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What you want to say – 8 July 2020 July 8, 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. EWI - July 8, 2020

‘Taoiseach criticises Sinn Féin’s ‘over-focus’ on Border poll’

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/taoiseach-criticises-sinn-f%C3%A9in-s-over-focus-on-border-poll-1.4298679

So, Martin has spent his first days attacked Sinn Féin and Northern nationalists, out of all the ways forward he could have chosen? Going to be a long two years.

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2. Pangurbán - July 8, 2020

To paraphrase comrade Stalin on the pope

How many votes have northern nationalists.?

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EWI - July 8, 2020

How many votes have northern nationalists.?

How many votes does MM have in NI? Maybe he should keep his nose out of setting limits to what northern nationalists are permitted to aspire to, particularly as it’s not up to him to either unilaterally change the GFA or to decide when a Border Poll is to be called within NI.

An abjectly useless leader of FF whom I wouldn’t be surprised to see ever more closely identified with FG as the years go on.

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3. Joe - July 8, 2020

To paraphrase comrade Stalin on the pope

How many votes have northern nationalists.?

I thought that was Bonaparte? “How many divisions has the Pope?”

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EWI - July 8, 2020

Maybe we should ask Comrade Eoghan, who is apparently MM’s advisor on the North.

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4. Paddy Healy - July 8, 2020

Over-Dependence on Multi-National Companies Coming home to Roost!!
Why not set up new Modern State-Owned Companies?
Covid-19: IDA expects 40% drop in foreign direct investment due to pandemic
Barry O’Halloran, Irish Times,Wednesday, July 8, 2020,
Covid-19 is likely to hit the multinational investment on which the Republic relies heavily to create jobs, State agency IDA Ireland warned on Wednesday.

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Paddy Healy - July 9, 2020

Irish Independent 09/07/2020
IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan said the pipeline for new foreign direct investment (FDI) typically stretches out six months in advance. This means Ireland’s cupboard for the final quarter of this year and the first of 2021 looks depleted, if not bare.
He spoke to the Irish Independent after the agency published mid-year results that reported a 6pc decline in projects won so far this year – 132 with the potential to generate 9,600 jobs – versus the first six months of 2019.

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5. tafkaGW - July 8, 2020

Michael Taft er counters the nonsense from D. McWilliams here in Notes From the Front. He points out, among other things, how many job in the RoI are already ‘created by government’.

The state directly employs nearly 340,000 in a range of areas: health, education, public safety, local authorities, administration, etc. These make up 18 percent of all employees.

The state provides subsidies to private for-profit and non-profit enterprises with the express purpose of creating employment. Subsidies to early years’ education providers employ 10,600. There are 13,000 Section 39 health sector employees – grant-aided by the public sector. These jobs are additional to the traditional public sector employee count.

There are 42,000 employed by public enterprises – wholly-owned state corporations.

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oliverbohs - July 8, 2020

Cheers for that link👍

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6. tomasoflatharta - July 8, 2020

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin wants the job of current numero uno Eamon Ryan.

Her pitch looks blatant : do her quoted comments mean that, if elected Green Party leader, she will replace male Green Party Ministers and mini-Ministers with females? If so, Martin has a limited choice – the only available female Green TD who can be promoted is Dublin Central deputy Neasa Hourigan, who voted against coalition with FFFG. Martin could also give ministerial promotions to two female Green Party Senators.

12 Irish Green Party TD’s Elected in February 2020 – Scramble for Ministerial Promotion

This takes bribery and careerism in Irish politics to previously uncharted waters. The FFFGGG coalition is tainted because so many overpaid ministerial piggies are slurping at its trough, most of them male. The Green Party in coalition is careering downhill to the gutter inhabited by the likes of Willie O’Dea. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/most-fffggg-ministers-are-male-would-extra-green-party-females-at-the-top-table-improve-things/

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7. Tomboktu - July 8, 2020

In light of the awful attacks on Roderic O’Gorman, I was thinking that I hadn’t noticed anybody commenting on the number of lgb TDs and senators after the elections. A sign of the changing times.

(I know of six, three in each house. all men: Varadkar (FG), O’Gorman (GP) O’Callaghan (SD), Norris (Ind), Buttimer (FG), Byrne (FF).)

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sonofstan - July 8, 2020

and Fintan Warfield?

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WorldbyStorm - July 8, 2020

The attacks are abysmal (and noted here yesterday). I don’t think though given changed times that they’ll have much traction. There’s something a bit desperate about them.

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Tomboktu - July 8, 2020

Indeed, I forgot Fintan Warfield.

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Tomboktu - July 15, 2020

I was told that Annie Hoey (Seanad, Labour, Agriculture) is bi and was chair of UCC LGBT Soc in her student days.

So the totals are

TDs: 3 (1.8%)
Senators: 5 (8.3%)
Total: 8 (3.6%)

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8. CL - July 8, 2020

Letter from Chomsky and others on freedom of speech.

