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Remote working stats January 19, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Some fascinating statistics in relation to remote working in the Republic released by the CSO yesterday. Two particularly striking ones.

A new survey from the Central Statistics Office reveals that 90% of those aged between 35 and 44 years who could work remotely would like to do so when Covid-19 pandemic restrictions end.

The CSO’s ‘Our Lives Online Pulse Survey’ also shows that 80% of those in employment have worked remotely at some point since the start of the pandemic.

That last statistic is surprising to me. Are there that many jobs in the economy that allow up to 80% of workers to work remotely? I’d have thought it was fewer, but if even close to that 80% that’s an enormous number of people who have the facility to work in that context. I’m guessing, though I could well be wrong, that some of these would be companies who turned from public facing to delivery? But is that it? Or is the figure overstated?

As for the appetite for working from home I’m very intrigued by the demographic – 35 – 44. That’s younger than I’d have expected for that sort of sentiment. Any explanations there for that?

And this rings true:

This [80%] compares to just 23% having worked remotely at some point before the outbreak of Covid.

Predictably for those who want the option of WFH there’s a distinction in the figures:

Of the 90% of those workers who would like to work remotely, 28% said they would like to do so all the time, while 60% said they would like to work remotely some of the time.

Just 12% said they would not like to work remotely in the future.

 

This following makes perfect sense:

The CSO said that respondents who could work remotely and living in the Mid-East Region – Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow – as well as those who used public transport and those whose travel time to work before the pandemic was more than one hour were more likely to say they would like to work remotely after all pandemic restrictions are removed.

As does this:

74% of those who work remotely said they felt they had more time on their hands, because of remote work, to do things they never got the chance to do before the pandemic.

For those fortunate in short commutes that hour or more sounds daunting. But a lot of people have to contend with that day in day out. Where I work I know people who come in from Waterford on a regular basis.

 

It’s all very interesting but I would like to see some information on how work life intrudes in the WFH scenario to home life. I know for myself and I’m far from a Stakhanovite, that there’s a tendency to check work emails over the weekend to see what is coming in on a Monday morning, or to check them in an evening, and I’m fortunate in not having to field calls after working hours. That’s a sort of mission creep and one can view it as a good thing – psychologically being prepared for the ebbs and flows of work, or a bad thing – letting work intrude into time periods where it never did before. And for those who have to field a lot of calls during and often after working hours, well that’s a whole different ballgame.

Also there’s the question, as raised by many people in comments here under other articles on this topic, about the suitability of domestic spaces for work. Two years in, more or less, and that’s something I don’t even think about – but it is a very real element of all this and I should, as should anyone working from home.

 

 



Energy Costs January 19, 2022

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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My electricty/ gas bill arrived during the week. I thought we had been doing alright in waiting to turn the heating on, turning off lights, unplugging things etc…. I shudder to think what it would have been if we hadn’t made a small effort.

The proposed €100 energy discount being given by the Government will be a drop in the ocean for some people. I’m working from home, which means the odd cold day I might put the heating on earlier than normal , at least though i’m not paying the cost of petrol or diesel for a commute.

I know there are international factors at play but if we have a brutal cold snap, people will be at the pin of their collar, already there are many choosing between heat and food.

The implications of the rapid rise in energy costs are huge. Post Covid could be the issue the government are most worried about.

An invasion of the North in 1969? January 18, 2022

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What do people make of this a report, from the Irish News, that suggests:

A CO Tyrone man has claimed the Irish army came within minutes of invading the north to highlight the plight of nationalists faced with a sectarian onslaught in the late 1960s.

He ‘revealed how he was in a house in Dublin with former Irish government minister Neil Blaney when the daring operation was dramatically called off at the last minute.’

But…

A secret Irish army document, Interim Report of Planning Board on Northern Ireland Operations, also known as ‘Exercise Armageddon’ and drawn up in 1969, later confirmed plans by the government to cross the border but warned such as move undertaken against the north would be “militarily unsound”.

