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Trouble at the top (of the LP)! August 31, 2018

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Many thanks to the person who sent the link to this…


Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Rural & Community Affairs

Friday 31 August, 2018


Speaking today on the Labour Party Leadership, chairperson of the Labour Parliamentary Party, Willie Penrose said:

“I was disappointed by Alan Kelly’s interview this morning on Tipp FM. I have no problem with anyone who has ambitions to lead the Labour Party, but if that’s what anyone wants he or she should respect the Party’s Constitution and the agreed processes through which the Party chooses its leader. We have a vibrant internal democracy unlike some other parties, and every Councillor, Senator and TD will have an equal chance to have their say at our meeting in Drogheda on 16-17 September.

“The Labour Party has had three leaders in the space of five years. Having a fourth leader is not going to magically improve our poll ratings.

“No one is sanguine about the poll figures, but Irish politics is still in a state of flux and, as a smaller Party, Labour’s first preference score is affected by th e range of new options open to voters. It is a much more competitive environment with new, smaller left and centre-left parties out there.

“In the Labour Party, we have a collective leadership, and every one of our elected representatives has to share responsibility for the poll results.

“Under the Labour Party Constitution, we will have an election for Party Leader involving every member of the Party, on a one member one vote basis, after the next General Election. Until then we need to remain focused on explaining our policies and ideas to the public.

“The Labour Party has a long history of service to the Irish people. While we’ve made mistakes, we have defended those on low pay and fought for social justice and equality.
We’ve taken the time to develop a robust and comprehensive housing policy that could genuinely solve the housing crisis by investing €16 billion over five years, for the State to build 80,000 social and affordable homes. T hat’s the real issue that people are concerned about when I meet them on the doorsteps or on the street.

“Personally, I’ve been campaigning hard for an improvement in how this state treats carers. And just today, we’ve proposed using mobile units to replace the closed rural post offices, as a way to preserve jobs and vital public services for people in rural communities.

“Labour is focused on finding sustainable solutions and the current focus on personalities is a distraction from the real issues that are affecting people’s lives.”

Privilege August 31, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I was reading this piece in the Observer about Jonathan Miller’s son William and the more I read the more it seemed to me… well, you’ll have to read it for yourself. But it’s quite something.

Here’s a clue…

It’s only a certain kind of life, though, isn’t it? Only the very rich can afford to live here. Again, Miller doesn’t quite accept this – or at least, some part of him feels deserving of his good fortune, which he attributes to hard work as well as to luck (he made a killing on a flat, having got on the property ladder “very early”).

In any case, he really couldn’t care less how much people have – or how little. One thing Pimlico did achieve was to make him relatively blind to social class, or so he believes. “I wasn’t interested in it,” he says. “The only person who ever talked about class was my father. I lived in this privileged street, but at school my life was classless.”

The late capitalist panopticon August 31, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

A great thought here in a piece by Arwa Mahdawi when writing about Google’s lamentable tracking approach…

Who cares about privacy these days, after all? It seems big tech has realised it can afford constant data-based scandals, because not enough people care that the minutiae of their daily existence is being relentlessly mined and monetised without their informed consent. This apathy is, in part, attributable to the fact we are told we shouldn’t care about privacy if we have nothing to hide. Google has helped propagate this notion. The company’s former chief executive, Eric Schmidt, once said: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place .”


Is there anything more illustrative of late capitalism than the idea that being opposed to selling our souls is a sign of deviant behaviour? Wandering and wondering is an intimate part of who we are. It doesn’t matter if you have nothing to hide. You should object to moments you thought were yours alone being captured, analysed and monetised. You should resist being commodified.

Or to put it a different way, if a corporation says using its apps it is possible to have personal privacy then that should be the situation. And if that is not the case then the individual should be aware that that is the case and alternative arrangements must be made.

I’ve always disliked arguments that run along the lines of ‘if you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear’. When the choice isn’t clear…

By the way, this is funny and kind of troubling:

There was a time when Google operated under the motto “Don’t be evil”. It has watered down this message as it has grown. Earlier this year, it removed the phrase from its code of conduct. The news that Google is recording everything you do, even if you have signalled that you don’t want it to, is yet another indicator that the tech company, like many of its peers, doesn’t seem to care much for ethics.

