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What you want to say – 19th October 2016 October 19, 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. sonofstan - October 19, 2016

Paul mason from last year on refusing to be English:

“When it comes to cities, I only feel at home when they are built of brick and hard stone, and where the dominant culture is working class. Thus, while Manchester feels like home, so does Dublin, and so did Glasgow – even when the Yes campaign’s Jacobin wing were surrounding English broadcasters with hostility and chanting during the referendum campaign. By contrast almost everywhere in southern England – above all the tennis club belt around London – produces in me a sense of cultural alienation”

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2. roddy - October 19, 2016

Many of these English broadcasters deserve hostility.

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3. Gewerkschaftler - October 19, 2016

Germany is experiencing fairly rapid housing bubble, with prices rising by an average of about 25% in the last five years.

At the same time real take-home wages have stagnated. The development is quite regional, with bigger spikes in the larger cities.

This is driven by the usual cabal of rentier interests (lenders, estate agents, tame journalists), low interest rates, an enormous excess of lazy uninvested capital, meeja sounding boards, and the failure of local and regional authorities to build new public housing for years.

Sounds familiar?

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gendjinn - October 19, 2016

Slowdown in auto purchases last few quarters in the US. Ford is idling some plants. The $1.1 trillion auto loan market delinquencies, repossessions are up. Anecdotally I am seeing a big jump in the number of bangers on the highways.

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Gewerkschaftler - October 20, 2016

Interesting.

And that, along with defaults on student loans, has to add up to the next debt crisis in the US.

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gendjinn - October 20, 2016

The Jenga economy has to fall eventually. Right?

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Peter James - October 25, 2016

Default in the case of US student loans means not keeping up the payment schedule. A student can’t get out of student loan debt through bankruptcy. It appears that only death or permanent disability will get you out of that burden.

Peter Cassells, a former ICTU Gen. Sec. saw fit to include such a system in a menu of options for funding Irish universities.

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4. Starkadder - October 19, 2016

I think some of us will be interested in this Ursula Le Guin interview in “The Nation”:


“I’ve been thinking about this sick election that we’ve got going—how much of the problem is misogyny?” she asked…. “The big part of [Trump’s] appeal is not that he’s appealing—it’s just that he’s a man, and he sneers at women.”

https://www.thenation.com/article/ursula-le-guin-has-stopped-writing-fiction-but-we-need-her-more-than-ever/

I also loved the bit about the “select number of books have made no impression on her at all” -including “Atlas Shrugged”.

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WorldbyStorm - October 19, 2016

What a brilliant response re Atlas Shrugged.

I’m genuinely coming to the conclusion that grim as Clinton’s political positions are in some areas she isn’t functionally any worse than any Dem Presidential candidate – I’ve no expectations of them being great, or even much good, over the past thirty years, and certainly not since Carter. And that makes me think that there is an undertow of misogyny and sometimes no undertow at all.

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CL - October 19, 2016

‘Clinton leads Trump by 15 percentage points among women while trailing him by 5 points among men….
if Trump loses the election, it will be because women voted against him.’
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-women-are-defeating-donald-trump/

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Gewerkschaftler - October 20, 2016

Hm. Maybe. I have a very bad feeling about Ms. Clinton.

For instance women may be voting for the gutting of minimal social security planned by her Wall St. owners. This will disproportionately damage women.

As the Clintons knew, only a Democrat can dismantle Social Security. Hillary looks to be picking up where Bill left off. As David Sirota describes in a must-read story, Hillary is planning to introduce mandatory retirement accounts, a scheme that Hillary has mentioned in high concept form earlier. As details emerge, this “enrich Wall Street at the expense of everyone else” program is even more attractive to pet Democratic party constituencies than the 1.0 version of going after Social Security directly. No one in the Clinton or George W. Bush administration was so audacious as to cut in private equity and hedge funds in the way this variant would.

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Gewerkschaftler - October 20, 2016

Certainly not giving her a landslide is important – so tactical voting by leftist US citizens seems to be necessary.

But ultimately the curbing of the Clinton instincts to hammer the working class will only be resisted in the workplaces and on the streets.

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Gewerkschaftler - October 20, 2016

A great writer. And Lavinia passed me by – I must read that.

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ejh - October 20, 2016

Reading The Dispossessed when i was sixteen or seventeen changed my life.

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5. Tomboktu - October 19, 2016

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has taken a legal challenge under European human rights law against the ban in Ireland on certain freelance workers — journalists, actors, voice-over artists, and certain musicians — from entering collective agreements. The basis of the ban is that allowing them to enter collective agreements would be a breach of competition law.

The text of the complaint was made public today and is available here (PDF, 93 pages): https://rm.coe.int/CoERMPublicCommonSearchServices/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId=09000016806ac958

Specifically, Congress claims that the ban breaches article 6 of the European Social Charter (web version here: http://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/rms/090000168007cf93)

Article 6 – The right to bargain collectively

With a view to ensuring the effective exercise of the right to bargain collectively, the Parties undertake:

1 to promote joint consultation between workers and employers;

2 to promote, where necessary and appropriate, machinery for voluntary negotiations between employers or employers’ organisations and workers’ organisations, with a view to the regulation of terms and conditions of employment by means of collective agreements;

3 to promote the establishment and use of appropriate machinery for conciliation and voluntary arbitration for the settlement of labour disputes;

and recognise:

4 the right of workers and employers to collective action in cases of conflicts of interest, including the right to strike, subject to obligations that might arise out of collective agreements previously entered into.

