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Ask a stupid question… May 20, 2019

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I’ve mixed feelings reading this from RTÉ where they discuss the results of a survey by Amárach for Young Social Innovators of 500 Generation Z’ers. That is people who arrived on the planet between 1995 and 2009. A publicity puff piece for YSI? Why yes, and hardly surprisingly it leads with he finding that: many of them are stressed.

Well I never.

There’s much angst apparently about all this:

Chief Executive of YSI, Rachel Collier, said it was concerning that so many young people feel more connected to brands than politics.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ms Collier said: “They really believe that brands listen to them to a greater extent than the Government and politicians and communities do, and that’s worrying.
“Brands and influencers on social media are relating to young people daily, and they’ve a much closer relationship than you would expect.”

Is that really so strange – given we’re talking about people who are between 11 and 25. I’ve no doubt that there’s a disconnect between politics and young people, though having seen the far from unimpressive mobilisation in recent year on issues like marriage equality and choice one has to wonder if it’s quite as bad as painted? Indeed this seems to me to be the flip side of those breathless articles just after the last referendum suggesting that all was changed utterly by the (very real) participation on young people in the campaigns. As usual the truth will lie somewhere between the two points.

In fact that range seems to me to be a problem in and of itself. For example, you will no doubt be astounded to learn that:

When asked what would be a sign of success during their lifetime, nearly half said making a positive impact on the world, half said financial security, and just 1% said having a loving partner.

I have a passing acquaintance with a number of 11 year olds. I do not think (indeed I’d tend to hope not) that having a ‘loving partner’ features on their radar just yet, and maybe not for a while to come. That’s just one of those stats that need to be much more clearly parsed and with regard to more coherent age groups.

Another by-product of Brexit… May 20, 2019

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…the potential for this character to be elected to the European Parliament.

And for all is faux working class rhetoric see who is helping him out…

…a senior executive of the conservative US thinktank the Middle East Forum…rightwing Canadian website Rebel Media…which said this week that it had paid for the Israeli-Australian commentator Avi Yemini to fly from Melbourne to cover his campaign. Yemini, who was recently denied entry to the US, has described Islam as a “barbaric ideology” that has taken over England

It is genuinely incredible how the British polity has been distorted by Brexit. Of course some of what we see is the product of dynamics long in train. But some is very clearly a function of the manner in which matters have proceeded from 2016.

Ireland South debate May 20, 2019

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Anyone catch the debate last night on RTÉ with the Ireland South candidates, and what did people make of it. A good report here, but here’s a question, how much – if at all – do such debates shape voters votes?

Left Archive: Fourthwrite, Journal of the Irish Republican Writers Group – Issue Number 3, Autumn 2000 May 20, 2019

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To download the above please click on the following link. fourthwrite-go-may-2019.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This edition of Fourthwrite joins another in the Archive. As with the other editions it covers a considerable area in terms of content.

The front page article under the heading ‘Devolution of Pomp’ criticises the recent suspension of the Assembly which only ended with the decision by PIRA to open arms dumps to inspection. And it argues that:

Whether there will ever be sufficient agent to make the Assembly (or indeed the Six-County state) work is open to serious question.

Interestingly in the editorial mention is made of criticism of Fourthwrite for not excluding from the pages of the magazine ‘those who are diametrically opposed to republicanism. An argument is made that we are providing a vehicle of expression for the ‘pro-British’ lobby.’ The editorial notes that anti-republican sentiment is well catered for and that it remains the policy of the magazine to ‘engage in debate with our opponents, and we cannot do that and deny them their voice at the table’.

Other pieces in the publication include Arther Aughey on ‘Contemporary Irish republicanism’, ‘Revisionism’ by Liam O’Ruairc, ‘The Prisoners’ by Brendan Hughes and ‘Loyalist Platform’ by Joe Craig.

Also included in this edition is a Special Supplement that examines the then recent shooting of Joseph O’Connor in West Belfast and the intimidation of Republican Writers Group members subsequent to that for a statement that was issued by them. It includes statements from the SWP, IRSP and other groups in support of the RWG.

To download the Special Supplement please click on the following link. fourthwrite-may-2019-supplement.pdf

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We are eager to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

Rockin’ Road Festival 2019 May 19, 2019

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Sunday and the Week’s Media Stupid Statements May 19, 2019

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Coveney claimed last week the CTA “underpins the [Belfast] Good Friday Agreement in all its parts.”This is as exaggerated as as claims that Brexit undermines the agreement, but the fact so many people believe otherwise shows political momentum at work. That will continue as Brexit and the agreement inevitably throw up more complications the CTA will now be expected to accommodate.

