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What you want to say – 14 March, 2018 March 14, 2018

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.


1. GW - March 14, 2018

Fair play to Judge Aileen Donnelly – she’s referred the question of the legality of the Polish legal system, after the PiSers gutted the independence of the Polish judiciary, to the ECJ.

Laurent Pech, professor of European law at Middlesex University, told the Guardian that there could be dramatic consequences if the ECJ ruled that the Polish judicial system was in contravention of European standards.

“If the [ECJ] stops recognising Polish courts as courts within the meaning of EU law, this could then leave the European commission no choice but to suspend EU funding to Poland. The impact on commercial arbitration involving Polish companies may also in time be too significant to be comfortably ignored by Polish authorities.”

The EC have dragged their feet too long on sanctions against the PiSer government.


2. lcox - March 14, 2018

Appalling to see the situation in Afrin developing in the general silence / indifference of the wider world. The city is now pretty much surrounded, with the water system destroyed by bombing and filled with refugees (not only from the current campaign but from the wider Syrian conflict).

The result of military conquest will almost certainly be widespread massacres of Kurds, Ezidis and others deemed insufficiently Islamic / supportive, on the part of the Turkish army (particularly its Grey Wolf components, prominent in this assault) and its jihadi allies.

Much of the international left engaging in a sort of armchair wargaming where the only thing that matters is great power politics in reverse (whoever is on the opposite side to the US is good) though since the US ditched Afrin and they appealed for help to the SAA this doesn’t seem to have helped.

Back in the real world a genuine revolutionary attempt (with whatever qualifications one likes) is about to be drenched in blood by a Turkey which is increasingly best described as proto-fascist in its internal and external politics.

Liked by 2 people

CL - March 14, 2018

“Syrian Arab militiamen leading the Turkish attack on Afrin in northern Syria are threatening to massacre its Kurdish population unless they convert to the variant of Islam espoused by Isis and al-Qaeda.”


EWI - March 15, 2018

All the crickets chirping around this in the Western pro-NATO media would make one sick, especially given how they’re still trying to gin up Ghouta as a propaganda cause.


GW - March 15, 2018


It’s deeply depressing to see what was predictable from the beginning of the alliance so suppress Daesh – the abandonment of the Kurds to their fate as soon as they had served their purpose – has come to pass.

The accommodation of Erdogan is a deeply shameful piece of Realpolitik. And especially the partnership based on his use of millions of desperate refugees as blackmail against EU nation states that have trampled on refugee rights in response to political pressure from the racist right.

I could go on but it’s just too depressing.

Liked by 2 people

Alibaba - March 16, 2018

Oh yes, so true.

No mention of recent Syrian barbarous developments here until now. I wondered why? Thanks to you all for not letting it go unnoticed. Also, for the record:



lcox - March 20, 2018

Waiting now to see credible reports coming out of occupied Afrin. So far relatively little concrete information available.

It’s probably good in terms of impact on the civilian population that YPG / YPJ left quickly and cleanly, and Turkish army will probably try to avoid visible bloodbaths on the streets of the city.

No doubt there is a hunt for sympathisers going on and there are unconfirmed reports of young men being forced to join the FSA, as well as fairly credible images of looting etc.

Probably the real picture will start to emerge over the next few weeks but I would imagine in rural areas in particular there will be a fair amount of violence going on from FSA jihadis and Grey Wolves in the Turkish forces. What will happen to remaining Kurds and Ezidis as well as other ethnic groups (not least Sunnis who refuse to fall in line) is another question and has the potential for large-scale ethnic cleansing in the context of Turkish threats to “resettle” Afrin with (politically suitable) refugees.

Afrin was already a safe haven for six figures of displaced people from across the Syrian conflict. Some of those are now searching for safety again along with Kurds and Ezidis from Afrin.

It seems the next few days may already make clear whether the Turkish offensive will carry on to Manbij (read: whether the Americans are going to vacate the city as the Russians did Afrin or if they are going to deny it to the Turks). If it does get to Manbij, is Rojava next?

Very dark times on a human level and appalling in terms of one of the few beacons of hope in MENA.


FergusD - March 20, 2018

There is a story, don’t know how true it is, that the Syrian govt and Russians offered help to the Afrin Kurds if they would accept that the territory is Syrian and the return of Syrian administration but the Kurds refused. Do you know anything about that?


lcox - March 20, 2018

I think it’s probably a misunderstanding.