This will be interesting, because at the heart of it is a clash of legal rules.

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Alibaba - October 19, 2016

Well, usually collective agreements rub me up the wrong way, given previous experiences (think tiny wage increases, traded in return for industrial-peace). That said, different circumstances, different approaches perhaps. Good luck to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in taking a legal challenge on this one. Whatever works … go get it.

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Gewerkschaftler - October 20, 2016

What legal rules are clashing here, Tombuktu?

Any attempt to reshape Europe from below (like DiEM25) has to include in it’s Labour demands a guaranteed right to collective bargaining that can’t be eroded at the national level.

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Tomboktu - October 21, 2016

The challenge is to competition law — or at least as it is applied by the Irish authorities. So, the clash is between one of the central planks of economic law and human rights law.

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Tomboktu - October 21, 2016

(Of course, lots of human rights lawyers don’t see collective bargaining as really part of human rights.)

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RosencrantzisDead - October 21, 2016

Lots of human rights lawyers are useless liberals, though.

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CMK - October 21, 2016

Speaking of useless liberals, has Amnesty Ireland raised even a scintilla of concern about the Jobstown showtrials? First verdict is due today for the 17 year old tried for allegedly falsely imprisoning Joan Burton. Can’t see a a dickie-bird about it on the Amnesty Ireland website and haven’t heard Colm O’Gorman say anything about it. But maybe I’m missing something?

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RosencrantzisDead - October 21, 2016

Have any of the twitter lawyers or Irish ‘blawgers’ (sorry) given any perspective on the Jobstown trials? I have not seen any.

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CMK - October 21, 2016

The first guilty verdict for Jobstown just handed down to a 17 year old. These f**ker the ‘blawgers’ will keep their heads down and their mouths shut. You’re not going to get on the bench by voicing concern over and obviously political trail process.

Today’s verdict greatly increases the possibility that Paul Murphy and two AAA Councillors will be convicted.

Moreover, any illegal picketing or attempt to blockade or slow march anyone is now the criminal offence of ‘false imprisonment’.

It’s a quiet a dark day.

Solidarity with this 17 year who now faces years, possibly, of imprisonment with appeals etc. And he now has a criminal record arising from his participation in a protest.

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6. sonofstan - October 20, 2016

The IT inability to proofread anything, pt 96:

“Former Munster player and Shannon club president Noel “Buddha” Healy led the crowd in the singing of the club’s anthem There Is An Aisle”

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7. gendjinn - October 20, 2016

50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party.

The average age of the membership was 18/19 and two of the healthcare clinics they set up are still in operation.

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sonofstan - October 20, 2016

I never quite know what to think about the absorption of the Panthers into mainstream representations. Is the fact that Beyoncé dresses her dancers in a version of the Panther uniform an indication of a revived political awareness or the near complete depoliticisation of an image? The NUS here are celebrating Black History Month with a series of posters showing ‘iconic’ historical figures such as Angela Davis and Malcolm with inspirational quotes attached, and in the case of Malcolm, the attributed quote is something he didn’t say. And the fact that his equivalent these days would almost certainly be refused entry into the UK as a hate preacher….
But these posters make both of them look like mainstream aspirational figures: old-school Oprahs.

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Michael Carley - October 20, 2016

If you haven’t seen this already, watch it:

http://theblackpanthers.com/home/

One of the things that I found very interesting, and what was probably most dangerous about them, was just how political they were, beyond the welfare programmes and the agitation: they had a very clear sense of class politics and built alliances with Latinos and hillbillies in Chicago, which is not something you would expect from the cliched image of `black power’.

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WorldbyStorm - October 20, 2016

Some hugely progressive aspects and very strategic approaches. A lot to think about in their history.

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gendjinn - October 20, 2016

The focus on feeding people – the bags of groceries right from the start. It’s time has come round again.

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Michael Carley - October 20, 2016

There doesn’t seem to be much about the Young Patriots, but this looks like a good introduction:

http://www.youngpatriots-rainbowcoalition.org/ypo-introduction/

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yourcousin - October 21, 2016

“It shows how racialised (and racist) the academic field of ‘International relations’ was in the US between 1900 and the WWII”

I think you can probably expand that description of academia beyond international relations. Until WWII and the GI Bill academia was the preserve of the WASPs.

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yourcousin - October 21, 2016

Shit, that was meant for Gewerkschaftler below.

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Gewerkschaftler - October 20, 2016

I’d say (or hope) with the increasingly militancy based around race and class in the US they will be rediscovered.

Not that they entirely went away, despite massive state repression. Angela Davis comes regularly to Germany (she studied Hegel with Marcuse, if I remember rightly, and has good German) and is always worth listening to.

