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What you want to say – 12 February 2020 February 12, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

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1. lcox - February 12, 2020

WbS, thanks so much for keeping this space open! It is really helpful in a sea of conservative or at best liberal commentary (and sad to see that one major effect of social media is people who should know better mostly reposting MSM takes that are less good than they could come up with themselves).

There’s an odd generational aspect to this, which I’ve also heard others mention in relation to Repeal. If you’ve been on the Irish left for long enough, some things just come to seem part of the Way Things Are, or put another way you just get used to going beyond “X is outrageous” to “and here is why X never changes in Ireland”.

And yet here we are.

Almost as if the common left wisdom I heard from so many sides in the 80s – blaming the church or partition / the war in the North (depending on affiliation) for the weakness of left politics did have something going for it. (I did idly wonder a few years back what we might say if there was Repeal and unification and FF and FG were still unshakeably running the show…)

Still, it’s hard to think through on some level and particularly the left-right dimension. The gender, religious, cultural politics has been slowly but steadily changing, in everyday life as much as in the big symbolic events that tell you change is coming. But neoliberalism has been getting worse not better, austerity in many ways baked in, and our few left TDs surrounded by a sea of FF and FG seats. And yet here we are.

I do remain sceptical about the numerical feasibility of a left government now. And cautious about how left many of Michael Taft’s “progressive” parties really are – Lab and GP leadership are dire, SD coherence in practice remains to be proven (not least after O’Devaney Gardens), SF’s left turn is a strategic choice but contrasting with their behaviour in the NI Executive and one that could be dropped in coalition with FF.

From these points of view it seems like even six months *not* in government could help the left within each of these parties to gain ground – and for the “real left” parties and independents to reorientate themselves towards how they might approach a viable left government, from the inside or outside. And it all underlines how significant struggle on the ground is – both in producing the “vote left transfer left” and in keeping up the pressure for change.

But it is still all just … disconcerting. In good and bad ways. It’s easier in some ways to learn to live with younger radicals talking as though they invented the left, and older cynics or conservatives who’ve recently changed their minds and are extolling the radical virtues of something you know not to be so dramatic but which seems to them like a whole new world. That is precisely the future we’ve hoped to see, and it’s great it’s here.

It’s harder (for me anyway) to unlearn the ways of thinking that keep you sane in a state that has always been ruled from the right (even with sectoral concessions to Gregory, the WP, Labour or Greens). And perhaps being of that 80s generation, the party make-up of national governments still seems like the symbolic heights, despite everything we know about the transnationalism of capital and the sheer impossibility of socialism, or even social democracy, in one country.

Someone (Colin Barker maybe) commented once that one feature of periods of defeat is that left organisations can get through them, but what they have to do in order to survive in such times makes it hard for them to reorient to different periods. The prickliness, the inward focus, the cynicism or whatever – these are not just problems for parties but also for us as individuals when the wind changes – and maybe our face is stuck the way it was at that point.

Just personal reflections here and this may not be other people’s experience at all. It is a very good problem to have, and not one that really gets in the way of thinking and acting too much. Just wondering if I’m the only one who’s finding it hard to catch up emotionally with realities that we have wanted and been working for over such a long time.

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sonofstan - February 12, 2020

“Someone (Colin Barker maybe) commented once that one feature of periods of defeat is that left organisations can get through them, but what they have to do in order to survive in such times makes it hard for them to reorient to different periods”

Yes indeed: compare the resilience of the labour left here in the UK with the conniptions of the Blairites through the Corbyn years.
What will be interesting is to see how FFG would survive a period where neither is in government. Not well, I hope.

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WorldbyStorm - February 12, 2020

+1 to both your comments.

I’m like you Lcox, dubious a left govt will emerge and suspecting we will see some the progressive crew switch to supporting FF either overtly or covertly – on the other hand this has shown however tantalisingly that the option for even a partial left govt/coalition of a type never seen in this state is there.

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Michael Carley - February 12, 2020

Random thoughts.