“The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides…..
The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation.”
https://harpers.org/a-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate/

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Alibaba - July 8, 2020

More from Chomsky:

‘This sounds strong, but it’s true: Trump is the worst criminal in history, undeniably.’

And it’s interesting to see his views on George Floyd protests, Sanders, Biden, Brazil and so much more.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/06/noam-chomsky-donald-trump-coronavirus-george-floyd-protests

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Starkadder - July 10, 2020

I support the sentiments in the Harper’s letter, but I feel it’s rather vague.

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Starkadder - July 10, 2020

To continue: I wish the Harpers’ letter had criticised “at-will employment”, which meant people like David Shor, Claira Janover and Emmanuel Cafferty lost their jobs when they became targets of online mobbing. That’s cancel culture too, and it’s wrong.

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CL - July 13, 2020

‘An open letter in defence of robust debate has itself sparked a robust debate, including a long counter-letter….

The counter-letter appeared on a site called The Objective, which publishes writing on “communities that journalism in the US has typically ignored”, and the asymmetry of attention was one of the counter-letter’s main complaints.’
https://www.ft.com/content/e31003e4-c241-4c6e-aaa5-bfa6229fde5f

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Joe - July 10, 2020

Chomsky: ‘This sounds strong, but it’s true: Trump is the worst criminal in history, undeniably.’

Ffs, this is hyperbolic bullshit from Chomsky.

The worst criminal in history? Hitler, anyone? Stalin? Leopold of Belgium? Trevelyan?

The most criminal US president in history? Nixon or Johnson for what they did to Vietnam? Bush for Iraq? Any other nominations?

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9. CL - July 8, 2020

“Epidemiologists have become the idols of a frightened public and scientific rigour has gained a new status in large parts of the world. But the current regimes in the US and Britain gained power by fomenting hatred of experts and expertise….
The blithe inaction and bumbling born of ideological vanity have resulted in tens of thousands of avoidable deaths in both countries, with ethnic minorities heavily overrepresented….a period of devastation lies ahead…..
Anglo-America’s dingy realities – deindustrialisation, low-wage work, underemployment, hyper-incarceration and enfeebled or exclusionary health systems – have long been evident….
the state has been AWOL for decades, and the market has been entrusted with the tasks most societies reserve almost exclusively for government: healthcare, pensions, low-income housing, education, social services and incarceration…..
A network of institutions, foundations and think tanks, including the Ivy League universities and Oxbridge, have trained the world’s politicians, businessmen, academics and journalists in the Anglo-American ideologies of unfettered markets and minimal government….

genuine public interest is different from the mere aggregation of private interests, and is best realised through long-term government planning and policy…..
It’s not surprising that the social state receives scant attention in boosterish Anglo-American accounts of the making of the modern world. Milton Friedman claimed that postwar Japan and South Korea were exemplars of open, competitive markets….
The pandemic, which has killed 130,000 people in the US, including a disproportionate number of African Americans, has now shown, far more explicitly than Katrina did in 2005 or the financial crisis in 2008, that the Reagan-Thatcher model, which privatised risk and shifted the state’s responsibility onto the individual, condemns an unconscionable number of people to premature death or to a desperate struggle for existence.”
https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n14/pankaj-mishra/flailing-states

In Ireland crackpot exponents of this failed Anglo-American economic ideology, such as Dan O’Brien and David McWilliams, are given platforms in major newspapers for their right-wing propaganda.

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10. tomasoflatharta - July 8, 2020

New Fianna Fáil taoiseach Mícheál Martin rejects a border poll about the partition of Ireland – People Before Profit has issued a good political statement on the issue.

The welcome statement highlights a number of issues the radical left needs to address, urgently. The looming threat of Brexit – a right-wing British Exit from the European Union – should be a wake-up call.

Nobody should underestimate the obstacles.

The Good Friday Agreement was endorsed by huge majorities on both sides of the border in 1998 – 72% in the North, 95% in the South. It stated that if a majority of voters in the North favoured an end to partition, the border would go. That meant acceptance of a Unionist Veto.
Probably, there is not a realistic chance of partition ending within the next 10 years at least, via the GFA Unionist Veto mechanism.
But Brexit makes the leaders of the Dublin FFFGGG coalition – taoiseach and tánaiste, Mssrs Martin and Varadkar – very nervous.
They want to strengthen the GFA Unionist Veto. In 2019 Former chief of the NI Electoral Office Mr Pat Bradley, called for a “weighted majority“. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/border-poll-its-just-democracy-people-before-profit/

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Pangurbán - July 8, 2020

Did PBP not favor Brexit? There being no other kind

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tomasoflatharta - July 8, 2020

Correct – a PBP mistake in my opinion.

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Pangurbán - July 8, 2020

I wonder did they have a choice or did the mother ship ordain it would be so?

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Jolly Red Giant - July 9, 2020

Is that the position of RISE on the issue thomas?

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tomasoflatharta - July 9, 2020

I don’t know 🤷‍♀️ – good question!