Talking of race and class, there was a review of of “White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations” by Robert Vitalis here at the LRB (no paywall!). It shows how racialised (and racist) the academic field of ‘International relations’ was in the US between 1900 and the WWII. And how only a small group of mainly marginalised black intellectuals proposed other models.

With what we now know about the origins of much specifically American capital in the slave trade, no wonder race and class are so intermixed in the US.

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sonofstan - October 21, 2016

Read an interesting piece recently about how Foucault’s shift from his ’60s )sort -of) uncommitted political stance to his later quite explicit engagement was caused by his encounters with the Panthers on his first trip to America. The paper suggested that this hadn’t been properly noted because the idea of Great French Intellectual beeing influenced from such a direction seemed implausible.

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gendjinn - October 20, 2016

Well signs & signifiers. There’s an exhibit at the Oakland museum that should be better curated.

I was more struck of who was left to try to put together something on the 50th anniversary. And those who choose to do nothing. Those that survived.

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CL - October 20, 2016

“And the Young Lords were inspired, motivated, trained by the civil rights and black power movement, by the antiwar movement. Juan González himself was a leading member of the Columbia strike of 1968 that protested the Vietnam War, but also protested the gentrification of Harlem by the university. What we see is that the movements of the 1960s, what is known as the New Left and the black power movement, transformed the relationship between people of color and white people, challenged U.S. foreign policy, but also transformed our understanding of gender and sexuality. And those were the issues that the Young Lords were concerned with. The Young Lords are important because, in my opinion, from my research, they are the single group in the New Left that was most effective and most active, even though we know very little about them.”
http://www.democracynow.org/2015/9/23/from_garbage_offensives_to_occupying_churches

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8. Daniel Rayner O'Connor Lysaght - October 20, 2016

“But there is also a less pleasant, less known side to the artist, particularly his views on Israel, Meir Kahane and the Jewish Defense League.
In 1983, in The New York Times, Stephen Holden described Dylan’s album Infidels as “a disturbing artistic semirecovery by a rock legend who seemed in recent years to have lost his ability to engage the Zeitgeist.”
Holden asserted that a “stomping, hollering rhetorical tone infuses the two most specifically political songs, ‘Neighborhood Bully,’ an outspoken defense of Israel, and ‘Union Sundown,’ a gospel-blues indictment of American labor unions.”
“The lyrics suggest an angry crackpot throwing wild punches and hoping that one or two will land,” Holden added.
With its opening lyrics parroting Israel’s own narrative of being the blameless, perpetual victim of Arab violence, “Neighborhood Bully” came just a year after Israel’s bloody invasion of Lebanon that would claim tens of thousands of lives:
Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
His enemies say he’s on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He’s the neighborhood bully”

Bob Dylan’s embrace of Israel’s war crimes
Nobel Prize winner sang Israel’s praises in wake of bloody invasion of Lebanon.
ELECTRONICINTIFADA.NET
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9. Starkadder - October 20, 2016

Slightly long rant coming up:

From a US writer focused on understanding others (Le Guin) to a writer focused on sneering at them The awful Lionel Shriver is having another tantrum about “identity politics” and “weaponized sensitivity.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/opinion/will-the-left-survive-the-millennials.html?_r=2

She’s also ignorant about Australian law. Shriver calls “Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act ” “alarming”, and seems to approve of the Oz right-wingers trying to get rid of the act.

She seems unaware that most of the complaints made under the Act are by Indigenous Australians seeking protection against racial slurs,
and Jews seeking protection against Holocaust denial. Indeed, one of the prosecutions under the Act was Andrew Bolt, who claimed mixed-raced Australians only identified as IAs because of personal gain.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-30/racial-discrimination-act-explainer/7798546

I suppose Shriver sees the bullying Bolt as a victim of the “righteous and aggrieved”.

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Alibaba - October 21, 2016

It’s good too get a ‘rant’ that gets me thinking through things that confuse me. Better still, you back it up with links which put the issues into context and zones in on the facts.

In the past liberals put themselves forward as defenders of ‘free thought’ and even some ‘progressive’ causes. Some went further and suggested that objecting to certain language equates to new witch-hunting McCarthyites.

Now consider this from Shriver:

‘How did the left in the West come to embrace restriction, censorship and the imposition of an orthodoxy at least as tyrannical as the anti-Communist, pro-Christian conformism I grew up with? … Protecting freedom of speech involves protecting the voices of people with whom you may violently disagree. In my youth, liberals would defend the right of neo-Nazis to march down Main Street. I cannot imagine anyone on the left making that case today.’

She is clearly incorrect in her sweeping characterisation of the broad left. But are her views reactionary? I don’t think so, but flawed nonetheless. The manner in which she dismissed ‘cultural appropriation’ as a mere ‘fad’ is ill-considered and smacks of condescension.

Shriver wants to defend the right for fictional characters and living people to express bigoted views and for authors to explore the ideas of groups they are not associated with. I just read her latest book, The Mandibles: A family 2029- 2047. It comes across as imagination run riot in a pleasing way. I forced myself to appreciate the talent of her story-telling, despite my misgivings about some of her political views.