There was something Gene Kerrigan said in one of his books about the partnership agreements: Ireland in the 70s and 80s was dreadful, but people in jobs were prepared to put up a fight for their terms and conditions and it helped maintain some union organization, when the UK movement was being wiped out. The partnership agreements were an organizational disaster because when the crisis came, there was a generation of trade unionists who had never organized a strike, so they were starting from zero when it came to fighting back. That said, looking at the EU database on these things, Ireland has 31% union density and 44% of workers covered by collective agreements; for the UK the figures are 26% and 29%. So Ireland has held on to some sense of collectivity in the workplace and the economy.

On top of that, the campaigns of the last few years (water, Repeal, equal marriage) have been great training grounds in the legwork of organization (knocking on doors, dragging people out on wet nights, leafleting places and people who don’t want to be leafleted, hiding behind a clipboard and ticking people’s names off a list) and an education in collective action.

Was this election the first time those newly trained activists came into electoral politics en masse?

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oliverbohs - February 12, 2020

I remember extravagantly dismissing a work colleague who speculated that the progressives’ success in recent referenda cd spread into party politics. Feels good to be that wrong.
Your theory hopefully reflects the Sanders supporters’ experience of 2016 setting them up for this year. Am not religious but if I thought prayer could help him be elected I’d be in the church kneeling every day

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irishelectionliterature - February 12, 2020

One of the things regarding both Referenda was people talked about them and the issues openly, or at least far more openly than before.
I think that carried on to this election in that younger people spoke to each other about the issues especially Housing. From there they were telling people who they were voting for and in many cases it was SF.

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Ciaran Moore - February 12, 2020

Really good point. In Fingal a lot of the non party Together4Yes got stuck into solid anti-racism work through Fingal Together, with good cross party support in the background.

But it was notable that many of the left (or near left) canvass teams knew each other from Repeal and this can be seen in the transfers.

One other important point is the rebirth of political conversations within households. As with repeal a lot of people told us (SF) on the doors they had been talking to each other and made their decision and a lot of young voters were convincing their parents to change. Sometimes with threats of staying in the family home till their 40s 😉

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Joe - February 12, 2020

“Sometimes with threats of staying in the family home till their 40s”

Ha ha. Excellent.

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tafkaGW - February 12, 2020

I can understand people expressing scepticism about the numbers, but I don’t think it’s tactically a great thing to go on about, right after the election. Much worse is the explicit refusal to talk with other possible partners in a broad left/progressive government.

How are people going to persuaded next election – which may come sooner than later – to #votlefttransferleft if they know some of the people they transfer to have no intention of joining a left/progressive government?

The alacrity with which some formations such as a the Labour Party would much rather sink into the oblivion of coalition with FF is something to behold.

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lcox - February 12, 2020

I think it might depend who says this, where! I wouldn’t say it if I was in any of the parties concerned. But at the same time I think there are over-inflated expectations – of what can be done with these numbers, of how serious about change some of these parties are – and with a much broader and more clearly left-identified range of voters and activists I think we can strike a note of caution. The danger I see is of people getting disappointed and falling away when feelings that were always illusionary or wishful thinking (radical social change with these numbers and these parties) fail to materialise.

I am delighted to see MLM calling talks with other left parties (with as many inverted commas as you like) and I do think we should be putting the question of government seriously on the table. But being aware that we are in effect dramatising the realities – showing what might be possible and what the forces against it are.

And of course giving force to those in the Greens, Labour, SocDems and SF who want to take things further left / play a more determined role for a different kind of government, as against those in all those formations who might be tempted to take quick concessions from the right / play for the middle ground etc.

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2. tafkaGW - February 12, 2020

Scanning the Crypto AG ‘revelations’ – in fact people like Schneier pointed the finger at them a long time ago – I seen the RoI were clients of the CIA/BND controlled purveyors of back-doored encryption systems.

If Irish encrypted traffic reached the CIA you can be fairly certain it also reached the British ‘cousins’.

Does anyone know how late Crypto AG equipment was used by the Irish government / security establishment / military?

