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What you want to say – 14th April 2021 April 14, 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. Jim Monaghan - April 14, 2021

Those who are Green, as distinct from the party of that name, should support a similar measure to this. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/apr/12/france-ban-some-domestic-flights-train-available-macron-climate-convention-mps And the original version. This is a small country, all 32 counties, there is no need for internal flights. Helicopters should be the preserve of the air ambulance not the rich.

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2. CL - April 14, 2021

The failure of orthodox economics…

” has led to a renewed appetite amongst social and socialist organisations for progressive and radical economic ideas and strategies to inform activist political education. There is also growing interest within the academy and amongst students, though the stranglehold of neoclassical economics over public education and mainstream economic commentary and policy has so far proven difficult to breach. ”

A useful outline of the various strands of heterodox economics is available here.
https://mronline.org/2021/04/12/heterodox-economics-and-crypto-marxism/

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3. Paul Culloty - April 14, 2021

Today is the 90th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic – in truth, it was always more idealised through nostalgia than it ever was a practical success, with even the left regularly at odds with both anarchists and autonomists, but given the scandal that increasingly surrounds the House of Bourbon, perhaps the appetite for a Third Republic will grow in the coming years.

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4. Paul Culloty - April 14, 2021

Young Fine Gael want a partnership with Alliance Youth, but would a self-styled progressive party feel mutually?

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WorldbyStorm - April 14, 2021

Bloody hell. Didn’t see that coming.

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roddy - April 15, 2021

Foxrock meets Helens Bay.

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WorldbyStorm - April 15, 2021

🙂 btw did anyone ask Alliance Youth about their feelings about this idea?

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Fergal - April 15, 2021

Aren’t Alliance with the Liberals in the European Parliament? But FG with the Christian Democrats?
Did that mean that Alliance were in with the Progressive Democrats back when they were running(!) the country!

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 15, 2021

Foxrock meets Helens Bay.

Being a northside Dubliner I’m vaguely familiar with Foxrock. Quite posh.
Helen’s Bay, I haven’t a clue where it is. Presumably somewhere in the north. Somewhere posh. Funny enough, last time I was in Belfast I stayed with friends in the east of the city. I passed by the office of Naomi Long of Alliance. The office is on the Newtownards Road – not somewhere posh.

Point I’m making is that stereotyping Alliance as posh and middle class is unfair and inaccurate.

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rockroots - April 15, 2021

“Aren’t Alliance with the Liberals in the European Parliament?”

Not post-Brexit, they’re not! In any case, the whole international affiliation thing tends to be non-binding; Naomi Long as an MP didn’t take the coalition whip despite being nominally affiliated to the LibDems. John Cushnahan was at home in both Alliance and FG. Besides which, FG pretty much are the PDs now. I can see the two parties having an overlap on social issues, though Alliance would probably have more to lose from a formal link, I think.

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yourcousin - April 15, 2021

Watch it da’ you’re toeing dangerously close to the line with a defense of Alliance. It is a slippery slope from here on out, who knows what else may follow? In no time flat we won’t recognize you due to your FFesque (ala Haughey, not Martin) temperment on the northern question, and insistence on wearing the flat cap like a Healy Rae. And at that point you’d just be a stranger to us all.

😉

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 15, 2021

Defense? The Yank jumped over defense, defeat before detail.

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Bagatelle's Unadorned Tachyon - April 15, 2021

YFG are the clones of 90s US young Republicans. Not a whit of difference between the two groups – sartorially or semantically.

It is rather delicious watching the twitters where APNI is tossing YFG’s valentine onto the fire unopened.

Mirth!

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Tomboktu - April 15, 2021

btw did anyone ask Alliance Youth about their feelings about this idea?

Don’t be silly. It’s YFG and they know everything and don’t need to ask.

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Jack Jameson - April 15, 2021

Alliance heads on Twitter say they haven’t been asked and don’t want it.

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5. CL - April 15, 2021

” In a letter on Wednesday, over 100 Nobel laureates and 75 former world leaders called on Biden to suspend vaccine patents, by way of a waiver at the World Trade Organization, calling it “a vital and necessary step to bringing an end to this pandemic.”
https://www.businessinsider.com/former-world-leaders-urge-biden-suspend-covid-19-vaccine-patents-2021-4

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6. Aonrud ⚘ - April 15, 2021

This is quite good from Cory Doctorow on blocking inter-operability with “intellectual property” nonsense: https://thereboot.com/unfair-use-anti-interoperability-and-our-dwindling-digital-freedom/

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Bagatelle's Unveiled Tuddle - April 15, 2021

Good article and here’s Marks & Spencer at it.

The life of the internet has been an interesting evolution from the open gopher, telnet, email systems to the promise of freedom in the 90s, the post-9/11 surveillance state to the commodification and enclosure of the internet commons creating billionaires today.

They will have to pry IRC and Newsgroups from my frigid, rigid digits.

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7. sonofstan - April 15, 2021

The vaccination programme in Ireland must be getting close to generation CLR by now. Anyone had it/ booked it?

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Colm B - April 15, 2021

I can gloat from here in Scottishland: I got mine a fortnight ago even though I have no underlying illnesses (other than a penchant for real ale) and am a mere strap of a lad as I was born the year JFK was assassinated by the Illuminati or whoever.

Long live socialised health care!