Now consider the views of the woman Yassmin Abdel-Magied who objected to Shriver and wrote a contentious column to say so, in guess where? The Guardian, of course.

She condemned Shriver’s speech as ‘a monologue about the right to exploit the stories of “others”, simply because it is useful for one’s story.’

‘It’s not always OK if a straight white woman writes the story of a queer Indigenous man, because when was the last time you heard a queer Indigenous man tell his own story? How is it that said straight white woman will profit from an experience that is not hers, and those with the actual experience never be provided the opportunity?’

What’s going on here? I read this to mean you can’t write about things if you didn’t have the subjective experience of them. I don’t buy this.

It seems to be all about Language, Language, Language. If it is as as simple as changing the language (verbal or written) and the manner in which it is expressed, it would surely be easy-peasy to challenge the exploitation and oppression that blights the lives of so many.

Okay, language influences attitudes and should be up for a challenge especially when it is deemed to be offensive. But the social reality of discrimination and inequalities has a class basis. That’s where the battle for action and class struggle should happen to affect real change.

So I have to conclude that both authors choose to ignore this as the most important point.  Throw. Baby. Bathwater. Rant. Period.

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Starkadder - October 22, 2016

“Okay, language influences attitudes and should be up for a challenge especially when it is deemed to be offensive. But the social reality of discrimination and inequalities has a class basis. That’s where the battle for action and class struggle should happen to affect real change.”

You have a point there. Mention of class seems to be absent from both Shriver and Abdel-Magied’s writings. And the Andrew Bolt I mentioned is a rich journalist, whose attacks on
ethnic minorities have a strong sense of “punching down” at people disadvantaged by class and ethnicity.

As for the whole “cultural appropriation” thing…well, there are ways to draw on other cultures that aren’t demeaning to those cultures.

Look at Cerys Matthews’ book of children’s songs from around the world (including Ireland) -it’s designed to teach children to understand and respect the cultures that made those songs, and AFAIK nobody has accused Matthews of “cultural appropriation”.

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10. CL - October 21, 2016

“The decision by HM Revenue and Customs to further investigate Hermes couriers’ complaints about their employment status coincides with clear signals that Theresa May’s government would like to be seen as being on the side of Britain’s fast-growing, precariously employed workforce…
https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/oct/20/hermes-couriers-working-status-investigated-hmrc

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11. irishelectionliterature - October 21, 2016

17 year old found Guilty of False Imprisonment of Joan Burton and Karen O’Connell.
Incredible.

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CL - October 21, 2016

-the 17-year old’s legal team argued that the prosecution was a “recipe for totalitarianism”.-
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/jobstown-trial-schoolboy-found-guilty-of-falsely-imprisoning-joan-burton-1.2838080

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Ed - October 21, 2016

A complete and utter farce. Having found the kid guilty (with no jury, of course), the judge goes on to say that he won’t be locking him up or even giving him a criminal record. If he believed this rubbish about ‘false imprisonment’, he certainly wouldn’t be letting the guilty party off without a record. He knew he could hand down this verdict without having to follow through with a sentence that reflects the charges; his main concern, I’m sure, was to lay down a precedent for the cases to come, when there will be a jury. This will increase the pressure on those jurors (if the ‘false imprisonment’ charges were brought before them out of the blue, their sensible instinct would be to laugh them out of court, but now they have to be taken seriously as a Most Serious Legal Verdict). The judge also solemnly declared that the protest was ‘contrary to public order and morality’; thank god we have the judges to tell us what morality is now that the Church has lost its standing.

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Alibaba - October 21, 2016

I agree absolutely. I previously suggested that a guilty criminal verdict might be ‘social dynamite’. They are putting a stay on that with the ‘conditional discharge’ of this protestor. But as you indicated, more trials and tribulations will follow.

Three Socialist Party members, including Paul Murphy TD are due to be tried with four others, each of who are charged with false imprisonment, on April 24th, 2017. Another trial of those accused of false imprisonment is due to take place in 2017. And what’s more a final trial of five people accused of violent disorder has been set for April 2018 with a pre-trial date set for December 13th, 2017.

It’s time to get busy definding this democratic right to protest.

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12. 6to5against - October 21, 2016

Two big strikes involving public sector workers are likely to kick off in the next few weeks. I predict a surge in stories over the weekend along the lines of ‘best-paid-in-the-world/best-pensions-ever/don’t-live-in-the-real-world’.
I thought it might be interesting if we could log obviously hyped-up stories here, and catalogue the more serious inaccuracies?

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irishelectionliterature - October 21, 2016

My wife is a secondary teacher in West Dublin. They had a parent teacher meeting yesterday, a few parents mentioned the strike saying fair play etc but there was no negative reaction at all.

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CMK - October 21, 2016

Had a conversation with a neighbour who drives for Dublin Bus and he said he got not flack at all over the strike.

Media efforts to divide and rule are falling flat as I think most people see that there are no rewards for attacking other workers.

I hope the ASTI members achieve their objectives.

