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Peace in Our Time – part the second? October 16, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Something is going on… that’s for sure. Not least evidenced by the not entirely happy looking DUP and in Tony Connolly’s piece on RTÉ they don’t even get a mention. Not that the border doesn’t continue to (rightly) be the main area of negotiation.

The European Commission has pushed for the UK to move back to the original Northern Ireland-only backstop, meaning Northern Ireland staying in the EU’s customs union and single market, while London has insisted on a dual customs arrangement, with Northern Ireland staying in the UK’s customs territory, but operating under EU customs and tariff rules.

Bridging that gap has been the main task, but the issue of consent and VAT are also proving to be challenging.

Pushing back against the latest ruling on citizenship in the North October 15, 2019

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Good to read that Simon Coveney is to…

…press the British government to review domestic laws on citizenship in Northern Ireland after a UK court ruled that people born in the region are legally British citizens even if they identify as Irish.

Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign affairs minister, said he would raise the case of Emma DeSouza with the Northern Ireland secretary on Tuesday. He is concerned that British law is not “consistent” with the unique rights enshrined in the Good Friday agreement peace deal that allow anyone born in Northern Ireland to be Irish, British or both.

At a minimum this raises significant questions as to the implementation by the UK of both the spirit and the letter of the GFA/BA in legislation. And as the Guardian notes, the ROI amended our legislation in respect of these matters, so it is telling that the UK did not do the same.

Another positive aspect of this is the fact De Souza is committed to fighting on. This is a core area of any agreed dispensation on this island.

‘Move the Irish’ October 15, 2019

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Interested in Dominic Cummings? Read this profile from the New Statesman. One piece of note:

[Paul Marshall, who worked with Cummings at the DfE] concedes that no deal is not an end state, and would put Britain in a weaker negotiating position. But he thinks Cummings needs the credible threat of no deal to “move the Irish”. Without a majority, that threat is weak, and no new agreement is likely to be forged.

Amazing how parochial all this is, isn’t it? The ‘Irish’ are seen as the stumbling block to the ambitions of Cummings et al, rather than structural aspects of the broader dispensation. It’s curious because it is a massive over-emphasis of ‘political’ activity as distinct from process and structures. Then again, that mindset is far from unknown well beyond the Tory reactionary right.

Election fever! For the media, at least… October 15, 2019

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The IT is really pushing the idea of a pre-Christmas election. The IT believes that there are:

…forceful views across all political parties that an election before Christmas is now a real likelihood.

This based on some public representatives in FF, FG and the LP that they’ve spoken to.

But that still leaves the issue of a November/December election. Mid November at the earliest given the Brexit deadline of 31st October. Probably a little later in order that the initial outcomes came clear on Brexit.

And all this predicated on a successful ‘deal’ of some form or another. Or is it. Would a single poll, today’s IT/MRBI one, be enough for FG to take a gamble?

Irish Times/MRBI Poll October 15, 2019

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No great surprise that Leo Varadkar’s approval rating has jumped up to 51%. The party polling is less stellar for Fine Gael.

FG 29% NC

FF 25% -1

SF 14% -2

GP 8% +4

LP 6% -1

And yet a huge bloc…

IND/Others 18% NC.

The breakdown of that latter cohort is (at least in part)

SOL-PBP 1% -1

SDs 1% -1

I4C 2% NC

IND ALL Less than 1% NC

Non Party IND 10% -2

OTHER parties and groups 2% -1

Communities Against Low Pay Campaign October 14, 2019

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Message sent out by Ciaran Perry to anyone interested :

Hiya, as you know Communities Against Low Pay have been campaigning against low pay and precarious work for a while now. Our latest battle is with the Ivy restaurant. We trying to expand the campaign and involve other trade unionists and community activists. We have organised a public meeting next Wed at 7:30pm in Wynns hotel. It would be great if you could attend and add your support and experience to the discussion. Can you invite anyone else you think may be interested? Cheers, Cieran.

A predictable negative response…. October 14, 2019

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As the dust settles after the bilateral meeting last week between the British and Irish PMs, who comes staggering out with the following?

