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Comment from third-generation East Wall resident February 28, 2023

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Thanks to the person who forwarded this.

No Passport, No Entry. It is the latest catchy slogan with a hashtag that I see being tagged on social media posts relating to the current immigration/asylum/refugee issue that is prevalent in Ireland at the moment. And I get it, it’s simplistic, it’s a straightforward issue. I can’t enter any country without a passport, I can’t even get back into my own country without a passport. So why are all these asylum seekers able to show up at our airports, disembark a plane, and say they have no identification? No Passport, No Entry, that’s something we can all get behind at face value, or is it?

I had the pleasure to spend an afternoon yesterday with a few dozen asylum seekers over some tea, coffees, cake and biscuits, and get to chat with them as part of a lovely social gathering. We played some football, basketball, listened to music and shared some chats. I got speaking to one young guy who was watching a football being kicked around and asked him “Do you play football?”. He said he did previously, but can not play right now as he has a back injury which he is currently receiving treatment for. After a couple of seconds of silence he said “The Taliban broke my back!”. This young guy, 21 years of age, who came to Ireland roughly 4 months ago, had his back broken in a stoning punishment because he decided he no longer wished to be Muslim, he no longer wished to believe in religion, he is “a man of science”. He told me how he was locked in a darkened room and tortured for 4 days. “The Taliban either burn you alive, or stone you to death as punishment. I was lucky, they just broke my back in the stoning.” 

I asked how he came to Ireland, and he said his family had to sell their properties in Afghanistan and pay “contractors” to get him out of the country. “The more you pay, the further away from Afghanistan they take you”. His family sold their properties and paid $10,000 for just one of their sons to be smuggled to safety. “So why Ireland I asked?” “We did not have a choice, or even know where we were going. We went through forests, across rivers and deserts. It was an incredibly tough journey over several months. Anyone who asked a question or complained was shot dead on the spot. Anyone who became sick, injured, or too weak to continue, was shot dead on the spot”. 

Trying to lighten the mood we talked some more about sport and he told me how he wants to join an athletics club in Ireland and take part in 100m and 200m competitions. “I was only doing athletics for 2 months in Afghanistan. I took it up because I was a little overweight. In those 2 months I reduced my 100m sprint time for 14 seconds to 11.5 seconds. I think I could be really good if I can train here.” He spoke about Rhasidat Adeleke and how he had seen the story of her breaking the Irish 400m record just the day before. “Her club is in Tallaght. How much would it cost me to join there?” When it comes to work and study in Ireland he said he has 2 more months to go before he can officially work and that he will work at anything. People tell him that there are lots of jobs, particularly in security, and he will do his PSA licence to qualify to apply for security jobs. He also wants to study something in medicine, or maybe physiotherapy. “In Afghanistan I was doing an MBA in medicine. I would like to do some similar qualification here. Then maybe in 2 or 3 years time I can start my own physiotherapy clinic, or work in a hospital or private clinic.” 

Conversation returned to Afghanistan and his family, I asked about his parents, and if they will ever try to escape Afghanistan. I was told they also renounced their religious faith, and if they could escape Afghanistan they would. They now spend their time travelling Afghanistan, never spending more than 1 month in any one location as they try to avoid the Taliban army. “What age are your parents”? I asked next, being very aware that I may be asking too many questions and that we were discussing what must be an incredibly emotional subject. “My father is maybe 53, or 54? In Afghanistan nobody can really be sure of their age because all documents were destroyed many years ago. My mother is maybe 49. They could not do the journey I had to do in order to leave Afghanistan. My mother has arthritis, and my younger brothers are only 13 and 15. It is not possible for them. It is not easy for women to leave Afghanistan, it is very difficult for them.”

