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What you want to say – 20th September, 2017 September 20, 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. Paddy Healy - September 20, 2017

ICTU Toughens its Criticism of Government on Housing but We are well passed talking on the Issue. Will ICTU DO Anything?

Time for a One-Day General Strike on Housing-Seamus Healy TD
Listen Live To Seamus’ Dail Speech https://youtu.be/UKRKNPEeIAA
ICTU wants Government to declare national housing emergency-Sarah Bardon, Irish Times Today
Full Article http://wp.me/pKzXa-Rd
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) will on Wednesday call on the Government to declare a national emergency on housing.
In a new policy paper, Ictu strongly criticises the Government for failing to tackle the housing crisis, and calls for initiatives to be introduced in Budget 2018.
A sharp increase in the output of social housing to a rate of at least 10,000 per annum by late 2018 or early 2019, the introduction of a 6 per cent vacant site levy and the use of compulsory purchase orders are some of the proposals made by the ICTU
In its housing policy document it says the key priority for the State is to avoid reliance on the private sector, and increase the build of social housing dramatically. The local authorities, it says, should drive the building with the financial assistance of the State.-Irish Times

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dublinstreams - September 20, 2017

what can the ICTU do?

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Paddy Healy - September 21, 2017

ICTU has called for a decisive change in government policy on housing including the formal declaration of a national housing emergency to enable government to trump the qualified right to private property in the constitution. This would enable the stae to withstand legal challenges to compulsory purchase orders, rent freezes, a ban on evictions etc. Pensions are private property. That is why government redeclares a financial emergency every year to enable it to withstand a legal challenge to the continued confiscation of pensions

In the Dail debate last night Seamus welcomed the ICTU call and suggested a one day general strike as the government and Fianna Fáil were clearly ignoring the ICTU call.
Strikes to force political changes when fundamental entitlements of citizens, such as the right to a home are ignored, are not uncommon.
In 1979, the executive of Dublin Trades Council, of which I was then a member, held a one day strike in Dublin for tax equity(“PAYE STRIKE”) .This then was to be repeated in the whole country and ICTU Agreed to Lead It. Seamus has a similar action in mind on housing. If government continued to allow the banks, including the two it owns, to evict people more prolonged action would be necessary. In eighty countries around the world citizens have a constitutional right to a home.

Liked by 1 person

CL - September 21, 2017

In the U.K The National Housing Federation …says..

‘since 2011, no government money has been made available to build homes in England for low paid people to rent…
housing someone in a private rented property costs £21 a week more than housing them in a social rent property, on average…
rather than putting public money into building the homes we need, we are propping up rents in a failing market….
after the government decided to halt the funding of social rented housing in 2011, the building of such properties fell from 36,000 to 3,000 the next year…
This was despite the fact that there are more than a million families on housing waiting lists…
Not only is it more expensive to house someone in the private rented sector than social housing, but none of that money increases the supply of new homes.’
http://www.bbc.com/news/education-41309316

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Paddy Healy - September 21, 2017

This is correct. Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI), part-funded by ICTU, has published a similar analysis of the payment of rent allowance and Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to private landlords as the main method of providing housing to the poorer sections of the Irish population. This turns out to be dearer than the building of social houses by the state. We are seeing a return to capitalist savagery in Ireland and the UK, including the six counties. The NERI research was cited in the Dáil debate last night.
All groups who spoke in the debate last night, except Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael committed to supporting the insertion of a right to housing in the constitution. The Greens went missing and I ca’t recall any Independent Alliance deputy speaking either. The vote takes place in the early afternoon to-day. What will Finian McGrath, John Halligan, Eamonn Ryan, Catherine Martin Do? Will they be to the right of the two Heay-Raes and Mattie McGrath?