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alanmyler - April 15, 2021

I only discovered ale in the past decade myself, after a work colleague gave me a 2l bottle of ale that he’d brewed at home. While I still enjoy a weissbier and an occasional eastern european lager I’ve otherwise really only been drinking ale ever since. I’m not sure of the “real ale” meaning, is that a craft beer microbrewery thing or does it include the ales from the bigger breweries too? Btw I’m firmly of the opinion that any UI must include an east west arrangement about bringing english ale into irish pubs, otherwise it won’t get my vote. And a proper NHS too of course.

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Colm B - April 15, 2021

Yep, real ale, best thing that ever was invented in England!

I think technically real ale is beer that the yeast keeps working right up until its served and that isn’t boosted with an extra dose of CO2. So in a bottle it should still have some yeast sediment in there. Craft beer is just beer that’s brewed in small breweries (by guys with sculpted facial hair apparently!)

I’m not a big pub-goer, though there’s a few fine real ale pubs in Glasgow – The Bon Accord and Blackfriars are the best. So I usually get my fix via bottle or can at home but I am partial to a good beer festival as nothing can beat the draught stuff. The Glasgow Real Ale Festival is one of the highlights of this poor saps year.

Anyway, if you’re ever over this way I’m sure we can arrange a visit to one of the said hostelry’s.

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Michael Carley - April 16, 2021

Having been there once when I was in Glasgow for my union’s conference, I recommend the Bon Accord, and the curry house nearby.

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Jim Monaghan - April 17, 2021

A member of Militant helped found the campaign for real ale. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Protz Though when it comes to beer, I am a lager person. Memories of bottling Guiness every wednesday afternoon gave me a lifelong aversion to the black stuff.

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sonofstan - April 16, 2021

+1 got mine a month ago. As I understand it, in Ireland, you first have to register with the HSE, and then book an appointment? Here in England, I got a text from the NHS and a link to book appointment and it all took about a minute. Because, unlike the situation in Ireland, the NHS know all about me already – and everyone else.

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sonofstan - April 16, 2021

That was to Colm B.

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WorldbyStorm - April 16, 2021

Not sure it’s all through HSe, cohorts in 70s and 80s were vaccinated through GPS afaik without registration. But still it’s not optimal to put it mildly.

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sonofstan - April 16, 2021

That’s because 70+ year olds have medical cards isn’t it?

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Colm B - April 16, 2021

I got a letter from NHS with date, time and place. Had to wait 15 mins after jab, then off I went.

I probably reinforced some stereotypes about Irish people by asking nurse if was ok to have a few beers that evening. The answer was wait 48 hours!

Anyways, glad to be vaccinated to protect myself, my family and the community.

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alanmyler - April 15, 2021

I think we’re a fair bit off that still SoS, unfortunately. The UK rollout must be a couple of months further on than we are here. I’m expecting the first jab probably June or July, judging by the way the supplies seem to be going and this nonsensical stuff about clotting causing the AZ an J&J rollout to be put on hold. I’ll take a one in a million chance any day personally.

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WorldbyStorm - April 15, 2021

It’s getting better, without question, I agree too re the AZ hold, it seems given the nature of the problem to be arguably over cautious, particularly given there are demographics where there is no apparent problem. Still they are rebalancing that.

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Liberius - April 16, 2021

The HSE is anticipating that the first vaccinations of 420,000 people between the ages of 60 and 69 will take six weeks to the end of May and will be done in two cohorts – the 65- to 69-year-olds first and then the 60- to 64-year-olds.

Mr Reid said it was always anticipated that the under-60s would not be vaccinated until the beginning of June and it will depend on supply.

I kind of get the feeling that the clamour to vaccinate frontline workers will get stronger if we end up sitting on hundreds of thousands of BioNTech & Moderna doses (the EU Q2 supplies of these are 250m & 35m of which Ireland nominally gets a shade more than 1%) while the HSE pursues a solely AZ approach to vaccinating the over-60s.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/under-60s-must-wait-until-june-for-covid-19-vaccination-says-hse-1.4538488

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 16, 2021

The CLG generation. Secret govt policy prioritises sound ex-sticks. I hope to be one of those sixtyish people that get the jab in May.

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 16, 2021

Oops. CLG Cumann Lúthclheas Gael. CLR Cumann Lúthchleas Réabhlóideach.

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rockroots - April 16, 2021

Between second jabs and the recovery period, I’m not expecting to be reunited with family before September. The glass-half-full is that we’ll still be immune long after you folks on ‘the mainland’ are in need of the next round of boosters!

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WorldbyStorm - April 16, 2021

I hadn’t thought of it like that! And the EU has some 1.3 billion shots ordered for the next iteration of the vaccine late this year and early next.

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alanmyler - April 16, 2021

I see in the Journal that Pfizer are saying that boosters will be necessary within 6-12 months anyhow, for variants too I guess.

https://jrnl.ie/5411811

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WorldbyStorm - April 16, 2021

Yeah, speaking of which some concern over Indian variant – I guess this is going to be the new normal

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alanmyler - April 16, 2021

Indeed, and I hadn’t even heard of that variant!

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8. sonofstan - April 16, 2021

Absurdity of FPTP – leaflet from local Green (who as it happens I know, as he is branch sec. of my union) pitching for Tory and Lib Dem votes in the council election as ‘the only one who can stop Labour’.

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9. CL - April 17, 2021

American exceptionalism;

‘The US has reported at least 45 mass shootings in the last month’
https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/16/us/mass-shootings-45-one-month/index.html

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10. EWI - April 17, 2021

There may be people here able to help out:

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11. pettyburgess - April 17, 2021

This is the weekend that the WP split is to be formally consummated right? With the Business Committee side holding what purports to be an EGM, declaring themselves the party?

