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What you want to say – 29th of March, Week 13, 2017 March 29, 2017

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 - March 29, 2017

Independence day wha’?

Pics of TM with a union flag behind her signing herself and said flag into oblivion.
Piece in le Monde outlining Barnier’s three priorities – status of expats in UK, budget contribution and the status of the border in Ireland. I suspect May and Davis will be forced to stop with the airy waving quite soon.

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WorldbyStorm - March 29, 2017

The empty rhetoric of it all is genuinely nauseating.

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makedoanmend - March 29, 2017

Does anyone have further insight into the border question? If it’s actually one of the “big three” from the EU negotiating perspective then does this not pose formidable problems for Ireland? Or are there opportunities also?

Aside: it’s strange that as of today I’m in legal limbo regarding residency status – precariousness layered on top of precariousness in yee oldey britain.

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Michael Carley - March 29, 2017

Indeed: it’s not even clear if the CTA arrangements will continue to hold, or if they are going to repeal the Ireland Act and make us foreign.

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2. sonofstan - March 29, 2017

I’m seeing a giant football stadium with a few heavily guarded away fans – the brits – going ‘no one likes us we don’t care’ and ‘two world wars and one world cup’ and the rest of the stadium going ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ …..

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WorldbyStorm - March 29, 2017

Yeah, it sure feels like that!

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irishelectionliterature - March 29, 2017

and when they lose 3-0 it will be the EUs fault.

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sonofstan - March 29, 2017

I suspect a lot of England fans think UEFA is in some way part of the EU

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3. Jolly Red Giant - March 29, 2017

Surprised that there has been no discussion on this site about the upcoming trials of the Jobstown defendants.

This Saturday a #JobstownNotGuilty Assembly for Justice will take place in Liberty Hall. Guest speakers include Paddy Hill, Ricky Tomlinson, Eamon Dunphy, Rossport 5, Jimmy Kelly, Patricia McKenna, Frances Black and others.

Every left activist who wants to defend the right to protest should attend.

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/jobstownnotguilty-assembly-for-justice-tickets-32321796363

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GW - March 29, 2017

I didn’t know – but seems like Dublin activists should indeed be there.

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4. GW - March 29, 2017

The Irish government and the latest elections in the North have done a reasonably good job of making the border through Ireland and the continuance of the GFA a major issue in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

I hope they have a couple of plan Bs and Cs for the more than possible case that the UK exits without an agreement.

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5. GW - March 29, 2017

The EU Parliament position is close to the EC position on Brexit and terms of reference for the EU side in the negotiation are likely to be pretty similar.

a future relationship agreement between the European union and the UK “can only be concluded once the United Kingdom has withdrawn from the EU”.

there may be a transitional deal for after 2019 to ensure that custom controls and barriers on trade are not enforced on day one of Brexit, but that these arrangements should not exceed three years and will be “limited in scope as they can never be a substitute for union membership”.

the European court of justice will be responsible for settling any legal challenges during the transition period.

the UK will be able to revoke its notification of article 50 but this must be “subject to conditions set by all EU27 so they cannot be used as a procedural device or abused in an attempt to improve the actual terms of the United Kingdom’s membership”.

should Britain seek to negotiate any free trade deals with other countries while it is still an EU member state, there will be no future discussion of a deal with the union.

there will be no special deal for the City of London “providing UK-based undertakings preferential access to the single market and, or the customs union”.

the cut-off date after which EU nationals coming to the UK lose the automatic right to residency in the UK must not be before 29 March 2019, when the country leaves the EU, or the British government will be breaking EU law.

Britain should pay all its liabilities “arising from outstanding commitments as well as make provision for off-balance sheet items, contingent liabilities and other financial costs that arise directly as a result of its withdrawal”.

the outcome of the negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship “cannot involve any trade-off between internal and external security including defence cooperation, on the one hand, and the future economic relationship, on the other hand”.

That translates into either no agreement or one that will disappoint most Brexiteers in manifold ways.

The only good I can see is Farage’s real homeland – namely the City of London – will be a shadow of it’s former self in two years. CoL-based finance capital will of course move to other cesspits but at least the power of the City will be broken in what remains of the UK.

