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What you want to say – 28 October 2020 October 28, 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. CL - October 28, 2020

“Is capital finally losing faith in Trump?” -Adam Tooze.

“The GOP is normally the party of business. The president himself is a businessman. His administration has been stacked with plutocrats, CEOs and lobbyists. It has delivered tax cuts and deregulation. The tax-collecting IRS is a shell of its former self; the Environmental Protection Agency has been gutted, and financial regulations slashed….
Again and again, the seam in the GOP coalition between big business interests and less aligned forms of nationalism, populism and xenophobia has torn open. The difference in 2020 is that it is the radicalised GOP base that has its man in the White House.”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/22/trump-biden-big-business-us-president-republican-party

“there is a growing consensus in corporate America that Mr Trump is no longer good for business…
His inattention to issues such as economic inequality, racial injustice and climate change also forced reluctant CEOs to fill the void by speaking out on politically charged topics they would rather avoid….

CEOs who once dreaded @realDonaldTrump tweets have lost their fear of the man behind them. They got the tax cuts they wanted and see little to lose in breaking with him now.”
https://www.ft.com/content/342521ce-0449-4d7c-a553-3f29b4618021

“A blistering open letter, entitled “It’s Time for America’s Business Leaders to Speak Out Against the Threat Trump Poses to Our Republic,” signed by college business professors across America, calls for corporate executives to take action…..
The educators at prestigious schools of higher learning level accusations against Trump, claiming he “denigrates science, peddles in lies, incites violence, attempts to delegitimize the press, politicizes everything from the Justice Department to the CDC to the Postal Service, and seeks to undermine the integrity of American elections.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2020/10/27/professors-at-elite-universities-wrote-an-open-letter-urging-business-leaders-to-speak-out-against-the-threat-trump-poses-to-our-republic/#2106cba25d5d

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sonofstan - October 28, 2020

Amazing the people who have found the courage to speak out now after 4 years. Inspiring even.

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WorldbyStorm - October 28, 2020

😉

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CL - October 28, 2020

“Far from panicking at the prospect of a Biden win, Wall Street CEOs, traders and investment managers now mostly say they would be fine with a change in the White House that reduces the Trump noise, lowers the threat of further trade wars and ensures a continuation of the government spending they’ve seen in recent years.”
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/27/wall-street-biden-blue-wave-432710

“While Mr. Biden’s campaign has trumpeted the small donations flooding in at record rates, the elite world of billionaires and multimillionaires has remained a critical cog in the Biden money machine.
From Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Wall Street, Mr. Biden’s campaign has aggressively courted the megadonor class….

Top executives with investment, private equity and venture capital firms like Blackstone, Bain Capital, Kleiner Perkins and Warburg Pincus all contributed handsomely….
This parade of industry giants delivered a surge in donations even as the progressive base of the Democratic Party agitates against the influence of billionaires and corporate titans. A group of progressives, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, signed a letter last week that reads like a warning shot to a potential Biden administration, urging the Senate to reject any future executive branch nominations of corporate lobbyists or corporate executives….
For Mr. Biden, six-figure donors have been critical in delivering him a surprise financial advantage over Mr. Trump. The Democratic challenger entered October with $180 million more in the bank than Mr. Trump combined with their political parties — coincidentally almost the same amount that $100,000-plus contributors have given him.”

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2. Paul Culloty - October 28, 2020

The small print, as ever, will be telling.

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CL - October 28, 2020

“The Government is to outline plans to engage with the Data Protection Commissioner and the child and family agency, Tusla, to ensure the rights of citizens are fully respected when it comes to accessing data relating to mother-and-baby homes.

The Cabinet has agreed that additional resources will be made available where necessary to ensure those rights are fully implemented.
The Government was taken by surprise by the strength of the backlash against the decision to pass a new law relating to the records gathered by the inquiry, and TDs have received a huge volume of complaints….
The commission’s 4,000-page report is due to be delivered to Minister O’Gorman on Friday, but it will not be published until December or January….
It is understood that it will be vetted by the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and An Garda Síochána to see whether it raises any legal issues especially in relation to upcoming or ongoing prosecutions.
The minister will also discuss updating adoption tracing and information legislation, which is seen as inadequate.”
https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2020/1027/1174280-cabinet-meeting/

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sonofstan - October 28, 2020

“The minister will also discuss updating adoption tracing and information legislation, which is seen as inadequate.”

