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What you want to say – 4th August 2021 August 4, 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 - August 4, 2021

First the bill on bank holidays and now a bill on indoor air quality to combat Covid. Paul Murohy sounding very like a leader of the opposition these last few days.

Liked by 1 person

Wes Ferry - August 4, 2021

Credit indeed but he doesn’t actually lead *the opposition*. He’s a voice. Just saying.

Liked by 1 person

2. sonofstan - August 4, 2021

What are the Catholic bishops playing at? Dead cat bounce attempt to assert a vanished authority or just giving in to parental pressure being transmitted upwards from PPs?

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NFB - August 4, 2021

Bit of both. The gall in then first instance is remarkable, and looks to me like the government will back down. In the second I know people who have been, to put it mildly, greatly upset at the continued delays to communions and haven’t been shy about saying so. Shouldn’t be treated any different to publicans opening during lockdown.

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WorldbyStorm - August 4, 2021

Yeah, agreed NFB. There’s a heap of parental pressure at the moment on this, but it’s a bad look for the RCC to put it mildly. Terrible in fact.

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sonofstan - August 4, 2021

I suppose when you set it against protecting child abusers and imprisoning women, ‘a bad look’ is relative.

Liked by 3 people

3. irishelectionliterature - August 4, 2021

https://m.independent.ie/irish-news/news/katherine-zappone-hosted-50-friends-including-tanaiste-in-five-starhotelbeforecontroversial-appointment-40717044.html
Just getting worse for the Government. Hard to think that even Katherine Zappone not taking the job will be much help to them at this stage.

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - August 4, 2021

How no one thought to mention that before now, ie the Tanaiste etc, is beyond belief. They should have come out straight with this at the start. Or did they think that it was the Summer and no one would notice?

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NFB - August 4, 2021

Wow, this should be an enormous story! I mean, FF forced Ministers to resign for similar not too long ago!

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irishelectionliterature - August 4, 2021

The Hotel being blamed in Zappones statement. Won’t wash with the public that have seen family and friends buried over the past year and for much of it couldn’t go for a traditional post burial meal.

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NFB - August 4, 2021

I remember the Clifden Hotel was blamed initially too. It didn’t wash then.

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Fergal - August 4, 2021

Varadkar may have been thinking along the lines of ‘you can only act on what you know,’ so, if the public doesn’t know about Zappone’s Last Supper…
Wonder if someone in the so-called hospitality sector spilled the beans…?
Wonder if any graduates from west Tallaght were there or grassroots lgbtq+ activists… or just those with power, including the power to appoint people to positions 5,000 km away?
Anybody else here think Pascal O’Donohue is a smarmy little git?

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sonofstan - August 4, 2021

“Anybody else here think Pascal O’Donohue is a smarmy little git?”

Someone well known to many here once described Paschal as FG’s Bertie – true on many levels, except probably cleverer and less likely to get caught at the petty stuff.
Passed Leinster House a while back and quite a few camera crews lurking – are they expecting a statement from someone about this?

Liked by 1 person

NFB - August 4, 2021

She’s gone from the role: https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2021/0804/1238978-zappone-hotel/

A belated scapegoat?

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - August 4, 2021

There’s people who have worked long years in very difficult circumstances on LGBTQ rights, on community rights, and so on and must be infuriated by all this carry on and rightly so. It doesn’t reflect on them at all but some will no doubt attempt to try to do so. Everyone involved in this mess should have known better from day one and should have acted accordingly – KZ, LV, etc, etc…

And yet another avoidable self inflicted wound by the government. It’s as if they just want to hand over power to SF in 2023/4. I’m baffled by them. I mean on one level it’s great work and they’re doing a fantastic job. But on another it is mystifying.

Liked by 2 people

Tomboktu - August 4, 2021

I said this over on last week’s post about the special envoy, but seeing as here is where the chat about the latest has been going on, I’ll repost here.

So Zappone has now declined the role as special envoy.