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11. EWI - July 8, 2020

This is loathsome behaviour:

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CL - July 8, 2020

The working class are commodities. Capitalism is based on the insecurity of the working class.
The attitude of those who administer the system is ” the poor won’t work because they have too much money and the rich won’t work because they have too little.” (J.K. Galbraith)

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12. sonofstan - July 8, 2020

.

In Leigh town centre on Wednesday afternoon, Andrew Twentyman was on the phone, sourcing nduja sausage for his artisanal pizza parlour, recently reopened at under 50% capacity. A first-time Tory voter in December’s general election, Sunak’s hospitality package made him feel “massively vindicated” for switching his vote from Labour. “Can you imagine what state we’d be in if Jeremy Corbyn had been in charge of all this?” he asked.

This guy with his ‘artisanal pizza joint’ was dumb enough to vote tory, so I guess him thinking that there could be worse than the shitshow that has been the tory response is to be expected.

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13. tomasoflatharta - July 9, 2020

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/micheal-martins-office-has-to-apologise-to-arlene-foster-for-cock-up-1010108.html

Come off it Arlene! These eejits in Dublin fail to understand that grovelling to the prima donna from Fermanagh does not work.

In the meantime there is a serious virus issue – blocking travellers 🧳 from England entering Ireland via Belfast and Larne. That may ruffle unionist feathers? Apparently this is on the Stormont Government agenda today.

“ However, Sinn Féin sources say all parties to the meeting were made aware of the invitation with more than 24 hours notice and the matter had been discussed by the Taoiseach’s office and the Office of the Deputy First Minister, but there had been “radio silence from the DUP”.
It’s understood that Deputy Leader of Northern Ireland Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill had made herself available for the Thursday meeting, however was told it did not suit the First Minister.

“The office saying they didn’t get notification until last night is impossible, it had been logged in the system a day before that,” a Sinn Féin source said.

It was decided by all parties involved that the meeting will now “probably be arranged for next week.”

The embarrassing briefing error comes just one day after the Taoiseach said he “would favour a stronger north-south relationship and the development of that,” in lieu of a border poll on a united Ireland, which he labelled “divisive”.

“I don’t believe precipitating or organising a referendum like that is the way to go,” Mr Martin said.”

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EWI - July 9, 2020

Come off it Arlene! These eejits in Dublin fail to understand that grovelling to the prima donna from Fermanagh does not work.

Don’t feed the Fermanagh Crocodile? ‘Not An Inch’ and ‘No Surrender’ haven’t gone away, you know.

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14. roddy - July 9, 2020

Mary Lou wins libel case against FF’er Breathnach.

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CL - July 9, 2020

“In a statement, her solicitor Laura Cunningham said: “I am pleased that my client, Mary Lou McDonald, is satisfied that her reputation has been completely vindicated following the categoric apology made to her on behalf of Declan Breathnach before the High Court this morning, together with a financial settlement reached with Mr Breathnach….
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/i-deeply-regret-unfounded-accusations-against-mary-lou-fianna-fail-td-apologises-as-defamation-case-settles-39353512.html

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15. Ned Corcaigh - July 9, 2020

Great news for the Dublin Central constituents on the CLR.
Pascal Donohoe has scored a shock victory, (it really was because the other candidate Maria Calvino of Spain was backed by Germany, France and Italy) to become leader of the Eurogroup of EU Finance Ministers.
I think you can consider it a victory for all of you really.
Now where did I put that fetching azure shirt?

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sonofstan - July 9, 2020

A friend of a few of us here once, a long time back, described Paschal as the blueshirt Bertie: happy to let people underestimate him, the better to bulid his empire.

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Ned Corcaigh agus a geansai deas gorm - July 9, 2020

The vicarious joy I feel for his CLR constituents almost makes up for the disappointment I felt at the cruel treatment of Michael Moynihan.
I can practically see the bonfires blazing and hear the joyous verses of Where The Strawberry Beds Sweep Down To The Liffey from here.
‘Blueshirt Bertie’ is very good. He might well Inoffensive his way to the top yet. Juncker had that job ten years ago,

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16. roddy - July 9, 2020

See some Green councillor looking “Kingstown” back.

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Joe - July 10, 2020

Link? It is a great song though. And the Lord created it.

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WorldbyStorm - July 10, 2020

I think the guy was doing it as a joke actually.

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Joe - July 10, 2020

A Green with a sense of humour? Are you sure?

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17. Ned Corcaigh - July 10, 2020

In more encouraging Irish/European news.
The EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has launched an investigation into the decision of the EU to award a contract advising them on sustainable banking to Black Rock, the world’s biggest asset management firm. Almost a hundred MEPs have objected to the award, citing a conflict of interest given Black Rock’s extensive holdings in fossil fuel companies.
O’Reilly doesn’t have the power to block the contract but it’s thought that an adverse finding will put serious pressure on the EU to reconsider.
Fingers crossed.

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18. sonofstan - July 10, 2020

You’d nearly feel sorry for FF. An opposition party poised to hoover up half of their traditional vote, and a coalition partner that can sit and watch them screw up, waiting to sweep in, more in sorrow than in anger, to clean up the mess, while FF tears itself apart in internecine warfare.

