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Interview with Senator Catherine Noone… August 19, 2019

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…in the Mirror, conducted by Jason O’Toole. Was away for weekend and only just seen this. It’s certainly an insight into FG thinking, not least on a more recent series of events concerning a TD, but one paragraph caught my eye immediately.

Senator Catherine Noone was left shaken when an angry constituent blasted her for chairing the Oireachtas Committee that recommended the Eighth Amendment should be repealed.

In an exclusive interview with the Irish Mirror, Ms Noone said: “I was outside with
a friend one sunny evening and a man approached me and started giving out to me. It was a bit abusive. I was a little shocked and my friend was upset by it.

“It shouldn’t happen. I’m a civilian when I’m not working. I give a lot of my life to public service so when I’m with a friend socialising you don’t except people to start giving you abuse. But I have to emphasise the positive here – for every one incident like that I’d say there could be 20 where people have said, ‘Keep up the good work’. I get so much positive feedback from people.”

What are the boundaries in regard to elected representatives and interactions with citizens in those instances?

No time for theatrics August 19, 2019

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Thought the Observer editorial this weekend was pretty good in outlining the case for Jeremy Corbyn being given the opportunity to form a ‘time-limited national government’. For many it will be far from optimal, but what other force is in the field in such numbers that it could actually work. Moreover it does point up one clear contradiction on the Tory side (and amongst some LDs). There are many in that camp who are very strong rhetorically in regard to their antipathy to a no-deal Brexit but faced with a half-way viable means of ensuring that outcome is prevented they retreat. If politics teaches us anything it is that one works with what one has, not with what one wishes one had.

Irish Left Archive: ‘Giving Irish Trotskyism a bad name” – Revolutionary Marxist Group, January 1973 August 19, 2019

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To download the above please click on the following link. rmg-name-change-1.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.


This is a fascinating short communication from the Belfast Branch of the Revolutionary Marxist Group to the rest of the organisation over a proposal to change the name from ‘Revolutionary’ to ‘Republican Marxist Group’.

Names have been blurred out.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We are eager to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

1989 revisited: 18 August – Jaruzelski agrees to Solidarity government August 18, 2019

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General Jarulzelski agreed on 18 August to a Solidarity government on two conditions which he relayed to Lech Walesa – first that Poland would remain within the socialist bloc and secondly that the Interior and Defence Ministries would be retained by the Communists. Walesa agreed to both.

Apparently at this time Ceausescu had been seeking an ‘intervention’ by Warsaw Pact armies in Poland – but the Soviet leadership was deeply averse to any such approach.

Arranmore drones August 18, 2019

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This is eye-candy for me. Drone footage of Arranmore, off the coast of Donegal and a place I know pretty well. I’m always a bit leery about drones, but for this sort of camera work they’re undeniably useful.

And though this is an ad, albeit some interesting if dispiriting information, there’s some lovely footage.

Troubles ‘tourism’? August 18, 2019

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This is entertaining, sort of. In the Guardian Rachel Hall writes from Derry about murals – and the headline argues they have a ‘new’ status as tourist attractions. This will, of course, come as news to many who have seen that status accorded to them for many years (though whoever wrote the subhead didn’t bother reading the piece since it is mentioned it ‘took off in the early 2000s).
But the piece itself is a curious mixture. For example:

There are also new political messages near the Bogside murals proper: recruitment posters for the Irish Republican Socialist Party, which believes a united Ireland can only be achieved through armed action; another poster glorying the Irish Republican Army terrorist group as “the people’s army”; and fresh graffiti expressing disillusion with Sinn Fein, the nationalist political party, for “turning rebellion into money”.


Unlike murals painted by the IRA or paramilitary groups, the Bogside murals are not affiliated to any political group. Nevertheless, they have been politicised by becoming a “focal point for protest”, says Sara McDowell, a lecturer at Ulster University.

Oh, that IRA?

What’s fascinating is how implicitly finger wagging the piece is. For example the assertion is raised and never satisfactorily supported that murals (although the Bogside murals are non-party political) somehow impact negatively on the communities within which they are placed. This may be true but some evidence would be useful. Likewise with the idea that they ‘entrench difference in an already deeply divided society’. I’d tend to the view, but am open to correction, that such murals are the symptom of division rather than a cause. And that murals aren’t all of a piece either. The content and the form needs examining. For example a youth worker from the Fountain complains about the council floodlighting some Bogside murals, but no mention is made in the text (although there is a photograph and caption) of Loyalist murals which are paramilitary affiliated.

