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What you want to say – 25 November 2020 November 25, 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 - November 25, 2020

FFS

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2. Paul Culloty - November 25, 2020

Presuming about the Dáil Loan Scheme, though obviously contrived phraseology.

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3. sonofstan - November 25, 2020
4. CL - November 25, 2020

‘The Dow topped 30,000 points on Tuesday for the first time ever’

“Americans across the United States have lined up in miles-long queues at food banks after thousands lost their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The rise in food insecurities among the public comes as the unemployment rate from Covid-19 has risen faster in three months compared to what it did in two years of the Great Recession, according to the Pew Research Centre.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-food-banks-thanksgiving-poverty-b1761426.html

‘Total U.S. billionaire wealth has increased over $970 billion since March 18’

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5. alanmyler - November 25, 2020
alanmyler - November 25, 2020

I see SoS beat me to it above, sorry.

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WorldbyStorm - November 25, 2020

1986. Bloody hell. I know both of you are much much more locked in to football (though of course my lifelong six month love of Sunderland AFC after watching the Netflix series has taught me much!) but do you feel the same as me that it seems both weirdly recent and almost impossibly distant.

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alanmyler - November 25, 2020

Recent and distant being the World Cup where Maradona beat England? Yes, definitely. Hard to believe he was 60. But then again it’s hard to believe I’m not too far off that myself. It’s funny how football creates these hero figures isn’t it. I felt years welling up when I read the news earlier. He was a hero, on the pitch of course, but also a cultural icon supportive of socialism. We need more of those. Speaking of which I read that Francesco Totti of Roma and Italy had a bad dose of COVID-19, but thankfully he’s on the road to recovery. Another great footballer with Left sympathies.

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alanmyler - November 25, 2020

Tears, not years, welling up…

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6. CL - November 25, 2020

‘Antony Blinken confirmed as Joe Biden’s Sec of State.
His 2019 (co-authored) essay on the strategic underpinnings of US foreign policy includes a call for a global league of democracies. For European countries, this mainly means push back against China.’-
Dan O’Brien, Twitter.

” A responsible foreign policy seeks to prevent crises or contain them before they spiral out of control. That requires a combination of active diplomacy and military deterrence.”-Antony Blinken, Robert Kagan
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2019/01/04/america-first-is-only-making-the-world-worse-heres-a-better-approach/

‘Robert Kagan … is an American neoconservative, historian, and foreign-policy commentator. Kagan supports liberal interventionism.’
Wiki.

“After leaving government, Blinken and Flournoy created WestExec Advisors, a “strategic advisory firm” that works closely with military contractors and was modeled after the high-powered consultancy pioneered by Henry Kissinger during the Cold War, according to a recent profile in The American Prospect. Its influence within the Democratic Party is significant.”
https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/biden-trump-war-military/

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, whom Biden tapped on Tuesday as his ambassador to the United Nations, is a senior vice president at the Albright Stonebridge Group, the “commercial diplomacy firm” started by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/23/westexec-advisors-biden-cabinet-440072

On May 12, 1996, Madeleine Albright (then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) appeared on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” and Albright replied “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it.” – Wiki

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7. roddy - November 25, 2020

I just read Harris’ recent Sindo column on another site.(I wouldnt pay to read it.) He denounces the Bloody Sunday(1920) commemorations as “Nationalist necrophelia” and equates British intelligence operatives with innocent football fans and players.He must be the most despicable character in Irish journalism and apparently this time has earned hostility from a very broad spectrum of opinion.

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WorldbyStorm - November 25, 2020

It’s offensive stuff on his part. This last Sunday his piece was on supposed anti- Britishness in Ireland at the moment, a problem which as far as I can tell exists in no real shape or form

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Colm B - November 25, 2020

He’s well in the his way to out-Blimping Field Marshall Myers. Let’s hope his career ends in similar disgrace.

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WorldbyStorm - November 25, 2020

roddy, I had a quick look, the first in months at Slugger’s piece on the piece because I was looking for responses to the EH thing. The manner in which it lauds the EH piece is something else but add in that there’s yet another unsubstantiated assertion about a supposed wave of ‘anti-British feeling in the South’ which simply does not exist.

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roddy - November 25, 2020

Fealty is another disgrace.

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WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2020

I’m all for seeing all sides and recognising the complexities but really given next to no one making these cases is actually pacifist there’s something downright coat trailing about the complaining on the part of EH et al, and just ahistoric too.

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WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2020

BTW on the slugger thread someone makes the point about WWII bomber command and how some of what took place there was by any reasonable criteria a war crime yet that sort of contradiction isn’t engaged with in regard to the actions of the British armed forces and political leaderships. Interestingly my mothers second cousin was a copilot in the RAF, flew Lancasters IIRC. Over Germany on one mission himself and the rest of the flight crew took a vote and refused to drop any more bombs. Of course he was disgraced drummed out etc, and my sense meeting him in the 70s was that he had suffered quite a bit for the stance. I’m conflicted – on the one hand this was a war against fascism, on the other I think aspects of the bombing campaigns were war crimes. I admire his personal courage, think he was in that context right, while not being sure if that was necessarily the best action to take at that point in time. But again this just points up the contradictions and complexities. There’s no one pure in this.

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EWI - November 26, 2020

He must be the most despicable character in Irish journalism and apparently this time has earned hostility from a very broad spectrum of opinion.

Re-tweeted by one R. McGreevy of the Irish Times, who apparently agrees (the spots emerge).

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8. roddy - November 26, 2020

What does McGreevy say?.I can’t find it.