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Tomboktu - July 10, 2020

and a coalition partner that can sit and watch them screw up“.

FG don’t even have to wait for FF to screw up (despite FF’s dress rehearsals). Varadkar has been much more Taoiseach-like in his statements than Martin has and you’d forget Varadkar is a minister with a specific brief and not the motivator-in-chief for the nation. And even within that brief, he managed the wee coup of chairing a cabinet committee which Martin attends rather than leads.

The only serious fly in the FG ointment so far has been Coveney’s petulance over a state car.

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Dr. Nightdub - July 11, 2020

Meanwhile, as folk have been pointing out on Twitter, if the Greens can’t even keep cars out of the Phoenix Park, it doesn’t bode well for their ability to deliver on the bigger stuff.

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19. CL - July 10, 2020

“An unlikely inspiration for me are the writings of an Oxford philosopher who grew up in the throes of the Russian revolutions, Isaiah Berlin….
Berlin’s advocacy for moderation, his acknowledgment of complexity and fiercely competing claims make him an unlikely seer for modern politics in an interdependent and volatile era….
Experience of the Russian revolutions left him with a deep aversion to political systems that offer certainty in return for devotion….
Berlin warns of the burning attractions of dogma and sweeping grandeur of the simple solution. Instead he wrote that the “collision of values are the essence of what they are and what we are”…..
The multiplicity of beliefs is a strength, a bedrock that should stand firm against “the search for perfection that does seem to me a recipe for bloodshed, no better even if it is demanded by the sincerest of idealists, the purest of heart”.-Paschal Donohoe
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/paschal-donohoe-isaiah-berlin-s-ideas-and-me-1.3299832

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ar scáth a chéile - July 10, 2020

“….In a country without a strong communist party posing a real political threat, Deutscher was able to get a temporary job at the Economist and later wrote for the Observer – even if Isaiah Berlin made sure he was denied a teaching post at Sussex. Serge didn’t have his luck.”

https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n14/tariq-ali/inquisition-mode

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EWI - July 11, 2020

Political thinker warned wisely of danger of dogma and desire for simple solutions

I wonder which ‘dogma’ and ‘simple solutions’ Donohoe and the Irish Times might be warning us of? They’re shameless hucksters.

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Alibaba - July 11, 2020

Donohoe says: ‘In considering his [Berlin] work, my limitations as a reader are painfully acute. … I have given up on some of those essays, his erudition overwhelming me.’ 

‘Self-denigration came naturally, but it was also a pre-emptive strike against criticism.’ That’s a quote from Isaiah Berlin, though in all fairness he said it about himself.

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Ned Corcaigh - July 12, 2020

He should have read the Deutscher biography of Trotsky instead, it’s much more entertaining.

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20. tomasoflatharta - July 11, 2020

A People Before Profit TD attacked ‘democracy itself’, former minister for justice claims.
The deputy who made the complaint against Bríd Smith TD (Dublin South-Central) is Charlie Flanagan, who dumped his Fine Gael Party in very hot water in January 2020. The ex Minister for Justice, attempted to sponsor a government ceremony celebrating the Royal Irish Constabulary/Black and Tans. These were ruthless gangsters in a notorious uniform of the RIC during the War of Independence 100 years ago. Splendid language was spoken by deputies in the first Dáil, elected in 1919, about the Black and Tans and other props of British rule in Ireland such as judges, who were very effectively shunned and boycotted. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/dail-committee-to-investigate-brid-smith-comments-about-judge/

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21. tomasoflatharta - July 11, 2020

The Irish Times reports (July 11 2020) :

Meanwhile unsuccessful Green Party European Parliament candidate Saoirse McHugh has said she will vote in this month’s leadership election but she will quit afterwards, regardless of the outcome.Many of the 76 per cent who voted in favour of the “waffle fest” for government deal were pressurized into accepting by the fear of an unclear alternative.

Predicting the Greens’ membership will fall, McHugh said she does not believe people who share her views are now particularly welcome in the party. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/07/11/saoirse-mchugh-is-leaving-the-irish-green-party/

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6to5against - July 11, 2020

I noticed Hazel Chu out supporting the Debenhams workers during the week, which would have been an easy thing to dodge from the Mayor’s seat. And she came out against the pfg too. Given her high profile, it will be very interesting to see how she plays the next few years.
It’s tempting to take pleasure in lefties leaving the Greens now. But where do they go? Yet another small party of the left?
Personally I’d like to see Irish political parties in general move away from the all-in or all-out culture. No party can be a perfect fit for any politically engaged adult, and yet TDs are expected to pretend otherwise.
It would be great to see a green caucas take shape, drawing on politicians across the left ( and maybe even the right). And maybe a similar grouping that would focus on social justice, and/or state investment, that might gather support amongst Greens, and even maybe a few FFFG backbenchers.

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6to5against - July 11, 2020

Having said alll that, I can see why Saoirse McHugh wants to move on. I hope she finds a niche somewhere in politics. She is a breath of fresh air, in interviews in particular. She has managed to find a convincing way of making her points that (thank God) doesn’t sound like it comes from a debating society.