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6to5against - October 21, 2016

That’s good to hear. I’ve found reactions muted at worst and supportive at best. But I know from past experience that its hard to ignore relentless negative comment from the media, and that younger members in particular may not be ready for that.

maybe I’m being unduly pessimistic about the effect media coverage will have, but either way I’m bracing for a week of misleading, factually inaccurate, hyperbolic scare stories.

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Ed - October 21, 2016

I noticed Pat Leahy’s article in the IT yesterday was more than a little tentative, although he naturally finished off by saying the government had to hold the line at all costs or we would soon be back to the ‘we all partied’ days of yore. Not so easy to vilify people when everyone knows they’ve had years of wage cuts to absorb.

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CMK - October 21, 2016

That’s the big ‘problem’ the state-media ideological nexus faces regarding public sector pay: the irrefutable fact that all public sector worker have had no pay rises for nearly 10 years and that any pay increase granted over the coming years will be in fact not a rise, strictly speaking, but only partial restoration. Nearly every worker in the country intuitively understands the unfairness of not having had a pay rise for years. Matt Cooper had a cracker of an opinion piece in the Sunday Business Post on public sector pay in Sunday’s edition.

Then we have this from Ireland’s foremost intellectual, and card carrying member of Yannis Varoufakis’s DiEM, eh, movement:

http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2016/10/20/fragile-government-needs-to-stand-up-to-unions-to-protect-the-rest-of-us

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RosencrantzisDead - October 21, 2016

McWilliams is a ‘member’ of DiEM? I thought he wanted us to break-away and form ‘Atlantic Ireland’?

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CMK - October 21, 2016

Well, maybe guilding the lily a bit with calling him a ‘member’, but he is hooking up with Varoufakis for some conference soon. I don’t think the membership criteria for DiEM are that tight so, in my eyes, he’s as good as a card carrying member!🙂

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Ed - October 23, 2016

He’s on their advisory panel:

https://diem25.org/ap/

Fairly random list of people there, some very sound, and then chancers like McWilliams and Zizek. Maybe the latter two could do a programme together.

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CMK - October 23, 2016

Ha, ha, thanks, Ed, even better than a card carrying member, then! Varoufakis is some dope.

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CL - October 23, 2016

Varoufakis believes that Apples’s profits derive from its research and development in California. Workers who slave in Apple factories in China do not create value. And he claims to be a marxist economist.
McWilliams’ hero is Milton Friedman.
Hype, celebrity, and bullshit.

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EWI - October 23, 2016

Workers who slave in Apple factories in China do not create value.

Not Apple’s factories, in fairness. Those Chinese manufacturing towns sub-contract as manufacturers for all of the big players (and will eventually steal their IP and go into business as competitors, a lesson that appears to still be lost on the electronic giants after numerous examples).

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CL - October 23, 2016

Workers in China making Apple products,-part of the Apple supply Chain.
“We can only conclude that Apple pursues profit maximisation for itself and its shareholders no matter the lives of people making Apple products.”
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/iphone-6s-factory-investigation-reveals-apple-still-violates-human-rights-workers-1525151

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dublinstreams - October 24, 2016
13. Tomboktu - October 21, 2016

Today an official from a government department told me and the other students on my course that it was a ‘technical hitch’ when a certain public authority failed to get its clients to agree to waive one of their human rights.

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14. EWI - October 21, 2016

Crooked Timber are having a thread about a policy change to moderate and censor comments:

http://crookedtimber.org/2016/10/19/crooked-timber-comments-a-big-change/

Ironically enough, I can confirm that a strict moderation is apparently already in place on that very thread, so that respectful – but critical -comments won’t appear(!).

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15. CL - October 22, 2016

Alt-right and Trump:
-Trump has shown the hand of the GOP. The GOP is a white person’s populist party….

After Trump tapped Breitbart chair Steve Bannon as campaign CEO in August, the Alt-Right instantly became a fixture in political conversation. (Bannon boasted to me at the RNC that Breitbart is “the platform for the Alt-Right.”)
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/meet-the-alt-right-spokesman-thrilled-by-trumps-rise-w443902

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16. botheredbarney - October 22, 2016

Leonard Cohen, now aged 82, has released his new album You want it Darker. It can be streamed for a limited time here:-

http://www.openculture.com/2016/10/leonard-cohens-new-album-you-want-it-darker-is-streaming-free-for-a-limited-time.html

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17. Jim Monaghan - October 23, 2016
CL - October 23, 2016

” the system’s working perfectly. The system never was working better. The system was never intended to work for you. You exist to work for the system. That’s all – you work for the system. (applause) And the system needs some of you to be unemployed and some of you to be homeless and some of you to be working and some of you to be fighting over who is employed and who isn’t and some of you to be confused and believe that the reason you’re working and he’s not or she’s not or they’re better off than you is because your religion or your colour or your gender or your sexual orientation is different from theirs and so we battle around and demand for an equality of injustice….
we have got to let go of an old conversation….because nation states are merely the puppets of corporate organisations and we are in the process of seeing, both North and South, of seeing this nation sold into the hands of those corporate powers without so much as a whisper….B.McAliskey.

Sinn Fein and republicanism and Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness all appear dated, from another era, irrelevant.

