Heuston. It’s been raining all day but there’s a break in the weather and the sun is out with a light that looks like it’s been scraped sharp with stones. At my feet is a month’s worth of leaves, languid and brown. Dublin is an Autumn city, no doubt about it. North enough to catch the light but south enough to miss the serious cold. I snap a photo with the digital I bought for the archives where I spend my days, and head towards the exit which leads to the museum and the Luas line. There are around a hundred people in the Aishling talking about Marxism, and I’m about to join them – more to listen than to talk I venture to add, but I’ll still get to voice a point or two.

Times they do change. In 1891 a crowd of around 5,000 stood in the I didn’t say any of this at the SWP Marxism conference. Instead, I made a fumbled point about the use of neo-liberalism by the Irish left, and was greeted with one of those silences which makes you feel like you’re wearing slippers, smelling of piss, and carrying a bag of Guardians. ”

http://www.irishleftreview.org/2009/11/30/lights-city/

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sonofstan - September 21, 2016

+1
I find myself returning to it as well.

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WorldbyStorm - September 21, 2016

Fantastic post by Conor.

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CL - September 21, 2016

Dan O’Brien on Mary Daly on neoliberalism and T.K Whitaker:

-If the book will cause some questioning of Whitaker’s legacy, it will also make some think again about his politics. Although Daly unwisely describes his original proposals as “neo-liberal” (a silly term normally used only by the left), she is right in saying that many of his original proposals were indeed of the kind that would have today’s usual suspects shrieking charges of “neo-liberalism”.-
Dan O’Brien on Mary Daly on T.K Whitaker.
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/dan-obrien/think-again-about-how-we-left-poverty-behind-us-34773207.html

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Ed - September 21, 2016

🙂. He’s right in a very limited sense that ‘neo-‘ would have been redundant when Whitaker was writing in the 50s: the Department of Finance and the Central Bank were still proudly pre-Keynesian and hadn’t really left the Victorian age.

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Jim Monaghan - September 22, 2016

A devastating critique of the political level of the SWP.

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Joe - September 22, 2016

Janey. I read it last night and didn’t think it was much about the SWP at all at all. Must read it again. A devastating critique of Irish capitalism, yes. With a passing reference to the SWP – but I doubt the author intended this to be read as a critique of the political level of the SWP.
Passing reference to the CLR too now that I think about it. I wonder could Conor be tempted back to the 2016 incarnation of this noble blog?

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Jim Monaghan - September 23, 2016

” I didn’t say any of this at the SWP Marxism conference. Instead, I made a fumbled point about the use of neo-liberalism by the Irish left, and was greeted with one of those silences which makes you feel like you’re wearing slippers, smelling of piss, and carrying a bag of Guardians. ””

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irishelectionliterature - September 23, 2016

I was given a Labour Document from 2010, which was press cuttings of reaction to their Party Conference. There were cuttings from all the papers …. and printed articles from the CLR too !!!

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Pasionario - September 22, 2016

“When it comes to the basic tenets of neo-liberalism, the rest of the western world is playing catch-up with Ireland. We never had the post-war social democratic welfare state to which neo-liberalism is at one level a reaction.”

Is this true though? Ireland was poorer than most other European countries during the post-war era but we did develop a welfare state and still have an extensive one, however dysfunctional it might be — with sick pay, paid holidays, indefinite unemployment benefit, children’s allowance, medical cards, govt. income support for families on low incomes etc. With the exception of the last one, none of those things exist in the US.

Taxation on top incomes was pretty high too during the post-war years.

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Joe - September 23, 2016

Good point Pasionario. We had an effort at a welfare state – not as good an effort as Britain or the northern European states, but an effort at least.

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trevor - September 24, 2016

He is/was surely aware of the existence of some manner of a welfare state I’m sure. It’s a point which could be built upon but even just look at education and healthcare post-war. It was a glorified theocracy! I’d imagine that the mother&child scheme issue has been referenced on this blog before so I’ll leave that aside.

For the sake of argument, McCabe wasn’t just talking about dole payments I dont think. He used the phrase “social democratic welfare state” and that’s something which entails a lot more than dole payments. It was the lack of a sort of “settlement” (for lack of a better word) between labour and capital. Capital won and Ireland’s capitalists preferred to act as middle managers be it cattle or Apple (!).