I suppose that means we will now get to see whether it was about a job they wanted filled, and they decided to give it to her, or if it was about her, and they decided that would the job they’d create for her.

Liked by 2 people

Wes Ferry - August 4, 2021

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Farrell, told RTÉ News that a lack of consistency will lead to a lack of credibility.

“It’s okay to have a bash in the Merrion Hotel with 50 people present. But it’s not possible for parents to take their child in to receive the sacrament. That is difficult for me and for priests and for parents.”

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - August 4, 2021

Well, I’m not over joyed by what he’s pushing for, but he certainly has something of a point.

Liked by 1 person

Alibaba - August 5, 2021

The manner of Zappone’s appointment as UN special envoy and the rapidity with which we were told government health regulations permitted organised outdoor social events of up to 200 people can be summed up in one word: hypocrisy. Great to know the public won’t hold with this at all.

Liked by 1 person

4. Des Derwin - August 4, 2021

The Trinity professors’ Report and the bishops’ reinforcement of their confrontation pushes the need for defence of public health measures well into the mainstream. A defence that seems ever more a rearguard action. The following concerns the far right (and the left) mainly but not solely. I posted it at the tail end of last week’s ‘What you want to say’ and it got lost down there I think. So I’m posting it again here, if I may:

I’m puzzled why the left, or parts of, opposes – militantly in some parts of the world – certain prohibitions on the unvaccinated. A prohibition on ‘dining [boozing] indoors’, access to certain work and services, in the context of having ‘indoor hospitality’, or hazardous workplaces, at all. Surely in that context the discrimination is a legitimate public health measure? The evidence appears to be that vaccination substantially reduces transmission.

The government may have handed the far right a demagogic gift in helping it to stir up and recruit the frustrated and the desperate, but that does not change the issue itself.

Rather than opposing this ‘discrimination’ should the left not oppose the reopening of indoor hospitality as too premature? Or if it is time to open – or even if the government has unwisely agreed to opening for business reasons – then wouldn’t a compromise precaution, advised by the public health experts, of excluding the unvaccinated, many of whom will have chosen to remain unvaccinated or oppose vaccination, be a good thing?

By opposing, and using the language of, ‘discrimination’ and ‘passports’ are the left, or parts of, not taking up and amplifying a far right (and indeed a business) talking point?

Similarly with the anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination rallies themselves, the language of democratic rights has been used on the left, or parts of. It is said that there is no problem with such demonstrations except that they are led by the far right and are being used by the far right to gather support.

Shouldn’t the left have a problem with anti-lockdown or anti-vaccination demonstrations in themselves, even if they were spontaneous and genuine? Or rather shouldn’t the left avoid implying that they might support or approve of left wing or politically neutral anti-lockdown demonstrations? In particular, anti-lockdown or anti-‘discrimination’ demonstrations that flagrantly breach social distancing and face-covering guidelines.

While sympathising with people’s frustrations and hardships in a pandemic situation the left has and should be in favour of restrictions and closures as appropriate. Moreover the left, or parts of, have not only previously resisted too early opening up, but have campaigned for a zero covid strategy.

While the government and the state have messed up or compromised for vested interests, they have also instituted and maintained necessary restrictions, many on foot of scientific advice. Transgressing public health or socially necessary regulations is not a civil or democratic right and protecting the great majority from infection is not apartheid or oppressive discrimination.

The left, in general, relies on the capitalist state, pending deep social change, to administer and enforce a range of social, women’s’ rights, labour and public health legislation, much of which the left and the various movements have sought over the years.

There is no need to offer concessions, talking points or encouragement to the far right, or to the mainstream ‘open up’ brigade, or to people honestly mistaken or misled in relation to biological and medical realities, concessions that will only add ‘reasonable’ arguments to the far right’s message of conspiracy, confusion, hatred and division.

