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A ‘communist’ paper? And the President? May 22, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Got to love the framing of this story. Pat Leahy in the IT writes a piece with the headline:

Austerity ‘must not’ return, Higgins tells communist paper
President praises Cuba’s response to Covid-19 and backs push for ‘universal basic services’

And below that:

President Michael D Higgins has used an interview with an Italian communist newspaper to warn against a return to austerity and praise the response of Cuba to the Covid-19 crisis.
He also said the Irish response to the crisis “seems to be bearing fruit” but warned about “serious problems” if pandemic regulations in Northern Ireland were different to those in the State.

And this communist paper?

The President’s interview was carried in an edition of Il Manifesto, described as the “communist daily” although it has no links to any political party. Its reporter spoke to Mr Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin.

Hmmm…

Here’s the actual background of Il Manifesto.

Comments»

1. alanmyler - May 22, 2020

It’s the closest thing Italy has to a communist paper since l’ Unità ceased publication whenever that was, not too many years ago. And it’s reasonable to call it that, given its roots even if those were as dissident to the party itself, no?

But about the article itself, fair play to Middledy giving the interview to Il Manifesto, it’s great to see our President making the effort to engage with and to provide support to the European further Left. Can you imagine if the Entreprenoor had won the seat first time around, the interviews with European Chambers of Commerce magazine of whatever, or Casey winning it last time and probably supporting the Lega by now. He’s a beacon of hope so he is.

Liked by 3 people

WorldbyStorm - May 22, 2020

Completely agree, very good to see the President talking to as wide a range of people on the left as possible, it’s just it’s so baiting the framing of it. It’s like there’s an undertone of ‘how could he?’

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alanmyler - May 22, 2020

Actually this is on YouTube tonight, might be of interest to some:

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - May 22, 2020

It’s funny, Il Manifesto sounds precisely what we need in this state, something that is from the further left originally but is wide left albeit staying short of the main social democratic left.

Liked by 1 person

Joe - May 22, 2020

Just call it the CLR for short?

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WorldbyStorm - May 22, 2020

🙂

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EWI - May 22, 2020

‘Cedar Lounge Review’

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 22, 2020

Got to keep at least a hint of revolution in there, no?

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2. GearóidGaillimh - May 22, 2020

Reminds me of when Higgins quoted Bloch, Foucault, Habermas, Harvey and Morris among others in a speech at DCU and Dan O’Brien wrote an IT article accusing him of dangerously quoting ‘extreme figures’. https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/ireland/ireland-ill-served-as-president-becomes-increasingly-partisan-and-political-1.1533632

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WorldbyStorm - May 22, 2020

That book learning is dangerous, clearly! 🙂

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3. Colm B - May 22, 2020

On the other hand, MDH is great at this sort of thing, ensconced firmly in the heart of the liberal wing of the ruling class, but always making the right noises to give off the frisson of further leftism. His actual record indicates a very faint leftism in practical terms, though always heavy on leftist rhetorical flourish. Recall any transformative reforms that threatened to move beyond capitalism during any of his stints in government? Me neither.

Of course its better to have him lodged in his happy place in the Aras, than some FF shyster or worse some populist Trumpeen, but, at best, his politics are no further left than a watery social democracy laced with a few drops of revolutionary rhetoric to give the impression of exotic radicalism.

BTW the use of “communist” by the IT here is deliberately misleading. Il Manifesto could just as easily be characterised as “leftist” given that its not the paper of any party. If I remember correctly, it began life as the paper of the left-wing within the PCI, opposed to both Stalinism and the drift to the right, before evolving into an independent left paper after the collapse of the party.

Liked by 1 person

Joe - May 22, 2020

That man can write. Sign him up for the Review, Wbs!

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Fergal - May 22, 2020

What’s striking about Il Manifesto is its tiny circulation.. 11,000 out of a population of around 60m… don’t have the figures here but pretty certain there’s many a local newspaper here with greater circulations?
Always liked MD but tend to agree with Colm B… he’s the chattering classes conscience …listens to maybe but heaven forbid never acted upon!

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 22, 2020

Agree too Fergal with you and Colm B. He’s not a bad old sort, MDH, but the Frank Cluskey line from the 1980s comes to mind about him – given the choice of saving the Labour Party or the world he took the easy option and tried to save the world!

That’s amazingly low Fergal, that circulation. Sounds about right if people are suggesting a CLR Review was to take flight! What’s the Irish equivalent of an Italian 11k.

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alanmyler - May 22, 2020

WBS I’d say as long as you outsell that ex-BICO review in Books Upstairs you’ll be winning 😉

Liked by 2 people

GearóidGaillimh - May 22, 2020

Comparatively better than the Morning Star in the UK, which has a circulation of 10,000 in a country of 66m.

Liked by 1 person

4. idi amin - May 22, 2020

President Michael D Higgins praises Cuba for their handling of Covid-19, ok, fair enough. But surely Cuba’s handling of HIV+ people was far Superior.

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5. Michael Carley - May 22, 2020

Il manifesto is my first purchase when I land in Italy, to read at a bar with a proper coffee. It is definitely communist, coming out of the PCI in the late sixties, for which the group was expelled. Leading lights included Rossanna Rossanda, who was the last of the founders to break with them a couple of years ago.

Historically it was sympathetic to the extra-parliamentary left, including the armed headbangers, though it was never formally aligned.

It is an excellent read, and has beautiful design.

The nearest equivalent might be the Morning Star as a daily, with high quality arts coverage, and a high intellectual standard in the culture pages (better than anything I know in an anglophone broadsheet).

I think it can stay in business despite its low circulation by a combination of supporters paying over the odds and state subsidy for the press.

Liked by 1 person

6. GregT - May 23, 2020

It admits to a sort of free-thinking ‘communist tradition’ . indeed the founders were expelled from the old main CP back in the day . I get the email newsletter and try to Google translate the odd article . Thoughtful , it’s a wonder they survived so long . A thin English section , they seem to have leant to supporting the Democratic party(PD)-5star coalition government . It’s seems a bit Guardian like (minus the corporate sponsership) so it probably has conflicting opinions though. The old left is basically collapsed and scrabbling to keep a few councillers sadly so if you want to stop Salvini and co you have to work with what’s relatively good in the PD and 5star I guess . At least the Blair figure, Renzi has departed the PD now to his own party, but they are stuck with him in the coalition still
https://global.ilmanifesto.it/about/

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 23, 2020

+1

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