The Kurdish movement in Syria moved away from a simple nationalism (ie the traditional desire for a united independent Kurdistan) a good while ago and has always officially stated that it only wants autonomy. Of course in the context of Assad and the civil war there was always much to be said for de facto self-government and that fits with their much more bottom-up mode of organisation.

At the start of the Turkish attack the SDF formally asked the Syrian government to defend its airspace but of course nothing happened. A week or two before the fall of Afrin they formally invited the Syrian army to join them in defending Afrin but only got small numbers of militia most of whom they already had good relationships with from previous conflicts.

There was indeed some discussion as to whether this was a purely military arrangement (obviously preferable from an SDF viewpoint) or an invitation to the restoration of Syrian state power at local level (no doubt preferable in principle from Assad’s perspective). If the Syrian army had entered in force (which it presumably doesn’t have the capacity to do not least given its assault on E. Ghouta) it is hard to imagine that local autonomy would have survived, but I haven’t seen serious suggestions that the SDF turned away an offer of greater military involvement from Syria – the tone of what I have seen is more that more was expected when the agreement was announced.

Of course these discussions could have happened earlier but given the commentary directed at the parting Russians when the Turkish attack began I imagine we would have heard if at that point there had been that kind of blackmail.

My best guess (as a non-specialist who is just trying to read as much as I can as critically as I can) is that this is part of the general “media war” which is really aimed at armchair warriors saying “well, X should have done Y in these circumstances”. It is an incredibly cynical war and if Russia had prioritised Syrian control over Afrin I don’t think it would have happened through open discussion with the SDF. Realistically though Afrin, and Kurdish areas more generally, are low on the list of Assad’s priorities at the moment and would represent a much greater headache (ie tie up more troops) post-occupation. Conversely the more top-down rebel groups, whether jihadi or not, present a more attractive target in that once defeated militarily they stay defeated. But that is sheer speculation on my part.

Liked by 1 person

Paulo - March 21, 2018

The path to hell is paved with good intentions. The PKK have managed to turn themselves into a NATO proxy – Öcalan will be freaking out at the idiocy of the leadership his organisation has to currently suffer.


lcox - March 21, 2018

I don’t agree for much the same reasons as given here:


The quick summary of which is: Kurds have a long experience of being used and betrayed and are pretty instrumental in the alliances they make. Unfortunately they don’t have the luxury of choosing their allies in the context of the Syrian civil war – or when their allies will choose to abandon them.

I certainly don’t think it worth discussing the armchair geopolitics from the viewpoint of whether people trying to make a revolution under these circumstances should make this military alliance or that one.

Liked by 1 person

3. CL - March 14, 2018

The Democrat, Conor Lamb, has apparently won the special congressional election in Pennsylvania. Trump carried that district by 20 points.
Lamb has been called a ‘Trump Democrat’.

“the president of the United Mine Workers, Cecil Roberts, summed up the reasons why white people were about to vote for a Democrat here, hailing Lamb as “a God-fearing, union-supporting, gun-owning, job-protecting, pension-defending, Social Security-believing, sending-drug-dealers-to-jail Democrat.”


WorldbyStorm - March 14, 2018

He’s kind of a bluedog. But… in fairness he also managed to reverse the Trump tide by a massive degree. I think that’s a reasonable achievement. And I’d take him any day of the week over his predecessor or opponent


CL - March 14, 2018

“. Lamb downplayed his connection to the national Democratic Party and elided differences on cultural issues, but he pulled in Trump-voting Democrats by promising a robust defense of popular safety net programs.”


Tomboktu - March 14, 2018

Liked by 1 person

4. EWI - March 15, 2018

Things not going well for Trump’s former voter ‘fraud’ commission:

After going over some of the names Richman coded as foreign — two respondents with the last name Lopez were coded as foreign, and three Lopezes were not — Ho asked Richman how he would code the name “Carlos Murguia.” Richman said he’d probably code the name as “foreign.” Ho pointed out that Murguia is a federal judge in the same courthouse in which the trial is taking place. Richman admitted he wasn’t aware of that.



5. EWI - March 15, 2018
6. CL - March 16, 2018

The new politics in action:

‘The Taoiseach has been severely criticised after revealing today that he contacted Clare County Council four years ago about a planning matter following a call from US President Donald Trump.

