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What you want to say – 7 April 2021 April 7, 2021

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

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1. Tomboktu - April 7, 2021

I spotted my first cowslips in the wild while out on my walk yesterday evening.

I spotted what I think are primroses on Saturday while on the bus to do the weekly shop for an elderly relative.

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2. alanmyler - April 7, 2021

Foley on Morning Ireland seems intent on breaking the teacher unions by completely misrepresenting the risks of covid to education workers. She’s focusing on the age related risk, which is correct in itself, but ignoring that education workers are more likely to come into contact with the virus than other workers remote working. Stupidity. She’s digging her political grave, needlessly. Such ego.

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WorldbyStorm - April 7, 2021

ISME stirring the pot too.

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crocodileshoes - April 7, 2021

She also divided teachers into two groups- those voting to oppose the re-jigging of the priority list and those who ‘understand the science’. I think, Ms Foley, that the latter group understands the science very well.

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3. CL - April 7, 2021

” On Tuesday, New York State’s leaders announced that they had reached a deal on a $212 billion budget….
The $2.1 billion fund for undocumented workers –
The budget will provide one-time payments for undocumented workers who did not qualify for federal stimulus checks or unemployment benefits. Applicants for the fund would have to provide documents to verify their identity, residency and eligibility…..

The budget carves out $2.3 billion in federal funds for tenants who are behind on rent and at risk of eviction.
The proposed rent relief program would help cover up to 12 months of past rent and utilities costs and three months of future rent for those eligible.
The deal dedicates additional funds to combat housing issues worsened by the pandemic. It includes $250 million for New York City’s public housing authority and $100 million to convert hotels and vacant property into affordable housing.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/07/nyregion/new-york-budget-

“The agreement to raise taxes on high-income New Yorkers was forged over the weekend. It raises taxes for about 50,000 people in the state, state Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, estimated in a Tuesday floor speech. It would create new tax brackets for those with more than $5 million in income and those with more than $25 million in income, and it would raise the existing tax on those making more than $1 million annually. It’s expected to raise more than $4 billion in state revenue…..
“This year’s budget is a people’s victory — and it shows that Albany is transforming,” said Working Families Party State Director Sochie Nnaemeka in a statement. “This budget was not decided by three men in a room: It is the result of a supermajority of Democrats in Albany, a new rising crop of progressive leaders, and grassroots New Yorkers across the state demanding a budget that delivers for our communities. The budget’s new revenue, as well as major investments in education and a fund for excluded workers, are historic wins. And this victory belongs to the people.”
https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Cuomo-and-lawmakers-reach-final-deal-on-217-16081471.php

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4. rockroots - April 7, 2021

Had a chance to watch ‘Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President’ over the weekend. It’s a glowing and uncritical tribute to a man I’ve always assumed was a decent and highly principled guy (if that’s a misrepresentation I’m sure someone here will set me straight). It highlights his groundbreaking association with rock (or more accurately country and folk) musicians during his election campaign, something that became a feature of politics in the States and the UK into the ’90s and perhaps beyond. And Bono pops up – I’m not entirely sure why.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11804758/

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5. sonofstan - April 7, 2021

Is Joe Biden the new FDR/ LBJ even without a middle initial?

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/biden-huge-stimulus-package-sets-a-new-standard

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CL - April 7, 2021

” The spending is supposed to take place over eight years which means that it would be equal to just over 0.8 percent of projected GDP over this period. At $250 billion a year, it comes to about $750 per person each year over this period.” – Dean Baker
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/04/02/quick-how-much-is-2-trillion/

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CL - April 7, 2021

” In British terms, it’s as though an incoming Labour government pledged to spend £500bn over the next decade with a focus on left-behind Britain in all its manifestations – real commitments to levelling up, racial equity, net zero and becoming a scientific superpower….
It was “the moment when Democrats recovered their soul”, writes Robert Kuttner, co-editor of the progressive magazine the American Prospect, ending a 45-year embrace of “Wall Street neoliberalism”….
He judiciously pays tribute to Sanders, on the left, for “laying the foundations” of the programme and flatters a conservative Democrat centrist such as West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, who insists on tax rises to pay for the infrastructure bill. What will be truly radical is getting the programme into law…..
What makes the politics work so well is Trump’s legacy in uniting Democrats as never before while dividing Republicans…..
But the overriding driver is the pandemic and the way it has exposed the precariousness of many Americans’ lives. It has re-legitimised the very idea of government: it is government that has procured and delivered mass vaccination and government that is supporting the incomes of ordinary Americans.”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/04/with-joe-bidens-own-audacious-new-deal-the-democratic-left-rediscovers-its-soul

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6. oliverbohs - April 7, 2021

Anyone have any opinions either way on the rejection by RTE staff of salary and expenses cuts proposals? My worry would be that management wd use that outcome to threaten parts of the organisation that don’t have the viewership or listenership of the obvious mainstream bits, yer Lyric FMs and maybe TG4. Don’t want that to happen, and don’t want a game of divide and conquer either, however entitled some of the staff are (or to what degree management want you to think that)

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WorldbyStorm - April 7, 2021

Yeah, it’s a conundrum, I’m sure the mgmt will use that sense of entitlement on the part of some as a wedge against sympathy. But there’s a fair few people there on more normal incomes.

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7. pettyburgess - April 7, 2021

I see that the slow motion Workers Party split continues:

“Comrade President,

We are writing to you to express the serious concerns of the two Party branches in Cork, Mayfield and Cork North West, over the manner in which Cllr Ted Tynan has been treated by the Ard Comhairle and the Management Committee, and regarding the catalogue of issues Ted has raised in his recent open letter to Party members.

That a comrade of Ted Tynan’s standing should be forced to resort to writing an open letter to Party members is in itself a matter of serious concern.

However, that is eclipsed by the issues he raises, the manner in which he has been treated and the general contempt that members are being held in by the current Ard Comhairle.

You are aware that Comrade Tynan has been illegally excluded from, at least, the last three meetings of the Ard Comhairle, has received no notifications of those meetings, no minutes of previous meetings and has received no link to allow him to join the meetings. All this despite repeated requests to the Management Committee.

Cllr Ted Tynan is a democratically elected member of the Ard Comhairle. Are you party to this conspiracy to exclude him from the Ard Comhairle and to keep him from knowing the decisions which are being taken in his absence?

You are aware also of the summons which he received to attend a meeting and of the obstacles which were placed in his way as he attempted to co-operate.

The above matters, taken in conjunction with the open letter which he issued yesterday, have brought the Party branches in Cork to a position where we must publicly declare our support for Comrade Ted Tynan and the stand that he has taken. Furthermore, we must also state that we can have no further confidence in the Party President, the Ard Comhairle or the Management Committee or the manner in which they are conducting themselves and the affairs of the Party, which has been built over many years by comrades throughout the country often at considerable personal cost.

Sean McCarthy,

Chair of Cork Mayfield Branch

James Coughlan,

Chair of Cork North West Branch”

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GearóidGaillimh - April 7, 2021

Interesting how WP and CPI are both experiencing these splits in the last year

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WorldbyStorm - April 7, 2021

Slow motion is the right term for it. Anyone know is the open letter from TT accessible anywhere?

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Colm B - April 7, 2021

Yes they seem to partly reflect a generational split, with a younger activist base versus an old guard, or put another way a clash between business as usual versus pushing the boundaries. The ideological dimensions are more obscure but in the WP, the AC faction seem to be going for a bit of Officials nostalgia and a distinct change of emphasis on the national question (I must admit I laughed at their cheeky “Stick on an Easter lily” tweet), while the old BC faction stick to the 1980s neo unionist line. Looks like the WP split is hardening now with the Cork section now linking up more definitely with the BC faction. Only a matter of time before it ends in court over the party name eh?

