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Left Archive: Militant, Issue 243, April 1996, Militant Labour. November 26, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
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To download the above please click on the following link. militant.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Joan Collins for forwarding this to the Archive.

This edition of Militant from early 1996 is a useful addition to the Archive. Dating from the period where Militant was known as Militant Labour and prior to its adoption of the Socialist Party name it provides a sense of a pivotal point in the development of the organisation. Published after Joe Higgins narrow loss to Brian Lenihan Jnr. it shows a party energised by the contest.

Notable is the cover story which references:

Joe Higgin’s campaign in the Dublin West by-election has put the issue of double taxation, local charges firmly onto the political agenda. The parties who bourthg in charges now know how angry PAYE workers feel.

And:

The campaign must now be stepped up to achieve abolition of the charges. This can be done by building an even bigger and better campaign.

And it calls for a movement of mass non payment. Another piece notes that Militant Labour is to ‘stand in North Elections’ and on foot of the Dublin West by-election there is a piece that argues it is ‘time to build a new left’.

Updating the OS? November 25, 2018

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Recently I updated from High Sierra to Mojave on the computer at home.

Why? Why did I do this?

Within a day of doing so I was getting the flashing question mark and folder icon which indicates that the computer cannot find the start-up disk. I’ve had this dance before and not so long ago when a similar set of circumstances led to a near enough four year old computer drive failing. So I’m being particularly cautious. Straight back to Time Machine and a reinstall of the last backup from a week or two ago.

According to Disk Utility the HD etc is fine, but I’m going to use a few more analytical apps this weekend to see if there is an underlying hardware problem. The fix might be a clean install – wipe the hard drive, load up the system and then carefully reinstall all old apps etc. But that’s a long process and I’m some ways from wanting to devote the time to it after the last time things went south.

That earlier drive failure has made me run a much tighter ship on the computer with fewer apps, more streamlined backups (I was religious about doing them on a weekly basis but even still), a complete overhaul of my email accounts and passwords for sites etc, etc as well as a centralisation of the data relating to them.

As to Mojave, I think I’ll wait a while for that. Three months, six months, longer, let’s see if bugs are ironed out.

Commuter times and pay… November 25, 2018

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Wow, this is kind of remarkable, but also understandable:

…don’t be too quick to extend your commute time: according to research published by the University of West England last year, adding 10 minutes each way to your daily commute is as bad for your overall job satisfaction as getting a 19 per cent pay cut.
Other studies, including one by Ford Motor company of 5,500 commuters in six European cities, found that workers rank their commute as more stressful than going to the dentist or, you know, actually working.

But while Irish average commuting times are, according to the same report in the IT, ‘pretty bearable’ one suspects they may cover a multitude. This average is oddly low I’d have thought:

Commuters in Meath and Wicklow spent the largest chunk of their day getting to and from work in 2016, at 34 minutes. At the other end of the scale, commuters in Galway city had the shortest average commute of just 21 minutes, while two in three commuters in Waterford city spent less than half an hour getting to work.

What are people’s general commuting times? I’m on the bicycle and even there the time to get in in the morning has gone up by 5-10 minutes depending on weather. That’s from fairly close in. I wonder what is it like further out.

Stupid statements from this weekend and the week… November 25, 2018

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Just one link this week, from yesterday’s newspapers, a column unto itself on the efforts to revisit the issue of Irish citizenship that in its own way is a classic of its kind and could be made quite easily into a drinking game… there’s ‘faux do-goodery’, ‘Nanny statedom’ and so much more… perhaps this line is the killer:

Social media, self-inflicted prohibition, gender wars, rancorous victimhood and feverish puritanism were [in 2004] yet to ruin our ability to communicate.

Or perhaps this one:

…why did we vote overwhelmingly to abolish the rights to automatic citizenship? Just out of badness?

No, it was because during the boom there were countless stories of foreign women arriving in Ireland to have a baby to gain Irish/EU passports and we voted overwhelmingly in favour of removing that right.

Or perhaps this…

But fast-forward 14 years to a society infected with synthetic liberalism and spurious benevolence, and we’re seeing an almost direct reversal of the citizenship referendum.

