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That May letter… and this state March 30, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Here is the paragraph on Ireland.

v. In particular, we must pay attention to the UK’s unique relationship with the Republic of Ireland and the importance of the peace process in Northern Ireland. The ROI is the only EU member state with a land border with the UK. We want to avoid a return to a hard border between our two countries [sic], t be able to maintain the Common Travel Area between us, and to make sure that the UK withdrawal from the EU does not harm the ROI. We also have an important responsibility to make sure that nothing is done to jeopardise the peace process in Northern Ireland, and to continue to uphold the Belfast Agreement.

And on all that… From Siobhan Fenton in the Guardian – a key point.

[Northern Ireland] merited scarcely a mention in the run-up to the EU referendum, with neither Leave nor Remain campaigns grasping the complexity of how Brexit will affect Northern Ireland. Nine months after the referendum, no one in the British government seems any the wiser about the future of the Irish border.
It is astonishing that May is moving to trigger article 50 without seriously addressing this beforehand. Once negotiations with the EU formally begin and the official countdown to a deal deadline starts, she might just realise the enormity of the problem she has been sidelining thus far.

But keep in mind that mentality Fenton mentions still persists. This from the same paper on the same day – an analysis of May’s Article 50 letter that somehow doesn’t mention the word Ireland once (though Scotland is referenced once).

#JobstownNotGuilty Assembly for Justice March 29, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

JRG raises an important point. He notes the upcoming:

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.

As he says…

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

And this evening he notes:

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.

He raises an interesting point when he said earlier in the day that:

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

I think (hope?) that that is because we’re all of one mind on this which is that the criminalisation of protest is wrong – and there’s a general awareness of large-scale events like this taking place.

But, that said – and this has a broader importance – anything that we are sent we will post up (within the usual guidelines on the site) and notification of events like this is always very welcome. So much appreciated JRG and anything similar fire links/press releases to the usual email.

Centenary Celebrations …… March 29, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.


Presumably an anniversary that will not be celebrated by all. Can’t see an influx of tourists like we had for our Centenary Celebrations. A post Brexit Northern Ireland (should it still exist as an entity)
No doubt there will be a massive Orange March , Bonfires, Flags , a few pogroms, reintroduction of internment and so on and so on…..

Brexit: It giveth… and it taketh away… March 29, 2017

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Speaking of negative effects of Brexit. The Economist Intelligence Unit said London is cheaper than New York for the first time in 15 years, and that relative prices in Manchester have fallen so far that the cost of living in the city is now on a par with Bangkok.


“While the declines mean that British cities are cheaper compared to their international peers, the rise in import prices caused by the weak pound will mean that locals won’t see their own shopping baskets falling in price. In fact the opposite is likely to be true and, while UK cities fell down the ranking local prices for the basket of goods surveyed have begun to creep back up,” said the EIU.

Traditionalism, populism and immigration in Holland March 29, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Check out this BBC Analysis podcast for an insight into the Catholic, or cultural Catholics supporting PVV candidates in Holland, in the south of that country. It really does underline how focused on identity politics these new ‘populists’ are.

One notable aspect is that everyone, and I mean everyone, speaks English. But what are they saying, check out the Dutch Labour Party person talking about Rotherham…

And what about voters attitudes in the UK to Brexit. March 29, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

And following on from the last post about polling in the UK. Reading this Matthew D’Ancona piece in the Guardian I was struck by an unfamiliar feeling… that being that he was fairly spot on. Writing about immigration promises from Brexiteers he shows how incorrect they were and further notes:

Keep an eye, meanwhile, on that word “illegals”, which is gaining poisonous currency as a catch-all term for all migrants and non-white people. In his interview with the Times in January, Donald Trump used it, quite inaccurately, to describe Syrian refugees welcomed to Germany. The intended force of the word is not hard to fathom. To call someone “illegal” is to strip them of their legitimacy and brand them as – at best – second class.
This is the sharp end of a broader phenomenon in which political language is being used with pernicious elasticity. The true legacy of the fading UK Independence party is not the EU referendum or its outcome. It has been to force the politics of Enoch Powell into the mainstream and to pour all social grievances, dysfunctions and resentments into a vessel, bursting at the seams, marked “immigration”.

