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What you want to say – 19 February 2020 February 19, 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. Lancet - February 19, 2020

Poll today from Extra.ie/Amárach Research: https://extra.ie/2020/02/19/news/politics/sinn-fein-and-fianna-fail-the-coalition-of-choice-for-irish-voters-extra-ie-poll

Suggests that if we don’t get a government and have to go back to the polls, SF would get 35% of first preferences next time out. And the “broad left” (SF, SD, LAB, GP, SPBP) would be around 55%…

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WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2020

Wow, that may concentrate minds in FF and FG! Thanks for the link

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - February 19, 2020

No hint as to methodology however.

Liked by 1 person

benmadigan - February 19, 2020

Can’t vouch for the source but I heard the poll was devised and set up by a London think tank with nearly all English people.

It was conducted in Belfast (I have no idea about sample type or sampling method).

The results were (unsurprisingly?) cherry-picked to show a minority vote for Irish reunification.

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benmadigan - February 19, 2020

PS – have just realised I was referring to a different poll – the one in the Belfast telegraph announcing 29% support for Irish Unity. Sorry all – please forgive!

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/just-29-in-northern-ireland-would-vote-for-unity-major-study-reveals-38966196.html

Liked by 1 person

Liberius - February 19, 2020

From the Bel Tel article.

The results are revealed in Northern Ireland’s largest general election face-to-face study ever carried out. Just over 2,000 people were interviewed across our 18 Westminster constituencies between December 28, 2019 and February 11.

The Liverpool University-led project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council with interviews conducted by Social Market Research.

Social Market Research are Belfast based incidentally. Also, have you got any evidence that it’s been cherry-picked other than it not showing what you want?

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benmadigan - February 19, 2020

No poll ever shows what I want i.e. the unvarnished truth about public opinion because they are all contaminated by some form of bias.

For example, this poll was conducted face to face in NI.Ever heard of the NI saying “Whatever you say, say nahim”? Many responders could have lied or answered “don’t know” because of a long-standing fear/habit of not voicing their true opinions to people they don’t personally know. Social Market Research may well be Belfast based but since the entire poll and its background info are not, AFAIK, available at present, nobody knows if they factored that in or weighted the results accordingly.

Polls are conducted to serve a purpose as are their findings. A manufacturer conducts a poll to see why the public do not buy Product X and then uses the info to create an advertising campaign to convince them to buy it.
In this case, the Bel Tel published a report of this poll (not the entire poll), selecting info that would generate headlines, trigger readers’ interest, raise circulation and hopefully advertising figures. It’s a business after all. What was it advertising?

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Liberius - February 19, 2020

You do know that nothing you’ve written is evidence? I mean why not just keep your batshit sources to yourself and that batshit blog you run? There are plenty of reasons to be circumspect about polling in NI and polling in general but no analysis of it is served by paranoid conspiracy theories presented without of evidence.

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irishelectionliterature - February 19, 2020

Fine Gael got 36.1% in 2011 and got 76 seats. FF got 17.4% in 2011 and got 20 seats.
(There are 6 less seats in this Dáil)

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Dermot M O Connor - February 19, 2020

poll links with more party supports:
https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1230016828967092231
https://extra.ie/2020/02/19/news/politics/sinn-fein-second-election

And full %

SF 35%
FG 18%
FF 17%
Green 9%
Ind 7%
Soc Dems 5%
Labour 3%
Sol-PBP 3%
Oth 4%

An election result like this would be an utter disaster for Fine Gael and Fianna Fail who would see their number in Dail Eireann drop to roughly 20 seats a piece.

Second election, bring it on!

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Tomboktu - February 19, 2020

Noteworthy that Labour joins FG and FF in dropping support and not benefiting from the ‘up the left’ trend (he says, handwaving away the technical detail of margins of error).

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Dermot M O Connor - February 19, 2020

SF will hoover up a lot more waverers now. People like to be on the winning team. If FFG continue to play silly buggers (oh, please, let them!) they’ll get what they deserve. Let’s have the MSM keep screaming about the 1980s and the Army Council, that worked so well in the past, flag some dodgy tweets, yeah, that’ll reverse the tidal wave. Cnuts.

FF must surely be shitting themselves at the idea of going in with Greens/Inds; SF would eat them alive from opposition. And the idiots have talked themselves into a position where their one good move (FF/SF coalition) is off the table – barring a massive u-turn.

Greens and SDs now eating what’s left of Labour, nice bit of smoked salmon on the side, haha.