I heard a rumour that the Ard Comhairle side have expelled Ted Tynan btw.

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Enzo - April 17, 2021

Can’t expel someone who refused to register as a member of a party.

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WorldbyStorm - April 17, 2021

Any further news?

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Colm B - April 18, 2021

Aw come on, surely one of our WP or WP adjacent CLRers have news for us about the split or at least the outcome of the WP/BC EGM?

The reputation of CLR as the go-to source for info on the machinations of the Irish left is at stake. Far be it from me to tell WBS his job, but if I were him, I’d threaten them with a mass purge if they don’t spill the beans soon 😁

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yourcousin - April 19, 2021

Ah, for shame for having to have an American have to point it out, but as a Republican split (in the loosest sense of the term) the first rule will have to be (say it with me), “whatever you say, say nothing”.

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alanmyler - April 19, 2021

I’m not going to open the discussion here about the weekend’s event. However I would like to ask Enzo about the “failure to register” with the party in relation to Ted. Was there a general reregistration process at some stage since the 2019 Ard Fheis? If so I certainly didn’t hear about it, despite continuing to pay monthly dues to the party centre by direct debit. I know I’m not the only one who didn’t hear anything about reregistration. Which leads to the question, was there a selective process of reregistration which was used to back up the narrative that some members “left the party”? If I was manouvered into “leaving the party” by this process, can you clarify when this was deemed to have happened so I can claim back my subs since then?

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WorldbyStorm - April 19, 2021

I guess the key question is whether the WP has functionally split and how this carries forward – do we see a situation emerge with WP(AC) and WP(BC) both in situ across the island?

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alanmyler - April 19, 2021

I think the answer to that will be yes in the short term. I don’t know how that will be resolved in terms of contesting elections in both jurisdictions, as presumably the right to stand as “the WP” will be contested by both. Some local areas will see and of course have already seen parallel party structures even before last weekend, as the division isn’t neat and tidy in geographical terms. Whether both structures will have the momentum to persist in all areas is questionable of course and will really depend on the energy of the local branches, to state the bleeding obvious I suppose.

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Colm B - April 19, 2021

Well here’s the first “official” indication of the split, from the WP(BC) side:
https://workerspartyelection.wordpress.com/2021/04/19/party-elects-new-president/

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WorldbyStorm - April 19, 2021

Hmmmm…

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Enzo - April 19, 2021

Do you not think this was needed considering your group’s open letters were signed by people who hadn’t been registered members of the party for 20+ years, others who had no idea their names were being used and others who were added despite expressly refusing to sign?

What about the astroturfed branches that make up this mythical “two-thirds”? (East Londonderry… please…)

Or the fact that Cork had two branches despite having about 10 active members?

You can be smart all you like, but you’re the one following the QC and the MBE into oblivion.

I’m looking forward to being a member of an active, growing and transparent party from here on in.

Best of luck.

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alanmyler - April 19, 2021

Enzo I wasn’t being smart. I asked a genuine question about how the reregistration process worked because I had been unaware of it. About the East Londonderry branch, well honestly I’ve no idea if that exists or was just a wind-up as was previously suggested here, but about the weekend meeting I suppose I should clarify for the record that branches formed (real or imaginary!) since the last AF in 2019 were not included in the meeting. We can debate the motivations for not including them, and to me it seems clear enough that whatever the alleged reason for doing so it amounted in reality to a mechanism for massaging the numbers and allowing the two thirds support claim to be uncontestable. I’m not making a public judgement on that one way or the other. I’m also not making a public judgement on whatever process was used in terms of any selection process for reregistration that may have led to me having “left the party” without actually being aware that I had done so. I’d just like clarification on that one point, because I’m actually confused about what happened there. And I’m not the only one in the dark about that process. And as I say I wouldn’t mind getting my subs back if indeed I had “left”, so that I could invest in some new cycling gear or whatever now that summer is approaching. Finally Enzo, I don’t know who you are from your name, although presumably we do actually know each other in real life and have been comrades up to this point. I don’t see any value to anyone in being antagonistic at a personal level here, or elsewhere. If you’re ok with keeping it civil I am too.

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Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - April 19, 2021

That’s the key problem, the break down in civil discourse. I’m not going to comment on any of this beyond saying the situation is deeply regrettable and I believe not to the benefit of advancing the ideology of WP. A very final point would be whatever about the individual QC in question, with QC just being a title used for a profession in Northern Ireland, a really think it is of benefit to have the knowledge of a leading practitioner of law to draw upon for any organisation, although I would also be very much of the view that too many in that profession are also a draw back to any party of the working class, I suppose its a question of balance.

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12. EWI - April 17, 2021

A couple of really promising history events coming up soon:

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13. Tomboktu - April 17, 2021

I was caring for an elderly relation today and so ended up watching Prince Phillip’s funeral.

One of the talking heads they used to fill the empty air between the funeral and the next programme said something I thought was very sad, even for Prince Philip: Only one word in the service made any reference to him in a human context. That wad after the religious bit when some chief pooh bah in custome read out sme form of an announcement of whose funeral it was, citing Phillip’s titles Duke of this, Baron of that, Kinght Commander of the other. And in there was that one humanising word: ‘husband’, though it was immediately followed with more hi-falutin hierarchical nonsense.of Elizabeth’s status.

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roddy - April 17, 2021

Got a text today concerning Philip.I have deliberately refrained from posting anything distasteful about his death but now that he’s buried can I share the text? “What has Prince Philip got in common with thousands of Irish Republicans?Well today at 3pm he was thrown into the back of a Landrover surrounded by Brits”.