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WorldbyStorm - October 23, 2016

Kind of depends. SF with 23 TDs and a minivans worth of Senators, lorryloads of councillors, MEPs, MPs and MLAs don’t seem quite as irrelevant or dated to me, or I presume the voters who voted for them.

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CL - October 23, 2016

For a while,-quite a while ago,-there was hope that SF would bring a fresh energy to the political scene. But they’re all from the same mold; there’s a depressing sameness to all these pols, of whatever party, North and South.

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18. roddy - October 23, 2016

Aye disso site “the pensive quill” is really relevant.It’s owner McIntyre’s only claim to fame is the Boston tapes which backfired badly on his Disso mates.

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Michael Carley - October 23, 2016

Bernadette McAliskey is pretty damn relevant.

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19. CL - October 23, 2016

The latest Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) returns show Declan Kelly, who is the chief executive of Teneo, donated €1,000 to his brother and €1,499 to the Labour Party in Tipperary.
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/brother-of-labour-chief-hopeful-alan-kelly-figures-in-donations-1.2651080

“Teneo also helped shape McDonald’s campaign against raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour”
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/business/a-constellation-of-influencers-behind-the-curtain-at-teneo.html?mabReward=A5&moduleDetail=recommendations-0&action=click&contentCollection=Asia%20Pacific&region=Footer&module=WhatsNext&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&src=recg&pgtype=article

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20. CMK - October 24, 2016
Ed - October 24, 2016

Jesus H Christ. Even by IMPACT’s usual standards. And this:

“We’ve worked hard to help rebuild Ireland’s economy and society. In doing so, we’ve also reestablished our reputation with the public, which, at the height of the crisis, was damaged badly enough for a Government to gain public acceptance for the imposition of savage pay cuts.”

They never needed to win public acceptance; they had IMPACT and SIPTU working tirelessly to make sure that there wouldn’t be any resistance whatsoever. What’s the angle for these scumbags now Labour are out of government? What are they trying to protect? This line of argument is so atrocious I’d suggest he’s expecting a direct economic reward for his services down the line.

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Ed - October 24, 2016

A quick Google for Brother Harbor turned up this; maybe the transaction has already taken place:

‘It’s also emerged that Communications Minister Alex White wrote to Mr Howlin’s officials seeking to place his special adviser Bernard Harbor on a scale higher than the standard scale for principal officers. “While I am aware that advisers are placed on the principal officer standard scale, I am requesting that in view of Mr Harbor’s salary with his existing employer, he could be placed at the top end of the scale,” Mr White wrote. The request was later sanctioned.’

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/how-ministers-lobbied-to-get-their-advisers-bigger-salaries-31001563.html

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CMK - October 24, 2016

Says it all. I can’t imagine this article was done without the sanction of the IMPACT executive committee or its General Secretary. I’m not sure members of IMPACT would be all too impressed by it.

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Ed - October 24, 2016

Yeah I know a few IMPACT members who will be only delighted to hear from their own union that their reputation was ‘badly damaged’ back in 2008. FFS, the nerve of this crook. All those nurses, teachers, social workers, who needed to win back our trust after selfishly running Ireland’s public services, treating the sick, educating children, helping abuse victims, like the greedy bastards they are.

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Ivorthorne - October 24, 2016

All of my experiences with Impact and Siptu have been negative, so I’m not so much shocked that they’d think this way so much as I am surprised they’d actually put these views in print.

Any suggestions for members of these organisations?

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6to5against - October 24, 2016

it really is odious. I think a big issue driving the current disputes is the narrative that Harbor drives here, and that became orthodoxy in 2009/10 – that our problems were created not by banks and irresponsible development policy, but by public sector workers. Whatever about bowing to political pressure, for Impact to push this narrative as truth really is a betrayal of the entire labour movement.

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CL - October 24, 2016

“I’m a highly experienced communications, PR and media relations manager, strategist and practitioner, with many years experience in industrial relations and public service settings. I have an excellent knowledge and understanding of Irish politics and policy-making. I am very experienced in the development and implementation of campaigns and political communications.”-Bernard Harbor.
https://ie.linkedin.com/in/bernard-harbor-fprii-2a125748

-Adviser: Bernard Harbor (€91,624)
Alex White brought Harbor on board when he was elevated to cabinet Minister in 2014. Harbor spent almost 20 years as a PR man for the IMPACT trade union, after moving to Ireland from London, where he was a researcher for the TGWU union during the 90s.
Harbor did years of research on the military industry in various places in the UK, after graduating with a degree in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford in 1985.-
http://www.thejournal.ie/irish-government-ministers-special-advisers-names-salaries-2016-2573368-Jan2016/

Fancy words for a right-wing propagandist and flim-flam man.

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21. ejh - October 24, 2016

Tom Hayden has died.

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22. gendjinn - October 24, 2016

If the SNP seized control of a nuclear armed sub, could they dictate independence from the UK? And I really wish Iain Banks had written that book.

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23. roddy - October 24, 2016

Tom Hayden was a great friend of SF.