Interesting that the door is left open to call the whole thing off. I can’t imagine how that might happen at this point, but it’s early days.

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GW - March 29, 2017

See here and here.

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sonofstan - March 29, 2017

“A leaked copy of the resolution, on which the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has been a close conspirator

That’s an odd choice of words (from the first link above)

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GW - March 29, 2017

You’ll hear a lot worse than that as Johnny Foreigner tries to pull the wool over plain-dealing John Bull’s eyes.

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sonofstan - March 29, 2017

I think a range of Johnny Foreigner T-shirts are in order.

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EWI - March 29, 2017

Interesting to see Luxembourg stealing the ROI’s imagined windfall in City relocations. Hard not to imagine that Juncker has a hand in that.

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6to5against - March 29, 2017

Interesting indeed that they’re saying there is an opt out clause. I thought that was still unclear, but if it’s real it changes everything. As the complexity of it all seeps through, it’s hard to see a ‘revoke’ movement not taking shape somewhere on the political spectrum.

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GW - March 29, 2017

Yes – if it goes to a vote in the English/British parliament and enough Tories defect and the Labour Party isn’t it’s usual piss-weak self…

Lot’s of ifs… but that could get interesting.

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6. GW - March 29, 2017

Huzzah!

The balloon goes up on B-Day for a country that still thinks it’s living in 1941. The Dad’s Army negotiating team runs around shouting ‘don’t panic!’

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sonofstan - March 29, 2017

Captain Maynwaring!

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Michael Carley - March 29, 2017
GW - March 29, 2017

Interesting – seems like they think all they have to sell is security-related – GCHQ’s snooping and the ‘special relationship’ it has with NSA, perhaps.

But includes a reference to further devolution – some what contradicting the ‘UK Unite’ call from May.

Anyhow the whole thing doesn’t really kick off until the end of April.

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GW - March 29, 2017

Talking of GCHQ, I wonder to what extent the UK will conduct a covert dirty war during the negotiations. I hope the EU side is expecting that.

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Michael Carley - March 29, 2017

Does anyone really think EU countries (if not the EU itself) are not trying to listen in on some phone calls?

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GW - March 29, 2017

Of course they are.

But the Brits currently probably for the moment have the best infrastructure, given that so much fibre goes through England still, and they have the closest relationship with the NSA.

I’m thinking as much of blackmail and purchase of actors on the EU and EU nations side.

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EWI - March 29, 2017

I’m thinking as much of blackmail and purchase of actors on the EU and EU nations side.

They’ve plenty of experience of that too, not limited to political and media figures but also including police (if G2’s concerns over Gardaí being turned was correct).

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Aonrud ⚘ - March 29, 2017

Anna Soubry is asking, if the EU “abandons free movement”, will they stay in the single market. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-39424391#post_58dba72be4b0377a1393a9f1

There’s probably a Tory cohort in there that still imagines they can change EU rules on the way out to suit their post-EU preferences.

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GW - March 29, 2017

Someone else thinks that all May has to offer is spooks and soldiers.

And still thinks walking away from any deal is some kind of trump card that she can play. Delusional as ever.

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sonofstan - March 29, 2017

‘Deep and special’ = ‘Conscious uncoupling’?

They don’t realise they are already dead to the other half

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7. roddy - March 29, 2017

Captain Mainwaring’s best line ever had to be “this is war Godfrey,not Sainsbury’s”!

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GW - March 29, 2017

I’m more a “were doomed, doomed I tell you!” kind of punter 😉

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8. sonofstan - March 29, 2017

From Jez, on this historic day:

“Dear S—,
I campaigned alongside many of you to remain in the EU, and the triggering of Article 50 is not the outcome Labour fought for last summer. But together, we can challenge Tory plans at every stage of this process. We must ensure that jobs, living standards and your rights at work are protected”

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Michael Carley - March 29, 2017

Hard to see what else he can say. The Labour MPs opposing him are simultaneously saying that he didn’t fight hard enough to Remain, and that “we have to talk about immigration”.