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tafka - February 12, 2020

There’s this:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/ireland-unwittingly-used-cia-encryption-equipment-in-1980s-1.4170799

Which implies the Brits had a good knowledge through this back channel of the Irish government’s secret positions in the 80s.

Personally I consider Cisco and Microsoft to the Crypto AG’s of our time. I expect that stuff is all over government IT infrastructure.

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3. Alibaba - February 12, 2020

There is a tricky line to walk between expressing solidarity with Sinn Féin when it comes under attack in the media seeking gotcha moments and repudiating SF when its politicians make comments like “Up the Ra”. This isn’t something easy to do.

But if SF wants its “conversation” about “inclusivity” in a united Ireland to be taken seriously and, if it wishes not to alienate those people who voted SF for the first time and who may not do so again because certain remarks reminds them of traditional nationalist republicanism without the gloss of ‘change’, then this adage is apt: least said, best mended. It strikes me today the SF tops recognise this already and have made it known.

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tafkaGW - February 12, 2020

Yes, that was an own goal. More discipline required, even in joyous times.

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irishelectionliterature - February 12, 2020

I think those comments from Cullinane caused a lot of damage. At that stage there was a decent sized element within FF willing to explore the possibility of coalition with Sinn Féin. That changed partially because of the seat numbers but also where previously going in with SF was an abstract, it actually became a possibility and the comments from Cullinane showed them the reality of it.
For all the talk of change I know one FFer who was inundated with calls from constituents complaining about them going in with SF.
I’ve heard some amount of stuff since from people complaining about SF. They’re a cult, they brainwashed young voters on Social Media and so on…..
This backlash is one reason why I think we may eventually end up with FF and FG along with the Greens or Independents.

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Joe - February 12, 2020

“This backlash is one reason why I think we may eventually end up with FF and FG along with the Greens or Independents.”

Which would be a good outcome for SF and the left imho. Surely history has taught us that if you go into government with FF or FG, you end up implementing centre right policies and the electorate whip you next time out.

So, if what you say is true iel, my conspiracy theory is that the AC scripted Cullinane’s speech and that the lad with the phone was one of the lads and he uploaded to twitter as ordered. And thus the backlash will lead to what is in the best interests of SF electorally.

I don’t believe that conspiracy theory actually. I believe David Cullinane and I understand his stated rationale and defence of what he said. He’s proud of the history of SF and he was tracing the election victory back to the struggles of the 30 year conflict in the north. The IRA and INLA hunger strikers were heroes of his as I assume they were and are to everyone in SF.

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4. roddy - February 12, 2020

Joe ,what can I say.I actually agree with your entire post!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Joe - February 12, 2020

Ah Jesus, Roddy. How have I let this happen? Where did it all go wrong?

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Aonrud ⚘ - February 12, 2020

We really do live in strange times 🙂

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5. Stan - February 12, 2020

I said before the election that the figure to watch was the combined FF/FG percentage: the seat tally tells a similar story of fairly continuous and, at this stage probably irreversible decline.

1997 GE FFG = 127 (from 166) 76%
2002 GE FFG = 112 (from 166) 67%
2007 GE FFG = 128 (from 166) 77%
2011 GE FFG =96 (from 166) 57%
2016 GE FFG =94 (from 158) 59%
2020 GE FFG = 74 (from 160) 46%

2007 is the outlier obviously, and maybe the last time we had a ‘normal’ election. Given that is thirteen years ago, almost the span between the establishment of the Free State and Dev’s constitution, it seems as if a return to the good old days is about as likely as John Waters getting elected.

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Stan - February 12, 2020

Oh, and the FF FPV and seat tally in 2007 was about the same as the combined total for the two parties now.

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Joe - February 12, 2020

2020 GE FFG = 74 (from 160) 46%

Em. 2020 GE FFG = 73 (from 160) 45%

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6. roddy - February 12, 2020

I see 62 TDs in the new Dail have signed the”Palestine pledge”.Virtually all the left plus 1Lab 1FF. So successful has been the use of “pro Palestine = anti Semitism” campaign in Britain that I doubt a single MP would have signed it.