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Paddy Healy - September 21, 2017

In my reply to CL earlier, I forgot to mention that the Labour Party slipped over to the side of the left wing angels last night. Last December, the Labour Party and the Greens voted against Seamus Healy’s amendment to the Housing Bill which had the effect of formally declaring a housing emergency as subsequently demanded by ICTU. Surprise, surprise!! Remember-“the seventies will be socialist” and “coalition never again”-Brendan Corish, 1968

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Paddy Healy - September 21, 2017
mitra - September 22, 2017

the labour party were in Govt., 2011-2016, and Jan O’Sullivan recently was on radio advocating the building of housing; whereas in Govt. she was advocating the demolition of surplus housing.

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2. Occasional lurker - September 20, 2017

Ibrahim Halawa is free. No evidence produced. The state might fly him home on th private jet.

Is it possible that some political parties here might try to recruit such a high profile campaigner for democracy with the general election more and more likely.

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3. bjg - September 20, 2017

Brexit and the car industry http://news.sky.com/story/brexit-forensics-why-car-industry-is-getting-worried-11041671

Lots of interesting detail about how complex the industry’s operations are, how little HMG understood them and how big a spanner Mrs May proposes to throw in their works. This is a (very readable) illustration of the sort of thing Richard North has been talking about.

bjg

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4. Paddy Healy - September 20, 2017

Savagery of Successive Governments to Disabled
Protest over ‘broken promises’ on disability rights-RTE
Full Report; http://wp.me/pKzXa-T8
Protesters highlighted the continuing delay in ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which the State signed a decade ago.
They chanted “Ratify before we Die”
Protesters say the demonstration will continue overnight
Several dozen protesters, many of them in wheelchairs, have gathered outside Leinster House for a protest which they have vowed to continue overnight.
They have written to the Taoiseach and all other TDs accusing most of them of breaking promises to the republic’s 600,000 people with disabilities, and claiming they are being denied equality, rights, and a life worth living.
In the letter, the organisation ‘Broken Promises – Disabled People Fight Back’ recites a litany of promises which it says politicians who have governed the State for several years have broken.

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5. Alibaba - September 20, 2017

For the record, here are the views of ‘TDs and senators sitting on the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution [who] will meet today to begin deliberating the Citizens’ Assembly’s recommendations.’

http://www.thejournal.ie/abortion-committee-members-3591836-Sep2017/

I can see that stating their views has the same amount of attraction for some Irish politicians as the cross has for the vampire. 

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6. irishelectionliterature - September 20, 2017

Undercover in the Alt-Right.

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7. gendjinn - September 20, 2017
8. bjg - September 20, 2017

“Brexit and the risks of a ‘racist’ land border in Ireland” http://ukandeu.ac.uk/brexit-and-the-risks-of-a-racist-land-border-in-ireland/

bjg

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9. bjg - September 20, 2017

Ten Brexit factsheets from “The UK in a Changing Europe”

The Brexit process not only itself poses challenges, such as how to ensure EU law is incorporated into the British statute book, and how best to carry out the negotiations with the EU itself, but the potential implications of different kinds of possible outcome for different parts of the UK are many and varied.

These factsheets are designed to provide short, accessibly introductions to some of the key Brexit-related issues

20-page PDF downloadable from http://ukandeu.ac.uk/research-papers/brexit-factsheets-10-essential-topics/

bjg

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10. CL - September 20, 2017

“Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo backed up cable workers Monday who have been on strike for more than six months in a fight with Spectrum….
“We’re going to demand respect for the blood and sweat of the workforce,” Cuomo said as the rally kicked off at Cadman Plaza Park….
“We do not accept a greedy corporation trying to undercut the most basic rights of working people,” Hizzoner said”
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/cuomo-de-blasio-back-workers-contract-fight-spectrum-article-1.3504933

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11. 6to5against - September 20, 2017

Are there any CLR regulars in or around Barcelona? It seems to me on a casual reading that pretty extraordinary events are taking place, but it’s only getting a bit of coverage.

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GW - September 20, 2017

Not there but there’s plenty of coverage outside the Anglosphere. It’s quite extraordinary what the central Spanish State is doing to repress a vote a referendum.

It’s like they want another Basque-style civil war on their hands. Perhaps that just it – the Spanish securocrats need a reason to be after the cease-fire.