‘discuss’

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NFB - October 28, 2020

Claiming that people will have to prove that, in accessing their records, they are not infringing on the privacy of others. This is not a facet of GDPR. As one person on Twitter put it, the government’s gone from pretending GDPR is not the law, to believing it is whatever law they want it to be.

And, in what is becoming a tagline for this government, O’Gorman should resign.

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CL - October 28, 2020
CL - October 29, 2020

“last week’s furore over the database of the Mother and Baby Home Commission …. sowed doubt, disbelief and distrust in their minds with some already convinced they are about to be let down by Ireland again, and all before a sentence of the commission’s report has been published….
Behind all the confusion of last week was the erroneous assumption that the Government could push back the October 30th date for receipt of the report to allow for further debate on last week’s Bill, now Act, which transfers the database to the child and family agency, Tusla, while denying public access to it for 30 years…..

Last week too it was erroneously claimed that the 2018 GDPR Act – which covers data protection – meant the commission could no longer abide by provisions of the 2004 Act which set it up, and stipulated that documents it accumulated must be placed beyond public access….

A view implicit in some comments last week was that the commission was part of some grand conspiracy to hide away information which would protect those responsible for abuses in the mother and baby homes.”-
Patsy McGarry
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/no-grand-conspiracy-to-protect-those-responsible-for-mother-and-baby-homes-1.4393548

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CL - October 29, 2020

In a statement released tonight, the Department said: “The legal advice received by the Department is that the GDPR right to access personal data (Article 15) is expressly prohibited by section 39 of the Commissions of Investigations Act 2004.”…
O’Gorman and the AG have asserted that the Government is legally obliged to seal the database complied by the Commission for 30 years under the 2004 Act, which would mean that survivors and families would not have access to their own data for 30 years.” -Oct 23
https://www.thejournal.ie/roderic-ogorman-mother-and-baby-homes-5242480-Oct2020/

“Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman said he consulted with the Office of the Attorney General who confirmed that GDPR laws do apply to the archive – meaning people will have a right to access personal information…..

In a joint statement, the Adoption Rights Alliance, Justice for Magdalenes Research and the Clann Project say the Government’s commitment to work closely with the Data Protection Commission to vindicate the rights of people who experienced forced family separation abuses, is a clear and welcome departure from previous policy.”
https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2020/1029/1174563-mother-and-baby-homes/

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Alibaba - October 29, 2020

That IT article by Patsy McGarry intrigued me and so did this response by Mairead Enright:

‘ Patsy McGarry’s article in the Irish Times today is really problematic.

1) There was real substance to the last fortnight’s campaign. We have established that govt policy around survivors’ access to personal to personal data is incompatible with EU law.

2) Academic, campaigner and survivor critique of government-produced history is not dangerous or abusive. It is a necessary activity in any democratic society and an important corrective to the narrow methods employed by govt inquiries.

3) Many Irish people may well think the Ryan Commission is the gold standard in terms of inquiries into past historical abuse. It isn’t now, even if it ever was. It was been overtaken by innovations in Australia, Canada, Scotland. 

4) In particular, it is right to amplify survivors’ accounts of the Commission’s and the subsequent Redress Board’s exclusionary processes, and to point out the persistence of those problems in the operation of later commissions.

5) We don’t measure the validity of a government inquiry’s conclusions in the length of the report. Truth doesn’t come by the pound. 4,000 pages? So it’s a long report but that’s as far as it goes. 

6) The McAleese and Walsh/Harding-Clarke reports are also important comparators here. If we are going to tell the story of production of official history then let’s not leave out the less impressive efforts.
 
7) The summary of the GDPR/2004 Act’s interactions is just wrong. On which see @Tupp_Ed 

8) It simply isn’t the case that the Commission guaranteed all participants that i) Their transcripts would be sealed for 30 years and ii) their own records would be withheld from them. That’s not what confidentiality means. 

9) The Commission denied a public hearing to those who asked for it – we know this from people like Philomena Lee and Noelle Brown. Not everyone wants secrecy.
 
10) Patsy is right that religious orders and other interests have effectively used law to prevent disclosure of certain kinds of information in historical inquiries’ reports. But that is not a justification for sealing survivors’ own personal data. 

10) Those episodes show us only that perpetrators and their successor organisations, at least in the 2000s, held disproportionate power to control the truth-telling agenda, and govt did nothing to remedy that. 

11) Survivors who have wanted to speak about their experiences at the Commission have been made to understand that they are subject to a legislative gagging order and that legislation has never been amended.
 