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14. Starkadder - April 17, 2021

Following devastating wildfires and rising temperatures, an number of Californians are leaving the state:

https://www.thenation.com/article/environment/californias-climate-migrants-fire/

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15. Alibaba - April 18, 2021

Gene Kerrigan calls the day for Fianna Fáil and gives a caution to Sinn Féin:

‘ Ten years ago, at the 2011 election, after Fianna Fáil helped the bankers and developers wreck the country, we chewed them up and we spat them out.

The FF folks conceded this was a setback. No, lads, it was a redundancy notice.And the time for negotiation of redundancy terms is well past. Don’t slam the door as you leave, lads, Eamon Ryan is dozing. …

From 2011, the new Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, adopted a modest, contrite tone. In the 2016 election he raised the party to a slightly less miserable 24pc.

At the February 2020 election, they slid back down to 22pc.In recent days, the polls show Fianna Fáil at 10pc or 11pc. Half the voters who helped them limp through the past decade appear to have done a runner. …

For Micheál Martin, it’s been tough, thankless work just keeping FF alive. His bullish party critics hate their leader for his low-key approach. Ambitious Fianna Fáil TDs are currently studying anatomy — to establish the precise spot on their leader’s back where a knife would do most damage.

These lads suffer the delusion that if the party ditches the contrite tone and attacks Fine Gael with medieval savagery, well, voters will be so impressed they’ll swarm back towards the party.Lads, lads, lads… give it the knock. Time’s up. …

And now, amid the wreckage of the party, ambitious FF politicians circle Micheál Martin like muggers quietly surrounding an unwary tourist flashing his Rolex.

Desperately, they insist that whatever else, they’re not the dreaded Sinn Féin. I’m worried about Sinn Féin, myself. I worry they might give Fianna Fáil a lifeline, by going into government with them.Sinn Féin are not the change I want; their success is a symptom of the possibility of change.

‘https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/lads-its-time-you-got-the-message-the-fianna-fail-party-is-over-40325446.html

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16. CL - April 18, 2021

” A government spokesperson said: “As a mark of respect to His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the National Flag will be half-masted on all State Buildings, equipped with a permanent flagpole, on the day of his funeral, 17 April 2021.”

Alex Maskey – ” Wearing a black tie, the West Belfast MLA said it was “impossible to do justice to such a long and full life within a few short minutes” and that “Prince Philip’s lifetime of public duty had already begun before we were even born. That is a record of public service to which few will ever be able to compare”.
https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/politics/top-sinn-fein-figures-lead-effusive-tributes-to-prince-philip-praising-his-public-service-and-support-for-the-queen-3198149

” President of Sein Fein party, once the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on Sunday apologised for IRA’s role in killing Lord Louis Mountbatten….
“Of course I am sorry that happened, of course that is heart-breaking,” McDonald told Times Radio.
“I am happy to reiterate that on the weekend that your queen buried her beloved husband,” she added.
https://www.wionews.com/world/sinn-fein-apologises-for-ira-killing-of-lord-mountbatten-prince-philips-uncle-378433

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roddy - April 18, 2021

So the Stormont speaker (Maskey) adresses the half of the house that regards Philip as their head of state to tell them that he had a long record of public service.McDonald when asked about Mountbatten says she is sorry for everyone who lost people in the conflict and also references killings by the British army.

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CL - April 18, 2021

” The last week has seen wall-to-wall praise for the royals across the British press, with Prince Philip painted as everything from a military genius to a trailblazing feminist. But the compulsory cap-doffing isn’t just a bit of ceremony inherited from the past — it’s part of a very modern deference to the wealthy and privileged…..
Phil has spent the majority of his life idling in various castles and palaces….
One response to such sickly and confected displays of manipulated grief has been to focus on Philip’s various gaffes. He was, so we hear, an old-fashioned racist who, while visiting Beijing in the late 1980s, referred to the “slitty-eyed” Chinese, and once infamously asked the black Tory peer Lord Taylor of Warwick, “What exotic part of the world do you come from?” (the answer was Birmingham). ….
And like any modern firm, Windsor PLC is a global and financialized concern. Prince Charles is the largest private landowner in England, with his estate stretching to some 135,000 acres, spread across twenty-three counties….
Britain’s uneven political economy, geographically skewed, financialized, and dominated by low-paid service work, is the reality that lies beneath the pomp and ceremony of the royal family….
And it is the royal family that does much to sustain the tawdry carnival of privilege that is Britain in the twenty-first century. ”
https://jacobinmag.com/2021/04/prince-philip-british-royalty-royal-family-abolish-windsor

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WorldbyStorm - April 18, 2021

Yeah, I would say in fairness to SF they are cogniscent of the fact that a good third of the population in the North has an attachment to the monarchy and there’s little point in them trying to convert them to republicanism at a time like this. I don’t think it’s a betrayal of republican principles to offer generalised condolences about the death of the husband of the head of state of the UK. There’s obviously those who do that excessively or in a cap doffing way but to state condolences per se isn’t doffing the cap.

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17. sonofstan - April 19, 2021

I’m not sure why I’m so angry, given that I’d abandoned anything more than a passing interest in big football a long time back, but the announcement of the European Super League, essentially turning football into a franchise sport, has me boiling. Liverpool, who go on about being the people’s club, Barca with their history….in the words of the Mighty Sparrow, it’s Capitalism gone Mad.

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sonofstan - April 19, 2021

And of course the proposal insulates the founding clubs against relegation, proving that the one thing capitalists actually hate is competition.