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sonofstan - March 29, 2017

True – I’d have like a bit more specificity that ‘your rights at work’ had also included ‘your right to work’ if from elsewhere.

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9. Jolly Red Giant - March 29, 2017

Two serious developments for the Jobstown defendants this evening.

The DPP is going to the Circuit Court tomorrow looking to change the bail conditions of the Jobstown defendants to prevent them speaking at Saturday’s Rally For Justice or at any other protests. It is possible that the new bail conditions could be so restrictive as to result in some of the Jobstown defendants being jailed tomorrow.

In a second case tomorrow it appears that the DPP is also attempting to ban the Raly for Justice and the demonstration planned for the end of April on the grounds it could ‘prejudice the jury’.

There is an onus on all activists to act now to defend the right to protest and the right to defend oneself when under attack by the state, right-wing politicians and the right-wing media.

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10. Starkadder - March 29, 2017

I saw a group of pink signs all over Cork calling for a change in Cork street names from “Vulgar Victoria, the Famine Queen”. It turns out they were put up by a group called Cork Street Names Campaign led by activist Diarmaid Ó Cadhla

http://www.thejournal.ie/cork-street-names-campaign-3243784-Feb2017/

http://www.corkindependent.com/news/topics/articles/2017/03/02/4135877–cadhla-arrest–unnecessary-say-street-name-campaigners-/

Don’t approve of vandalising street signs, but they make a fair point. I think would should have more streets named after Michael Mallin,
for instance.
Also, how about changing Victoria Road to William Morris Road? He’s known by the general public for his wallpaper and furniture designs, he was a socialist who supported Irish Home Rule and opposed the British Empire.

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Jim Monaghan - April 1, 2017

“Demonisation as a simple terrorist does not persuade those who understand the context in which he made the choices.” And a lot of this stemmed from the WP.

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11. Gavin Mendel-Gleason - March 30, 2017

A different view of McGuinness and the civil rights campaign than you have probably heard of late: http://www.lookleftonline.org/2017/03/official-provisionals/

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WorldbyStorm - March 30, 2017

Very interesting analysis – a fair bit I’d agree with, some aspects of which I think point up problematic aspects of the SF narrative but also suggest why the situation persisted , thanks for that. on way out to work but must get some thoughts together on it.

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Joe - March 30, 2017

Yes I thought that was an excellent synopsis (he would, wouldn’t he?). A stat was put up here that SF beat the WP by 100 to 1 in the most recent election in NI. I would have thought that it was more than that. But good to see that a minority view is still being articulated – and well articulated.

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yourcousin - April 1, 2017

I see the caricaturization of Defenderism as a poor cousin to “proper” Republicanism is still in circulation.

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12. GW - March 30, 2017

Moving out of the City of London after Brexit:

Lloyds to go to Brussels,

J.P.Morgan looking at the fetid IFSC swamp. The alligators should feel right at home there.

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13. RosencrantzisDead - March 31, 2017

Can anyone here provide some information and perspective on what is happening in Venezuela?

The media have been largely terrible – BBC, NY Times, Washington Post and several others stated that the Supreme Court have ‘abolished the separation of powers’ without giving any reasons for why they did this or how it is even possible. Al Jazeera mentioned that this was prompted by the Supreme Court holding the National Assembly ‘in contempt’. If anyone has some more background, it would be greatly appreciated.

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CL - April 1, 2017

“There are only two ways out of this economic crisis: one is to lift all regulations and allow the capitalist market to work “normally”, which would mean that the workers will be made to pay the full price for the crisis. That is the direction the government of Maduro has been progressively taking. The other is to expropriate the capitalists and run the economy on the basis of a democratic plan of production which can satisfy the needs of the population, while at the same time making an internationalist appeal to the workers and peasants of the region to come to the aid of the revolution and defeat the attempts of their own ruling classes to smash it. That would mean to make the capitalists pay for the crisis.”

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13015

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CL - April 1, 2017

“Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the liberal, Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, sees the OAS leader’s mediating strategy as purely political.

