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Spanish Elections April 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Kudos to the Guardian for some excellent graphic analysis of the elections. It’s a country I know reasonably well and visit regularly, near enough once a year so it is fascinating to get a sense of the temperature of the place. It’s also a place I’ve a great deal of affection for.

Although the Vox result wasn’t great, it was less awful than expected – perhaps that will change. Interesting to see Ciudanos being feted as the possible replacement to the PP as the right of centre formation in Spain. Anyone who has followed the history of that latter party would I suspect find even Ciudanos a marginal improvement. The PSOE is for many of us far too mild a party but good to see it pushing back against Vox in Andalucía.

It is interesting to ask where it went wrong for Podemos – destined it would appear for government, but their broad coalition beaten back substantially from their 2016 figure. Though, and I raise this cautiously, I cannot help but think, having seen the posters, that the PSOE benefited greatly from their leader’s photogenic looks. That may seem trivial, and it is on any political level, but I wonder how much of an assist it gave.

Supporting a Tory deal? April 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Wasn’t surprised to read this at the weekend, that Labour in Britain may be backing away from a second referendum:

Labour is prepared to sign up to a Brexit deal with the government without the promise of a referendum attached if cross-party talks make significant progress in the coming days, one of the party’s negotiators has said.
With talks set to resume on Monday, Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, made clear that if Labour’s Brexit demands were met, she would not expect the party to insist it be put to a public vote.


“Our party policy has always been that firstly we want to get a Brexit deal that puts our economy and living standards first and protects our environmental protections, workplace protections, health and safety standards,” she said.

“If we don’t get a deal that satisfies those objectives – if it’s a damaging deal, a damaging Tory Brexit deal, or there’s a risk of us moving towards a no deal – in that circumstance, we’ve said that all options should be on the table, and that includes campaigning for a public vote,” she added.

I’ve long argued that a second vote is problematic, and I also wonder would it be won? There’s no end of risk in it. What’s more intriguing is that Labour might, just might, sign up to a Tory deal. I’ve also long argued that May’s deal, for all its flaws, is probably as good as it gets given the riven nature of the British polity, but for the BLP there’s no end of risk in that too.

That new law on working hours… April 30, 2019

Posted by Tomboktu in Business, Collective Bargaining, Employment Rights, Labour relations, Trade Unions, Workers Rights.

Last week, we got two opposing views on whether the changes in the law on working hours are an improvement for workers. (The changes came into force in March.)

On Tuesday, Mandate’s communications officer, David Gibney, had an article on the Irish Broad Left for ‘yes’, and on Friday, two academics at the Kenny Business School in the University of Limerick, Juliet Mac Mahon and Tony Dundon, had an article in the Irish Times for ‘no’. (The article by MacMahon and Dundon does not refer to Gibney’s and the fact that their article was published a few days after his seems to be a coincidence rather than an explicit response to Gibney’s article.)

“Essays by An Irish Rebel” to be launched by Dublin Lord Mayor on May Day. April 29, 2019

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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“Essays by An Irish Rebel: Revolution, Politics and Culture” by Liam Ó Briain in a new translation by Eoin O’Dochartaigh , will receive it’s Dublin launch on Wednesday , 1st May at the Mansion House , hosted by The Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring.

Essays in the collection include profiles of friends who were to become notable figures in modern Irish history. Friends like Eoin Mac Néill, Pádraic Ó Conaire, Seán T. O’Kelly, Piaras Béaslaí, and W.T. Cosgrave are all featured, and there is a wonderful description of the Docklands community of North Wall and his near neighbour, the playwright Sean O’Casey.

Looking forward to the launch, The Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring said:

“I am looking forward to launching this collection of essays by Liam Ó Briain, who would have been a very prominent and highly regarded figure in Irish life during the 20th century. As a local man, a member of the Irish Volunteers and the IRB , in addition to being a participant in the Easter Rising, I have no doubt he would have known my own family, including my grand-father and his four brothers who all served at the GPO.”

