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Back to the Future…… kind of March 26, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

From just after the Brexit Referendum Daniel Hannan takes a trip to a future where the UK has left the EU and explains why he thinks we would all be better off……

A May deal better than no deal – eh? March 26, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

At least for one member of the ERG.

Those European elections… March 26, 2019

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What an intriguing report in the Phoenix this week, which suggest that Clare Daly TD may be eyeing a run at the fourth seat in the Dublin Euro constituency. It argues that she and her colleague Mick Wallace have found the various efforts they have made on a range of issues has ‘taken their toll and a certain ennui or war weariness with the Dáil and domestic politics has set in with both TDs’. It notes their recent trips abroad with other TDs to Venezuela (and Syria too if I recall correctly) and Daly’s oft-expressed interest in matters international.

The Phoenix puts forward a thesis that in the absence of a strong GP presence or Independent presence there is an expanse of political space to be occupied. And the magazine predicts that the first three seats will go to Fine Gael’s Fitzgerald, Andrews of Fianna Fáil and Lynn Boylan of Sinn Féin.

And it continues by noting that Mick Wallace may well run in the South constituency too – particularly given that in the five seater SF’s Liadh Ní Riada may be damaged by her unsuccessful and remarkably unsupported run at the Presidency. Still it seems less sanguine about his chances.

I don’t know. It all sounds plausible and yet, this close in to the election, with FF’s Andrews adverts already up on buses this week one has to wonder if it is a little late in the campaign to announce. Moreover all well and good if the seat is won, but what if it is not?

That said there have been rumours in recent times that Daly and Wallace might not run again for the Dáil and this feels somewhat of a piece with them.

What do people think of her chances should she (or he) decide to go for it? And what by the way of the constituencies they would leave behind? Is there sufficient machine in situ to enable a successor TD to be elected?

In retrospect looking at how Maureen O’Sullivan was elected now three times since the death of Tony Gregory and comparing and contrasting with other seats held by left Independents which tended to vanish with the departure of the incumbent that is quite an achievement by that group and not one easily replicated. But that’s the scale of the challenge facing the other contemporary generation of left Independents.

27 votes… but what difference does it make? March 26, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

So, last night saw yet more resignations from the Tories ministerial cohort, three in total – all soft Brexiteers/anti-hard Brexit, due to them voting in favour of the Letwin amendment which nominally brings some control back to MPs, an amendment which passed seeing the government lose by 27 votes (329 to 302). The Guardian suggested the margin was greater than expected. And yet, and yet, it’s all cosmetic, isn’t it? All this in Westminster seems like the most elaborate form of displacement activity one could imagine. I’m sure it helps some MPs sleep at night, but given the UK is but short weeks away from a crash-out Brexit what on earth does it achieve?

Social Class in Dublin: The Final Taboo -Discussion 4th April March 25, 2019

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Thursday, 4 April 2019, 6:30 – 8pm

A panel discussion with Dr Carole Holohan (TCD), Prof Kathleen Lynch (UCD), Dr Michael Pierse (QUB) and Garrett Phelan as part of the ‘Trinity and the Changing City’ Series.

There has been very little public debate on class in Dublin compared to other social issues. Yet there are many class signals that lots of Dubliners can read, including accent, neighbourhood and educational background. Social class is not only difficult to break out of but also impacts the life chances and health of Dubliners. In this interactive session Dr Carole Holohan, Assistant Professor in Modern Irish History at Trinity, Prof Kathleen Lynch, Professor of Equality Studies at University College Dublin, Dr Michael Pierse, Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts, English and Other Languages at Queen’s University Belfast, and Visual Artist Garrett Phelan shed light on one of the final taboos in Irish society.

Register here

Trinity and the Changing City is organised by the Identities in Transformation research theme , led by Tom Walker, School of English, Daniel Faas, Department of Sociology, and Sarah Kerr , Trinity Long Room Hub, and is supported by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute.

Thanks to Tomboktu for noting this.

May appears to have survived the weekend… March 25, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…as leader of the Tories. But what of the week ahead?

…before a critical cabinet meeting on Monday morning, May remained in a perilous position, with no breakthrough and Downing Street only able to tell reporters that she had discussed “whether there is sufficient support” to hold a meaningful vote this week. A front-page editorial in Monday’s Sun urges May to quit, with the headline “Time’s Up, Theresa”, saying that she should announce that she will stand down as soon as her Brexit deal is approved and the UK leaves the EU.

But the problem remains (ahem), what possible difference would a ‘new’ leader make? It won’t convince the EU to relook at the May deal. Almost all roads away from May seeming to point in the direction of a crash out.

As to that Chequers ‘summit’, the following hardly instills confidence.

…senior members of the European Research Group and former ministers arrived at Chequers, where Duncan Smith appeared in an open-topped sports car – while Rees-Mogg brought along one of his sons.

None of this essentially performative stuff gets close to engaging with the realities of the problems at hand facing the UK.

Irish Left Archive: Why we say Stop the Bombing: NATO out of the Balkans, Socialist Workers Party, 1999 March 25, 2019

Posted by guestposter in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
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To download the above please click on the following link. nato-out-of-the-balkans.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this and other SWP related materials to the Archive.

An useful 8 page document to add to other SWP materials in the Archive, this strongly criticises the intervention in Yugoslavia in the late 1990s. The pamphlet is broken into short sections under headings such as ‘A Colonial War’, ‘Is Milosevic the new Hitler’, ‘How the Balkans Has Been Used’, ‘The Kosovan Liberation Army’, ‘The Spectre of War Returns’ and so on.

The pamphlet argues that only The Socialist Alternative can bring peace – and argues that interventions have twice functioned to increase support for Milosevic when his government appeared likely to fall. It concludes…

To get this sort of decent society we need to get rid of the capitalist system and those who run it.

Please note: We accept scanned files in good faith. However if files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We are keen to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

If there’s a Tory coup today against May… March 24, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This might be one pressing reason why it happens now.

Speaking of Len Deighton March 24, 2019

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This is a remarkably comprehensive site dedicated to him and his work.

I had no idea that Spy Story, one of my favourites of his – perhaps even my favourite, was made into a film in the 1970s. This trailer suggests it wasn’t one of the better adaptations.

Len Deighton at 90 March 24, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I’ve always been an unashamed fan of Deighton’s, albeit his politics was a fair bit more rightwards than mine, and likely yours. I think his thrillers, particularly the earlier ones, address the nature of change in British society during the 1960s and 1970s extremely adeptly. Anyhow, I just realised he turned 90 last month. So, happy birthday and many happy returns to him.

And looking at his wiki page there was this fascinating snippet:

Deighton’s interest in spy stories may have been partially inspired by the arrest of Anna Wolkoff, which he witnessed as an 11-year-old boy. Wolkoff, a British subject of Russian descent, was a German spy and next door neighbour of the Deightons. She was detained on 20 May 1940 and subsequently convicted of violating the Official Secrets Act for attempting to pass secret documents to the Germans.[7]

What an interesting story Wolkoff had. White Russian and involved in The Right Club, an effectively fascist and viciously anti-semitic organisation of anti-war supporters within the British establishment. Fairly heavily infiltrated by MI5 from the off and despite publicly disbanding many of its members wound up interned for the duration of the war.

I’m always intrigued by how that strand of reaction that Wolkoff belonged to managed to engage with national socialism which was vehemently anti-slav. Does this paper perhaps begin to give an answer to that question… hinging on the definition of Russian.

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