Greens would be pushing 15 16 or more on this, SDs adding another 2 or 3 (they had a few loses who were in the running last time who just missed out).

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Fergal - February 19, 2020

I know it was election guff and so on but MM really backed FF into a corner by saying that they wouldn’t coalesce with SF…now, with FF’s relatively poor results…they can only look towards Greens, SD, Indos and Lab?! FG want to be in opposition*…apparently…negotiate from a position of strength mustn’t be in MM’s rulebook…
My favourite was Jim O’Callaghan saying that voters were telling him not to go into coalition with SF on the doorsteps? Really? How many of them? Every second door? Every fifth door? You couldn’t make it up…
* Well, it looks like it could be business as usual…more neo-liberal economics….so, opposition is not so apt here.

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2. rockroots - February 19, 2020

Opinion poll puts support for Irish unity within NI at 29% (a little higher than most recent polls). The key figure being the 40% (!) of NI people who consider themselves neither nationalist nor unionist, but see no advantage in linking with the south.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/just-29-in-northern-ireland-would-vote-for-unity-major-study-reveals-38966196.html

Liked by 1 person

makedonamend - February 19, 2020

+ only 52% would vote to stay in the UK

+ ~20% declining to answer (that’s one big polling gap)

+ Interestingly, 52% would broadly represent the current sectarian divide

+ if you asked the question differently with multiple options, you’d get different answers and percentages.

+ From what I gathered in the MSM SF isn’t simply calling for an immediate border poll but a drawn out consultation process involving numerous groups and potential optionality

The either-or question simplifies and comforts a certain viewpoint whilst denying other viewpoints validity and options, but that’s my opinion.

Liked by 1 person

tafkaGW - February 19, 2020

Ah – 52/48 – such a fine and fateful ratio!

Liked by 1 person

rockroots - February 19, 2020

“From what I gathered in the MSM SF isn’t simply calling for an immediate border poll but a drawn out consultation process involving numerous groups and potential optionality”

Yes, I think they’ve rowed back on that slightly, at least in the south. The poll does suggest, though, that there’s a huge chunk of voters who might be persuaded for unity if it was of practical benefit to them.

Liked by 1 person

3. tafkaGW - February 19, 2020

I think we’re sufficiently distant from FG’s abortive election pitch to ask this question:

Who is going to handle the Brexit negotiations for the RoI during the likely long period of dithering about government formation / another election?

The outcome will significantly influence the lives of people on the island of Ireland and Irish people in the UK.

The Mekon and his pet English sheepdog is going for the usual fast-track pressure tactic, which I guess will play well with the Brexit crowd, even though it harms their negotiating position even more. The absence of anyone on the Irish side who can intervene with a mandate will be damaging for us.

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makedonamend - February 19, 2020

There’s Phil Hogan as EU Commissioner for trade. There’s Irish Civil Servants also involved at various levels in providing data and information.

But at this stage, it really is the EU, as a bloc, negotiating with a single external country.

And I believe each individual country of the EU has to formally agree to a final deal, but I suspect that any deal in the given time frame might be partial, fragmentary and quite limited. Unless Johnson’s govt is only currently posturing with regard to their public statements, we might indeed see a very limited agreement by 12/2020.

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tafkaGW - February 19, 2020

You’re right about it being a collective negotiation.

But the Brexitanians will try to lever Ireland away from the collective. And I don’t trust a Johnson goverment to abide by the Withdrawal agreement.

Phil Hogan can be relied upon to protect the interests of capital. I guess Barnier is personally highly invested in the preservation of the GFA, so at least it’s positive that he’s still in charge of negotiations.

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CL - February 19, 2020

“Sabine Weyand is the director-general for trade within the European Commission – the senior civil servant in the Directorate-General for Trade (DG Trade) – responsible for developing and implementing EU policy on trade-related matters, including any future negotiations with the UK. She was formerly the EU’s deputy chief negotiator during the Brexit negotiations, alongside chief negotiator Michel Barnier.”
https://ukandeu.ac.uk/fact-figures/who-is-sabine-weyand/

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4. tafkaGW - February 19, 2020

Much talk from Lexiteer fuckwits like Larry Elliott about the supposed anti-austerity plans from Mekon’s government and how this is a threat to British Labour’s ‘brand’.

It’s nonsense of course and this article describing the likely “Populist Austerity” policies of de Pfeffel’s nails it:

what appears to be a muddled economic melange, in reality, has some consistency. Johnson has said that budget cuts will allow government to “refocus” resources on the “people’s priorities” – health, crime and “levelling up”. These priorities are, of course, not primarily of ‘the people’s’ choosing, but are pressure points Number 10 has identified in an overheated culture war.

