jump to navigation

August issue of Socialist Voice July 31, 2018

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

The August issue of Socialist Voice is now available online:

1. Radical or Redundant: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/radical-or-redundant/

2. Bus Connect = Bus Bisect: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/bus-connect-bus-bisect/

3. Retirement Age the new stealth tax: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/retirement-age-the-new-stealth-tax/

4. Workers in Struggle: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/workers-in-struggle/

5. The wrong act – Thinking about the Ind Rel Act 1990: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/the-wrong-act-thinking-about-the-industrial-relations-act-1990/

6. Psychology punitive history: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/psychologys-punitive-history/

7. Trump is the vulgar face of imperialism : https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/trump-is-just-the-vulgar-face-of-an-increasingly-violent-neoliberalism/

8. We have reached the end of history: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/we-have-reached-the-end-of-history/

9. The Israeli Nation State Law://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/the-israeli-nation-state-law-is-a-fascist-step-towards-apartheid/

10. Congratulations to Palestinian Solidarity Activists: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/congratulations-to-palestinian-solidarity-activists/

11. Robert Tressell: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/tressells-work-is-a-timeless-piece-of-working-class-literature/

11. Anti-fascism: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/the-anti-fascism-of-georgi-dimitrov/

12. I come and stand by every door: https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/07/i-come-and-stand-at-every-door/

Magical thinking July 31, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

There’s something almost touching about the response to Peter Robinson’s musings about ‘insurance’ for Irish unity from some within Unionism. It really is a case of ‘whatever you do don’t say anything’. Indeed that from Reg Empey – remember when he was regarded as a ‘liberal’ unionist, is particularly striking:

Responding to his remarks, Ulster Unionist Party chair Lord Reg Empey said Mr Robinson’s comments would be “music to the ears” of the Irish Government and republicans more widely.

“After his last outburst at Queens University where he called for a divisive border poll to be held every generation destabilising Northern Ireland in the process, he now trumps that with this,” he said.
“He is becoming a Sinn Féin echo chamber. This is not strategic thinking, rather it’s the latest in a long line of proposals from Peter Robinson that are detrimental to Northern Ireland…”

Yet Robinson has been clear that he doesn’t expect unity, that he expects a border poll to be won by unionists and that he merely believes it sensible to make preparations in case it went the other way.

Some would think that simple prudence given the chaos of contemporary politics on this island and the one to the east. Indeed Empey arguably mixes up cause and effect in the following:

“It is truly hard to fathom that a former senior unionist could be coming out with these sorts of comments when our national government is in the middle of intense negotiations about the UK’s departure from the EU, where the EU and the Republic’s Government are using Northern Ireland as a political football to try and leverage more concessions from the United Kingdom, ” he said.

Given that all this talk has come on foot of the Brexit referendum it seems implausible to complain about some within unionism believing it sensible, however far-fetched a UI may seem to them, to lay out some ground rules. Indeed in some ways that’s the most interesting aspect of what Robinson is doing, that is that he is clearly attempting to work through what the fundamentals of a future relationship might be well ahead of them having to be instated.

And that too is sensible. It might come to nothing. There might not be a UI. But unionism surely would be better to be prepared and indeed attempt to shape the outlines of any future agreement while it is a position to do so ie the right side of a border poll.

And Robinson’s approach also makes sense because we already see some fracturing of supposed certainties within unionism and a degree of slippage in terms of unionism’s support for the union. This may be marginal, though polling suggests not entirely. But assuming that the situation will reverse or simply staying quiet will do the trick is merely an assumption.

Meanwhile what an interesting statement this was from Gregory Campbell on the same subject…

“There is no concept of Britishness in the Irish Republic, so there is just no possibility of a united Ireland happening. It is out of the question,” he said.

It would be fascinating to parse out precisely what he means by that.

That was then… July 31, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

“In 1988 the bishops objected to it [IVF] on moral grounds. They objected to taking sperm from men through the ‘sin of Onan’ [masturbation]. This was the level of debate that was going on. It was not greeted with open arms.”

No Border Poll – yet… July 31, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Reading the following yesterday night the thought crossed my mind was this making a virtue of necessity?