“Both the USA and Almagro are playing a very destructive role, because they seek the overthrow of the government rather than dialogue and negotiation, which is really the only way out of this crisis,” Weisbrot told VOA. He was speaking early in the day, before the State Department’s recommendation for Venezuela to engage in talks with OAS to improve conditions there.”
http://www.voanews.com/a/united-states-urges-venezua/3785666.html

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ar scáth a chéile - April 1, 2017
RosencrantzisDead - April 3, 2017

Thanks to you both for your replies.

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14. CL - March 31, 2017

Interesting article about how and why the NHS in Wales is different, and better, than the NHS in England.

“In England, the greatest single blow to universal health care in the NHS’s history came with the enactment of the Health and Social Care Act (HSCA) in 2012….
For this rapid privatization to occur, it was necessary for the legal duty to provide universal care to be repealed. For, as Bevan recognized, marketization fundamentally contradicts the values of universalism and collectivism. Universal services allocate resources based upon need, while the private sector is always concerned above all with the pursuit of profit…..
In Wales, where the HSCA does not apply, a very different approach has been adopted. The historical link between the country’s working-class culture—as represented by Bevan—and the NHS’s universal protections is widely celebrated in Wales….
Privatization, which has become rampant in England, is minimal in Wales. If anything, it has been rolled back…
The continuing strength of public provision in Wales reflects not only a preference for planning over competition, but also a deeper ideological resistance to the neoliberal agenda that has now dominated English politics for more than three decades.
https://monthlyreview.org/2017/03/01/the-battle-for-the-national-health-service/

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15. Tomboktu - April 1, 2017

Gilbert Baker, who designed the six-stripe rainbow flag as an lgbt symbol, has died at the age of 65

Photograph: William Murphy

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WorldbyStorm - April 1, 2017

RIP one of the most powerful and brilliant visuals ever. Enormous kudos to him. 65 is far too soon. Very sorry to hear it.

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16. roddy - April 1, 2017

Joe,the article you reference is not the worst I have read from WP supporters but it indulges in a bit of revisionism too.IT does not mention the fact that those who pushed the movement in the civil rights and social agitation direction contained perhaps even a majority who by the end of the 70s were in the Adams camp.Desmond Greaves and his circle and others like Eoin O’Murchu recoiled from the de facto Unionism that The WP embraced.The WP were not electorally thrashed in the North for embracing socialism but for adopting a unionist position. PBP made a breakthrough of sorts( somewhat diminished in election17) but if they had adapted the strong “anti provo” line of the wp they would never have been heard of.

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RosencrantzisDead - April 1, 2017

That some members of the civil rights movement were members of, or would go on to join, the Provos is a trivial point, roddy. The article makes clear that civil rights and social agitation was not the goal of the Provisionals, rather it was to force a complete British withdrawal from Northern Ireland.

Claiming that civil rights was the motivating factor is untrue. The grant of civil rights would not have caused the PIRA to desist from its campaign because civil rights was not the end goal. In fact, the Provisionals’ campaign -unintentionally, I hope- impeded civil rights as it gave control on issues in Northern Ireland to Securocrats/MI5 and allowed successive UK governments to focus on violence by paramilitaries rather than systemic issues in the NI ‘state’.

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17. roddy - April 1, 2017

The anti SF brigade routinely tell us that ALL the demands of the civil rights movement were conceded by the early 70’s which is balls.It took well over 2 decades for anything like fair employment to be attained and only then after a massive McBride principles campaign led by the likes of Inez McCormack (which the Gouldings of this world did their best to frustrate).The overwhelming majority of the “foot soldiers” on the civil rights marches would have been sympathetic to SF in later years and most of the PD radicals would have been to the forefront of the H block campaign a decade later.The “some” members you refer to were the “key” figures in pushing the pre split movement leftwards but Greaves and his colleagues soon became appalled at those they influenced becoming de facto unionists.The provos “brits out” policy has still not been achieved but any semblance of equality that exists up here was certainly spurred on by the chaos of the troubles.The North would have settled down to orange rule lite ignored by the British government had the provos followed the officials line.And I say this as someone who wished the peace process had begun as far back as 81.At that stage ,a ceasefire would have propellled SF into a position of strength comparable to what they became 2 decades later and the Brits/ orangeism would have had to make a deal.I have no doubt that the O’Bradaigh faction was still too strong at that stage and it took nearly a decade for their influence to be neutralised.(Even after 86 there was the possibility of defections only Adams handled things in a way that kept people on board).The thing is neither Goulding nor O,Bradaigh ever “got” the North.One tried to equate reactionary unionism with the United Irishmen while the other thought he was still with Tom Barry in west Cork.Only those with everyday life experience of an artificially contrived state could build a mass party amid the mass of contradictions that that state throws up.