“Sinn Féin’s justice spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said: “I cannot fathom how an Taoiseach would almost brag about a story where he rang a local council as a government minister to make representations on behalf of an American billionaire businessman.
It is entirely unacceptable for a minister to be engaging in back-channel negotiations in the private business interests of Donald Trump or anyone else.”

Solidarity TD Mick Barry says the Taoiseach’s comments put Irish politics in a bad light.
“I think it gives the impression that Ireland operates a bit like a banana republic, that you’ve got some billionaire businessman who picks up the phone to some government minister and the Irish government minister jumps to it.”


CL - March 16, 2018

‘The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that he did not contact Clare County Council about a wind farm development following a conversation with businessman Donald Trump over Doonbeg four years ago.’


CL - March 19, 2018

“Where rich men are involved, the default mode for our right-wing politicians is crawling.”


7. EWI - March 16, 2018

The privatisation continues of Bus Éireann:



8. Daniel Rayner O'Connor - March 16, 2018



9. makedoandmend - March 17, 2018

Melting Swiss Glaciers get Unusual Protection as Weather Warms: White Blankets


“…The glacier has retreated 4,600 feet since 1856.

The blankets, their white color chosen to reflect light before it strikes the ice, may slow the glacier’s decline. But they won’t stop it. Glaciologist David Volken told Agence France-Presse that the glacier still loses three to five inches on a hot day.”

Carry on. Nothing to see here. 😦

Liked by 1 person

10. Starkadder - March 17, 2018

If I told you there were children’s books promoting a
Nazi collaborator and anti-Semite as a role model for little girls, you
would think that they must be published by some disgusting white supremacist publisher like Counter-Currents Publishing or Arktos Books, and that they would be ostracised by all respectable bookshops.

You would be wrong.

“Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls” by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, and “Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World”
by Kate Pankhurst, both include, among a collection of various admirable women like Rosa Parks and Jane Austen…..

Coco Chanel. Yes, the anti-Semite and Nazi collaborator
Coco Chanel. Both have short pieces on what a great fashion designer Madame Chanel was, and nothing about this aspect of
her life:

Designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was stunning, impeccably dressed, full of class and good graces. But beyond those coiffed eyebrows, she was also a Nazi collaborator and spy who shamelessly attempted to use anti-Jewish laws to appropriate a perfume company she never owned.



The Pankhurst book also has a section on Anne Frank;
the horrific irony of celebrating a collaborator of Nazism with a women murdered by Nazism seems lost on the author.

The revelation that Chanel was a traitor and a fascist has been in the public domain for 6 years-any research on Chanel’s life would have revealed it.

Shame on the authors! What next, “Lovely Unity Miford”?
“The Cool Girl Ilse Koch ?”

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 17, 2018

Which reminds me – one of the Dior’s wound up in a love triangle between various National Front worthies in the late 60s…


11. FergusD - March 17, 2018

Did anyone see the BBC Newsnight piece on Corbyn’s questioning of the govt’s case on the Skripal poisoning’s? I didn’t but my son sent me a shot of the Newsnight studio with Emily Maitland in front of a huge backdrop showing the Kremlin in a red haze with Corbyn’s head and shoulders and he is wearing a Russian style hat. Photoshopped, including the hat, son sent the original it was taken from where Corbyn is wearing a different hat and is not in front of the Kremlin. Is this even remotely journalism? Really scary in my view, the descent of the BBC to propaganda and smear. “Yellow” journalism. Is there nobody at the BBC with integrity?



WorldbyStorm - March 17, 2018

It’s ridiculous isn’t it – and politically incoherent too given Corbyn would be far in his politics from pro-Soviet or even uncritically Russophile.


Alibaba - March 17, 2018

Yeah, when I saw Corbyn’s Russian style hat, I wondered is this for real? It was my double-blinking moment.

The blame playing over the Salisbury poisoning was met with a measured take by Corbyn when he warned against “rushing way ahead of the evidence”.


By my reckoning, the number of suspects could equal the number of agents named in the dossier handed over by poisoning victim and former spy Sergei Skripal to UK authorities. Revenge perhaps? And then some. This is not to disregard any role for Putin or his agents. Instead it is to say who knows what here and tread carefully before any serious actions are taken.

