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The name of the state and other matters… March 31, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Was reading Sam McConkey’s piece in the Irish Times, mentioned elsewhere on the site, and a comment BTL caused me to go looking for something. The comment went along the lines of:

“We live under and respect and cherish the authority of the rule of Irish law and of our evolving 1937 Constitution.” To which I say; “Agreed”.

“The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland,” declares Article 4 of the Irish Constitution. This points to a political challenge when it comes to building consensus right across the Oireachtas. It suggests, too, a fatal faultline in any ‘government of national unity’:
Sinn Fein’s party constitution doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of the state and the party is distinctive in not using the terms ‘Republic of Ireland’, or the Republic for short.

That may well be correct. Though I think that if the name of the state is ‘Ireland’ it is a stretch to demand people use ‘Republic of’ as well. But what about other parties constitutions. For example. What of FF? There’s this fantastic PDF from Irish Election Literature from 1983 as well as this online. That too doesn’t mention the ‘Republic of Ireland’ or the word Republic.

What about Fine Gael? Again, no mention of ROI or Republic.

Labour? A pattern is emerging here.

The point being that it is futile to attack SF for things it supposedly is at fault for when others are equally at fault.

How bad economically can it get? March 31, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Pretty bad. Some interesting questions raised by Cliff Taylor here. For example:

After the big wave of Covid-19 cases passes, the Government here, like its counterparts worldwide, is going to face tricky decisions on what restrictions to lift and when.
You could, for the sake of argument, see a fair number of the domestic restrictions lift over the summer and many shops and other outlets reopen.
But when will we be able to start going to football matches, or into a crowded indoor setting like a pub?
And when will people start travelling again for business or pleasure?
The autumn? 2021?

And how does Ireland as a state with one of the most open economies in the world lock into this new post-crisis world? And those aren’t just economic questions – many of them are social and cultural questions too.

How bad can it get? March 31, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Sam McConkey has done no small service in alerting this island to the threat from the coronavirus, and he’s been calling for some sort of resolution politically – in the shape of some sort of national or unity government during this period too. In truth we have a de facto unity government, and are likely to have a new one in the near future too. Granted that is limited and partial but the demands the GP or whoever ‘must’ enter government seem to me to be unreasonable and utterly contradictory given the equal vehemence that SF ‘cannot’ enter government’. In fairness to McConkey I’m not sure he’s putting limits on participation. Indeed anything but:

To continue that good tradition of debate and discussion, we should find ways for our current parliamentary process to deliberate about future proposals. For example, a series of cross-party subcommittees of TDs and senators that, in full view of the public, could debate urgently and make concrete new proposals to address Covid-19 issues, agree solutions and quickly propose all-party and cross-party consensus plans for the Government to enact. We can use consensus-promoting tools such as preferendums and matrix voting.

That doesn’t sound exclusionary.

But more pertinent in a sense is the following:

Although the Taoiseach announced further sensible restrictions on travel, personal interactions and social gatherings on Tuesday and further measures on Friday, as well as supports for the businesses and people affected, many more interventions may yet be needed.

He elaborates somewhat on these:

To aid in contact tracing and isolation, should our personal GPS location from our mobile phones and other mobile data be gathered without the explicit consent of individuals? This needs debate and legal clarity. Should even stricter travel and quarantine rules be applied? How could these be enforced? Where would travellers be quarantined? How can we keep open our airports and seaports for trade in goods and services? Should we, or could we, do voluntary quarantine of entire towns and regions? Should An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces detain people who break any curfew or quarantine? How should we advocate in Europe for a multinational approach to Covid-19? How should we build links with China, which seems to have solved this problem there?

All fair points, and he’s absolutely correct that there is a pressing need for democratic legitimation of future measures. But even he resiles from arguing that these proposed measure will definitely be needed. Still it does raise the issue of how strict could matters get.

What do others think?

Safe food shopping guidelines March 30, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I’m sure many of us are following these already but no harm to have them put together…


On the IT from IGHN, in partnership with the Environmental Health Association of Ireland and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in the UK.

Guide to safe shopping during the coronavirus

The Irish Global Health Network has published a VERY IMPORTANT list of guidelines on how to stay safe and protect yourself from picking up the virus while food shopping.

The group warned on Monday that the “disregard of hygiene standards in supermarkets across Ireland” was causing alarm among environmental health professionals who say they are currently high-risk sites of infection for the Coronavirus.

“We know that the virus can survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours,” Environmental Health Specialist and Irish Global Health Network Spokesperson, Niall Roche said. “It can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours. Supermarkets should adhere to the same guidance and practices that are being exercised in healthcare facilities, particularly for vulnerable shoppers.”

The follow is a list of measures for during shopping:

  • Try to avoid peak shopping times, although it may now be difficult to determine when these are.
    Maintain a safe social distance of two metres from all other shoppers and staff – this includes routes into and out of the store. You may have to queue outside before gaining access. If other shoppers are closing in on your safe social distancing space, move away or remind them of the requirement in a calm, friendly and polite manner.
  • If you need to handle a basket or trolley, ask if it has been sanitised since last being used. If not, sanitise using either your own sanitiser or that provided by the store.
  • Sanitise your hands when you enter the store, ideally with your own sanitiser or, if available, that provided by the store. Avoid contact with surfaces as much as possible.
  • Don’t delay while shopping or chat with neighbours/ friends/store staff.
  • If you are planning to remain at home for long periods of time, consider buying non-perishable foods such as canned goods or dry mixes that don’t require refrigeration, such as ready-to-eat canned meats, fruit and vegetables. But make sure you buy things you like and will use!
  • Try to use only one hand (your non-dominant hand) to pick up goods and place into your bag/basket/trolley. This is to avoid contamination of your hands.
  • If possible, try to minimise direct hand contact with food by using available tongs and utensils. While you may ordinarily avoid plastic-wrapping, now might be the time to stick to wrapped/packaged goods.
  • Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes – this is the main reason for suggesting that you pick up goods with your non-dominant hand.
  • Make a contactless payment if possible, be vigilant when maintaining distance and avoid chatting to service desk/ check out staff.
  • Sanitise your hands on leaving the shop (if possible) and again when you get into your car, if you use a car.