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WorldbyStorm - April 1, 2017

I’d love to see studies on how support moved in the Nationalist/Republian community across the 70s. I don’t doubt you’re right that many CR people went to PSF or positions around it. I’ve some thoughts on the article – or more accurately the points it raises, which I’ll post up over the next week or two. Not so much criticisms as stuff that struck me.

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WorldbyStorm - April 1, 2017

BTW, very interesting point you make here:

I have no doubt that the O’Bradaigh faction was still too strong at that stage and it took nearly a decade for their influence to be neutralised.

I think, and I’d have some respect for O’B as a person though not a huge degree of agreement on his approach in relation to the conflict, you’re right there.

One other thought – I do think you’ve another point in respect to both leaderships in the 70s not quite getting the north.

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RosencrantzisDead - April 2, 2017

The provos “brits out” policy has still not been achieved but any semblance of equality that exists up here was certainly spurred on by the chaos of the troubles.

An assertion advanced without any evidence. Even if it could be demonstrated that political violence did play some role in advancing civil right (and this is a much lower bar than the one you have set yourself), it is another question as to whether any credit can be given to the Provisionals for this.

Even if that question can be answered in the affirmative, we would also have to attribute blame to the Provisionals for the reduction in civil rights and liberties that Catholics experienced as part of the security regime that the British government set up in response to the bloodshed. Which way would the scales fall if we weighed the credit and blame?

And complaints that O’Bradaigh was ‘too strong’ in the 70s is pretty weak. He did not command a legion of zombies and people could have left the movement, leaving him exposed.

Let’s be hnest, roddy: one can make a very good case that the path of the Provisionals is them very slowly (perhaps far too slowly) learning that the military campaign would never achieve what they wanted and that the Officials decision to drop abstention was the correct one.

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WorldbyStorm - April 2, 2017

One could argue the latter, and I certainly agree the PIRA approach was hugely counterproductive. But, in all this unionism was unwilling to engage. It shouldn’t be forgotten either that in 1973 after the OIRA ceasefires OSF boycotted the Sunningdale agreement, and indeed set its face against power-sharing subsequently right through the 1970s and 1980s instead seeking a Democratic Convention and a devolved government but with no call for the latter to a power sharing one. Given that that later was the solution that London, Dublin and indeed the largest and most popular force in Nationalism supported as well as a narrow tranche of Unionism that approach by OSF was curious, to put it mildly. To present an approach so much at odds with the general dynamics was oddly quixotic.

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WorldbyStorm - April 2, 2017

Sorry rereading that my point isn’t clear, I agree abstentionism was a cul de sac but the actual politics is important in so far as what one did with politics, and in that regard in so far as OSFs political position didn’t seem to quite address the implications of the environment it sought to change.

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RosencrantzisDead - April 2, 2017

I agree with you, and I suspect that the OSF position was impacted by a lot of personal animosity and history rather than a cold-eyed analysis of NI politics. I am not seeking to justify their positions.

But I doubt you can credibly claim that parties did not ‘get’ the North in the way SF did when in fact SF moved towards positions those parties had advocated for previously.

As for Unionism, that political bloc was always going to be a difficult one. The question is whether a military campaign made them more or less likely to engage than a political one. On balance, I would say it made them less likely. Those who could be swayed were hardened by violence; those who were already set against Republicanism and civil rights were supplied with bloody shirts to wave and victims to justify bigotry and repression.

