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What you want to say – 20 January 2021 January 20, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.


1. crocodileshoes - January 20, 2021

I don’t have a kid with additional educational needs, nor am I a teacher myself, but a morning spent listening to politicians and teachers slugging it out over the airwaves, listening to audience texts and reading BTL comments has really made me wonder about people’s attitudes to teachers.
Teachers and SNEs are accused of sloth, greed, selfishness, bad faith. In the name of all that’s holy, who ever went into special education as a career…long training, draining work, awful pay .. for selfish reasons?
The kind of commentator who always refers to the ‘teaching unions’ as if they were unrepresentative radicals, a self-serving tail wagging the decent dog of a well-intentioned profession, must think again when they hear the INTO leadership saying that they were minded to return to work until a deluge of protest from terrified rank and file members made them think again. Forsa reckon 99% of their SNA membership were afraid to go back.
There’s no shortage, though, of people on sofas prepared to excoriate those who are unwilling to put themselves and their families in danger, in a job that allows no social distancing.
An SEN teacher or assistant is, to me, the very definition of a selfless professional. To see and hear them get the abuse they’re getting from politicians, media, texters to radio programmes…I just don’t understand it.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 20, 2021

Completely agree. There’s also basic logistical aspects to this. Put aside for a moment the rates of community transmission, but consider what happens if a teacher or SNA does catch it. That means – and I’ve seen this first hand from a local N.S. I’m involved in – that the class has to go home because it’s impossible most f the time to get subs and/or the numbers in the class with C-19 are too high for the class to continue in school. So everyone is right back where they were but now with kids and teacher/SNA down and in quarantine/isolation for two weeks. It’s no way to run a railroad.

My heart goes out to those with children who need the special additional supports, and to those children but there’s a sort of obtuseness about much of the complaints (and a general ignorance that within that community there’s a division that has emerged between those families with children who don’t have underlying health issues that make any participation really very dangerous and those who do). I don’t say this lightly, but to me to get back to a position of low community transmission would be the key thing so that those children can be accommodated as quickly as possible (there’s other things that could be done – for example, eating into the Summer holidays as well if necessary). But the unions are absolutely correct – in a context where every interaction should be reduced according to public health authorities because it is so dangerous at the moment to be demanding some teachers and SNAs go in seems almost perverse.

BTW, I have no connection to NS or secondary teachers (I do to F.E. teaching though) – though my creature is still in NS and I wish she was back there for her own good, but what can one do?


2. CL - January 21, 2021

” The Brexit terms keep Northern Ireland inside the EU customs union and single market for goods, weakening its legal and commercial ties to the UK …
While ruling out an early push for reunification, the Irish Republic is playing a long game. The taoiseach, Micheál Martin, has created a Shared Island initiative, with €500m for cross-border projects. Dublin also took on the cost of keeping Northern Irish students in the EU’s Erasmus university exchange scheme, another tie to the youth of the North. The strategy is plain: polls show higher support for unification among younger voters. Meanwhile, gentrification is loosening the unionists’ grip on old strongholds. One observer highlights the coffee shops springing up in the now-marginal seat of east Belfast….

The strategic judgments of the province’s largest party have been among the most consistently witless in recent politics. One Tory MP fumes: “The DUP have done more damage to the Union than the IRA, Sinn Féin and all the nationalist forces combined.”
The DUP backed Brexit but opposed every manifestation of it. There was no deal (including no-deal) that it would support…..
In recent days, it has bellowed betrayal over the new customs burdens, demanding the suspension of the protocol governing these…

With its vote share down 5 per cent at the last election and younger voters going to the nonsectarian Alliance party, the DUP is focused on squeezing the vote of the smaller Ulster Unionist party and stopping nationalist Sinn Féin from emerging as the largest party in the 2022 Stormont elections…..
Although the long term drift is towards reunification, a hybrid state could last longer than many imagine. But this demands a shrewd unionist leadership.”


3. CL - January 21, 2021

“Joe Biden took the oath of office today and is now the 46th president of the United States, which means the apocalypse that Trump-supporting QAnon cult predicted would prevent him from doing so failed to happen…
Biden’s inauguration has left Trump supporters and members of the QAnon cult confused and angry, as the “new world order” they predicted would be ushered in failed to appear.”