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7. lcox - February 12, 2020

A random thought, but one thing any small party should now demand as the price of participation in coalition is repeal of the legislation that enables money messages to block acts the govt doesn’t like.

In the sort of multi-party parliaments we now seem likely to have, small parties can make major wins for movements but have regularly been frustrated despite winning majorities for their proposals by the govt refusing the requisite money message.

Of course (as with PR in the UK) there is every likelihood that TDs who have objected to MMs will be fine with them once in a governing coalition…

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8. Stan - February 12, 2020

Random thought – was there the same reaching for smelling salts and dark mutterings about anti-democratic forces in 1948 when Seán MacBride entered government?

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J - February 12, 2020

He was done down by the priests at the following election. They’ll do the same job for us this time with SF. Go to Mass, ye pups ye.

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Daniel Rayner O'Connor - February 13, 2020

Macbride looked like getting more seats than those which C.na P. got. What stymied him in ’48 was Frank Aiken’s broadcast warning against allowing old bank robbers to control the state’s finances.
After ’48 C.na P. haemorrhaged support, less because of priestly intervention (MacB went overboard to appease the Church) but partly because of its entry to coalition with FG and, in 1951, its refusal to support its own minister’s Mother and Child Scheme.

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9. Joe - February 12, 2020

Will someone do this calculation. If there’s another election in say the next 6 months. And SF run two candidates everywhere they got near enough to two quotas this time. Who are the current TDs who will lose their seats to the second SFer?
At a guess, I’d say: Mick Barry; Paul Murphy; Joan Collins; Gary Gannon; for starters.
Now there’s no guarantee that SF will get as many votes next time – I suppose it all depends on how people view the Dáil shenanigans over the next while.
But SF could nearly wipe out the further left and take out a fair bit of the softer left next time.

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WorldbyStorm - February 12, 2020

I think you’re absolutely right.

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rockroots - February 13, 2020

That’s got to be on the minds of the ‘other’ left – the need to avoid an election any time soon. Is it weird that we’ve reached a point where each of the big parties are more interested in being the main opposition than in being the government?

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Dr. Nightdub - February 13, 2020

I’d add Brid Smith to that list, got almost as many transfers from O Snodaigh as she did first preferences. Gino Kenny also, he himself tweeted he was gone, but SF transfers saved him.

The #VoteLeftTransferLeft thing saved a lot of genuine left candidates this time, you’d have to imagine things will be bumpier next time for those hoping for #3 preferences from SF voters.

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10. CL - February 12, 2020

1927-

“Cosgrave, for his part, intimated that Fianna Fáil’s commitment to democracy had to be seen in the light of the fact that the IRA had not surrendered their dumped arms
Vincent Price SC, made a series of speeches intended to frighten the middle-class portion of that electorate with the insinuation that Fianna Fáil had not abandoned the armed struggle, but merely desisted from it temporarily…..
Lemass described Fianna Fáil as a ‘slightly constitutional party’.”

https://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/fianna-fail-arms-decommissioning-1923-32/

1932-

“In comparison to Cumann na nGaedheal, Fianna Fáil had an elaborate election programme, designed to appeal to a wide section of the electorate. It played down its republicanism to avoid alarm, but provided very popular social and economic policies….
Similar to when the party first entered the Dáil in 1927, a number of Fianna Fáil TDs had guns in their pockets.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1932_Irish_general_election#Fianna_F%C3%A1il

2020…..Balaclavas optional?

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11. rockroots - February 13, 2020

Despite the DUP having served their purpose Boris isn’t dropping the NI-Scotland bridge idea just yet.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/11/hopes-rise-bridge-linking-scotland-northern-ireland
Greater transport links are a good thing but this is his ‘Trump Wall’: a pointless political folly. Entertaining to see an actual engineer on Sky News point out that it would be much easier to build a bridge Liverpool-Dublin and, in any case, there’s a fair chance Scotland would be independent before the bridge could be completed.