12) It is a nonsense to suggest that the Gardaí have been willing and available to act on information provided by survivors. See eg Elizabeth Coppin’s case before UNCAT. 

13) And on natural mothers’ interests in preserving secrecy, @cmcgettrick has repeatedly tackled these arguments. Not all natural mothers want existing forms of secrecy maintained in law and adopted people’s identity rights are very strong, for a reason. 

14) I have no doubt that some people keep secrets because they are ashamed. Lots of us know how that feels. That shame was produced and reinforced by state action. The state can’t unthinkingly rely on that shame now to suit itself. 

15) I think all of us want the Commn to produce a good report. But participation and transparency are key standards here and survivors have already shown that those standards were not met. 

16) And for God’s sake, stop patronising survivor campaigners – some of the strongest wisest men and women you could ever meet. ‘

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1321737538420248576.html

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CL - October 29, 2020

The Attorney General asserted on Oct 23 that the GDPR right of survivors to access personal data is ‘expressly prohibited’ by the 2004 Act.

Last night the Attorney General confirmed that GDPR laws do apply to the archive – meaning people will have a right to access personal information…..

The claim that public access was being denied is not ‘erroneous’ as asserted by Patsy McGarry but is based on statements by the AG and by the government.

The AG changed his mind and the government has made a remarkable U-turn due to the massive public support for the survivors’s concerns.

Laws are not carved in stone and their interpretation by the power elite can be influenced by political and public pressure.

McGarry’s sloppy article has been effectively dissected by Máiréad Enright.

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Alibaba - October 29, 2020

Enormous relief for the survivors and their supporters. Much to be done about survivors’ records access and concerns to be addressed following publication of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes’ report. But now is the time for celebration. Cheers!

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EWI - October 29, 2020

McGarry’s sloppy article has been effectively dissected by Máiréad Enright.

McGarry’s the guy whom the Dublin Festival of History had on a panel about the Irish Revolution a year back, in which he claimed that Irish mass emigration started with independence (no such thing as the Great Famine for the Irish Times, it seems).

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CL - October 30, 2020

“More than 190,000 women and children are estimated to have been placed in mother and baby homes and “county homes” — institutions where unmarried women were sent to deliver their babies in secret across Ireland for nearly eight decades. …
Survivors like Brown have long hoped that the commission would reveal more about allegations of arbitrary detention, cruelty and neglect, forced adoption and vaccine trials that went on inside the homes, as well as hold wrongdoers to account.
Now, those hopes have been boosted by a dramatic U-turn from the Irish government on Wednesday evening, less than a week after passing a law that promised to seal the commission’s archive from survivors and the public for 30 years.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Roderic O’Gorman had initially said that the law was bound by the Commissions of Investigations Act 2004 “whose purpose is to protect a database created by the commission.”
But following a groundswell of public opposition rallying against the law, the government changed its position, saying that survivors of the homes are legally entitled to access their personal data….
Brown was born at the notorious Bessborough home in County Cork. She was adopted into a loving family and grew up just a half a mile away from the home, but more than 900 babies born or admitted to Bessborough died in infancy or early childhood, either there or in a nearby hospital.
Infant mortality rates there peaked at 82% in 1944, and only 64 of the 900 babies’ graves have ever been located.”
https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/30/europe/ireland-mother-baby-homes-commission-intl/index.html

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CL - October 30, 2020

On Oct 23 the government on the advice of the Attorney General says that the GDPR right of survivors to access personal data is ‘expressly prohibited’ by the 2004 Act.

Mass public outrage ensues, 190,000 sign petition to unseal the records.

On Oct 28 the Attorney General confirmed that GDPR laws do apply to the archive – meaning people will have a right to access personal information…..

“My Department has engaged extensively with the Attorney General’s office on this issue and the advice we have received, to which the Department is bound, is that the GDPR right of access to personal data set out in Article 15 of the GDPR is expressly prohibited by section 39 of the Commissions of Investigation Act.
Section 39 of the Act prohibits that in accordance with Article 23 of the GDPR, which allows for exceptions to the GDPR in a range of circumstances including those relating to the administration of justice. It is on that basis that the Attorney General has advised my Department that the potential solution to the issue of access to information, which a number of Deputies have suggested, is not available.”-Roderic O’Gorman, Oct 22
https://www.kildarestreet.com/debate/?id=2020-10-22a.418