“It is simple. Are we being treated the same as England? No, we are not. Therefore, if we are not being treated the same as England, then we are not going to accept it,” he said.

Why none other than DUP MP Jim Shannon. And it looks as the IT says this morning that the DUP are hardening their position. Which is no great surprise, they’ve never been ones to go out ahead. Still, it does point out the hollowness of their rhetoric last week

For then they were saying:

…the Democratic Unionist Party accused the Government of adopting a “Dublin Says No” mentality.
“It seems the ‘not an inch’ approach in Dublin will lead to no deal. How times have changed. Its now a case of ‘Dublin Says No’. The DUP has worked with [Boris Johnson] to place a reasonable proposal on the table. It may not be perfect but it’s a fair deal,” said DUP MP Sammy Wilson.
“It recognises our unique situation and respects the referendum result,” he said. The DUP wants a sensible deal which works for every part of the United Kingdom as well as our neighbours in the Republic of Ireland. In every negotiation there must be give and take.The Irish prime minister must realise that we will not support Northern Ireland being held to ransom by either Dublin or Brussels,” he added.

Okay, in fairness the above is from Sammy Wilson, not a man overly acquainted with temperate political interventions. But the manner in which he repurposes the rhetoric of unionism to attack Dublin is telling. Fascinating to see them taking a leaf out of the Trump/Johnson playbook in relation to that.

That said the fact that negative response noted above is only manifesting itself slowly does show they are aware of the dangers given what they said and have demanded in the last few weeks.

Which of course is a side issue and leaves one none the wiser as to the outcomes…

If voting could change things… October 14, 2019

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If accurate, this is telling.

The UK government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans to introduce compulsory photo ID for voters were leaked.

Reports that the Queen’s speech contains proposals to make showing ID such as driving licences or passports at the ballot box a requirement have been met anger by campaigners who say the move is a threat to democratic participation.

And as the Electoral Reform Society notes there were eight allegations of personation at the last election there.

Left Archive: Revolution in Italy, Irish Socialist Network, 2000s October 14, 2019

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To download the above please click on the following link. pcipamphlet.pdf0

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Alan Kinsella of Irish Election Literature for this document. Produced by the Irish Socialist Network is a little different to many posted here. It seeks to examine the social and political changes that took place in Italy between 1943 and 1948. If anyone knows what the date of publication was we’d be very grateful.

It argues that ‘Although not as well known, the abortive revolution of these years can be compared with the upheavals of the Russian revolution or the Spanish Civil War. The ultimate defeat of the Italian movement can still tell us a lot about the failure of the socialist movement in the twentieth century – and how we can avoid repeating that failure.’

And:

The resistance to fascism in Italy was spearheaded by the parties of the Left, above all the Italian Communist Party (PCI). The Mussolini regime began to crumble in March 1943 when factory workers in the northern cities took
part in a strike wave that mobilised 100,000 workers. Nothing of the sort had ever been seen in a fascist state.

It considers various aspects including the way in which the PCI and Palmiro Togliatti placed national liberation and the destruction of fascism ahead of revolution – and argues that while this dovetailed with the Soviet analysis ‘Having witnessed shattering defeats for the Left in Italy, Germany and Spain, the PCI leader was extremely cautious and averse to risk-taking of any sort.
He was unwilling to sanction any moves to challenge the Italian social structure as long as the country was under Allied occupation, fearing that the PCI would be driven underground once again.’

There is an outline of how ‘the old order’ fought back, including the rise of the Christian Democrats. It also considers the manner in which a mass party was built, arguing act by 1947 when the PCI had two million members it had achieved that status. But it also critiques the PCI for not supporting land occupations and in so doing losing an opportunity to establish a base in the South.

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 always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

Ulick O’Connor October 13, 2019

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It’s odd, difficult perhaps at this remove to realise just what a presence Ulick O’Connor was in the media in the 1970s and even after. Abrasive, certainly in his avowed nationalism contrarian to that media (or most of it). I was a bit surprised reading the obituaries of him how little I knew of the man and his life.
Jason O’Toole in the Mirror has an account of how they crossed paths some time back. And the IT has this.

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