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Another opinion poll! September 25, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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From the Daily Mail/Ireland Thinks…

It shows Fine Gael on 32%, up one point since the last comparable Irish Daily Mail/Ireland Thinks poll in June.

There is a three point rise in support for Fianna Fáil which stands at 29%.

Sinn Féin are down two points with support for the party measured at 14%, Labour on 5% are also down two percentage points while the Green Party drop one to sit at 3% support.

Independents and others are on 12%, that is a one point increase.

Solidarity-People Before Profit and the Social Democrats are each unchanged on 2%.

The interesting percentage for me, or one of the most interesting, is the share of FF/FG in all recent polls.


Left Archive: The Blanket – Vol 1, No. 1, Winter 2002 September 25, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. The Blanket./a>

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

A range of documents were donated to the Archive from a number of groups and organisations from the 2000-2002 period. We’ll be posting them up over the Summer in order to get a sense of the specific concerns during that period, now a good decade and a half ago. This is the first.

This edition, number 1, of the Blanket is particularly fascinating. Issued in Winter 2002 it has a pessimistic tone with various contributions including a front page article by Liam O’Ruairc arguing that ‘Irish Republicanism is in crisis’. An interview with Marion Price states that ‘I wouldn’t consider SF of today being republicans, I see SF as being a nationalist party… for Republicans I think we had a setback’.

An editorial by O’Ruairc and Anthony McIntyre reiterates this:

…this journal is also very conscious that Irish Republicanism is at present facing a serious crisis. To attempt to solve this crisis, this journal intends to regenerate what is best in the Irish Republican tradition. We believe that what is most valid in it could e summarised as the ‘three Ds’; defiance, defence and dissent. Any society needs dissent from the structures of power, defence against the structures of power and to defy the structures of power. Provisional Republicanism long enough provided that until those ideas were ‘decommissioned’ by people claiming to be Republicans. Failure to regenerate them today will allow Truceleers and Good Friday Solders to use the Republican tradition to legitimate their own ends.

There is much more including book reviews, an article addressing unionism and decommissioning and reports on issues outside of Ireland.

An important addition to the Archive.

Meanwhile, back in Berlin September 24, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

An exit poll…

Angela Merkel is heading for a fourth term as Germany’s chancellor after her centre-right CDU party and its CSU sister party won 32% of the vote, initial exit polls have projected.

The estimation puts the Christian Democrats comfortably ahead of their outgoing coalition partner and main rival, the Social Democrat SPD party led by Martin Schulz, which ended a miserable campaign with just 20% – a near rout.

But as predicted, the far-right, anti-immigration AfD has spoiled the chancellor’s party, clearing the 5% parliamentary threshold for the first time in its four-year history with a score of 13%, making it the third largest party in the Bundestag and possibly the official opposition.

The smaller, pro-business FDP party, Merkel’s favoured coalition partner, looks set to return to parliament after missing out in 2013 with a share of 10%, while the Green party won 9% and the left-wing Die Linke 9%.

One good thing is that the SPD has said it will not enter a ‘grand coalition’ with the CDU/CSU which prevents AfD from becoming the official opposition. But… that it should come to this that a party like the AfD has gained seats and a solid enough share of the vote…

You’d have to wonder how deep an analysis is being made… September 24, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…when you read stuff like this. A piece on the Eurozone economies in the Guardian from a week or two back…

Despite the storm clouds of Brexit on the horizon, the Bank of Ireland continues to forecast growth for the Irish economy, albeit at a lower rate. Under the bonnet, however, not everyone is convinced by this growth story. The centre-right former prime minister Enda Kenny was voted out of office this year because not enough voters sensed a recovery. A growth spurt of 26% in 2015 was branded “leprechaun economics”: large multinationals seeking to protect their profits moved intellectual property into Ireland, with no change in the real economy. Ireland’s exchequer remains highly dependent on a few large companies, leaving the economy in a vulnerable position.

Sunday and Weekend Media Stupid Statements… September 24, 2017

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

…let rip! All contributions gratefully accepted…

This isn’t exactly a statement but why are the SBP/RedC still polling Renua?

And this from Ivan Yates yesterday seems hopelessly optimistic (even given his political position):

Micheál Martin’s leadership pivots on the same outcome. Between now and then it’s merely the political foreplay of jockeying for ministerial office. We’ll have to wait until the next Dáil to resolve our problems. The sooner, the better.

A vision of work in the future… today September 23, 2017

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Ryanair has told cabin crew staff based at England’s East Midlands airport that due to a winter reduction in aircraft, all Customer Service Supervisors must take a six-week block of unpaid leave.

They can avoid this by accepting six weeks secondment to bases with spare capacity in Eindhoven, Cologne and Berlin.

However the staff must pay for their own hotels and meals during that period.

SBP/Red C poll this evening September 23, 2017

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FG 30% +3

FF 26% +2

SF 16% -2

LP 5% -1

IA 2% -2

INDS 10% +2


SD 4% +2%

GP 2% -2

RENUA 1% -2

Not a huge degree of change there and all at or about the MOE.