Liked by 1 person

makedoanmend - March 17, 2018


Thing is, Corbyn is starting to appear to be one of the few adults left in UK politics. Scary indeed.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 19, 2018

The thing is that no-one seems to learn anything. Trump/Brexit, etc, so much of what we see is about rushing in without due concern. Similarly as you say, Corbyn is asking for a more measured response, seeing what the situation is. It’s like Alibaba notes above, one doesn’t have to have any time for Putin and yet think that it being the Russian state is not necessarily the only option. It could be them, but it may not be. Time for cooler heads.


Jim Monaghan - March 19, 2018

Perhaps the UK police should have a look at Tory connections with Russian oligarchs. Follow the money.


12. EWI - March 17, 2018

Turkey, a NATO member, seems set to extend its war on the Kurds into an invasion of Iraq:


Tell me again how we should be joining this horror-show military alliance.


13. yourcousin - March 18, 2018


Good article on the Russian election from one of my favorite observers.


14. Starkadder - March 18, 2018

I saw “Wonder Wheel” in the cinema last week.It feels constrained
and lacking energy. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful, and Kate Winslet is as good as ever, but everything else is a let down.

Even without that terrible accusation hanging over him, it feels like
Allen’s film career is finishing up. Who else, besides Clint Eastwood, is still making Hollywood films in their eighties?

Good piece about Allen and WW here:



Alibaba - March 18, 2018

One thing I always admired about Allen was his admission that he was never afraid to fail. He did so magnificently on many occasions because even his non acclaimed films gave us delicious nibbles in cinematic terms. Still, it looks like he has nothing new to say and he is inevitably set aback by recent controversies. Pity. But I bet he works on.


15. Starkadder - March 18, 2018

“Still, it looks like he has nothing new to say and he is inevitably set aback by recent controversies. Pity. But I bet he works on.”

Allen is apparently working on a book, so he’ll have something to do
even if Amazon decide to end their working relationship.

Here’s a depressing thought-if Allen isn’t tried in a civil case for the alleged abuse, the dispute between him and the Farrows won’t be
resolved, even though Allen was cleared of abuse in the original 1993 case.

Allen may well go to his grave protesting his innocence, and every time cineastes try to celebrate his work afterwards, the Farrow family (or someone like that student in San Diego) will try to obstruct events such as retrospectives of Allen films.

And then the Allen (Soon-Yi, etc.) family will try to defend him….we could be looking at a showbiz version of the Hatfield–McCoy feud, with Farrow and Allen’s partisans continuing the dispute years after both are gone.

(I have been thinking an awful lot about the Woody Allen controversy. Not since the Michael Jackson trial have I been so fixated on a showbiz ruckus).


16. EWI - March 19, 2018

Cohen’s derangement continues (spoiler alert: he eventually concludes that it’s all down to anti-Semitism, of course):

Nothing makes the contented turn of the century feel further away than the indulgence with which the old world treated its cranks. Their prime purpose was to be entertaining freaks for the allegedly sane majority to laugh at. The BBC ran shows where Louis Theroux met religious zealots and white nationalists. As they watched, broadcasters and the audience had an unspoken pact that made sense 20 years ago but is meaningless today: however dangerous these people might be to those close to them, they could do no real harm.

The ironic documentaries of the 1990s now seem as remote as medieval frescoes. If producers wanted to commission a successor series, they would have to take their cameras to the White House, Kremlin, the office of the leader of the opposition in Westminster […]



17. EWI - March 19, 2018

And that’s only one of the anti-Corbyn pieces I see in their paper today. Here’s another (which takes a swipe at the SNP, another Guardian target, en route:

Well, one can only imagine the wintry smile that must flicker across Putin’s features as he is updated on our response to the Salisbury chemical attack. Most absurd of all is the fixation with secondary issues. We fulminate over the brusque language used by the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson (“Russia should go away and shut up”). Even as Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia lie critically ill in hospital, Alex Salmond defends the right of Russia Today to broadcast its Kremlin propaganda. There is a furious argument over whether or not Newsnight doctored an image of Jeremy Corbyn’s hat


For the Kremlin, the battle is no longer between communism and capitalism, but authoritarianism and liberal democracy. In this great struggle, Russia will exploit whatever assets it finds – whether or not they know they are being used.