And, yes, certainly the state can use new powers against the left and against necessary protest. The Harris administration seems to have a taste for moving against Debenhams workers and ignoring far right gatherings, for prosecuting anti-fascists for hate speech against fascists, for fining ROSA and ignoring uninterrupted public masses in Ennistymon [it will be interesting to watch the state’s response to some bishops’ open defiance of the gatherings guidelines]. We point out and oppose these hypocrisies and misuse of the useful. But while arguing that the government has played into the hands of the far right through the ‘vaccine passports’, are some on the left not doing just this, playing into the hands of the far right, and of reckless business interests, by makng a similar ‘to do’ about them, and about ‘democratic rights’ to protest against them?

Liked by 2 people

Fergal - August 4, 2021

Just wondering if KZ had come over for the States … especially for a meal with 50 people?
Were there travel restrictions then with the USA?
If so, was this essential business?
I don’t know but in March a childhood friend died in St James’s on a ventilator… for six weeks and his mam got to see him twice…

Liked by 3 people

WorldbyStorm - August 4, 2021

+1

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5. Michael Carley - August 4, 2021
Alibaba - August 5, 2021

‘ Does the Irish experience have any broader lessons? Perhaps it shows what future, if any, Trotskyism is likely to have: as one tributary of a recharged left-wing movement, rather than the mighty river that its founder expected it to become.’

Thought-provoking metaphors: fair enough. Yet when it comes to ‘broader lessons’ we’re told ULA went through a ‘period of fragmentation’, but not given any explanations why this happened. There’s no taking stands. Does experience count for nothing? What worked, what didn’t and how can pitfalls be best avoided again?

Liked by 2 people

Tomboktu - August 5, 2021

An interesting article, with a useful analysis on the effect of the smaller Left parties preventing SF moving right.

Two quibbles, though.

People Before Profit also now has the distinction of being the only party other than Sinn Féin with elected representatives on both sides of the Irish border.

The Green Party might disagree.

Also, does saying that the SP used an entryist aporiach “before striking out on its own” suggest a little bit more agency by the SP than was the case in the separation from the Labour Party ?

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Aonrud ⚘ - August 5, 2021

“The Green Party might disagree.”

I always get the impression that despite officially merging, the NI Green party are never that keen mention it, and give the impression of being more orientated towards the Scottish Greens. It came up with their members having a vote on coalition, of course, but I wonder how integrated the relationship is?

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Aonrud ⚘ - August 5, 2021

Not that it gives the whole picture, but just looking at their websites, it’s interesting that GP NI link the Ireland, Scotland and England & Wales parties as “sister parties” and seem to make no mention of being more linked to the Irish Greens.

The Irish Greens site lists the MLAs in “Our People”, but no mention of NI in their list of regions.

I presume it’s a bit of a hands-off relationship?

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WorldbyStorm - August 5, 2021

That’s weird, I thought they were fairly integrated, wasn’t there something about when they went into government how NI members would have an influence?

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Aonrud ⚘ - August 5, 2021

I presume they must be, I just get the impression the NI party doesn’t make a thing of being an all-island party, or make much mention of it. Could have that wrong though.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - August 5, 2021

Absolutely, they seem to be seriously downplaying it.

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sonofstan - August 5, 2021

Don’t Aontú have at least one councillor in the North?

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Aonrud ⚘ - August 5, 2021

Two apparently. An SDLP councillor defected as well.

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Paul Culloty - August 5, 2021

@WbS They actually had a membership vote on entering coalition, on equal terms to those in the Republic.

Liked by 1 person

roddy - August 7, 2021

They won one council seat but their “eccentric” (to put it mildly) councillor resigned due to off the wall covid views.A former SDLP Stormont functionary was coopted to replace her.Subsequently another “colourful” SDLP councillor defected to them .

Liked by 1 person

6. Liberius - August 4, 2021

The WHO being a bit more strident today about the impact of booster jabs on global supplies.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Wednesday urged countries to hold off on giving booster shots until at least a tenth of the population in all nations is vaccinated against COVID-19.

“[The] WHO is calling for a moratorium on boosters until at least the end of September to enable at least 10% of the population of every country to be vaccinated,” Tedros said.

His remarks come as the US. Germany, France, Israel and many other Middle Eastern countries have begun, or are set to begin, giving people an extra dose of COVID-19 vaccines. Health officials are trying to curb the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus.

“I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the delta variant,” Tedros said.

“But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it.”

Katherine O’Brien, the director of immunization vaccines and biologicals at the WHO, told reporters that it was imperative to vaccinate at-risk groups before booster programs got underway.

“We need instead to focus on those people who are most vulnerable, most at risk of severe disease and death, to get their first and second doses,” she said.

O’Brien also said that it remained to be proven whether giving booster shots to people who are already fully vaccinated actually does increase immunity to any major extent.

https://beta.dw.com/en/coronavirus-who-urges-delaying-booster-shots/a-58758235

Liked by 1 person

7. sonofstan - August 5, 2021

I think I probably said this the last time I was over, but it’s really noticeable how much more business lobbying for re-opening and ‘getting the economy moving again’ goes on here than in the UK. Obviously because the UK is already more ‘open’ but even before the roadmap was laid out in April, there was far less media time given to vested interests – although that might be more to do with what I listen to and read. But RTÉ 1 news and R4 are close enough to like for like and there’s a huge difference in tone re Covid.

Liked by 3 people

crocodileshoes - August 5, 2021

And you know what’s incredibly rare? To hear anyone from Mandate or any union representing‘hospitality’ employees. Adrian Cummins and the guy from the licenced vintners are on several times a day.

Liked by 2 people

Fergal - August 5, 2021

Ah Croc! What would they know? (Apart from being at the bar and table face?)😉

Liked by 2 people

Wes Ferry - August 5, 2021

And you know what’s incredibly rare? To hear anyone from Mandate or any union representing ‘hospitality’ employees.

Good point, CrocodileShoes – even the BBC in Scotland and STV often interview union reps about the implications of Covid rule/guidance changes and effects. Why not in Ireland?

Liked by 1 person

8. Alibaba - August 6, 2021

Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and former slave, arrived in Dublin in August 1845. A trail – Following in Frederick’s Footsteps – was launched recently:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/frederick-douglass-felt-human-for-first-time-on-irish-visit-descendant-says-1.4639137

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9. Des Derwin - August 6, 2021

Chez Zapp and the Attorney General’s mercy dash. To cover some individuals’ arses public health guidelines have been reviewed and greatly weakened, and in the process the floodgates have been opened to the ‘open up’ business lobbies and bishops, the far right have been handed an ‘anti-lockdown’ present, and many in the general public have been confused and demoralized about any and all public health restrictions.

Liked by 1 person

Dr Nightdub - August 7, 2021

It’s not just that people have been “confused and demoralized”, but the whole spirit of social solidarity so evident in the early stages of lockdown – “all in this together”, shop for your cocooning elderly neighbours, pay-the-f***ing-nurses – has, bit by bit, been eroded.

Golfgate, the Beacon vaccine scandal, this latest Zappone-Varadkar mess, all accompanied by a baying hyenas’ chorus from the vintners, travel and hospitality industries and their frustrated shills who could no longer generate the fawning content to fill those weekend supplements. We’re back to the old battle to get noses in the trough.

And yet… I spent 16 hours last weekend in James’ A&E and the one thing that struck me when I got there was how QUIET it was for the Saturday night of a bank holiday weekend. Coming on midnight, it should’ve been heaving with drunks, casualties of pub brawls and street fights, people generally dripping blood. But there was only ten people ahead of me, all sober, all just suffering quietly. Couldn’t help thinking hospitality may be open again, but if no-one’s ending up in hospital as a result, are people even going there?

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sonofstan - August 7, 2021

Quiet, and it still took 16hrs?
Hope you’re OK DN

Liked by 1 person

EWI - August 9, 2021

Couldn’t help thinking hospitality may be open again, but if no-one’s ending up in hospital as a result, are people even going there?

I’m certain that more money for business – and austerity for the rest of us – is on the way.

