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Signs of Hope – A continuing series August 10, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?


1. GW - August 10, 2017

A majority of British voters want a second referendum on Brexit according to the Survation poll, and a majority of British Labour Party members want a vote (I’m not sure here whether another referendum or a vote in Parliament is meant here – anyone?) on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

That would mean ‘taking back control’ democratically over the process.

Will a Corbynite Labour leadership follow the long tradition of ignoring the wishes of the members?


2. Joe - August 10, 2017

The interweb has gone quiet on it but I’m still holding on to reports of Roy Keane possibly taking the job of Israel football manager as a sign of great hope.


GW - August 10, 2017

I can’t parse that exactly Joe – but I presume the absence of Roy Keane would not be unwelcome?

Or has it to do with his presumed impact on the Israeli team?


Joe - August 10, 2017

It is that the absence of Roy Keane would not be unwelcome. I don’t care where he goes. He is a traitor. Saipan 2002 – never forget, never forgive.


3. jc - August 10, 2017

Democratic Socialists of America held its biennial convention in Chicago this weekend. Having grown from 7,000 to 25,000 members in the last year, it is now the largest socialist organisation in the US since WW2 and has become overwhelmingly young. Nearly 1,000 delegates attended and elected a much more left wing new leadership.


4. EWI - August 10, 2017

On a day that the bastards are starting to privatise Dublin Bus, fear not! The Labour Party has its priorities in order.

Left Field | Labour News
August 2017

Former Labour leader spearheads Ireland’s plan to land Rugby World Cup by 2023

Tony Heffernan, Dublin Rathdown

And if the challenge he now faces as Chair of the Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2023 Bid Oversight Board does not quite match some of the life and death issues he faced in government, Irish sporting fans, the tourism industry and the government will be hoping he can be successful in delivering Ireland’s bid to stage the 2023 event.

When the Irish government and the Northern Executive were seeking someone to act as Chair of the Bid Oversight Board Spring, with his combined record as a former international player and years of diplomatic experience as Minister for Foreign Affairs, was a natural choice.

Since his appointment he has thrown himself into the job with characteristic enthusiasm and is optimistic that Ireland’s bid will be successful when the decision is announced in November next. Speaking to Left Field Dick Spring outlined some of the potential benefits for Ireland. “If we are successful we can expect a total of 445,000 visitors (equivalent to the combined population of Galway, Mayo and Sligo) who would require 2.67m bed nights”. He estimates that a successful bid would be worth a total of around €1.5bn to the economy, North and South – matches will be played on both sides of the border.

What about the criticism expressed by some in the Dáil when the emergency legislation was going through to effectively provide financial guarantees for the bid, that this was exposing the Irish taxpayer to unnecessary risk? “The guarantee is a requirement of the Rugby World Board, but I am confident that the financial return to the Irish economy far outweighs any risk to the Irish taxpayer. This tournament has always made money and I am sure that this guarantee will never be called in”.

Ireland’s rivals as potential hosts for the 2023 event are France and South Africa, two countries with strong rugby traditions and previous experience of hosting world cups. So what has Ireland got to offer that would make it a better choice? “We are in a very unique position. Number one, we would be a new host country. Secondly, the rugby authorities are trying to spread the game with particular focus on North America. Ireland has unique connections with North America and was able to bring 63,000 to Soldier’s Field in Chicago when Ireland played the All-Blacks last year. In the 2015 World Cup the Ireland against Romania match in Wembley attracted an incredible attendance of 92,000, the biggest crowd ever to view a rugby match. Three out of four Irish people have an interest in sport and I think given our compact size we can stage what could be described as an intimate tournament. All the proposed venues are within 20 minutes walking time from city or town centres, thus with no requirement for long train journeys to get to them. This will add to the atmosphere and spectators’ enjoyment”, he says.

The former Tánaiste is generous is his acknowledgement of the vital support for the bid offered by the GAA. Of the 12 venues (which may be reduced later) listed in the original bid document, eight are GAA grounds with Croke Park being listed as the venue for the final. Noting the changes since he started playing sports as a child growing up in Kerry Spring says: “Ireland has matured as a nation. You simply could not have envisaged rugby being played in Croke Park in the sixties or seventies.

Asked about concerns that local fans will be priced out of the ticket market and that visitors from abroad might be exploited by excessive hotel charges, Spring is emphatic. “We have already done a deal with the Irish Hotels Federation that there will be no price gouging. We have agreed rates with them and they have assured us that the beds will be available”. On ticketing he says: “We are determined to make it accessible to everyone; you will get to see a pool match for as little as €15, but needless to say tickets will be more expensive for the later stages, but there is no reason that anyone who wants to see a world cup match will not be able to do so”.

Since his appointment, Spring has travelled extensively seeking support for Ireland’s bid from other rugby playing nations. “Every voting country has been lobbied. There are 39 votes available so clearly 20 is the target figure”. It will be done by secret ballot, but he is optimistic that Ireland will achieve that target.

Given that Dick also played Gaelic football and hurling at underage level, Left Field could not let him go without asking his views on Kerry’s prospects for the Sam Maguire. “Dublin are beatable; that has been shown in the National League Final. Tyrone are always a threat, but Mayo have struggled so far this year. Dublin and Kerry both have the experience and track record and it is hard to see beyond these two.”



5. Alibaba - August 13, 2017

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