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Signs of Hope – A continuing series September 28, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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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”.

Legal ruling on collective bargaining in Ireland on its way September 27, 2018

Posted by Tomboktu in Council of Europe, Workers Rights.
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A legal decision on collective bargaining for freelance workers in Ireland has been reached in Strasbourg (although under an outdated rule on the publication of the rulings, it will not be made public for a few months).

As it happens, the government changed the law in the two years since the case was lodged, but the legal ruling should be decided on the situation when the case was lodged.

The background to the case is that the Competition Authority prohibited freelance workers and employers from negotiating collective agreements. In August 2016, Congress lodged a case alleging that this situation was a breach of the workers’ human rights under the European Social Charter, the social rights counterpart to the European Convention on Human Rights (PDF, 93 pages, here).

The government’s main plank in its defence submission (available here) was that the law had been changed, but the European Committee of Social Rights, the legal body that determines if the Charter has been breached or not, has regularly ruled that its decisions are based on the situation at the time a complaint is made and not on changes governments make to law, policy or practice after a case has been lodged.

Ibec intervened in the case via its European representative body, the International Organisation of Employers (available here). In a bizzare approach, Ibec also argued that Ireland is in breach of the European Social Charter, but because the law was reformed in 2017 to protect freelance workers without Ibec being consulted.

A question that students of European human rights law will be watching for is whether the legal ruling focuses narrowly on the specific facts in Ireland or if the European Committee of Social Rights uses the opportunity to expand the European jurisprudence on collective bargaining rights more generally. And if it has used the opportunity to develop its jurisprudence, it will be interesting to see if it does so in a way that challenges EU law on workers’ rights.

And We’re Off … September 27, 2018

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 13.21.37

Above from the 1990 Presidential Election campaign.

Had a listen to the debate on RTE Radio 1 at lunchtime today. Michael D. was unavailable due to an official engagement, Sean Gallagher (elevating his own importance) was only going to go on if Michael D. went on, so was absent.
The remaining four candidates Liadh Ní Riada, Joan Freeman, Gavin Duffy and Peter Casey answered all sorts of questions.
I’ve been impressed by Ní Riada but I’m not convinced about her actions on the HPV Vaccine and she was good other than that. It’s something that I suppose will die down over the course of the campaign as they can hardly ask the same question in every media appearance. The other thing asked was the lack of SF logo on her posters and material…… (I’ve a post to write on this but sometimes party candidates in Presidential Elections use party logos and sometimes they don’t… Martin McGuinness didn’t in 2011, Mary Bannoti didn’t in 1997, Erskine Childers didn’t in 1973 nor indeed did Dev in 1966).
Joan Freeman came across OK, although I suspect the naming of Des Walsh as one of the businessmen who lent her the money for her campaign will be the biggest thing for her to come from the debate. Anything dodgy about these donor/lenders and it could crash her campaign before it begins.
Peter Casey wasn’t great and mentioned something about Ireland joining NATO as well as the saying how great the Irish Diaspora were. Can’t recall much else.
Gavin Duffy was OK, said something about an International Youth Corps that would go and do volunteer work abroad. Was OK.
Aine Lawlor handled the whole thing well and although the debate was fairly dull, I reckon as the campaign goes on it will get quite dirty with at least one of the Dragons going way over the top with their remarks.
I think Gallagher has made a mistake boycotting it as Michael D wasn’t there. Will he be shadowing him for the Presidential duties throughout the Campaign?

Q who? September 27, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This I find comical, the QAnon ‘conspiracy’. If you’re not up to speed on it Slate has a useful piece here:

Since October 2017, a mysterious online character who goes by the name Q has been posting strange missives to 4chan, the notorious and shady message board where many of the most insidious memes and harassment campaigns on the web are hatched, detailing a plot from within the White House to overthrow a cabal of global elites. According to Q, special counsel Robert Mueller is actually working on behalf of Trump to expose a conspiracy and pedophile ring from within the Democratic Party. Q’s posts come in the form of lyrical, disjointed warnings, clues, and questions. On Tuesday, for example, Q posted: “Rats running. Timing is everything. Enjoy the show.”

It makes me question why someone hasn’t done something similar online about say Irish politics just for the crack. You can imagine it now – guffceann1 purporting to be deep inside the government, or Fianna Fáil, and posting to Politics.ie every few weeks… Any old rubbish will do, the more gnomic the better… ‘Leo is angry. Follow the money. Find the harp. Fireworks ahead with SH.’ Or ‘Micheál has spoken. Young Dev is in the mix. Wolfe Tone is the key.’

Though this, like QAnon, really would only suggest that people have more time on their hands than is healthy.