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tafkaGW - February 13, 2020

The truth is that much of the British Government and civil service are working on Brexit.

De Pfeffel wants to distract from that fact, and break it to the nation that Brexit isn’t done, as late as possible, and will come out with this sort of guff on a regular basis.

Also remember that all infrastructure investment by the Tories will be highly financialised to benefit his political sponsors in the City of London. Actual infrastructure is irrelevant to their mode of accumulating capital, so why not another fantasy bridge? So long as someone can make a fat killing by trading bonds or shares or indeed bridge futures.

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12. sonofstan - February 13, 2020

Julian Smith sacked as NI secretary – despite appearing to have some idea as to what he was doing, unlike many of his predecessors.

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tafkaGW - February 13, 2020

The Mekon carries a wrist-guard with luminous green buttons that can vapourise cabinet ministers via the planetary orbital Treen laser gun emplacements.

The temptation to press Smith’s button became just too great for the great brain. Or perhaps His Imperial Mightiness has thick fingers.

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sonofstan - February 13, 2020

Javid gone as well. No great loss, but clear indication of how the Mekon wishes to proceed.

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CL - February 13, 2020

“Since Mr Cummings summarily sacked Mr Javid’s adviser Sonia Khan in August, without telling the chancellor first, the two men had been engaged in a power play and battle for the prime minister’s ear.
The Downing Street adviser used his early weeks in Number 10 to push through a number of big spending commitments in areas such as health and police, before Mr Javid secured a victory for the Treasury and applied the spending brakes.

Ahead of the election Mr Javid, backed by Tory election chief Isaac Levido, persuaded Mr Johnson to adopt tight fiscal rules to draw up a dividing line with the UK’s opposition Labour party on economic responsibility, rather than trying to outspend leader Jeremy Corbyn.

That promise to balance the day-to-day budget by 2022-23 imposed serious spending constraints on the government and on Mr Cummings’s plan to revive the north and Midlands, setting up a battle in the run-up to the budget.”

“Markets appear to be assuming that swapping Sajid Javid for Rishi Sunak makes a big spending splurge more likely in next month’s budget. …
“My sense is the market is anticipating a chancellor happier with more expansionist fiscal policy,” said Neil Jones, head of currency sales for financial institutions at Mizuho Bank.”

https://www.ft.com/content/dda50822-7843-3c5f-9f15-2ce98b21d42e

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tafkaGW - February 14, 2020

“My sense is the market is anticipating a chancellor happier with more expansionist fiscal policy”.

Translated: “We have high hope of getting our snouts in a deeper trough.”

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tafkaGW - February 13, 2020

I’m loving the Tory Brexiteer disarray, however.

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13. ar scáth a chéile - February 13, 2020

Anticapitalistas split from Podemos in a comradely fashion:
https://elpais.com/politica/2020/02/12/actualidad/1581531526_831633.html

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tafkaGW - February 14, 2020

Thanks for that – I hadn’t heard.

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14. Michael Carley - February 13, 2020

Radio 4 programme on SF. Irish journos and academics so worth hearing.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000f6c1

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ivorthorne - February 17, 2020

Roy Foster is a dose.

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15. tafkaGW - February 14, 2020
16. alanmyler - February 14, 2020

I see Ruth Coppinger will be contesting a Seanad seat. I look forward to JRG’s usual performance of polemical acrobatics to justify this as a matter of core principle, given the SP’s previous position on the Seanad at the time of the referendum to retain or remove it.

I’ll just post the link here as a memory aid.

http://socialistparty.ie/2013/09/seanad-eireann-its-origins-and-purpose/

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sonofstan - February 14, 2020

Which panel? or one of the uni seats?

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alanmyler - February 14, 2020
sonofstan - February 14, 2020

Great, I can use my vote for someone who’s worth it.

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irishelectionliterature - February 14, 2020

Seems to be less running for the NUI than the last time (which isn’t hard). I’d imagine McDowell, Coppinger and Higgins will all poll well and hopefully take that odious Mullen out. (I know things are bad when you’re hoping McDowell beats someone.)