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sonofstan - July 11, 2020

“Personally I’d like to see Irish political parties in general move away from the all-in or all-out culture”

I agree – the Irish system rewards splits in the short term and it’s often easier for a ‘principled’ independent to command votes than a party. But we all know the consequences in the long run. Whereas, in the UK, where there in no percentage in leaving the Labour party, the left were able to survive the Blair and after years and elect JC, a result which, despite current setbacks, has revitalised the LP as a mass party.

WRT to the Greens, the minority now could be majority in 10 years.

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EWI - July 12, 2020

It would be great to see a green caucas take shape, drawing on politicians across the left

A Green Left party is both long overdue and a necessary alternative to the humbug of our current line-up which would attract a lot of votes.

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22. Brian Hanley - July 11, 2020

Jack Charlton RIP

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sonofstan - July 11, 2020

There’s a lovely video from the FA Cup ’74 when he was managing ‘Boro against Wycombe and he drops into the Wanderers dressing room at the old sloped pitch at Loakes park to congratulate them for their efforts and to thank them for their hospitality The courtesy and old school charm of the man is completely apparent.
Leeds hero as well.

RIP

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Ned Corcaigh - July 11, 2020

According to Arthur Scargill in today’s Morning Star, he supported the miners during the strike to the extent of loaning his car to a strike committee while his wife Pat helped out in one of the kitchens for feeding miners families.
His brother Gordon was apparently involved in the strike as a miner and activist.

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sonofstan - July 12, 2020

He also signed the founding statement of the Anti Nazi League along with Clough and Venables.

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Joe - July 12, 2020

Hope this doesn’t sound off, but Big Jack’s death was probably the first lucky break Micheál Martin has gotten as Taoiseach. The Sundays leading with Big Jack instead of more FF clusterpucks.

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23. Paddy Healy - July 11, 2020

Oxfam Appeals to Governments to Rescue Millions of Yemenis From Hunger, Disease, War
“Governments must contain the spread of this deadly disease(Covid) but it is equally vital they take action to stop the pandemic killing as many – if not more – people from hunger.”-OXFAM
Ireland, as a member of UN SECURITY Council, Must Support This Call
People of Yemen on the brink of famine
Irish Times,Friday, July 10, 2020,
Sir, – Sadly, it came as no surprise to see Oxfam Ireland’s Hunger Virus briefing – including details of 10 of the world’s most extreme hunger hotspots – coincide with news reports from the UN that the people of Yemen are on the brink of famine again.
This too at a time when the UK has just announced that it is to resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia, despite concerns that such arms will be used in Yemen, contrary to the laws of armed conflict and fuelling further hostilities that exacerbate human suffering.
Ravaged by more than five years of war, Yemen is now considered, among the multitude of crises and human suffering globally right now, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Two-thirds of the population – 20 million people – are at risk of starvation, and nearly 1.5 million families currently rely on food aid to survive.

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CL - July 11, 2020

“A team of United Nations investigators, commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, presented a devastating report in Geneva in early September detailing how the US, along with Britain and France, are likely complicit in war crimes in Yemen because of continued weapons sales and intelligence support to the Saudis and their allies, especially the United Arab Emirates.”….
Saudi and allied warplanes have conducted more than 20,000 airstrikes on Yemen since the war began, an average of 12 attacks a day, according to the Yemen Data Project. Only about a third of these attacks are on military targets. The coalition has also bombed hospitals, schools, markets, mosques, farms, factories, bridges, and power and water treatment plants…..
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/03/yemen-airstrikes-saudi-arabia-mbs-us….

“A report from Save the Children, issued in November 2018, estimated at least 85,000 children had died from extreme hunger since the war began in 2015….
Ten million people are a step away from famine, and seven million people are malnourished….
The policies of the United States are deeply implicated in Yemen’s suffering, through the sale of billions of dollars in munitions to Saudi Arabia and other countries that have intervened in the civil war…..
The United States has also provided cover for Saudi Arabia in the U.N. Security Council, which passed a resolution in April 2015 that demanded an end to Yemeni violence but made no mention of the Saudi-led intervention.”
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/01/our-disaster-why-the-united-states-bears-responsibility-for-yemens-humanitarian-crisis/

“Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke with Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense Simon Coveney today. Secretary Pompeo congratulated Ireland on its successful campaign for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and affirmed our commitment to working with Ireland’s new government. Secretary Pompeo and Minister Coveney emphasized the importance of the longstanding U.S.-Irish relationship to advance shared goals of prosperity, security, and Transatlantic trade and cooperation.”
https:/www.state.gov/secretary-pompeos-call-with-irish-minister-of-foreign-affairs-and-defense-coveney/

“Riyadh, June 10, 2020, SPA — Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, received a phone call today from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ireland, Simon Coveney.
During the call, bilateral relations were discussed, and ways of enhancing them in various fields to achieve the common interests of the two countries and their friendly nations, in addition to discussing developments in the regional and international issues, including the developments of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, and international efforts to combat it.”
https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php?lang=en&newsid=2096704

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Paddy Healy - July 11, 2020

Thanks CL. That is important material on this issue. I will post it on my blog

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24. Tomboktu - July 11, 2020

The lead story in the Sunday Business Post this weekend is “Varadkar set for showdown with bankers over Covid-19 interest row”. Why is he tackling the bankers and not Paschal Donohoe?

