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What you want to say – 17 February 2021 February 17, 2021

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. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 17, 2021

We should not countenance lifting lockdowns until the figures are right down – to a 7-day incidence of 10 or under.

Poland and Czechia both lifted some restrictions on foot of a slight downturn, are now swamped with the British B117 variant and Czechia in particular is facing a desperate situation in their hospitals.

There’a a good chance that come the end of June 40% of the most vulnerable population could have a full course of vaccination complete, and the would be the time to experiment. Not now.

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2. CL - February 17, 2021

” Photographs of Mrs Robinson with Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum were released by her family on Christmas Eve to rebut what they described as “false allegations” that she was taken home against her will.
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme on Thursday Mrs Robinson described the princess who went missing earlier this year as a “troubled” and “vulnerable” young woman who has a “serious medical situation” and was “in the loving care of her family”.
However Mrs Robinson faced intensive criticism on Thursday from rights campaigners, with one alleging she had been “used as a willing pawn in the PR battle between the UAE ruling family and the rest of the world”.
The princess, a daughter of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, had not been heard from since she was seized from a yacht off the coast of India in March.”
– Irish Times, Dec 28, 2018

” Former President Mary Robinson has said she feels “horribly tricked” by the family of Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, who claims she is being held against her will at a “villa jail” in Dubai….
Ms Robinson, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has joined in calls for immediate international action in order to establish Princess Latifa’s current condition and whereabouts.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/mary-robinson-says-she-feels-horribly-tricked-by-the-family-of-dubais-princess-latifa-40098707.html

“The UN’s top human rights body has said it will raise the alleged detention of the daughter of Dubai’s billionaire ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum with the United Arab Emirates after video clips were released in which the princess claimed she was being held hostage.”
https://www.ft.com/content/7a3ec45a-503b-4774-b2ad-4f17a2bf9c97

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Fergal - February 17, 2021

Is it true that the bould Mary can speak out cos funds for Trinity from the UAE have been secured?!?

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3. CL - February 17, 2021

Robinson appeared to be reciting almost verbatim from Dubai’s script”.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/mary-robinson-dismayed-at-comments-on-visit-to-emirates-princess-1.3742942

” Complicating matters further, Al Maktoum is a personal friend of the queen. They share a passionate interest in horses. He has regularly joined her in the Royal Box at the prestigious British racing festival, Royal Ascot….
In the new series of videos, screened by the BBC Tuesday, Latifa, 35, gave a terrifying account of how her 2018 escape from UAE was thwarted when the yacht she was fleeing on was boarded by commandos who beat and drugged her before forcibly repatriating her….
In the new videos Latifa condemned Robinson, saying: “She said that I was a troubled young woman and I had a serious medical condition and I was getting help for it,” she said. “That’s implying that I have psychiatric problems. She knew that I was okay. She lied and it was all a set-up.”
Robinson has now called for international action to establish Latifa’s condition and whereabouts. “I continue to be very worried about Latifa,” she said. “I think it should be investigated.”
https://www.yahoo.com/news/princess-latifa-video-her-detention-143235875.html

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CL - February 20, 2021

She’s a feminist icon in Irish political life for generations of young women, and she travelled the world advocating for human rights in her role as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights following her historic two-term presidency.
So how and why did Mary Robinson end up “horribly tricked” into vouching for the safety of a Dubai princess held hostage by her father, against any principles of women’s rights, or indeed basic human rights?….
The illegal abduction of an adult in another jurisdiction may seem audacious on behalf of Dubai’s ruler, but billionaire Sheikh Mohammed is on friendly terms with the British royal family and is a powerful figure in horse-racing, owning Godolphin breeding operation and horseracing team, which owns numerous stud farms in the UK and Ireland…..
All in all, Mrs Robinson’s statements on the affair have been contradictory: She claimed she issued “a report” of her visit with Sheikha Latifa to her UN successor, Michelle Bachelet, but later said this was a letter, and that it was not going to be made publicly available.
If, as she has most recently stated, she was tricked into the visit, why did she initially defend the visit and wait two years before revealing that she had been duped?…
Amidst continued condemnation from human rights groups including Amnesty International, who said the treatment of the princess “amounts to torture,” the UN human rights commission has now asked the United Arab Emirates for proof that Sheikha Latifa is alive, amidst continued calls for a full investigation by the UN.”
https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40230206.html

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Daniel Rayner O'Connor - February 20, 2021

Correction: Mary R. served slightly less than one term as President, not two.

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4. CL - February 17, 2021

” British authorities have failed to erect fully functioning customs and sanitary checks on goods arriving into Northern Ireland and aren’t giving EU officials live sight as promised, European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič said Tuesday.
Šefčovič told the Irish parliament by video link that European authorities must gain full visibility on existing processes in Northern Ireland’s primary border control posts (BCPs) at the ports of Belfast and Larne. He said it wouldn’t be practical to consider granting further “flexibilities” on EU customs checks, as Britain demands, until this happens…..

” A politician from the Irish nationalist Sinn Féin party urged Šefčovič to remain “vigilant” on British implementation of the protocol.

“It’s been the bitter experience of the Irish when dealing with the British that they are fundamentally untrustworthy,” John Brady said. “It is their practice to make an agreement and immediately either to ignore key parts … or to negotiate downwards.”
https://www.politico.eu/article/european-commission-maros-sefcovic-eu-uk-trade-northern-ireland-brexit-border-checks/

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Jim Monaghan - February 18, 2021

Šefčovič An incredible survivor. “In June 1987, Šefčovič became a candidate for membership in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. After the two-year candidacy period during which he had to secure three approvals from other party members and which he embraced to “deepen his knowledge of Marxism–Leninism”, he filed an application for party membership in May 1989. The party approved his application on 1 June 1989 and he became an official member.[3]”.

And now a hater of LGBT. “LGBT stance and other social issues
During his presidential campaign, Šefčovič repeatedly spoke against legislative changes which would improve the status of LGBT rights in Slovakia, strongly opposing both civil partnerships and same-sex adoptions. He dubbed his opponent Čaputová (who is in favour of both) as a candidate who is forcing a “new ultraliberal agenda” on Slovakia, comparing the second round of elections to a referendum on such an agenda, which he considered to be “in exact contradiction to traditional Christian values”.[14][15] He also stated that “we can not support any further steps towards civil unions or same-sex adoptions because these would go precisely against our traditional Christian values”, calling this stance as his “very natural position” due to his Christianity.[16][17] According to his opinion, discussions about “such experiments bring great unrest to society”.[18]

Šefčovič supported and welcomed the position of the Slovak parliament and government not to ratify the Istanbul Convention (aimed against violence against women and domestic violence), citing his concerns about so-called “gender ideology”.[19] Refusal to ratify the convention in his opinion confirmed that “Slovakia is built on respect to traditional values”.”

And migrantrs.”He emphasised the importance of a speedy deportation policy, so that “people who do not have any business here are sent to their home countries as quickly as possible”.[20] Furthermore, he pointed out that “it has to be Slovaks who decide who comes to our country”.[18] Šefčovič has criticized Angela Merkel’s actions in this area, labeling her “latest decisions which opened door to mass migration” as something that was not “thought-out very well”.[21″.

Oh He still likes Russia
“In the matter of Russia–EU relations, Šefčovič emphasised that he does not consider Russia to be any kind of threat. He also criticised imposed sanctions, stating that people are suffering from them.[22]”.

While I am for staying in the EU, it should be without illusions and Brussels types are just as bad as D$ types.

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JIm Monaghan - February 18, 2021

And this type comes to patronise us. A former Communist Party hack to stayed to the end in the CP. A nasty type towards LGBTs. A hater of migrants.
“During his presidential campaign, Šefčovič repeatedly spoke against legislative changes which would improve the status of LGBT rights in Slovakia, strongly opposing both civil partnerships and same-sex adoptions. He dubbed his opponent Čaputová (who is in favour of both) as a candidate who is forcing a “new ultraliberal agenda” on Slovakia, comparing the second round of elections to a referendum on such an agenda, which he considered to be “in exact contradiction to traditional Christian values”.[14][15] He also stated that “we can not support any further steps towards civil unions or same-sex adoptions because these would go precisely against our traditional Christian values”, calling this stance as his “very natural position” due to his Christianity.[16][17]”
“Šefčovič also criticised his opponent Čaputová for her opinions on the migrant crisis and related policies. He emphasised the importance of a speedy deportation policy, so that “people who do not have any business here are sent to their home countries as quickly as possible”.[20] Furthermore, he pointed out that “it has to be Slovaks who decide who comes to our country”.[18] Šefčovič has criticized Angela Merkel’s actions in this area, labeling her “latest decisions which opened door to mass migration” as something that was not “thought-out very well”.[2″.

