Archive for the ‘Labour Party’ Category
The English Solution to an Irish Problem; Martyn Turner, the Irish Times Cartoonist, Tells it As It Is
“CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICERS in the UK have released statistics this morning on the number of terminations that were carried out in England and Wales last year, highlighting the incidence of women travelling from Ireland to avail of abortion services.
A total of 3,982 women gave addresses in the Republic of Ireland when attending clinics and hospitals during 2012. That made up the 68 per cent of the 5,850 abortions provided to women resident outside both countries. Women from Northern Ireland made up another 15 per cent of the figure.” The new restrictive X Case Law, which the Labour Party and Fine Gael ensured was carried by the Dáil last night, will not change this situation. Pro-Choice TD’s put down several amendments which were rejected; the defeated pro-choice amendments included a provision to allow women with fatal foetal abnormalities access to an abortion in Ireland. Another Savita Halappanavar type case is inevitable, sooner or later. http://www.thejournal.ie/at-least-21-women-from-every-county-in-ireland-had-an-abortion-in-the-uk-last-year-988359-Jul2013/
National Women’s Council of Ireland Director Orla O’Connor makes the current situation clear :
“Over 17,000 men and women wrote 77,428 emails to their TDs and Senators over the last few months to call for legislation to give full effect to the X case as part of NWCI’s campaign. This is evidence of the high level of public support throughout Ireland for access to safe and legal abortion in life threatening cases, including risk of suicide.”
“Yet what people were calling for has not been delivered in this Bill. Abortion remains a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison and onerous and inaccessible procedures for women dominate the Bill. We urge the Government, as the Bill goes through its final stages, to take on board our proposed amendments so we have legislation that is fair, just and workable for women in Ireland.”
“It is also critically important for us to acknowledge that with the passing of this legislation Ireland will continue to have one of the most restrictive abortion regimes globally. It will provide no solution to women who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest, in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities or where there is a risk to the health of the woman. Women in crisis pregnancies, over 4,000 every year, will still be forced to travel abroad for abortions. Women in Ireland must be in a position to make personal decisions about their own bodies and health care free from coercion, discrimination and the threat of incarceration. http://www.nwci.ie/news/2013/07/10/vote-on-abortion-legislation-a-historic-moment-for/
Here is Deirdre Conroy’s Account of the shameful Dáil Debate on foetal abnormality :
Minister’s contribution to debate on foetal abnormality was disrespectful to women
87 % are in favour of medical intervention for this condition http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/minister-s-contribution-to-debate-on-foetal-abnormality-was-disrespectful-to-women-1.1460755?page=1
The leader of backward Irish Vatiban (Fine Gael) defends women-hating laws; pregnant women beware!
Deputy Kenny is out of step with popular opinion :
What is in the new government bill on abortion? Will it make the current position better or worse?
In 2012 Clare Daly proposed a bill in Dáil Éireann to implement the Supreme Court X Case Judgment of 1992 – later endorsed in two referendums held in 1992 and 2002 – which would have legalised Abortion in Ireland in very limited circumstances.
Now the government has come forward with a new bill – following mass outrage at the death in a Galway hospital of Savita Halappanavar, who was denied an abortion which would probably have saved her life.
The government is also under pressure from the European Court of Human Rights after the A, B, and C cases; the court instructed the Dublin government to legislate on abortion.
It is necessary, at this early stage, to carefully look at the contents of the government bill, and propose alternatives which will take forward the pro-choice cause in Ireland.
The statement below, issued by pro-choice TD’s Clare Daly and Joan Collins, is a contribution to this effort.
Clare Daly TD, Joan Collins TD
Statement – May1, 2013 – immediate release
Needs of despairing women ignored – lives will be put at risk
Expert Group recommendations ignored
Commenting on the government’s draft bill on abortion, Clare Daly TD and Joan Collins TD called for changes to deal with shortcomings in the Bill:
Clare Daly said:
“Today, May Day, when women have fought for their rights as workers, we are still fighting for our rights as women. I welcome the publication of the government’s proposals for minimal legislation on abortion, but it contains restrictions that will continue to put women’s lives at risk.
There are neither medical nor social grounds for requiring the approval of three consultants to agree to abortion for a despairing woman, driven towards suicide because of unwanted pregnancy. A psychiatric emergency is no different to a medical emergency and is treated as such by clinicians. If one of the government’s panel of three says ‘no’, it is up to the woman to push for an appeal to another three. Most women would give up at the possibility of a second refusal and be driven further into despair, or forced overseas – if they can afford it. This must change: no more than two medical practitioners should be required to approve abortion for suicidal women.