Or perhaps it is the fact that although the author of the piece, Barbara McCarthy in the Independent, makes great play about the wish to reverse the 2004 referendum result is somehow something to do with ‘fashion’ this line isn’t actually demonstrated in the piece. There are complaints about Bacik and Ó Ríordáin’s Bill in the Seanad, but whatever one’s views on the ILP, I’m not sure it’s down to ‘fashion’ when people who were against the referendum in 2004 are fifteen years later still against it and try to ameliorate it. Which makes this last just about perfect in terms of missing the point:

I wonder how Ms Bacik would feel if a Bill sought to reverse the Repeal the Eighth vote in 15 years’ time.

New poll, small change November 24, 2018

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The latest SBP/REDC poll…

FG 34% +1

FF 27% +2

SF 13% -2

LP 6% +1

IND 10% -2

IND ALL 5% +1

GP 3% -1

SD 2% NC

SOL/PBP 0% NC

RENUA 0% NC

The Sun Gun… November 24, 2018

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Following up recently on the mention of a supposed plan by the Nazi’s for a superweapon that would harness the power of the sun (it was – as can be imagined – far far beyond their technological ability, I found this….

The sun gun or heliobeam is a theoretical orbital weapon, which makes use of a concave mirror mounted on a satellite, to shoot sun balls to a small area of the Earth’s surface, destroying targets or killing through heat.

Sun balls, they say? Indeed.

Still, I’ve always thought that ideas for mirror sats to beam energy or even to provide shields or means of changing climate really do depend upon remarkably stable political systems to ensure they’re not used as WMDs or even as orbital threats…

Like reading? You’ll love this… November 24, 2018

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News that:

A new report claims that books are powerful enough to halt loneliness and social exclusion. The 50-page study, undertaken jointly by the thinktank Demos and the literacy charity the Reading Agency, argues that reading could also assist with social mobility and mental health, and even “hold off” dementia. It backs its argument with an array of compelling research and recommends a government investment of £200m, involving the NHS supporting “book-based interventions”, as part of its social prescribing strategy, alongside a major Comic Relief-style campaign to raise money for book charities, book circles and reading aloud schemes.

As a person I often think I truly came into my own – even to the extent of achieving full self-consciousness, at least to some extent, through the process of reading and books. The pleasure it has brought across four or more decades or so has been immeasurable. For enjoyment, and education, it has been central. I can generally tell you where a book was purchased, usually second hand and when. I still feel the loss of second hand books shops around Dublin (I was in a shop on the continent recently and it was almost painfully evocative to visit bookshops there given how many seem to have been near squeezed out of existence, Chapters is good but the remaindered and newish books take up ever greater space in it – though can I say a good word for Vibes and Scribes in Cork which still has some of that ambience).

So, all that taken into account, as the piece asks, why in the UK are libraries facing cuts and proposed closures?

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Music from The Embankment November 24, 2018

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Drive up the Blessington Road from Tallaght, past the entrance to CityWest, the road veers right after the turn for Saggart and there on your right is the derelict site of The Embankment. It was a top live venue for Folk acts in the 60’s and 70’s with The Dubliners, Wolfe Tones, Planxty , Clannad and a host of other top acts regularly playing there.
These days with drink driving rules it’s mad to think of such a popular venue in such an out of the way spot, although there were many venues in that era that were only driveable. In the 70’s and early 80’s we had a house in a place called Coolgreaney in Wexford and the local pub Gardiners was packed every Sunday for a jazz session as people drove from Dublin and other spots for the Jazz before driving home. The Jazz sessions are long over.
Incidentally Mick McCarthy, a Kerryman from Listowel ran the Embankment in it’s heyday and had fought in the Battle of Cable Street to keep The Blackshirts out of Londons East End.

Busconnects: Damning with faint praise? November 23, 2018

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An Taisce said that despite gains for many Dublin residents, the redesign involves “an inherent trade-off with the accessibility for vulnerable groups such as elderly and disabled”.It said if the provision of additional services, such as a community transport service, were to be considered, “this trade-off simply disappears”.

Small world… November 23, 2018

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This has nothing to do with anything really, but for those who were curious about the Dutch customs expert who appeared on an ERG panel this week suggesting that everyone, the UK government, the EU, the ROI, had got customs wrong, and he it right, well, his name is Hans Maessen, and he’s also involved in this crew too. It is a small world.

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