Still likes Russia “In the matter of Russia–EU relations, Šefčovič emphasised that he does not consider Russia to be any kind of threat. He also criticised imposed sanctions, stating that people are suffering from them.[22]”.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maro%C5%A1_%C5%A0ef%C4%8Dovi%C4%8D

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5. alanmyler - February 17, 2021

I’d mentioned last week in a comment somewhere that I was developing an interest in Krautrock and that the project for this week was to give Tangerine Dream a good listening to. Well I’ve been using Spotify to stream some playlists and while I’ll readily admit to really liking their sound, I’m realising that “getting into” them is going to take quite a lot longer than a week due to the immensity of their output. If anyone has some suggestions which of their albums might be worth a listen, to break them up into more easily digested chunks, that would be greatly appreciated.

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rockroots - February 17, 2021

There’s distinct phases to their career. If noisey experimental rock is your thing then start at the beginning and continue for the first four albums (the ‘pink years’). Electronic Meditation is one of my all-time favourite albums, although Klaus Schulze went on to even better things on the first few Ash Ra Temple albums. Personally, I lose interest when TD went entirely electronic, though Phaedra is worth checking out.

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WorldbyStorm - February 17, 2021

I’m no expert, I’ve only heard four or five of their albums in full, but taken tracks from here and there over the years, but I’d guess maybe pick from the decades, Phaedra from the early 70s, Force Majeure from the late 70s, White Eagle from the early 80s, maybe one of the soundtracks from the late 80s, Turn of the Tides from 1994, maybe one of the Boosters from the 2000/2010s and I’d recommend Quantum Gate from 2017 which was made after Froese died but is a very solid album (and has Ulrich Schnauss as one of the members, someone who I’m particularly fond of as a musician in his own right). But yeah, prolific doesn’t begin to describe them.

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6. sonofstan - February 17, 2021

Was never gone on TD, but Peter Baumann’s Transharmonic Nights is great.

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7. Tomboktu - February 17, 2021

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EWI - February 17, 2021

He’s never heard of FG, then.

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benmadigan - February 18, 2021

Penny drops late for the bigotted Lord.
So as not to spoil his dream of (permanent?) coalition power, don’t let’s tell him that in a Re-United Ireland Unionism would hardly be a winning political platform

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8. sonofstan - February 17, 2021

Just noticed the date on this post is a year out….one of the last pre-Covid days.

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WorldbyStorm - February 17, 2021

ouch, my bad!

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9. CL - February 18, 2021

Rush Limbaugh has died. The most influential rightwing radio performer since Fr. Coughlin Limbaugh paved the way for Trump.

” Party leaders — from the previous three GOP presidents on down — learned to praise and cater to him, while those who crossed him quickly reversed themselves.
All the while, from the dawn of his career into the present day, Limbaugh’s program has been fueled by unhinged vitriol against progressives, conspiracy theories, and bigotry — at times winkingly transgressive, at times spittle-flecked with rage….
Limbaugh’s career shows that by relying on a toxic slurry of bigotry, conspiracy theories, smears, and right-wing talking points, you can win a massive audience of devoted fans who will shower you with lucre and hang on your every word…
He mocks the suffering of others and trains his audience not to sympathize with people different from themselves…..
Conservatives of all stripes made their choice long ago. They tallied up the value Limbaugh brought to their movement, compared it to the social cost of his commentary, and decided that any tradeoff was worthwhile.”
https://www.mediamatters.org/rush-limbaugh/rush-limbaughs-bigotry-set-stage-trumps-takeover-republican-party

” The message he pounded home day after day was that minorities and women were seizing status and resources from white people and men, and that politics was a zero-sum struggle — and the victory would go to whichever side fought more viciously….
Limbaugh’s racism was obsessive, not incidental. Any measures to uplift Black America, in his mind, could only come at white expense and were inherently illegitimate. Any economic reform — even a goal like universal health care, which Democrats had sought for decades and which prevailed throughout the industrialized world — was “reparations.” …
Limbaugh, like Trump, understood the party’s id years before its putative leaders grasped it. They had the same feel for the conservative audience and nearly the same message to capture it….
It is peculiar that Limbaugh is honored and mourned in a single voice by a party elite that remains split over its descent into violent insurrection. The line from Limbaugh to Trump is about an inch long.”
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/02/rush-limbaugh-dead-donald-trump-racist-sexist-conservative-radio.html

” As Limbaugh’s audience grew, dog whistle messaging on racial resentment slipped into outright racism, bipartisan bonhomie in the minority intensified to “taking our country back,” and blatant lies about the birthplace of the nation’s first Black president set the standard for the GOP nominee by 2016…..
Limbaugh’s ascent to commanding an audience of tens of millions of mostly white Americans paved the way for right-wing populists like Trump, catalyzing a rightward lurch that has left the Republican Party grappling with its identity after the January 6 Capitol siege, which Limbaugh defended the day after the insurrection on one of his last shows….
Former President Trump — a man not known for sharing the spotlight or giving credit to anyone but himself for his success — told Fox News on Wednesday that Limbaugh’s show was a major reason why he was able to emerge from a crowded field in the 2016 GOP primary and go on to win the general election….
Even David Axelrod, former President Barack Obama’s chief strategist for both of his winning presidential campaigns, acknowledged the influence Limbaugh had as “indisputably a force of historic proportions.”
https://www.businessinsider.com/rush-limbaugh-legacy-consequential-figure-american-politics-fairness-doctrine-2021-2

” From his earliest days on the air, Limbaugh trafficked in conspiracy theories, divisiveness, even viciousness…
He created what Columbia University historian Nicole Hemmer calls a kind of “political entertainment” that partially supplanted traditional conservatism and was crucial to Trump’s political ascendancy.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/rush-limbaugh-conservative-talk-radio/2021/02/09/97e03fd0-6264-11eb-9061-07abcc1f9229_story.html

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10. alanmyler - February 18, 2021

Has anyone here watched the latest Adam Curtiss series on BBC:

We are living through strange days. Across Britain, Europe and America societies have become split and polarised. There is anger at the inequality and the ever growing corruption – and a widespread distrust of the elites. Into this has come the pandemic that has brutally dramatised those divisions. But despite the chaos, there is a paralysis – a sense that no one knows how to escape from this.

Can’t Get You Out of My Head tells how we got to this place. And why both those in power – and we – find it so difficult to move on. At its heart is the strange story of what happened when people’s inner feelings got mixed up with power in the age of individualism. How the hopes and dreams and uncertainties inside people’s minds met the decaying forces of old power in Britain, America, Russia and China. What resulted was a block not just in the society – but also inside our own heads – that stops us imagining anything else than this.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p093wp6h/episodes/player

I watched episode one last night and it’s all over the place. I know I’ve watched a couple of other Curtiss series in the distant past, without remembering much at all about them. Is he a complete spoofer? The program was at least visually interesting, I’ll give him that much.

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WorldbyStorm - February 18, 2021

Hmmmm… I’m a bit sceptical too Alan. Here’s another quote from the above… that the series “explores whether modern culture, despite its radicalism, is really just part of the new system of power”

No shit Sherlock.

He has some interesting things to say about his own politics here.

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

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alanmyler - February 18, 2021

Yes, I was just reading that in fact. His politics seem to be a bit of a mess.