You can’t have two WPs: Maybe a Provisional WP vs an Official WP.😁
I guess it’s ok to laugh since no one’s been shot or beaten up, which is a great improvement on past splits.

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Enzo - April 7, 2021

Correction: Only part of the Cork section. There is no unanimity amongst Cork members for this letter.

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WorldbyStorm - April 7, 2021

Thanks for that. Useful to know.

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 7, 2021

A split in every one of the 32 counties in which the WP is organised!
From the outside it does appear to be, as ColmB says above, a sort of a “younger activist base versus an old guard, or put another way a clash between business as usual versus pushing the boundaries.” Although as I read somewhere else there appears to be a split in the older guard too – many (most?) of them siding with the younger crowd in this split.
It’s kind of ironic and sad though that the pushing of the boundaries by the “younger activist base” includes a sort of nostalgia for the officials and lillies and the Republic and all that.

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GearóidGaillimh - April 7, 2021

In both instances it’s not just generational but also differences between Dublin HQs and branches elsewhere, some older members in Belfast were also expelled from CPI recently bearing out the recent Phoenix article.

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WorldbyStorm - April 7, 2021

Granted the officials weren’t much mentioned back when we were members banjo, but the lilies and the Republic, at least nominally (and most certainly in arguing for secular and other issues), were definitely a part of the mix, we both sold the lilies and so on. But it does make a political sense, quite apart from the ideology. There’s a specific heritage there that makes it quite different to other parties on the left and distinct too from SF. Small wonder they’d see that as a positive. Whether it has any broader resonance – well, I’m sceptical.

I think you’re right re there being a bit more to the continuing tension than just an old/young split. Clearly a portion of the more… established… membership went with Dublin. But how this pans out – I don’t know. Two WPs? Official WP and WP or what? Fundamentally you can’t have two parties in one – can’t work. So that to me points to something emerging from this which will be distinct. I guess the question at this point is which cohort will be the ones to emerge as a distinct party or grouping? I’d imagine that’s one of the reasons it’s taking so long, because people are trying to work out how much support they have or trying to see if they can increase their levels of current support.

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EWI - April 7, 2021

and lillies and the Republic and all that.

Wait till you hear about young people’s support for Irish reunification, Joe. Shocking stuff altogether.

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pettyburgess - April 7, 2021

What did the zphoenix article say about CPI expulsions? Were these people considered to be supporters of the CYM or was it a separate dispute?

On the WP split, I would guess that they still have relatively substantial assets for a small party and that will only add to the usual heritage/legitimacy/continuity squabbles over the right to the name.

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GearóidGaillimh - April 7, 2021

The Phoenix article from February mentioned Homits and the CYM leaving, and also a dispute between Essex Street and some members in Cork and Belfast accused of factionalising. According to the article McCartan accused some Belfast comrades of being ‘revisionist on the national question’ and they in turn have accused him of ‘bureaucratic control’. https://www.thephoenix.ie/article/eugene-mccartans-comrades/

Subsequent to that I’ve seen documents and accounts of the expulsions on Facebook. Some of those expelled would be a little too old for CYM membership! As with the CYM dispute, the actual politics are opaque to me.

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 8, 2021

“Wait till you hear about young people’s support for Irish reunification, Joe. Shocking stuff altogether.”

Absolutely EWI. It’s coming any day now. The young people are out fighting for it on the streets of Belfast as we speak.

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EWI - April 8, 2021

Absolutely EWI. It’s coming any day now. The young people are out fighting for it on the streets of Belfast as we speak.

Your best Arlene impression yet, even without the wig.

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 8, 2021

Here EWI. This is a thread for ex-WPers and other socialists picking over the entrails. I’ll ask WBS to put up a post for ex-FFers like yourself. Maybe something about how the rot set in when the great modernizer Lemass decided that he knew better than John Charles McQuaid on some matters. You’d be happy there on that thread, EWI. On your own.

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EWI - April 8, 2021

I’ll ask WBS to put up a post for ex-FFers like yourself. Maybe something about how the rot set in when the great modernizer Lemass decided that he knew better than John Charles McQuaid on some matters.

Sadly, you don’t know as much as you think you do if you think that Lemass was the ‘great moderniser’ (the historical record tells a very different story). Maybe WbS should put up a separate thread for the cult of Lemass/Whittaker?

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8. Colm B - April 7, 2021

For what its worth, here’s my prediction: the AC faction will emerge as the “official” WP and the BC faction will wither. Partly for generational reasons – the AC faction has all of the yoof and some of the elders while the BC faction seems to be all old guard. Second, the BC faction seems to be stuck in the groove that has led the WP exactly nowhere over the last 30 years, an obsession with the Provos as the source of all ills, no interest in expansion etc. Their latest article on the loyalist violence in recent days was a classic – laying the blame everywhere except on the UDA narco-capitalists who send working class kids out to riot cos the cops have disrupted their drug fiefdoms.

The AC faction has some awareness of the need to change, though like WBS, I don’t think their Officials nostalgia has any resonance outside of a very narrow band of people, nor has the Kautsky-Stalin stuff either, though both might be enough to sustain a strong internal culture that can keep a small organisation going for a long time.

Who know though, when organisations and individuals start changing, it can lead to all sorts of places. The young Stickie me would look in horror at the old me and denounce him as total Trot!

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9. GearóidGaillimh - April 7, 2021

It amused me that when CYM posted their disaffiliation on Facebook some WP person posted a ‘Join the WP’ link in the comments. Given one of the disputes between CPI and CYM was that the latter changed their constitution to mention Seamus Costello, I don’t think CYM would be a good recruiting ground for the WP, notwithstanding a shared appreciation for edgy American tankie memes between CYM and WP Youth.

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10. CL - April 8, 2021

” First Minister Arlene Foster has condemned the recent loyalist violence, but has not spoken to Chief Constable Simon Byrne….

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader Steve Aiken said the fact that Mrs Foster had not engaged with Mr Byrne in the wake of the violence was a mistake.”
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-56650643

” The North’s Minister for Justice and leader of the Alliance Party Naomi Long told RTÉ it was “preposterous” Ms Foster “refuses” to meet Mr Byrne just weeks after she met the Loyalist Communities Council, an umbrella group for loyalist paramilitaries.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/northern-ireland-bus-hijacked-and-set-on-fire-as-disorder-continues-1.4531437

” Loyalists are expected to hold a number of unnotified parades across Northern Ireland this weekend in an act of “civil disobedience” intended to stretch police resources.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/loyalists-planning-more-unnotified-parades-as-summer-of-disruption-looms-40286491.html

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2021

That fact alone, she’d meet the LCC but not the Chief Constable is incredible. She’s playing with fire. Imagine an SF FM who only met with Republican groups but not the psni, there’d be calls to pull the whole thing down.

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CL - April 8, 2021

” In a tweet last night, Ms Foster described the violence as “vandalism and attempted murder”, saying the actions of those involved “do not represent unionism or loyalism”.
In a tweet, she said: “This is not protest. This is vandalism and attempted murder. These actions do not represent unionism or loyalism. They are an embarrassment to Northern Ireland and only serve to take the focus off the real law breakers in Sinn Féin. My thoughts are with the bus driver.”

Labour leader Alan Kelly described the statement as “dangerous, worrying and embarrassing all in one”, and
said it “encapsulates so much what the DUP priorities really are”.
https://www.rte.ie/news/2021/0408/1208518-taoiseach-condemns-unrest-as-ni-leaders-to-meet/

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CL - April 8, 2021

” The Alliance Party leader Naomi Long has described herself as being “disappointed” by the condemnation of violence in west Belfast by the First Minister Arlene Foster on Wednesday night…..
Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Ulster, the Justice Minister described the response as being “out of place”.
“Whilst I welcome the condemnation, I thought it was somewhat out of place to be speaking in that context about Sinn Fein being the ‘real lawbreakers’ in respect of the Bobby Storey funeral,” she said.
“Obviously, there were lawbreakers on the streets last night, throwing petrol bombs, masonry, burning buses.
“I think there comes a time where we need to be willing to call these things out…without also having to balance that with the criticism of something else.
“I find that incredibly disappointing.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/belfast/assembly-meets-after-week-of-northern-ireland-disorder-which-saw-55-police-injured-40287229.html

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EWI - April 8, 2021

That fact alone, she’d meet the LCC but not the Chief Constable is incredible. She’s playing with fire. Imagine an SF FM who only met with Republican groups but not the psni, there’d be calls to pull the whole thing down.