After shopping

  • If shopping for a vulnerable person, leave the shopping on the doorstep, ring the bell or phone them and stand back while they collect it.
  • Wash your hands immediately when you return home.
  • Plan how you will deal with your shopping in advance of coming home.
  • Designate a cleared, disinfected area to sort out your shopping.
  • Prior to stocking your fridges and cupboards, wipe shelving with sanitiser and a paper towel, then discard.
  • Coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces, so wipe the outside of all canned/hard surface pack goods (tetra packs) with a paper towel/warm soapy water, sanitise (following the manufacturer’s guidance). Alternatively leave non-perishable foods in a safe place for 72 hours.
  • Remove outer food packaging and discard, being careful to limit handling of the inner packaging of items such as yoghurts.

Election? The Seanad election March 30, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

It hasn’t gone away you know…

Polling closes in the Seanad election this morning. Counting will begin this afternoon, to fill 43 of the 60 senators’ seats from vocational panels.

A further six seats will be filled from the university panels, counting for those will start tomorrow.

The count will take place at Dublin Castle, where Oireachtas staff say appropriate measures will be put in place to protect staff and candidates from the spread of Covid-19.

How does that last work? What sort of measures are used?

And there’s the small matter of the following:

The final 11 senators to make up the 26th Seanad will be announced by the incoming taoiseach of the next government.

The Seanad March 30, 2020

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Today and tomorrow sees the closing of polls for the Seanad Elections.
The Seanad Electoral System really is appalling. From top to bottom it needs to be scrapped. Elitist in that only graduates and then only ones of certain Universities get a vote.
The panels voted upon by Public Reps are even worse.
Reading some literature from the panels for the public reps, it’s all about the Party. I’ll do this or that for the party rather than representing the public. I think the nominating bodies are odd. If I am nominated by X and elected I will naturally look after the interests of X.
Then there’s the defeated TD’s who suddenly have “To improve pay and conditions for Councillors” and other such worthy notions listed as their top priorities.
The stuff Career Senators produce is unusual to say the least. Good Luck cards sent to sitting Councillors before the last Local Elections, St Patricks Day Cards, Christmas Cards, Sympathy cards and so on.
I know it’s not exactly a high priority now but the whole Seanad System has to be changed.

Left Archive: Left Tribune, Issue 6, Labour Party Youth, Irish Labour Party, 2007 March 30, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
1 comment so far

To download the above please click on the following link. left-trib-vol-2-iss-6-2007.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

Left Tribune, ‘The magazine for Labour Youth in Ireland’, from Autumn 2007 in 24 pages offers an interesting snapshot into that organisation and the Labour Party during that period. Inside it argues that ‘we operate on the basis of a sustainable and democratic socialist ethos’. And it notes that the paper the magazine is printed on is ’50% recycled and 50% from sustainable forests’. It also notes opinions within are not necessarily those of Labour Youth or the Labour Party.

The cover suggests the need for a ‘left alternative’. Inside it examines the contenders for the Deputy Leader race. It also notes the election of Eamon Gilmore as new leader of the ILP. It notes him saying he ‘reaffirms’ support for Labour policy to remove the US military from Shannon Airport.

Other pieces consider Labour Youth activities ‘around the campuses’, outline how the organisation ‘works’ and offer a retrospective on the 2007 election and the ILP performance at it. LPY members reflect on the issue of female participation in Irish politics – in 2007 just 22 women were elected to the Dáil. There is an article on a Living Wage.

In international matters the magazine examines Palestine, Darfur and Cuba. There’s also a piece on Belarus.

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 always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

That new RedC poll… March 29, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Roddy mentioned it in comments, and remarkably RedC and the Sunday Business Post did indeed conduct a poll this last week. Though one might say, sure what else would they be doing? Anyone got the fine details? The standout points are that FG is up 13% on its election result to 34%, SF is at 28%, FF at 18%. Inds have collapsed to 5% the GP is down too.

Resources for children during the crisis March 29, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Just a roundup of obvious links. Not least the news that tomorrow RTÉ starts to broadcast an hour of television aimed at 1st to 6th class children on RTÉ 2. And there’s a further element broadcast later each afternoon.

Here and here are a few ideas from the IT.

All other ideas gratefully accepted.

Shortages of products in shops and supermarkets? March 29, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This is a report from the 12th in the Irish Mirror detailing shortages of various products in supermarkets. It describes chaotic scenes as well, and shoppers berating workers in those shops and supermarkets for low and no supplies of products, which is surely the height of illogical thinking.

I’ve been out a couple of times since and noticed that antibacterial wipes are conspicuous by their absence (and given they’re antibacterial they’re not hugely useful – some floor wipes are anti-viral), toilet roll is back, lentils are gone, which is a pity, been enjoying getting back into dahl, and soap… soap. That wasn’t available in ALDI last time I looked in either bar form or dispenser form.

Anyone notice any other products in short or no supply? Or perhaps people have found the opposite with near enough everything there.

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