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11. CL - February 18, 2021

“Joe Biden’s strategy for the US economy is the most radical departure from prevailing policies since Ronald Reagan’s free market reforms 40 years ago. With plans for public borrowing and spending on a scale not seen since the second world war, the administration is undertaking a huge fiscal experiment. The whole world is watching…

If the plan comes off, it will show that unnecessary timidity in recent decades has let millions suffer unnecessary unemployment, starved many areas of opportunities for improved living standards and widened inequalities….
In the halls of academia, the vast scale of the US experiment is much more controversial and has created shifts in allegiances within the economics profession that few could have predicted even a month ago….
Among those looking enviously across the Atlantic are Europeans who worry that the eurozone will once again fall short of the US in terms of policy action and results. Erik Nielsen, chief economist of UniCredit, says that with the EU fiscal support around half the size of that in the US, Europe is now “frozen with fear”, which is likely to lead to “another three to five years of European growth underperformance relative to the US”….
Economics professor Mariana Mazzucato says that, done right, Biden’s plan is ‘not just flooding the system with liquidity, but reaching the real economy and creating a stronger industrial base’
https://www.ft.com/content/49ca176d-8fa4-45a9-8c77-c837d1ad8e39

” Economics, essentially a faith-based discipline, represented itself as a hard science. The real world was reduced by the 1990s to a set of complex mathematical equations that no one, least of all democratically elected politicians, dared challenge.
Thus detached from reality, economic policy swept away the postwar balance between the interests of society and markets. Arid econometrics replaced a measured understanding of political economy. It scarcely mattered that the gains of globalisation were scooped up by the super-rich, that markets became casinos and that fiscal fundamentalism was widening social divisions. Nothing counted above the equations.”
https://www.ft.com/content/a7229df1-5260-4104-a89c-fb4a77271310

“In the absence of stimulus, the post-COVID European and US economies are expected to have shrunk in 2020 at the highest rate since World War II, with a concomitant rise in unemployment…
In these conditions, fiscal policy is the only game in town. We urgently need a new macroeconomic framework, covering the aims of active fiscal policy, the rules for conducting it, and its coordination with monetary policy.
Given that we are suffering from both a demand and a supply shock, recovery policy will also have to address issues of supply. In other words, the Keynesian demand-side remedy of paying people to dig holes and fill them in again is inadequate….
The case for fiscal policy is not only that it is a more powerful (because more targeted) macroeconomic stabilizer than monetary policy, but also that government is the only entity apart from the financial system capable of allocating capital. If we are not willing to allow investment in technology and infrastructure to be shaped by a purely financial logic, then the need for what Mariana Mazzucato calls a “mission-oriented” public investment strategy that includes taxation policy becomes inescapable.”
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/covid19-economic-recovery-plans-fiscal-policy-by-robert-skidelsky-2021-02

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12. Des Derwin - February 18, 2021

I have written a long critical essay on Andreas Malm’s new ecosocialist book ‘How To Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire ’ (Verso, 2021).

It was written quite independently of Alan Thornett’s review on the Global Ecosocialist Network website, and before I had read it. It concurs with his review in almost every aspect, though his response is expressed more forcefully and briefly than mine. The exception is Alan’s enthusiasm for James Hansen’s fee and dividend proposal, which strikes me, at first glance, as less realistic than the ‘Just Transition’ demand. The paper is here:

https://www.academia.edu/45142728/Bombing_Will_Not_Go_Softly_On_Andreas_Malm_s_How_to_Blow_Up_a_Pipeline

Des Derwin

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13. 6to5against - February 18, 2021

Remember when we sold Are Lingus? Wasn’t there a lot of chat back then, about how it would raise money in the private sector and flourish? And that we wouldn’t be bailing it out every few years with state money. And that the private sector would be accepting all the risk. And….
https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2021/0218/1197962-varadkar-on-aer-lingus/

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14. Gearóid Clár - February 19, 2021

A friend sent me the link to this gem in the Irish Times books section recently: https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/a-unionist-history-of-northern-ireland-1.4488587

A new book called The Northern Ireland Question: Perspectives on Nationalism and Unionism. The byline to the… summary(?) reads “The editors of a new book on unionism blame the South, Northern Catholics and IRA”.

The authors: former unionist politician Patrick Roche (formerly of the Northern Ireland Unionist Party; a split from the UK Unionist Party, which split from the Ulster Unionist Party) and Brian Barton, a history tutor with the Open University.

It’s not a review, the authors seem to have the byline themselves and are summarising the book. It’s so riddled with misrepresentation, bad faith arguments and elision, I cannot understand how this article was allowed to be published.

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WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2021

Wow, that’s for the Sunday Stupid Statement column just in itself…

Curious how the authors don’t note the following in relation to the abandonment of PR in elections in NI:

“The form of government and parliament in Northern Ireland was largely modelled on the Westminster model with a 52 seat lower house (House of Commons) and a 26 member upper house (Senate). The Senate consisted of 24 members elected by Proportional Representation (PR) by members of the House of Commons along with two ex-officio members, the Mayor of Londonderry Corporation and the Lord Mayor of Belfast. As for the House of Commons this was elected for a five-year term. Initially members were elected by PR through the Single Transferable Vote (PR-STV) method and represented a number of multi-seat constituencies. By the time however of the 1929 general election PR had been abolished in favour of the ‘first past the post’ (FPTP) system with members being returned for single-seat constituencies. (The only exception to this change was the university constituency of Queen’s University Belfast which continued to return four candidates to parliament up until 1969 under a system of PR.) This was the system still in operation until March 1973 when the Northern Ireland parliament was suspended in favour of the introduction of ‘direct rule’ from Westminster. ”

But the authors gloss over that and many other examples with the following:
“It is certainly arguable that unionists failed to “take what opportunities they had to bring the nationalists into the political system and to reform the outmoded system of local government”. “

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EWI - February 19, 2021

There was a certain period within which neither NI nor the FS were permitted to get rid of PR under the Treaty. NI then proceeded to do so, but the FS did not.

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WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2021

Yep. What a tendentious article that is in the IT.

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EWI - February 19, 2021

I cannot understand how this article was allowed to be published.

I can.

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Gearóid Clár - February 19, 2021

Well, yeah.

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WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2021

But it does say so much about the IT doesn’t it?

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15. Liberius - February 19, 2021

The world’s chilliest coronavirus vaccine may have gotten a little warmer.

The BioNTech/Pfizer coronavirus vaccine — which currently needs to be transported in ultra-low temperatures between -80 to -60 degrees Celsius — can actually remain stable at much higher temperatures, the two companies announced today.

New data indicates that the vaccine is stable at -25 to -15 degrees Celsius, temperatures that are more commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers, Pfizer and BioNTech announced in a statement. They will submit this data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and if it’s accepted, vials of the vaccine could be stored at these temperatures for two weeks.

Positive development that, will make it much easier to distribute.

https://www.politico.eu/article/biontech-pfizer-vaccine-can-be-stored-at-higher-temps/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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16. CL - February 19, 2021

Greg Abbott the governor of Texas – “As Texans froze, he went on Fox News to falsely blame renewable energy and the as-yet-unrealized Green New Deal for the crisis in Texas…
Faced with one of the worst crises in the recent history of the state, Republicans have turned their attention away from conditions on the ground and toward the objects of their ideological ire. The issue isn’t energy policy, it is liberals and environmentalists, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a New York congresswoman who was a child when Texas built its first wind farms — and climate activists….
What do you get when you add a sudden surge of demand to an equally sudden loss of capacity? A crisis, whose roots lie in a decade’s worth of deregulation and cost-cutting, of an energy “independence” that has left the state at the mercy of the elements….
When you don’t want to face the consequences of your actions as a lawmaker — when you’d rather demonize scapegoats than give answers — you fight a culture war.” – Jamelle Bouie
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/opinion/ted-cruz-texas-

” Sen. Ted Cruz touched down in Texas on Thursday afternoon with an armed police escort amid outrage over his 24-hour trip to Mexico during a catastrophic storm in the Lone Star State….
The former GOP presidential hopeful set off a political maelstrom on Wednesday evening when he was photographed boarding a flight to Cancun as millions of Texans braced for their fourth day without power or safe drinking water.”
https://nypost.com/2021/02/18/sen-ted-cruz-arrives-back-in-texas-with-armed-police-escort/

” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday offered scathing criticism of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott after he blamed winter-storm power outages on the Green New Deal and renewable energy sources. …
Gov. Abbott doesn’t seem to have a grasp on his state, so here’s a reminder: Texas runs 80-90% on fossil fuels. The real ‘deadly deal’ is his failed leadership,” the New York Democrat tweeted….

Renewable-energy shortages accounted for only about 13% of the total outages in Texas, Insider reported.