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9. yourcousin - November 26, 2020

It’s been a fucked up year, and nothing about that seems to be changing in the near future. I’ll be at home with my wife, my son, and my two dogs (plus the wife’s cat who is convinced that she is my cat somehow) today. Bowing out of the family Zoom call, I want to wallow my isolation.

But as always, the CLR is a constant in this ever changing world. So today I just want to give thanks to all who write, and comment.

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WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2020

Have a great day and thanks to you too.

THat’s cat’s for you. The two AlanM supplied, one of them goes awol much of the week. The other is loyal to a fault. I mean to a fault. The fault being she makes it her business to pad home ever couple of days with a – to her – nice tasty rat or mouse and dump it on the mat at the back door. Has yet to get the message this gift is unwanted.

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sonofstan - November 26, 2020

Some years back I was awakened one night by a unearthly scream, like something from a horror movie, emanating from my daughter’s bedroom. Our newly arrived cat, adopted from a neighbour who could no longer look after her, had, as a token of thanks, deposited a dead mouse in my young wans open hand as she slept. Which then, as happens instinctively, closed around the furry gift……

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WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2020

Ah… she has my sympathies. Typical cat. The intention is good, the execution not so great. Did she develop a phobia about cats or is she cool with them?

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Joe - November 26, 2020

Great story SoS. Daddys are made for those kind of situations.

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sonofstan - November 27, 2020

🙂 She was in her 20s when this happened – and no, no phobia, herself and the other half have two huge rescue moggs now.

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EWI - November 27, 2020

The two AlanM supplied, one of them goes awol much of the week.

The second and further homes beckon.

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Joe - November 26, 2020

So today I just want to give thanks to all who write, and comment.

Right back at y’all, pals.

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WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2020

It’s very much appreciated.

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10. Paul Culloty - November 26, 2020

Irish Times supporting Suzanne Moore, who has been so silenced that she has had articles in the Telegraph and Mail this week alone:

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WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2020

Plus UnHerd. I read her original piece and didn’t think it was great but what surprised me was she felt she had to resign. Don’t think there was any serious pressure on her to do so. So taking a free speech line seems odd. I mean the article was published and others didn’t like it.

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Starkadder - November 27, 2020

Moore didn’t say she was “silenced”, she said she couldn’t write for the Guardian anymore because of the opposition from some of the paper’s staff. There’s a difference.

I thought her article was fairly well written. I didn’t agree with Moore’s views on Corbyn and some of her stuff about transgender issues. But I’ve never read anything bigoted about transgender people in Moore’s Guardian articles.

The transgender issue has become really toxic, and it’s crippling the British Left. I understand why some people might object to say, Rosie Duffield’s views on trans issues, but I do not understand why none of these same people will speak to Duffield and try to find common ground.

I see the dispute between Colm O’Gorman and Iseult White over the transgender issue has now reached the Irish Times. It looks like the “TERF Wars” have arrived in this country too. 😦

https://www.broadsheet.ie/2020/11/23/for-me-free-speech-and-representation-are-non-negotiable/

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/amnesty-and-freedom-of-conscience-1.4419263?mode=sample&auth-failed=1&pw-origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.irishtimes.com%2Fopinion%2Fletters%2Famnesty-and-freedom-of-conscience-1.4419263

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sonofstan - November 27, 2020

I didn’t read the piece that hastened her exit: I’ve always sort of liked her even when I disagree, as over Corbyn. Her voice is distnctly different from the Guardian norm, which is no harm – I’m often struck when I venture over to the Spectator or the Telegraph by the relative variety of perspectives on the right, whereas the G. has become rather boringly monotone. Even the headline style is too easy to predict: X is Y. We must do Z. is the form in which 80% (figure plucked from arse) of their opinion pieces are constructed.

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Joe - November 27, 2020

It looks like the “TERF Wars” have arrived in this country too.

I vote that the CLR has enough on its plate. Please, chef, please.

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roddy - November 27, 2020

Were “terf “cutting candidates not elected here ages ago?

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WorldbyStorm - November 27, 2020

They were and they weren’t.

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WorldbyStorm - November 27, 2020

That’s a fair point Starkadder re opposition from some in the paper. On the other hand one could argue that many more people than those who signed the letter also work for the Guardian and one presumes many more than those who signed it were asked to and demurred. And even her reasons seemed a bit contradictory ie her stuff about ‘never feeling comfortable working for the Guardian’ which is an odd complaint for someone who worked there twice!

I broadly agree SonofStan. I always liked her voice, and I’m sorry she left. I felt that her UnHerd piece was good in parts, much less good in others. I don’t think from reading it that she’s classic TERF.

The Phoenix had a great piece a month back about how to date, the whole wars over the issue had largely bypassed Ireland and that there had been some pretty good changes that managed to side-step the controversy and that efforts to import it had been met with some fairly strong pushback by Irish feminists. So it would be a pity if the way in which it consumes so many elsewhere in the US and UK was to be replicated here. For example I kind of see White’s point but… is there an actual controversy in Ireland? If there isn’t then it is difficult to see precisely what the problem is. Sometimes some issues are settled to a considerable degree – as we’ve seen with divorce and contraception and indeed now abortion.

I’m kind of with Joe on this.

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Starkadder - November 27, 2020

“I vote that the CLR has enough on its plate. Please, chef, please.”

I appreciate that this issue is a disputatious issue, and perhaps I’d better step back from it.

Interesting that Moore has elected to move to Substack.

That particular platform has now attracted some fine journalists – Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Matt Yglesias, Helen Lewis and others- seeking an outlet outside the traditional media. Since it is directly funded by its subscribers, it can bypass advertisers’ biases, autocratic editors and social media mobs. Hence the complaints about Substack by “career cops” Clio Chang and David Klion.

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CL - November 27, 2020

Their success was never repeated.