“I was interested to read that he was a guest on the very first Late Late Show broadcast in 1962, which is an historic occasion if there ever was one. While his occupation as a professor of Romance languages ensured he lived in Galway for 42 years I have to say I still regard him as a real Dub. Born and reared in North Wall in the Docklands, he would return to the city of his birth upon his retirement and live out the remainder of his days here.”

The launch has been initiated by the East Wall History Group, who are delighted that Eoin O’Dochartaigh will be in attendance.

“Insurrection memories 1916” , translated in the centenary year will also be available at the launch event.

For further information: Joe Mooney 0876698587

Biographical information: Liam Ó Briain (1888–1974) was a republican, a scholar of Romance languages, and Irish-language enthusiast. Born in the Dublin Docklands, he spent the greater part of his life in Galway, where he was a professor of Romance languages at UCG for 42 years. He was a prominent figure in Irish life during the 20th century, and among his many positions were a founding member, actor and director of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe (an Irish-language theatre) , a member of the board of the Abbey Theatre, was on the advisory committee for Radio Éireann, and also the committee of the Military History Society of Ireland .

A member of the Irish Volunteers, he fought during the Easter Rising of 1916 at St Stephens Green, and following the surrender was imprisoned at Wandsworth jail and Frongoch internment camp. During the War of Independence he was engaged with arms purchases on the continent and on his return to Ireland was again imprisoned for a period of 13 months.

Politics and personality April 29, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Another useful IT podcast interviewed Clare Daly TD the week before last and then had a discussion on the race. Daly was as forceful as ever and all I hear suggests that she will be a leading candidate in the European elections. Some seem to think she may top the poll. Certainly the debates will be more interesting than might have been expected hitherto.

But… listening to the discussion afterwards I was struck by the manner in which Daly’s arrival in the race had upset the applecart. For example, although mention was made of Senator Alice Mary Higgins candidacy the consensus was that she was already part of a crowded ’social democratic’ area. But it was explicitly suggested that Daly had potentially impacted on Gary Gannon’s entry to the race. One wonders did the SD leadership have a sense that Daly was thinking about running and felt that a run in that context might not be a useful exercise. And intriguingly another consensus was that SF would do better than some are suggesting and that the votes accrued at the last European elections should see them home.

Still, isn’t it a fascinating example of how an individual can shape a political contest in such a stark way. Is Daly better known that Frances FitzGerald? She surely is better known than pretty much all other candidates. And coming from the independent camp, wide as that camp may be, she has the ability to pick up votes and transfers from a remarkably wide area. What brand of leftism does she represent? I’d hazard a guess at left social democracy – albeit there are areas where some of us may have been baffled by public stances in the time since she left the SP. What do others think? And what of that terrain? How does that impact on those left social democrats back in the Dáil? Does it function as an assist or an obstacle if one of the leading lights goes to Europe?

Meanwhile the IT is talking about a poll in the near future. Should be educative.

£10bn April 29, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

There was an entertaining suggestion on slugger recently in comments from a couple of contributors where they noted that the subvention from London for NI was around £10bn. That’s not chump change and the idea was that…

That’ll be a on big red bus soon – if I was a cheeky Shinner I’d have it on the side of half a dozen buses in various Brexit voting cities.
” The annual subvention to Northern Ireland is a whopping £9.2 billion. It costs more for Northern Ireland to be within the UK than for the UK to be in the EU!
“Tiocfaidh ár lá” “

You know, that’s not the craziest idea in the world. And if it acceptable for the DUP to fund supplements during the Brexit referendum in London newspapers or much more recently to advertise as they do surely it is equally acceptable for SF to point up some of the facts of the broader relationships. Whether it would have quite the effect intended… well that’s another matter.

But it does raise a fascinating aspect of the issue. Or aspects plural. For a start there’s clearly a dearth of knowledge about the broader relationships and what underpins them. In the past Dublin ran campaigns (particularly in the late 1940s) attempting to publicise partition internationally and push back against it and directed to legislators in Washington while the Stormont governments of the same period produced a small library of texts and pamphlets directed at British parliamentarians about the threat from the IRA, why partition was justified and so on. But both those tended to try to engage political circles rather than broader populations in Britain. I wonder if the latter has it ever been done seriously by either republicanism or unionism?