This is not a move to the left, as others have argued. After all, any investment funded by cuts elsewhere can hardly be called redistributive. Neither does it represent a sudden commitment to fulfilling the will of the people.

This is populist austerity in action. The majority of government departments will continue to be cut and the cash funnelled into areas of investment that promise to sharpen the frontier between ‘us’ and ‘them’. This is how Johnson plans to hold together the conflicting interests that comprise the party’s new voter bloc.

And will the following apply to Irish citizens living in the UK?:

Plans to make all ‘immigrants’ pay a surcharge of £625 to cover NHS costs, alongside assurances that benefits will only be extended to those in the UK for at least five years, make clear that any investment in welfare is for British people alone.

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5. Tomboktu - February 19, 2020

This was a bit of a land to read at the weekend

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Pasionario - February 19, 2020
6. CL - February 20, 2020

“The Jewish Representative Council of Ireland has expressed disappointment that Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald did not condemn incendiary remarks by newly elected TD Réada Cronin.

“Chairman of the council Maurice Cohen said the tweets were “inaccurate, anti-Semitic and racist”

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/jewish-council-dismayed-at-sinn-féin-td-s-unacceptable-tweets-1.4178440

“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
……

Antisemitism is the ‘socialism of fools’ because by scapegoating Jews it diverts attention from capitalist predation as the real source of exploitation and social injustice.

A Sinn Fein TD remains in good standing within the party after having spread antisemitic conspiracy theories on social media, thus giving aid and comfort to the forces of bigotry and reaction.

The Sinn Fein leadership is seriously deficient in this matter.

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CL - February 20, 2020

“MARY LOU MCDONALD has said she wants to meet the chairman of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland after a Sinn Fein TD made anti-Semitic remarks on Twitter.”
https://www.thejournal.ie/mary-lou-mcdonald-reada-cronin-tweets-jewish-leader-5015309-Feb2020/

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7. Stan - February 20, 2020

Back on the picket line for round 3 of the pensions dispute and round 2 of the four fights over casualisation, pay equality, workload and pay. Cold and wet – highlight was guy who had been at Orgreave coming over to express solidarity but also a teeny bit of one up man ship.

Liked by 3 people

WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2020

🙂

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Michael Carley - February 20, 2020

+1

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8. CL - February 21, 2020

“Irish American Michael Bloomberg supporters from New York City and its boroughs, some of whom have worked in city government for various politicians, have formed a new group called NY Irish Americans for Mike Bloomberg 2020 to boost his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination….
Irish radio show host and community leader Adrian Flannelly told the Irish Voice that he is “fully supportive” of Bloomberg’s quest for the Democratic nomination. Co. Mayo native Flannelly has been a friend of Bloomberg’s for decades and says he was a no-nonsense leader who also had a soft spot for the Irish….
Flannelly was also part of the Bloomberg delegation that traveled to Belfast in May of 2008 for the U.S.-Northern Ireland investment conference. The mayor, Flannelly said, vowed to open an office of his Bloomberg News empire in Belfast and he kept to his word….
The Belfast trip also included a journey to Dublin for an invite that would have been hard to turn down – a gathering at Bono’s house. “That was a good night that we all enjoyed very much,” Flannelly recalls.
https://www.irishcentral.com/news/politics/bloomberg-backed-leading-irish

“SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: ..Mr. Bloomberg had policies in New York City of stop-and-frisk which went after African-American and Latino people in an outrageous way….
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians. And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump; I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg. Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop-and-frisk.”
https://www.democracynow.org/2020/2/20/nevada_democratic_debate

“Mayor Mike Bloomberg has called the striking transit workers thugs”
(Morning Edition, Dec 22, 2005)

“Michael Bloomberg’s campaign tried on Thursday to put a positive spin on his widely panned debut presidential debate performance, even as his top adviser conceded he had gotten off to a shaky start and Democrats raised concerns about the viability of his candidacy….
.
Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh said she did not think Mr Bloomberg could recover from his performance…

At one point on Wednesday night, Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator, and Mr Sanders tore into Mr Bloomberg’s “stop and frisk” policy as New York mayor, which they said disproportionately targeted people of colour.

Mr Bloomberg apologised for the policy, saying: “I’ve asked for forgiveness, but the bottom line is that we stopped too many people.”