I spent the rest of my evening thinking about this conversation, and thinking how little we know about these people. How little we know about what they went through in their own country, and what they went through to get to safety. How little we know of their plight, but how quick we are to judge and stereotype. We are so lucky to be born in the country we are in. Our country is not perfect, we have many issues relating to government, housing, healthcare, homelessness and anti-social behaviours. Our government has a lot to answer for, and urgently needs to provide competent public services. Stop the brain drain of our doctors and nurses, who leave the country once qualified and provide their skillset to other countries, who have better medical facilities, working conditions, funding and pay scales. Our government needs to build more hospitals (that don’t cost €2Bn +), provide more local doctor services, build more public housing, stop letting private investors dominate the housing market. Provide better funding to our schools. Provide better homeless shelters, especially dry shelters for those trying to avoid drink and drugs. 

With highlighting all that our country needs, we, as individuals, should still stop and think just how lucky we actually are. Do we have a right to say to people, who were not born as lucky as us, that this is their tough luck? We feel sorry for you, but we can not welcome you here because if you have No Passport, there is No Entry for you. Is arriving at Dublin airport any different to asylum seekers who arrive inside a truck container? Or one’s who travel on a makeshift boat across the Mediterranean or Alboran seas? If someone can not even be sure of their age, can we be as simplistic as to tell them, No Passport, No Entry?

The Windsor Framework – Will it fly? February 28, 2023

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Big win for the DUP or bigger win for the UK and the EU? A lot of details that will have to be worked out and how will they work in practice and some carrots and sticks to entice/force the DUP back into the Assembly and Executive.

In some ways what has been agreed is, at least in terms of the big picture, remarkably thin.

Green and red lanes is an interesting idea. One does have to wonder why for the DUP that doesn’t constitute a radical distinction between the parts of the UK given their complaints of anything that suggests different treatment of the North.

Then there’s the emergency brake that the Assembly will have where it can have changes to EU rules and the UK government can veto them (though there’s some confusion about that last part). The UK government now returns to the position prior to the Protocol where it sets VAT in Northern Ireland. And there’s the Horizon programme which once the deal is up and running will restart.

Yet opposition was muted last night. Once all is read, that may well change. And with wearying predictability, yet again the Tories (or some of their number) launch themselves across this island, figuratively speaking, in order to fight their own battles.

The former culture secretary Nadine Dorries hit out at Baker for “gushing about the deal”, claiming he was a “key agitator” who helped to remove Johnson from Downing Street last July. She said: “What shred of credibility he has left would be destroyed if he came out against Sunak. He has nowhere else to go other than to grin and support.”

So even now it’s more about point-scoring and score-settling for some. Really, unionism should take a long hard look at the centre to which it asserts its loyalty, not in the sense of abandoning its loyalty but having a more pragmatic approach to living on, well to coin a phrase, a shared island and what that means.

Just on that last, I’ve seen some commentary suggesting the DUP was right to ‘hold out’ for a better dispensation. I’d be deeply unconvinced of that, not least because the supposed changes in this iteration in no sense appear to be worth the political dislocation generated by their unwillingness to re-enter the Assembly or Executive, not to mention the palpable distaste for accepting a Sinn Féin First Minister and indeed the increasing noises and manifestations of paramilitary activity during this period. 

The real question is: is this thing going to fly?

For a Republican, All-Islands, Internationalism From Below Coalition February 28, 2023

Posted by Aonrud ⚘ in Uncategorized.
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The complete series of articles by Allan Armstrong of the Republican Communist Forum (RCF) – parts of which have been posted previously – is now available, with the addition of the fourth concluding article and updates to the previous parts.

Allan Armstrong has written reviews of three books which address the political situation Socialists face, first of all in Ireland. He has extended this to Scotland, Wales and England, and their position in a world of competing imperialisms. The purpose in doing this is to build the case for a Republican, all-islands, ‘internationalism from below’ coalition to challenge the UK state and its imperial allies.

All four articles can be read in PDF format on the RCF website. The outline below gives an overview of their contents.