18. GW - March 19, 2018

Looks like the UK has caved on just about everything in terms of the transition agreement for Brexit.

Including the EU’s backstop position for the North. If this becomes a legal text we should have a chance of avoiding a hard border between NI and RoI at least until the transition is over. And who knows when that will be.

But the UK have made such verbal agreements before….

Liked by 1 person

GW - March 19, 2018

And no final agreement on the border – the current crunch date is New year 2021. So transition lasts till end of 2020.


CL - March 19, 2018

“But there is no sign of agreement on the Irish issue, and the UK has had to agree that the controversial backstop remains to solve the problem if everything goes wrong.,”

Yes, but the subterfuge here is that although the backstop remains in the text it is not agreed upon.


GW - March 19, 2018

Yes – it looks like a can full of fudge kicking exercise and the Tories can go the the DUP and say that they haven’t agreed on the backstop in so many words.


GW - March 19, 2018

No change on fishing so probably not conflict on that until 2020.


WorldbyStorm - March 19, 2018

Did you see Richard North’s analysis of the fishing, that there’s a body of law under the UN in regard to ‘acquired rights’ which would mean the EU laws might take precedence even in the context of Brexit! What a screw up. It really is as if none of those pushing Brexit know SFA about all this. Oh, hold on. They don’t.


19. GW - March 19, 2018

Except, wait a minute, I was a bit previous. No transition without withdrawal agreement. And that involves agreeing a text on the border in the withdrawal agreement. From Politico:

In December, May agreed that while the U.K. believed the border problem would be addressed in a deep and comprehensive free-trade deal between the U.K. and Brussels — or in “technical solutions” if this didn’t work — it would agree to keep Northern Ireland “fully aligned” with the EU’s single market and customs union if the first two options didn’t work.

The EU took this commitment and turned it into legal text as part of the withdrawal agreement, formally keeping Northern Ireland in the single market and customs union even as the rest of the U.K. leaves. This would, effectively, mean a hard border in the Irish Sea — a situation described as “unacceptable” by the U.K. government.

Despite all the warm words and signs of momentum at today’s press conference in Brussels, this issue remains unresolved.

If compromise language on this backstop solution cannot be agreed, there will be no withdrawal agreement. And with no withdrawal agreement there is no transition.

Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. And not everything has been agreed.

So as you were for now…


CL - March 19, 2018

“Material colour coded yellow suggests it is being worked on, the colour white shows it is still under negotiation.
Much of the material related to Ireland and the border is coloured yellow or white.
The controversial backstop arrangement, that would keep Northern Ireland in the customs union and the single market, unacceptable to the DUP and the British government, is still on the table.”-Tommie Gorman


CL - March 19, 2018

“In white, the text corresponds to text proposed by the Union on which discussions are ongoing as no agreement has yet been found.’
‘n green, the text is agreed at negotiators’ level and will only be subject to technical legal revisions in the coming weeks”

Agreeing to have a backstop is in green in the text. However the details of the backstop are in white.

““We have transition deal,” Michel Barnier told reporters after a weekend of late-night negotiations with Britain. “We have agreed that the backstop solution must form part of the legal text of the withdrawal agreement.”

However for that backstop solution ‘the text corresponds to text proposed by the Union on which discussions are ongoing as no agreement has yet been found.’


GW - March 19, 2018

So the DUP and Tories are going to have erm ‘be flexible’ on this as with all the other issues. Or no transition.

Liked by 1 person

CL - March 19, 2018

“Mr Barnier said: “There has to be a backstop in the withdrawal treaty when we sign it in autumn.

“I think that if, between now and then, new proposals are made which provide at the same time, in the respect of all the dimensions of the Good Friday Agreement, for the absence of a hard border in Ireland, and that respect the European internal market, which the Republic of Ireland will be part of, if better solutions are presented we will examine them.”

Presumably, ‘between now and then’ operational details on cross border activity will be worked out, and if these ensure no hard border no backstop will be required. But for now the Irish border question is unresolved.


CL - March 19, 2018

” Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party is not concerned by the British government’s commitment on Monday to a “backstop” solution to avoid a hard post-Brexit border as no final agreement has been made, a party source said.
“There is nothing from today’s announcement to concern us. The border issue has not been resolved at this stage and we didn’t expect it to be,” the source said.”