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Joe - February 14, 2020

“Great, I can use my vote for someone who’s worth it.”
Snap.
Ruth and that chap who wants to save the seals in Skerries, 1 and 2.

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stillradical - February 14, 2020

They stood Prendiville in 2016 and there was talk that JH was going to stand after 2007, so they’re not opposed to taking seanad seats.

I think it’s OK to stand for it and use it as a platform but given that Mick Barry is still in the Dail, I’m not sure why there is a need in this instance. She argues “My aim is to use the national platform [the Seanad] provides to advance the unfinished business of workers’ and women’s rights in particular, as well as the need for radical action on the housing crisis and climate change.”

It’s not exactly a vote of confidence in her colleague or indeed in the PBPA/Rise reps who will be doing this in the Dail. It seems to me, she’s standing to keep a profile in advance of the next GE.

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rockroots - February 14, 2020

Well good luck to her, I suppose. I trust that you elite intellectuals will do right by us disenfranchised peasants! As absolutely no-one is talking about the Seanad reform so sincerely promised after the referendum, at the very least it should be a fixed-term 5-year body to stop this Dail runners-up nonsense indulged in by all parties.

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sonofstan - February 14, 2020

Organic intellectuals, please.

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Joe - February 14, 2020

I’m UCD, we’re not intellectuals. That’s those Trinners sinners. Have you never been to a Colours game? Give us a C – C, give us an o – o, give us an l – l, give us another l – l, give us an i – i, give us a d – d, give us a g – g, give us an e – e. What have ye got? Collidge cha cha cha. Collidge cha cha cha.

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Joe - February 14, 2020

“It’s not exactly a vote of confidence in her colleague or indeed in the PBPA/Rise reps who will be doing this in the Dail.”

Ah c’mon. Socialists need to get into and vocal in every forum that’s available for them. We have a few socialists in the Dáil. If we can get even one into the Seanad, all the better.

And around some of the other posts above and below.
Did Prendiville run in 2016? If he did, I presume I voted for him. Funny though, my memory would be that there hasn’t been a genuine socialist candidate on the ballot for a long time.

And suggesting Coppinger is splitting the socialist vote cos liberals like Alice Mary Higgins are also running. I mean, please.

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Liberius - February 14, 2020

Prendiville ran in the Labour panel in 2016, 52 votes in toto. On Higgins and Harmon, definitely agree they aren’t really in the same political region as Coppinger or even Hearne.

https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/electoralProcess/electionResults/seanad/2017/2017-07-19_seanad-general-election-april-2016-and-bye-elections-to-2011-16_en.pdf

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stillradical - February 14, 2020

I didn’t suggest Coppinger was splitting the ‘Socialist’ vote, I said the ‘left’ were standing against each other and I cited several candidates and notwithstanding ‘liberal’ AMH, I’d rather see her there than some rightwinger.

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17. stillradical - February 14, 2020

But like in the GE the left are standing against each other. Alice Mary is in there and standing again, Laura Harmon has already announced her candidacy, Rory Hearne is standing again and now RC is throwing her hat into it.

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sonofstan - February 14, 2020

That’s what PR is for?

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pettyburgess - February 14, 2020

There’s a pretty considerable political gap between Coppinger and Labour or Labour adjacent people like Higgins and Harmon. Hearne might be somewhere in between those two poles but he also has no real chance anyway.

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18. Paul Culloty - February 14, 2020

Kelly confirms his candidacy for the Labour leadership, O’Riordáin and Nash will reportedly decide between themselves which of them will enter:

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/alan-kelly-only-guaranteed-option-set-to-appear-on-labour-partys-leadership-ballot-981842.html

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19. Stan - February 16, 2020

Cam across this line in Harvey’s Rebel Cities that pretty much explains the Irish housing crisis in one pithy sentence: ‘as much, if not more money can be made from financial trading on existing housing rather than from building new’

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20. Alibaba - February 16, 2020

‘Parasite: how Oscar triump has exposed South Korean’s social divide’

And guess what?