“The infrastructure failures in Texas are quite literally what happens when you *don’t* pursue a Green New Deal,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
https://www.businessinsider.com/aoc-rips-texas-governor-blaming-storm-outages-green-new-deal-2021-2

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17. Paul Culloty - February 19, 2021

While Netflix, Walter Presents and the BBC have all made our cultural viewing significantly more European , political coverage doesn’t appear to have adjusted to Brexit yet – certainly, Macron’s campaign against “séparatisme” and Draghi’s ascent in Italy have been largely ignored, while next month sees elections in both Germany and Holland that could significantly impact the future direction of the EU, but only political anoraks like myself have taken more so far.

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WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2021

Yeah, the focus remains anglocentric and even there it’s not great.

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18. CL - February 20, 2021

” Following an ambush of Black and Tans in Midleton in December 1920, the first ‘official’ reprisals of the Anglo-Irish War – the destruction with explosives of the houses of civilians – were carried out by the British authorities.”
http://homepage.eircom.net/~corkcounty/Timeline/Reprisals.htm

” The Battle of Clonmult, near Midleton, Co. Cork, will always be remembered as the biggest single loss of lives the IRA suffered in any engagement with British Crown Forces during the entirety of the War of Independence…..
Nine of the volunteers were buried in Midleton, two in Cobh and Dick Hegarty in Ballymacoda.
Seven of the eight prisoners were tried by Military Court in Victoria Barracks, charged with waging war against the King, and found guilty.

“Three of them, Patrick O’Sullivan, Maurice Moore and Diarmuid O’Leary were sentenced to death. The other four, John Harty, Robert Walsh, William Garde and Edmond Terry had proven they were not members of the column and were sentenced to Penal Servitude for Life….

After the executions, the IRA was bent on revenge.
“After Clonmult every suspected informer and every man in Crown Forces uniform, including coastguards and marines, became a legitimate target to be shot on sight,” …
During the following three weeks, nine members of the Crown Forces, one retired soldier and eight IRA volunteers and civilians were killed during IRA and British Army tit-for-tat killings. Almost all of the killings took place in the Midleton and Carrigtwohill areas….
“During May, the IRA in the Watergrasshill/Glenville area arrested David Walsh an ex-soldier, whom they were convinced was the informer for Clonmult. He was told that if he did confess he would be exiled to Australia. He eventually made a confession and based on this he was court-martialled and shot,”
https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/spotlight/arid-40225961.html

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roddy - February 20, 2021

Proves that war is never nice and politicians on this Island have always had links to “not nice” actions .Some are allowed to forget it but others will never be free from attack by hypocrites.

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CL - February 20, 2021

War in Midleton main street.

And Pathe News covers the reprisals.

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19. CL - February 20, 2021

” There is a photograph from the collection of Cork photographer John Hallahan which is one of the most familiar of the War of Independence.
It shows men from the Clonmult volunteer active service unit (ACU) column posing for a rare photograph. They are dishevelled and louche-looking, one has a cigarette hanging from his mouth, and only half have rifles. They don’t look like members of an army that would scare anyone, let alone an empire like Britain’s, but it was men like these that forced the British government to terms which led to the independent Irish State.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/100-years-ago-today-the-clonmult-ambush-was-the-ira-s-worst-disaster-1.4490775

Portraits of the Clonmult martyrs written by relatives can be read here.
https://www.facebook.com/clonmult/

…………………………………………………………………………….

– East Cork church bells to ring today for the men of Clonmult –

A major series of commemorative events had been planned for this weekend but the Covid restrictions meant these have had to cancelled.
A church bell ringing ceremony will take place at 5.20pm this evening to remember the fallen.
All over East Cork this evening the church bells will ring out, three strokes of the bell for each of the dead volunteers, 36 strokes in total.

Those who died at the Battle of Clonmult on February 20, 1921, were:

Richard Hegarty (Garryvoe); Jeremiah Aherne (Midleton); Christopher Sullivan (Midleton); Joseph Morrissey (Carlow); Michael Hallahan (Midleton); James Glavin (Cobh); John Joe Joyce (Midleton); James Aherne (Cobh); Michael Desmond (Midleton); Donal Dennehy (Midleton); Liam Aherne (Midleton); David Desmond (Midleton).

Two more Volunteers who fought at Clonmult, Maurice Moore, Cobh and Patrick O’Sullivan, Cobh, were executed in April 1921.
https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/arid-40230410.html

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Gearóid Clár - February 20, 2021

The east Cork IRA struck back heavily against the Hampshire Regiment again in May 1921 in what was one of the first recorded uses of an IED. Kautt’s excellent Ambushes and Armour covers it.

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20. Starkadder - February 20, 2021

Have any of you seen this? Alan Titley gives a great negative review of Angela’s Ashes at the DRB:

https://www.drb.ie/essays/the-chancer-debagged

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WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2021

Well that may be entertaining…

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CL - February 20, 2021

Titley is echoing the criticisms of Criostoir O’Flynn.

” McCourt’s often harrowing and angry account of life in Limerick during his childhood has reached a wider international audience than any other Irish book of recent times….
The bitterest reactions came from some of McCourt’s contemporaries, who disagreed with his version of events on several levels. Many Limerick people, including the late Jim Kemmy, defended the book against its detractors….
The cold charity of what was still a poor-law system in the 1940s, supplemented by a network of Catholic charities which were often equally humiliating to the recipients of meagre and inadequate handouts, forms one of the most powerful themes…..
McCourt’s angry account of his mother having to sleep with her cousin so as to live in his house was shocking to many of his Limerick contemporaries….
But unlike Ó Floinn, McCourt’s family was at the mercy of an alcoholic and irresponsible father. The punishment for any deviation from a rigid model of family life was the cold and minimal charity on which the McCourt family had to subsist….

McCourt’s odyssey validates the American dream while at the same time casting a harsh light on an area of Irish social history which has only now been brought into the realm of public discussion. The fact that Parker’s locations for the film range from Limerick to Dublin and Cork point to the fact that the truth of Angela’s Ashes is not confined to the small world of Limerick in the 1940s but, with due allowance for literary invention, opens a window on the most shocking aspects of urban Irish life in the not too distant past.”
https://www.historyireland.com/volume-8/ashes-to-ashes/

Jim Kemmy ” In a recent letter to a friend, he described Frank McCourt’s book, Angela’s Ashes, as the “best book ever written about working class life in Limerick”.
https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/kemmy-passionate-worker-for-the-disadvantaged-dies-1.110032

” Criostoir O’Flynn launches a few haymakers in passing at McCourt’s bestseller….
The author’s memories may not be quite be “rare oul times” brand of kitsch, but all too often they very nearly are….
The minute family home is presided over by a mother who is always singing. Both parents are shown to be nothing if not dutiful and unassuming, much as the peasantry used to be represented once upon a time….
The past is a better place. Its nationalism and Catholicism are much to be preferred to today’s liberalism and “the waffling inanities of the homily at Mass nowadays”. A case is sketched for the social efficacy of corporal punishment in schools, as is one for the contribution to the commonweal of that “very decent man Eamon de Valera”.
Commentary of this kind has the valuable effect of revealing the ideological skull beneath nostalgia’s ostensibly innocent skin, though it also shows the author to be, when he comes to think about it, less a celebrant of bygone days than a lineal descendant of The Citizen in his glory-hole.” –
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/standing-up-for-limerick-1.146337

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Starkadder - February 20, 2021

It’s notable that Eamonn McCann did not like “Angela’s Ashes” either, thinking it was hyper-sentimental and aimed at the prejudices of American readers. McCann said Seamus Deane’s novel “Reading in the Dark” was a better evocation of that period of Irish history.

He did, however, praise it for upsetting Richard Harris, whom McCann dislikes.

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WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2021

That is some article by Titley. Some interesting points he makes too in regard to the colonial cringe of the failed state narrative.

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sonofstan - February 27, 2021

Was reading an essay today in a collection called ‘The Irish in Us’ – about Irish America- by Catherine Eagan which calls out McCourt for at once claiming affinity with African Americans while also being to a degree unreflective about his own white privilege. She also thinks, though, that the passage Titley objects to is deliberately overstated parody. I’ve never read the book so no idea who is right.

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CL - February 28, 2021

Just when Riverdance, Bono, and the Celtic Tiger were showing the world how modern Ireland had become along comes this scut from the back lanes winning the Pulitzer prize with a book about the rain in Limerick that sold eight million copies.
It wasn’t like that at all as Cristoir O’ Flynn has pointed out. De Valera provided decent housing for the poor and St. Vincent de Paul was there to make sure that no one went hungry.
Probably because of the MOPE syndrome there’s a certain class of Irish person who can’t be happy unless they’re miserable, – or putting on a performance for the Yanks.