20. Jim Monaghan - March 19, 2018

Rayner is too modest to post this. https://irishrepublicanmarxisthistoryproject.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/marxism-and-the-irish-national-question/ MARXISM AND THE IRISH NATIONAL QUESTION
March 17, 2018 · by irishrepublicanmarxisthistoryproject · in Article.. ·

D.R.O’Connor Lysaght.

Paper Delivered at Echoes of Revolution Conference, University of East Anglia, 18/02/18.

Marxists oppose nationalism as tending to divide the international working class whilst uniting the workers of a country with their exploiters. This basic approach was that of Marx and Engels. Nonetheless, they came to support Irish independence from Britain.

Liked by 1 person

21. EWI - March 19, 2018

A self-driving car has just caused the first known human fatality:

Those aware of how the car industry was responsible for inventing the legal offence of ‘jaywalking’ may be able to correctly guess how business will apportion blame here.

Liked by 1 person

22. makedoanmend - March 19, 2018

Today’s “agreement” signifies one thing, and one thing only.

The EU is doing is damnest to facilitate the withdraw of the UK from the EU.

The EU prefers a smooth transition. More importantly, it is giving the UK populace notice that any hope that some may have in the UK that Brexit can be avoided because the EU will “nudge” the Tories away from its intended course is over.

Today we have a Decree nisi* divorce agreement.

Come March 29, 2019, the EU hopes that the conditions for absolute decree is in order and the UK officially ceases to be a EU member. Full stop.

Ireland better have a plan B with our EU partners that involves sufficient “infrastructure” funding to facilitate our ports and disruption to trade. Also, it is time to court some business opportunities for Ireland as Brexit has the become de facto outcome desired by both parties

*A decree nisi or rule nisi is a court order that does not have any force unless a particular condition is met. Once the condition is met, the ruling becomes a decree absolute (rule absolute), and is binding.


GW - March 19, 2018

You’re right – there is no longer any appetite in the EU for making the UK change it’s mind.

The choice for the British-invested capital that is dependant on exports of the UK is stark. Do they cease investment now and relocate if possible, or do they wait till October in the hope that something better might come along?

The feeling is apparently 50/50.


GW - March 19, 2018

The fishing status-quo was a particularly well-aimed kick in Brexiteer nadgers. It’s the one concrete case where they might have shown some benefits from Brexit. On a purely nationalist economic level rather than a global ecological one, natch.

Liked by 1 person

makedoanmend - March 20, 2018

Yeah, the fishing quotas clause was interesting. One would tend to conclude that the Tories really don’t make any money out of fishing by the way they handled quotas.

Now, would a nadger be some sort of cod?


WorldbyStorm - March 20, 2018

They just weren’t interested were they? But then the same was true of many economic areas in relative or absolute decline some which could have been safeguarded.


WorldbyStorm - March 19, 2018



23. Tomboktu - March 20, 2018

Reading something this evening and came across this like:
In Serbian the word for weevil is “žižak” dialectal “žižek”.

Liked by 1 person

24. EWI - March 20, 2018

Channel 4 sting on Cambridge Analytica, where they openly discuss dirty tricks and disguising their activities:

Those who think that similar firms don’t operate here, using ex-Irish and ex-British spooks, are deluding themselves. The most concrete evidence in recent years was a raid for computers containing data relevant to NAMA, which were then happily left back by the ‘thieves’ (The Phoenix covered this episode).


EWI - March 20, 2018
WorldbyStorm - March 20, 2018

Brilliant stuff. And really cleverly done by C4.


25. yourcousin - March 20, 2018
Daniel Rayner O'Connor - March 20, 2018

Anna is to be remembered as we remember those who died in Spain fighting for the republic. Let us hope that her cause is more successful.

Liked by 1 person

26. Paddy Healy - March 20, 2018

VARADKAR  in Cringe-making display of forelock-tugging to TRUMP-Fintan O’Toole ,Irish Times

(Forelock Tugging To Merkel to Continue to-day in Germany -Brexit break-up with UK means Varadkar needs to woo Merkel-Derek Scally, Irish Times-see further down)

LEO THE LICK https://wp.me/pKzXa-13g

“The Taoiseach speaks for a country that is being forced by Donald Trump and Brexit to think deeply about its place in the world and how it negotiates its most crucial international relationships: those with the United States, Britain and the European Union.