Part 1: The Changing Nature of British Rule in Ireland: One Left Response

A review of Ireland’s Partition: Coda to counterrevolution by John McAnulty, The State of Northern Ireland and the Democratic Deficit

  1. Introduction
  2. From the communities of resistance under Stormont mark 1 the GFA under Stormont mark 2
  3. Ireland in and beyond the 1967-1975 International Revolutionary Wave
  4. The British Left and its weak understanding of the anti-democratic, unionist nature of the UK state
  5. Changing contexts, changing politics
  6. Defeat or setback to an unfinished revolution?
  7. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – from ‘No Surrender’ Loyalism to a new accommodation with the UK state
  8. Post-GFA Ireland – Sinn Fein helps to police Stormont mark 2
  9. The playing out of liberal unionism from 1998-2012 and the mainstreaming of reactionary unionism in ‘Brexit Britain’ since 2016
  10. Irish reunification under the Crown, Commonwealth and NATO?

Part 2: Winners, Losers and Learners

A review of Between Sectarianism & Neo-Liberalism, by Paul Stewart, Tommy McKearney, Georoid O’Machail, Patricia Campbell and Brian Garvey

  1. Introduction
  2. Neo-sectarianism and neo-liberalism are joined at the hip
  3. The importance of “the democratic deficit”
  4. ‘New’ Sinn Fein, the retreat to constitutional nationalism and the resort to sectarian clientelism
  5. Challenging new GFA theories2
  6. The role of the UK state and British unionism in defending the Union
  7. Challenging the limitations of Dissident Republicanism – Separatism
  8. Challenging the limitations of Irish and British Socialism – abstract propagandism and tail-ending the political projects of others
  9. A Republican Socialist approach based on uniting the working class in our diversity and supporting the new oppositional forces in their struggles from below
  10. Moving on theoretically, programmatically and organisationally

Part 3: Summer is Coming – Kick Starting the Unfinished Revolution

A review of Anois ar theact an tSamhraidh – Ireland, Colonialism and Unfinished Revolution by Robbie McVeigh and Bill Rolston

  • Introduction
  • Colonialism, Imperialism and the movement of people in pre-capitalist societies
  • ‘Multiculturalism from below’ – a challenge to state-imposed ‘multiculturalism from above’
  • Union and Empire
  • Unionist and constitutional nationalist views of the 1801
  • Union, 1829 Catholic emancipation and the 1832 Reform Acts
  • Constitutional nationalists’ acceptance of Union and Empire and a new Republican challenge from 1916-23
  • A ‘Carnival of reaction’ – the impact of the ‘counter-revolution-within-the revolution’ in the ‘North’
  • ‘Carnival of reaction’ – the impact of the ‘counter-revolution-within-the revolution’ in the ‘South’
  • From 1972/3 – the unresolved contradictions in the relationship of Ireland, ‘North’ and ‘South’, to the UK state
  • The Democratic, Social and Socialist Republican challenges in Ireland and some of their international links
  • Bringing together the three reviews
  • Conclusion

Part 4: Conclusion – ‘Freedom Come All Ye’

  1. From the Radical Independence Campaign to the All-Islands Republican Internationalist Coalition?
  2. To party or not to party?
  3. The Republican Socialist Platform (Scotland) and the case for an all-islands League of Emancipation, Liberation and Self-determination?
  4. Looking globally to ‘Freedom Come All Ye’

Unpopularity (Presidential) contest February 27, 2023

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

RedC/SBP had a small finding in other polling they conducted for the weekend.

People would be more likely to vote for Bertie Ahern in a presidential election than Gerry Adams, but most do not want either of them in the role, according to the latest Business Post/RedC poll.

All this on foot of rumours Ahern might thrown his hat in the ring, and long standing rumours, usually from those in rival parties that Gerry Adams was thinking of running for President. 

A RedC poll for the Business Post asked respondents if they would vote for Adams or Ahern in a two-way run off for the presidential election in 2025.

Some 21 per cent of respondents said they would vote for Ahern, while 19 per cent said they would vote for Adams. However, 59 per cent said that given an option between just the two men, they would vote for neither.

The results suggest there is not much public appetite for either of the former politicians to run for president, despite speculation around their possible candidacy.

Of course, who knows. Much might depend on other candidates. Peter Casey, for example, was making noises about running during the week. Given possible outcomes the voters might welcome Ahern and/or Adams. 