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CL - February 20, 2021

McCann also believes that the IRA was not ‘working class’ until ‘The Troubles in the North. A glance at the occupations of those murdered by British imperialism at Clonmult one hundred years ago belies this claim.

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terrymdunne - February 21, 2021

Of the first two killed at Clonmult John Joe Joyce was the son of a shopkeeper and was himself a U.C.C. engineering student (when only a minority of the population went to second level never mind third level). The rest included a mill worker, an engineer, a solicitor’s clerk, a tailor, a book keeper, a mechanical engineer, an accountant/book keeper, an agricultural labourer, a telephone operator, an accountant and two whose occupations, if any, were not listed on the military service pensions site.

Here you can actually read an account of the grievous damage inflicted on one family’s business on account of their involvement in separatist militancy in that Brigade area – https://midletonheritage.com/2015/12/11/few-families-suffered-as-we-did-war-of-independence-pension-files-associated-with-midleton/

This was in rural east Cork – the clear majority of wage-earning males in this area were farm workers and they are very obviously not proportionately represented among the Clonmult fatalities. What are well represented are the sort of skilled, white collar & lower professional occupations that basically everyone argues were disproportionately represented in the I.R.A. in this period (this is fifty years before free second level education and at a time when the left press was talking about farm workers being disenfranchised due to illiteracy).

Most people in these sorts of occupations would have been recruited from families with similar occupations or from farming families. There was a sharp status difference between them and general labourers (and differences in income, standard of living etc…). Honestly we would expect accountants and solicitors clerks in Derry in the 1970s to be supporting the S.D.L.P. – it is a pretty prosaic claim that the composition of republicanism shifted over the course of the twentieth century.

While I’m here I looked at survivors listed are engineer/Free State Army officer, baker/Free State Army officer and farmer.

To re-iterate – the largest occupational category of male workers in the 26 counties area in the 1920s was farm workers.

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EWI - February 21, 2021

This was in rural east Cork – the clear majority of wage-earning males in this area were farm workers and they are very obviously not proportionately represented among the Clonmult fatalities. What are well represented are the sort of skilled, white collar & lower professional occupations that basically everyone argues were disproportionately represented in the I.R.A. in this period

It would be a mistake to assume that the flying columns were representative of the average I.R.A. volunteer – as a rule. they originated in groups of prominent Republicans who were being targeted by Crown forces and therefore were forced on the run.

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EWI - February 21, 2021

a rule, they originated

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CL - February 20, 2021

” Angela s Ashes …. accurately describes the social conditions in which many thousands of Irish working-class people lived only half a century ago, and honestly depicts the role of Catholic Church and the local professional and monied classes in sustaining this mass misery.”
– Eamonn McCann.
https://www.hotpress.com/opinion/on-the-march-392239

President Higgins – “anticipates that, while the seminar on empire will generate “some engagement”, there will be even more on the topic of his next seminar, social class.

“The biggest difficulties I am anticipating are in relation to social class because I come on very strongly in saying that one of the weaknesses of Irish historiography is its inability to handle social class.”
He has been struck in looking at the membership of the IRA, for example, “how many of them are shop boys, how many of them were second sons or third sons” who are not going to inherit the family farm, “and then how many of those who would emigrate afterwards”.
https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/michael-d-higgins-things-could-go-either-way-after-the-pandemic-1.4486347

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Daniel Rayner O'Connor - February 21, 2021

The first chapter of Matt Kerrigan’s memoirs (‘Eggs & Rashers’, 2014,) gives a vivid account of working class life in the Dublin suburbs, without McCourt’s self pity.

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roddy - February 21, 2021

I have to say that a good proportion of families from the 20’s movement up here ended up SDLP. The more they succeeded in business,the professions etc ,the more they distanced themselves from militant Republicanism.Whilst not a majority from that period they represent a significant number all the same. I have to agree that from 1969 the movement became overwhelmingly working class.This was probably due to events on the ground in Belfast and Derrry. However even in rural areas ,the average member would have been the son or daughter of construction workers / very small farmers and female factory workers.There was also a “snobbery” against the make up of the movement in SDLP circles that is still prevalent amongst South Belfast self proclaimed “Social Democrats” like Claire Hanna. These “Social Democrats” see nothing wrong in canvassing for FG candidates as in reality they are cut from the same cloth.

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6to5against - February 27, 2021

I think I’ve read all of McCourts books. I thought Angela’s ashes was entertaining but a bit silly in places. To my mind the best of them all was Teacher Man.

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21. CL - February 20, 2021

Government clarifies Covid-19 policy response.
https://www.rte.ie/news/2021/0219/1198230-political-analysis-rte/

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CL - February 23, 2021
22. roddy - February 21, 2021

I see reference here to “farmers sons” in the 20s IRA.Whilst it might may slightly different in the more affluent “good land” areas down south,”Farmers son” up here in many cases meant little more than unpaid slave.In my own family an elderly female relative who died 50 years ago “married up” ie into a family with a much bigger holding. However both she and her husband were working for little more than bed and board.The day they were married ,they went for a meal and that evening she moved in along with her meagre posessions and the next day began work on the farm.I remember her well as an old woman and she was literally “bent double” from hard work. I think people especially from urban areas when they hear the word “farm”envisage something from the English shires. ie vast inherited wealth and privelige.Reality here was/ is somewhat different.

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banjoagbeanjoe - February 21, 2021

At one of the Árd Fheiseanna I was at, a fellow county man of yours, Roddy, spoke about EU grants to farmers. The gist of what he said was that if you listened to the media you’d think that the EU was throwing piles of money at every farmer in the country. And he finished off with “Well, as a small farmer working the land, all I can say is, if they are, they’ve a very bad aim.”

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roddy - February 21, 2021

Yes Joe,that man would have farmed poor upland ground while my neighbours and ancestors would have farmed poor boggy lowland ground.

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terrymdunne - February 21, 2021

Interesting story Roddy. I think the best way of understanding some farm families is as embodying capital and labour at the same time – but those different positions are not distributed equally within the family – with divisions along lines of gender and age and inheritors/non-inheritors. Might I ask in this case do you think your relative marrying-up had something to do with how they were treated? Were they the inheriting couple?

In any case I think you would find that a fair slice of the south and east is Shire-land — even 200 years ago the largest proportion of farmland was to be found on the relatively bigger farms — otherwise the biggest employment sector – as in waged employment – was hardly going to be agriculture.

Also in rural Ireland 100 years ago even a small farmer was a cut above non-farm owning persons (except in the really really small farm areas where a lot of people’s income was from migrant farm work).

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roddy - February 21, 2021

The actual farm owner was a tyrant and treated his family like slaves and she became one of the slaves.He held on until his death and by the time he died the married couple would have been in their 60s.The rest of the family had made their own lives by that stage but had also worked for decades on the farm.Changes in the farming industry had made what they inherited unviable by that stage and they ended their lives living on their pensions.What at one stage seemed “big” (25 acres) was now a marginal holding. My own grandfather and great uncles farmed holdings which necessitated them doing seasonal work on farms in Scotland so they were hardly much of “a cut above” anybody.As I said “farmer’s son” up here anyway did’nt necessarily mean being greatly advantaged.

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terrymdunne - February 22, 2021

Sorry I am a bit sketchy as to my west Ulster geography – I think I have only been in Derry once and actually Tyrone is the only county in Ireland I have never been in – are we talking the Sperrins here? I had only heard of seasonal migration from the coastal areas of Donegal & Mayo.

Yeah I have occasion to drive through the uplands border of Clare/Galway and the first thing that strikes you is there are no houses for ages the next is that those are old farmhouse gates leading into what is now forestry – so what you talk about is found in the south – but it strikes me reading your posts that in the western part of the Six Counties what you didn’t have was – a Land Commission; government efforts to attract F.D.I. to out of the way places; schemes to build airports in the middle of nowhere or to throw money at a big town in the West; tourism (except maybe around the lakes in Fermanagh?).

Also I would assume patterns of land-owing in that part of the world fall along sectarian lines?

In any case in the Tan War guerrilla activity was, broadly speaking, concentrated in neither the shires nor where there was a lot of impoverished small-farmers.