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Alibaba - July 13, 2020

Good question. Varadkar is the prime person in the last government to know about the actions of top bankers. To say he doesn’t “fully trust” the banks not to try to profit during the Covid-19 crisis and come over all affronted by this now is hypocrisy. But he was always a bit of a loose cannon and not being Taoiseach any more and therefore without the same power leads him to say a few daring things in the full knowledge that nothing of substance will be done about it anyway. 

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25. tomasoflatharta - July 12, 2020

Suzanne Breen reports :

‘“ ‘Kill All Taigs’ on a ‘children’s’ bonfire in Belfast. That’s not family fun, it’s a hate crime. Was there nobody in the community to show leadership & remove it? Shameful.“. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/07/12/the-annual-orange-order-hate-festival-in-northern-ireland-partition-within-a-partitioned-state/

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26. Paul Culloty - July 12, 2020

Galician Podemos rout confirmed, but the BNG achieve their best-ever result:

https://resultados2020.xunta.gal/resultados/0/galicia

Meanwhile, a similarly successful day for Bildu, but Vox sadly will win a seat in Alava:

https://www.euskadielecciones.eus/resultados

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27. sonofstan - July 13, 2020

There would seem to be a growing realisation that were in this for the long haul and the reaction from the IT is predictably confused. There was a piece reporting that Prof. McConkey from the RCSI reckons that travel restrictions could last years and recommending actual confinement of incoming visitors. Chris Johns though, thinks we’ve gone ‘too far’ and has a weird belief that Britain has handled this ‘sensibly’.
Today, there’s a piece from Marc Scully, talking about the ‘Ryanair generation’, people who do a weekly commute by air. Having been one of these people for most of the past decade, the realisation that we weren’t going back there was clear fairly quickly.
The government is seeking to strengthen the message on quarantine for incomers. It could hardly be weaker. I arrived in Dublin 10 days ago, and have followed the HSE guidance (although it changed) to the letter, but I’ve no sense that there would have been any sanction had I not. When I arrived at Dublin port, a garda took the form from me and put it in the pocket of his motor cycle kit without a glance. Needless to say, no one has phoned me to check I’m where I said I would be, and from what I’ve heard from other recent arrivals, it’s a similar story around the country.
Finally, a piece in the Guardian suggest that immunity after infection may be temporary at best, and that antibody levels fall considerably quite quickly.
The next couple of months are going to be a lot tougher as the support system tapers off, and as the reality of a pandemic we may have to live with for years hits. The feel good pieces about baking and gardening will disappear, to be replaced by a lot of piece like Johns’ explaining the necessity of ‘getting the economy moving’ which, as recent events in Leicester illustrate, means throwing workers into danger so that consumers can have cheap ‘athleisure’ to sit out the lockdown.

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WorldbyStorm - July 13, 2020

That’s it exactly, and by the by, what’s to stop people giving false addresses (and this is true of those who visit bars etc). I also think you’re right, and there’s a structural problem with this. Some people have said one plays whack a mole with the virus, it breaks out and its whacked. Problem is it seems to me to be the reverse, the virus plays whack a mole with us, every chance it gets if its not suppressed it jumps up and spreads. The idea it can be ‘lived with’ and something approaching normality will return is delusional. Neither is really possible without suppression of the virus as can be seen in example after example. Victoria, New South Wales, Serbia etc, are locking down because it is impossible to ‘live with’ the virus when it spreads given sickness and fatalities. I really feel that there’s a learning curve going on in political and economic circles that ultimately will lead to suppression as the only course left. But that may well require short sharp total lockdowns too. I wonder is there political capital for those, and I wonder if social and political structures might destabilise down the line in some polities under the pressures.

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tafkaGW - July 13, 2020

On antibodies – the jury is still out – there’s just not enough data or studies or time elapsed to know.

There is, for instance, a suggestion that encountering other Corana-Viruses gives the whole immune system a learned resource to counter new ones.

As to a lasting change in travel behaviour~ it comes down to whether those, like O’Leary, get their triage of humans in favour of capital or not.

That’s a political battle ground still being fought over.

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28. tafkaGW - July 13, 2020

For a few days I dared to hope that the hold of the PiSers on Poland would be loosened. Worse still Poles I know were optimistic to the point of expecting Duda’s defeat.

But it appears that a campaign combining xenophobia, homophobia and anti-semitism, combined with the popular social welfare payments to families, kept the PiSers in power. Remaining Catholic Church power doubtless played it’s part in their victory.

Bad news for Poland and Europe in general. They’ll double down on their Gleichschaltung of all islands of opposition during the time they have left, sensing perhaps, that they very nearly lost it, and time is short to establish facts on the ground.