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WorldbyStorm - April 2, 2017

Yeah, I’d agree with you re your first para and broadly with what you say, albeit with some caveats.

I use the ‘get’ aspect in a slightly different way perhaps to how it came over. I’m thinking more in terms of control structures and ability to sustain discipline and also to conduct a campaign. RÓB et al were starkly different to the later leadership in that they were Dublin based, for the most part. Weirdly we see a similar dynamic with Costello later.

And I think it’s fair to say the OSF, or rather SF, then OSF leadership were always on the back foot in terms of how to respond in the North and Belfast was only partially ever in their control (given they lost two successive waves of people to other organisations).

Whereas I think it fair to say that Adams et all did have a fundamentally more realistic appraisal from the hunger strikes on of their position – for all the rhetoric – which is not in any way to evade what took place on their watch. I see them as trying option A, B, C etc from the early to mid-80s and each one not working so that ultimately the logic of their position was evident and that was reconnection with non-abstentionism politics and once that was crossed or perhaps in tandem with it then locking into negotiations that ultimately led them out of armed struggle.

I’m certainly not saying that in 1982 PIRA ‘got’ the North or the conflict overall. Absolutely not. There were significant delusions, it took a long time for them to realise how limited their hand was.

And I think the poor old SDLP got the North full stop and pretty much from the off. But didn’t have the heft to do much about it most of the time.

I think the momentum from being top dog under Stormont very very much blocked progress in Unionsm for a decade, perhaps more. It’s worth keeping in mind the UUP didn’t want to share power following Sunningdale until – at the earilest the very late 80s. That’s the best part of two decades. And even then they had to be pushed. Violence had a part to play, but that can’t quite explain the aversion to cutting a deal with John Hume et al. Or even more emollient figures prior to him.

That’s not a justification for armed struggle at all, but I feel that what was achievable was achieved and what wasn’t wasn’t really and that there were so many dynamics in play that the idea of any serious cessations were off the table for years, or any serious engagement by Unionism likewise. It’s like the clocks were wound and they had to wind down. I don’t like that analysis by the way at all, but I recall talking to PSF members in the mid 80s and their certainty that matters would fall their way was stunning given the realities on the ground. And that mentality was incredibly hard to break. And in a way likewise with unionists I met who simply refused to engage with nationalists (let alone republicans) at all.

There’s also the question as to whether earlier cessations would have worked or would unionism just have pocketed that and on matters would go (and there’s the issues of UK governments who blew hot and cold on security solutions etc and weren’t conspicuous in their consistency).

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RosencrantzisDead - April 3, 2017

But I doubt you can credibly claim that parties did not ‘get’ the North in the way SF did when in fact SF moved towards positions those parties had advocated for previously.

Rereading what I wrote, the word ‘someone’ should be substituted for ‘you’ as the comment was not meant personally. Rather I took issue with the argument that there were issues of Northern politics which SF ‘got’ and other republican parties did not.

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WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2017

We’re reading and rereading these furiously! I went back and reread my comment as well and it struck me I hadn’t actually completely clarified my meaning of ‘get’ Belfast (and the North) either, another part of which was that there was a detachment about it, or a lack of understanding local dynamics (particularly those inside the organisations and perhaps specifically so the attitudes of vols.). But I take your point entirely. I think respective ideological approaches did constrain engagement with reality too (as well as organisational dynamics, for example the Provos desperately not wanting to be too leftist under RÓB etc, and OSF trying to carve out approaches distinct from PSF etc, etc).

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Joe - April 2, 2017

Only coming back to this now after a weekend when Leeds lost and the Dublin hurlers too. But the Dublin footballers – you’ll never beat the Dubs!
Good old debate again about all that. But yes, we are where we are. Borrowed my mammy’s Irish Times on Saturday and they had a piece on demographics and where people live in Belfast and the north generally now. And it’s a cliché I know but it appears to be a very, very divided society.
I would posit that it’s more divided now than it was before ‘the conflict’ 1970-2000.
The IT will be running more on that topic during the coming week. Should be interesting.

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RosencrantzisDead - April 2, 2017

I would posit that it’s more divided now than it was before ‘the conflict’ 1970-2000.