“The Government initially argued last week that access rights under GDPR would be prohibited by the 2004 Commissions of Investigations Act, under which the commission on mother and baby homes was set up. However, this week the Government changed its policy on this.
Asked about legal advice given in the run-up to this policy change, a spokesman for Mr O’Gorman said the department engaged with the Attorney General’s office following receipt of the commission’s sixth interim report, which it received in February. Contact was made with the Attorney General “regarding significant issues the commission of investigation has raised regarding access to a valuable database it had created in the course of its work”, a spokesman for the Minister said.
It is understood that broad advice was provided by the Attorney General’s office in relation to the database and the non-disclosure of records, and that this was interpreted by departmental legal advisers as supporting a blanket ban. On foot of that engagement, the department’s advice to the Minister was that “access to the archive produced by the commission through GDPR is expressly prohibited”.
However, following contact from the Data Protection Commissioner on October 19th, the department sought further advice from the Attorney General’s office.

The Attorney General then provided oral advice at Cabinet, and subsequently gave written advice to the department, “clarifying that the amended 2004 Act does not preclude the consideration of data requests by the department, which must respect the GDPR”.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/no-obstacle-to-publication-of-mother-and-baby-homes-report-says-taoiseach-1.4395720

The extensive engagement between the Attorney General and the minister’s dept. did not prevent the contradiction in the legal advice given.

Before becoming a TD Roderic O’Gorman worked as a law lecturer in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University.

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3. Paul Culloty - October 29, 2020

Another Islamist attack in France, this time in a church in Nice – we have been fortunate in Ireland in that Shaykh Umar al-Qadri has been vocal in condemning terrorism and hasn’t hesitated in encouraging full integration, but his counterparts elsewhere in Europe don’t appear to have been as forthright on such matters.

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Fergal - October 29, 2020

Dreadful stuff going on there, after the schoolteacher last week…
Over 300 dead in terrorist attacks in France since the Charlie Hebdo attacks…
The schoolteacher was done for showing the caricatures… what were the people in the church done for this morning?
That loyal servant of democracy Erdogan has called for a boycott of French goods over Macron’s defence of cartoonists…but not a word from him about the recent decapitation of the teacher…

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EWI - October 29, 2020

Another Islamist attack in France, this time in a church in Nice – we have been fortunate in Ireland in that Shaykh Umar al-Qadri has been vocal in condemning terrorism and hasn’t hesitated in encouraging full integration, but his counterparts elsewhere in Europe don’t appear to have been as forthright on such matters.

How many thousands of Muslims have been murdered by NATO countries through drone strikes in the past decade? No condemnations from Christian leaders.

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WorldbyStorm - October 29, 2020

Actually I think the RCC has been quite strong on this particularly in the US.

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4. Joe - October 29, 2020

Witch hunt in full swing in the British Labour Party.

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5. Joe - October 29, 2020

Witch hunt up and running in the British Labour Party.

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6. CL - October 29, 2020

“THE LABOUR PARTY in the UK has suspended Jeremy Corbyn over his reaction to a report into anti-Semitism in the party during his leadership.”
https://www.thejournal.ie/jeremy-corbyn-suspended-from-labour-party-5248242-Oct2020/

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WorldbyStorm - October 29, 2020

Absurd thing to happen. Totally out of proportion. I hope Starmer doesn’t think this is his Kinnock/Militant moment.

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EWI - October 29, 2020

Absurd thing to happen. Totally out of proportion. I hope Starmer doesn’t think this is his Kinnock/Militant moment.

This has been the evident desired end-point for the ‘loyal’ left in the UK for some time. The anti-semitism thing has been a highly effective smear campaign, which has taken many in who should have known better.

Blair & Co. should have been ejected for opposing Labour victories in the past two elections; this is what comes of not moving against your enemies when they’re conspiring against you.

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roddy - October 29, 2020

The upshot of all this is that for some time now no British MP can publically back the Palestinian cause.Opposing the actions of the Israeli govt means you are “anti Semetic”and no rational comment allowed. I have seen pro Palestine rallies in Britain where the only MPs present have been from SF as no other party will risk being present.

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sonofstan - October 29, 2020

Meanwhile, of course, Islamophobia from Tory quarters passes people by.

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6to5against - October 29, 2020

The whole thing is utterly depressing. The cynicism of the people who have pushed this story from the beginning is breathtaking. The very people who would accuse the left of always seeking ‘the split’ and getting hung up on narrow ideological points, now look ready to do anything they can to give themselves total control of the party – even if that means alienating an enormous section of their own supporters and destroying the party as an electable force.