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WorldbyStorm - April 19, 2021

Isn’t it sort of the logical end point of the way football has gone in the past forty odd years? Very depressing. Is there a way back? How does one reconnect locality with team or has that ship sailed long past?

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sonofstan - April 19, 2021

It has for these clubs, and quite a few others. More interested in being ‘global brands’ and in TV money from China than anything that connects with their by now long forgotten roots. Even Gary Neville giving out about it on Sky, passionate and sincere as it sounds, begs all sorts of questions.

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crocodileshoes - April 19, 2021

For fifty years, I’ve followed a club that’s now in the Premier League, but isn’t one of the big six. If ‘my’ club were part of this abomination, I would never again give them a second of my time. The papers and social media are full of football people saying they’re finished with the game, but give it a week and we’ll be back to ‘my club, right or wrong’.

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WorldbyStorm - April 19, 2021

Yeah, there’s an intrinsic contradiction re Sky.

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EWI - April 19, 2021

Speaking of de-coupled brands, I see that the Guardian has recently created a ‘Guardian US’ in the US media market:

https://www.theguardian.com/info/about-guardian-us

Will the IT be next?

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Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - April 19, 2021

If the Super League is to go ahead I can think of a currently out of work football administrator that might be interested in assisting the venture.

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alanmyler - April 19, 2021

I’ve been a Chelsea fan since I was 6 years old. On and off. Off for the past few years, but previously very much on during the Mourinho and Drogba golden years. I’m not impressed at all impressed by today’s announcement. Not surprising that they’d be going that route. I’ll get my football in Inchicore once that restarts I think.

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sonofstan - April 19, 2021

You are, apparently, a ‘legacy fan’

According to source, some of those involved in ESL call traditional supporters of clubs “legacy fans” while they are focused instead on the “fans of the future” who want superstar names

Like a coal mine or a steel plant.

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alanmyler - April 19, 2021

Well this is it, I don’t spend any money supporting the team, I don’t subscribe online to their TV Channel, I don’t have a season ticket and jet over to London to attend matches, I don’t buy the merch’, sure what use to them am I at all?

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 19, 2021

Nothing happens for yonks and then a double whammy over the course of one weekend, am. Stay strong.

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 19, 2021

It’s Everton, not Liverpool, who call themselves the people’s club, I think. So any Reds fans who have fundamental problems with this Super League yoke can just start following Everton. Simples.

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sonofstan - April 19, 2021

If the PL kicked out the dirty half dozen tomorrow, Leeds would be 4th as it stands, though I guess results against them would have to expunged.

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banjoagbeanjoe - April 19, 2021

Exactly what the young lad said to me last night – ‘Top four. We’re in the Champions League next year!’

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sonofstan - April 19, 2021

Leeds players warming up with ‘football is for the fans’ T-shirts over their kits.

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Jim Monaghan - April 19, 2021

Is the Super League part of an EU plot to undermine Brexit? So it is the Billionaires of the new Super League against the millionaires of the rest of the Premier Division. Imo it is decades since most of these clubs had any real connection to a place.

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18. Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - April 19, 2021

For ‘legacy fans’ read the working class communities which created these clubs, fans of the future I take it are in Asia and North America.

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EWI - April 19, 2021

For ‘legacy fans’ read the working class communities which created these clubs, fans of the future I take it are in Asia and North America.

Don’t be surprised when sports franchises move their bases to more lucrative markets, as Chelsea(?) were proposing to do to Dublin twenty years ago. There’s nothing really stopping a Man Utd upping sticks and moving to Shanghai in the morning.

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Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - April 19, 2021

It was Wimbledon. I agree with what your saying about the possibility of such moves although that would amount to a massive attack on the culture of soccer, of course we have the case of US teams moving but I can’t think immediately of a case of a soccer team anywhere being uprooted totally from the base that created them, of course several clubs have moved stadium further from there home bases or as in the case of Shamrock Rovers were homeless but eventually found a home in south Wicklow at least within a reasonable travel distance for their historic fan base. I think if Bohemians had made the property speculator filed move envisaged for it some years ago it would now be dead. Can anyone think of a football team anywhere that has made the sort of ‘franchise’ move which could be starring the sport in the face in coming years?

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6to5against - April 19, 2021

I don’t know of any big clubs that did it, but I think Wimbledon did finally move to Milton Keynes, didn’t they? the MK dons.

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Sobriquet90 - April 19, 2021

Red Bull have been at it for over a decade, buying out financially struggling teams and turning them in to cynical advertising campaigns for them. They now have two top-flight teams in RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg.

I’m not sure if it fits the terms of ‘franchise’ as exactly meant above, but it gets damn near close enough in ripping the heart, roots and history out of clubs and turning them in to half-sentient animated billboards.

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Fergal - April 19, 2021

Don’t lots of clubs have branded stadiums?Like the A***a?
The battle of the billionaires against the millionaires! Who to root for?
Waterford United…😉

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Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - April 19, 2021

Yes, MK Dons and of course Rovers are based in North Wicklow or some such place beyond genuine civilisation. The Dons of course would have been a fairly meagre institution, still can’t think of anything in soccer like what happened to the Oakland Raiders and IIRC a few of their baseball teams.

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sonofstan - April 19, 2021

Wimbledon Mk 1 were in the old first division for quite a while. Noticing that Johnson has said the govt. will try and stop English clubs joining the super league: they probably won’t in the end, but noticeable that Sir Keith – an Arsenal fan – has yet to comment.