‘Bong’s stinging – and at times hilarious – commentary on the friction generated by poverty’s proximity to wealth could bring financial benefits to some of Ahyeon-dong’s residents, however, via guided tours planned by the city government. …

Despite having seen the film three times, Lee Seung-jin, a 28-year-old designer who lives nearby, says he is offended by the idea of “poverty tourism”. “Parasite is a parody about the gap between the rich and the poor, so for city officials to come up with the idea for these tours is ridiculous. Shouldn’t they be working to narrow the wealth gap instead of parading poor people around for tourists to gawp at?”’

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/feb/16/parasite-film-oscars-bong-joon-ho-seoul-rich-poor-south-korea

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alanmyler - February 16, 2020

We went to see Parasite in the IFI last night. Hilarious is not a word I’d use to describe it. I didn’t rate it at all, possibly the worst film I’ve seen in the IFI since enduring Zidane a 20th Century Portrait a good few years ago.

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Alibaba - February 16, 2020

Fair enough, it wasn’t hilarious. But I was taken with Parasite and its innovate tricks, albeit some of ones I could see taken from other famous films. My only criticism is it went on for far too long and better editing needed to be done. Now Zidane was a beautiful film which entranced me, and bear in mind I do not do football at all.

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Dr, Nightdub - February 17, 2020

Went to see it tonight. Cast were brilliant, first hour was excellent, second hour was (a) half an hour too long (b) director Bong was off his meds.

Couldn’t see what was Oscar-winning about it, certainly not for Best Picture Full Stop, let alone even just Best Foreign Language Picture. For the latter, I’d rate that Chinese fiim “The Farewell” much higher.

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sonofstan - February 17, 2020

Yes, it was a little too long, and the idea that it was a no holds barred depiction of the class struggle is an exaggeration but I thoroughly enjoyed it. His earlier movie ‘The Host’ is white knuckle scary and a much more pointed political allegory.

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21. Alibaba - February 16, 2020

Bertie Ahern says a new government won’t be formed by the end of March and a  ‘FF-FG government must involve Greens and SocDems to ‘reflect change’

I’m not betting on the outcome, anything could happen. But there will be fireworks, for sure.

https://www.thejournal.ie/bertie-ahern-government-formation-change-5009126-Feb2020/

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Paul Culloty - February 16, 2020

Meanwhile, most Labour voters would prefer an FF-FG coalition:

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Dr. Nightdub - February 17, 2020

In fairness to Red C, “most Labour voters” is a small sample size, so the MOE must be huge.

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22. CL - February 19, 2020

Newly-elected Sinn Féin TD, Réada Cronin, Kildare North, has spread antisemitic conspiracy notions on social media.

“They included a claim that European wars were instigated and funded by banks and the retweeting of a message that Hitler was a pawn for a bank owned by the Rothschild family.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/new-sinn-f%C3%A9in-td-apologises-for-glib-off-the-cuff-tweets-1.4177915

“It is the conspiracy theory perhaps most beloved by antisemitic anoraks the world over. First peddled in the mid 19th century, it’s now nearly 200 years and the myth that the Rothschild family – having plotted and profited from wars, caused the Holocaust and arranged the assassination of political opponents – secretly control the global economy is still going strong.”
https://www.thejc.com/news/news-features/the-rothschilds-the-banks-and-antisemitism-the-truth-and-the-myths-1.450112

Zero tolerance?

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CL - February 19, 2020

“Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty has said that social media comments made by newly elected Kildare North TD Réada Cronin are not a reflection of the party’s positions….

Mr Doherty, who is leading Sinn Féin negotiations on government formation, said he does not believe the comments will have implications on talks with other parties which, he said, are about “serious substantive issue” around health and housing.

Asked if he believed there was a latent ambivalence about the comments within the party, he said: “No, there is not.”
https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2020/0219/1116302-cronin-comments/

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