And today she’s refused to show up at Stormont to face the music (apparently she’s only deigning to do a Zoom call).

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CL - April 8, 2021

” Following that incident at the site of the 1992 Ormeau Road betting shop murders, Ms O’Neill claimed there was a “crisis in confidence” in the PSNI among nationalists, albeit she stopped short of calling for Mr Byrne to quit.
The Protocol and funeral controversy have not created the loyalist perception that the system is weighed against them, but have built upon a narrative articulated by an increasing number within loyalism that the peace process – particularly the Good Friday accord of 1998 – has handed them a raw deal.
They cite underinvestment and deprivation in loyalist working class areas as further proof that they have missed out on the gains of peace…..
Nationalists and republicans reject this premise, insisting their communities have experienced just has many problems with poverty and unemployment since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
Paramilitary elements are undoubtedly involved in much of the disorder witnessed across the region in recent days – either directly or by orchestrating young people to riot on their behalf.
However, in Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus an added factor is at play.
In those areas, the PSNI believes paramilitary involvement is less motivated by Brexit or the Storey funeral and more to do with a rogue faction – the South East Antrim UDA – reacting to recent police operations targeting its criminal empire.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/republic-of-ireland/loyalist-anger-at-post-brexit-trade-rules-among-factors-in-ni-disorder-40287029.html

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CL - April 8, 2021

” Things are getting worse in Northern Ireland, and most of my readers have been taught to blame the wrong side and let Sinn Féin off the hook.” -Eoghan Harris, Sunday Independent, April 4, 2021

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11. roddy - April 8, 2021

With regard to “the young people are out fighting for it (a UI) on the streets”.-the facts are young people are being whipped up about a funeral from 9 months ago and a protocol established by a Brexit which Unionist politicians supported.Loyalist drug gangs are egging them on and last night brought them deliberately to an interface with the sole intention of escalating tension.A number of youths on the other side of the interface then got involved and SF were out in numbers trying to get them to go home.The loyalists have been rioting for nights and last night deliberately goaded “themmuns” to escalate things.As well as unionist politicians whipping things up ,a radio show hosted by one of the most vile individuals in the history of Northern broadcasting has been cranking up tension for months in pursuit of ratings.A petition highlighting this shows malign influence and calling for it to be cancelled is online and has so far attracted almost 20k signatures.

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Fergal - April 8, 2021

I suppose this is what Sammy Wilson when,not too busy cheerleading for Trump, meant about fighting the protocol using ‘guerilla warfare’
The Storey funeral was an affront to all of us, unnecessary, and counterproductive… nobody is above the law … and unlike the Guard’s funeral can be used to get kids onto the streets to riot
When loyalists don’t get their way they threaten to use violence, then they use it and it always ends up targeting the green side… Thatcher stood up to them in 85 over the AIAgreement… What will Johnson and Brussels do?
The current mess is caused by Brexit… the Dup wanted Brexit …

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12. Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - April 8, 2021

Are people claiming to be surprised by events in Belfast? As Fergal says the Storey event was a insult to everyone, the PSNI should have moved in to stop it but when you have leading elected politicians taking part in such a grandiose insult to both communities what could they do. Rangers fans celebrating a league win was appalling but the Storey event was a choreographed FU to wider society, the constant refrain about his grieving family was a further insult, whether you agree with his war or not no one can argue that Storey produced many a grieving family as well, who did they feel with such a display?. That funeral and the current disorder really have one cause, paramilitarism – it needs tackled legally and culturally or Northern Ireland will end up not back to where it was but with continuing extreme disfunction within its working class communities. The DUP are upping the ante but if they don’t they’ll just be outflanked by more hardline elements seeking to exploit events for political and financial (drug and protection money) benefit – so what exactly do people want the DUP to do? Of course it would be great to dial it down but O’Neill, McDonald et al dialled it up – SF has a key roll in dismantling the ideology of paramiltarism, if it is honest about unity it needs to take the lead.

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roddy - April 8, 2021

A sticky hypocrite mouthing platitudes about “paramilitarism”.Get up the yard before I start about your outfit engaging in absolute criminality for decades in collusion with the butchers of the UVF,up to and including swapping weapons with them.Weapons which they never decommisioned .

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Colm B - April 8, 2021

But the key issue being ignored here is that a loyalist narco-gang is using the cover of political controversy to protect their parasitic dominance over working class communities. If the cops hadn’t attempted to disrupt their drug business, there would be no riots.

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roddy - April 8, 2021

Colm the key issue is the complete utter hypocritical bullshit pedalled by Donohoe.

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2021

The Storey funeral was a ridiculous own goal, and yeah, SF should own it and apologise for it – had meant to put up a post about that already. But to point to that as the single triggering event here is evasionary or being made for expedient purposes. How about the also ridiculous scare-mongering weeks back over the ports issue by some (repeated on this site) – scare-mongering that fed right into loyalist fears and done quite deliberately by a range of DUP and unionist figures. And as Colm notes there’s a further factor which is the manner in which criminal elements are wading in to this for their own ends.

And how about the fact the First Minister refused to meet the CC of the PSNI while content to meet representatives of the loyalist paramilitaries. Said it before, but if an SF FM did that imagine the chorus of complaints (and justifiably so).

I think in all this it really is necessary to disentangle events from one another. If the Storey funeral was of such great import how come we didn’t have riots from when it occurred? If the ports were such an issue how come there aren’t more protests outside them at this point? Why is it that that isn’t the focus? How about loyalist gatherings within recent weeks which also broke the constraints of lockdown. Where do they sit in this? Or is the truth that this is a much much more complex web of events that a simple SF is to blame narrative doesn’t do justice to?

I think Alex Kane’s piece – referenced elsewhere – is a nuanced and balanced piece from a unionist perspective.

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2021

And just to add, if we are talking about paramilitarism it seems implausible to point to the Storey funeral – again something that was wrong due to the timing etc – as such as evidence of paramilitarism of the same sort as people rioting, parading with weapons, etc, etc. Clearly there will be legacy events and areas – as with funerals. But they seem to be of a quite a different kind to active intimidatory tactics.

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Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - April 8, 2021

“scaremongering” on the ports issue? It has come to pass, could have been the ports but it’s the lack of persecutions from the Storey funeral, none of these things are of an import to produce the violence seen but there is a pyre there ready to be lit and it only serves regressive forces to light it. There are large organisations in Northern Ireland which have control of WC Protestant communities, and as with a once used analogy about the IRA if you have a greyhound you have to run it. Whether you agree with them or not there is mounting grievances in the Loyalist community, true republican leadership would be working to dampen these grievances not stoke them with quasi-state funerals of paramilitary leaders (Storey was not a political leader just a paramilitary one), border polls et al. As has been oft said the border is a product of division not the creator of that division.

EWI – you hit the nail on the head with this “Switch each mention of SF for the DUP (and vice-versa) and tell me how your claims now read”. In many incidents the tribal parties positions can be switched that is the problem. However, one of these parties claims to be in the tradition of the Republicanism derived from the revolutionary tradition of the United Irishmen, an anti-sectarian tradition. The other is a party is derived from (an in the main but arguably not inevitable) reactionary break from the main Presbyterian Church that adopted a position of fundamentalism on theology that would have made John Knox blush – that is the problem the two sides look like two cheeks of same arse when they should not.