Liked by 2 people

bjg - September 21, 2017
12. GW - September 20, 2017

This piece in The Intercept contains a good historical summary of how Goldman Sachs’ influence on the US government has only grown with Trump’s regime.

It now stands at six ex-Vampire Squiders of the White House team, with Gary Cohn being perhaps the most influential.

GS has long been building up a ‘Public Sector and Infrastructure’ group and Cohn is pitching a $1Tn PPP infrastructure spend to the vacuum under the golden toupee. Now as everyone here knows PPP stands for Publicly-guaranteed Private Profit, and is a highly inefficient way of financing infrastructure. But it will allow Goldman Sachs and similar maximum opportunity to stick their feeding tubes into the US budget spend.

The German Federal Audit Commissioners recently came out with an analysis of just how inefficient PPP has been in building highways/motorways in Germany. The roads built are deteriorating and the Private Profiteers and now whining to the government that they need yet more cash.

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13. bjg - September 20, 2017

How capitalism works

I don’t know if anyone regularly reads Matt Levine on Bloomberg View …. Here’s an extract from a recent piece https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-14/insider-trading-and-risk-retention, in which he tells how two Brazilian company executives allegedly

(a) secretly recorded a conversation with the country’s president “in which both men were allegedly discussing bribes”

(b) made a plea bargain with prosecutors and agreed to pay a fine

(c) “unfairly traded” their company’s stock while the bargaining was going on but before it became public knowledge

(d) thereby made a profit from the fall in the stock price: a profit larger than the fine they had agreed to pay

(e) did the same to the Brazilian real, buying $2 billion and betting that the real would fall, which it did when news of the “wide-ranging graft deal” came out.

bjg

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14. gendjinn - September 20, 2017

Committee to Investigate Russia has Rob Reiner so I’m hoping it’s some sort of Spinal Tap spoof.

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15. Tomboktu - September 20, 2017

Jaypers. From tonight, we’ve less daylight than darkness until next March.

Liked by 1 person

makedoanmend - September 21, 2017

Don’t Worry. Vadaker and FG are on the case. They’ll get to the bottom of the shrinking daylight conundrum. They’ll be a public enquiry with suitable photo ops that will involve all stakeholders. There. Solved.

And probably also announce a €10 tax cut for the working middle classes.

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16. sonofstan - September 20, 2017

According to the Guardian, a bunch of ex Man United players; the Nevilles, Giggs, Scholes etc are opening a ‘university’ which will teach ‘life skills’ and the usual cod-HE bollocks. The best bit was at the end though the degrees will awarded by Lancaster, and..

“Prof Mark E Smith, the vice-chancellor of Lancaster University, said businesses were becoming increasingly interested in how higher education could prepare students for working life”

Liked by 2 people

makedoanmend - September 21, 2017

This is a prime example of how just dynamic capitalism has become once it was unfettered from regulation and unburdened by the base requirements of humans. Only when education had become privatised could the fullness of the profit motive unleash the vitality of the working classes to become full fledged entrepreneurs. Animal spirits abound, unfettered.

How else would a nexus between the intelligentsia (as represented by a vice chancellor) and working class lads (as represented by ex Man Utd footballers) develop into a full fruiting fruition innovative business enterprise never before seen on planet earth without the ideology of neoliberalism?

And the real genius of capitalism isn’t mentioned. As an entire new cohort of students are lured into higher education, the loans generated will feed the families of bankers, accountanst and legalists for generations. (Forget loaves and fishes bullshit, this is the real deal people.) And there is also the the even further added benefit as some foreign types will pretend to hold all the cash generated in offshore tax enlightened jurisdictions. (It’s a small world after all.)

It’s such a privilege to be alive in this era.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - September 21, 2017

‘Lured’ is exactly right.

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17. EWI - September 20, 2017

The EU love-bombing attacks on Irish neutrality (really, our principled non-aligned status) continue:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/defence-forces-chief-to-be-nominated-for-eu-s-highest-military-position-1.3226624

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18. Michael Carley - September 20, 2017
19. gendjinn - September 21, 2017

centrism.biz has our number LEFTISTS: Instead of believing that what’s good for business is good for everyone, these anti-progress tree fondlers absurdly claim that what’s good for everyone is good for everyone.