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Liberius - November 28, 2020

…Helen Lewis…

I’d give you Greenwald, never heard of the other two, but you’re going to have to give me some sort of justification for Lewis as many years of listening to her on the New Statesman podcast has not left me with the notion of quality, conservatism and anti-socialist yes, quality no; so justify yourself.

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Michael Carley - November 28, 2020

@WBS looking from outside, I get the impression that both “sides” in Ireland have behaved better than in GB. In particular, there don’t seem to be the threats of violence that get thrown around here. It’s a particular issue in my union given the abuse and threats dished out to academics and others in higher education.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

Again long may it continue like that here, the Phoenix pointed out that a lot of legislation had passed with little or complaint or controversy. It really does seem to me to be a proxy for deeper cultural wars but with some specific aspects of its own, and of course in that context no ‘side’ is blameless. I wish a tenth of that energy and heat was expended by some of those involved in getting workers to organise, campaign in communities, join unions.

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Michael Carley - November 28, 2020

@WBS I said to you once that given the mix of traditions on here, “an armed website is a polite website”.

I think it’s certainly true that in Ireland people are conscious that words mean something and you can’t just throw threats of violence around as if it’s a game where you demonstrate your commitment through the extremism of your language.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

You are so right. That’s a great point.

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CL - November 28, 2020

Just to clarify, my remark “Their success was never repeated” was meant as a reply to roddy’s “Were “terf “cutting candidates not elected here ages ago?

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pettyburgess - November 28, 2020

The only reason the “debate” has seemed less aggressive in Ireland is that liberal transphobia or transphobic variants of feminism have thus far not managed to gain a viable presence here.

In so far as the “debate” exists here it consists of largely British social media accounts mass trolling the social media accounts of Irish feminist organisations for using inclusive language. The discussions that ensue are not any more pleasant than the ones the same people dominate in Britain, they are just lower profile. There is currently a concerted push to start astroturf organisations in Ireland by the “GC” crowd in Britain as all of the existing groups are hostile to their views. One such astroturf group has already written to schools here urging them not to participate in an anti bullying campaign aimed at protecting LGBT students. It would be very typical of the Irish Times mode of operation to decide that featuring this “debate” prominently would drive clicks, regardless of the harm that doing so would cause.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

+1 PB. The scope is always there for it to do so, and as you say there’s rumblings at the edges of other areas like sex education etc.

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GearóidGaillimh - November 29, 2020

TERFism has always been fairly marginal in Ireland, the constant online attempts to promote LGB Ireland can’t hide the fact they have negligible support among lesbian, gay and bisexual people (and for good reason, going by its British parent group). https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/04/03/lgb-alliance-neo-nazi-homophobia-spinster-death-head-charity-commission/

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WorldbyStorm - November 29, 2020

Exactly. This is a problem that does not appear to exist here. We really don’t need to import culture wars that are not an issue here. ANd perhaps we should be grateful that there’s a degree of solidarity and lack of heat that sadly elsewhere isn’t entirely evident.

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11. CL - November 27, 2020

-There are some who will blush at the mention
Of Connolly, Pearse and McBride
And history’s new scribes in derision
The pages of valour deny….

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roddy - November 27, 2020

Unless you want accused of “Nationalist necrophelia”, you better get a “Tans were misunderstood” ditty up pronto.

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CL - November 27, 2020

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roddy - November 27, 2020

I knew that song existed but my failing memory let me down!

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GearóidGaillimh - November 27, 2020

Séan Hogan? Mick Hogan surely.

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Bartholomew - November 28, 2020

‘Séan Hogan? Mick Hogan surely.’

‘We may make mistakes in the beginning and shoot the wrong people.’

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EWI - November 27, 2020

A favourite tune in Trinity’s School of History.

(Yes, I’m being grumpy. Been a lot of Eunan O’Halpin and his mad opinions all over the place this past week)

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CL - November 28, 2020

” SINN FEINERS KILL 16 POLICE CADETS; “- NYT, Nov 30, 1920

” The patrol to be ambushed comprised 18 men in two trucks, each armed with two pistols, grenades, a rifle, and ample ammunition. They were men of Number Two Section, C Company, Auxiliary Division, Royal Irish Constabulary….

They were drawn from ex-officers of all the branches of the British Armed Forces, and even the Merchant Navy. The new force was advertised to potential recruits as a “Corps d’elite”, and in the ranks there were ex-colonels, majors, captains, admirals, squadron leaders and flight lieutenants. Many had risen through the ranks, on courage and merit….
On paper, the men of Two Section, ‘C’ Company, fitted the pattern. Among the decorations won in war collectively by them were three Military Crosses (one of the highest decorations for soldiers), a Distinguished Flying Cross, and a mention in dispatches. At least eight had extensive ground combat experience, three had flown in aerial combat in the Royal Flying Corps and RAF. …
These were tough Great War veterans, re-enlisted in this new force, almost piratically armed with pistols, rifles, grenades and machine guns, roaring up and down the roads of west Cork in trucks and armoured cars, raiding and intimidating the local population. Their swaggering behaviour only added to the new force’s reputation for drunken thuggery….

Tom Barry assembled a force of 36 men into a flying column…. That day they were armed with rifles and a few pistols and grenades. Ammunition, as always for the IRA, was scarce enough for each man to have only 35 rounds each – on paper a suicidally low number of bullets with which to engage such well-armed enemies.”

“The words of British Prime Minister Lloyd George were prophetic. This ambush, he said, “was of a different character” to what had gone before; Kilmichael “was a military operation”.
A week earlier, after Bloody Sunday, his claim that the British security forces “had murder by the throat” in Ireland, had been revealed to be hot air. As the news from Kilmichael sank in, it was now clear to the British that they were not fighting “murder”; they were fighting a war….The words of British Prime Minister Lloyd George were prophetic. This ambush, he said, “was of a different character” to what had gone before; Kilmichael “was a military operation”….
Strategically, the ambush merely confirmed what the military had been saying for months: that the conflict had moved to a new level, that it had acquired a momentum of its own, and that training and equipment had to move to meet the challenge. Meanwhile, the IRA’s confidence grew, the flying columns grew bigger and bigger. Within a few months, Tom Barry was leading numbers of men he could only have dreamed of before Kilmichael.
Within two weeks of the ambush, martial law would be declared across Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary. New units of auxiliaries were drafted in to Cork. And Cork city would be put to the torch.”
https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/1128/1180962-kilmichael-this-means-war/

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Michael Carley - November 28, 2020

You know it’s the first time I twigged that Kilmichael was a week after Bloody Sunday.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

I’m the same. It just slipped past me. I thought that RTÉ report was pretty good. Certainly offered a lot more nuance than the usual revisionist take on it. Also the timing is so clearly important – that’s another aspect of certain revisionist framings of these events – looking at things in isolation rather than as dynamics that interweave.

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EWI - November 28, 2020

that’s another aspect of certain revisionist framings of these events – looking at things in isolation rather than as dynamics that interweave.

It could be argued as the purpose behind Fitzpatrick’s design in reducing the war to county-by-county. Reduce it to a small enough quantum and you can argue any nonsense.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

+1

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Bartholomew - November 29, 2020

‘It could be argued as the purpose behind Fitzpatrick’s design in reducing the war to county-by-county.’

That was certainly true of revisionists as a whole, but in this particular case it’s a bit unfair. The level of detail in Fitzpatrick’s first book about county Clare would not have been possible at national level. As Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh wrote when he reviewed it, Fitzpatrick ‘counted everything, from column inches in the newspapers to flying columns in the countryside’. That was a heroic undertaking in the 1970s, before computers, before online newspapers and everything that we have now. It was way beyond anything that had been attempted up until then, and even at county level it was awe-inspiring, whatever you thought about his politics, which in any case were less extreme then than they became later.

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CL - November 29, 2020

” The ‘28th day of November’ either as a song line or a cosmic weigh line, will never be erased from the Cork cosmos.”….
“The lyric below is what I used when I chose to record The Boys Of Kilmichael on an album called Uncorked some years ago. Around then, that select, pedantic post-modern coven, The Revisionists, appeared from nowhere. Their raison d’etre was to raze Irish nobility, courage and non-colonial thinking to the ground wherever they found it. …

The subsequent success of the Flying Column at Kilmichael finally rocked the status of invincibility of the Auxies and the Essex regiment; but the vengeful wrath of the Empire reached terrifying proportions in ensuing merciless murders and the Burning of Cork.”- Jimmy Crowley
https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/The-28th-day-of-November-line-will-never-be-erased-from-the-Cork-cosmos-073141fc-37b7-46c1-a2ef-53f536086237-ds

“The hills were bleeding and the rifles were aflame” –

” Reprisals for Kilmichael consisted of the burning of homes nearby, but one of the most notorious incidents was the murder of Dunmanway’s Canon Thomas Magner and a young man Tadgh Crowley by crown forces…
Film makers Brendan Hayes — author of this article — and Jerry O’Mullane, along with David Sullivan and Bernie O’Regan, are working on a documentary to commemorate the centenary of the Kilmichael ambush. The working title is Forget Not The Boys and the date for screenings is yet to be announced due to the current national restrictions.”
https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/100-years-on-recalling-ambush-at-Kilmichael-de3270fc-6bce-426e-999c-9c3f07b3ced6-ds

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Dr Nightdub - November 28, 2020

When I was researching my Belfast granda’s time in the IRA, my Cork mum casually mentioned that her uncle was one of the Boys of Kilmichael. In almost 50 years of marriage, that was the first time my Belfast da had heard about that.
Turned out he was, and was awarded an IRA pension for it in the 1930s.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

I’m always interested in that sort of reticence – why do you think it was?

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roddy - November 28, 2020

Whatever you say ,say nothing has been a longstanding tenet of Irish Republicanism. Some who were coaxed to abandon this (the Boston tapes fiasco for instance ) rue the day they did.Even those who were 100% safe from prosecution as in Kilmichael always believed they were part of a “secret army” and acted accordingly.As I said here before it was 60 yrs after the event that I learned that a relative of mine had been involved in “operation harvest” and that someone who I had always seen as apolitical was a staunch SF voter!

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

Fair point roddy. That makes sense. I think I told you my Dad was involved in SF by his own account in the late 50s. He never spoke of it for years. Wasn’t ashamed, just kept quiet.

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roddy - November 28, 2020

During the Tan war there were a number of attacks here in South Derry where there were RIC fatalities.Up to my teenage years and beyond veterans of that era were still around but they never said who did what and even today nobody knows who was responsible for the fatalities.

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Dr Nightdub - November 29, 2020

It was the same with my granda – one time, my da asked him what he thought of the anti-Treaty position and the Civil War (my granda was in the FS Army) and my granda simply said “I was a soldier, not a politician.” But he said it in a tone of voice that my da knew never to broach the subject again.

PTSD was only named as such in the 1980s, but I’d say if psychologists today could time-travel back to the 1920s, they’d describe a lot of IRA veterans of the War of Independence as being textbook cases.

So, bereft of any form of support other than “You were great fellows, here’s a medal and a pension”, the likes of my granda and grand-uncle dealt with whatever trauma they’d been through by repressing it. If they didn’t talk about it, then for public purposes it hadn’t affected them.

In that respect, the derring-do memoirs of Dan Breen and Tom Barry were total outliers, there were thousands of others grappling with demons on their own and generally losing.

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terrymdunne - November 29, 2020

I am not writing this to discount PTSD. But there was a ton of oral history projects on the Tan War et. al. – not just the Bureau of Military History, but also private efforts like Ernie O’Malleys, and stuff published in the newspapers and later turned into books like ‘Kerry’s Fighting Story’. It is a cliché that politicians in mid-twentieth century Ireland would big-up what they were doing in 1916 or 1920 and I don’t see why that didn’t go all the way down to the local councillor or activist. The North is not analogous because the conflict was still on-going there, and essentially still is, if on a truce-basis. The Civil War is not analogous because that’s the bad sort of history we don’t want to remember – as opposed to the heroic struggle for national redemption. I am not discounting trauma by any means, but there is way more social memory of the military aspects of this period than anything else, so some people must have been talking to at least some extent.

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EWI - November 29, 2020

PTSD was only named as such in the 1980s, but I’d say if psychologists today could time-travel back to the 1920s, they’d describe a lot of IRA veterans of the War of Independence as being textbook cases.

So, bereft of any form of support other than “You were great fellows, here’s a medal and a pension”, the likes of my granda and grand-uncle dealt with whatever trauma they’d been through by repressing it. If they didn’t talk about it, then for public purposes it hadn’t affected them.

PTSD may not have been a term then, but ‘shell shock’ was and there was a massive British effort to treat it in their veterans, including institutions set up in what would become the ROI (and which survived until modern times).

Add this to the British housing and employment schemes for returning soldiers – fear of Communism no doubt playing its part – and you had an actuality which compares quite well to the treatment of even pro-Treaty IRA veterans. All of which does put the public tears from certain quarters about the supposed plight of British WWI veterans in perspective.

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12. Starkadder - November 27, 2020

Oh bloody hell. Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, has been assassinated. The Iranians are calling it “an act of state terror” and say they will avenge it:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-55105934

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Fergal - November 28, 2020

on the trans issue, above, please let’s not go there… I’d say most of us here have a live and let live approach to it… i have a family member who has become absolutely obsessed with this topic and I can barely talk to her… it’s a rabbit hole full of rabbit holes criss crossed with other rabbit holes…
She uses all kinds of acronyms it’s like 1970s Belfast…
Belgium has a trans minister… and she said what she liked most was nobody cared about her gender there but in English-speaking countries it was big news…
Anyway, my family member used to be very active in her union, residents’ assoc. etc but now seems lost in the Twitter sewer… I’m actually concerned about her!

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

I really like that line you quote from the Belgian Minister. That’s the way! Live and let live and all workers are workers.

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Starkadder - November 28, 2020

Liberius – I was going by Helen Lewis’ essays in the Atlantic Monthly, which I’ve always found to be sharp and insightful.

Re the UK, I’ll leave you with this-

There is currently an alarming rise in the number of murders of transgender people in the United States over the last year.

But there hasn’t been any such murders in the UK over the same period.

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-54992071

Yet the US centrist media is full of horror stories about how Britain has become an Orban’s Hungary-style hellhole for transgender people, largely because some prominent British feminists like Moore have different ideas about gender from the likes of Judith Butler.

(And never mind that there are also transgender people in Britain who respect the right of the likes of Moore and J.K. Rowling to speak, even if they disagree with them: )

Perhaps self-righteous US commentators should report on the terrible transphobic violence in their own nation, instead of smugly calling Britain “TERF Island”.

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WorldbyStorm - November 29, 2020

But this seems to be a British problem rather than an Irish problem. As noted above I’m not supportive of death threats, as MC has so clearly outlined are happening there. So I’m not sure what we’re meant to do about it? And I think there’s a danger that by getting too focused on this we’re firstly adding fuel to a fire that doesn’t need it, and secondly we’re diverting our attention from the clear needs of the situation in Ireland on housing, healthcare, etc.

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Liberius - November 29, 2020

Liberius – I was going by Helen Lewis’ essays in the Atlantic Monthly, which I’ve always found to be sharp and insightful.

Fair enough, I understand though haven’t read that in a recent Atlantic column she’s been advocating on behalf of the right of aristocratic women in take their rightful place in the house of lords alongside their aristocratic male family members. Not sure this is what constitutes quality in my mind, but each to their own I suppose.

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pettyburgess - November 29, 2020

Yes, it is precisely a British problem. Not transphobia, that exists everywhere. But transphobia as a liberal/centrist phenomenon rather than one confined to religious conservatives and the hard right is particular to Britain and rooted in that country’s political and cultural pathologies. When US media types refer to Britain as TERF Island, they aren’t declaring that transphobia exists only in Britain, they are correctly noting that transphobia is different in Britain, that it is pushed by almost the entire mainstream media and that it is considered a perfectly respectable thing to advocate by people whose direct peers in other countries overwhelmingly regard it as a disgusting bigotry.

That’s a useful clarification. The British “GC” crowd of course hate it because it denaturalises their attempts to represent themselves as the voice of concerned womanhood and instead particularises them as a very unusual outgrowth of one specific political culture. The British commentariat particularly hate it because they crave the respect of their American equivalents.

Despite the endless yelping about being “silenced”, British liberal transphobes are well aware that their views are hegemonic across the British media and that there are almost no trans voices with any notable platform in that country. They do not enjoy the media in other countries pointing that out.

Understanding that this is almost entirely a British phenomenon is particularly important in an Irish context. When British transphobes scaremonger about “self ID” in Ireland they aren’t just trying to prevent a change in the law at home. They are actively trying to strip trans people here of a legal right they’ve had for years. They are doing so in direct opposition to every established Irish feminist group or campaign, from the most radical to the most establishment, and every lgbt organisation. (They have similarly hostile interactions with the feminist movement in Poland, the other country in Europe where a major feminist mass movement has been a prominent part of the political scene).

As for Lewis, she’s a conventional centrist or “centre left” political commentator, who has rarely to my knowledge said anything that couldn’t be said by thirty other British journalists who reflect the “common sense” of the right wing of the British Labour Party. The most notable thing about her is that her period as an editor at the New Statesman coincided with that magazine working assiduously to give us “the trans debate” as it currently exists across the British media.

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WorldbyStorm - November 29, 2020

“When British transphobes scaremonger about “self ID” in Ireland they aren’t just trying to prevent a change in the law at home. They are actively trying to strip trans people here of a legal right they’ve had for years. ”

Key point. And even if they didn’t succeed in taking away a legal right that has proven remarkably uncontroversial in practice the danger is that there would be a poisoning of the political debate and political space.

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GearóidGaillimh - November 29, 2020

All I’ll say is, if you’re a socialist and you’re on the same side as John McGuirk’s Gript media about something it should at least give you pause as to why.

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13. Alibaba - November 28, 2020

There is a term that describes the move to Level 3: a shit sandwich. Its main ingredient is putting the priority of the economy over health.

That said, the loosening of restrictions over household visits in the festive season is to be welcomed because it brings psychological salve in its train.

But then there are the warnings about “individual responsibility” and “We have to limit contact to a small circle” at all times. Oh yeah? So much for the “individual responsibility” that Seamus Woulfe showed when he refused to resign from his untenable position, compounded by his responses thereafter. So much for the limited contact “to a small circle” that gave Woulfe the job in the Supreme Court in the first place.

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crocodileshoes - November 28, 2020

I’ve heard 3 times on the radio this morning that ‘the big fear is that restrictions will have to be reimposed in the new year’. The big fear in my house is getting a serious illness and dying.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

It’s amazing how the media class seem utterly detached from broader attitudes (at least as exemplified by polling on the subject). Then again I guess that reflects a fairly middle class viewpoint about all this as seen by numerous commentators who seem entirely comfortable with dismissing the reality of matters.

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crocodileshoes - November 28, 2020

And sick people don’t buy advertising.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

+1

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14. CL - November 28, 2020

Bland Fanaticism

-The Irish Times view on Joe Biden’s team: a new wind blows- Nov. 23

“What we may be witnessing [is] the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government”? – Francis Fukuyama, 1992

” a tendency in the Anglo-American sphere that strengthens through much of the 20th century and becomes especially powerful after the end of the Cold War—the tendency to assume that the world has no option but to converge on the superior political and economic models pioneered by the English-speaking nations, the United States and Britain….
the reckless minds in question are little more than cymbalists accompanying the Pentagon’s war marches. ….
we are looking not so much at independent thinkers as an intellectual service class …
the money trail and ideological commitments linking various ruling classes …
The left … poses the biggest challenge to the service class’s new and old members, morally and intellectually, and now, increasingly, politically. Hence the hysterical complaints about cancel culture from deeply embedded members of the old establishment….
Proud Boys of the mind….
Joseph Roth, “What is it that allows European states to go spreading civilization and ethics in foreign parts but not at home?”…
Edward Said was viciously persecuted by the East Coast’s liberal as well as right-wing media and had a reliable refuge only in The Nation…

We now confront everywhere the horrific environmental and political costs of this reckless project of Americanization. ..

Marx was concerned above all with securing spiritual freedom. The doctrinaire aspects of the later Marx can be tedious. What remains perpetually fresh and regenerative in his work is its double inheritance of Christianity and Romanticism, which allows us to acknowledge new realities, such as widespread environmental degradation, and to break out of economistic frameworks that emphasize redistribution without really trying to overthrow oppressive modes of labor…

Biden … is set to disappoint—cruelly. …
Biden is much more closely associated with the discredited old order than Macron and much less suited to be its savior….
The desire for normalcy, essentially a state of affairs in which gross inequities reign behind a veil of sophistication and civility, is what brought us Trump in the first place. The pursuit of normalcy now might bring us Trump 2.0 or a clone more competent and toxic than the original.”
https://www.thenation.com/article/culture/qa-pankaj-mishra-bland-fanatics/

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Starkadder - November 29, 2020

Good article, CL. I share Mishra enthusiasm for Rabindranath Tagore as well (I believe Pearse and Tagore once exchanged letters).

I especially liked the bit where Mishra took down Nikole Hannah-Jones of the 1619 Project for saying that the US Army was “fighting for democracy abroad”. Perhaps NKJ should read Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech again.

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CL - November 30, 2020

Alexander Zevin’s book on The Economist traces the history of liberalism.

A review by Mishra:

“Using The Economist as a proxy for liberalism enables Zevin to sidestep much conceptual muddle about the doctrine. His examination of The Economist’s pronouncements and of the policies of those who heeded them yields, in effect, a study of several liberalisms as they have been widely practiced in the course of a hundred and seventy-five years. The magazine emerges as a force that—thanks to the military, cultural, and economic power of Britain and, later, America—can truly be said to have made the modern world, if not in the way that many liberals would suppose.”
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/11/11/liberalism-according-to-the-economist

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Joe - December 1, 2020

Rabindranath Tagore – there’s a bust of him in Stephen’s Green. If the Tolka is too far north for some CLR denizens, what about a socially distant gathering around Mr Tagore. With a bag of cans maybe.

Liked by 3 people

15. roddy - November 28, 2020

Red C. FG33 SF30 FF12 GRN5 PPB3 LAB3 AON2 IND8

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Paul Culloty - November 28, 2020

To which add SDs on 4%:

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roddy - November 28, 2020

Didnt omit SDs deliberately,They were’nt on the list I saw.

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Paul Culloty - November 28, 2020

Not a bother – just for the sake of completeness! 🙂

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Starkadder - November 28, 2020

Shinners doing well. Looks like they’re settling into the role of main opposition.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

The gloss beginning to come off FG? Been wondering when that would happen. I see that the SBP reports that FF is fourth behind FG/SF and the GP in Dublin, albeit that’d be a less accurate poll. 36%, 30%, 8% and FF at 7%.

Interesting times! 🙂

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rockroots - November 30, 2020

Reading recently about Australian politics and specifically about the Liberal/National coalition. It’s a peculiar set-up, undoubtedly, but there’s two parties in permanent alliance for the best part of a century now. In practice there’s one for urban conservatives and the other for rural conservatives. They’re joined at the hip and broadly similar, yet a formal merger at federal level is resisted by traditionalists and they technically remain separate. It strikes me that, depending on how circumstances play out over the next decade, we could be in the early days of a similar phenomenon here – FG as the urban bit and FF as the rural bit of an alliance, but neither willing to surrender their identity.

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WorldbyStorm - November 30, 2020

I love Australian politics and for precisely the reason you point to. Internal antagonism between the L/N’s is fascinating. But yeah, that’s an interesting thought if they did decide to continue to work together (or more likely found they had to).

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16. Paul Culloty - November 29, 2020

Sinn Féin voters are most reluctant to take the Covid vaccine:

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sonofstan - November 29, 2020

That’s pretty stark. I’ve hearing a fair bit of anti-vax stuff recently.

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WorldbyStorm - November 29, 2020

The corresponding figures for RedC/SBP are 86% FG, 89% FF, IND 72%, GP 78% and SF 68%. Not sure if that’s overall better or worse.

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Fergal - November 29, 2020

Revisionism … all good history needs it, digging up new sources/documents, questioning certain myths… Napoleon – History is but a myth we all agree on
In an Irish context what is the aim of revisionist History?
Nationalist…ultimately see a unified country
Republicans… a unitary Republic etc
Socialists… the primacy of class
What is the endgame for Irish revisionism? And let’s not think academic or professional historians don’t have an opinion…
Is it a return to all the country back in the UK?
A two nation solution forever and ever amen?
???

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EWI - November 29, 2020

What is the endgame for Irish revisionism? And let’s not think academic or professional historians don’t have an opinion…

If you want to reduce it to brass tacks, it’s a profitable career path for conservative or unprincipled individuals (advancement in certain universities, assured success in getting published). There’s a pot-pourri of ex-WP activists and fans of the British empire in there as well, in addition to embittered neo-redmondism and even southern loyalism.

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CL - November 29, 2020

“Revisionism in Irish historiography refers to a historical revisionist tendency and group of historians who are critical of the orthodox view of Irish history since the achievement of partial Irish independence, which comes from the perspective of Irish nationalism. For opponents, Revisionists are regarded as apologists for the British Empire in Ireland, proponents of a form of denialism and even in some cases advocates of neo-unionism, while the Revisionists on the other hand see themselves as positing a progressive cosmopolitan narrative opposed to a “narrowly sectarian” viewpoint.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revisionism_(Ireland)

That ” progressive cosmopolitan narrative” is the liberal world view. Its advocates see the Biden presidency as its restoration after the Trump interruption.
Critics of liberalism, such as Pankaj Mishra see it as ‘bland fanaticism’ and a cover for imperial interventionism.
See Comment 14, above.
Lord Bew, Henry Patterson, Ellen Hazelkorn and others like to see themselves as a sort of ‘left’ tendency in revisionist historiography; they’re probably not too happy with the rise and rise of Sinn Fein

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EWI - November 29, 2020

Historical negationism, also called denialism, is falsification or distortion of the historical record. It should not be conflated with historical revisionism, a broader term that extends to newly evidenced, fairly reasoned academic reinterpretations of history.

In attempting to revise the past, illegitimate historical revisionism may use techniques inadmissible in proper historical discourse, such as presenting known forged documents as genuine, inventing ingenious but implausible reasons for distrusting genuine documents, attributing conclusions to books and sources that report the opposite, manipulating statistical series to support the given point of view, and deliberately mistranslating texts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_negationism

This absolutely describes Hart, and by implication those who used his work and defend it with such vehemence and energy to this day.

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Alibaba - November 30, 2020

When it comes to revisionism, history is constantly being revised and new sources and methodologies do come to light all the time. We need to stay open to them. Historians have a duty to be honest to their sources (Hart wasn’t) and to allow debate. Revisionists tend to steer clear of this. The select circle of hostile exponents are opportunists, dishing out insults with vindictive zeal because it means more readers.

There are people who think – why bother fighting a battle you’ve already won with certain revisionists, say, about Kilmichael Ambush – but falsehoods should never go unchallenged. It’s also worthwhile remembering that revisionism hasn’t gone away, it just reinvents itself in more subtle forms. 

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WorldbyStorm - November 30, 2020

+1 Alibaba.

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EWI - November 30, 2020

There are people who think – why bother fighting a battle you’ve already won with certain revisionists, say, about Kilmichael Ambush – but falsehoods should never go unchallenged. It’s also worthwhile remembering that revisionism hasn’t gone away, it just reinvents itself in more subtle forms.

The new O’Halpin book – a massive undertaking – apparently re-litigates Kilmichael yet again (and Eve Morrison has another coming out next April).

There is a value to learning your lesson, cutting your losses, and this is potentially going to ruin what should have been a crowning achievement in O’Halpin’s career.

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17. CL - November 29, 2020

” The government as chosen explicitly to go against the advice of the advice of its public health experts…..
Its is simply untrue that the years retail spending is bunched around Christmas to any material extent…
The performance of some of the world’s richest countries, including the US and the EU, has been surprisingly weak. Europe has accounted for fully one quarter of the world’s fatalities with 10pc of the world’s population….
Comparable democracies like Australia and S.Korea have done far better as have poorer countries like Vietnam” – Colm McCarthy, Sunday Independent,
https://www.pressreader.com/ireland/sunday-independent-ireland/20201129/282291027794468

And if there’s a ‘third wave’ it will not be caused by inadequate health measures but by individuals acting irresponsibly.

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Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - November 29, 2020

Again, China can not be mentioned. The complete refusal to learn anything from the Chinese response has costs thousands of lives.

Liked by 1 person

18. alanmyler - November 29, 2020

Freddy Engels was 200 yesterday.

Good piece on the ThinkLeft website about him.

http://thinkleft.workersparty.ie/2020/11/29/not-just-that-other-guy-engels-and-the-origin-of-the-family-private-property-and-the-state

Plenty of other articles out there too of course.

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19. CL - November 30, 2020

” Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the ambush at Kilmichael turned the tide of the war against the Black and Tans.

She said: “Until Kilmichael, there was a sense of invincibility around the forces of the Crown in Ireland. The Rising of 1916 had been suppressed – its leaders executed, and volunteers imprisoned. The British occupied the country. The great and the good told the people there was no other way.
“But the IRA volunteers who gathered at Kilmichael were not deterred by any of that. They were not motivated by personal gain. They were not in awe of the great and the good. They were motivated purely by the noble cause of a free and equal Ireland as envisaged by the Proclamation of Easter Week. They set out in defence of the Republic.”
She added: “Jim O’Sullivan, Michael McCarthy, and Pat Deasy laid down their lives for Irish freedom. It is important that we not only honour their memory but that we honour it in the right way. By working for a united Ireland and for the realisation of a real republic.
“One hundred years later, we remember the sacrifices of those volunteers, but we live by their principles and we recommit ourselves to building the Ireland they fought to achieve.”
https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/Pictures-Kilmichael-Ambush-centenary-commemorated–a1d5fd1c-32aa-4777-9802-0a20af009b45-ds

“SINN Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said the IRA’s campaign was “justified” and there is “every chance” she would have taken up arms during the Troubles.
Ms McDonald also defended her attendance at events commemorating those involved in IRA violence.
“I wish it hadn’t happened, but it was a justified campaign,” she told the Sunday Independent.
“It was inevitable; it was utterly inevitable and anybody with even a passing sense of Irish history could have predicted it surely as night followed day.”…
Ms McDonald defended attending events commemorating former IRA members, saying it was “essential to remember”.
https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2020/05/25/news/ira-campaign-was-justified-says-sinn-fe-in-s-mary-lou-mcdonald-1950719/

“Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he was “shocked and dismayed” to learn of Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley’s tweet celebrating two historical IRA attacks on the British army, saying it was “deeply, deeply offensive”.
https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2020/1130/1181356-brian-stanley-tweet/

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CL - December 2, 2020

” Should we even be surprised that Stanley articulated such a view online? Even allowing for the real possibility that he deputes his online profile to party activists, his utterance is entirely consistent with the Provos’ general strategy to speak to their political base in a manner distressingly similar to Donald Trump talking up Charlottesville and the Michigan militias…..
Sinn Féin is a tightly controlled political machine. Its elected members take direction through party political cadres from a small elite centred on Belfast.
It doesn’t care about polarising northern politics. It doesn’t care about reconciling orange and green. It isn’t republican at all. It is green, nationalist, socialist – an echo of Weimar.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/michael-mcdowell-time-to-wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee-over-sinn-f%C3%A9in-1.4424793

” Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley has apologised for any offence caused by what he said was the “insensitive nature” of a tweet he posted over the weekend….
“What I was attempting to do was to highlight that, following the disastrous decision to partition the country almost 100 years ago in the wake of events such as Kilmichael, that we still had conflict that went on for a long time and a lot of suffering took place.”
https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2020/1202/1181808-brian-stanley-tweet/

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WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2020

Thought MMS piece there was very lacking in any historical nuance. Stanley’s tweet was far from great but he’s a good and sincere person IMO having met him quite a few times and while an error there’s a bit of a pile on in this.

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banjoagbeanjoe - December 3, 2020

The whole thing is mystifying – the reaction, everything.
SFer believes that Narrow Water and Kilmichael were pretty much the same thing. SFer believes they were both great victories. Shock! Horror! SFers believe that? Who knew?

So, like, everyone knows they believe that but everyone is horrified when they say it. And even Mary Lou and the SF party raps the man on the knuckles – you’re allowed to believe that, sure we all do, but don’t say it.

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20. GearóidGaillimh - December 1, 2020

An American Nazi publisher that recently produced an edition of Patrick Pearse’s writings (mangling his name as Pádraic Pearce) has another title claiming that ‘transgenderism’ originated in ‘Jewish circles’ in order to ‘provoke moral chaos in European host societies’. https://twitter.com/herong/status/1333456751799230469

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21. CL - December 1, 2020

The Military-Industrial-Biden Complex.

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22. Tomboktu - December 3, 2020

I hope the public sector pay talks see the back of the provision where some people not merely do not get overtime for the first period of overtime, but the don’t get paid for it at all.

(It’s a breach of European human rights law, if they’re looking for a reason to insist.)

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