Women who cannot face these obstacles, and induce abortion themselves, are threatened with 14 years in prison. They would be branded as criminals if they obtain abortions in Ireland – yet the government is happy to see it done in Liverpool. The ‘chilling factor’ of criminalisation referred to by the European Court of Human Rights has been transferred from doctors to women. This hypocrisy must end: abortion must be decriminalised.”
Joan Collins said:
“The government has ignored Art 6.4.1 of its own Expert Group Report, which said that two doctors was enough to make a clinical decision on the risks to a woman’s life because of physical or mental health condition. They have also ignored the views of the majority, who support legislation for the X case, and organisations including SIPTU, Unite the Union, the National Women’s Council of Ireland and the Union of Students in Ireland – representing hundreds of thousands of people. They have called for no more than two medical practitioners as sufficient to approve abortion.
This Bill is a political compromise with Fine Gael backbenchers and the anti-abortion minority, which will compromise women’s lives rather than meet women’s needs. It also reinforces the distinction between a woman’s life and her health and welfare – where a woman who could be permanently incapacitated by pregnancy cannot get an abortion. The 8th Amendment must be repealed and women’s health needs and choices provided for.
We will be examining this draft Bill in the coming days and will table amendments to remove the unnecessary restrictions contained in it.”
This analysis fits in very comfortably with the assessment published on this blog last Saturday February 9 following the publication of an Irish Times Opinion Poll.
A different related question which deserves attention is what to do about the construction of an anti-capitalist/anti-coalition akternative, both inside and outside the Dail.
Originally posted on The Cedar Lounge Revolution:
I know we’re probably a few years away from an election but ….. with Labour now sliding in the polls , Paddy Healy made an interesting Comment on the recent Sunday Business Post Red C poll stating
When the Labour party vote declined to 10.4% in the 1997 GE following the Spring/Bruton/De Rossa government , it retained 17 of 33 seats. I believe that if Labour polled 11% in a general election to-day that it would retain far less seats. Traditionally, many Labour candidates were elected on transfers from independents and minor parties (in addition to benefitting from the surplus of coalition partner Fine Gael). The current poll indicates that Sinn Fein will be above the Labour Party on first counts in a large number of constituencies. Sinn Fein transfers will be unavailable in far more constituencies than was the case in the 2011 General Election. The decline in the Fine Gael vote will ensure that surpluses transferring to the Labour Party will also be reduced.
before finishing on
“The Promissory Note Deal – A Three Card Trick” OR “another step forward towards the day when we can finally face forward as a people”
A friend of this blog has unearthed a gem from the Irish Labour Party Presently participating in a coalition government with Fine Gael, under the leadership of Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore :
This is what the Labour Party are sending to their councillors today. I’d like to say its delusional but they are not that this stupid, although they obviously think some of their elected officials are. Fair play to Cian O’Ceallachain for publishing this stuff, going against the grain is never easy no matter how stupid it is…
“Farewell to Anglo!
Last night’s legislation brings an end to Anglo Irish Bank and the Irish Nationwide Building Society. These two institutions, names that will live on in ignominy, are forever associated with the recklessness and greed of a tiny clique that brought this country to the edge of financial ruin. These banks, the people who ran them and the golden circle around them were at the very roots of the crisis that has caused so much distress to the Irish people.
In liquidating this institution, we are doing what should have been done on the night of the blanket bank guarantee.
This is another step forward towards the day when we can finally face forward as a people, when the past can finally recede into the distance and when Ireland and the Irish people can see the future that they truly deserve”
Commenting on this one writer suggested
Whoever wrote that is wasted in the Labour Party. Should be out there writing sci-fi
Our Literary Prize Panel agreed unanimously.
Words may fail you, so we present an alternative view from the blog of United Left Alliance TD Joan Collins :
Now you see it, now you don’t. Nobody should be fooled by the government spin on the deal negotiated with the ECB on the debts run up by Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide. Not a cent of the almost €35 billion poured into these two insolvent banks has been written down. This deal seals the fact that these debts have been fully socialised, that is transferred as a burden onto the Irish people.
Web Link :
The Irish government fast-tracked a new law through the Dáil, perhaps scared of a legal case taken by David Hall :
Once upon a time a failed private bank, under criminal investigation, got an IOU/promissory note from the State to pay off its bondholders. In 2011, we voted in a government that promised to tackle this blatant injustice. Last week they defended a legal challenge against the promissory notes. Then, hours before the Supreme Court could hear the appeal, in the dead of night, they rammed emergency legislation through the Dail that transfers those debts from the IBRC/Anglo (an institution we own, and with whom we could have negotiated a write-down or even a write-off of the debt) to the European Central Bank (which is legally prohibited from writing down, or writing off any of this debt – even if they wanted to. Which they don’t.)
So the ‘soft’, legally-suspect, promissory note debts, were turned into legally-sound, ‘hard’, non-negotiable, sovereign debt – without a single cent of it being written off.
In other words, the people paid to represent us have shafted us, and our children and grandchildren. But they still call it a ‘deal’ – kind of like an upgrade, to sit closer to the captain on a Slave Ship. Section 17 of the legislation now gives the Minister for Finance unprecedented powers to restructure these promissory notes with the Central Bank – without oversight and without a vote in the Dail. The terms of this ‘deal’ are being discussed now at: http://www.thejournal.ie/promissory-notes-michael-noonan-786949-Feb2013/
From this we will learn about ‘savings’ on the interest we’ll pay on this illegitimate debt, and how much icing sugar they intend to sprinkle over the shit sandwich they’ll be force-feeding us over the next few decades.
A delusional Jellyfish Spineless Labour Party has confused surrender and victory.
Gilmore’s outfit is going down in the opinion polls :
Labour’s Way is now the Gormley-Green Way -
Any bets on how low the Labour Party and Fine Gael will dip in the next opinion polls and real elections?
We need an anti-coalition and anti-capitalist left which has the backbone for a fight, a physical feature absent from the jellyfish Labour Party.
Dolours Price buried in Belfast – “A Liberator But She Never Managed To Liberate Herself” The Irish Times – Tue, Jan 29, 2013
Eamonn McCann’s tribute sums up this moving newspaper report – despite having major political differences, Eamonn McCann and Dolours Price remained close friends for forty years.
Bernadette McAliskey was applauded when she told shivering mourners:
“We cannot keep pretending that 40 years of cruel war, of loss, of sacrifice, of prison, of inhumanity, has not affected each and every one of us in heart and soul and spirit.
“We cannot keep pretending that the war did not hurt. It broke our hearts and it broke our bodies, it changed our perspectives and it makes every day hard.”
Carrie Twomey wrote this account of the wake and funeral for Dolours Price
Clare Daly TD questioned Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore on the imprisonment without trial of Martin Corey and Marian Price in the Dáil recently.
Video Link Here :
Daly points out that Martin Corey has spent almost 3 years in jail without being shown any evidence justifying his incarceration – Gilmore hides behind the fact that the case is subject to an appeal in the Belfast Supreme Court next February. Read the rest of this entry »
Childers call for a general election should be endorsed by all left TD’s opposed on principle to coalition with the right.
Originally posted on The Cedar Lounge Revolution:
LP MEP Nessa Childers tweeted last night in relation to the latest news that the ECB is ruling out this particular ploy by the Irish government. Hmmm… not looking good for the ambitions of the latter in relation to these matters.
Very depressing news re ECB. The people need to be consulted about the future at this point. That means a general election.
That’s a very good point about democratic legitimation.
A Web Link to Monty Python’s Rabbit Assassin :
And now for something ostensibly harmless, but in fact deadly :
Web Link :
[he] opened up on Keaveney with a high-octane attack on the TD last Friday morning, describing his defection as “self-indulgence”.
“Any single member of the Labour parliamentary party could have gone pirouetting on the plinth, parading their struggle with their conscience saying: ‘Watch me as I agonise about this decision’,” Rabbitte said.
He lambasted Keaveney as “courting the media to save his own political neck”.
Deputy Keaveney’s Reply :
Appearing on The Late Late Show, Mr Keaveney — who is still chairman of the Labour party despite his expulsion from the parliamentary ranks after voting against the Social Welfare Amendment Bill — said: “There has been a lot of reckless commentary from senior figures in the Labour party in the last 10 days.
“Pat was playing the man and not the ball. It was a fine performance from Pat Rabbitte but at the end of the day it was an attempt to deflect from the fact that we had made a volte face.”