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Irish Political Ephemera site April 25, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Political Blogs.
1 comment so far

I came upon this site recently, it contains material mostly from the North, but also some from the South. It’s some collection. Thought it may be of interest.
http://irishpoliticalephemera.blogspot.com/ -posters, badges, items, records, pow’s crafts etc.
It appears the collector has sister sites also
http://irishpoliticalephemerapapers.blogspot.com/  -Nationalist Papers
http://irishpoliticalephemera2.blogspot.com/ -Loyalist Papers
http://irishistorical.canalblog.com/albums/t_shirts/index.html -T-Shirts

*If you want to view an image on the site. Right Click  -> “View Image” ….. Image appears -> then in the url change the /s200/ to /s800/ and you’ll get a larger readable image.

Meanwhile… Politics.ie stops talking about the Taoiseach. March 30, 2008

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Political Blogs, Irish Politics.

Interesting times at Politics.ie just got… well… more interesting as noted by Starkadder. For, on foot of a discussion of the Tribunal dealings the week before last David Cochrane was sent a letter from Frank Ward and Company which called on him to remove ‘comments ‘ from P.ie and to identify the names and addresses of six contributors to the debate.

On foot of the letter David has said:

Until further notice, the Tribunal section of the forum is out-of-bounds, and no Tribunal discussion is allowed. Furthermore there can be no discussion with respect to the Tribunals or anything concerning Bertie Ahern.

It is a problematic – and no doubt for David worrying – issue. On the one hand – and I only loosely followed the original discussion – it is clear that there was considerable heat on the matter. On the other isn’t this an issue of moderation? Why not just have a limited number of discussions on the Tribunal and Ahern which are tightly moderated? The letter doesn’t require P.ie to do anything other than two very specific things one of which has been done, the removal of the offending comments, one of which David (entirely) rightly says he won’t:

Under no circumstances can I be in a position to disclose the identity of any user on this website, and I will not be doing so.

So why the guillotine on all discussion of the Tribunal and Ahern?

It’s all getting a bit quiet politically… well Christmas is almost here… so how went 2007? December 19, 2007

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, International Politics, Irish History, Irish Political Blogs, Irish Politics, US Politics.


Can’t help but notice that it’s all grinding to a halt as the round of Christmas parties begins to take hold – and posting here may become a tad less frequent over the next week. This is hardly surprising, it’s like this every year. Well not quite actually. This year has seen an Irish election (well two if one counts the Assembly elections as well). Exhaustion has set in, and it’s not just my imagination that political life seems a little less energetic than one might expect.

Fianna Fáil are pleased to be back in power [although, man, do they look jaded. Perhaps three terms was one term too far], the Green Party is still pleased just to be in power (and having been at a reception held by a Minister not a million miles from that party recently I can report that they are in fine form buoyed up by good poll ratings and a sense that ‘it had to be done’. No doubt the recent excursion to Bali will help solidify that sentiment – after all there’s a planet to win here). Labour is remarkably combative. Who would have thunk Eamon Gilmore could so effectively – and forensically get under the skin of An Taoiseach in the Dáil chamber. I have to admit I’ve been surprised, and not a little pleased to see a Labour leader who somewhat stealthily has managed to walk the walk as well as talk the talk – and he has a great speaking voice. One wonders if a grateful party aren’t somewhat ruing the day they elected his predecessor instead of him. This guy might well have the ability to bring them safely to 2012.

The Progressive Democrats appear to be MIA. Their Dáil presence is reduced effectively to the good Minister of Health, keen perhaps to leave an epitaph somewhat more sturdy than the last leader. They too must wonder if Liz O’Donnell might not have been a better leader in the run up to the 2007 Election? Certainly her kinder softer party would have lacked that hard edged political machismo that McDowell disastrously bought as his offering to the feast. And looking back it’s difficult not to believe that his personality – and curious indecision in the 2006-2007 period, not to speak of during the election – was a key factor in bringing them low.