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WorldbyStorm - August 7, 2021

+1

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Des Derwin - August 7, 2021

It’s an ill wind… the pandemic has removed both normal social interaction and the collective alcohol consumption which fuels it in these islands.

Liked by 1 person

10. Des Derwin - August 8, 2021

For all my exasperation at the ‘Irish Times’ for its latter day status as a regime bulletin and a business publication, including its relatively low key coverage of Merriongate, this article by the very safe pair of hands, Cliff Taylor, explains and exposes the case in the fullest and most factual way.

Understated, even ‘underfelt’, but establishing by its casual but deep knowledge of the wheels of power, and some deceptively easy-looking research, how the Attorney General’s 200 was never relevant, or intended be relevant, to hotel gatherings. This, and the social, political, and public health consequences of the arse covering AG stroke, are astutely despatched in the first four paragraphs. A great piece of straightforward journalism, the more effective coming from a very mainstream commentator.

“Whatever the legalities, it seems the clear understanding was the relaxed outdoor restrictions were intended to apply – for now, anyhow – to matches and other events where people could distance. Not for sit-downs outside hotels. Otherwise there would have been a string of Government statements pointing this out.”

“In the wake of this mess, we are getting a loosening of the rules which simply would not have happened for another few weeks if this controversy had not happened. These changes are driven by politics, not medical advice. Government credibility in implementing restrictions is undermined by the extraordinary cynicism of what it has done.”

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/government-fudge-on-outdoor-events-will-cost-it-dear-1.4640801?fbclid=IwAR1UPlq6XmLzxtoD5wEAQbFCvUJBc4Z8yXVuGQ1lIM0AtdCcINNgh2QuKo0

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - August 8, 2021

I like that ‘Regime bulletin’. Yeah, Cliff Taylor’s not the worst. At least you get a sense of the reality.

Liked by 1 person

Alibaba - August 8, 2021

And IT resistance to put the record strong and doing so when it’s well about time is brought to attention by this column unintentionally too.

Liked by 1 person

11. yourcousin - August 9, 2021

Alex Kane retiring from the Newsletter, shame I’ve always found his writings enjoyable and thought provoking. With his retirement and Sam McBride decamping off to the Telegraph I fear the Newsletter will be a tad more monochromatic to read.

https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/opinion/columnists/alex-kane-after-20-years-as-a-news-letter-columnist-goodbye-and-thank-you-3331225

Liked by 1 person

Wes Ferry - August 9, 2021

Yes, Alex Kane – a sensible, challenging but open-minded unionist.

Unfortunately, a rare unionist voice prepared to discuss, disagree but consider carefully and explore other possibilities with respect while remaining a committed unionist (for now, anyway).

Liked by 1 person

12. sonofstan - August 9, 2021

I can’t find the original comment, but when Starmer blundered into NI politics and said he would campaign for the union in a referendum, I wrote to him to ask whay, exactly, he was going against settled LP policy? Was it just because Jeremy said the opposite? (I didn’t ask him that)
Anyway, got this back today:

Dear Stan,

Thank you for recently contacting Keir Starmer and for sharing your thoughts and concerns regarding Keir’s statement on Northern Ireland. I will ensure that Keir is aware of your comments on this important subject.

Can’t wait 🙂 U-turn coming, I can feel it.

Liked by 2 people

sonofstan - August 10, 2021

Also got a reply from Alex Sobel, my MP, who distanced himself somewhat from KS’s position, but also condemned Labour MPs who vocally supported a united Ireland. This is whataboutery: it’s entirely different an MP expressing support for one position, quite different the LOTO saying that, as PM, he would campaign to maintain the union, something he is debarred from doing under the terms of the GFA.

Liked by 1 person

13. Tomboktu - August 9, 2021

My winter purslane seeds arrived in the post today – a new crop for me to give a salad ingredient over the winter (with mizuna, pak cho, spinachi and maybe chevril).

(I looked up plant spacings from a few sources. As with other seeds, the recmmended spacings vary, and I’d love to know how that happened but without the effort of researching it.)

Liked by 1 person


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