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20. CL - September 21, 2017

AfD profile:

“While only 19 per cent of Germany’s voters live in the east of the country, 29 per cent of AfD supporters do…
69 per cent of the party’s supporters are men…
The average AfD supporter is 51.4 years old…
it would be a mistake to think of the AfD as a party appealing exclusively to an economic “precariat”, or one which is only a regional phenomenon — several studies based on survey data have shown the party to have broad support. While the median income of AfD voters is low compared with other parties, it also has the broadest income distribution, with a substantial minority of high earners….
Voters’ dissatisfaction with their economic circumstances is the biggest driver of support for the AfD,…
AfD supporters are more likely to say they have experienced downward social mobility relative to their parents.
https://www.ft.com/content/1e3facea-9d48-11e7-8cd4-932067fbf946

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21. Michael Carley - September 21, 2017

If you’re going to express solidarity with Catalunya, it might be better not to do it in Spanish.

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WorldbyStorm - September 21, 2017

Hmmm… curious one all that.

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22. irishelectionliterature - September 21, 2017

Quote of the day …”Nobody was killed – though obviously the incident with the goat shouldn’t have happened.”

https://www.donegalnow.com/sport/greencastle-players-ashamed-actions/185835

Liked by 1 person

23. bjg - September 21, 2017
24. bjg - September 21, 2017

Open Democracy has started a series on Lexit. The tag line is “Should Labour fight Brexit, or embrace it? Julian Sayarer and Xavier Buxton introduce a new project on openDemocracy, exploring the possibilities and limitations of “Lexit”.” The intro is here https://www.opendemocracy.net/looking-at-lexit/julian-sayarer-xavier-buxton/looking-at-lexit-mission-statement with the first pro- and anti-Lexit articles here https://www.opendemocracy.net/looking-at-lexit/xavier-buxton/lexit-looking-forwards-not-backwards and here
https://www.opendemocracy.net/looking-at-lexit/julian-sayarer/lexit-defeatism-dressed-as-ambition respectively.

Meanwhile Rick says that Brexit is “no job for dilettantes” https://flipchartfairytales.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/brexit-no-job-for-dilettantes/

bjg

Liked by 1 person

25. roddy - September 21, 2017

Goats have been ridden in orange halls for centuries and not a word from anyone!

Liked by 1 person

26. Starkadder - September 21, 2017
27. CL - September 22, 2017

“Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end who committed suicide in April while serving a life sentence for murder, was found to have a severe form of C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma that has been found in more than 100 former N.F.L. players….
C.T.E., or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, can be diagnosed only posthumously. Hernandez is the latest former N.F.L. player to have committed suicide and then been found to have C.T.E., joining Dave Duerson, Junior Seau, Andre Waters, Ray Easterling and Jovan Belcher, among others. Seau and Duerson shot themselves in the chest, apparently so that researchers would be able to examine their brain. Hernandez was found hanging in his prison cell.”

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CL - September 22, 2017

However:

“Contrary to what appears in the headlines, multiple researchers have found no significant relationship between playing football and increased risk of violence, suicide and dementia in the general football playing population.”
https://sports.yahoo.com/im-brain-scientist-let-son-play-football-135727314.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=fb

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28. bjg - September 22, 2017

The Corbyn Effect

The magnitude of Corbyn’s achievement in avoiding ‘Pasokification’ has barely been noticed by a notoriously parochial English left and media commentators. Have they not noticed the headlong decline of those European social-democractic parties that have followed the favoured centrist route – not just PASOK in Greece, but Parti Socialiste in France, Partito Democratico in Italy, Partido Socialista in Spain, and the Dutch and Irish Labour parties? Adhering to the neo-liberal consensus and indistinguishable from their centre-right opponents, voters preferred the real thing while social democracy found itself outflanked on its left, its right and in some cases both. On the left, Syriza, Podemos, Mélenchon and others have rivalled the mainstream left for appeal and in some cases, the Dutch Green Left most spectacularly, have overtaken it.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/mark-perryman/rising-from-abyss-corbyn-effect

bjg

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - September 22, 2017

Again, though, the FPTP effect: neither the tories to the right, or labour to the left can effectively be outflanked, because it is impossible to build the critical mass of MPs needed to sustain such a movement.