Sinn Féin, who apparently get too easy a ride around here, are making uncomfortable noises. This may be part of a natural process of introspective reflection following a rough tough election. Or it may be something more. It’s difficult to assess. Pragmatism has been raised to an art by them, and it has served them well in advancing their agenda – at least in the North. But… in the more stable, more subtle polity in the Republic an excess of pragmatism can seem dangerously close to cynicism. And after all our largest party is rather good at the ould pragmatism. So perhaps a bit more starry eyed idealism would be no harm if they want to ensure that they keep both the left and the right wing on this particular bird…

Meanwhile talking of pragmatism, something one can hardly accuse Fine Gael of suffering any great measure of it is highly amusing to see how the young turks of the new intake are being both loud, boisterous and possibly counterproductive. It’s great craic to suggest prisoners should pay their way, but since few enough of them have the wherewithall to bother with niceties such as bank accounts, etc, etc, and the message is in conflict with the Front Bench spokespersons rather more measured message… well, perhaps the limits of frantic populism are becoming all too evident. On the other hand with four and a half years to go… only that long – how quickly time flies… perhaps the image building will continue apace. And yet, and yet. It’s not great politics if only because talking to members of their putative future coalition partner there is a real distaste for ‘Thatchers Children’. And whatever the worth of other individual FG TDs there is simply no way that rocket will launch successfully without a Labour (and very possibly a Green) booster rocket assisting the lift – even if it is the most semi-detached of boosters…

And while we’re talking of dissidents – of a sort – what to make of the bould Finian McGrath who clearly looked a bit further into the future than some gave him credit when getting that particular letter of Bertie Ahern? His new distance from the government must come as a blessed relief for him. Which is nice. But whether when it comes closer to any vote we see his ship setting sail with Sinn Féin and assorted Green Party members – that we must wait and see.

Meanwhile the great hopes of the further left have departed the scene. Joe Higgins to – astoundingly – a newspaper column in a right-wing paper (sure, they all are, but there is right-wing and right-wing). The WUAG seemingly quiescent. PeopleB4Profit not entirely exhilarated after their brush with raw electoralism. The various campaigns, Tara, Shell to Sea and so on deflated by the departure of one tranche of their rhetorical support to government and no-one apparently to make up numbers. It’s all bad, really.

Meanwhile internationally the centre hasn’t held. It’s been great – well, great in a slow motion disaster movie sort of way. In the UK we bid farewell to Tony Blair with highish expectations that the new guy would be better. Well, the jokes on us. It really is. I genuinely didn’t think we’d end the year with Cameron’s Tories riding high in the polls. Nor did I expect a genuinely cack-handed four or five months from a man who was apparently part of a dual Premiership. As with any double act one eventually susses who is carrying who. Now we know. Of course, it’s still early days. But… Brown must regret not going to the country early in the Autumn. I know I would. The Lib Dems defenestrated their leader for … what was it? Oh yes, age. Now, perhaps the Tories will lose some momentum with thrusting young-ish Nick Clegg. But I wouldn’t bet on it. The leadership contest hasn’t exactly set the world alight. For the Tories everything is going swimmingly. Perhaps too swimmingly. Certainly they should be wary of over confidence at this point. There’s still life in the Labour machine, and the Liberal Democrats might not be averse to a little Lib-Labery should the opportunity arise. I haven’t really touched over the past few months on the implosion of Respect. In part because there are those so much closer to the action who could give a better and more accurate read of what was going on than I. In part also because it was profoundly if depressingly entertaining, not so much because Respect ever seemed much cop to me – it didn’t (particularly in a first past the post political system), but I hate to see good enthusiastic activists fall into internecine disputes.

And beyond that? Labor in Australia. Bush still in the US, but now a greatly diminished figure in the way a last term US President is when entering their final year. Iran is thankfully off the table… courtesy of US intelligence services – now that’s what I call an intelligence coup. Who knew? Everyone apparently. Burma in turmoil. Palestine still nowhere near statehood – no thanks to those who set standards that no other people/nation has to come near achieving. Our own dear European Union still a shining beacon for a broad range of countries on the periphery. It’s all quite remarkable really. Bali gives some hope, although not if you believe George Monbiot in the Guardian, and really that is a good thing. Because we are, as Al Gore notes, facing a planetary disaster, which is why we’re all going to be using energy saving lightbulbs from 2009. Good stuff.