Here’s a post on this topic from the past. 

“Seeking No Honours: Tom & Marie Johnson” New ILHS title. January 18, 2022

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This new ILHS title by Shay Cody (current president) and Charles Callan,(former president and long-time secretary) with reflections from Padraig Yeates and Brendan Howlin from the ILHS has just arrived from the printer 

It is 136 pages in length and has been much anticipated and retails for €12.00. It includes a number of interesting additional pieces including Cathal O’Shannon’s tribute published in Liberty, February 1963,amendments to the Democratic Programme, and Johnson’s statement to the Bureau of Military History. Facing the inside the back cover is a colour image of Tom and Fred Johnson’s refurbished gravestone.

The piece on Marie Johnson is an expanded piece written by Charles Callan from his earlier essay in Saothar: Journal of the ILHS.
The publication is sponsored by the Fórsa trade union.

Making it up as they go along… January 18, 2022

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Fairly blatant stunt by the British government in relation to the temporary return of the dual mandate. But as noted yesterday, this is far from uncontentious – for example.

A row over “double jobbing”, which would mean MPs in Westminster also sitting in the Stormont assembly, has erupted in Northern Ireland with accusations the government is trying to prop up the Democratic Unionist party.

The chair of the Northern Ireland affairs committee, Simon Hoare, described the move as a bad idea and urged the House of Lords to reject the relevant amendment to proposed legislation.

And the Guardian notes that:

The proposals, to temporarily restore a practice that was banned in 2016, would allow the DUP leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, to contest the Northern Ireland assembly elections in May while remaining an MP at Westminster.

On Monday, Donaldson confirmed that he planned to stand for the local Lagan Valley seat at Stormont while remaining an MP, a move that could make him eligible to become first or deputy first minister if the DUP succeeded in becoming the biggest or second biggest party.

He was pressed on reports that a second DUP MP was also planning to stand for local election but declined to identify the individual, saying the selection process was not yet complete.

It’s pretty dismal really. A sort of gaming of democratic processes for the advantage of one party, and gamed by the British government. Difficult to disagree with the following:

The Ulster Unionist party MLA [member of the legislative assembly] Mike Nesbitt said the plan “reeks of corruption”, claiming Boris Johnson’s government was “going out of its way to prop up and support one party”.

The DUP’s response is laughable.

The DUP hit out at what it termed “fake outrage” by political opponents, saying the proposal would bring stability to Northern Ireland “at a time when devolution is deeply unstable because of a one-sided and undemocratic [Brexit] protocol”.

Even in purely practical terms this is an absurd proposal. But in democratic terms it is worse, diluting the ability of those elected to one democratic institution to function fully because they’re having to also work in another. These sort of expedient and self-serving moves only undermine democratic structures. Very very unwise.

 

The abandonment of the struggle for national democracy & sovereignty. January 17, 2022

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Statement CPI

16th January

The Irish state today (16th January) marked the final act of the British colonial Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in handing over Dublin Castle – the seat of British administration and control – to the Provisional Government. This act was a follow-on from the signing of the “Articles of Agreement” on 6th December 1921, an agreement between a delegation representing the Government of the Irish Republic and the British Government, accepted by the signatories under the threat of an immediate and bloody war on the Irish by the British occupation forces. The “Articles” were promoted subsequently as an “Anglo-Irish Treaty”. 

That agreement failed to deliver an independent Irish Republic as envisaged in the 1916 Proclamation, the 1919 Declaration of Independence, and the Democratic Programme of the revolutionary Dáil Éireann. But rather it reflected in its institutions the strategy of British imperialism to partition Ireland in order to secure and retain its economic, political and military interests and control over the people of Ireland. It was implemented by a brutal civil war against the defenders of the Republic and the establishment of a Free State in which the native capitalist class collaborated with imperialism. 

The signing of the “Treaty” and the hand- over of Dublin Castle copper-fastened the betrayal of the struggle for national independence and sovereignty. The forces who accepted partition were happy to be subservient to the needs of imperialism in Ireland and remain so to this day.