Thought this was interesting too:

Ahern also drew his greatest support from his natural political gene pool of Fianna Fáil voters, at 57 per cent. But 40 per cent of Fianna Fáil voters said they would rather vote for neither man, while just 3 per cent said they would vote for Adams.Only 27 per cent of Fine Gael voters said they would vote for Ahern, while only 8 per cent of Fine Gael voters would vote for Adams.

3% of FF voters would vote for Adams and 8% of FG voters. Well now. 

Another poll from the weekend February 27, 2023

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Hot on the heels of the Irish Times poll last week comes this from RedC/Sunday Business Post.

Sinn Féin at 31%, down 2%.

Fine Gael is unchanged at 21%, while Fianna Fáil is up 2% at 17%.

Support for Independents is up 2% to 13%, while the Green Party remains unchanged at 4%.

The Social Democrats have dropped 2% to 4% while Labour is unchanged at 4%.

People Before Profit – Solidarity remains at 3% while support for Aontú is unchanged at 2% and others remain at 1%.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3%.

Note all movement is within the margin of error, which is not to say that the poll doesn’t point to various dynamics. 

Sinn Féin does appear to have been falling back in many polls, though interestingly not the IT one last week. And that uptick for Independents was reflected in that other poll too. 

Michael Brennan in the SBP notes:

Sinn Féin continues to dominate the political landscape, but has slipped back slightly from 33 per cent in February last year to 31 per cent now. Fine Gael records the same level of support as a year ago (21 per cent), while Fianna Fáil is up from 15 per cent then to 17 per cent now.


Sinn Féin is no longer able to say that it is attracting more support than Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil collectively, as those parties are on a combined 38 percentage points in this poll. Fianna Fáil may have won back some voters who had switched to Sinn Féin, and the same can be said for Independents.

Though that assertion by SF is contingent on what poll one looks at. 

What is boosting Independents at the moment? And what would a Dáil based on these figures look like? Then again we still don’t know what the new Dáil will look like.

In this period of relative political calm, many TDs are awaiting the results of the first ever review of the Dáil constituency boundaries by the newly-formed Electoral Commission. It will have the power to increase the number of Dáil seats from 160 now to as many as 180 to keep in line with the constitutional rule of no less than one TD for every 30,000 people.

The commission is taking submissions from parties and members of the public until May 10, and is expected to report on the summer. The outcome will be much more important to TDs than their party’s support level in this latest RedC poll.

Left Archive: “Differentiate between sham and genuine Marxism-Leninism to unite the revolutionary forces and defeat the enemy, British and Irish ‘Communist’ Organisation – Trotskyite Thugs, Sham Marxist-Leninists and Agents of British Imperialism”, 1977, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) February 27, 2023

Posted by leftarchivist in Uncategorized.

To download the above please click on the following link;

To go to the Archive please click here.

Many thanks to Conor McCabe for forwarding this to the Archive. 

As may be gathered from the sub-heading to this pamphlet, this short twenty page document suggests no meeting of minds between the  British and Irish Communist Organisation and the Communist Party Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). 

A precis at the start of the document states:

“Differentiate between Sham and Genuine Marxism-Leninism to unite the Revolutionary Forces and Defeat the Enemy — British and Irish ‘Communist’ Organisation — Trotskyite [sic] Thugs, Sham Marxist-Leninists and Agents of British Imperialism” is the title of the article published in this pamphlet.

It is the first of a series of theoretical articles and analyses to be published in the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) Pamphlet Series. In particular this article, which was first published in ’Red Patriot/An Tirghrath ir Dearg1, newsweekly of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), Vol. 4, No. 12, July 19th, 1975, is the first in a series of articles to repudiate the antiworking class, anti-national and pro-imperialist theories of the trotskyite organisation, the British and Irish’Communist1 Organisation.

One quotation will suffice from the start of the document to give a sense of the tone of the text:

An organisation, fraudulently calling itself the “British and Irish Communist Organisation”, exists here in Ireland, as well as in Britain, and despite the fact that it opposes Marxism-Leninism on every basic as well as secondary question, and has even gone to the depth of ‘criticising Chairman Mao, and Comrade Lenin’, opposing directly the analysis of Stalin, Marx and Engels, and openly upholding the renegade and dog from the Second International, Kautsky, it parades itself as ‘Communist’ and ‘Stalinist’.

This organisation is nothing but a clique of splitters and disruptors drawn from assorted splits or attempted splits, and headed by Brendan Clifford, a trotskyite. The sole orientation of this clique is opposition to the proletarian revolution in Ireland, as well as in Britain (where they are trying desperately to increase their influence) and throughout the world and its main activity for this end is that of seeking out ‘quotations’ from the Marxist-Leninist classics in order to put a ‘Marxist-Leninist’ front on the activity of counter-revolution and sow maximum confusion in the working class movement. Both in theory and in practice every stand they take sides with British imperialism and the Irish capitalist class (in their case the unionist section in the north) to oppose the workers and small farmers, oppose the revolutionary intellectuals, oppose the struggle for national independence and unification and oppose the struggle of the workers and small farmers against the entire imperialist dominated capitalist system in Ireland. They oppose the trade union movement and oppose the right and necessity for workers to go on strike to maintain their standard of living, they support the British Conservative Party as the most ‘sensible’ force in British politics and Enoch Powell, that arch racist and fascist, as an ‘honest and good intentioned politician’. They support imperialism and oppose the People’s Republicof China and the great, glorious and correct Communist Party of China – just like all trotskyites do – and preach rabid great nation chauvinism in the British working class movement against the peoples of the colonies and neo-colonies. In short they are criminal elements using the name of Marxism-Leninism for the sole purpose of trying to give British imperialist rule in Ireland and the rule of the British monopoly capitalist class in Britain a lease of life from itsdeathbed by trying to mislead the working class movement.

The document gives an account of the formation of the Irish Communist Organisation and further development of the British and Irish Communist Organisation. 

This edition is the second, the first was published in 1975. 

The document concludes on the last page with the text of the Internationale and the exhortations to:







Meanwhile, out in space… February 26, 2023

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This is fascinating:

The James Webb space telescope has detected what appear to be six massive ancient galaxies, which astronomers are calling “universe breakers” because their existence could upend current theories of cosmology.

The objects date to a time when the universe was just 3% of its current age and are far larger than was presumed possible for galaxies so early after the big bang. If confirmed, the findings would call into question scientists’ understanding of how the earliest galaxies formed.

“These objects are way more massive​ than anyone expected,” said Joel Leja, an assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University and a study co-author. “We expected only to find tiny, young, baby galaxies at this point in time, but we’ve discovered galaxies as mature as our own in what was previously understood to be the dawn of the universe.”

The problem is, as one person interviewed notes, there’s simply not thought to be sufficient time for large galaxies to form in the time subsequent to the Big Bang, that is 13.5 billion years ago and half a billion to a little longer after the Big Bang.

Now there’s some reconsideration as to whether the current theories that the initial dark ages after the Big Bang were in fact a shorter period as gas cooled and coalesced into stars earlier than expected. Apparently, the finding is not yet definitive, so who knows how this will pan out but it is, nonetheless, another reminder on just how strange the universe is.

Left Wing Football Firms and the fight against Fascism February 26, 2023

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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Thanks to the person who sent the link to this which will be of interest to a lot of people on here.

A look at left wing football firms, the political battle on the terraces, the fight against the fascists, and the importance of taking sport seriously: an interview with Stewart McGill about his new book The Roaring Red Front. 

More here:

The Roaring Red Front: Available Now

With the world turning rightwards and democracy looking at its most precarious since the 1930s, the emergence of a global network of left-wing, anti-fascist and anti-racist fans has been one of the few shining lights in dark time

We wanted tell of their history and their current struggles. And why it all matters. The Left often fails to connect: how can these clubs inform and inspire? How can their example help collectivist, internationalist and inclusive principles defeat the seductive slogans and symbols of the growing nationalist and nativist movements across the planet?