Sign of the Times 2 September 27, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Stupid people keep saying that supporters of railway

renationalisation can’t remember what British Rail was like. Oh, yes I can.
And if BR had been given the money poured into the pockets of the privatised rail pirates, it would now be running far, far better services than we currently have.

What radical is this? Why none other than…er…Peter Hitchens…writing in the Daily Mail. This kills me to say it, but he also offers some solid good sense on Brexit and what the UK should do next.

The clock can’t be wound back, can it? September 27, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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A good piece in the Observer on Sunday about preparations at Rotterdam in advance of Brexit and the huge gaping contradiction at the heart of the Brexit process – at least in the manner in which it is played out to a Tory Brexit.

The preparations underscore how unusual Brexit is; a move to put barriers, rather than bring them down. Rotterdams ‘shoe-sea’ shipping port used to have customs offices for checking goods coming from the UK. But they were dismantled after the lacuna of the single market in 1993. The space has gone. No one ever thought it would be needed again.

Finely tuned just-in-time systems mean a British supermarket can order a crate of Dutch cucumbers at 8am and have them onto shelves before teatime. Many of the UK-bound lorries at Rotterdam are checked on to the ferry in 90 seconds.

And this:

Brexit is not as simple s winding the clock back. The number of lorries passing through Rotterdam has more than quintupled since 1989, while ‘just-in-time’ supply chains are far more intricate.

Sign of the Times September 27, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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The decision to send an observer from the State in an official election monitoring role [to the United States – for the mid-term elections] reverses the Government’s previous position that it does not monitor the conduct of democratic elections in the EU, the US or Canada.

Irish Workers – Ten years a debt Slave September 26, 2018

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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September ten years ago the Irish state agreed to bail out the Irish and European banking system:

In 2008 the Irish Government bailed out the Irish banking system and took responsibility for 42% of European banking debt at the behest of the EU.

The decade that has followed has seen a massive assault on Irish workers pay, terms and conditions, horrific cuts to social welfare, health care provision and educational services. It has been estimated that the Irish state has paid between 7 and 9 billion Euro per year servicing this corporate debt. This is money taken out of the pockets of Irish workers and put in the hands of bondholders and international financiers.
This meeting will be a discussion of the debt, the consequences to our people, why and how we should oppose it.


Speakers: Eoghan O’Neill, Socialist Voice

Dr Conor McCabe: Author “Sins of the Father”

Venue: Connolly Books, James Connolly House, 43 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2:

Date: Saturday 29th September

Time: 3-00pm.

Sponsored by: Socialist Voice

Tendentious behaviours? September 26, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Do people agree with the characterisation by the IT of the Public Accounts Committee as ‘tendentious’ in its behaviour in recent years in relation to its investigations? The IT, writing about the funding of the Presidency says that monies spent should be ‘accounted for in an open and transparent fashion’, but that the PAC has been ‘partisan’ in its examination of high profile witnesses with the implication it is unsuited to raise the issue. Any thoughts on that?

48 seconds September 26, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I wasn’t entirely convinced by John Crace in the Guardian when he took over the political sketch, but he has ladled on the acerbic and managed to offer on occasion more forensic takes on British politics than more supposedly rigorous analysis. For example in this column here which notes that the Brexiters have marched in hardly a week or two after endorsing an earlier Brexit plan for a no-deal WTO crash-out of the EU to endorse another plan which argues for (drum roll) a completely different arrangement, a ‘Canada-style Free Trade deal’. Now those are entirely different positions but this not so minor contradiction appears to trouble them not in the slightest.

There’s other problems that might – were they functioning as fully sentient human beings – concern them. For example… the author of the plan argued for the UK doing individual trade deals with EU countries, apparently unaware that that is impossible (this is funny, how it took 11 times to explain to Trump a year back about how the US cannot trade with Germany alone but must deal with the EU as an entity. In fairness to him once he eventually got it he got it which is more than can be said for the Brexiter crew)

And this from the BBC considers one – deeply alarming aspect of the plans the Brexiters are supporting, that of ‘deregulation’… It’s not just the underlying assumption, but that the maths used appears, at least in this analysis, to be entirely suspect.

But then there’s this:

The last word went to David Davis, who can seldom resist the opportunity of saying something he will later regret. Most deals were really only finalised in the last 48 seconds, he insisted. Which explained both why he had invariably come off worse in all negotiations and why he had done almost nothing during his time as Brexit secretary. The possibility now has to be entertained that Davis has been an undercover agent for staying in the EU all along. It’s the only rational explanation.

I’ve looked for this 48 seconds line elsewhere and so far not found it, but having spent half my working life in the private sector it frankly sounds like content-free business jargon of the worst kind.

By the by, note former NI Secretary Theresa Villiers, in the photo accompanying Crace’s piece.

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