Instead, we got from the Taoiseach a cringe-making display of forelock-tugging sycophancy. His message was that Ireland should be loved in Trump’s United States because Ireland is really, truly American: US ’R’ Us.”-Fintan O’Toole 

Fintan O’Toole: No, Taoiseach, Irish values are not American values

Fintan O’Toole Irish Times  Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Leo Varadkar does not often give set-piece speeches about Irish public values. Perhaps it is just as well.

Last Wednesday he gave one in Washington DC. It was outstandingly silly even by the standards of the boilerplate banality typical of gala dinners. For this speech comes when Ireland is at a very important juncture in its modern history.

The Taoiseach speaks for a country that is being forced by Donald Trump and Brexit to think deeply about its place in the world and how it negotiates its most crucial international relationships: those with the United States, Britain and the European Union.

Instead, we got from the Taoiseach a cringe-making display of forelock-tugging sycophancy. His message was that Ireland should be loved in Trump’s United States because Ireland is really, truly American: US ’R’ Us.

Before we come to the speech’s silliness we must acknowledge its gutlessness. An Irish leader speaking in the United States cannot avoid the subject of immigration. The test of basic decency is whether this address extends to today’s immigrants, who are under attack from a president who makes cynical and relentless use of the same nativist hatreds that were turned on the Irish in the 19th century.

Varadkar failed this test ignominiously. He hailed the US as “a country that welcomed migrants from all over the world – Jews, Catholics, Irish – and so many more who were drawn to your beacon of hope”. This is doubly evasive and therefore doubly shameful. The use of the past tense evades the present. And those weasel words “so many more” render invisible the Mexicans, the Muslims, the real people who are the current objects of Trump’s abuse.


CL - March 20, 2018

The Irish in America are special and should get a special immigration deal.
“Mr. Varadkar said that the Irish government was ready to make a deal with the U.S. that would ease the burdens of the undocumented Irish who, the taoiseach said, loved the United States every bit as much as American citizens….
“However, I might simply highlight their (the undocumented Irish) situation – hardworking, law-abiding, tax-paying Irish men and women who share your hopes and your values, who are patriotic and loyal to America – and urge a sympathetic look at this issue.”


27. Paddy Healy - March 20, 2018

How worried should we be about Trump’s comments on Irish tax rates?-Irish Times;“The second(conclusion) is that we are entering a period of major uncertainly. The ground is shifting under our feet, with unpredictable consequences. Add Brexit to a threatened trade war and new EU tax moves and you have a potent cocktail which, even as it works itself out, will affect investment decisions and take a toll. The rules of the game are about to change – we just aren’t quite sure what the new ones will be.
Let’s hope that a Trump trade war, with all its potential damage can be avoided. But even if it can be there are two inevitable conclusions. One is that while the goal of attracting foreign direct investment to Ireland will continue, it looks set to become significantly more difficult. And the more transatlantic tensions grow – about tax and trade – the trickier this will be.”Cliff Taylor Irish Times Saturday, March 17, 2018


28. ar scáth a chéile - March 20, 2018

Rommel Durán Castellanos Columbian lawyer, speaking in Dublin this week:



29. Alibaba - March 20, 2018

A notice from The Trinity International Development Initiative bulletin:

Film Screening: ‘Syria – The Impossible Revolution’

Trinity’s Global Development Society invites the makers of ‘Syria – The Impossible Revolution’ Anne Daly and Ronan Tynan to screen the documentary followed by a question & answer session, in collaboration with DU Amnesty and Trinity’s People Before Profit.

Three years in the making this feature-length documentary offers unique insights into the roots of the Syrian Revolution and how what began as a peaceful uprising turned into a very brutal conflict as the Assad regime cracked down. It seeks to unravel the roots and ‘complexities’ of the bloodiest conflict in the Middle East as well as the politics of the Western response.

The film traces the roots of the Syrian revolution through the regime of Assad’s father up to the fall of Aleppo. Using extensive archive and interviews with a wide range of people directly involved as well as experts on the region, the documentary seeks to offer some understanding about a conflict that has plumbed new depths in terms of the toll it has extracted on civilians.

Date: 22 March 2018
Time: 19:00 – 21:00
Location: Ed Burke Theatre, Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin


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