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23. CL - February 21, 2021

” What are well represented are the sort of skilled, white collar & lower professional occupations that basically everyone argues were disproportionately represented in the I.R.A. in this period ” – terrymdunne.
In other words members of the working class.

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CL - February 21, 2021

Forty years after Clonmult the IRA in East Cork had not gone away.
The IRA took a direct role in agitation against the sale of land in Midleton by Lord Midleton who owned the town.

-An tOglach explained that the Midleton campaign would not be in existence but for the initiative displayed by Cork Command in picketing the auction rooms, and although the IRA was not actually in the leadership of the protests it was setting the pace of its demands…It was stressed that in any such campaigns ‘occasions may arise when the full resources of the Army will be needed to protect the peoples gains from counter attack.’ –

quoted by Brian Hanley in Saothar, Vol 32, 2007.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/23201440?seq=2#metadata_info_tab_contents

Sean MacStiofain in Memories of a Revolutionary recalls his role in the agitation.

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terrymdunne - February 21, 2021

CL if you want to have an expansive definition of the working class which – in the first half of the C20th – includes on the one hand accountants, U.C.C. students & solicitors’ clerks and on the other hand the world of Angela’s Ashes – then well that’s fine – it doesn’t mean that the difference in social composition between the I.R.A. c.1921 and the I.R.A. c. 1971 is somehow defined out of existence though – likewise the marked differences in status, income, living standards etc.. between different social groups c. 1921 does not go away if we decide to call them all “working class” – we also still have the difference between the different forms of collective action in which different social groups predominated in c.1921.

Incidentally, in 1920 the number of U.C.C. students was 660 (as opposed to 20,000 now – with nearly as many again in C.I.T.).

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24. CL - February 21, 2021

Class can usefully be defined as a social relationship between the owners of the means of production and those who don’t own the means of production. Within these two broad categories there are of course different occupational groups.
A farmer could be regarded as an owner of means of production, but smaller farmers were also physical labourers within a capitalist system of production, and their IRA sons were ‘unpropertied’.
Irish republican fighters going back to the Fenian days were for the most part people of no property,- not owners of the means of production.
Peter Hart has examined the social backgrounds of IRA members of the War of Independence period. The vast majority were ‘unpropertied’ including those he refers to as ‘middling’. Defining class as a relationship, and using Hart’s empirical data, shows that the vast majority of IRA fighters came from that numerous class, the people of no property, – the working class.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/3020901?seq=1

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terrymdunne - February 22, 2021

CL as I said you can define class whatever way you like – I am aware of what the nineteenth century inheritance is – I am also aware that people (in the Marxist tradition) spent the twentieth century coming to theoretical terms with the existence of salaried professionals – that Marx in his historical writings actually had more classes than bourgeois/proletariat – that there are whole other ways of defining class (e.g. the Weberian, the census categories), that on this blog people will often use the term “middle-class” to refer to, for instance, the membership of the Green Party, and that in everyday life the term “middle-class” is used.

None of that alters the fact that you are unlikely to find too many dead accountants on the P.I.R.A. roll of honour.

Incidentally you are misrepresenting Hart’s analysis – he found plenty of farmers in the I.R.A. ranks – and – though I don’t think he makes this point – the strata of white collars, lower-professionals and highly skilled trades were much more likely to be recruited from better-off farmers (or shop-keepers etc..) who could afford to invest in their children’s education than from the generality of the rural working class (most of whom worked for farmers and as I said before are spectacularly under-represented among the Clonmult dead).

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CL - February 22, 2021

– Peter Hart declared that ‘The boys’ were farmers’ or shopkeepers’ sons rather than owners; apprentices or journeymen rather than tradesmen or masters; junior clerks and assistant teachers. Property, money and security, like marriage, lay in the future ‘ – cited in the article referenced by Dr. N, below.
Its a misrepresentation to say that Hart ” found ‘plenty’ of farmers in the I.R.A. ranks “. He did find some ‘unpropertied’ farmers’ sons.

A definition of class is necessary that points to the position of class in relation to the means of production. That gives a truer representation of the power dynamic involved than a mere descriptive recitation of occupational categories.

President Higgins is holding a ‘Machnamh 100′ seminar in May on class and gender. There will probably be some variety of opinion. It will be interesting to see if they give some theoretical and historical justification for their definition of class, – or merely give a recitation of the various jobs held by IRA fighters. Such superficial descriptions are useful but should not be confused with more insightful definitions of class.

IRA fighters’ identity was mainly nationalistic; they did not define themselves by their class position. But Ireland is no exception to the general rule that most wars are fought mostly by members of the working class.

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EWI - February 22, 2021

But Ireland is no exception to the general rule that most wars are fought mostly by members of the working class.

There was certainly a civil war view abroad, justified or not, that the Dublin-based political activists who supported the Treaty had spent the war in comfortable lodgings while the countryside IRA had been living in ditches.

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terrymdunne - February 23, 2021

Harts stats for I.R.A. membership for 1920-21 are 29% farmer/son and 5% merchant/son. That isn’t just farmers’ sons – it is farmers and farmers’ sons. In any case we can define the children of the petit-bourgeoisie as part of the proletariat if we so wish – it doesn’t make any difference – no matter what we are still left with this situation:

The largest occupational category for male workers in the 26 county area in the 1920s was farm labour – as in waged employment on a farm – working on someone else’s farm – not the farm you own, not the farm you will one day inherit and not helping out on your cousin’s farm – working on your employer’s farm as a job. That proportion is for all the 26 counties – including the urban areas not just the countryside. This was so predominant as a job that in the I.T.G.W.U. in 1920 there were ten farm workers for every one docker – and dockers were the next biggest group in the ranks. Hence, for example, the first large-scale public housing in Ireland (and indeed the first major public housing in the U.K.) was the construction of 50,000 rural council cottages in the years up to 1914 – mostly for farm workers.

In your Clonmult case book-keepers/accountants outnumber farm workers 3 to 1 as do engineers/engineering students, indeed there seems to be only one farm worker. It doesn’t matter if we call these people the white-collar working class, the middle class, this or that strata of the working-class, the P.M.C. or anything else – we are still left with a group which for the most part is very much not the ordinary five eights of the time – what we call them does not alter that fact.

Likewise, there was a shift in social composition between the I.R.A. c. 1921 and the I.R.A. c.1971 – that fact does not go away irrespective of what definitions we use. Maybe there was not so much of a shift in Ulster, but there was certainly a shift between the Munster I.R.A. c.1921 and the Provos!

The I.R.A. during the Tan War was socially heterogeneous – and as a volunteer citizen militia with some guerrilla bands mixed in it did not in any way resemble an actual state army were people join as a job for wages. The I.R.A. was basically a political organisation some of whose members had guns. The Attestation Books that list the rank and file membership of the Irish regiments of the British Army upon their disbandment in 1922 are on-line – I’ve gone through them for one regiment – prior occupations are listed – and nearly needless to say – at least I would have thought – professionals are not well represented – indeed tradesmen are not well represented – nor are farmers – in fact you hardly see anything like them in the British Army during (relative) peacetime – why would you? people joined the British Army because of limited employment opportunities, whereas people joined the I.R.A. to fight for a cause – and that cause was one with a cross-class constituency.

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terrymdunne - February 23, 2021

I should add that in the I.R.A. 1920-21 that is ‘farmers/farmers’ sons’ at 29% as occupational categories – farmers’ sons as in the children of farmers not working on the farm would be in other occupational designations in Harts stats.

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CL - February 23, 2021

TD.
You aver that in Ireland of the 1920s, a predominantly agricultural economy, the largest occupation category was farm labourers.
How this determines the class composition of IRA members who were not farm laborers is unclear.

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CL - February 24, 2021

The Flying Column of the Fourth Battalion, First Cork Brigade was led by Diarmuid O’Hurley.
He was not at Clonmult when the massacre occurred.

