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President Trump January 20, 2017

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Any thoughts? I’m away to Black Sabbath this evening – as I said elsewhere, seems oddly appropriate.

I4C? Is he? January 20, 2017

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In the report on the new formation Brendan Ogle is meant to be trying to form, referenced here on this site, there’s the following:

Ogle’s group targeted TDs – Tommy Broughan, Joan Collins, Catherine Connolly, Clare Daly, Seamus Healy, Thomas Pringle and Mick Wallace – all of whom bar Healy and Broughan are members of Independents4Change.

I was under the impression (and again dublinstreams has done trojan work trying to get a clear read on this) that Broughan was indeed a member of I4C having contested the last election as same. Is that not correct?

By the way, I’d missed this…

In 2016 Ruth Nolan, a member of South Dublin County Council for Lucan who had been elected for the People Before Profit Alliance, joined Independents4Chan

ge.

Resources and links of use to the left Thread – Week 3, 2017 January 20, 2017

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Starkadder made the point recently that:

Maybe it’s time we set aside specific threads for collecting links on subjects that may of interest to the left in general? Things like water charges, Irish trade unions, Israel-Palestine, etc.

I think that’s a great idea. It’s more focussed than What You Want to Say, more of a resource. So I’ll post that up every week and see how it goes from there. We do have a resources tab above and perhaps we could populate it with material from these threads?

Interview with Stephen Donnelly January 20, 2017

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Yep, it’s an interview in Hot Press. Conducted by Jason O’Toole it certainly is far-ranging – attitudes to sex and drugs, and of course the Social Democrats. For this unlikely tribune of the soft left certainly has some things to say about that topic:

Some members of Social Democrats told me you resigned because you were unhappy that the party didn’t go into government?
I believe we should have gone into government, but what bothered me far more was a refusal to even enter
talks about government. Our election position was clear: we would talk to any party or group interested in social democratic policies. I gave that assurance to over a million people on the Leaders’ Debate. Call me old fashioned – or naïve – but I take that sort of thing seriously. So yes, it was a contributing factor, but by no means the only one.
Was there any major arguments or tension between
you and the party’s other two co-leaders?

Yes.
Can you expand?
Starting a political party is difficult, so naturally there are going to be tensions. The party chose, when I left, to engage in some snide nonsense, but that was their choice. My choice was to stay quiet.

O’Toole asks him…

Catherine Murphy told me that she’s left wing and you’re on the right.
Catherine is certainly left of me. I know where I am. But it is described in different ways. I was talking to
one very experienced political correspondent, who described me as right wing on the front page. I said to him, ‘You have seen me consistently for six years advocate progressive social policy and responsible economics. That’s not right wing’. He said, ‘But you’re pro-business!’ I said, ‘I am unashamedly pro-business. But that’s not what right wing means. Right wing means smaller government and less focus on public
service’. And he said, ‘Ah, yeah, but you’re probusiness’. In truth, I am socially left, socially liberal, and unashamedly pro-enterprise.

Some interesting definitions being thrown about there – eh? I like this exchange…

There’s also really interesting stuff to be done in the Department of Public Expenditure and
Reform.
That’s exactly what Paschal Donohoe said in his Hot
Press interview.

That’s just a taste – there’s a lot more, neutrality, Repeal the 8th, millennials and their hang-ups, the Swedish model in regard to prostitution, fracking and so on. Very interesting it is too.

Party property… January 20, 2017

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Was slightly amused by the report in the SBP at the weekend that FF has ‘cut debts’ after selling St Luke’s, the property described by the paper as ‘Bertie Ahern’s base’. It made all of €750,000 when sold (the original valuation was €550,000). Interestingly, to me at least, the property was originally purchased as a trust by friends of Ahern but when he ‘resigned from the party in 2012’ it was gifted to Fianna Fáil. A couple of other insights into party property – Fine Gael’s HQ, a Georgian building on Upper Mount Street, is valued at €2.1m. SF has three properties worth in total €1.5m but these include its Belfast HQ.

This has been mentioned (I think by dublinstreams) and it bears re-reading, the SIPO report on the 2016 GE.

After Brexit for the ROI January 20, 2017

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Interesting piece by Charlie Flanagan, Minsister for Foreign Affairs in the SBP at the weekend where he gently takes those like Tom McGurk to task for ‘misconceptions’. His says he completely disagrees with McGurk’s description of the ROI ‘having an almost impossible task’. He believes that:

Brexit itself may be complex, but the government’s objective is simple – to secure the best deal we can for Ireland and our people in the context a wider EU-British agreement. We have a sound understanding of our priorities, namely: protecting our economy; safeguarding the GFA; maintain gin the CTA with Britain; and mapping a positive direction for the EU with Ireland at its heart.

And he continues ‘this last point is key. Some writers seem to favour following Britain out of the EU ourselves, this would be nothing short of reckless gambling with our future and would be profoundly against our economic and other interests.’

And he underlines this by noting that our exports to the EU are worth more than double those to the UK. There’s another aspect too, that the UK itself appears to be in some flux (McGurk in the same issue notes Scotland and independence). Those processes appear to have quite some way to run.

Intriguingly he mentions the House of Lords report (which McGurk recently saw as the single most important document on Brexit, conveniently ignoring that it didn’t come direct from the British government)… ‘recommending that Ireland and Britain should sign a bilateral agreement. While EU member states cannot sign bilateral trade or other agreements on an individual basis, our unique relationship with Britain is recognised by our EU partners, and it may be that we will have some arrangements with Britain post-Brexit that will not apply across the board’.

Well let’s hope so.

Another intriguing point is this:

It is also a myth to say that our only close ally i the EU is Britain. this is simply not true. On many occasion we have been on opposing sides within the EU. While of course Britain leaving the EU will be a loss, over the past 40 years we have built closer relationships with all EU members states and developed alliances with EU partners across a range of policy areas… including agriculture where France is our main ally…

It is odd, and I’ve drawn attention to this before, how anglo-centric the views of so much of those who argue an Irexit seem to be. It’s almost taken as read that ‘of course we’d follow the UK’. There may be, five, ten, fifteen years down the line, good reasons to reassess our position. I think it unlikely even then that there would be a pressing case, but such analyses are useful. But to start from the point it is a near inevitability is curious.

This Week At Irish Election Literature January 20, 2017

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From 1983 Abortion Referendum,a leaflet from the Anti Amendment Campaign warning that “This Amendment Could Kill Women”. A lot of the contents are prophetic

From 1944 “Aiséirge Says… The New Order In The New Ireland” a booklet produced by Ailtirí na hAiséirghe giving in detail the Sixteen Point Programme of the Party.

A “Fur Hag Alert!” leaflet from The National Animal Rights Association.

Martin McGuinness retires from politics January 19, 2017

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Genuinely sorry to hear this news. He’s going to be missed.

Signs of Hope – A continuing series, January 19th, Week 3, 2017 January 19, 2017

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Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?

Labour rebuild January 19, 2017

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There’s a piece on Labours rebuild in The Examiner

While Labour faced a near wipeout in last February’s election, its membership has now increased by more than 1,000 in recent months as leader Brendan Howlin aims to secure the party’s future.

Mr Howlin and other senior party figures are moving away from campaigning in middle-class areas and instead focusing on attracting working-class support once again.

You’d wonder about the increase in membership. As for campiagning in working class areas……. There is also a lot of talk about doubling. …double the membership numbers, double the number of Councillors and double the number of TD’s.

I think it’s a long hard road for them and it’s hard to see how they make their targets.

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