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2021

Yes, scaremongering, and on here too, making out that certain events were, quite in opposition to the line by the police and others, part of a broader push back by loyalism when they weren’t. However political unionism and the DUP in particular leapt on them to whip up fears and exacerbate tensions. And that’s the proximate cause of all this in recent times – political unionism whipping up and exaggerating fears at a time when it shouldn’t be doing so.

I don’t think it is practical to say that winding down a paramilitary organisation that sustained a quarter century of conflict is something that means funerals can be done away with, that’s fine as an opinion but I don’t think it’s possible. I was in the WP too and I don’t think the experience there is scaleable to larger organisations and in any case it only partly worked. And I’m deeply dubious about arguments that try to present the DUP and SF as the same. This isn’t to paint SF as beyond reproach – again, they should be out there apologising for the Storey funeral, but apportioning blame where blame is due and not exaggerating or being disproportionate.

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Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - April 8, 2021

We’ll just have to agree to differ on this. Political unionism exists to maintain a union with Britain, raising the issue of a unified Ireland as of paramount importance and achievable by one tribe outbreeding the other is going to produce a reaction from political unionism that has a tradition of whipping up violence. The WP renounced the glorification of paramilitarism, the Provos are rewriting history that a perhaps inevitable sectarian struggle was something glorious – Storey’s funeral was not some spontaneous thing it was a celebration of a hardman who part took in that sectarian struggle – in a pandemic there was a decision to mount a show for it, part of the doing away with the culture of paramilitarism is doing away with such things. You seem only able to see what political unionism should do differently, I content that the onus is on SF to do things differently, its howling at the moon demanding change from parties who are clear in the main about the reactionary politics which underpins them.

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2021

Actually that’s incorrect. I’m precisely not saying just what political unionism should do differently. My very first post above said that the Storey funeral, or rather the organisation of it was incorrect – though not because it was a funeral or commemoration of the man (and really, anyone like him who supported the peace process did play a part in bringing about the more peaceful dispensation so the distinction between political and paramilitary is all but meaningless in that specific context. No doubt there’s much to criticise Storey about but when push came to shove he played a positive role in that regard), but because it was at the wrong time and wrong place in the context of a pandemic and I’ll add looked arrogant and out of touch and dismissive of the experience of others due to that. But, saying that doesn’t legitimate your other points about SF – I particularly dislike terms like ‘outbreeding’. And edging up and across the line of calling SF sectarian cuts little ice. But then so does this obsessive focus on SF to the extent that all other factors and players in this are continually downgraded.

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2021

Just to add, one of those busy days, but just getting to listen to Morning Ireland. What does Vincent Kearney, RTÉ’s Northern Editor say?

That while the DUP and UUP are trying to run hard with the Storey stuff as the reason for all this, SF, SDLP and Alliance are pointing the finger back at the DUP and saying they’re (the DUP) inflaming the situation – with calls for the PSNI CC to resign, attacking the police and the other parties SF, SDLP and Alliance are saying the DUP/UUP have attacked and undermined the police and now loyalist youths (by the way, he mentions the age of many of them, early to mid teens, hardly people to be moved by the subtleties of the NI protocol, and he says without support from the loyalist leaderships) feel they have license to attack the police more directly.

Which raises a question. Why would leftists be conveying half-digested DUP/UUP talking points when others including the Alliance (hardly a patsy for SF) see the blame as firmly that of the DUP/UUP?

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Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - April 9, 2021

“Which raises a question. Why would leftists be conveying half-digested DUP/UUP talking points when others including the Alliance (hardly a patsy for SF) see the blame as firmly that of the DUP/UUP?” – who is doing that ? I stated neither the ports issue, Storey funeral or DUP/UUP politicking are really the root cause of the problems in Loyalist communities (problems which can have dire consequences), it is the maintenance of paramilitary organisations and the culture that supports them – but I don’t see real engagement on how the culture of paramilitarism is being decommissioned. Roddy is on one about them uns (the WP) still glorying paramilitarism, I was at the McCann unveiling, actually the only time I was physically close to Storey (a towering presence) who was there with Adams – and will not go into details on Garland etc because its pointless stuff being said about him. Yes, the WP has issues with its past and is also right not to disown it, the Provos have bigger issues and the Loyalist communities seemingly the largest. The culture of the semi-secret armed approach to politics is well pass its sell by date but there needs to be real and honest attempts to decommission it, and that means remembering it but not over glorifying it – its a subculture that needs to be replaced by a new type of politics, or even different interests (I belivie this was partly done by at least some sections of the the UVF by stopping some of its activities and getting ever more into ‘band culture’) – talking about border polls, Irish sea borders etc until the paramilitary/culture of violence is adequately addressed with only have one result.

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2021

Except you persist in dragging SF in to this as if it is a proximate cause to the events of the last few nights when the SDLP and Alliance say this is home grown to the DUP, and by the by, the DUP isn’t exactly a paramilitary org, in fact what it, and to some extent political unionism is doing is pushing paramilitarism into the picture in a very dangerous fashion.

Aa for the rest, it is entirely within the constraints of the GFA/BA to seek a border poll and unification. That is a legitimate political aspiration and is indeed something that takes people beyond paramilitarism, and has in the example of SF. I think to then argue that unless a nebulously defined ‘paramilitarism’ is solved there should be no talk of those legitimate goals is to effectively stymie any prospect of change. That’s an opinion, but given the realities of the situation it’s a bit implausible as a way forward and unlikely to be followed by anyone involved.

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Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - April 9, 2021

Maybe you understand the political reality but are unwilling to accept it, that reality, in my view, is that there is an effective veto on political change as long as Loyalist paramilitaries and the culture that supports them exist to the extent it does now – because pushes towards unity without a change in those realities will lead to a degree of bloodshed that makes such change a terrible vista not something to be strived for. To hopefully change this reality needs serious engagement with that community and the support of any progressive leadership that emerges from it – just as the reality that the IRA’s conflict could not be brought to an end by just forcing political change or pacification upon its supporting community. As for the SDLP and Alliance’s positions – yeah fair enough there making decent political points but I don’t believe the DUP has real control over Loyalism either way – it can set a bit of the context but the sell out by Boris over the Irish sea border is real, and I actually think the DUP is to a greater extent a hostage to events rather than controlling them. It back to an issue previously discussed do you believe there is not agency within the Loyalist communities on these issues? As I’ve repeatedly stated SF as ‘a republican’ Leftist party has to at least attempt to take the lead on these issues – and well done to their community activists for their role last night – no one is claiming that these communities have not be been basically just used by the UUP and now the DUP – these are conservative, reactionary parties what do you expect them to do – but the reality is that putting the political cart (much talk of and projects towards unity in the short to medium term) before the horse of the reality of an armed Loyalist veto, which we certainly don’t like but exists beyond the DUP, Brit Gov or UUP, is just bringing the possibility of another cycle of violence into the realms of real possibility. The SF and fellow traveller approach of banging the drum of unity, I believe, actually makes division more likely (particularly in the context of Brexit et al) – it doesn’t matter how legitimate it is as a political aim, and its an approach that the progressive Left should critique rather than fall in behind. I also believe that SF could have adopted another approach and I’m someone dismayed that they used much political capital to push the border issue when the party really gains its support at least in the South due to its leftist policies. We’ll wait and see how it all pans out.

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2021

The NI Protocol issue is largely contrived and particularly by the DUP (one could say the UK has sold out unionism but really to effect the Brexit it wanted and stay within the parameters of the GFA/BA what choice did it have? When it came to trading with its closest geographic neighbouring bloc this was a no brainier for the Tories) the DUP has further exacerbated it (a fact pointed to by SDLP and Alliance) and this is SFs fault? The talk of unity didn’t just fall from the sky. Brexit represented and we see this from polling within NI a break for a portion of previously unionist and or Alliance middle of the road inclined voters – that’s the real Genesis of the sense there was scope for a push towards a border poll and again that can’t be laid at SFs door tho entirely reasonably the party was willing to run with that. Now a couple of further thoughts – SF has made clear before any poll there has to be preparation particularly by the south, so clearly they don’t expect it imminently.