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Paul Culloty - April 19, 2021

In many respects, it’s remarkable that the original Wimbledon managed to re-climb the non-league pyramid after the split, and consolidate their position in what is now League One, even if they’ve rarely finished above MK so far.

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CL - April 19, 2021

” Until the end of 1992 — the year the Premier League was formed — English football had recorded ten instances of a club entering administration. Since then there has been fifty-four, with five fully dissolved since 2010. There was a time when it was unheard of for a club to meet extinction. Now, for many, it is a real possibility…..
But the truly seminal moment came in 1992, when the country’s top twenty-two clubs formed a breakaway division and cut an unprecedented deal with Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB for TV rights.
It gave rise to a flow of money to the top of the sport which, due to the country’s insatiable appetite for televised live football, has only increased with each new contract. (In 1992, Sky paid the league £61 million a year to show live games; at last count, the division’s broadcast rights were valued at £3 billion per season…..
recent figures put the combined revenues of Manchester United, Manchester City, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool as almost exactly equal to those of the other eighty-six clubs in the top four divisions put together.”
https://jacobinmag.com/2020/08/english-football-capitalism-manchester-premier-league-fc

” Establishing a new elite competition in Europe would effectively end the Champions League’s decades-long reign as the world’s premier club contest, upend the sport’s structure, and funnel billions of dollars into the upper echelons. Founding teams would share an upfront payment of 3.5 billion euros ($4.2 billion), according to a planning document seen by Bloomberg News…..
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is in talks to provide financing for the project based on the expectation of future television revenues, people familiar with the matter said previously.” – Bloomberg News…..

The 12 football clubs that have signed a binding agreement to form a new European “Super League” have been guaranteed a “welcome bonus” worth €200m-€300m each, according to people with direct knowledge of the terms of a deal that will reshape the world’s favourite sport.
The announcement on Sunday of the breakaway league has kicked off an intense power battle within the game, with politicians including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French president Emmanuel Macron as well as fans’ groups all expressing fierce opposition. The move also sparked threats of legal action between the sport’s power brokers…..
The money to launch the league will be provided by JPMorgan Chase, which has committed to underwriting a €3.25bn “infrastructure grant” that will be shared among the clubs as a “welcome bonus” on joining the competition.
The US investment bank has provided a debt financing deal amortised over 23 years and secured against future broadcasting rights for the competition, said people with knowledge of the terms.
The rebel clubs have agreed to pay €264m a year to pay down the debt, a figure that includes the 2-3 per cent interest rate that the borrowing will carry. JPMorgan declined to comment. 

The Super League’s organisers have held early discussions with broadcasters about the competition, according to people familiar with the talks, seeking to secure deals with likes of Amazon, Facebook, Disney and Comcast-owned Sky that would raise annual revenues worth €4bn a year. This is roughly double the amount earned by Champions League, the continent’s top annual club competition. 
The league’s 15 permanent members will jointly own a newly incorporated company in Spain which will share all future media and sponsorship rights derived from the competition, according to people familiar with the matter. 
Anas Laghrari, a banker at Spanish advisory firm Key Capital, has been named general secretary of the Super League. He has close ties to Real Madrid’s billionaire president Florentino Pérez, who was named chair of the competition and is the driving force behind the plans. Key Capital declined to comment.”
https://www.ft.com/content/f00bb232-a150-4f7d-b26a-e1b62cd175c3

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19. CL - April 19, 2021

” It should not be surprising that three of the twelve European soccer teams that have announced plans to forgo the UEFA’s promotion-and-relegation system in favor of joining the European Super League have U.S. ownership interests…..
The U.S. pro leagues have evolved as closed system leagues where teams within a league maintain league membership irrespective of on-field performance. By contrast, in Europe, the traditional open-system model has led to the strongest performing teams being promoted and the weakest performing teams being relegated…..

For the new European Super League owners with an understanding of the U.S. sports league system, they likely perceive the creation of a new closed system league as opening the door for them to negotiate a lucrative, worldwide television markets — including into U.S. cities….

As the UEFA threatens to punish European soccer clubs that have created the European Super League in a number of different ways including the banning of league players from participating in the World Cup, one can reasonably expect the new Super League team-owners to use antitrust law and any other legal remedies imaginable to try to protect their interest in launching this new league. The financial upside for these owners in adopting the U.S. sports model is so great that these team-owners are not likely to turn aside so easily.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/marcedelman/2021/04/19/european-super-league-brings-lucrative-us-sports-model-overseas/?sh=369a6eee50b1

” The regulator that should step forward in this case is Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority, which is trying to forge a leading international reputation after Brexit. Half of the proposed new league’s announced participants are English. And the Premier League is also an important tool of British soft power globally. Should England’s top soccer competition be deprived of the most prominent clubs and players, it would harm British influence as a whole.”
https://www.bloombergquint.com/gadfly/super-league-the-case-against-europe-s-breakaway-soccer-league

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crocodileshoes - April 19, 2021

Re ‘legacy fans’: a friend’s daughter works in sports marketing in the UK, specifically horse racing. Her job is to attract people like herself, not like her dad – ‘oul fellas who bring their own sandwiches’. I think she said a woman in her twenties will spend three times as much at the racecourse as a man in his fifties. The fact that the man in his fifties knows and loves the sport is of little interest to the marketing department.

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20. pettyburgess - April 19, 2021

Three articles have recently been published criticising RISE’s position on the national question from the point of view of broadly Militant/SP/CWI politics. This is the most interesting of them and I think makes the strongest case for that tradition. I don’t agree with it, but it’s more humane and less dogmatic than the way that tradition usually presents itself. https://rupture.ie/articles/the-frog-at-the-bottom-of-the-well-marxists-and-the-national-question-in-ireland

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roddy - April 19, 2021

The usual neo Unionist crap from Mulholland.