Ms McDonald also warned that a poll on Irish unity should not be held while uncertainty around Brexit remains.

The Sinn Féin leader said she disagreed with those who argued that a hard or chaotic Brexit should be the trigger for a referendum on unification.

She insisted that would be the wrong climate for a substantive debate on the constitutional issue.

It’s not that I disagree and particularly in relation to the following:

She added: “It’s very important when we come to addressing the issue of partition we do it in the best possible climate and we do it in a way that maximises consent.

But the rhetoric even from SF itself was quite strong on this. So is it simply a recognition that at this point there is unlikely to be a majority for unity even in the context of Brexit. Or that energy expended on something the British are unlikely to concede is wasted when there are other battles to fight?

Antsy independents… July 31, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Apparently the talk of elections has caused some anxiety in those quarters. It’s odd, isn’t it. They’re essential to the continuation of the government, but less so as the government persists longer than expected since the Fine Gael are ever increasingly keen to pull the plug.

Though not just yet as Pat Leahy in the IT notes.

The big clearout from Leinster House was a fortnight ago when the Dáil adjourned for the summer recess. The Cabinet had its final meeting on Wednesday of last week. It reconvenes in early September.
After a long political term dominated by Brexit and abortion, and which finished in a welter of speculation about an early election, Ministers, TDs and Senators, officials, advisers and spin doctors scattered gratefully in recent days.
And while both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have accelerated electoral preparations in recent weeks, high-ranking sources in both parties acknowledge that the prospect of a general election has receded.

That’s one of the curious phenomena around this government, that as the chatter about elections increases the actual likelihood of them recedes. there’s been only a couple of occasions, if even that, since its formation where it has seemed likely that an election would occur. Some would think just prior to last Christmas was the most likely one. And yet, what rational FG or FF politician would want to go to the state with a Christmas election?

That’d have been a recipe for increases by everyone bar FF/FG.

So where does that leave matters:

“The election talk has died down alright,” said one Minister. “We’ll be ready in September if someone pushes the button, but the expectation is that Fianna Fáil will offer to extend the [confidence and supply] deal for one budget.”
Two other Ministers privately confirmed his view.
“If you asked me four or five weeks ago I’d have said that Leo is gung-ho for an election,” said one minister. “But I think the pendulum has swung back now. I think he fears the public reaction if there was an election.”

Whereas others:

However, another Fine Gael figure close to Mr Varadkar said he believed the Taoiseach would call an election if he does not get sufficient guarantees from Fianna Fáil about stability for a further two years. This chimes with the view he shared with Ministers at a recent Cabinet meeting in Derrynane House, Co Kerry.
“The Taoiseach said ‘right let’s talk a bit of politics’ and he outlined the need for stability over the Brexit period,” said one person who was present

And Brexit weighs heavily, one can just imagine how FG would be painted if they managed to initiate an election as it comes into real play. So when does that leave?

Incredibly, given the dire prognostications of the longevity of this government 2019. Or perhaps a little later.

The Irish Left: What is to be Done? A Monthly thread… July 2018 July 30, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
add a comment

SoS suggested some time back that we should do this thread regularly. And it is worth considering matters in the light of changing circumstances.

So, it’s Summer. No Oireachtas. A turning away by the media from political activity. Any opportunities or challenges above and beyond the usual?

Left Archive: Poster advertising An Spreach [the Spark], Marxist-Leninist group, Ireland 1980s July 30, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Many thanks to Jim Lane for forwarding this image of a poster for the An Spréach bookshop which was situated on Thomas Street in Dublin during the early 1980s This represented the numerically small Marxist-Leninist An Spreach group who later joined the IRSP. More details on An Spreach can be found here.

Left Archive: Oration delivered at the graveside of Séamus Costello by Jim Lane, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Sunday, 3rd October 1982 July 30, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
add a comment

To download the above please click on the following link. costello-oration.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Jim Lane for forwarding this to the Archive, the oration given by him at the graveside of Séamus Costello of the Irish Republican Socialist Party on 3rd October 1982.