” Hurley came from an impoverished background. He was in 1911 one of the nine children of the Baurleigh caretaker Charles Hurley and his wife Ellen. Three of the children (two sons and a daughter) were then co-resident with their parents. When his mother Ellen Hurley of Baurleigh near Bandon later applied for a pension on account of the death of her son Volunteer Jeremiah Hurley, an official in the office of the Garda Chief Superintendent in Bandon reported in April 1924: ‘I beg to state that applicant is mother of the deceased [Hurley] and is aged 68. She lives in a cottage with an acre of land attached, the poor law valuation of which is 14/-. . . . The claimant has a family of eight children whose ages range from 24 to 36 years. She has only one son and daughter living at home. The son is working on the roads earning about £2 per week, which sum he contributes to the support of the family. The other members of the family are in England, two of them being married and the rest working. They do not contribute to the support of applicant except at Xmas when they send her a few pounds.’ See Garda Chief Superintendent’s Office (Bandon) to Garda Commissioner (Dublin), 23 April 1924,
https://theirishrevolution.ie/1921-264/#.YDZKuuhKifh

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CL - February 25, 2021

Paddy Whelan was not at Clonmult on the day. After the killing of O’Hurley he became Vice Commandant of the 4th Battalion.
At the age of 15 he began work as a boiler maker apprentice in Haulbowline.
Interestingly he also worked at Harland and Wolff in Belfast, before returning to East Cork, where he worked at Midleton Engineering Works.

I recently read a piece on the social backgrounds of the Communards of Paris in 1871. Making allowances for differences in time and location they are quite similar to the class composition of the IRA as empirically shown by Peter Hart and Kieran Glennon. The backgrounds of those slain at Clonmult are similar.

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25. CL - February 22, 2021

“A pair of nuns who have so far raised over €77,000 in crowdfunding after being ordered to leave a site in West Cork broke Covid guidelines to attend an exorcism of the Dáil before Christmas ”
https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40231067.html

If the exorcist is not paid will the Dáil be repossessed?

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26. Dr Nightdub - February 22, 2021

A look at social class in the 3rd Northern Division (Belfast, Antrim & East Down) – the sample isn’t huge (200-ish), but the membership was predominantly working class, while the officers were mainly white-collar though not middle class:
https://www.theirishstory.com/2021/01/17/from-the-shipyards-to-the-poitin-still-social-class-and-the-iras-3rd-northern-division/#.YDNoHej7SUl

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WorldbyStorm - February 22, 2021

Apologies Dr N, did you get my more recent email?

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Dr Nightdub - February 22, 2021

Apologies WBS, had forgotten to reply. You’ve got mail…

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WorldbyStorm - February 22, 2021

Thanks, I’ll check now

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27. roddy - February 22, 2021

Terry,my area is South County Derry ,40 miles from Derry city.Although I am not familiar with Scotland,the area my grandfather and his brothers spent time working in was close to Bo’ness. How I remember this is because there was an “in” joke in my family regarding Bo’ness.When the brothers had the occasional fallout at home ,one would threaten to head “back to Boness” leaving the brothers short handed at a crucial time.When us youngsters “huffed” at home ,our parents would ask “are you going to head to Bo’ness?”!

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28. Paul Culloty - February 23, 2021

“The Government will not allow a free vote on tomorrow’s Soc Dems private members motion on extending the term of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission. Instead, a counter-motion is due to be passed at Cabinet this afternoon, which Govt TDs will be expected to vote in favour of.”

Politically, it seems a daft move by the Coalition, as allowing a vote of conscience poses no threat to the Government, and the SDs will now win the PR battle regardless of the result.

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WorldbyStorm - February 24, 2021

+1

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29. roddy - February 25, 2021

With regard to the background of Tan war participants, did Dan Breen not break ranks and take his seat as he claimed he was in dire straits financially.

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30. roddy - February 25, 2021

I see Mick Barry voted with FF/FG and against his own colleagues on the hotel quarantine issue.

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tomasoflatharta - February 25, 2021

Can any correspondent explain Mick Barry TD’s vote against mandatory quarantine?

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WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2021

No idea, that’s a puzzle.

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GearóidGaillimh - February 26, 2021

The SP obviously condemn the government and its actions but they don’t support Zero Covid as an alternative, unlike RISE and PBP. The way it was put to me by a former SP member was that they’re always willing to talk in the abstract but hesitant to develop an actual programme.

They had the sense to suspend in person activity for the most part during lockdown unlike the Taaffeite SP in England who have been more sceptical of lockdowns and got a lot of criticism for keeping stalls going last April.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2021

Well that was reasonably sensible of them but odd to see them take the broader line they do.

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Jolly Red Giant - February 26, 2021

I don’t know the thinking behind the vote – but I suspect that the reason why Mick Barry voted against mandatory hotel quarantining was that the amendment would result in those quarantining being obliged to pay up to €2,000 for their hotel stay. The Socialist Party has argued for those being forced to mandatory quarantine in a hotel to be able to do so free of charge and with necessary services provided (Mick Barry proposed a series of amendments on these issues during the debate).

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Jolly Red Giant - February 26, 2021

On the broader issue of a zero covid strategy – I am in favour of it – some members of the Socialist Party are not – and to the best of my knowledge the Socialist Party has not taken a definitive position on the issue to date.

Liked by 1 person

pettyburgess - February 26, 2021

The component organisations of Solidarity-People Before Profit aren’t bound to vote the same way. In practice they do so on more than 99% of votes but there is an occasional one where they don’t.

On this occasion they all voted the same way on the unamended substantive bill – against because it’s deliberately ineffectual theatre. They also voted the same way on almost all of the amendments, against the €2000 charge etc. Mick Barry differed from RISE and PBP on one amendment, voting against making mandatory quarantine universal. I’m not 100% sure why or if he made a speech on the subject.

Liked by 1 person

No.11 - February 27, 2021

The Socialist Party’s position on mandatory hotel quarantine was outlined in this article posted on February 14th: https://socialistparty.ie/2021/02/covid-crisis-suppress-the-virus-health-before-profit/

—–

International travel

It is in this context, that there have been increased demands for restrictions on international travel. Given the dangers of new strains of the virus and the need to dramatically suppress it, non-essential travel should not be permitted at this point.

For those who must travel, such as people carrying out necessary and essential work, attending specialised medical appointments abroad, or attending to family emergencies, there should be an obligation to have a negative test before travel, and for a quarantine to be respected.

For people who have essential reasons to travel they must be given information, advice and support to quarantine effectively, including income support and an obligation on employers to provide remote working in order to remove an economic push for people to break a quarantine.

Hotel facilities should also be provided free of charge for people to safely quarantine where they feel that they cannot do so, for example, people in crowded housing. This option should be extended to all who need to quarantine and not just for people entering the country. Where people choose to quarantine at home, their whole home should be part of a quarantine bubble.

Much of the media, many of the opposition parties, and even some on the left have gone as far as arguing that all people arriving in the country should be forced to quarantine in state-provided facilities that would be policed and monitored. There is clearly a very strong case for extreme caution for people travelling from areas with high levels of infection, or where new more virulent, or dangerous strains of Covid are circulating.

Such an approach however does raise serious concerns and needs to be weighed up against the effect of such a policy, and the implications it would have on civil liberties now and into the future.

Dangers of unnecessary state powers

To enforce such a policy on all people arriving regardless of the risk posed by that person can be disproportionate and can be seen as amounting to detention without trial. This is an extraordinary power to give to the state.

Over the last year, we have seen states gain extra powers to tackle the virus. There have been numerous examples of these powers being used against workers with protests banned, strikes broken up, and as cover for police harassment.

Some on the left have mistakenly praised the Australian model of detention. This system obliges all entrants to forcibly quarantine in state-run hotels and hostels. This is a system that has come under considerable criticism from Human Rights groups.

The Australian model has been criticised for keeping people in extreme isolation which has an impact on people’s mental health. This is particularly grave when you consider that among people entering the state – especially where non-essential travel is banned – will include many vulnerable people, unaccompanied minors, people with special health needs returning from procedures abroad etc.

The conditions are equivalent to solitary confinement. There have also been cases of facilities actually seeing outbreaks of Covid-19 and therefore being counterproductive to the goal of suppressing the virus. The Australian state of Victoria at the time of publication is about to enter a 5-day state-wide lockdown due to an outbreak traced back to a detention centre.

We also need to be cognisant that there will be a push for the retention of these facilities after the immediate crisis has passed. Private hotels will have a vested interest in profiting from this, especially where their revenues are under pressure from the fall in tourism.

It must also be noted that the debate around the compulsory detention of people arriving from abroad has been marked with racist and xenophobic overtones. The basis of quarantine policy needs to be based on scientific evidence and not racist prejudice. We already have a state that oversees a racist immigration policy. There is a danger that this quarantine policy could develop into a more long-term attack on the rights of migrants, with people from poorer parts of the world particularly affected – as wealthy nations horde vaccines and leave them to suffer the virus for longer.