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6to5against - October 29, 2020

And – as SoS points out, Islamophobia continues within the Tory Party – alongside many other variations on racist and sectarian hate. Why is that not a political problem for them? One can only think that it is because it is in fact their political strength! They are selling themselves as the purveyors of xenophobia, (covert) racism and class hatred, so its hardly a problem when they are found to be islamophobic.

Its unlikely to cost them many votes – and in fact, if they manage the situation well with their compliant media – it might even sit well with their supporters.

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7. sonofstan - October 29, 2020

So the Guardian gets what it wants.
If Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-semite, I’m an FGer. He probably hates Spurs, but beyond that…..

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8. Paul Culloty - October 29, 2020

A rather dramatic fall from grace for Elisha McCallion, from being an MP 12 months ago, to resigning from SF today:

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Paul Culloty - October 29, 2020

And in further clarification, she has also resigned as a Senator, meaning a by-election will be held.

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Joe - October 29, 2020

Janey. SF don’t dilly dally with this kind of thing. Slightly embarrass the party and you’re shown the door, it seems. Don’t think it would happen like that in any other Irish political party or is there more to this than meets the eye? The money was just resting in party-controlled accounts surely?

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Dekkard - October 29, 2020

BBC have reported that the funds ended up in McCallion’s joint account with her husband. Must be what prompted the resignation

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Joe - October 30, 2020

Ouch. Surprised and disappointed with SF if that’s the case. I thought there’d be closer control of members and especially party reps. A joint account with her husband, not a party-controlled account?
Sounds like an FF kind of thing. Welcome to ‘normal politics’!

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WorldbyStorm - October 30, 2020

Mind you how long would it take FF eject those involved? Three tribunals later. If we were lucky. TBH I think this was dealt with pretty fast.

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Joe - October 30, 2020

Definitely. They dealt with it very swiftly and decisively. And as you say, in FF it wouldn’t have merited a second look.
My surprise is that SF’s structures and systems allowed it to happen. But then again, SF has grown very fast with all its electoral success. So, for example, lots of offices and related admin and bank accounts and so on being opened all over the place. So maybe not so surprising that things weren’t as well-controlled as they might have been.
I’m not having a dig at SF or the ex-Senator or the other now ex-members. No evidence to suggest they were on the make or anything. Just sloppy practice. Very sloppy in the case of the ex-Senator.

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Dekkard - October 30, 2020

Swift action from the leadership, they don’t mess about and expect a standard of behaviour that far excedes other parties. I think it’s why a lot of people trust their reps.

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9. roddy - October 29, 2020

The money appeared to be held in constituency office accounts.Somebody obviously couldnt believe their luck when an unsolicited grant was paid out,mistaking a constituency office for a business.Saying that while the money would not have been used for anything other than providing an enhanced constituency service it should have been returned at once due to the office being ineligible for a grant.

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10. Pangurbán - October 29, 2020

The money was just resting in my account, as a golden cleric once said.

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11. sonofstan - October 30, 2020

Speaking of irony:
“For the Conservatives, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has written to Sir Keir, saying he “seemingly found it much harder to find the moral character and backbone to do what was right” while serving in the shadow cabinet under Mr Corbyn.”

Being chided for duplicity by Gove.

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EWI - October 30, 2020

Being chided for duplicity by Gove.

Creating a rod for their own backs. Either the ennobled QC is deeply stupid or deeply indoctrinated.

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sonofstan - October 30, 2020

As I found out from here
http://another-green-world.blogspot.com/
He used to be a Trot – deep mole anyone?

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12. CL - October 30, 2020

“Virus success tips Taiwan to best growth among developed economies…
The island reported a better than expected year-on-year 3.3 per cent jump in gross domestic product in the third quarter, its fastest rate in more than two years.
Taiwan has benefited from stringent government restrictions early on during the pandemic. It closed borders early to non-residents to prevent coronavirus spreading locally. It has kept total confirmed cases to 555 and has suffered seven deaths. It has not registered any local infections for more than 200 days.”
https://www.ft.com/content/b0162df0-1238-3ce8-94b3-29b93076a59e

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terrymdunne - November 1, 2020

Yeah the business press has been noting the discrepancy between East Asia (and also to some extent Australasia) on the one hand, and the North Atlantic states on the other – see also – https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-china-back-to-normal-us-europe-struggle-2020-10?r=US&IR=T&utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB

The Irish Times has also now noticed this – https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/the-west-has-failed-us-and-europe-have-made-a-mess-of-handling-the-crisis-1.4395473

It is instructive that ‘ohh won’t somebody please think of the markets’ does not automatically make for ‘let it rip’ neo-liberalism.