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EWI - April 19, 2021

When national or political identity divides the working-class into two communities, the answer must be to both recognise the identities of both communities, and to struggle to overcome that division by forging a new shared identity.

Let me take a wild guess here that the ‘new shared identity’ will miraculously turn out to be the English-dominated UK? As the author’s biography admits, he hasn’t developed any new ideas in 41 years.

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roddy - April 19, 2021

While anti imperialists from across the world gathered in my home area to bury 2 hunger strikers,Mulholland and his ilk who lived just across the river Bann chose to travel to the Ballymena bible belt to leaflet “workplaces” These workplaces were bastions of loyalism and anti catholic discrimination and were laughingly updated about the”struggles” of Derek Hatton and co.Meanwhile 15 miles away working class youths were battling the worst of what the British imperialist state could throw at them.

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CL - April 20, 2021

” Partitioning and policing the boundary between the purely historical and the profanely political becomes an avoidance strategy: one that refuses to name, describe or explain the North.
An ideological and methodological conservatism bequeathed to the profession by the Troubles has found itself reinvigorated not just by Brexit but by an uneasiness around, and, in some quarters, open hostility towards, the rise of Sinn Féin as a political force across the island.
And yet no discussion of empire can be meaningful without the North just as discussions of empire in terms of a by-gone past cannot and do not have the capacity to absolve us in the present.
A real engagement with Empire in Ireland’s pasts and presents requires us to look beyond both the specificities of Irish historiography and contemporary debates in the former imperial metropole, Britain, to consider how other post-colonial societies have grappled with the complex legacies of colonialism…..
The tendency in some parts of the media to refract these questions through the lens of public discourse in the neighbouring island, sometimes in its most polemical form, is indicative both of an enduring post-colonial mindset that places Britain at the centre of the intellectual world and a broader unwillingness to think of Ireland in the same analytical framework as former colonies, especially in the Global South.”
https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2021/0419/1210712-case-rethinking-ireland-empire/

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pettyburgess - April 19, 2021

I’m not entirely surprised that this isn’t to either of your tastes.

One of the reasons Rupture carried it though is that it isn’t “the usual neo-unionist crap” and it isn’t dominated by the dogmatic reassertion of the details of the Socialist Party’s programme. including the “socialist federation of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales”.

This is a polemic against RISE’s views, so it feels a bit odd to be defending it. But it’s useful as an elaboration of the core ideas behind the SP/Militant/CWI school on this question, without some of the more peculiar details that have become encrusted on that approach. That is, it’s an argument for a solution through the struggle for socialism. It’s an argument for prioritising an attempt to build working class unity above the rights of either community. It’s a reminder also that nearly a million Protestants can’t be overlooked or wished into acquiescence.

Whether you find any of that convincing or not, I think it’s worthwhile to read other socialists ideas generously and try to take them at their height rather than casually dismiss them (I did not always think this!). Ciaran, to his credit, is genuinely trying to persuade others on the left and not looking to score easy points to demonstrate the eternal correctness of his own approach. We would not bother publishing the in its politics quite similar Militant Left article criticising us.

By engaging with this tradition in its strongest form rather than at its self-regarding worst, I think its weaknesses are clearer. Imperialism is present historically but tends to disappear the closer to the present day the account gets. The justified concern for potential attacks on the rights of Protestants tends to overrule concern for the actually nationally oppressed Catholics. The awareness of the potential for serious sectarian violence tends to become an opposition to any change to the status quo other than “socialism”, a de facto conservatism.

Rupture will continue carrying debates on this and other subjects because the socialist left can learn from each other, even from each other’s mistakes. That does not of course mean that we are interested in publishing ritual denunciations or sect point scoring. There’s a response to this in the forthcoming issue 4 by a leader of the Socialist Workers Network, a further contribution will be in issue 5.

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Colm B - April 20, 2021

Might seem a rather technical point but the publication of alternative views in a groups publication is always a healthy sign. I largely agree with the critiques above of the CWIs mechanistic and dogmatic approach to the North but the fact that RISE have it in their magazine, even though it is contrary to their own position is very positive.

The key moment in a move away from the centralist, undemocratic traditional model of far left organisation is when you allow alternative views/debates to be aired. I hope RISE keep this up and perhaps go further – would they publish a debate on their decision to join PBP? On a critique of Paul Murphy and PBP’s approach to a coalition with SF?

I’m not being smart here, sure I’m sceptical of RISE’s decision to join PBP, but they have shown an openess and internal democracy rare in the radical left. I hope that they keep that going.

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pettyburgess - April 20, 2021

Hi Colm,

One of the purposes of Rupture is to provide a forum for debate on the socialist left and among radical environmentalists. So for instance in the same issue there’s this debate between John Barry of the Just Transition Greens and Diana O’Dwyer of RISE https://rupture.ie/articles/debate-should-we-ally-with-green-capitalists

It’s not an entirely open forum and we don’t promise to publish every opinion we get sent. In general we want to prioritise constructive, non point scoring, discussion between people who aren’t just reciting an already settled and unshakeable line.

Where readers want to tell us that we are wrong, we will try to facilitate that as long as they are engaging with what we actually say and not ascribing some position to us to then denounce.