Galaxy magazine online September 23, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This is a treasure trove for those interested in the ‘golden age’ era of Science Fiction and after…

Galaxy Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, published from 1950 to 1980. It was founded by an Italian company, World Editions, which was looking to break in to the American market. World Editions hired as editor H. L. Gold, who rapidly made Galaxy the leading science fiction (sf) magazine of its time, focusing on stories about social issues rather than technology.

Cycle paths and the car as overcoat or shopping basket… September 23, 2017

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A brilliant piece in the Guardian on the strange case of Stevenage in the UK – a new town built in the 1960s and designed with cycle paths in situ. Unfortunately bicycle usage has never taken off there and today about 3% of the population use them.

Eric Clapton the designer of the town (or reworked town) after the war said something absolutely to the point..

[he] poured scorn on those who chose motorcars rather than bicycles, complaining that motorists “seem to have a problem with their logic” because “they use their cars as shopping baskets, or use them as overcoats”. Claxton complained that he had provided “cycle tracks [modelled on the] pattern of those found [in] Holland” for the residents of Stevenage, but cycle use in Stevenage never reached Dutch levels of use.

That point about the car as overcoat or shopping basket gets to the heart of one of the most problematic contemporary malaises in relation to transport. And in relation to Stevenage perhaps Claxton himself designed too well…

The borough council’s cycle strategy – not updated since 2002 – conveys no doubt as to why cycle usage is so low: “Stevenage has a fast, high-capacity road system, which makes it easy to make journeys by car. Residents have largely been insulated from the effects of traffic growth and congestion and generally there is little incentive for people to use modes other than the private car … [The] propensity to cycle [appears to] depend on factors other than the existence of purpose-built facilities.”

And this process starts young…

There are safe cycle routes from homes to schools, but today only a tiny proportion of Stevenage’s children cycle each day. Many are ferried to school by car, a situation that Claxton abhorred: “It is pathetic to see the way some parents bring their child to school by car and later park in the street near to the school to give them a ride home.”

Living in the inner city – and cycling to the local N.S. or walking once it became impossible to carry the creature on the bicycle – it always surprised me that while only a minority there were children dropped in by car by parents who lived close by. Some, in fairness had workplaces to get to, others didn’t.

Again, the piece doesn’t shy away from Claxton’s inadvertent role in this. And one commentator notes a key issue:

“If the reasons for Stevenage’s failure to encourage cycling were that it was too easy to drive, then no amount of investment in marketing the town’s cycling facilities would have changed travel behaviour.”

Just on cycle paths – it is striking the volume of cyclists now using them in Dublin compared with a couple of years ago, or particularly a decade ago.

Only yesterday the IT carried this report:

The number of cyclists in Dublin city has more than doubled in the past six years, with more than 95,000 people using their bikes in the capital every day.
The number of users of Dublinbike has also soared in recent years, with 16,285 people availing daily of the city bike service, up from 4,474 in 2010.
The latest cycling figures from Dublin City Council reveal that cycling is becoming increasingly popular in the capital, with the number of bike users rising by more than 17 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

Vast flocks of bicycles now use the streets. In one way this is fantastic – in another it shows up how partial and inadequate the current provisions are. There’s clearly scope for greater and greater use of these by cyclists (and likewise public transport or taxis), and a diminishing role for private cars. I’m not convinced of specific lights for cycle lanes – I see them every day on the canals and essentially they’re ignored by cyclists, indeed I wonder if a greater integration into broader traffic patterns with that already mentioned reduced numbers of cars might not be a better way to go. But changing times anyhow.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… “Savoy Digital Angst” September 23, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Savoy Books in Manchester was started by David Britton and Mike Butterworth in Manchester in 1976. There’s an interview with Butterworth here which gives good details of the whole Savoy Books story, the many raids by the Manchester Obscene Publications Squad and persecution which almost forced them out of business.
In 1984 they branched out from books to records and teamed up with singer PJ Proby to produce some rather unusual music and ‘aural soundscapes’. They recorded unique covers of Joy Division, New Order and other artists.
However it wasn’t those covers but the “Savoy Digital Angst” EP that caught my ear. Probably the strangest versions of Irish Ballads (and oddly a dance version of God Save The Queen) that I’ve heard. The Jolly almost dance mix of “Kevin Barry” , then to what sounds like a mash of Black Sabbath riffs a version of “The Old Fenian Gun” and a marching song style version of “Bobby Sands”.
There’s another interview with Butterworth here.
There’s quite a few odder things from the label if you look up “Savoy Wars” on youtube, such as Fenella Fielding doing Robbie Williams “Angels” or her really peculiar version of “Blue Monday” .
The “Savoy Digital Angst” EP

1. Kevin Barry 00:00
2. The Old Fenian Gun 08:00
3. Bobby Sands 10:33
4. God Save The Queen 15:59

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