The economic, political and sectarian landmines planted by the British colonial power to undermine and thwart the national goal of an all-Ireland sovereign independent democratic state, and they continue to explode. Our people have experienced two failed economic, political and social British constructs in our country. Both entities have blighted the lives of generations of our people since their establishment by force by the British and their colonial collaborators. 

An estimated 1.5 million have been forced to emigrate. Our people have lived under the tyranny in the 26 counties of reactionary economic, social and moral policies while the people in the Six Counties have had to bear a century of institutionalised sectarianism, poverty, discrimination and repression.

Today our people across Ireland are experiencing mass homelessness, exploitative rents imposed by both the local landlord class and the absentee landlords of the vulture fund owners. Peoples experience a life of uncertainty at work amid oppressive working conditions and precarious health, a life which continues into a lack of proper provision in old age. 

The great betrayal of a century ago continues to haunt the people of Ireland. The aspiration and goals contained in the 1916 Proclamation and the Democratic Programme remain unfulfilled. 

The gombeen class may have gathered in Dublin Castle today to raise the tricolour and to self-congratulate themselves on a job well done. What they celebrate in Dublin Castle today is not the achievement of Irish independence but its abandonment and betrayal. But history and the lived experienced of working people from Derry to Kerry tells a different story. 

In the present day, we are also exploited by the imperialist powers of the USA and the European Union, with the willing co-operation of the Irish capitalist class, which lives comfortably on the crumbs from the table.

We are reminded of the prophetic words of James Connolly “If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.” 

Increased security for the Cabinet January 17, 2022

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Interesting, isn’t it, that this has hit the agenda.

Increased security protection measures, including garda bodyguards and specialised vehicles, are expected to be provided to all Cabinet ministers following a garda security review.

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Justice and Foreign Ministers already have such measures.

However it is understood that is now to be expanded to the full Cabinet due to rising safety concerns, such as protests outside ministers’ homes.

It is believed three ministers have already had their security increased since the beginning of this month: Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath; Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly; and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

This isn’t to dismiss the potential – particularly given certain sections of the far-right and people adjacent to that, for security issues.

The number of personnel needed will be considerable:

According to today’s Irish Mail on Sunday, an additional 40 gardaí will be required to fulfill the commitment.

I wonder will there be any pushback at all against the full Cabinet getting this sort of protection. Indeed is there an argument for a more flexible response in relation to those Ministers other than Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Justice and Foreign Minister?

ILA Podcast #34: Mark Fitzpatrick: Anarcho-punk, Hunt Sabotage, and Animal Rights January 17, 2022

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In this episode we talk to Mark Fitzpatrick. Mark is an animal rights and vegan activist originally from Cork and now based in New Zealand, where he is on the board of the Vegan Society of Aotearoa .

We discuss Mark’s politicisation in the anarcho-punk scene in Cork in the late 1980s, his involvement in hunt sabotage in Ireland and the UK, his perspective on the animal rights movement and its relationship with the Left, and his newly launched website project to document the history of animal rights in Ireland, The Humanity Trigger .

If you are or were involved in animal rights in Ireland and can contribute information to the history of that movement, you can contact Mark about the project by email at markhumanity@thehumanitytrigger.com.

Listeners can also hear Mark discuss hunt sabotage and the police response in more detail on episode 17 of the Policed podcast , from February 2021.

Artwork by Mark Fitzpatrick from TheHumanityTrigger.com

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please subscribe. If you use a podcast app, it should come up in most of them if you search for “Irish Left Archive Podcast”, or use one of the links below.

Left Archive: PTA – Prevention of Terrorism Act, A Newsletter of the National Council for Civil Liberties, No. 1, Nov 1984 January 17, 2022

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To download the above please click on the following link.

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This document issued by the UK National Council for Civil Liberties (now known as Liberty) examines the Prevention of Terrorism of Act in that state. As the newsletter notes:

In March this year the Government repealed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and replaced it with a new version, the 1984 Prevention of Terrorism Act. The move came after many years of aJmost routine renewal of the Act by Parliament since the original PTA was introduced by Labour in 1974 as an “exceptional” and “temporary” measure. However in 1982 this concensus renewal broke down – when Labour abstained in the renewal debate – leading to the decision by the Conservative Government to appoint Lord Jellicoe to examine the operation of the Act. Subsequently, the Government decided to introduce some changes based largely on the Jel1icoe recomnendations.
There are some important differences between the 1976 and the 1984 Acts. However other changes are not significant in tenns of increasing the protection of individual rights and freedoms in practice. The extension of arrest powers to people suspected of involvement in political violence in any foreign country has raised concern that the new Act effectively enlarges the circle of people whose civil liberties and legitimate political activity may be constrained and threatened by the Act.

New Provisions under the Act are outlined including “The Act has a maximum life of 5 years.” and the use of exclusion orders can be made – that is excluding people from the island of Britain. And:

The sections of the PTA concerning powers of examination at ports, detention and questioning (ss. 12 and 13) have been extended to cover people suspected of involvement in political violence anywhere in the world. This extension of police powers of examination, detention and arrest is such that now a large number of foreign groups, or British groups with connections overseas, come under the net of the Act, for prolonged detention, questioning, and infonnation gathering by the police with no access to the courts.

It notes:

During the debate a nLID1ber of MPs concerned with the erosion of civil liberties objected vigorously to the renewal of the ”emergency” powers. The government majority however defeated most of the proposed amendments. During the report stage in the House of Lords, the government agreed (under pressure from the Liberal and independent peers) to appoint a single person as “Corrmissioner” to review the operation of the Act each year and report to Parliament before the annual renewal debate. S/he would not hear appeals or assess whether the powers had been used correctly in indi victual cases. The Comnissioner’s role would be to examine the use made of the powers, whether for instance any patterns had emerged which should be drawn to Parliament’s attention. This report would be published. (To date, we do not know who is to be appointed as the Comnissioner.) The Government also conceded that Parliament be given the opportunity to debate the draft renewal order each year at least one month before the date of renewal and that the government would consider how the points raised in those debates might be included in the revised order. ( Eg. Parliament could ask for one part of the Act to lapse.)

The document also notes the situation in Northern Ireland:

THE PTA IN NORTHERN IREL AND: YOUTH MALTREATED IN BELFAST

PAUL CARUANA, a 24-year-old from Derry, was arrested as he walked in the street on Saturday 11 August 1984. He was taken first to Strand Road and then to Castlereagh police station in Belfast. The next clay questioning started. Mr Caruana said later: “I was on a sitting position on the floor and one of the officers started forcing rey head between rey legs while the other held IT\Y feet.

At one point the officer pushing IT\Y head down climbed on IT\Y back and started pushing all his weight on me. The pain was so severe that I cried out ‘Oh Jesus, No!’ One of them said, “You could make this a lot easier for youself’ . “

NCCL intervened on behalf of Mr Caruana and asked a senior doctor at Derry hospital to carry out an independent medical examination. The examination was carried out less than 2 clays after Mr Caruana’ s release. Medical findings about his physical condition were consistent with the alleged treatment. A psychatric examination carried out by a consultant established that Mr Caruana was suffering from a severe anxiety state.
Mr Caruana said: “I ‘ll never get over it for the rest of my life. I’ve never been through anything like this before. I’ve never been in trouble before. I think something should be done about it.” NCCL continues tofollow the investigation. A mnnber of MPs and MEPs have also taken up the case.

100 years since power handed over from Britain to an Irish government January 16, 2022

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This very day – the anniversary of the Handover of power from the British political Administration in Ireland to the Irish Government at Dublin Castle. A fascinating time when there were all manner of efforts to save British faces in regard to the realities of the dynamics unfolding.

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