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WorldbyStorm - July 13, 2020

Abysmal isn’t it? Do you think there’s any hope for the next few years?

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tafkaGW - July 13, 2020

There’s always hope.

The old and conservative go their ways. The Church is only just starting to feel the effects of exposure of its usual widespread cover up of clerical child abuse.

Other than that, it’d be a fool who predicted the next few months, let alone the next few years.

Liked by 1 person

Joe - July 13, 2020

There’s always hope.

Good man, tafka. It’s taking all my strength this Monday morning not to type in the response “No there isn’t”. 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Colm B - July 13, 2020

I agree, anything would be better than the vile PiS and their homophobic vitriol.
But we also need to remember how Poland got here – by the imposition of harsh neoliberal policies by the liberals and the ex-communist Blairites. This made it easy for the nationalist right to hoover up poor rural voters especially when they combined prejudice/conspiracy theories with new welfare provisions, albeit skewed by the focus on “families”. Just as with Orban, Trump, Putin etc. the “extreme centre” laid the groundwork for the rise of the authoritarian right in so many ways.

Still would rather the liberal won, because at least the workers movement has some freedom to operate in a bourgeois democracy as opposed to the “illiberal democracies/ethnocracies” of PiS et al where increasing repression is the order of the day.

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tafkaGW - July 14, 2020

You’re dead right there Colm.

And you’ve hit on one of the reasons PiS won. The opposition ended up fronting someone who was associated with the neoliberal economics of liberalism in Eastern Europe.

Had they run a non-party candidate with a commitment to support and extend the welfareist elements of PiSerism, then they may well have one.

Unfortunately the social democratic and democratic socialist expectations of the majority of people in the former Soviet satellite states were blown away by the neoliberal wave and the collaboration and naivety of the leaders of the likes of Solidarność in the 90s, and were written out of history.

There’s an attempt to reclaim these expectations for the historical record, at least in the case of the former GDR.

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tafkaGW - July 14, 2020

one->won. Homophone early Tuesday.

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29. CL - July 13, 2020

“The White House is making a concerted effort to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci as he becomes increasingly vocal about his concerns over reopening the country amid a national surge in coronavirus cases…..

But recent moves by the White House to publicly diminish the nation’s top infectious disease expert amounts to a significant escalation as it seeks to divert attention from the government’s failure to contain the coronavirus and instead push Trump’s call to reopen the country.

That effort continued Monday morning, when the President retweeted a baseless claim by game show host Chuck Woolery that “everyone is lying” about the coronavirus — including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/12/politics/fauci-trump-coronavirus/index.html

“Florida on Sunday became the first US state to report an increase of more than 15,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day, as pressure grew on officials to mandate the wearing of masks. …
Florida’s record increase lifted its seven-day average of new confirmed cases to a rate of nearly 10,000 a day, a record for a US state and eclipsing the peak rate of 9,664 New York experienced during the depths of its crisis in mid-April,….

There are signs that the sunbelt surge is changing the landscape of the November presidential election. Many of the states fighting an increase in cases are campaign battlegrounds….
A CBS-YouGov poll released on Sunday found that Mr Biden leads Mr Trump by six points in Florida, while the two candidates are tied in Arizona. The president leads Mr Biden by one point in Texas. Mr Trump comfortably beat Hillary Clinton in all three states in 2016. In all three states, a majority of voters said they believed their states had reopened too soon.”
https://www.ft.com/content/1500389b-27b0-438c-b4b8-b9b139424ce7

“A new Gallup poll puts President Donald Trump’s approval rating at 38%. His disapproval rating stands at 57%.”
https:/www.cnn.com/2020/07/12/politics/trump-president-rankings/index.html

Liked by 1 person

CL - July 13, 2020

Gov. Cuomo of NY has just launched a fierce attack on Trump saying that politics does not trump science and that Trump’s Covid-19 scandal is worse than Nixon’s Watergate. No one died in Watergate but federal govt. incompetence and denial of reality has led to unnecessary deaths of thousands in the pandemic.

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30. roddy - July 13, 2020

Bertie was on Radio Ulster for an hour today.He said 3 things that stand out and the veracity of which you can decide for yourselves.Firstly FF are still the biggest party and he hopes this willl remain so.Secondly he had no bank account but his wife had several and when they split this left him bank accountless.Thirdly his favourite song is “how much is that doggy in the window”.

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CL - July 13, 2020

‘Bertie Ahern said that it is ‘possible’ that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael may merge in the future.’
https://extra.ie/2020/07/13/news/irish-news/merge-fianna-fail-fine-gael

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WorldbyStorm - July 13, 2020

Wasn’t that Thatcher’s supposed favourite song?

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roddy - July 13, 2020

Probably.Bertie never had an original idea in his life.

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31. sonofstan - July 13, 2020

Localised and smaller Orahge parades reported to pass off peacefully. Some grand master or other on RTE saying that the loyal orders obeyed the call of no surrender to the Coronavirus…..’the Mask my Father Wore’ anyone?