-Festinger and his collaborators …studied a small apocalyptic cult…
The team observed the group firsthand for months before and after the predicted apocalypse…..
When doomsday came and went…rather than abandoning their discredited beliefs, group members adhered to them even more strongly and began proselytizing with fervor…
Festinger … described the increased conviction and proselytizing by cult members after disconfirmation as a specific instantiation of cognitive dissonance.-

Liked by 1 person

4. Paul Culloty - January 21, 2021

Any idea what the new PBP logo is meant to symbolise?

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - January 21, 2021

The initials on their side?


Liberius - January 21, 2021

From top to bottom: P, sideways B, P arraigned in the form of a triangular flag which presumably evokes the red flag emoji 🚩used by socialists to identify themselves. It’s coloured white presumably because they wanted a minimum of colour (the “modern” look) but wanted the fuscia colour to be primary rather than secondary. Looks like they are setting themselves up on the side of the whites v the reds though…

Call me retro but what’s wrong with stars and hammers?

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - January 21, 2021

Stars I like.

BTW does this signal RISE joining them in full or something like that? Anyone know?


GearóidGaillimh - January 21, 2021

Not yet WBS.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 21, 2021

Ah okay, cheers Gearóid.


Paul Moloney - January 23, 2021

Bra cups?


5. sonofstan - January 23, 2021

Alexei Sayle has a podcast:

I like this as a summary of the labour left:

‘They were propelled into being on the left because of a belief in the goodness of human beings, and that’s a fucking terrible mistake to make’

Liked by 2 people

Daniel Rayner O'Connor - January 24, 2021

Of course, I am long gone from the Labour left, but I can say, with my hand on my heart (the other one is typing) that even when I was there I did not believe in the goodness of human beings. My faith has been in what was, I understand William Morris’ aphorism (albeit corrected for gender purposes) ‘no man is good enough to be another man’s master>’

Liked by 2 people

roddy - January 24, 2021

William still had time for the odd “aphorism” while churning out Minor 1000s,Mini minors ,Morris 1100s,Marinas and Nuffield tractors?


Daniel Rayner O'Connor - January 24, 2021

Wrong William Morris, Roddy, but I think you knew that.

Liked by 1 person

roddy - January 25, 2021

What?!!.You’ll be telling me next that J Edgar did’nt invent the vacuum cleaner?

Liked by 1 person

Daniel Rayner O'Connor - January 25, 2021

Not only that, Roddy, but Herbert didn’t either.

Liked by 1 person

6. Tomboktu - January 24, 2021

Liked by 1 person

7. Starkadder - January 25, 2021

Walter Bernstein, US left-wing screenwriter who was blacklisted in the 1950s, passed away a few days ago. His screen work included “Yanks”, “The House on Carroll Street”, and “Semi-Tough”.


Liked by 1 person

8. Paul Culloty - January 25, 2021

Cllr Peter Kavanagh, who was one of the Greens’ highest profile representatives on social media, has left the party with immediate effect – certainly, he can hardly be accused of being a “Fundi” , unlike some previous departees:

Liked by 2 people

9. sonofstan - January 25, 2021

This amused me.
From George Legg’s Northern Ireland and the Politics of Boredom, an anonymous working class Prod in Glengormley:

It’s not really about Protestants and Catholics, it’s to do with us being poor. But whenever you try to challenge the middle-class Protestants, it was ‘get down, youse are all anarchists, youse are all gay, youse are all dope-smokers’. In fact, if we had started talking to Catholics, seriously talking, and we started doing something together, the powers that be would have been really frightened. They would have created a body to prevent community relations in that situation!

Liked by 1 person

Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - January 25, 2021

An interesting a quite common view. Sure didn’t they start numerous bodies to stop community relations from the OO to the UVF to the Provos and intend the Catholic School system.