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24. Tomboktu - October 24, 2016

For college this term, I’ve to do an essay on whether or not capital investment appraisal is more challenging in the public than in the private sector.

Our textbook warns that in firms, divisional managers often over-state the amount of capital they need for a project (deliberately), and that the firm’s treasurer or its chief financial officer will often have to reduce the amount bid for by divisional managers.

That reminded me of a fictionalised scene in Francis Spufford’s Red Plenty where academician Leonid Kantorovic — in real-life, the only soviet economist to win the Nobel prize in economics — is upset to find the party leaders changing inputs to and outputs from his mathematical solution (for which he was to win the Nobel) to the problem of central planning because they knew the managers of the factories over-stated the resources they needed and under-stated the output they could produce in order to exceed targets at the end of the year.

I think I shall enjoy putting a reference to that in a footnote in my essay. (It will certainly make a pleasant diversion for a few minutes from the tedium of discussion intangible costs, the difference between financial and economic costs, methods of undertaking cost-benefit analysis, and the different risks and uncertainties that the two sectors face.)

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25. 6to5against - October 24, 2016

Not at all political, but this is sort of special if you’re into jazz at all…

https://archive.org/details/davidwnivenjazz

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26. sonofstan - October 24, 2016

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/oct/24/sky-sports-bt-sport-people-switching-football-off

We may have passed peak football. and/ or peak TV. If you follow the link to the Atlantic piece that the Guardian riffs on, you’ll see a steep decline in TV watching among the young and the sport that was supposed to keep them watching and paying is not working anymore.

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irishelectionliterature - October 25, 2016

Yes, there was some figure this morning that Sky Sports viewing for football is down 20% so far this season.
As the article points out ,ways of viewing other than TV don’t seem to be counted. So I presume a lot of people are watching online both legally and on some stream sites too.
Personally I never had Sky Sports and have no intention of getting it. Happy enough with Match of the Day, Soccer Republic and other live soccer available on terrestrial.

I wonder did they overestimate the amount of time people have to watch football? I think there’s a live Friday night game now too. I can imagine the reaction if I sat on may arse at home watching football Friday night, Saturday noon, Saturday at 5, Watched 2 matches on Sunday and then maybe a La liga one on the Sunday night and then watched one on a Monday night and sure the Champions League is Tuesday and Wednesday and The Europa League has matches on from 6 to 10 on a Thursday!

While viewing figures are down … it’s when subscriptions go down that they have to worry.

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27. yourcousin - October 25, 2016

Yesterday marked the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Hungarian Revolution.

https://libcom.org/history/articles/hungary-56

Sorry I missed it, I was hunting.

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Joe - October 25, 2016

Thanks for the link. I know little enough about the Hungarian revolution. The link will help.

But also, tell us about the hunting. Hunting what? With what? Whereabouts?
I fish a little but I’ve never hunted.

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yourcousin - October 25, 2016

This week was mule deer rifle opener in the Routt National Forest (google it, you’ll get some nice pics). Honestly I took my dad up as he hasn’t gone in years. So essentially we camped with guns. But my brother and I picked up enough trash from other people to fill a full size trash bag.

It is worth pointing out (again) that Colorado has more wild land than the entire continent of Europe of which I and every other American are owners of. It is also worth mentioning (since this is a political blog) that this birthright is under attack. Federal land sell offs are a real threat to our public lands but also our 2nd amendment rights .

Hunting is something along with fishing that my dad spent slot of time teaching us when we were young. And more importantly than just the technical side of hunting/shooting he taught the value of nature, of being a steward to both the land itself and the animals that reside there. That being said, bring on bird season! The dogs are restless and sick of being left at home.

Liked by 1 person

Joe - October 25, 2016

Good stuff. Some of my happiest teenage times was fishing off the rocks in Balscadden, Howth. I’ve been back there a few times in recent summers. The mackerel are still there but definitely more smaller ones than forty years ago. And I think more rubbish strewn around the rocks now too.
In my teens it was pretty much 100% white Irish males who fished. Now the Irish are in the minority. Lots of eastern Europeans and some Asians too. Fishing, like football, unites the world.
Second amendment rights – that’s the right to bear arms. Interesting to hear a progressive (i.e. you, yourcousin!) defending that. The stock liberal/left line here would be second amendment bad. The evidence being all those people getting shot and killed in the U.S.
People do hunt with guns in Ireland – a good licencing policy means those guns generally don’t end up being used to kill people. Is there a way to enable people to hunt animals in the U.S. without also enabling others to acquire and use handguns and other guns to kill people?

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yourcousin - October 25, 2016

I’ve got to run to work but I will get back shortly on the gun control thing. As a side note there are many non white hunters. Where we were at this weekend well over half the hunters we saw up top (i.e. Five miles in) are Hmong. Not to mention Mexicans hunters (a lot of immigrants hail from rural areas in Mexico).

Roddy, I hate to break it to you but I’m just a good ole boy…who happens to believe that the working class and the employing class have nothing in common. Beyond that I’m still a redneck who’s family hails from western Kansas and Eastern Europe.