I disagree. The problems and sectarianism were there from the outset and were recognized by London (and Dublin) as a potential issue. The Sixties and Seventies brought these into the open, but it would be wrong to think the North was less divided before then.

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Joe - April 3, 2017

Sure the problems and the sectarianism were there and not just from the outset of the northern statelet but from the time of the plantations.
My point is that now in 2017 the two ‘communities’ are more divided – physically divided by walls and living separately and also divided psychologically (I don’t know is that the right term) by where they lay the blame for the 1970-2000 conflict.

This is a view from down here (I’ve never lived in the north). But I do recall Fr Denis Faul talking about Belfast in the early and mid sixties and how people lived on the same streets, protestants and catholics, some flying union flags, some flying tricolours. Not saying there was no sectarian tension and not saying areas and streets weren’t mainly unionist or nationalist. But there weren’t the walls and physical separation there is now. Also recall him saying that he thought the sectarianism was breaking down and working class people were more divided in a lot of cases by which English soccer team they supported than by sectarian differences. I read that as him kind of saying (and I’m not sure he approved of this!) that the place was becoming more like any other English, Irish or Scottish town. Chance would be a fine thing!

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oconnorlysaght - April 3, 2017

What Fr.Faul said may have been true of his Bailliewick. It was certainly not the rule. To posit allegiance to football clubs as an alternative to sectarianism was, notoriously, wishful thinking. Such loyalty was usually the projection of religious commitment: thus Man U was seen as the ‘Catholic’ club v.Man City (‘Proddy’). Similarly with Glasgow Celtic V.Rangers, Liverpool v.Everton. Above all, the ‘lack of sectarianism in the early sixties’ argument skates over the currents working underneath the appearances. Unionism ruled Okay; the Catholics were prepared to accept that if it would give them the fairer deal that it was constitutionally unable to do, since its raison d’etre was ascendancy. When the NI minority tried to claim such a deal for itself peacefully, it was suppressed violently. If inter-religious relationships are worse today, it is because a large section of the Unionist population hanker to restore the old system as the solution to the problems caused by austerity. It is the resulting divisions of peoples that keep the walls in place.
I would add merely that both Sinn Feins contributed to maintaining their no-win struggles by their insistence on keeping the battlefront in the north and not bothering to consider any role for the working people of the republic other than as supporters of what they were doing. When it was impossible to continue limiting the strggle, as in ’69, ’72 or ’81, the results were explosive and moved on the struggle in a way that was not achieved in its purely six county context.

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sonofstan - April 3, 2017

I’ve heard that barriers breaking down in the sixties story a fair bit; enough to think there might be a degree of truth in it.
Always been struck by the line in Them’s ‘The Story of Them’ where Van about ‘making the scene in the Spanish Rooms up in the Falls’. Hard to imagine a band from East Belfast being able to do that a few years later.

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Michael Carley - April 3, 2017

@SoS Henry McDonald in his memoirs of his youth in Belfast (punk and hooliganism mostly, with some Stickyism on the side) tells the story of an RUC officer shaking his head in bewilderment as a mixed group of punks gave their names going through a checkpoint in Belfast.

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WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2017

One key indicator I would think is inter-faith marriages. This is interesting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segregation_in_Northern_Ireland#Intermarriage

Found an IT piece that suggest 1% of marriages in 1911 were mixed in Ireland as a whole.

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18. sonofstan - April 2, 2017
Michael Carley - April 2, 2017
sonofstan - April 2, 2017

It’ll be Dunkirk all over again when a flotilla of leisure craft is sent to rescue pensioners from the Costas.

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oconnorlysaght - April 3, 2017

Actually, Britain has/had a good diplomatic rebuff to the Spanish claim. It would be entitled to mention the name of Spain’s remaining Moroccan bastion, Ceuta.
However, even if effective, that would not provide anything like a serious Falkland factor.

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Michael Carley - April 3, 2017

Especially since they’d lose: could Britain really defeat Spain supported by the rest of the EU?

