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Rockin’ Road Festival 2016 – Sunday 29th May – 12pm – 8pm May 27, 2016

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Review of ‘Republican Congress’ Documentary by Donal Higgins May 27, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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There’s a review of Donal Higgins film “Republican Congress” here from a New Zealand site

I gather the DVD is available in Connolly Books

Wrong argument May 27, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Ian O’Doherty writes in the Independent about Eagles of Death Metal singer Jesse Hughes who was in the Bataclan the night of the attack in November. Some will have noted that Hughes has been making problematic statements subsequently. O’Doherty suggests that:

…their singer Jesse Hughes (pictured) has enraged French liberals with his subsequent comments. Hughes is a compelling figure – pro-life, pro-gun and pro-Trump, he was always an unlikely ally of the French and, speaking to journalist Gavin McInnes last week, he repeated his claims that the Bataclan was an inside job: “There’s no denying the terrorists were already inside, and they had to get in somehow. Why was the (backstage) door left open?”
The singer then seemed to further insult his French former friends when he added: “One girl got up and said she was scared. The guy said, ‘Don’t be scared, you’ll be dead in two minutes’, and then he shot her. I saw fear fall like a blanket on the whole crowd and they fell like wheat in the wind.”

O’Doherty writes:

It’s interesting to note that Hughes, who was covered in blood after the carnage having been splattered in the attack, has also admitted he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, yet he remains steadfast in his view that gun control and cowardice are Europe’s two biggest flaws and believes that “fear of offending Muslims is the terrorists’ greatest weapon”.

And suggests:

People can agree or disagree with what Hughes has to say.


What they cannot deny is that he was literally centre stage when the attack happened and if anybody has earned the right to have an opinion on the events of that night, it is surely him.
But the organisers of the festivals decided that his comments were racist and they cancelled the bookings.

Except, except, except,being there doesn’t gift him authority to make inaccurate statements or allegations. And that is what the ones in relation to the ‘terrorists already inside… why was the backdoor left open?’ with its explicit suggestion that there was collusion on the part of those working in the Bataclan has caused such offence and the one directly responsible for the festivals deciding not to host him (and as someone who has been at gigs for forty or so years I find it odd that he would think it curious that some doors were left open – and he hasn’t thought this through either, the fact that doors could be left open was in part pivotal to the survival of people that night). Not so much his thoughts on guns and Trump which have, hitherto largely been neither here nor there.

It’s not difficult to find this out, but then O’Doherty doesn’t seem to find it difficult to, and I phrase this carefully, find a most unusual and perhaps not entirely accurate line of argument in all this.

Indeed he himself then sets out on a path that runs parallel to that of Hughes.

The response fits easily into the framework of mixed-up reactions that have characterised Europe’s handling of terrorists who want to drag us all back to the Middle Ages.
We are all heartily sick of the proliferation of silly social media hashtags to signify fatuous solidarity with the victims of whatever the latest terrorist atrocity happens to be.
However, the decision to effectively censor a band who went through an unspeakable ordeal and then expressed an inconvenient opinion could be seen as the most ridiculous case of victim-blaming anyone has seen for some time.

If that was what it was that would be appalling but spreading inaccuracies, deeply wounding inaccuracies does no one any good. I’ve enormous sympathy for Hughes (indeed quite apart from that I’ve always been a fan of EODM and seen them live myself) but that doesn’t allow him to escape criticism.

Its’ also worth noting that Hughes views aren’t the last word on the matter either, there are others who were there that night and survived it who take a very different line as noted here.

“It’s easy to see why his comments are causing so much hurt. Unlike a politician, his fans have invested time and emotion into a band whose music they buy and gigs they attend. There is a rapport between a band and its fans, some of which are dedicated followers. They already feel like they know him. This rapport is strengthened still as Hughes is a fellow survivor and the compassion extended in the community of survivors is also extended to him. Comments in the media like his are a stomach punch to those fans, especially when they are still dealing with their own trauma. He is alienating the very people who helped him get where he is. At his return gig at L’Olympia he expressed his love for the people of Paris yet his words bite into still raw wounds and he doesn’t appear to see the hurt they cause.”

And there’s also this heartfelt letter from a Muslim survivor of the attack on the Bataclan.

Sticking the course? May 27, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

The Irish Times has a piece suggesting that:

There are lingering questions over whether the Independents will stick the course, with most doubt cast on Halligan.
One senior Fine Gael source indicated there may be a difference on what Halligan believes he got for his Waterford constituency and what the party sees as its commitment to him, on issues such as hospital and airport runways.

I’d be amazed if all this wasn’t pinned down. But if not it suggests a surprising lack of certainty in relation to the structural underpinnings of the new dispensation on the sides of those involved.

Here’s another nugget of information. Look at how short the term of some in office is going to be:

Four of the five Independent Alliance members now have ministerial posts with the fifth, Kevin “Boxer” Moran, due to take up the junior ministerial post now held by his colleague Seán Canney within one year.

I wonder does this point to the sense of how long the government will last on the part of the Independents? Presumably Moran will be junior minister for a year too. And after him?