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RosencrantzisDead - October 25, 2016

On the right to bear arms, I came across this in a manifesto I was reading:

3. Education of all to bear arms. Militia in the place of the standing army. Determination by the popular assembly on questions of war and peace. Settlement of all international disputes by arbitration.

If you guessed this that this was the 1891 programme of the German Social Democratic Party, then you guessed right.

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28. roddy - October 25, 2016

Shame on the two of you and your blood sports!

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Joe - October 25, 2016

You’re a country lad, Roddy. Would there be much hunting around your neck of the woods? Any deer up in the Sperrins?
(That’s about it in Ireland isn’t it – deer and rabbits?).

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Joe - October 25, 2016

Oh yeah. Birds as well – ducks and pheasants. Do we shoot grouse here or is that just the old rich in Scotland?

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29. eamonncork - October 25, 2016

Labour Party TDs were very popular prey at one stage but the numbers are in sharp decline. They had an awful habit of walking in front of the guns in the belief that at the last minute the shooter wouldn’t pull the trigger.

Liked by 1 person

eamonncork - October 25, 2016

There’s a school of thought which suggests the last few should be preserved for historical purposes but I’m inclined to think you should let nature take its course in cases like this.

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CMK - October 25, 2016

Well, if the pictures from last night’s ‘Regional’ meeting in Liberty Hall are anything to go by, Labour don’t have long left. Quite apart from a party that claims at membership of 4,000 only mustering at most about 60 people, the age profile of those in attendance doesn’t augur well for their survival. 10 years time they should be gone as a political force.

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eamonncork - October 25, 2016

This is an ex-party.

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30. roddy - October 25, 2016

I’m a lowland “culchie” where the main activity would be duck shooting on the shores of Lough Neagh and lough beg.Hunting would mostly consist of shooters on foot with a couple of Jack Russells trying to outwit the fox.Believe it or not my sympathies would be with “Reynard” and I love to hear hunters telling me how they were given the slip.I would say of all the contributors here I am the most “rural” but seriously blood “sports” are not for me.I make an exception with the likes of rats that have to be controlled but discovered years ago that clay pigeon shooting is indeed a “sport” and much more enjoyable .

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WorldbyStorm - October 25, 2016

My father had a rifle in the house all his life, he was from Meath originally and used to.poach fish as a kid (ironically enough often from a strszm close to the churchyard where his ashes were scattered). Later he’d shoot rabbits. He brought me coursing a fair few times. I found it cold and boring but I do get the broader hunting thibg. Fox hunting though I hate. Just on gun lucensing it is fairly strict and became more so in the 90s.

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yourcousin - October 26, 2016

Okay so we’re kind of all over the map here. In the western US the main hunting is big game and bird hunting (both waterfowl and upland). We don’t typically use dogs to run fur (either small or big game). Fox hunting really isn’t a thing here, though hound hunting does have a history back east and in the south. I run versatile pointers for upland birds. I don’t hunt waterfowl as I don’t care for the taste of goose and the gear is pretty pricey. I respect good terrier work and coursing but they, much like falconry are the preserve of a passionate but extremely tiny minority even within the hunting community. If you talk to a real hunter (getting on a high horse here) they will tell that the act of killing is simply one part of the experience and is often certainly not the most enjoyable part of it. Roddy is right to point out that shooting sporting clays is a sport and for those who value shooting over hunting then that is the sport for them. I also enjoy it thoroughly. But what I really love is to see my dogs run. To see them do what they were born to do is something that never gets old for me. And to be able to walk behind them in solitude under a tattered autumn sky as is my wont is something that brings me a great deal of sanity in an otherwise insane world. I won’t lie and I don’t enjoy bagging game but I’ve had great days where I never mounted my gun once.

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yourcousin - October 26, 2016

Appreciating working dogs these days since they have largely become redundant does take a little extra work. Here in the US the main hunting dog is a flushing retriever (the ever ubiquitous lab) which is fine for waterfowling but which I consider heresy for upland unless used in conjunction with a pointer.

I think you hit on a critical point on the value of public lands versus the ever present but still outlawed legacy of poaching on the isles. Hunting and fishing were the domain of the privileged and while there was an ever present Bakhtinian presence of the poacher in popular culture and in real life it can hardly shift the entire patadigm on its own.

Here hunting never was the exclusive domain of the elite.

Again even if only on our own imagination the ideal was always the yeoman farmer. And part of that mystique his conquering of the wilderness. And while I feel no need to “conquer” Mother Nature the fact remains that hunting, fishing and just plain access to the billions of acres is the birth right of every citizen.

I will return to gun control when at a computer proper.

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31. Alibaba - October 25, 2016

So, the government has agreed a counter motion to an Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit Bill to repeal the Eighth Amendment. If passed tonight, and the Bill is blocked, that is one hell of a serious infringement of bourgeois democracy.

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32. sonofstan - October 25, 2016

Even the left (sort of) in this country can’t avoid pointless jingoism: this is the start of an email I just got from the TUC:

‘We have the best health service in the world. But our NHS services are at breaking point after years of squeezed budgets’.

It’s not ‘the best’ though the model is of course well worth defending. According to the WHO, it ranks 18th just above Ireland as it happens.

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