In five pages this document covers considerable political and ideological terrain, outlining the legacy of Costello for the IRSP, the political approach that he gave to the party and a reiteration of key principles including a tactical attitude to abstentionism and a critique of others including ‘left-republicans’. The issue of abstention links into an overview of the then current political situation in the North and a staunch defence of abstaining from the Assembly elections.

A key passage is the following:

Séamus Costello, it was often he said, “I owe my allegiance to the
working class”; and of the party he helped found, he said:

We are a revolutionary party and our objective is to create a revolutionary socialist state in Ireland. Part of the struggle for a socialist state entails resolving the national liberation struggle and ending British imperialist intervention, whether military intervention, political
intervention or control of aspects of the economy. This is the basic position of the party.We see the ending of British imperialist intervention in Ireland as an essential prerequisite for
development of class struggle between left and right in this country. The class forces in Ireland have never developed properly in the last 50 years basically because of imperialist intervention and because of the fact that the national struggle remains incomplete.

Here we have a clear exposition of the primary objective of the Irish Republican Socialis Party – a revolutionary socialist state in Ireland.

And the oration continues by noting that:

To achieve this objective, part of the struggle entails resolving the national question. “Part of the struggle” – it is important for us all to reflect on this. It implies, that in the present period of struggle, when so much effort is being put into the struggle for national liberation, that our party be also involved in all other areas of struggle in the interest of the working class, the class to whom Séamus Costello pledged his allegiance exclusively. To a great extent, our party has been greatly inhibited in its efforts to wage struggle in working-class and other oppressed peoples’ interests.

And a further passage outlines the ideological underpinnings of the oration:

The fact that our party recognises that the success of the national
liberation struggle is an essential prerequisite for the greater development of the class struggle does not mean that all our energies go into national liberation and that class struggle be put in abeyance. Important and all that it is, national liberation struggle, which has all the appearance of being a protracted struggle, must not be conducted at the expense of other
areas of struggle. National liberation struggle and the struggle for socialism must proceed at the one time, supporting and stimulating each other.

For more documents from Jim Lane please go here in the Archive.

These include materials for and from:

Associated Organisations: Irish Revolutionary Forces, Saor Éire [Cork], Irish Communist Organisation, Cork Communist Organisation, Cork Workers’ Club, Irish Republican Socialist Party

Associated Publications: An Phoblacht [IRF], People’s Voice

Rockin’ Road Festival 2018 – August 19th July 29, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
add a comment

This is a great event, in support of ChildVision, and this year it had to be cancelled due to – ironic this, given the Summer, bad weather. It’s been rescheduled. I’ll be there and any of you likely to make it tell me.

The summer of ’76 July 29, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
add a comment

I do, kind of. And Zoe Williams in the Guardian does, kind of. Though how many given she was 3? I was 10. And it’s a bit of a blur. I remember it being very hot for a very long time. I can’t remember much more than that. The detail isn’t great. I do remember a holiday I had that year much better, but that was outside of Ireland.

Though she’s not far wrong when she writes:

You are compelled to reminisce about 1976, even though you don’t remember it any better than a millennial so you have to go on the internet and Google your own nostalgia. Did you know, by the way, that after two historically dry months, they appointed Denis Howell minister for drought, then three days later, thunderstorms arrived and it didn’t stop raining until Christmas? But before that, he tried to boost the national water-saving effort by inviting reporters to watch him taking a bath with his wife, and that’s the kind of politics – desperate, histrionic, obscurely sleazy, yet endowed with magical powers – that you don’t see twice in a lifetime, however hot it is.

There’ve been hot summers since. 1986 or 1987 was pretty hot. I was in NYC in ’89 and that was ferociously hot. Some of the early 1990s summers were very warm too and for reasonably prolonged periods of time. 2003 apparently as well. Though this has been unprecedented.

As to being middle-aged in a heatwave, Williams protests too much. Perhaps it’s me but as I get older I find heat less of an imposition. I sleep just fine, find no impediment to exercise, go in and out of the sun as I feel necessary. I just take it easier.

Though these are fair points:

You’re too young to be in anyone’s heat health news story, and too old to take it as an invitation to drink all day. You have too many pets who are, themselves, too hot.

%d bloggers like this: