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What you want to say – 2 December 2020 December 2, 2020

Posted by guestposter 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 - December 2, 2020

Back to Normalcy.

President-elect Biden has chosen Brian Deese as his top economic adviser. Deese will be the director of the National Economic Council

Deese works for BlackRock the world’s largest asset management corporation, and has held positions in the Obama administration and a number of think tanks.

“Deese endorsed the significant rise in fossil fuel production under Obama, and defended continuing oil drilling in Alaska and fracking on public land….
Activists have spent years trying to get BlackRock to divest from fossil fuel companies and other climate polluters, and it was Deese’s job to counteract them…..
Deese controlled BlackRock’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment strategy, an in-vogue designation that makes financiers feel good about their contributions to the world. In this position, Deese made mostly empty promises to environmentalists about BlackRock’s goals, which withered upon close inspection….

As an adviser to Obama and to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, ‘Deese endorsed deficit reduction and “fiscal discipline”
https://prospect.org/cabinet-watch/blackrock-executive-brian-deese-could-get-major-white-house-position/

“BlackRock is still the largest investor in both new coal plant development and existing coal reserves worldwide. Coal is the biggest global cause of climate pollution”
https://www.blackrocksbigproblem.com/

Deese ” has a demonstrated track record of furthering dangerously concentrated private financial power, supporting anti-factual austerity policies, tolerating and abetting climate change, and generally refusing to stand up to powerful interests when the situation demands it.”
https://therevolvingdoorproject.org/brian-deeses-policy-record-hurt-the-most-vulnerable/

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CL - December 2, 2020

” Progressives have been able to live with most of Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks.
But to many of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ staunchest supporters, Biden’s decision to tap Hillary Clinton loyalist Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget is just too much — the equivalent of rubbing salt in the wound.
To former Sanders staffers and allies, Tanden is one of the Democratic elites who helped sink his 2016 campaign behind the scenes, not to mention a union-buster, a threat to Social Security, a hippie-puncher who constantly picks fights with the left, and much more.”
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/30/bernie-supporters-seethes-neera-tanden-441603

Neera Tanden is the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress

“Though it is quick to emphasize that corporate donations constitute only a small part of its funding, in 2013 alone CAP received support from Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola, Citigroup, the American Beverage Association, Comcast, BlueCross BlueShield, weapons manufacturer Northrop Grumman, and Walmart. The government of the United Arab Emirates (which regularly carries out forced disappearances and torture) has given over $500,000…..
CAP donated $200,000 last year to the American Enterprise Institute. The AEI is a right-wing free-market think tank perhaps best known as the longtime home of racist social scientist Charles Murray.”
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/12/why-is-the-center-for-american-progress-betraying-the-left

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2. jc - December 2, 2020

Is there something going on in the CPI? Anyone know the details?

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3. tomasoflatharta - December 2, 2020

I have seen a post about a split involving the Communist Party of Ireland and the Connolly Youth Movement. Does anyone know if the story is true or false, and if any written statements are in the public domain?

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stephengrimm - December 2, 2020

Would you mind linking the post about the split?

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tomasoflatharta - December 2, 2020

Hello Stephen; as things stand the CYM GS Alex KH says there is no split, so nothing to see here. I suggest we take his word for it, unless contradictory evidence emerges.

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4. Gearóid Clár - December 2, 2020

Disappointing, but not surprising, to see the Irish Times’ Opinion webpage this morning. While there are two op-ed pieces on Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley tweet re Warrenpoint/Kilmichael, there is silence on the British reneging on the public inquiry into the shooting of Pat Finucane.

Similarly, the paper have used their Editorial piece to discuss Brazil, Argentina, Iran and Thailand in recent days, but nothing on this. There is surely a way to register disapproval of British backtracking here without – as they may fear – providing succour to republicans.

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CL - December 2, 2020

” Yet the significance of Pat Finucane’s case is that it has never been just about an individual, or his family. It is controversial precisely because it is symptomatic of wider questions that remain as yet unanswered – how the rule of law was and is implemented in Northern Ireland, how far up the chain of command collusion went, and how to address the ghosts of the North’s past, which continue to haunt its future.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/pat-finucane-s-murder-goes-right-to-the-dark-heart-of-the-troubles-1.4423946

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Gearóid Clár - December 2, 2020

Thanks, CL, I’m glad to see there is coverage and take back what I wote.

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5. GearóidGaillimh - December 2, 2020

I don’t think there’s anything in the public domain about the CPI/CYM stuff yet, just social media chatter at this stage.

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Joe - December 2, 2020

Does the social media chatter say what the split (if there is one) is about?
First the WP splits into two WPs. And now this.
How can a stalinist stand such times and live?

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Enzo - December 2, 2020

2020 is really the year that everything changed.

Not a trot split in sight 😉

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GearóidGaillimh - December 2, 2020

Apparently some CYM members were expelled from CPI. Why I’m not sure exactly, though no doubt all shall be revealed.

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WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2020

I wonder why? Certainly the CYM was pretty energetic as far as could be judged. Interesting.

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pettyburgess - December 2, 2020

I’ve no inside information, but the energetic approach of the CYM may have been part of the issue. It seems politically and culturally very different from the CPI, more energetic, more abrasive, louder, much more prone to Stalin did nothing wrong edgelord posturing. The CPI on the other hand, as a small party with relatively large assets by the standards of small parties, may be very wary of anyone who appears to be trying to repurpose the party’s brand or assets for an altered political project. This is just guess work though.

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WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2020

I’d noticed some of what you describe 🙂 too energetic by half!

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banjoagbeanjoe - December 2, 2020

Interesting guesswork. Similar to similar (!) guesswork around what went on in the WP(s).

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alanmyler - December 2, 2020

I’d imagine young Lenin in the CYM is probably a bit of a head wreck, he was bound to rub people up the wrong way eventually. I’m assuming he’s behind the split, but I could be completely off the mark with that.

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6. tomasoflatharta - December 2, 2020

On the Irish Republican Education FB forum a correspondent called Alex KH says there is no CPI/CYM split – we are advised ““Craig left the CYM months ago and joined the IRSP.
There is no split. Twitter rumours being spread by Trots are just that. (Y)”. Is Alex KH a reliable correspondent who writes accurate stories?

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eoghan - December 2, 2020

Alex KH sounds like it could be Alex K Homits, CYM general secretary. So he would definitely know if anything that’s happened whether he’s trying downplay it or not is another question. Had actually seen someone say on twitter that he was one of the one’s expelled, but it’s possible that it’s just a rumour that’s snowballed.

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tomasoflatharta - December 2, 2020

Thanks Eoghan; we will have to wait and see.

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7. sonofstan - December 2, 2020

Just seeing a job ad for a short term research post here, starting in January, that specifies ‘UK citizens only’. The research team apologise for this but say it’s a condition set by the funders. Who would presumably point the finger at the government. Shit getting real.

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WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2020

Bloody hell. Said this was a reactionary move, sorry to be proven right

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sonofstan - December 3, 2020

You can see why the research team would have to this, and, knowing one of them, I’m sure he’s not happy about it (ironically one of the other researchers is Chinese, but has been in the UK for a long time). From Jan 1, there is no automatic right to work in this country for EU citizens, so, first you’s need to be hired and then go through the application process with the HO.
Interesting ambiguity with regard to Irish citizens though: we do have the same right to work here we always had, but it’s not necessarily the case that employers will know that.

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Michael Carley - December 3, 2020

Getting my employer to recognise the particular immigration status of Irish citizens was a little win.

Even getting them to understand that an Irish citizen might be in England lawfully and not hold a passport was hard.

Now to explain the GFA.

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sonofstan - December 3, 2020

Someone I know found themselves explaining Brexit and the hard border to their dentist recently – mouth open and under anaesthetic.

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Michael Carley - December 3, 2020

Took all the pleasure out of the proceedings.

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Joe - December 3, 2020

My missus was at the dentists in Aberystwyth in Wales in 1993. Dentist and dental nurse and the missus got to talk about Ireland and whether it would be a nice place to visit. Lovely local Welsh dentist says: “I was thinking of going to Dublin from Holyhead but I’d be afraid they’d shoot me on the boat”.

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sonofstan - December 3, 2020

On the opposite tip, was having a blood sample taken last year sometime and the nurse asked how well I knew Cork and was I familiar with the name Terence MacSwiney. Turns out she was married to a Corkman, a distant relative of the bould T. and, though pure Yorkshire herself, had imbibed enough of the Leeside manner to ‘not like Dublin very much’ – and to tell me that.

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Michael Carley - December 3, 2020

Cork humility meets Yorkshire modesty …

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - December 3, 2020

Cork and York – a letter apart.
Jon Langford thinks Yorkshire is the English Texas. Fits Cork as well….

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8. Tomboktu - December 3, 2020

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9. 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.)

(This is a repeat comment because I put it in the wrong “What you…” thread last night.)

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EWI - December 3, 2020

Heard a new surprise about the continued working of Croke Park the other day – apparently any scope for a pay decrease while changing types of jobs in the public sector, and you’re now a New Entrant because not technically a ‘promotion’ and ergo hit hard. Fellow I heard about would have been down about €20k if he took the new job. Union hasn’t fought it.

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10. alanmyler - December 3, 2020

Looks like a good initiative:

“New anti-fascist alliance to stand ‘Le Chéile’ against rise of far-right in Ireland”

https://jrnl.ie/5287724

Anyone here involved?

Liked by 1 person

11. EWI - December 3, 2020

The 2020 Defence Forces Review is out today, and could well be seen as representing the real position of senior elements within the Army (who have also endorsed the ‘Slándáil’ business and signally failed to rein in various sock-puppet pro-NATO social media entities set up by serving DF officers):

Click to access review-2020.pdf

Searching for the term ‘neutrality’ within the document is illuminating.

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12. CL - December 4, 2020

” Four hundred and one left-leaning politicians across 34 countries in Europe, South and North America and Asia have signed an open letter addressed to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, warning that the e-commerce giant’s “days of impunity are over.”….
The politicians pledge to support the “Make Amazon Pay” movement in their national political institutions.”
https://www.politico.eu/article/politicians-take-aim-at-amazon-jeff-bezos-in-protest-letter/

A number of Irish politicians have signed the letter.
https://makeamazonpay.com/open-letter.html

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13. sonofstan - December 6, 2020

Reading Tom Hazeldine’s impressive longue duree account of the north south divide in England, The Northern Question. Something that emerges, and you wouldn’t guess from all the excitement at the collapse of the ‘red wall’ is that there has always been Tory seats inthe north, often substantial numbers of them. What has changed is where those seats are: hard to now to think of Leeds NE voting for Keith Joseph, or there being 5 tory MPs in Liverpool as late as the 1950s (although there was a sectarian element in that vote). But even seats in mining areas of the NE have returned Tories before now.
He has a nice phrase about Ramsey MacDonald: ‘one of those recurring Labout figures for whom socialism mean whatever he is thinking at the moment’

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sonofstan - December 6, 2020

This is also good: ‘for a lot of people it was a vote against London, “them down there”, explained Clegg, who represented Sheffield Hallam while living in Putney’

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14. Paul Culloty - December 6, 2020

A breakthrough on fishing – no details on quotas yet, but the time limit of 7 years certainly counts as a win for the EU:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/dec/06/major-breakthrough-on-fishing-rights-brings-brexit-deal-closer

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15. CL - December 7, 2020

” President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani repeatedly coughed throughout a Monday interview with Fox News as he attacked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for urging Americans to listen to scientific experts and wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.” -Oct 6

” Giuliani told Bloomberg TV that while he has not tested positive for the virus, his doctor prescribed hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure. Giuliani, who called his doctor “a genius,” also said he’s taking zinc.” – Oct 7

” Rudy Giuliani, who just tested positive for COVID, is now at Georgetown University Medical Center.” – Dec 6

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16. Starkadder - December 7, 2020

Excellent if distressing piece on our shameful direct provision system:

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/12/direct-provision-centers-refugees-ireland-asylum-seekers

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CL - December 7, 2020

” Ireland is committed to having human rights both at the heart of both our national and foreign policy….
In 2017 the Irish Government approved the National Plan to implement the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Ireland is only one of 21 countries to have prepared such a Plan. The Plan aims to promote responsible business practices at home and overseas by all Irish business enterprises ”
https://www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/international-priorities/human-rights/human-rights-in-ireland/

“Prolonged persecution has become the raison d’être of DP, a system which prioritizes bottom lines for a handful of private companies over legal obligations”- Jacobin

” The Government has been warned of possible “inhuman treatment” after a naked prisoner, confined to a cell covered in faeces and urine, was found by a European torture watchdog during an inspection.
The Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture said they came across the naked prisoner and another distressed inmate in a visit to the D2 wing of Cloverhill Prison in September 2019.
“When the CPT’s delegation met one of the men, he was lying naked in his cell, with the cell smeared with faeces and puddles of urine on the floor.
“There were no blankets in the cell and his poncho [given instead of clothes] lying next to him was soaked in urine.”
https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40088120.html

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17. Paul Culloty - December 7, 2020

An intriguing opinion poll finding on party preferences and climate change:

https://twitter.com/NextIrishGE/status/133591963990642278

Would have thought SDs were closer in terms of demographics to the Greens than Sol-PBP, though both seem well-positioned to capitalise electorally in Dublin.

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Paul Culloty - December 7, 2020

Broken link, so fixed here:

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WorldbyStorm - December 7, 2020

Wow, look at that LP figure. But none of them shine after the first three.

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Paul Culloty - December 7, 2020

TBF, the parties were also asked about Covid and Brexit.

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WorldbyStorm - December 7, 2020

Fair point!

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18. Paul Culloty - December 7, 2020

Water capitalism begins on Wall Street:

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WorldbyStorm - December 7, 2020

😦

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19. CL - December 7, 2020

“The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in
the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western
liberalism. In the past decade, there have been unmistakable changes in the intellectual climate of the world’s two largest communist countries, and the beginnings of significant reform movements in both. But this phenomenon extends beyond high politics and it can be seen also in the ineluctable spread of consumerist Western culture in such diverse contexts as the peasants’ markets and color television sets now omnipresent throughout China, the cooperative restaurants and clothing stores opened in the past year in Moscow, the Beethoven piped into Japanese department stores, and the rock music
enjoyed alike in Prague, Rangoon, and Tehran.

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the
passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history
as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and
the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government….

Nationalism has been a threat to liberalism historically in
Germany, and continues to be one in isolated parts of “post-historical”
Europe like Northern Ireland.” – Francis Fukuyama, 1989.
(Deputy director of the State Department’s policy planning staff and former analyst at the RAND Corporation)

Click to access ref1-22june06.pdf

“RAND became a key institutional building block of the Cold War American empire. As the premier think tank for the U.S.’s role as hegemon of the Western world, RAND was instrumental in giving that empire the militaristic cast it retains to this day and in hugely enlarging official demands for atomic bombs, nuclear submarines, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and long-range bombers. Without RAND, our military-industrial complex, as well as our democracy, would look quite different.”
https://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174925/chalmers_johnson_teaching_imperialism_101

” Today, liberalism’s global triumph is in question. During the Cold War, the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr warned liberals like Fukuyama of the dangers of hubris. ‘Among the lesser culprits of history,’ he wrote, after condemning fascists and communists, ‘are the bland fanatics of western civilisation who regard the highly contingent achievements of our culture as the final form and norm of human existence.’
The Indian essayist Pankaj Mishra, whose new collection of essays Bland Fanatics: Liberals, the West, and the Afterlives of Empire draws its title from Niebuhr, has spent two decades questioning the ‘contingent achievements’ of liberalism and warning of its bloody underside. The crisis of the liberal order has not come as a surprise to him and these essays, each one a rebuke of what he has called ‘western triumphalism’, are signposts from the past ten years pointing to the current disorder.”
http://review31.co.uk/article/view/705/debunking-liberalism

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20. CL - December 7, 2020

I should probably have stuck this under ‘Revisionism’

A certain teleological tendency can be detected in the revisionists’ historiographical pro-imperial offensive; Ireland’s advance to maturity and modernity being impeded by atavistic nationalism and revanchist republicanism.

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21. CL - December 7, 2020

In more recent good news…

” Where President Donald Trump decides to spend the final weeks of his presidency has become a matter of internal speculation as aides wonder whether he’ll leave the White House for the holidays — and never return.” – CNN.

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22. gypsybhoy69 - December 13, 2020

Only reading this much later but I couldn’t help but think when looking at the CP/CYM comments, that I should soundtrack my thoughts on this with Pink Floyd’s – Careful with that axe Eugene!

Liked by 1 person

23. Connolly Youth Movement Disaffiliates from the Communist Party of Ireland | Tomás Ó Flatharta - January 18, 2021

[…] Rumours about sharp disagreements between the Connolly Youth Movement (CYM) and the Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) circulated publicly on various platforms, notably the Cedar Lounge Revolution. https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2020/12/02/what-you-want-to-say-2-december-2020/ […]

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Alibaba - January 18, 2021

Fair dues to CYM for putting out a public statement on its disaffiliation from CPI. If those accusations are true, it bodes very badly. The suggestion that CYM inherits a tendency to a “fundamentally left-sectarian approach” and “self-imposed isolation from a significant section of the socialist left” does them no favours. That said, I will hesitate to cast any slurs until I read CPI/CYM responses, if any, in due course.

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