And he notes how:

The broad claims of the referendum campaign are starting to dissolve into the pixelated reality of policy, practicality and compromise. According to a senior government source, a wonderful irony is now manifesting itself around the cabinet table in the contributions of Liam Fox, David Davis and Boris Johnson: “There’s no doubt that Theresa wants to bring down immigration. But the three main Brexiteers are suddenly becoming more and more vocal about the need to keep the numbers sufficiently high for the needs of the economy. You hear Liam saying: ‘We mustn’t do anything that threatens prosperity.’ It’s becoming more and more clear to them what’s at stake.”
In their defence Fox, Davis and Johnson would doubtless insist that their demand was only ever to “take back control” of immigration from the EU, rather than specifically to reduce the number of newcomers. But this was always disingenuous.

Yet this was the ground the Brexiteers chose to fight upon. As he says, UKIP’s shift from sovereignty to anti-immigration saw that party, and more important support for Brexit, increase markedly.
And what of this?

The message that the voters heard loud and clear was that escaping the grip of Brussels would mean fewer foreigners coming to Britain. As Deborah Mattinson’s fascinating Britainthinks panel surveys have shown, leave voters interpret “hard Brexit” unequivocally as being “tough on immigrants” and are uninterested in economic counter-arguments. What motivates leavers, Mattinson concludes, is “broader cultural issues”.

Well worth reading the analysis offered by Mattison here in PR Week. The panels conducted by BritainThinks offer a deeply troubling insight into how immigration is the key issue for so many, and clearly drove the vote.

2. That said, what unites ‘leavers’ is that the economic arguments, sacrosanct to so many politicians simply don’t matter. The main vote drivers were controlling immigration and restoring sovereignty. When economic arguments are raised, they are often contested, but ultimately drive decision making much less than these broader cultural issues.

There’s more too:

4. Another key learning is about the sheer weight of expectation. Voters from all but the ‘devastated pessimist’ group expect life to be good, post Brexit. The government has not really managed these expectations and it will be very hard now to live up to them. One typical ‘leaver’ said “I am looking forward to it. This is a fantastic opportunity to rebuild the country: more police, better hospitals, more schools and more teachers”, while even a ‘remainer’ observed “This is a chance to explore a different avenue for Britain. To see if this could make Britain even more successful.”

And keep in mind too how general polling, as noted previously still has enormous focus on immigration control.

This qualitative research has been reinforced by quantitative findings: according to an Ipsos Mori poll in Friday’s Evening Standard, 61% regard immigration curbs as the priority in the forthcoming negotiations. A recent study by the NatCen thinktank indicated that 68% want the principle of free movement to go.

That’s the Tory/UKIP Brexit.

BTW, this from Fintan O’Toole makes a not dissimilar point re overselling Brexit on the part of the Tories/UKIP, etc.

Brexit polling… March 29, 2017

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It’s not unuseful – this day of all days – to examine polling responses in the UK in order to appreciate the importance to various issues ascribed by British voters in relation to Brexit. So, for example, this from UK Polling Report notes that MORI in its polls has…

…also had some questions on EU negatotiations. Asked if the government were doing well or badly at handling Britain’s exit from the European Union 36% said a good job, 52% a bad job. Asked the same question about Theresa May 49% said a good job, 40% said a bad job. That alone is an interesting difference – I’d be fascinated to see how people who answered the two questions differently explained their answers (my guess is people would say something about May coming across as more competent than some of her ministers).

That disparity between Tories and May suggests… well, what? Perhaps that she is considerably more popular than her government? Interesting. Though – and I know the government is not equivalent to the Tory party, but still – the Tories are 13% ahead of the LP in MORI polls.

But look at the issues:

Asked how important various considerations were in Brexit negotiations 43% of people said it was essential or very important for Britain not to have to make any contributions to the EU after we’ve left, 43% also said it was essential or important to remain in the single market. 61% said it was essential or important that Britain has full control over immigration.

61%. Immigration control. Well out ahead. Telling.