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13. Paul Culloty - October 30, 2020

Oops:

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WorldbyStorm - October 30, 2020

Uh-oh!

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14. CL - October 31, 2020

‘Chris Fitzpatrick: It is wrong to commemorate Kevin Barry’- Irish Times, Oct 13
‘Strong piece by a medic on political violence and the perils of commemorating it.’ – Twitter, Dan O’Brien,
12 years senior editor and economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London and Geneva.

– Over time the Economist became ever more deeply embedded in these circuits of money, power, and ideas; editors advised chancellors on the currency, devised ground rules for running central banks, and responding to financial panics, scanned the horizon for threats to British rule and British capital everywhere from Ireland to Egypt to Argentina – offering up the kind of political advice that markets themselves might, if only they could speak.- Alexander Zevin, ‘Liberalism at Large; the World According to the Economist’

“The newspaper’s wilful ignorance of the struggles of colonised populations shows a myopic interpretation of the liberal ‘right to be left alone’. While this view was consistent with most political and business elites of that time, it points to a wider ambivalence toward violence and foreign intervention as justifiable in the wider mission of economic success.
Liberalism at Large shows the conflicting views of war and violence that have played out over the Economist’s lifetime. It tended to favour military action by the US and the UK; an outgoing foreign affairs editor suggested in 1988 that the newspaper ‘never saw a war it didn’t like’-
https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2020/06/14/book-review-liberalism-at-large-the-world-according-to-the-economist-by-alexander-zevin/

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15. CL - October 31, 2020

The pandemic has not been easy anywhere. But as the citizens of the West brace for a winter largely confined to their homes, retirees in Australia throng the bars, the streets of Taipei are busy and the restaurants of Seoul are full…..
All kinds of absurd stereotypes about Asia were used to support the Western exceptionalism that underpinned our bad policies….

They were categorised as something only China would do, ignoring that these techniques were central to the successful pandemic response of democracies from Taiwan, to Japan, to South Korea. Ever-protesting Hong Kong is the example that makes particularly hilarious the idea that Asian people are just more “compliant” or “don’t love freedom” like the West.
Australia and New Zealand are majority white ex-colonial societies that don’t fit into this confused thinking anyway. …
Rather than learning from what already worked, we chose Hail Mary technological fixes that didn’t exist yet, like contact-tracing apps and vaccines, to justify business as usual….
Excuses could be made for ill-preparedness at the start of the pandemic. But Western leaders have been insular slow learners at every stage. And the failure to act effectively when cases were brought down to low levels during the summer – an achievement hard won with sacrifices by every citizen – is hard to forgive….
Western governments now emphasise that individual responsibility will determine the course of the pandemic. “The path it takes depends on YOU,” as Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris tweeted this month.
Societal co-operation is vital. But no individual citizen has the power to put in place an effective testing and tracing system.” -Naomi O’Leary.
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/the-west-has-failed-us-and-europe-have-made-a-mess-of-handling-the-crisis-1.4395473

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CL - November 1, 2020

“western societies and economies reel as the extreme right provokes violent street protests against tightening restrictions. There are armed militias in the US, mafia-inspired protests in Italy and hard-right rioting in Spain. Democratic government is failing, weak and should have prepared for a second wave: better to have a libertarian free-for-all, with everyone taking their chance, than more ineffective restrictions goes the rightwing rallying cry….

The postwar settlement that our predecessors devised – national and international and with fairness at its heart – created 30 years of prosperity and embedded the legitimacy of democracy; its subsequent unwinding by the Anglo-Saxon right and indifference to the growth of inequality have led to today’s debacle. The Donald Trumps and Boris Johnsons, along with the philosophy they represent, need to be dispatched…..
containing the virus means, above all, having a system of income support that allows the disadvantaged, when stricken, to take themselves out of economic and social circulation….
The big lesson from Asia is that communitarian, more equal societies have the social capital and mutual support to allow curfews, self-isolation, quarantining and social distancing to work, even for the poorest.”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/01/western-societies-have-failed-the-deadly-covid-test-they-must-learn-lessons-from-asia

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16. roddy - October 31, 2020

Big story brewing today with the potential to take a prominent political scalp.

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NFB - October 31, 2020

You’re not kidding! But I fear it won’t get a great degree of traction. Tomorrow’s headlines will tell.