No added gravitas April 29, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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For at least one candidate in the European Elections, to judge from this report:

Independent candidate Peter Casey has been criticised for comments made in a newspaper in which he said there were “freeloaders” in the direct provision system, who he said should be “put back on the plane”.

During a debate on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, Mr Casey said that “genuine refugees” should be given a “warm Irish welcome” and ruled out joining up with Nigel Farage or any other right wing group if elected to the European Parliament.

I rarely say this, but good to see the FF candidate amongst others coming out immediately against this sort of rhetoric.

Left Archive: Reasons to vote No to the Lisbon Treaty, Socialist Workers Party, 2008 April 29, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. reasons-to-vote-no-to-the-lisbon-treaty.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this. If anyone has the cover that would be gratefully accepted.

This is a very long document, published in 2008, written by Kieran Allen and outlining the reasons to vote no to the Lisbon Treaty. In order to make this case it presents six chapters, The Rise of a Neo-Liberal Europe, The ‘Lock-In’ of Corporate Rule, The EU and Militarism, This is Not What Democracy looks like, The Yes Chorus, What is at stake? And finally ‘What you can do’.

The introduction notes that:

In 2008, we will be the only ones to vote on the Lisbon Treaty. The four million strong population of a small island will be voting on behalf of the other 450 million Europeans. This unique situation has arisen because a Kilkennyfarmer-turned-academic, Raymond Crotty, dared to legally challengethe Irish government in the late eighties over its handling of the Single European Act. His victory ensured that successive Irish governments would have to hold referenda on similar treaties. Their counterparts in the rest of Europe have, unfortunately, more room to manoeuvre.

And argues that:

Constitutions normally outline general principles that guarantee freedoms for citizens. Rarely, are they based on detailed economic proposals that ‘lock in’ future generations to current economic strategies. Yet this is precisely what the Lisbon Treaty does.
At its core are a number of articles which turn the current neoliberal orthodoxy into a legal straightjacket for the future. Should circumstances change, the EU will still be legally obliged to follow

It continues:

The only people who can stop this charade are the Irish people All of which makes for a very intriguing referendum. In most political discussions, we are often urged to think about the ‘national
interest’ and to put the country first. On this occasion, the terms of the debate are different: the Irish electorate is voting by proxy for the whole population of Europe. Moreover, the debate cannot be defined in terms of those who are pro or anti-European.

Please note: We accept scanned files in good faith. However if files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We are keen to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

Official Launch; A Broad Church By Dr Gearóid Ó Faoleán April 28, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This will be of great interest to many here, the official launch of A Broad Church by Dr. Gearóid Ó Faoleán.

Bull fight April 28, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I was in Spain very recently and I was wondering about the politics of bullfighting recently. In part this is because in 1985 myself and Alastair (once of this parish) spent three months or so in Malaga attempting to produce and sell t-shirts to tourists. This was an interesting experiment but with perhaps a single but far from insignificant flaw, that being that most tourists had already purchased t-shirts before arrival. Anyhow, every evening should the mood strike one bull-fights would be televised. So I saw a fair few bullfights across three months.

I’ve never had any particular urge to see one close up, but I’ve also never underestimated the attraction within Spain for these events – at least for some Spanish people.

Anyhow, this report from the Guardian notes a small but growing anti-bullfighting lobby that may gain political representation in the parliament at the forthcoming election.

The animal rights party Pacma, founded 16 years ago to put an end to bullfighting, could win two seats in the congress of deputies, according to the most recent poll by the country’s Centre for Sociological Studies (CIS).

In truth they’re a marginal force, at this point.

As it happens looking down from an observation point into a bull-ring only a short while back I was struck by the fact two lines of cars and trucks were neatly parked inside.

Meanwhile today is voting day in Spain. PSOE up a fair bit, Podemos not doing so well in the polls. The right using Catalonia as a wedge issue (Ciudadanos rhetoric on the issue particularly telling) and the far-right just waiting in the form of Vox to increase votes. I was in Spain in recent weeks and the election campaign seemed, by contrast with our own, remarkably underpowered with very little postering etc.

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