It would be foolish to trust the capitalist state with such a power, or to implement such a system in a proportionate way that respects people’s rights and well-being.

Working-class oversight and control

There are legitimate fears about quarantines not being properly respected. There have been cases of outbreaks linked to travel, especially over the summer when tourism travel was permitted. We do not accept that what would amount to a new system of detention centres is necessary in order to ensure that international travellers quarantine. The best and most effective way to deal with this is to significantly boost the resources given to assisting and checking people quarantining. As part of that, visits could be carried out by public health officials to households under quarantine.

We need to see the radical suppression of the virus. In order to achieve this, the interests of public health must be put before the interests of business and the likes of IBEC, publicans and Ryanair. All non-essential economic activity must be closed down. Workers should not pay the price – there needs to be job and income guarantees for all workers impacted. The PUP should be increased to reflect people’s incomes and jobs should be guaranteed.

Where work is necessary it should be workers in workplace committees that monitor compliance and have the power to enforce safety measures. There also needs to be opposition to the pressure to re-open the economy in the coming weeks which if permitted will see a resurgence in cases again in the late spring.

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WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2021

Hmmmm

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31. EWI - February 25, 2021

Lol. The Trinity race heats up. Next week, appreciation of puppies?

Liked by 1 person

banjoagbeanjoe - February 26, 2021

Entry Exam for Trinners.
Question 1: Spell the word practice

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WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2021

Heheheh

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EWI - February 26, 2021

American PR firm? JO is from former Rhodesia/the North and unlikely to be spelling it that way herself, I would think.

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32. sonofstan - February 26, 2021

‘Sir’ Keir and his shadow chancer, sorry, chancellor, are now opposing a Tory proposal to raise corporation tax.

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WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2021

Urggghhh

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Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 26, 2021

Yea – he and the people around him are desperately bad. Chasing a ageing ‘red wall’ voter who has been going Tory for decades by trying to outflank the Tories on the right.

Tragic.

All the more reason to help people in the North and Scotland to get out from under what will probably be another decade of Tory misrule.

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EWI - February 26, 2021

‘Sir’ Keir and his shadow chancer, sorry, chancellor, are now opposing a Tory proposal to raise corporation tax.

Bravely standing up for the little corporations.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - February 26, 2021

It’s doubly ridiculous, because, especially now, it’s one thing that’s popular with voters across the board. Sunak, The Peoples’ Chancellor, wouldn’t be doing it otherwise.
Interesting contrast to Ireland where lower corp tax had become ‘part of what we are’

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Fergal - February 26, 2021

Part of our DNA, Son… how dare you even question it!
Johnson was able to say to Starmer in the Commons that next week’s budget will be more that Labour’s recent paltry proposals (recovery bonds …)
Trebly embarrassing…
Which one is the party of capital again?

Liked by 2 people

sonofstan - February 26, 2021

Remember last year when Starmer was supposedly owning the Boris at PMQ every week with his mad barrister skillz?
I bet the Tories can’t believe their luck now.

Liked by 1 person

Mick 2 - February 27, 2021

‘Keir Starmer said this speech would deliver his big vision for the future of the country, a ‘policy blitz’ with ideas to rival Beveridge and relaunch his failing leadership. But there are only two new policies – one taken from the Conservatives and the other from the Centre for Policy Studies, the think tank co-founded by Margaret Thatcher. After 10 months of Keir Starmer all Labour has to offer is others’ ideas, empty rhetoric and calling for things the government is already doing.’ Amanda Miller, Tory Party co-chair, on Starmer’s recent ‘major policy speech’

Profoundly disturbing and depressing to find oneself not being able to disagree.

Liked by 1 person

33. CL - February 26, 2021

” A HUGE gold statue of Donald Trump holding a star wand delighted the CPAC crowds ahead of the former president’s comeback speech.
The massive effigy was seen being rolled into the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday evening.
The gold statue is seen wearing a pair of Stars and Stripes shorts, with a suit jacket, white shirt and a tie.
The Trump effigy is also holding what appears to be a magic wand.

Footage shows supporters taking selfies with the statue and watching in awe as it is rolled through the building.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/2412084/donald-trump-cpac-gold-statue-comeback-speech/

Among GOP elected officials and operatives, intense disagreements rage over the future of their party. But no sign of dissent will be visible this weekend when conservatives gather for an annual conference that has long showcased Republicans’ internal debates.
Instead, one theme will rule them all — fealty to Trump.
What makes this year’s gathering stand out is the intense focus on an individual and his grievances….
In all, at least nine sessions will focus on the former president’s unhappiness over the 2020 outcome and try to amplify his false claims to be the rightful winner.”
https://news.yahoo.com/conservative-gathering-just-one-litmus-235554631.html

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34. crocodileshoes - February 26, 2021

It could be that today is a first step to the ending of Direct Provision. You’d hope so, though no doubt there’ll be plenty of delays along the way. Interesting, from a more cynical viewpoint, to see if the Greens get any kudos, now or later.

Liked by 1 person

35. Paul Culloty - February 26, 2021

Interesting development tonight, as the Soc Dems vote to become an all-island party – slightly moot when they have yet to run in much of Munster or Connacht-Ulster, and SF are unlikely to lose much sleep, but the portion of the SDLP membership opposed to the FF partnership might consider their options.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2021

Wow, that is interesting, what drove it?

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GearóidGaillimh - February 26, 2021

I think they permit joint membership with other parties provided they don’t run against one another, going by what I’ve seen on Twitter. https://twitter.com/ScottMoore0/status/1364987681525161989

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WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2021

That’s interesting too. How does it work I wonder in practice?

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GearóidGaillimh - February 26, 2021

I guess the same way a lot of Alliance members are also card carrying Lib Dems, or whatever. I’m skeptical it will mean much in practice, will probably join FF, FG and UK Labour as parties which have cumann/branches in the north but don’t run.

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rockroots - February 26, 2021

Seem to remember the SDP had a presence in the north briefly as well.

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rockroots - February 27, 2021

…oh, it was David Owens ‘continuity’ SDP – they contested the Upper Bann by-election in 1990.

Liked by 1 person

36. roddy - February 26, 2021

SD will go nowhere up here.Their grass roots are OK but their leadership is Neo Unionist .Middle class neo Unionism is here already with the Alliance party and anyone who leaves the SDLP is never heard of again.

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37. CL - February 27, 2021

” Irish people were “willing agents” and often “enthusiastic accomplices to the excesses of colonialism”, President Michael D Higgins has suggested.” – Ronan McGreevy (IT, Feb 25)

” Sir, – The headline and article on the President’s second seminar in the Machnamh 100 series (“Irish people were ‘willing agents’ of British colonialism, says President”, News, February 26th) are misleading, damaging and incorrect.
Those who viewed the President’s address for Machnamh 100 or who read the text of his paper will have noted that the President referred to “some” among the native Irish who supported the British Empire, principally through economic necessity.”
HANS ZOMER, Head of Communications and Information,
Áras an Uachtaráin,
Phoenix Park, Dublin 8.
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/president-s-speech-on-british-colonialism-1.4496215

” Colonialism was rooted in a notion of cultural superiority and any ideology that threatened empire had to be confronted ” – said the President.
” That superiority explained the reprisals carried out against the civilian population in Ireland by crown forces in Balbriggan, Cork and during Bloody Sunday. It began in September 1919 with the burning of Fermoy in response to the killing of Private William Jones, the first British soldier killed in the War of Independence….
Prof Horne said the Irish War of Independence was the first war of decolonisation since the American war of independence.
It was part of a process (including Palestine, India, Malaya, Kenya) that lasted until the 1960s.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/michael-d-higgins-some-irish-were-willing-participants-in-british-empire-1.4495353

Liked by 1 person

38. roddy - February 27, 2021

That SP statement on quarantine reminds me of a radio interview I once heard. A journalist was giving a brief summary of Enoch Powell’s life and told the interviewer that at one point Powell moved to “somewhere North of Barking.”The guffaws of both the journalist and the interviewer told me that it was’nt just a district of London he was referring to.!

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Jolly Red Giant - February 27, 2021

Let’s not forget that Mary Lou welcomed the lifting of restrictions in December

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