Liked by 1 person

32. roddy - July 13, 2020

“Bobby Storey burn in hell” and ” Bobby Storey born in North Belfast,burnt in loyalist east Belfast” placards used by bonfire builders and burnt along with SF election posters ,tricolours ,Palestinian flags and Black lives matter posters.But sure arent one side as bad as the other and a bit of “centrist” legitimizing of the 6 county state will solve everything.

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sonofstan - July 13, 2020

Should have put ‘reported’ in scare-quotes. It was RTE.

Liked by 1 person

roddy - July 13, 2020

Not getting at you SOS.Just pissed off at how the 12 is rarely portrayed as it really is.

Liked by 1 person

Dr. Nightdub - July 13, 2020

Occured to me earlier that no matter how much things inch forward, people get used to living and working together, having even a barely-functioning Executive, or this year tackling coronavirus together, one of the main objectives of the Twelfth is to restore the factory settings and drag everything right back to Year Zero.

Then we start all over again…

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - July 13, 2020

It’s always made me wonder what on earth those earnest commentators from the South who wax lyric about unionism find so easy to accept all that, you know the RDE’s and that ilk? It’s not that it’s the totality of unionism or unionists but for a significant tranche there’s what you describe, a restore button that sends everything back. I’ve said before I could envisage a 12th and Orangism in the future that can avoid all that, but… the reality of it in the here and now is just disheartening.

Liked by 1 person

Joe - July 14, 2020

“Bobby Storey burn in hell” and ” Bobby Storey born in North Belfast,burnt in loyalist east Belfast” placards used by bonfire builders and burnt along with SF election posters ,tricolours ,Palestinian flags and Black lives matter posters.”

Terrible stuff from knucklehead low lifes.

Not to be confused with the hundreds of small parades around their own areas and church services which didn’t do anyone any harm – maybe a template for WBS’s ’12th and Orangism in the future’?

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WorldbyStorm - July 14, 2020

It would be interesting to get a sense of the extent of such bonfires as against more placid affairs. Certainly we know that in the Republic Orange marches can pass off with no trouble whatsoever. That replicated would be the way forward.

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33. CL - July 14, 2020

And in more good news:

“Dubbed the “doomsday” glacier, Thwaites, perhaps more than any other place in the world, holds crucial clues about the future of the planet…..as scientists race to understand how the glacier — which is the size of Britain and melting very quickly — is changing, and what that means for how much sea levels rise during our lifetimes….

If Thwaites continues to deteriorate, then by the end of the century the glacier could be responsible for centimetres or tens of centimetres of sea level rise.

“That doesn’t sound like much, but it is,” says David Vaughan, director of science at the British Antarctic Survey. “It is not about the sea coming up the beach slowly over 100 years — it is about one morning you wake up, and an area that has never been flooded in history is flooded.” …
Thwaites is getting thinner and smaller, losing ice at an accelerating rate….
if Thwaites goes, the knock-on effect across the western half of Antarctica would lead to between 2m and 3m of sea level rise, says Mr Cutler, a rise that would be catastrophic for most coastal cities….
the pace of change at glaciers like Thwaites has accelerated at an alarming rate, even though it would take thousands of years for Antarctica itself to melt….

Many of the warming processes taking place on the planet are already “locked in” — like the disappearance of summer Arctic sea ice or the melting permafrost of Siberia — meaning that we may not be able to stop or reverse them….
As the planet warms up due to climate change, the ocean is absorbing most of the extra heat…..

Coastal cities are already spending hundreds of millions of dollars to prepare. San Francisco is building defences around its airport, which sits just 10ft above sea level. In London officials are deciding when to increase the height of the Thames Barrier. Meanwhile, Jakarta has been building a string of sea walls to protect itself, although this has not yet been enough to stave off government plans to relocate Indonesia’s entire capital city.”
https://www.ft.com/content/4ff254ed-960d-4b35-a6c0-1e60a6e79d91

Liked by 1 person

EWI - July 14, 2020

Coastal cities are already spending hundreds of millions of dollars to prepare. San Francisco is building defences around its airport, which sits just 10ft above sea level. In London officials are deciding when to increase the height of the Thames Barrier. Meanwhile, Jakarta has been building a string of sea walls to protect itself, although this has not yet been enough to stave off government plans to relocate Indonesia’s entire capital city.”

One of the most depressing aspects of this is the choice to go for engineering (which is just making the problem worse, and motivating the profiteering as opposed to sustainable route).

Liked by 1 person

34. tafkaGW - July 14, 2020

Good data representation of the politically divided nature of Poland here at Politico.

https://www.politico.eu/article/poland-presidential-election-by-the-numbers-pis-law-and-justice-andrzej-duda-rafal-trzaskowski/

Every major city – from Warsaw to Gdansk through Posnan and Wroclaw – even Lublin in the east – voted against the PiSer. Even Krakow where Kaczyński’s biro (as Duda is known – he signs off on whatever the little bollix tells him to sign) is from, the opposition won by over 20% of the vote.

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