Sunday and the Week’s Media Stupid Statements August 18, 2019

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Have to repeat former BLP MP, Gisela Stuart’s, ringing declaration from the Guardian:

It was wrong to label as “extremist” anyone who suggested that if the UK and the EU could not reach an agreement we should leave in any case. Just as it is wrong now to imply that the only way of avoiding no deal is for the UK to not leave the EU after all.

And how about this for hyperbole?

Ultimately Jack Lynch prevailed in August 1969 [by not sanctioning military intervention] but only just. His opponents shifted their focus in the following months to channelling money and arms to the emerging Provisional IRA. That led to the arms crisis and the sacking of Blaney and Haughey but the truly dangerous moment for the stability of this State came in August 1969. If Lynch had not prevailed it is doubtful if we could have followed the road to membership of the European Union and the creation of the prosperous and outward-looking State we have today.

Moon Landing Redux August 17, 2019

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Did anyone get to Apollo 11, the documentary using footage from the time? I missed it while I was away over the Summer, but looking forward to seeing it released on DVD or Blu-Ray.

Meanwhile, for a very good take on the Moon landing, try Cosmic Vertigo podcast on Australian ABC RN which I also missed while I was away. Ten short, five minute, spots take the original transmissions and work through each stage of the landing from lift-off, to landing, to splash-down. For such visual events there’s a remarkable evocative aspect to the radio transmissions. Highly recommended.

A welcome return August 17, 2019

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Always enjoyed Gary Gibson’s science fiction novels, particularly the Shoal sequence. But the later Apocalypse Duology was pretty good, albeit the second one dipped a bit and became, as I recall, super bleak. Anyhow, he’s now self-publishing and has released a third novel, Doomsday Game, in that sequence as well as a collection of short stories and novella.

He’s a blog here which is very interesting for those curious about the mechanics of publishing and how even established and critically regarded authors like himself can find it hard going getting works published.

The popular musical canon August 17, 2019

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Thinking about Joy Division, and forty years of Unknown Pleasures – everything’s an anniversary this year (soon we have the second Summer(s) of Love, I kid you not), and how they’ve neatly slotted into the fairly diffuse musical canon of what is regarded as appropriate and worthy of note – what else is in there. The Beatles, the Stones, the Velvet Underground (natch!) and many many more. And yet when I was first listening to music it was ever thus, particularly with the Velvets. Though it was also heavy on The Doors in 1980. But seeing successive bands slotted into the canon has been interesting. Bowie – though he was there way back when. Prince. Nirvana.

And what are they constructed around? Familiarity, a degree of popularity (though how popular is an intriguing question and what is popularity anyhow), critical acclaim, and of course who is tasked with compiling them

This here in the Guardian by Michael Hann is interesting where it examines some interpretations of the canon – at least as mediated by NME – but points to it changing radically. I’d guess the Beatles will still be there. But a lot will fall by the wayside, and as Hann notes some one-album groups will definitely fade away.

Check out this from earlier this decade – NME’s 60 Most Important Albums Of NME’s Lifetime (60 Years) – there’s a canon alright there – one that has expanded to embrace some previously unthinkable names (Sabbath?) But look at more recent additions and ask whether The Libertines or Arcade Fire are likely to ring through the ages. But then that’s the problem with the recent, it’s… well… recent.

And let’s not shy away from the incredibly US and Eurocentric aspects of this too. Indeed not just Eurocentric, but an English centric really (NME, anyhow).

And then there are multiple canons. I think of heavy rock, metal and punk and how for their fans the canons are so clearly demarcated (and in truth slightly intertwine) or by contrast how disparate that of electronica is, indeed there’s a task to disentangle that one(s).

Perhaps Hann is right, that in a digital/internet world the canon is almost irrelevant. But I’m not entirely convinced. The gatekeeper role, or even the more prosaic sifter of music role, that music critics and magazines once held has fallen apart – or perhaps more accurately there’s now many many more voices appropriating that role to themselves. So again, multiple canons. And multiple areas for canons. And yet these sort of lists provide a shorthand, or a point of entry for those curious about where music developed from, or some forms of it anyhow. But there’s so much more out there that they can only ever be a reference point, a starting point…

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