Liked by 1 person

10. tomasoflatharta - January 26, 2021

Events have moved on since this pamphlet appeared. Many sections of the 1980’s Irish left, primarily from social-democratic and Stalinist streams, opposed the mass movement in favour of political status for prisoners of war locked up in the H-Blocks and Armagh Jail. People’s Democracy and Bernadette McAliskey, by contrast, advocated a polar opposite policy. https://irishelectionliterature.com/2016/06/06/make-h-block-the-issue-vincent-doherty-peoples-democracy-1981-general-election-dublin-north-central/

The long-term Socialists Against Nationalism (SAN) objective, deletion of Articles 2 and 3 from the Irish Constitution, was successfully achieved in a 1998 referendum on both sides of the Irish border. 21st Century Sinn Féin promotes power-sharing with the DUP. No legal end to the partition of Ireland is possible unless a majority of voters in the state called Northern Ireland vote for it. Now, as we enter the 2020’s, the partition of Ireland emerges again as a reactionary millstone crushing the neck of the Irish working class. Details tell us a lot : If we are to achieve an effective victory over a deadly virus, we need an effective all-Ireland Zero-CoVid policy – the Stormont Government is an obstacle. It was the same over abortion, when Westminster imposed a progressive policy while Stormont was suspended. The wheel of history is turning again https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2021/01/26/h-block-and-sectarian-civil-war-socialists-against-nationalism-a-short-read-from-1981/


11. CL - January 26, 2021

” “Use code ‘Rudy’ — that’s me — and sign up for 30 free days of protection,” Giuliani said, before resuming a diatribe about an international communist vote-stealing plot….
Giuliani’s conspiracy-theory infomercials stand at the center of an extraordinary defamation lawsuit filed Monday by Dominion Voting Systems, which is seeking more than $1.3 billion in damages from him for what its attorneys said were “demonstrably false allegations” that led company employees to endure months of harassment and death threats….
Giuliani “cashed in by hosting a podcast where he exploited election falsehoods to market gold coins, supplements, cigars, and protection from ‘cyber thieves.’ ”…
Giuliani has promoted OmegaXL, a non-FDA-approved supplement he pledged could help manage “painful, achy joints,” saying on YouTube, “There’s nothing like it.”

” During Monday’s edition of Giuliani’s Chat with the Mayor program on WABC, Giuliani scoffed at the billion-dollar lawsuit….
“What do you think I am, some kind of jackass?” Giuliani asked. “That’s intended to frighten me, you want to frighten me. You want to scare me, like you have some of these companies and stations that have gone ahead and kissed your you-know-what. Because they’re afraid of you.”
“Well, I tell you I’m a crazy guy, I really am, I’m just really crazy,” Giuliani continued. “So not only haven’t you scared me, you’ve actually given me something that I couldn’t get through the censorship that’s been set up so nobody can see your machines.”


12. tomasoflatharta - January 26, 2021

Irish Action – German Action – European Action – ZeroCoVid is the way forward.

Promote the Call
The CoVid-19 virus does not recognise borders. Sign Circulate and Promote the Zero CoVid Call :

The appeal says: “We need a common strategy in Europe immediately to fight the pandemic effectively. Vaccinations alone will not win the race against the mutated viral variant – even more so if the pandemic fight continues to consist of actionist restrictions on free time without a shutdown of the economy.” Similar initiatives emerged a few weeks ago in other countries, notably the UK and Ireland, see for example Zero Covid The Campagain to Beat the Pandemic or the article “Covid is a Class Issue”.


Paul Murphy is a RISE TD for Dublin South-West, part of the Solidarity – People Before Profit grouping in the Dáil. See below, one of many articles written and promoted by Paul Murphy promoting a Zero CoVid policy for Ireland and further afield.


13. rockroots - January 26, 2021

Simple but effective – how about a version for TDs:

Liked by 1 person

banjoagbeanjoe - January 26, 2021

Good fun. Click the random button. I learned a new name, Lockhart the DUP MP for somewhere, who apparently is not. Which is surprising. The SF TDs aren’t either but as the site says, it’s difficult to say for sure. Another surprise was the first SNP one who came up as being one. The next SNPer that came up is not – there’s cross-class nationalist alliances for you. And then in general, Cons are and Labs aren’t.