Btw, you can’t get indefinite unemployment benefit and they’ve encouraged cutting of people’s jobseeker’s allowance if you are deemed to not comply with being ordered to find a job.

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2. irishelectionliterature - September 21, 2016

Nice dig ….. wonder will many take it up🙂

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3. Tomboktu - September 21, 2016

More night than day from today until next March😦

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Gewerkschaftler - September 21, 2016

One hour in the daylight at noon and sunlight-spectrum lamps (they’re no longer that expensive but you have to shop around) at home helps if you’re afflicted by SAD.

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4. Gewerkschaftler - September 21, 2016

I guess I owe y’all a report on the SPD and CETA.

Well, you’ve guessed it – they sold us down the river despite massive demonstrations.

Even though you expect nothing from former Social Democrats I could help being a little bit furious.

So Sigmar Gabriel and his cabal of transnational-fancying anti-democrats (yes I’m looking at you Nahles(an Attac member still ?!?) & Barley) got 66% for CETA (with some waffle about ‘consultation processes’ (always a sign of a stich-up)).

That this goes against the wishes and righteous instincts of 80% of SPD members and trades unionists will cost him in the coming Federal elections. But then the height of the SPD leadership’s political ambitions is to be a shrunken junior partner of a shrunken CDU.

It will be interesting to see whether the DGB (a largely SPD-dominated outfit) will maintain a deafening silence on the issue, and how some of the trades unions respond to the betrayal.

Luckily in Germany disillusioned SPD members and trades unionists have somewhere to go.

But lotta continua – there’s still plenty of opportunities to regroup and continue opposition. It’s got to survive several legal processes, ratification at various national levels. The membership Austrian former Social Democrats have just voted against it. There’s some signs that their leadership will pay heed.

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CL - September 24, 2016

the party which really rejoiced at the results was by far the most dangerous, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which, in this first electoral try in Berlin, got 14.2 % giving them 25 seats out of 160. … Its rise is part of a wave, almost a tsunami, now engulfing one European country after the other; its ideas are established at the top in Poland, Hungary, and the Baltic countries, are shared by coalition partners in most of Scandinavia, and threaten to win out in Austria, the Netherlands, and France. It has not yet reached such strength in the strongest of them all, Germany, but it is gaining momentum.
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2016/grossman210916.html

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5. Starkadder - September 21, 2016

I see the ghastly Lionel Shriver has made a speech in Oz whinging about “cultural appropriation” and “disadvantaged group” while wearing a sombrero in an insultling fashion.

https://newrepublic.com/article/136815/happened-brisbane

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/09/19/the-trouble-with-sombreros-shriver-cultural-appropriation/

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Starkadder - September 21, 2016

“in an insulting fashion” Jesus, I need a spellcheck badly..

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WorldbyStorm - September 22, 2016

I’ve mixed feelings about this. Like you I’m no fan of hers. But I think, and I see the first link shares this, that she’s correct in regard to fiction. Trying to impose constraints on who can and should write fiction, even tacit ones, is pointless and counterproductive. And some of the complaints about that aspect of her speech were dubious at best. On the other hand Shriver is poorly placed, at best, to be making the case when she is so coat trailing about it all.

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6. Tomboktu - September 22, 2016

So the first General Secretary of the Social Democrats is Brian Sheehan, curvey Executive Director of GLEN, and one of the three leaders of Yes Equality.

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Tomboktu - September 22, 2016

Arggh

‘curvey’ -> ‘current’

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sonofstan - September 22, 2016

The survival rate of Irish political parties is low, but I’d put a few bob on the SDs seeing a 10th anniversary

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7. irishelectionliterature - September 22, 2016
CL - September 22, 2016

“The peace process was never about ending sectarianism, she says, but about “managing it and keeping it within the parameters of nonviolence and political control”. It need not have been so, she argues, laying the blame for the sectarian “peace” at the door of the British and Irish governments, and also Sinn Féin….
It suited both the British and Irish governments to acquiesce in this, she believes. “If they were serious about changing Northern Ireland, they would have insisted on a 20-year strategy for desegregating housing, desegregating education, ending our private and cultural segregation….
Asked if this makes Sinn Féin “bad nationalists”, she says it reveals them as “bad republicans”, if republicanism is about being true to the ideals of Thomas Paine and Wolfe Tone. “If you take as the keystone of republicanism that authority exercised over a human being, without that human being’s acquiescence and knowledge, is a usurpation of that person’s rights, then by what definition are Sinn Féin republicans?”-
http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/bernadette-mcaliskey-i-am-astounded-i-survived-i-made-mad-decisions-1.2798293

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Gewerkschaftler - September 22, 2016

Very smart and courageous woman – always thought so.