I think loyalism has some agency but it would be simplistic to suggest that fears can’t be whipped up as they have been by the DUP (you after all are suggesting loyalist us largely reactive to perceptions of SF or republicanism- a shame more effort isn’t made to show how incorrect those perceptions are)

And as others have noted whipped up a rupture with the PSNI. Indeed here’s the truly bizarre aspect of this, Alliance, sDlp and SF are lined up supporting the PSNI and political unionism is not. Quite a turnaround, but the fact Alliance is in there indicates this isn’t purely communal but really the politics of expedience by the DUP.

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EWI - April 8, 2021

Switch each mention of SF for the DUP (and vice-versa) and tell me how your claims now read.

There has been far too much molly-coddling in the past hundred years of unionist politicians ginning up violence and then walking away, scot-free.

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13. sonofstan - April 8, 2021

What if….
Suppose after the next assembly election that SF are the biggest party. Then suppose that the DUP find some excuse to refuse to serve under an SF FM and try and collapse the assembly. Now, if I understand D’Hondt correctly, the executive must include the party or parties that represent the majority of the representatives that declare for each community. So suppose that Alliance +UUP > DUP. If Alliance were then to declare themselves to be unionist ( I know Roddy, I know) could an executive then be formed without the DUP?

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6to5against - April 8, 2021

There’s a lot of supposes in there, but I think that if the first supposition comes true the second one is pretty much nailed down.
But if we got to that point, would the UUP want to do so? I would think they would be subject to the same fears as the DUP and would refuse to play 2nd fiddle in an orchestra that was only ever created for their music.

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roddy - April 8, 2021

Personally ,I dont give 2 fucks who Unionism elects to lead them.The UUP is currently led by a bumbling,inept ex submarine commander .That this man had possibly a say in how nuclear warfare would be conducted terrifies me.He’s so fucked up in recent days that he’ll likely be replaced.Unfortunately the man tipped to replace him is a scumbag who travelled thousands of miles to kill 3rd world people in a grotesque manner in the service of British imperialism.So the pretence that these people would be in any way preferable to the straightforward bigots of the DUP is laughable.

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sonofstan - April 8, 2021

I’ve no opinion on whether they’d be preferable. I’m just wondering if they’d do it.

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14. CL - April 8, 2021

:” There is no credible armed republican threat to Northern Ireland, the status of which can only be changed via a democratic vote.
So why, according to intelligence reports, are there still loyalist paramilitary groups with a collective membership some 12,500 strong?…
There has been a lot said about how violence, or its threat, is futile and changes nothing.
Well, up to a point. The implicit risk of its return from republicans contributed to the protocol.
It is just that not many observers considered the possibility of loyalist violence.” – Jon Tonge
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/comment/responsible-political-leadership-is-the-only-answer-to-unrest-40288264.html?

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2021

I think Tonge overstates the case re republican violence contributing to the protocol. The real problem would be the imposition of a hard border on the island again after almost a quarter century of no border – something that would be visible in a way that the Irish Sea border isn’t and a continuing point of destabilisation, almost overwhelmingly political destabilisation. It’s not difficult to envisage processes that would speed up checks and such like in regard of the protocol that would make it near enough seamless. It is quite impossible to envisage the same in respect of the land border. Difficult to sustain rioting against a check that takes place out of mind and out of sight at ports – a lot less difficult to see that tailbacks of cars and trucks on either side the border would have quite a different cachet. In a way, and I’m not for a moment letting Johnson off the hook here, what else could he say but that there’d be no sea border. In a way let’s hope that all this can be finessed so that he’s mostly right.

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CL - April 8, 2021

I’m not so sure that an international border will be acceptable within the territory of the UK. But as the Biden admin has pointed out this is a matter of a trade relationship between the UK and the EU.

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15. roddy - April 8, 2021

Donohoe ,I live here and I can tell you that the WP still “glorify paramilitarism” either openly at commemorations for their members(they even attended one for Joe McCann attended by all wings of Republicanism) or 5 or 6 sneaking to lay wreaths on John Pat Mullan’s grave in an area that rejected them decades ago.They glorify their role in the so called “Falls curfew”and fawned over Garland until the day he died.Garland was as much a “hardman” as Storey and the family of Seamus Costello and others would have plenty to say about that.The main difference was that Bobby was responsible for outfoxing the entire British intelligence apparatus in a way that revolutionary movements were in awe of. Garland’s legacy is absolutely nothing.

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2021

Well it is certainly true that colour parties are not unknown to the WP. I can’t say whether people see that as a glorification or not but it sits oddly with the idea that somehow ‘Anything to do with paramilitarism, us? No sir, no way.’ line. And as recently as this last weekend or two wasn’t there a colour party out for a WP event for a comrade who had passed away?

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sonofstan - April 8, 2021

” Garland’s legacy is absolutely nothing”

Except everything that SF now do.

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roddy - April 8, 2021

Storey’s movement are the most popular party in Ireland by a mile.Garland’s has one councilllor in the 32 counties who is disowned by his own leadership. Storey’s comrades have monuments put up to them in Robin island and Cuba and were an inspiration to the likes of Mandela. So when did Garland achieve these things that “SF now do”

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2021

I wouldn’t say it was nothing – I think the WP played a role in the 1980s in pushing back against the right wing agenda of the PDs and likewise. Not entirely successfully, obviously, but I think they softened the cough of parties like that and did indicate the limits of what could be imposed on working class communities (and not them alone either – others on the left did likewise, but the WP was the largest and most coherent and organised group) and Garland deserves considerable credit for that.

I hesitantly would suggest that SF came by its own route to where it current is – though from talking to people inside it my sense is it perhaps even learned some lessons from the WP about what not to do – for example, don’t abandon your core support base, don’t ignore or alienate those who were active in armed struggle, keep as many people on board as possible. So Garland’s influence there would not be really direct – more form follows function. That said perhaps SF did see the WPs political growth in the 80s and realised that politics could reap dividends and having an armed wing – or transitioning from having an armed wing, wasn’t an absolute deal-breaker with the working class in particular.

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16. Tomboktu - April 8, 2021

I’ve three ‘temperature stations’ on the go at the moment for seeds.

One is the floor of the hotpress for tomatoes and mini sunflowers until they germinate, that need to be about 20°C to germinate.

A second is the south facing window sill in a room with the radiator off and the window open a notch, for the onion and lettuce seeds that germinate best at 15° to 20°C.

The final one is the north facing window, again with the radiator off, for calendula seed’s that geminate below 12°C.

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 8, 2021

I’ve decided to refrain from joining the debate on the current situation in the north. Voltaire had sound advice. Echoed I think by the good Tomboktu. One must cultivate one’s own garden.

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/cultivate-own-garden-voltaire/

What did Voltaire mean with his gardening advice? That we must keep a good distance between ourselves and the world, because taking too close an interest in politics or public opinion is a fast route to aggravation and danger. We should know well enough at this point that humans are troublesome and will never achieve – at a state level – anything like the degree of logic and goodness we would wish for. We should never tie our personal moods to the condition of a whole nation or people in general; or we would need to weep continuously. We need to live in our own small plots, not the heads of strangers. At the same time, because our minds are haunted and prey to anxiety and despair, we need to keep ourselves busy. We need a project.

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17. Colm B - April 8, 2021

I think I get what you mean peace-of-mind wise but it sounds a wee bit Edmund Burkeish or dare I say Jordan Petersonish to me …. get your own house in order, keep your own room tidy, before you think about tackling the great ills of the world.