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CL - October 31, 2020

“The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is expected to make a statement this afternoon addressing “serious” allegations relating to his time as Taoiseach.
Opposition parties have said the Tánaiste must clarify allegations that were published earlier today in the Village Magazine.
As the Irish Examiner reports, Sinn Féin business spokesperson Louise O’Reilly said that Leo Varadkar has “serious questions to answer”.
https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/varadkar-to-make-statement-this-afternoon-about-serious-allegations-1027763.html

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CL - October 31, 2020

-The Tánaiste has described an article published in The Village magazine about him as “inaccurate and grossly defamatory”.
Leo Varadkar has said he has sought legal advice on the content of the article.-
https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2020/1031/1175125-leo-varadkar/

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Fergal - October 31, 2020

‘Not best practice’ is what in every day English?!

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EWI - October 31, 2020

‘Not best practice’ is what in every day English?!

An admission that he did it.

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Alibaba - October 31, 2020

‘It [The statement] says that Mr Varadkar accepts that the provision of the agreement by an informal communication channel to the president of the NAGP was not best practice.’

https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2020/1031/1175125-leo-varadkar/

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WorldbyStorm - October 31, 2020

Hmmmm…

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Joe - October 31, 2020

FF probably don’t have a functioning dirty tricks dept by now but you would expect there’d be someone there thinking through how to play this to best effect.

Liked by 1 person

6to5against - November 1, 2020

By most measures this should be a big story, but I fear its going to just run itself out for two reasons: firstly, the right don’t think its a big deal -why shouldn’t the Taoiseach play one union against another. and secondly, the left assumed such things always happened.
If nobody is shocked, its going to be hard to build up political momentum behind it.

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CL - November 1, 2020

“A senior Fianna Fáil source said: “The Taoiseach is of the view that the action was not best practice as sending a document of this kind in such a manner was inappropriate.”

The words used are similar to those contained in Mr Varadkar’s statement, indicating a degree of co-ordination between the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste. However, Fianna Fáil sources remain concerned that further information around the disclosure may yet emerge.

Meanwhile, former IMO president Dr John Duddy said that the Tánaiste’s actions “completely undermine the concept of negotiating with licensed trade unions”.
“Regardless of the legalities, the fact remains someone in power gave a confidential agreement to a third party who could potentially benefit from knowledge of its contents,” Dr Duddy wrote on Twitter.
Dr Duddy said trade unions should “unite to condemn” Mr Varadkar’s action.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/i-wouldnt-be-one-to-dance-on-a-grave-barry-cowen-says-varadkar-entitled-to-make-mistakes-amid-imo-pay-leak-39692220.html

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Alibaba - November 1, 2020

I share the fear that Varadkar will somehow squirrel away from this scandal. It rings true. So too does the notion that: “It’s not what you know, but who you know” and most people find that detestable. Moreover you can’t brief a buddy on something marked ‘confidential’. If the left highlights all the misconducts and keeps it in the news for the next two weeks, who knows what could happen.

Liked by 1 person

crocodileshoes - November 1, 2020

I’d say you’re right, there, 6to5. We’re all cynics now: ‘Politician sunbathes in park’ is a headline; ‘politician does political stuff that we all know he shouldn’t’ isn’t.

Liked by 1 person

17. yourcousin - October 31, 2020

Fuck you 2020

RIP Billy Joe Shaver

Liked by 2 people

yourcousin - October 31, 2020

A primer of sorts.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - October 31, 2020

Ah no.
Honky Tonk Heroes is by far my favourite Waylon record

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WorldbyStorm - October 31, 2020

It’s some year isn’t it?

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Fergal - October 31, 2020

Another SF rep resigns over cash from Stormont … Catherine Kelly … west Tyrone…
Any more?
Only SFers involved?

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18. roddy - October 31, 2020

Three SF offices in total received covid grants by mistake.Catherine was a co signature to a bank account for her office in west Tyrone.For some reason no other party offices received the grant but 470 other rateable premises also mistakenly got the grant and the vast majority of them kept it.

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Pangurbán - October 31, 2020

Maybe it’s worthwhile to reflect on differing behaviors among the younger cohort, who in many cases are children/ nieces / nephews of people who did jail time:

The second generation scandals began in Fianna Fáil in the late forties.