On nationalism:

“There’s a conflict which arises within the confines of nationalism. Fundamentally, if you are a nationalist party you have to be an all-class party, and in that context it’s the most powerful who dominate.”

The driving dynamic in today’s politics, she believes, is the rise of multinational corporations, which is increasing people’s sense of a lack of control over their lives and, in turn, fuelling the disintegration of the political middle ground.

“Nation states, which were invented as a vehicle to progress the capitalist project, have outlived their usefulness. Multinational corporations are now the vehicle. You can vote for whomever you like. You have no control. Governments increasingly have no control, and they collude in that in most cases.

“Take Apple. It is appalled – quite possibly even offended, possibly even hurt – that anyone could think they were stealing €13 billion from the people of Ireland. In fact, no part of the corporation understands what would possess people in Ireland to think that was their money. At the same time, food banks are opening everywhere, for working people. The system isn’t working, and people know it.”

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Pasionario - September 22, 2016

Does anyone else find it slightly odd that she was interviewed by the daughter of Eamonn McCann, who is discussed in the article, yet there is no mention of this association?

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Gewerkschaftler - September 22, 2016

Earlier this year she was election agent for Eamonn McCann – another former People’s Democracy stalwart, and this writer’s father …

What’s not clear about this?

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Pasionario - September 22, 2016

Sorry, I missed that.

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8. Joe - September 22, 2016

“a 20-year strategy for desegregating housing, desegregating education, ending our private and cultural segregation”.
Twenty years would be a tad optimistic given that that segregation has taken about 400 years to reach its current state. So generations of peace will be needed to really break it down imho. The current peace process is a good start – the longer the peace continues the better, to enable the segregation to slowly begin to break down.
The more haste the less speed, Bernadette.

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9. roddy - September 22, 2016

I do not want to do Bernadette down but I wonder does she ever recall the speech she made at Dominic’s funeral where she correctly labelled the vast majority of the media “curs,dogs and prostitutes”.Does she ever wonder why that same media gives her such latitude now as long as a quota of SF bashing is guaranteed.Also I don’t think Dominic (who she called “the finest Republican of them all” saw integrated education as a fix all solution to all our ills.

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Joe - September 22, 2016

I wouldn’t want to do Bernadette down either. And I suppose in fairness to her, she doesn’t explicitly say that she sees integrated education as a fix all solution to all our ills. The quote is ” desegregating housing, desegregating education, ending our private and cultural segregation….” And I’d guess that the desegregated education Bernadette would propose might be quite different from the integrated education sector as it currently exists up north and down south.
Roddy, you were probably at Dominic’s funeral. I only read the reports of what Bernadette said. It’s funny, I recall reading/hearing ‘dogs and curs’ but not ‘prostitutes’. And my memory of the other line was ‘the greatest Republican of them all’.
I’m totally ignorant of Dominic’s views on integrated education or anything much else. Did he write stuff at all? He’s remembered as a man of action rather than words, I’d suggest. The fruits of his action is to be found in many the graveyard up north.

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10. Jim Monaghan - September 22, 2016
11. roddy - September 22, 2016

Yes Joe,I was there and the word prostitute was used and the reason every word was not picked up by the assembled press was that most of them scurried off after being told to fuck off by mourners.

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12. Gewerkschaftler - September 23, 2016
13. James - September 23, 2016

Spotlight show on DDonaldson:

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14. Gerryboy - September 24, 2016

Larry the Cook – how did they ever employ such a colourful foreigner at such a sensitive place as Castlereagh centre?

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15. Jim Monaghan - September 24, 2016

Review of Maurice Coakleys book https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/in-review-maurice-coakley-on-how-britain-under-developed-ireland/
Maurice Coakley, Ireland in the World Order: a history of uneven development, London, Pluto Press, 2012

I read this book a couple of years ago and meant to review it then, but other things got in the way. To make up for the delay, I’ve done something bigger – basically a mix of summary and review:

Coakley begins with a brief survey of bourgeois and anti-capitalist attempts to explain uneven development, from Weber and Durkheim to Gramsci, Jack goody, Immanuel Wallerstein and Robert Brenner. Coakley is concerned, in particular, with the different patterns of growth exhibited in Britain (especially England but also Scotland and Wales) and does so by exploring the unequal relations between them from the medieval era onwards.