History man May 27, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Got to be honest, I was a bit surprised by the names of some of the British historians supporting the Remain camp in a letter to the Guardian. Okay, some you’d expect, Ian Kershaw, Juliet Gardiner. But Niall Ferguson?

Ferguson used a speech at the Downing Street event to criticise the nostalgic arguments for Brexit, which suggest plucky Britain can stand alone, describing them as a “classic example of scissors and paste history, clipped from the pages of Our Island Story”.


He said: “The lesson of history is that British isolationism has often been associated with continental disintegration.”

He’s changed his tune a bit since this in 2004.

Some smaller realignment(s) in Irish politics… May 27, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…well, that’s overstating it, but the indications of at least three Technical Groups in the Dáil are suggestive. There’s the six TDs who will form one with Independents4Change at its heart:

Independents4Change, made up of Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Tommy Broughan and Joan Collins, will align with Donegal TD Thomas Pringle and Galway West TD Catherine Connolly.

Then there’s the Social Democrats and Green Party’s collective five TDs who will form another.

And then there’s the ‘rural grouping’. That’s the following:

The rural grouping will be made up of Clare TD Michael Harty, Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath, Kerry TDs Michael Healy-Rae and Danny Healy-Rae, Cork South-West TD Michael Collins and Galway West TD Noel Grealish.

It all makes sense – those cohering in these loose groups have some commonality politically and so on even if the groups themselves are technical, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s a situation where the myriad competing voices in this Dáil are going to mean determining a clear message is drowned out. Perhaps it won’t be a problem. And what of Séamus Healy? Anyone know?

Remembering the Civil War May 27, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

I was at an excellent lecture on 1916 by Diarmaid Ferriter at my GAA club recently. He spoke for well over an hour hardly taking a breath. Part of what he covered was of course the Commemorations and how the general consensus was that the State Centenary celebrations had been a success….but even so there will always be issues with Commemorations an example given was the new wall at Glasnevin.
At the end there were questions , one in particular was intriguing (it was the day after Fianna Fail had ruled out coalition with Fine Gael, so the Civil War was topical). At the end of the The Decade of Centenaries how will we Remember and Commemorate The Civil War?
There was a group of Historians established in 2012 to advise the Government on the best way to mark the Decade of Centenaries. The Rising and War of Independence is the ‘easy’ part. It’s actually from The Treaty onwards that difficulties arise.
There are of course Civil War related monuments all over the country from Béal na mBláth to Ballyseedy. There will be local commemorations , as there always are. The Political Parties will have their own ceremonies (many of them are annual events already).
Will there be State ceremonies at all?

A Map of Irish Election Leaflets May 27, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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Have been working on this for a little while and it’s still a work in progress. There’s a few places to add yet .
In time I’m going to see if I can figure out a way of doing a map of material for a variety of Left Wing Parties.

The other ‘Workers’ Party’? May 26, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

From Donald Trump (as reported on politico.com).

“Five, 10 years from now — different party. You’re going to have a worker’s party,” Trump said in the May 17 interview. “A party of people that haven’t had a real wage increase in 18 years, that are angry.”

Hmmm… that sounds all too familiar.

What’s half a year? And reflecting on how this government was the very last option on anyone’s list. May 26, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Noel Whelan on the money in a piece about how Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have ‘lost half a year of government’. And he notes that this isn’t simply a function of the election outcome but of deliberate decisions taken by those parties in relation to the aftermath.

The fact that more than 10 weeks after the election we have a weakened, makeshift, minority Government, an incoherent Opposition and an unproductive parliament arises from choices made by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and the slow pace they have set.
Not only was the formation of Government delayed but, in addition, the effective operation of parliament is to be held up.
It emerged this week that many of the key proposals from the Dáil reform committee will not be implemented until July, with no hope of them being bedded down before the autumn.

This makes me think of something a friend said when noting that of the all the outcomes the current one was the very last on everyone’s list. No one wanted a minority FG coalition with Independents – bar perhaps some of those Independents. Every effort was made to avoid this outcome and fashion something else. Yet here we are.

The Government will stagger one – Whelan thinks its prospects are ‘more precarious now than when it was formed two weeks ago’. But it is a marriage of convenience, perhaps not even that. More accurately it is a device or a means of avoiding an election that neither FG or FF want.

And that – in truth – is the name of the game. Those polls, stubbornly fixed at where they were at the election – offering no comfort to the larger parties that they can make a break for the country or arrive at any position other than the one they currently face (albeit with a marginal and perhaps in some cases even less hospitable environment – more SDs, more AAAPBPs!).

One other aspect he notes. That the Seanad is still missing the 11 Taoiseach’s nominees. They will make no difference, this time one presumes that they will be signed and sealed as FG oriented ‘loyalists’ – given how the nominees went in the last Seanad they’d certainly want to be from an FG perspective, though perhaps there’ll be a sop to the Independents in government. But isn’t it something that those nominees haven’t been announced? Doesn’t it say everything about how unfocused matters are at the moment?

As to the longevity of the government, someone suggested to me that if it goes three weeks it can go three years. One would have to wonder.


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