The recent two part Militant Left polemic is an example of the kind of thing we think is just entirely useless – 6,500 words with exactly one reference to anything we’ve actually written. You can’t learn anything from that, even if you think that they are right on every point. That doesn’t mean that we’d never publish more hostile, knockabout debate, printing someone else’s sect blowharding for the purposes of knocking holes in it, but that’s not really what we focus on.

On the specific subjects you mention, there’s nothing there that’s particularly off limits. There’s a lively debate in PBP about Sinn Fein, left government etc. The next issue of Rupture will have two articles on the subject (one historical, one contemporary) and I’d expect other views and responses to follow in later issues. It’s not a subject that’s going away.

A “why PBP is bad and you shouldn’t have joined it” article is the kind of thing that we would have no objection in principle to publishing and replying to, but in practice I find it hard to see one being submitted that isn’t full of tiresome point scoring or historical score settling about the evils of the old SWP.

Anyway, send me an email at pettyburgess [At] yahoo [dot] com and we can have a more detailed chat about this stuff.

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GearóidGaillimh - April 20, 2021

I found the John Barry article frustrating in terms of how evasive it is in actually making an argument, O’Dywer doesn’t face much of a challenge. Mulholland while I disagree with him as well actually makes a coherent argument.

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Colm B - April 20, 2021

Thank you pb, will do.

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pettyburgess - April 20, 2021

I think that John was more trying to work out his answer than present a finished one.

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21. Tomboktu - April 20, 2021

The irony: The party of the free market is bringing in a law to prohibit the economic law of supply and demand applying to tickets for selected events.

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22. Tomboktu - April 20, 2021

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23. CL - April 20, 2021

” For Ireland, the most awkward irony of Brexit may be that it’s just lost its closest ally in Europe….
“As a free-trade, pro-enterprise and pro-competition champion, we tended to adopt similar positions and similar opt-outs to the U.K.,” said Varadkar, who noted that both nations “look west to America” as much as they look east to Europe.”
https://www.politico.eu/article/leo-varadkar-ireland-brexit-europe-united-kingdom-ally/

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24. Liberius - April 20, 2021

EMA confirms overall benefit-risk remains positive

At its meeting of 20 April 2021, EMA’s safety committee (PRAC) concluded that a warning about unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be added to the product information for COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen. PRAC also concluded that these events should be listed as very rare side effects of the vaccine.

In reaching its conclusion, the Committee took into consideration all currently available evidence including eight reports from the United States of serious cases of unusual blood clots associated with low levels of blood platelets, one of which had a fatal outcome. As of 13 April 2021, over 7 million people had received Janssen’s vaccine in the United States.

All cases occurred in people under 60 years of age within three weeks after vaccination, the majority in women. Based on the currently available evidence, specific risk factors have not been confirmed.

PRAC noted that the blood clots occurred mostly at unusual sites such as in veins in the brain (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, CVST) and the abdomen (splanchnic vein thrombosis) and in arteries, together with low levels of blood platelets and sometimes bleeding. The cases reviewed were very similar to the cases that occurred with the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, Vaxzevria.

That poses interesting questions for what NIAC will recommend for the usage, presumably they’ll have to issue the same over-60s restriction that they’ve done for AZ, we arguable don’t have enough over-60s left to vaccinate to totally absorb the 750,000 odd AZs never mind 600,000 single-dose Janssen’s; donate to covax or trade supplies with other member states perhaps?

https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/covid-19-vaccine-janssen-ema-finds-possible-link-very-rare-cases-unusual-blood-clots-low-blood

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Liberius - April 20, 2021

For clarity those figures are approximate Q2 supplies; ie our rough share of the 70 million Oxford-AZs & 55 million J&J/Janssens.

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WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2021

Wow, hadn’t realised those figures worked out like that. Thanks Liberius. That’s a hell of a quandary. What is your feeling about how they should proceed?

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Liberius - April 20, 2021

Slight correction to that AZ figure, according to this table by Gavan Reilly we’re due 813,000 AZs in Q2. I think the situation is complex as it’s really about ethics more than anything else, we’ve got large supplies of BioNTech & Moderna for Q2 (3,056,000 doses) with the potential for CureVac’s mRNA vaccine at the back end of June so there are ample supplies if you are willing to tolerate a small amount of delay in exchange for limiting the potential for blood clotting cases. What I’d do is continue the physical control measures and proceed with solely using the mRNA vaccines in the under-60s, it might take a few weeks longer but ultimately seems the safer thing to do rather than risking some deaths in an unseemly haste to go back to normal (which might not be possible anyway with the variants). But then I’m not NIAC or the CMO and don’t have to face pressure from jumped up egomaniacs like Stephen Donnelly.

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Liberius - April 20, 2021

Though much of this might well be academic if AstraZeneca continue to fail to deliver, in which case those J&J doses become very useful.

Just 9,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine will be delivered to Ireland between now and May 3rd, after the latest round of cancellations and delays by the drugmaker.

The Health Service Executive confirmed that a delivery scheduled for April 24th has been reduced from 45,000 doses to just 9,000. A delivery scheduled for Friday, April 30th, of 165,000 doses has been delayed, with a new arrival date of May 3rd.

Well placed sources said the immediate impact on the vaccine rollout plan would be cushioned as there are significant levels of AstraZeneca in stock at the moment, as administration was paused last week. Also, some deliveries intended for the under 60s would not be taking place as the current advice was against giving that vaccine to that age group.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/state-to-receive-just-9-000-doses-of-astrazeneca-vaccine-until-may-1.4542795

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WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2021

+1

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Fergal - April 20, 2021

Great work there Liberius, thanks!

Liked by 1 person

Liberius - April 20, 2021

Cheers!

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