The book will be published by Pitch Publishing and will cover the world’s top Left-Wing and Antifascist football clubs and the supporters that shape their politics and attitudes. Many of these clubs have had their stories told, but never have they been collected together in one volume covering the passion, the fellowship, and the humanity – sometimes laced with violent intent – of people who dream not just of a better world but also of a last-minute winner. And a good row with the fascists.


Sunday and other stupid statements this week February 26, 2023

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

All examples welcome.

David Quinn has arrived at the Sunday Independent:

‘Ireland for All’ advocates need to tell us exactly what they mean by their slogan

Really? That’s the pressing question that needs answers given anti-immigrant activity of one sort or another? 


In the Sunday Business Post Lucinda Creighton sees a gap in the political market. 


In the foreseeable future, Irish governments are going to have to make some unpopular choices. At present, parties across the political spectrum are too often prisoners to the purely tactical, preferring populist policies that are likely to cause a short-term electoral gain rather than those designed to preserve the state’s economic stability.

Predictably, the opposition parties have criticised the cost of living package as not going far enough. There is a significant gap in the Irish political landscape for considered, responsible and analytical debate about the sustainability and security of our economic wellbeing.

Instead there is a clamour for more and more spending, with little consideration for the current difficult global environment or the likely shocks we will face in the future, including the pension cliff-edge. We have been here before, but it seems we have not learned our lesson.

War in Ukraine with consequent inflows of refugees, a pandemic that continues to cause significant problems, energy costs, inflation, possible recession, Brexit and its perpetual crisis and she thinks the problems are as she says in the same column ‘a false feeling that those choices no longer need to be made. It has been possible for governments to throw money at almost every problem.’ 

Speaking of the pandemic.

The Irish Independent is very sure about one thing:

Explainer: The Covid pandemic is over, so why are more people dying?

Over is it? Not according to the Lancet. And the article in the Independent admits, ‘Nobody knows for sure, but most suggestions have at least something to do with Covid. For a start, the virus hasn’t actually gone away – at least 118 people died with Covid in Ireland last month.’ Somewhere between 118 and 222 people died in January alone – that first number is from the report linked above, the second from here.

Finn McRedmond offers this during the week in the Irish Times:

We cannot pretend to care about religious pluralism so long as we are not willing to accept that different religions often come bearing beliefs many of us find abhorrent. For anyone who self-defines as progressive this is a necessary realisation. It is also an increasingly rare one. But that is exactly the dishonesty at the core of contemporary liberalism…

We can disavow Kate Forbes’s views, find them disquieting, acknowledge they are intolerant themselves. We can challenge them. But we cannot see them as a basis for ostracisation from public life. The adherents of any faith – Forbes, for example – shouldn’t be able to impose the diktats of that faith on the electorate without their consent. In many senses that is the beating heart of any liberal and secular society. But the Enlightenment values of pluralism and religious tolerance – first considered by the likes of Voltaire and Locke – are important too.

Dishonesty at the core of contemporary liberalism – eh? Has anyone seriously been arguing for the ostracisation of Kate Forbes from public life? If not then why make the claim?

Meanwhile at the Earth’s core… February 25, 2023

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…it appears it has slowed spinning and may even reverse.

Earth’s inner core appears to have stopped spinning faster than its mantle. New measurements suggest that the rotation of the inner core has slowed in recent decades and is now about to reverse direction, spinning more slowly than the mantle. The finding helps to explain recent changes in Earth’s magnetic field and the length of day.

The Earth’s solid inner core is contained within the liquid outer core, enabling it to rotate differently from the Earth itself. Its spin is driven by the magnetic field generated in the outer core, and balanced by gravitational effects within Earth’s mantle.

Some may remember a fairly bad film The Core which had as its premise the idea that the Earth’s core stopped rotating and scientists were sent to restart it. There’s a lot wrong in that scenario – in fact wrong doesn’t begin to describe it. This review here addresses some of the science. 

That film, incidentally, received this unique accolade:

In a poll of hundreds of scientists about bad science fiction films, The Core was voted the worst.[11]

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