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29. bjg - September 23, 2017

Seven Rules for Running a Real Left-Wing Government http://www.ianwelsh.net/7-rules-for-running-a-real-left-wing-government/

bjg

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30. Starkadder - September 23, 2017

An Irish Examiner editorial demands that the just-released
Ibrahim Halawa should ” should clarify his relationship” with the Muslim Brotherhood:

http://www.broadsheet.ie/2017/09/19/unforgiving/

But his cellmate said Halawa had ” he had no particular association with the Muslim Brotherhood”

http://www.thejournal.ie/ibrahim-halawa-cellmate-3604884-Sep2017/

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Phineas and Ferb - September 24, 2017

The cellmate would likely have gotten a feel for his views. I’d listen to him.

That said the Brotherhood is a putrid organization whose rejection of the UN declaration on women’s rights mark them out as on the other side to everyone on this site.

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WorldbyStorm - September 24, 2017

There is no-one on this site who would have a moment’s time for the MB. But then I’d doubt anyone on this site would think your first sentence very clever either.

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gendjinn - September 24, 2017

The MB were an improvement on what came before & after them in Egypt. As were the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In the brief moment Egypt had democracy they choose the Muslim Brotherhood but Israel and the West would not allow that so they staged a coup and threw the Muslim Brotherhood into prison, torture and murder.

I’d say the MB ranks higher than all of those groups.

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31. Aonrud ⚘ - September 24, 2017

Recently came across this 1985 CIA document on changes in French philosophy and the ‘decline in intellectual life’ in France. Don’t tend to associate the CIA with monitoring philosophical trends, but I suppose they’re big enough to have a dept. for everything…

Intellectuals have traditionally played an influential role in French political life. Even though they have selfom sought a direct part in formulating policy, they have conditioned the atmosphere in which politics are conducted and have frequently served as important shapers of the political and ideological trends that generate French policy. Reconizing that their influence on policymaking is difficult to measure, this paper focuses on the changing attitudes of French intellectuals and guages the probable impact on the political environment in whivh policy is made.

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP86S00588R000300380001-5.PDF

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WorldbyStorm - September 24, 2017

Interesting, there’s fairly good evidence for the US government and intelligence agencies assisting fine art experimentation in the 50s onwards to point up the freedoms of bourgeois democracy over the Soviets so it’s not a huge stretch that they’d be examining it the other way. As it happens I think they did an (unwitting) favour to much visual art during that period but that’s a different discussion!

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Michael Carley - September 25, 2017

Edward Said reviewing a fine book on the subject

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v21/n19/edward-said/hey-mister-you-want-dirty-book

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32. sonofstan - September 24, 2017

So train into London this morning full of people on their way to wembley to watch an NFL game, a sport I will never understand. A few wearing Kaepernick shirts though, and apparently all the black players knelt rather than stood for the anthem with owners and coachs expressing solidarity. Good to see, and I hope it’s remembered when the annual James McClean poppy row comes round.

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CL - September 25, 2017

Football has become a political football, so there may be more interest developing.

‘Trump even went on to dismiss safety concerns about an obviously violent game. The more he talks, the more he sounds like someone who might have actually played the game — without a helmet’
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/isn-donald-trump-football-disaster-article-1.3518156

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CL - September 25, 2017

“What had been a modest round of anthem demonstrations this season led by a handful of African-American players mushroomed and morphed into a nationwide, diverse rebuke to Mr. Trump, with even some of his staunchest supporters in the N.F.L., including several owners, joining in or condemning Mr. Trump for divisiveness.”

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