I prefer the advise of another great philosopher: “philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point, however is to change it”

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2021

It’s phases isn’t it? I agree with you fundamentally, at the end of the day we have to try to change things for the better, then again, now and then some respite from that is important too.

Still, I wonder – given all our projects are truncated by covid, is there anything we could all be doing perhaps collectively and in a small way that might be useful?

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Colm B - April 8, 2021

I think the key is the injunction ” to change it”. How one chooses to engage with that is very much a matter of circumstances, choice etc. I’ve never read it as ‘ you must do nothing else 24/7 except eat, sleep and drink radical politics” or ” you must dedicate yourself entirely to this or that revolutionary organisation”. Rather I take it as a general exhortation to do what you can, when you can, to bring about radical change or maybe more often than to defend gains won or prevent retreats.

I’m not really one for street stalls and leafleting these days but I m much more active as a union rep than ever before so, swings and roundabouts.

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2021

That’s fair, in fact that seems the best way to retain ones sanity !

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EWI - April 9, 2021

I prefer the advise of another great philosopher: “philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point, however is to change it”

And funnily enough the Burkes, Petersons and hangers-on of the world are in actuality very exercised and by a wide variety of things… no matter what they might say.

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18. Michael Carley - April 8, 2021

I’m sure people here will enjoy this.

Liked by 3 people

19. Tomboktu - April 8, 2021

Hans Küng has died. He was 93. (I like the joke that he did not want to be pope because then he would not be infallible.)

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yourcousin - April 9, 2021

Rest in power.

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20. Tomboktu - April 9, 2021

RTÉ reporting this morning that community and political leaders in the North are concerned that the lads lobbing petrol bombs and bricks on the Springfield and Shankill roads don’t seen to realise they might get criminal records.

Oddly, the leaders, with their fingers on the pulse, don’t seem to have mentioned whether the lads would also let their servants read Lady Chatterly’s Lover.

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roddy - April 9, 2021

SF MP Paul Maskey and other members formed a human shield (at great personal risk to themselves)to stop these “lads” (anti social elements)from getting near the peace line.But you’ll not hear that from the usual middle class tossers who pontificate about “both sides are as bad as the other”

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 9, 2021

Well done to SF for doing that.

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21. Alibaba - April 9, 2021

An interesting observation in The Phoenix about the disagreement between Coveney and Donnelly regarding plans to extend the number of countries to be added to the mandatory quarantine list:

‘ Donnelly cuts an unlikely figure as national saviour but he has had a Gethsemane experience as health minister and his reputation as a super technocrat has been bettered, perhaps beyond repair. But as other government big beasts worked themselves into a lather of indignation on behalf of business and global multinationals, Donnelly may have found a route from his crucifixion to resurrection. If he wins the battle he will present as champion of the people and their health; if he loses, he will be seen as a martyr that fought the good fight. The health minister welcomed this row with open arms. ‘

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EWI - April 9, 2021

and his reputation as a super technocrat has been bettered, perhaps beyond repair.

An unlikely verdict from the Phoenix 😉

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Alibaba - April 9, 2021

My typo. Sorry. It should have read ‘ and his reputation as a super technocrat has been battered, perhaps beyond repair. ‘

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22. CL - April 9, 2021

” A loyalist group has called for protests to be cancelled on Friday evening after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Lower North Belfast Concerned Residents, in an online post, said their call was “out of respect” to the Royal family.
It came as the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) has finally released a statement denying involvement in the unrest – after a week of order and unrest across Northern Ireland.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/loyalist-umbrella-group-lcc-breaks-silence-to-call-for-an-end-to-unrest-

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CL - April 9, 2021

” The Loyalist Communities Council has issued a statement following days of violent disorder across Northern Ireland….

For Irish government ministers to use the threat of resumed violence as a negotiating tool was unforgivable. A new Protocol must be negotiated that restores those key Agreement safeguards. In practice this means no hard border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, and no hard border on this island. ”
https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/belfast-riots-loyalist-communities-council-20351387

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23. CL - April 9, 2021

” During Brexit negotiations, the EU, encouraged by the Irish government, cynically set out to weaponise Northern Ireland to scupper a deal or at the very least heavily punish the British.
There was a perfectly feasible way through smart technology and a Trusted Trader scheme to have a virtually invisible border on the Irish/EU side….
Out of sheer spite, the EU has chosen to interpret the rules as inflexibly as possible and cause maximum disruption. And, to make it even worse, Sinn Fein have been crowing mendaciously about how this leads inexorably to a United Ireland….

The Government has caved in to threats of republican violence.

Though the scenes of violence this week are sickening and no one could condone them, it is hardly surprising that some angry loyalists decided to follow suit.
Urgently sorting out the scandal of the protocol is the least Lord Frost and the Prime Minister can do to give the law-abiding and loyal Northern Irish people the centenary present they deserve ” – Ruth Dudley Edwards.
https://www.ruthdudleyedwards.co.uk/2021/04/spiteful-eu-has-fanned-the-flames-of-division-in-northern-ireland-writes-historian-ruth-dudley-edwards/

” The truth … is that the recent violence isn’t merely recreational. It’s political. On the streets of Northern Ireland and in the corridors of Stormont, we are seeing the signs of a growing democratic crisis over the application of the Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Officials and politicians in Brussels and London should take note of their responsibility in bringing it to a peaceful end….
A riot doesn’t need to be strategically astute in order to have political resonance.
It’s not just the rioters who lack a clear strategy. The cause of Northern Ireland unionism finds itself in uncharted territory — frustrated at the “betrayal’ by London, suspicious of the motives and power of Brussels and now apparently lacking confidence in the police service…..
If the union is seen to be at stake, then of course unionists will rally to the cause. The protocol will remain foremost in their sights — and thus a source of tension in the Assembly and Executive — well into next year….
Northern Ireland’s stability is now a joint U.K.-EU concern. Both are responsible for the protocol and, by extension, for how it is perceived where it hits hardest. Unfortunately for them, it is hitting in a fragile entity, bordering on political dysfunction — and at risk of a real escalation in violence.” – Katy Hayward
https://www.politico.eu/article/northern-ireland-oped/

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EWI - April 9, 2021

Though the scenes of violence this week are sickening and no one could condone them, it is hardly surprising that some angry loyalists decided to follow suit.

The only sickening here, dear Ruth, is your reflexive apologism for the Orange Order and loyalism.

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2021

Wow, that’s a dismal take by her – though not unexpected.

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2021

Just thinking about the escalation into violence. What escalation does that become? Attacks by loyalists on republican/nationalist areas? Attacks by them on the police? Because any/all of those are counterproductive to their cause. And can loyalism really command the situation like at Sunningdale? I’m dubious – the AIA went through despite much wider antagonism.

One key thing, and it was good to see Maskey et al holding back people, is that nationalists and republicans do not walk into a trap here.

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EWI - April 12, 2021

And can loyalism really command the situation like at Sunningdale? I’m dubious – the AIA went through despite much wider antagonism.

The usual role for loyalism is in being (deniable) muscle to exert political pressure. But I don’t think unionism has any real friends in the UK these days to leverage this with (probably closer to the MM faction of FF and Bruton faction of FG, strangely enough).

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WorldbyStorm - April 12, 2021

There’s also the other angle, this is very much a pared down unionism. Even at the AIA there was a cross class mobilisation, but this, so far – touch wood – is much more limited. The middle class unionism is split between UUP, DUP and Alliance in ways that wasn’t true previously. I wonder if that has a bearing as well.

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CL - April 12, 2021

” In the midst of the political fall-out surrounding the Northern Ireland protocol, there has been deliberate intention to mislead the public, where political Unionism purports to speak for the majority of the people of Northern Ireland, while in fact there exists no political party with a claim to any one community, let alone the entire populace.
They can at best claim to speak for those who voted for them, which in the case of the DUP is 225,413, the UUP 103,314 and the TUV 20,523, a combined figure of 348,98 out of a electorate of 1.33 million. ….