Ms Warren also attacked Mr Bloomberg over non-disclosure agreements involving women he worked with, who alleged sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Mr Bloomberg refused to agree to release the women from the agreements, saying: “None of them accuse me of doing anything other than maybe they didn’t like a joke I told.”
https://www.ft.com/content/6db2d210-53f4-11ea-8841-482eed0038b1

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9. Starkadder - February 23, 2020

A very good article on the Harvey Weinstein trai by JoAnn Wypijewski:

https://www.thenation.com/article/society/weinstein-trial-rape-manhattan/

One feels intense pity for the unfortunate Jessica Mann – it seems Weinstein is not the only person who mistreated her.

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10. Tomboktu - February 23, 2020

A little over a week left for the nominations for the vocational panels for the Seanad.

Quite a few outgoing senators already have their nominations in, especially from FF.

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11. Stan - February 24, 2020

I was trying to explain the differences – such as they are – between FF and FG to a comrade on the picket line today and said something like ‘FG are tories and FF sort of are too, but with a big state/ welfarist edge’ –
‘so one-nation Tories?’ he suggested. It had never occured to me before as a comparison but I think it might be close enough actually.

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WorldbyStorm - February 24, 2020

That’s really good as a description

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12. Starkadder - February 24, 2020

“He thought he was the smartest guy around….
He’s in the Jailhouse Now.”

Weinstein is looking at five years in prison following a guilty verdict.

https://www.itv.com/news/2020-02-24/harvey-weinstein-sexual-assault-trial/

Still, locking up one nasty abuser won’t stop sexual abuse.

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13. CL - February 25, 2020

“The EU is also worried that Britain is playing down obligations it signed up to in its Brexit divorce deal, notably to impose checks on goods trade with Northern Ireland.
Mr Barnier took aim at what he said were “astonishing statements” from Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis suggesting that trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK would not be impeded by last year’s deal. “We always said there will not be a border down the Irish Sea, there’ll be unfettered access for business,” Mr Lewis said.
Responding to those remarks, Mr Barnier said: “I would be happy to meet him, whenever he wants. In the meantime, I would like him to take the time to read the Withdrawal Agreement.”
https://www.ft.com/content/7d0bb2fc-57b6-11ea-a528-dd0f971febbc

Does a defeated FG govt. which constantly reiterates its desire to go into opposition have the legitimacy and authority to deal with this issue?

Maybe Varadkar should be more concerned with this problem than with Sinn Fein’s exercise of its democratic right of freedom of assembly and expression?

Liked by 1 person

14. Stan - February 25, 2020

The Covid -19 virus seems to have arrived in RTE/IT land with the possibility of a rugby match being cancelled.

Liked by 1 person

tafkaGW - February 26, 2020

The virus had the bad taste to be round with knobby bits in the first place, instead of egg-shaped.

BTW – it’s not looking good. To hear one of Germany’s leading viral epidemiologists tell it, we’ve got a virus that is likely to become pandemic in humans, has a lethality of about five times that of the typical new-strain winter flu, and our immune systems have pretty much total ‘naivety’ with this type of virus, and have to start from scratch, as it were.

I hope the HSE has a plan for large-scale acute care.

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15. Joe - February 26, 2020

Provos get 25% of the vote in the general election.
Thousands flock to provo mass meetings up and down the country.
Thousands more join the Provos as every week passes.

How can an old stick stand such times and live?

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yourcousin - February 26, 2020

I don’t have a song to recite, but I will cite my grandmother who told me that I shouldn’t complain because it could always be worse.

Be careful or one Grizzly Adams may yet find his way to the presidency at some point.

Liked by 1 person

Joe - February 26, 2020

This dizzying, discombobulating situation. I’m finding refuge and solace in poetry. Here’s one I wrote on the bike on the way in to work this morning.

No English Pin

No English pin
Will fix this Easter lily
To my lapel

I really thought
The sticks would win out
In the end
I was wrong
Ah well

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Stan - February 26, 2020

Talking to an old SWP head this morning who was enthusing about all the work that Troops Out! did in the 80s and me remembering all the times I argued against provo fellow traveller English lefties back then, and then me explaining how we had 5 trot TDs in three parties and….
…world tuned upside down Joe.

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Joe - February 26, 2020
16. roddy - February 26, 2020

If its any comfort Joe,For about 6 months when I was 16 ,I thought the sticks would win out in the end too!

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Joe - February 26, 2020

🙂 🙂 🙂 I guess I’m a slow learner, Roddy.

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