Some may regard this not so much as stupid as insulting:

Marriage is not primarily based upon a commitment to one’s own happiness, as we find in cohabitation and civil-partnerships. What sets it apart is that it involves the couple’s renunciation of their autonomy as individuals, in favour of taking on responsibility for creating a home, and where possible, as part of this conjugal vocation, founding a family.

UK Polls… May 19, 2019

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Whatever else the European Elections has seen matters in the UK take yet another bizarre turn on the Brexit path. Now one will read this:

An Opinium poll for the Observer found that the Liberal Democrats have narrowly overtaken Labour as the favourite party of remain voters, with 29% of the group now backing Cable’s party and 28% backing Labour.

Meanwhile, a wider poll found that the Lib Dems are set to top the poll in London and could even push Labour into third place overall in the European election.

The YouGov/Datapraxis poll of more than 9,000 voters, commissioned by the pro-remain Best for Britain campaign and Hope Not Hate, found the Brexit party leading in all other regions apart from Scotland, where the SNP leads.

It found that the Lib Dems had overtaken Labour, once the pollster had removed voters who said they did not know how they would vote, or would not vote. It put the Lib Dems on 17%, Labour on 15% and the Greens just four points further back, on 11%. The Brexit party was leading on 34% and the Tories were on 9%.

Of course it is essential to keep in mind that European elections will play out differently to a general election but one has to wonder at how this pummelling of voters traditional inclinations in respect of supporting their parties will play out in the medium term. There’s a fascinating graphic of the Opinium results further down the linked piece above in the Observer which shows that distinction between electoral contests writ large – with Labour ahead of the Brexit party in a general election but the Brexit party ahead of Labour at the European elections. But the first is the BLP on 29 as against the Brexit party on 24 and the second is Brexit party on 34% and Labour on 20. The Tories are a mere 12% in the Euro poll, behind the LDs on 15, but ahead in the GE poll on 22, with the LDs on 11.

Historical enquiries… May 19, 2019

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Thanks to the person who noted this. How it progresses matters is difficult to discern.

Weekend poll May 18, 2019

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Two polls, actually, their implications for the European and local Elections a bit diffuse given that voting patterns for both can differ from national polls.

RedC/Sunday Business Post

FG 28% -5

FF 24% +1

SF 13% -1

GP 7% +4

LP 5% NC


SOL-PBP 2% +1

SD 2% NC

Aontú 2% +1

RENUA 1% +1

INDS 14% -2

The margin of error is 3%

Sunday Times/B&A

FG 28% NC

FF 28% -1

SF 19% – 2

GP 5% +4

LP 4% NC

IND ALL 3% -1

SD 1% NC

SOL-PBP 3% +2

INDS 9% -1

Margin of error is 3.2%

Any other details welcome. Not a lot to say other than that GP figure appears to describe a real phenomenon. And that LP ‘revival’ appears conspicuous by its absence. Inds not performing as strongly as one might imagine given the proximity of a local election. And FG must be wondering why they didn’t go to the polls for a GE last year, or the one before.

Moon Return… May 18, 2019

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The Atlantic is rightly sceptical of plans by the Trump administration to return to the Moon by 2024. As it notes, this is – in terms of the science and engineering ‘right around the corner’. And it continues:

To make that goal, NASA would need to launch astronauts inside a crew capsule (that is still being tested) on a giant rocket (that has never flown before) to a floating station around the moon (that doesn’t yet exist) and drop them to the surface in lunar-specific spacesuits (that don’t exist either). In Greek mythology, Artemis and Apollo are twins, but while the Apollo-era missions were fed with a massive budget, this new Artemis mission is off to a smaller start.
The Trump administration’s budget request, with that $1.6 billion tacked on, will go to Congress, which decides how much to give the agency. The money, officials say, will go toward boosting the work NASA is already doing, such as developing the crew capsule and rocket designed to carry astronauts toward the moon. But is it enough?

Apparently not. The injection of an extra $1.6bn is simply too little, even if replicated across four or five years. And there’s no guarantee that sum will be politically achievable since it must be taken from elsewhere in the budget.

I’d love to see humans back on the Moon in the next five years. I’d love to see a Moonlab orbiting around the Moon. But I wonder about this sort of approach.

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