Two decades on from the Good Friday Agreement and many of the regions and communities most affected remain steeped in poverty and segregation.”
https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/commentanalysis/arid-40263293.html

Losing politically unionism is resorting to violence ?

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CL - April 10, 2021

” Speaking after discussion with Northern Irish leaders, including First Minister Arlene Foster, Mr Martin acknowledged the unionist hostility to the protocol and said he had “appraised Brussels of the sensitivities” in the North.
“EU and UK dialogue is needed,” Mr Martin said. “That’s very much where it’s at. Ireland is willing to help in any way we can.”…

However, there was no agreement about the issue that has aroused so much unionist anger and unrest – the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit withdrawal agreement….
The view in Dublin …. is that there is no prospect of the agreement being renegotiated, and the UK government has made no such request.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/eu-and-uk-must-work-together-on-north-says-taoiseach-1.4533408

‘appraised’ ?

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24. Bagatelle's Unkempt Tonic - April 9, 2021

Nice article on the James Webb Space Telescope and details on some of the first projects assigned time.

“To maximize scientific returns, the total observation time within Cycle 1’s General Observer programs is split among a variety of subcategories: 32 percent for galaxies, 23 percent for exoplanets, 12 percent for stellar physics, and so on—down to 6 percent dedicated to our own solar system. Within those categories, there are small programs (25 hours or less of observation time), medium programs (more than 25 to 75 hours) and large programs (more than 75 hours). Some of the latter are also regarded as “treasury programs,” which are expected to provide expansive data sets that will lay the foundations for subsequent studies by multiple generations of researchers.”

Liked by 1 person

25. Starkadder - April 9, 2021

New interview with Noam Chomsky in the Boston Review:

http://bostonreview.net/class-inequality-politics/noam-chomsky-david-barsamian-mole

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WorldbyStorm - April 9, 2021

Thanks Starkadder, that looks good

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26. roddy - April 10, 2021

I just was thinking this morning about how we all have a political bias and this causes us to have a go at each other on this site from time to time.Does anyone else allow their politics to intrude into their working life?.I do work for all sections of the community and would have a reputation of “not being hard to pay”. However I would have a sliding scale for payment depending on political outlook!.The general public including all from a Unionist background would get a standard (and very reasonable ) rate.Shinners get a small discount.However stoops (SDLP) and Dissidents face a surcharge of at least 10%! Ultra mouthy Stoops and Dissidents get a point blank refusal to do any work for them at all!.Believe it or not the Sticks are not discriminated against at all as they are basically a handful of old codgers that I knew from years ago and are treated well by me.The thing is ,am I acting in an outrageous manner and secondly is it even legal?!!!!

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WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2021

Hmmmmm….

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roddy - April 10, 2021

Is that Hmmmmm the slightest hint of approval?

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WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2021

I’m trying to work out is it a good or a bad thing 🙂

My policy is if people are left inclined then I’ll do what I can, if not, I’ll do what I have to! :

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wesferry - April 10, 2021

Think WBS was ruminating about “Sticks are not discriminated against at all as they are basically a handful of old codgers that I knew from years ago and are treated well by me”. 😂

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WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2021

There’s something in what you say wesferry… 🙂

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 10, 2021

Few slates loose in my gaff, Roddy. Leaky taps too. Couple of plug sockets need rewiring. What is it you do? Would you work in the capital?

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yourcousin - April 10, 2021

Hmmmm, I’d figured roddy was in some sort of agricultural trade, not necessarily the building trades per se, roddy, am I wrong?

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roddy - April 10, 2021

A specialist service that if I disclosed would sweep away my anonymity!

Liked by 2 people

yourcousin - April 10, 2021

So, agricultural, or building? Your anonymity is assured!

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 11, 2021

“sweep away my anonymity”. Hmmm.

I had it narrowed down to one of two: vermin control or safe disposal of unwanted armaments. But now I’m not so sure.

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27. roddy - April 10, 2021

Farmers,builders and everyone else would contact Roddy.

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yourcousin - April 10, 2021

But would it be a service needed in Belfast or Dublin?

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WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2021

This could go on all evening 🙂

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yourcousin - April 10, 2021

Whatever you say, say nothing 😉

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roddy - April 10, 2021

No partitionism or urban rural divide with Roddy.And as they would say in Castlereagh interrogation centre – “no (further) comment”.

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yourcousin - April 10, 2021

Well damn, so not a sileage guy, not a sump pit guy, not a propane dispenser. I assume Belfast and Dublin have sewer systems and centralized natural gas systems. Hell, Ireland may be too humid for sileage guys anyway.

So I take it a small time tradesman. I know you’ll not tell me if your licensed ie a plumber or sparky. Que sera.

Short answer for your original question is that I doubt many of us have such a clear cut political landscape in which to operate. I know when I used to do side jobs, I never thought about the client per se. Though that might differ in today’s environment. But now I just work 60+ hours a week for a single client! And in all honesty my team covered last night’s work, and the shift today so I only logged in just under 55 hours for the week.

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WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2021

Man, give yourself a break, get a beer or alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink of choice and kick back!

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yourcousin - April 10, 2021

Shit, if you think my gig is bad, we just landed a pharma job here. 30 million dollar job in just six months. Makes healthcare construction look like a part time gig!

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wesferry - April 12, 2021

What is this, ‘Lefty Twenty Questions’? 😂

Liked by 1 person

28. GearóidGaillimh - April 10, 2021

Been told that there’s going to be a WP EGM next week to discuss a vote of no confidence in the leadership.

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yourcousin - April 10, 2021

I believe this belongs in “signs of hope”. I’ll get my hat.

Liked by 1 person

blackandwhitethorn - April 11, 2021

This is the Business Committee branches who split last year holding their founding conference. They’re calling it an EGM for obvious reasons; they’ll be a version of Ruairi O Bradaigh claiming to be the true upholders of officialdom.

The Ard Comhairle of the WP and the majority of the membership shall obviously not be attending the founding conference of a different political party although we wish them well in their endeavours.

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Colm B - April 11, 2021

Just out of interest. From what I can work out the ORM has faded away but it seems to me that the WP/AC faction’s politics has incorporated much of the criticisms the ORM had of the party in the 1990s and also the people that were the greatest objects of the ORM’s ire are some of the prominent members of the WP/BC faction. Does anyone know if the ORM people have returned to the fold or if they’ve been welcomed back by the WP/AC?

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WorldbyStorm - April 11, 2021

Didn’t a few individually move back to the WP in the past decade or a bit more?

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Enzo - April 11, 2021

I don’t recall wishing them well 😉

Liked by 1 person

29. pettyburgess - April 11, 2021

Rumours abounded of another split or group expulsion in the CPI, this time in the North. What is it about Stalinism that makes these groups so prone to splits?

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WorldbyStorm - April 11, 2021

🙂 I laughed out loud at that. Not that you’re wrong.

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30. Colm B - April 11, 2021

I knew a few individuals who had gone with the ORM in 1998 drifted back quite a while ago but not in any significant numbers. The ORM eventually splintered, with a Newry group breaking away etc,. but I think all of them seem to have ceased activity now – even the ORM-linked ex-Official IRA prisoners group An Eochair seems to have disappeared.

I would have thought the WP/AC might have seen an opportunity of attracting the ex-ORM people back into the fold.

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wesferry - April 11, 2021

Might be helpful and easier to see/follow if all these posts were put into one split thread collectively or under their separate organisations.

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31. GearóidGaillimh - April 12, 2021

My suggested Facebook ‘likes’ also informed me that there is an ‘East Londonderry Workers’ Party’ branch which the Ard Comhairle says is in schism with the party

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WorldbyStorm - April 12, 2021

Hmmmm… East Londonderry they say…

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blackandwhitethorn - April 12, 2021

Ah, that’s just a made up branch from the Business Committee, given an intentionally provocative name by its chief guru Brian McDermott. He likes to attack the Irish language, the tricolour etc so it’s par for his course to go with that sort of name.