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Brian Hanley - September 24, 2016

Some interesting remarks on the work of Coakley and others in Colin Coulter’s introduction to this book

http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719091995/

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16. roddy - September 24, 2016

That Spotlight programme is total horseshit.The Donaldson family solicitor has confirmed this after meeting the Gardai and northern ombudsman.He said dissidents are the line the GARDAI are following and even the unionist Belfast Telegraph quotes a Garda source describing it as “total crap” that nobody believes “north or south”!

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James - September 25, 2016

The part I found most surprising was the “rogue” operations that DD allegedly got up to – like a possible role in stealing all those intelligence/counter intelligence files. Does that seem plausible?

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17. Starkadder - September 24, 2016

A laudable cause championed by a not-laudable-person- An open letter in the New York Times attacking the Wall Street Journal for
publishing an Armenian Genocide Denial piece by Turkic Platform.

Unfortunately, the person behind the letter is the vacuous Kim Kardashian.

http://www.refinery29.com/2016/09/123601/kim-kardashian-armenian-genocide-denial-ad

https://thinkprogress.org/wall-street-journal-runs-ad-denying-genocide-that-killed-over-650-000-people-d5518735845e#.y2s2qd1vl

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CL - September 24, 2016

This could swing the election for Trump:

Caitlyn Jenner has reportedly convinced Kim Kardashian to switch her support from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/23/caitlyn-jenner-might-have-convinced-kim-kardashian-to-vote-for-donald-trump/#ixzz4LCdK5ip7

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Starkadder - September 24, 2016

Caitlyn Jenner’s odd, isn’t she? She seemed like she wanted to run with the LGBT hare and hunt with the transphobic hounds:


There’s a riveting moment late in the first season when a nervous Jenner refuses to switch her long-time country club membership into Caitlyn’s name because she’s worried about the reaction to her transformation at the conservative club…. Jenner’s country club wants people exactly like her: rich, famous, conservative, and so averse to upsetting the establishment that they’d rather pretend to be someone they’re not than risk rejection. Jenner is intent on living out loud and shouting her truth from the mountaintops, but not to the point where it might make things uncomfortable at the country club.

http://www.avclub.com/article/gold-medal-case-file-69-i-am-cait-241609

Meanwhile, the Armenian Genocide Denial crowd have already weighted in to attack a feature film about the Armenian Genocide, “The Promise”, despite the fact the same film hasn’t been released outside festivals yet:

http://www.torontosun.com/2016/09/12/tiff-2016-the-promise-caught-up-in-political-maelstrom

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Gewerkschaftler - September 24, 2016

Cue the ‘Donald Rump’ jokes.

See – I’m not entirely cut off from popular culture!

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Gewerkschaftler - September 24, 2016

Fatih Akin’s film, The Cut, about the Armenian Genocide (carried out by Turks organised and encouraged by Germans), is, as with all of his films, highly recommended:

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18. Gewerkschaftler - September 24, 2016

How was the Dublin Repeal the 8th demo in Dublin?

I and the Sigoth tried to find the Berlin solidarity demo but the announcement on Farcebook was so vague (Templehofer is a big place people!) that we ended up watching the kites, model aircraft and the roller-bladers on Templehofer Feld instead.

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19. botheredbarney - September 25, 2016

Arts or Sciences? STEM vs STEAM. If you ever meet somebody who thinks that studying for a BA (Pass) degree is not worthwhile, this discussion might make them think otherwise.

http://www.openculture.com/2016/09/david-byrne-neil-degrasse-tyson-explain-the-importance-of-an-arts-education.html

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WorldbyStorm - September 25, 2016

+1 and the last paragraph is spot on. I’ve noticed that those who most disdain arts degrees are those who aren’t science or engineering but… hmmm… right wing commentators in news media who most likely have arts degrees themselves. They protest too much.

BTW, the more of both to me seems to be the best way forward (and a bit of a blurring too at the edge).

I went to an art and design institution for my degree and the exposure to somewhat more practical (of sorts – woodwork, craft, metalwork, technical drawing, etc, etc) and theoretical was part and parcel or my education. I’ve never seen the sense in conflict rather than complementary aspects of both or the idea one is better than the other is alien to me.

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