Or they’re remessaging… Don’t be too evil… or Make me not evil Lord, but not quite yet… or…

How does a ‘no-deal’ WTO only Brexit work… August 31, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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…a Brexit outcome beloved of the Brexit ultras… …if this guy does as he threatens and pull the US out of the WTO?

Actually that’s a lesser question than how international trade would work.

More candidates for the Presidential Election… August 31, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This time Mannix Flynn, Dublin City councillor.There’s a further element to the narrative that the Irish Times picks up. Difficult not to see why Flynn might argue that there are some “inappropriate” aspects to some of the potential candidacies coming forward.

Bless! August 30, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Yeah, when I was ten I wanted to be an astronaut…

Clearly there’s a sub-editor at the IT with a sense of humour – this was the first version online of the headline. Later ones had the more sedate ‘wants to contest the Presidential election’.

Signs of Hope – A continuing series August 30, 2018

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?

Unpopular populists… August 30, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I don’t know how many here are interested in Australian politics- though the last week has been fascinating as the Coalition there continues to falter in polls and changes leader yet again. The Guardian is sharply tilted that way in some of its coverage and I find it quite compelling – particularly when the right wing governing coalition (of sorts) runs into trouble. But there was a piece in this on Turnbull’s latest woes that is fascinating because it points up a reality about some right populism. Anyhow before Turnball was ousted Lenore Taylor wrote bout how some in the Coalition and beyond in its halo of supporters are criticising Turnbull for his policy approaches.

There’s this:

In her letter to the PM resigning from the ministry, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said the same-sex marriage vote was also corrosive of the base. That would be Abbott’s proposed plebiscite, which Turnbull adopted as policy despite having himself argued it was pointless and unnecessary. That would be the plebiscite that was overwhelmingly carried – with the yes vote prevailing nationally and in every state, and the no vote succeeding in only five Liberal or National held electorates. This must be a pretty narrow base the conservatives are talking about

But even more telling is this:

Conservative columnist Janet Albrechtsen complains that Turnbull is more “ABC than Sky news” and should spend more time talking to Paul Murray Live (audience around 36,000 per night) than Leigh Sales on 7.30 (audience around 600,000 per night).

Note the disparity in numbers… yet again it is about the perception of what is popular rather than its reality (as well as which there are mutterings from those even further to the right in the Coalition about defunding ABC)…

Could the LP have salvaged its situation during the last government? August 30, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Some interesting letters in the IT at the weekend about the ILP’s current woes, one of which argued that:

The only chance of saving the Labour Party would have been if Joan Burton, on becoming leader and tánaiste, had withdrawn support for the water charges, and been prepared to bring the government down over it. She didn’t: the Labour Party is now in its completely predictable state.

I find that interesting, but surely it was too late already by then? And difficult to believe that the lobby attached to government at all cost would have been dissuaded from that view. After all there was an effort to push the LP back into coalition in 2016 despite the result. One of the genuine curiosities is the talk about some inside the LP being only too willing to reenter government. One has to ask why.

A Europe of ‘concentric circles’? Wait, isn’t that the EU and EEA/EFTA? August 30, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This should be entertaining, reports that…

France has signalled it is ready to cut a close post-Brexit EU deal with the UK, according to reports.

French president Emmanuel Macron aims to use an EU summit next month in Salzburg, Austria, to push for a new “alliance” between the bloc and Britain, The Times newspaper has reported.

A new Continental structure would see “concentric circles” with the EU and Euro at its core and the UK in a second ring, according to the newspaper.

But doesn’t such a structure already exist with EEA/EFTA? Are the states in the latter category going to react positively if there’s some ‘special’ dispensation for the UK? And how does that work with the four freedoms? Or the Irish border? Or is the reality that this is all face-saving stuff designed to push the UK towards something like but not technically the same as EEA/EFTA?

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