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19. Colm B - October 31, 2020

Article from left-wing PTB/PVDA party in Belgium on Ryanair and Charleroi airport:

https://international.ptb-pvda.be/articles/200-fewer-jobs-belgium-ryanair-does-not-stop-smashing-prices

Liked by 1 person

20. Tomboktu - November 1, 2020

Writing a birthday card this morning reminded me of when my niece was 6 and nephew 8, and I decided to personalise their Christmas cards with different messages.

Oh boy. Bi-iiiiig mistake.

Up went the wail: “He got more words than me”.

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - November 1, 2020

🙂

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21. sonofstan - November 1, 2020

Radio 4 leading their report on lockdown 2.0 with some tory loonie decrying the damage to the economy.

Liked by 2 people

sonofstan - November 1, 2020

And follow with another one!

Liked by 1 person

22. GearóidGaillimh - November 1, 2020
WorldbyStorm - November 1, 2020

I’m very sorry to hear that.

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Joe - November 2, 2020

Rest in peace.
I read his book on Israel-Lebanon wars, Pity the Nation. Excellent.

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23. Starkadder - November 1, 2020

With all the ruckus over Corbyn’s perceived anti-Semitism, a reminder that Boris Johnson wrote a novel, Seventy-Two Virgins , full of anti-Semitic stereotypes:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-book-jews-control-media-general-election-a9239346.html

Liked by 1 person

24. yourcousin - November 2, 2020

BRONCOS!!!!!

Plus six birds in the bag make for a fine Sunday!

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Joe - November 2, 2020

Very happy for you on both fronts yc.
Here’s to many more a fine Sunday to come.

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Fergal - November 2, 2020

YourCousin… is that a clip of the birds playing American football?

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25. Joe - November 2, 2020

Just a thought. What websites and in what order do people open each morning? This morning I went as follows: CLR; Facebook; Irish Indo; Irish Times; Guardian; UK Independent. They’re my go to six most of the time. The order varies.
(Happy to get a hammering on that choice and my online laziness. Pointers welcome!)

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - November 2, 2020

That’s very good of you Joe. 🙂 News websites, RTE, IT, Guardian, Examiner, Slate then others, 538, ASF, NFB just to see if there’s new stuff up. After those it’s hit and miss. Atlantic, so on. The UK Ind is actually pretty solid.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - November 2, 2020

Leaving aside work stuff, CLR, RTE, BBC, currently boycotting the Guardian but would have been next, academia.edu because there’s usually a recommendation in my email, that’s probably it.

Liked by 1 person

Starkadder - November 2, 2020

I usually open RTE News first, then IT, Channel 4 News, the BBC, CNN. After that the Nation, Jacobin, the Baffler, Tribune (I refused to read the New Statesman anymore, after they refused to endorse Corbyn).

Plus a few Reddit sites; redscarepod , stupidpol, and leftwithoutedge.

Liked by 1 person

alanmyler - November 2, 2020

Eir webmail, the Journal, CLR, then open the RTE radio player for Morning Ireland (I should really get myself an old-fashioned radio!), a very quick look at FB and LinkedIn (without engaging, as I’m still not using social media after 1 month), then the Guardian and IT, and of course YR Weather to see what the day ahead will be like.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - November 2, 2020

Yeah, since working from home I listen to Morning Ireland from 8 on the computer. It’s a good backdrop to getting things up and running.

Liked by 1 person

26. CL - November 2, 2020

Getting ready….

‘Federal authorities are expected to put back into place a “non-scalable” fence around the entire perimeter of the White House on Monday as law enforcement and other agencies prepare for possible protests surrounding the election, a source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to CNN…..
The extra layer of security marks the most high-profile example to date of authorities preparing for unrest following this year’s election, particularly if there is no clear winner come November 4.’
https://us.cnn.com/2020/11/02/politics/white-house-fence-erected-again/index.html

“Battleground election states like Pennsylvania, with a history of both leftist activists and armed, far-right groups, are being watched closely for potential violence. So too are Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia and Oregon. Nationwide, five protesters have been shot dead during clashes in recent months.”- NYT.

“Businesses and retailers across the country have begun boarding up their storefront windows and taking other security measures in anticipation of potential unrest on or around Election Day as many cities remain on edge following a summer of widespread riots and mayhem.”
https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/dc-businesses-board-up-windows-election-day-unrest

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27. crocodileshoes - November 3, 2020

You’d need a degree in reading between the lines to understand the RTÉ news – what with references to Leo Varadkar’s ‘pal’ and the imprisonment of two men with ‘addresses in Rathkeale’.

Liked by 1 person


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