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

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

Garda Patrol March 28, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

There’s times when events, even in the target rich environment that characterises the contemporary political and economic period, can still take one by surprise. For example, given all the other news last week it took a while for the importance of the breath tests claims to sink in.

Alibaba in comments sums this up here…

I read in disbelief when Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was to be asked belatedly about the one million drink-driving breath tests recorded ‘in error’, that is, which didn’t occur or ‘how 14,700 wrongful convictions were secured’ since 2016. And as to those who say she ‘inherited’ these problems, that’s tosh. She was the Assistant Commissioner when some happened and was notified of exaggerated detection rates in 2014 when she succeeded Callinan. Only now when the story is broken is a so-called audit being carried out. This is the same person who is bad news on-going and who previously declined to stand aside when the activities of her office are being investigated.
Fair dues to Sinn Féin for mounting the pressure, but even a quitting O’Sullivan ain’t going to cut it, given the repulsive organisational culture, don’t you think?


Pat Leahy in the IT, hardly a radical, himself sounds astounded by the following:

There has been a litany of calls for the commissioner to stand aside after revelations that 14,700 people were wrongly convicted of motoring offences and breathalyser tests were exaggerated by one million.

The scale of that exaggeration, the numbers of wrongly convicted, surely goes beyond any reasonable definitions of norms, or accidents. As Mary Lou McDonald noted, the situation is farcical, and more so when the Garda Commissioner argues publicly that ‘no deliberate distortion of facts or falsification of figures has yet been established’.

That’s not how everyone else sees it. Simon Carswell also in the IT, argues:

The extent of the false reporting of alcohol breathalyser tests – some 937,212 on the Garda Pulse system from 2011 to 2016 – suggests that the problem may have infected every Garda division.

It sure does.

A primary interface between Garda and citizens is shown demonstrably to be “distorted” and worse. That it is an interface that is absolutely vital to broader safety on the roads makes this particularly bitter. Those tests are needed but also need to be seen to be implemented correctly.

One can almost feel sympathetic to the Commissioner’s plight – she arrived in the role due to another set of events entirely. But one would have thought that at the least – given the prominence of breathalyser tests on politicians and the small fact of anonymous tip-offs (mentioned in the Carswell piece) – a glitch list of potential and actual problems would have been compiled and made public in order to forestall precisely what we see today. That it wasn’t suggests that for all the talk of ‘very deep, very real cultural reform’ the reality is business as usual.

Alibaba’s point re resignation not cutting it is spot on. I’ve read that some advocate much the same approaches as the PSNI in terms of accountability and oversight. Perhaps those closer to those processes could give a view?

“would not be prepared to recommend to Parliament….. a settlement which was unequal or unfair” March 28, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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I was looking at British Election Manifestos from the years before the UK joined the EEC. In a way to look for clues as what they might do post brexit, be it increasing tariffs to stimulate UK based industry, incentives for famers and so on.
This though from the 1970 Conservative manifesto caught my eye about negotiations to join the EEC,

A Stronger Britain in The World

If we can negotiate the right terms, we believe that it would be in the long-term interest of the British people for Britain to join the European Economic Community, and that it would make a major contribution to both the prosperity and the security of our country. The opportunities are immense. Economic growth and a higher standard of living would result from having a larger market.

But we must also recognise the obstacles. There would be short-term disadvantages in Britain going into the European Economic Community which must be weighed against the long-term benefits. Obviously there is a price we would not be prepared to pay. Only when we negotiate will it be possible to determine whether the balance is a fair one, and in the interests of Britain.

Our sole commitment is to negotiate; no more, no less. As the negotiations proceed we will report regularly through Parliament to the country.

A Conservative Government would not be prepared to recommend to Parliament, nor would Members of Parliament approve, a settlement which was unequal or unfair. In making this judgement, Ministers and Members will listen to the views of their constituents and have in mind, as is natural and legitimate, primarily the effect of entry upon the standard of living of the individual citizens whom they represent.

Interesting to see what standards the Brexit deal will have to have and if they “would not be prepared to recommend to Parliament….. a settlement which was unequal or unfair”

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