They’ve created a few other fake Facebook pages as well. It’s not too hard to figure out which are real and which are not.

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WorldbyStorm - April 12, 2021

Interesting.

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wesferry - April 12, 2021

I’m all for a bit of fun and mischief to lighten politics but is Master McDermott still at school?

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WorldbyStorm - April 12, 2021

Without commenting on personalities or even the specific case, I’m also all for contrarianism to a degree – nothing should be beyond critique and analysis, but if one should (and one should) have respect for people who hold various traditions dear, say unionists and loyalists, one should likewise have respect for others who hold different traditions. One doesn’t have to agree with the traditions, though those who are nominally Republicans probably should have some slight regard for various aspects of Republicanism. As to the Irish language long past time that that and other aspects of culture are placed in a different category beyond political jibes, just as one would hope the English language likewise was also. I admire the way some loyalists have dove into the language – not because I think it makes them nationalists or republicans but because it is just a good thing to do in and of itself as an interest. If it builds a shared sense of a cultural identity brilliant, but I don’t expect them to suddenly go for a 32 county UI in the morning on foot of it. It’s almost a respect thing on their part.

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 12, 2021

“I’m all for a bit of fun and mischief to lighten politics but is Master McDermott still at school?”

Do note that Mr/Ms/Master blackandhwhitethorn is on one side of this split. They’ll both be slagging off each other. With half-truths and innuendos.

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James - April 12, 2021

“Do note that Mr/Ms/Master blackandhwhitethorn is on one side of this split. They’ll both be slagging off each other. With half-truths and innuendos.”

Two sides and all that, but given the issue of a (fake) branch with a striking name was raised, it is not unreasonable to explain the pattern of what is going on and to clarify where it has come from. It is hardly an innuendo if it is said outright nor, in this case at least, a half-truth as an examination of the public evidence will attest.

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32. EWI - April 12, 2021

Stephen Donnelly queries why his department’s tweets don’t mention him
Comparison with Further Education Twitter feed shows 10 references to Simon Harris

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/stephen-donnelly-queries-why-his-department-s-tweets-don-t-mention-him-1.4534536

I feel like comment is superfluous here. Just so many angles…

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WorldbyStorm - April 12, 2021

+1

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NFB - April 12, 2021

“The Minister’s spokesman told The Irish Times he carried out the analysis on Mr Donnelly’s behalf and that the Minister was happy now with the number of mentions he was getting .”

Phew.

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33. CL - April 12, 2021

” The UK and the EU are making progress in talks on how to apply post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland, raising hopes of an agreement that could help reduce tensions that have spilled over into violence on the streets of Belfast.
Officials on both sides said that recent days of intensive contacts had given cause for optimism that the UK and EU can craft a “work plan” on how to implement the Northern Ireland protocol, which sets the post-Brexit terms for goods to flow between the region and Great Britain. ….

Meanwhile Downing Street played down a report in The Observer that it was resisting proposals by Dublin for a special crisis summit to address the outbreak of violence in Northern Ireland…..
there are concerns on the British side about the wisdom of holding a summit in Northern Ireland with Irish government ministers at a time when pro-UK loyalist groups have been engaged in street violence.”
https://www.ft.com/content/8aad1abc-7983-4a72-a822-e05f1d3be7d1

” It is understood that calls for a special meeting, as provided for under the Good Friday agreement, were relayed through diplomatic channels late last week but were turned down by London.
“There is a fear of upsetting unionists, a worry that this would be seen as Dublin interfering too much in the affairs of Northern Ireland,” said an insider.”
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/apr/11/boris-johnson-refuses-calls-for-summit-on-violence-in-northern-ireland

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Jim Monaghan - April 12, 2021

The riots are not so much about the protocol but rather the perception, fanned by all of Unionism, that the nationalists are getting everything and living in the lap of luxury. It has parallels to the resentment fanned by Trump about BLM and Black people getting “everything”

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Aonrud ⚘ - April 12, 2021

Sean Byers of Trademark Belfast was quite good on the Week at Work podcast (https://anchor.fm/the-week-at-work/episodes/51–Belfast-riots–a-new-artists-union–Amazon-union-busting-euknke – he was also on Owen Jones one this week saying much the same thing). That the riots are more usefully looked at in the context of dropping poll numbers for the DUP towards TUV on one side and Alliance on the other. Which would mean a SF FM after the assembly elections. Certainly, the pattern of stoking sectarianism to shore up support is nothing new. Add to that the census that is currently ongoing, which is likely to show a symbolic dip below majority for unionism. The Storey funeral might be one of the devices this time, but hardly the cause.

The media in both Ireland and Britain have been fairly useless on this so far – from some you’d think this was the playing out of European geo-political arguments with no local context at all.

Liked by 2 people

CL - April 12, 2021

Former Irish President Mary McAleese, originally from north Belfast, described the recent violence as regrettably familiar territory. She said children here are “still being taught to hate”.
“It arises because they’re in a vacuum,” Ms McAleese told the BBC.
“There is undoubtedly a vacuum of political leadership and… Brexit,” she said, adding that the crisis has “exposed how little planning the Brexit process had allowed for the impact in Northern Ireland.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/hopes-rise-ni-protocol-changes-will-ease-tension-40301624.html

Liked by 1 person

banjoagbeanjoe - April 12, 2021

“with no local context at all.”

Yep. The local context is as you set it out there Aonrud. My summation of it is unionist/loyalist fears that the endgame is coming wrt a border poll and a potential UI. So, imho, we can expect the kind of violence we’ve just seen and worse periodically over the next few decades.

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EWI - April 12, 2021

Yep. The local context is as you set it out there Aonrud. My summation of it is unionist/loyalist fears that the endgame is coming wrt a border poll and a potential UI. So, imho, we can expect the kind of violence we’ve just seen and worse periodically over the next few decades.

I think we need to beware of people (I’m-all-right-Jack southerners) who think this and then go ‘and this is why we need to kick northern nationalists again’, That sort of blank pass for loyalist violence with unionist complicity is exactly what started this mess – Northern Ireland – a century ago.

Time for a better answer that doesn’t involve rewarding bigotry and supremacism.

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CL - April 13, 2021

– Downing Street said there are still major hurdles to be crossed in order to resolve the issues around the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol….
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said “constructive” talks have been held with the EU about the arrangements.
“Technical engagement with the EU in relation to the protocol has continued in recent days,” he said. “(Maros) Sefcovic and Lord Frost spoke on Friday over the phone and we are in regular contact at all levels.-
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/brexit/major-hurdles-remain-in-eu-talks-over-ni-protocol-40306541.html

The British government has turned down a call from the Dublin government for a special meeting, under the GFA, to discuss the situation.
The view of the Biden administration also is that the issue is between the EU and the UK.
So the major players affecting issues on the ground in NI are the UK and the EU, with Micheál Martin and Coveney giving commentary from time to time.

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34. Aonrud ⚘ - April 12, 2021

Am I being forgetful, or did Arlene Foster cite plants in garden centres being affected as one of the absurdities of the NI protocol? Because it only occurred to me with today’s loosening of restrictions, including opening garden centres, that they’ve been closed all along anyway…

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 12, 2021

Closed down here too. Still afaik. But you can order online and have them delivered. Not sure about click and collect.
So, Ms Foster’s point, whether you agree with it or not, is probably valid whether or not the garden centres are actually open or not.

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EWI - April 12, 2021

Am I being forgetful, or did Arlene Foster cite plants in garden centres being affected as one of the absurdities of the NI protocol?

Very amusingly, yes. Didn’t some SDLP or Alliance type then order garden plants online to prove how BS the DUP claims were?

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