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Liberius - April 3, 2017

I know they’d come up with an excuse not to enforce article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, but notionally if the UK attacked Spain they should, in the spirit of the treaty, all declare war on the UK and then having declared war on a NATO member declare war on each other…

Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-ECAE8DB0-F591EC88/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

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Ed - April 3, 2017

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WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2017

I always think of those two spots, too.

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19. CL - April 3, 2017

“Leftist candidate Lenin Moreno won Ecuador’s presidential runoff Sunday, according to the country’s electoral council, reversing a recent rightward trend in Latin American politics and continuing President Rafael Correa’s “Citizens’ Revolution.”
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/leftist-lenin-moreno-declared-winner-ecuador-s-presidential-election-n741866

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Ed - April 3, 2017

“10 years of iron-fisted rule by Correa.”

I expect the Anglophone media will use the same kind of language to characterize Brazil’s illegitimate, hard-right, post-coup regime? Oh:

“Since Mr Temer’s centrist, pro-business government came to power following the impeachment of leftist former president Dilma Rousseff in August for manipulating public finances, it has passed a landmark law limiting future increases in budget spending to zero in real terms; started difficult pension reform; and is now planning to pass three more reforms to education, labour and tax laws before the next elections in 2018 …

“Despite the reforms, his government remains one of the most unpopular in recent Brazilian history, with only 15 per cent of those surveyed in a recent Pulso poll approving of the president. This was because his government was taking tough austerity measures that would leave a positive long-term legacy, not engaging in the “fiscal populism” of previous governments that left Brazil running a 10 per cent deficit, said Mr Temer, who has pledged not to run for another term in 2018.”

https://www.ft.com/content/9d8a1286-e805-11e6-893c-082c54a7f539

And then we had the Economist describing Temer as ‘an accidental president’—don’t you hate that, when you’re just ambling absent-mindedly and you find yourself overthrowing a democratically elected president then ramming through a programme that would never be approved at the ballot box? Could happen to any of us really.

http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21718570-michel-temer-would-rather-be-unpopular-populist-brazils-accidental-consequential-president

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Alibaba - April 3, 2017

‘His government has passed a constitutional amendment to freeze federal spending in real terms for 20 years. It will soon reform the pension system. Those measures will help contain the increase in Brazil’s massive public debt, one of the main threats to its long-term prosperity. …

He points to himself as a “clear example of premature retirement”: he has been drawing a generous pension since he stopped working as a prosecutor in São Paulo more than two decades ago. Far from hurting the poor, the reforms will protect “the future of all our social programmes”, he insists. He would “rather be unpopular now than a populist”.’

Yeah, you couldn’t make it up.

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20. Michael Carley - April 3, 2017

Darcus Howe has died:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/02/darcus-howe-writer-broadcaster-and-civil-rights-campaigner-dies-aged-74

Classic video of him here, dishing it out to the BBC:

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21. roddy - April 3, 2017

Fr Faul was talking shite. Flying a tricolour would have got you jail in the 60s.When one was flown in a pre split SF election office on the virtually 100% nationalist Falls rd ,the RUC assembled a battallion of stormtroopers to remove it and precipitated riots which lasted for days.My own father was arrested for reading the proclamation inside a GAA hall and only escaped jail as he was able to prove he was somewhere else at the time.As a native of of county Louth who taught in Dungannon ,Fr Faul knew as much about Belfast in the 60’s as I would know about Foxrock!.

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oconnorlysaght - April 3, 2017

sos, you are actually making my point. The good cross-religious NI relationships of the sixties were dependent on the Croppies lying down. Ad Roddy has remarked, when the Croppies rose, there was hell to pay.
Them may have held a successful concert in the Falls. Did any Falls-based band hold such a gig on the Shankill?

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22. roddy - April 3, 2017

Did someone mention Henry McDonald and the truth in the same sentence?

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23. CL - April 3, 2017

Interesting piece by Tariq Ali in the NYT:

“The shift to the right in Western politics is a revolt against the neoliberal coalitions that have governed since the Soviet Union collapsed. Today, however, the politicians cannot blame socialism as they once did — for it does not exist.”

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