So as we tread carefully towards the bottle of sherry, or gin, or why not just a beer, have a couple of pretzels, perhaps it’s time to cast the mind forward a bit to the next year. Ah no, perhaps that’ll wait…

Changes being considered at Indy Towers October 10, 2007

Posted by franklittle in Ireland, Irish Political Blogs, media, Media and Journalism.

Interesting report from a source involved with Indymedia that the site is going through a period of self-examination about how it deals with the changed landscape in terms of Irish left-wing news and commentary on the internet and the appearance of left blogging sites such as ourselves. Indeed I am led to believe, and flattered if it is true, that we were one of a number of sites specifically mentioned.  Specific reference was made to a quote in the About Us section, “We’re trying to make this a blog for those of us who’ll look in on indymedia, but wince at some of the comments…”

Before going further, it should be noted by any of us on the left who use the internet as a tool for providing news and debate that we all, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, owe a debt to Indymedia. When the site was set up, which I think was about six or seven years ago, it predated the explosion of blog sites and political sites for Ireland. I remember for years there were only three political sites I checked on a daily basis. Nuzhound, Slugger and Indymedia. The people involved put in huge resources in terms of time and money, existing on a shoestring and dependent entirely on voluntary contributions of labour and money.

Since then though, there has been a huge shift in the number of left-wing sites dealing with Ireland on the internet and an even larger increase in the number of politically orientated sites in general. There has also, and here is where I get critical of Indymedia, been an increase in demand for quality material. There is a great deal of good material on Indymedia, mostly on a couple of issues such as Rossport, the war in Iraq and so on. The photo commentaries or demonstrations are always interesting. But as a source of political news and discussion it’s bedevilled by a philosophy of quantity over quality. What is there that’s good is frequently very good. But it’s like trying to find a needle in a field of haystacks. Conspiracy theories, cranks, sectarian bilge, petty point-scoring and a generally poor sense of news values dominate.

And this is without even getting into the site’s notorious annonymous comment facility, which has provided documentary evidence of the lack of maturity within the broad Irish left about politically engaging with each other. From a time when I read, and occasionally commented on, Indymedia articles I now take a quick glance and if it’s a story that interests me read it, and avoid reading the comments. Like most of us here at the Cedars, I’d glance at it occasionally and that would be it. Gone are the times when I’d get an email about such and such a story on Indymedia. Instead it’s what’s on Splintered, or Socialist Unity or Lenin’s Tomb.

So the Indymedia Collective is examing what it’s role should be in the new dispensation. Among the possibilities are continuing as they are, providing a round-up service or gateway to Irish blogging sites (Actually pretty interesting), restricting the ability to post new stories to the Collective and everything in-between. Will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Top 20s… hmmm…. totally invidious naturally, unless we’re in there! September 21, 2007

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Irish Political Blogs, Irish Politics.

A pleasant surprise this afternoon awaited me when I checked out Slugger O’Toole. In a list of the Top 20 Irish Political Blogs compiled by Mick Fealty for a book by Iain Dale we featured reasonably well. I was particularly taken by the description of the CLR as “A collective of old Left thinkers who refuse to decommission”. I’ll be 42 in October (cash, no cheques please), so that phrase is more accurate than one might think – for me at least, although thankfully not for my comrades. However it is a nice summing up of our position here in political and ideological terms.

In response to requests for names of sites that weren’t included I’ve pointed to some on the Slugger website. There are others, people who post infrequently, or not at all these days to other blogs.  You know who you are 😉 .

I’ve mentioned before how the CLR is expanding, and incorporating new features such as the  Left Archive. There are other plans afoot too which we hope to be part of, but more anon. One aspect of the ethos of the CLR is a belief that we should have many voices, from different areas and a big part of that has been the input from those who comment on or just visit this blog. Cheers for that, it’s genuinely appreciated too and as you’ll have noticed we’ve tried to open it up for people to add their own contribution or thoughts through the Left Archive.

And remarkably once again one of our number, who goes by the pseudonym of Dónal, has been invited to discuss the Sunday Newspapers on Taste on NewsTalk 106-108fm – hosted by Fionn Davenport this Saturday evening sometime after 8.30 and before 9.00 p.m.

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