Liked by 1 person

Liberius - January 26, 2021

Margaret Ferrier is not a prick

Margaret Ferrier is the Independent MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

The methodology might be somewhat flawed, that’s the former SNP MP arrested by the Scottish Police for breaching the Covid-19 rules.


Liked by 1 person

Colm B - January 26, 2021

Except it tells me Keir Starmer is not a prick, and I can’t think of a prickier prick than Keir Starmer (except maybe Boris but I think Boris knows he’s a prick but Keir thinks he’s a very reasonable chap and clever to boot.) 😁

Liked by 1 person

14. Tomboktu - January 26, 2021

A location-specific question:

Has anybody in Ireland bought a book online since the Brexit rules kicked in?

The grand-nephew was much taken with the Dr Seuss that I got him for Christmas and was delighted to be told that the pictures inside the back cover were other books like that. His preferred next one (for his 3rd birthday in February) is out of stock at Eason’s and at O’Mahony’s (Limerick). In the past, I would have then gone to alibris.co.uk, but am wary of doing that until I hear how Brexit has treated other book buyers here.


rockroots - January 26, 2021

I don’t know about books, but the shelves in the local supermarket are getting noticeably bare this last week or two. And having praised the new range of fake-meat products available there only just before Christmas, it’s concerning to see them all now out of stock. Hopefully just Brexit teething problems.

Liked by 1 person

alanmyler - January 26, 2021

Yes I have. I bought a book about Simone De Beauvoir from World Of Books I think it was, and it arrived yesterday from GB with the customs declaration from on the package. It was less than a tenner so no duty or vat or whatever. I think I read the limit is 22€ but might be wrong about that.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 26, 2021

22euro indeed. One thing, some suppliers are clear they’ll add the extra charges duty etc in in the price so it’s not a complete catastrophe. But more expensive.

Liked by 2 people

15. tomasoflatharta - January 26, 2021


For a long time, People Before Profit and RISE were alone in the Dáil in pushing the Zero Covid agenda.

We published detailed policy documents and articles and called for it repeatedly while the government dismissed it in the same breath as the disastrous ‘herd immunity’ strategy.The fact that the Social Democrats have now come on board with Zero Covid is very welcome. Even Sinn Féin, which has gone along with the government every time they departed from NPHET advice, has now said that they support many of the measures contained in the Zero Covid policy.

It is an indication of the shifting moods in society. People are absolutely fed up with the strategy of rolling lockdowns and want an alternative. If trade unions and opposition parties support a Zero Covid plan, massive pressure can be brought to bear on the government to implement it. https://www.thejournal.ie/readme/zero-covid-strategy-5331482-Jan2021/

STATEMENT BY ISO GERMANY. https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7012

This Statement was issued by the Secretariat of the Internationale Sozialistische Organisation (ISO), German section of the Fourth International on 21 January 2021.

News and Analysis from the Fourth International
We support the #ZeroCovid call and ask all comrades and all colleagues to sign it. It demands an immediate U-turn in the Corona policy of the federal and state governments, away from merely flattening the curve of infections to ending the pandemic.

The appeal says: “We need a common strategy in Europe immediately to fight the pandemic effectively. Vaccinations alone will not win the race against the mutated viral variant – even more so if the pandemic fight continues to consist of actionist restrictions on free time without a shutdown of the economy.” Similar initiatives emerged a few weeks ago in other countries, notably the UK and Ireland, see for example Zero Covid The Campagain to Beat the Pandemic or the article “Covid is a Class Issue”.

Liked by 1 person

16. Liberius - January 26, 2021

Sweden is seeking clarity on the number of doses it has been billed for after Pfizer charged for six doses in each vial rather than the agreed upon five doses, the newspaper said.

Sweden now wants the EU Commission and Pfizer to reach an agreement on how many doses there are in each vial, it added. “Until then, we have told the company that we must wait with the invoices that are available until we get clarity on what applies,” Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told Dagens Nyheter.

Pfizer Sweden declined to comment to Reuters on the report but told Dagens Nyheter it had charged for six doses per vial.

Schrödinger’s doses, both there and not there at the same time…



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