Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Britain’ Category

The British Royal Family is “unequal, outdated, and should be consigned to the dustbin of history” – Agree or Disagree?

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Read the news items below and decide for yourself if the statement above – written by West Belfast Stormont Assembly member Gerry Carroll (People Before Profit) – should be supported by everyone on the anti-imperialist left in Ireland.

I think the answer is Yes – and this should not be a controversial opinion, especially in Ireland. Unfortunately, some prominent public figures disagree. Lies about the British Royal Family resemble a mountain of dead dogs, and fresh stinking corpses are added daily.

Reliable news reports tell us that the English Prince Andrew, brother of British King Charles, is getting support from a convicted child abuse criminal.

A courageous woman, Virginia Giuffre, successfully won substantial damages in a USA court from the British Prince, who was a close associate of the convicted child abuse criminals Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

“Maxwell, who paid out millions to Giuffre herself in a separate lawsuit in 2017, was jailed for child sex trafficking in connection with Epstein.

But she claimed in an interview with CBS that Ms Giuffre’s claims are unfounded, and that she did not introduce her “dear friend” Prince Andrew to the teenager as had been claimed.

Ms Giuffre said: “My goal has been to show the rich and powerful are not above the law and should be held accountable.” Source : https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/prince-andrew-overturn-claim-by-sex-accuser-virginia-giuffre/

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Readers might assume that no self-respecting Irish political leader would risk getting close to the sinister Buckingham House royal parasites.

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Outrage as UK Tories attack Trans Rights and Scottish Devolution

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Unpopular British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – whose Brexit Tory party is around 20 per cent behind the opposition Labour Party in most credible opinion polls – has picked a fight with the Scottish Parliament over a minor administrative reform which improves the human rights of transgender people.

Across the British state, writes Mike Picken, there is a growing opposition to the Conservative UK government’s unprecedented blocking of a Scottish Parliament legislative Bill on transgender rights passed last month – the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.

After weeks of misleading propaganda about what the Bill says and its implications for UK wide legislation, on 17 January the Tory government at Westminster announced they were going for the so-called ‘nuclear’ option of blocking the Bill using a ‘section 35 order’.

The ‘section 35’ mechanism is part of the 1998 legislation that created the Scottish Parliament and was only ever intended to be used as a last resort, if there was a grave threat of the Scottish Parliament trampling over other rights across the UK. During the passage of the 1998 legislation it was dubbed the ‘Governor-General’ clause, a reference to the British Empire’s colonial controllers, as it gives total discretion to a government minister to overrule democratic decisions. It has never been used before now and the legal basis presented by the UK government has been widely described as completely flimsy.

‘Section 35’ is being used to overturn the Scottish Bill as a political move by a reactionary government against progressive legislation, not because of an infringement of rights.

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster Parliament Blocks Scottish Parliament Transgender Law Reform – British Labour Leader Keir Starmer Surrenders to the Union-Jack Far-Right

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Rishi Sunak’s governing Tories at Westminster have blocked a minor administrative human rights reform adopted by the Scottish Parliament which protects the rights of a very small minority, transgender people. It is an easy-peasy issue for all people on the liberal/social-democratic spectrum in Ireland – ranging from the entire left into significant sectors of the big right wing parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

In Scotland a similar liberal/social-democratic spectrum includes the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), the SNP’s government coalition partner the Greens, and the Scottish Labour Party.
The Scottish Parliament voted for this minor reform – which is less favourable to transgender people than the existing law in the 26 county bit of Ireland – by 86 votes to 39. This huge majority followed a very long drawn-out debate.

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster Government Blocks the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Reform legislation – A “constitutional nuclear ☢️ option”

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster government is using a “constitutional nuclear ☢️ option” (see Financial Times report below) to block a Scottish parliament gender recognition reform.

Financial Times, January 16 2023

This Changes Everything

Mike Small reports on the Scottish Bella Caledonia blog : https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2023/01/16/this-changes-everything-2/

Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary, has confirmed that the British government is using article 35 to block the Scottish government gender recognition reform bill. This is unprecedented and represents a full-on attack on the devolution settlement. It’s a desperate escalation and dramatically ups the stakes for not just the British government but also the Labour and Scottish Labour party. Will Anas Arwar simply over-turn his parties own position? It is billed as an attack on the SNP but it is actually an attack on the Scottish Parliament where the legislation received cross-party support after years of delays, amendments and debate.

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Voters in the British State Reject Brexit – The Emperors Have No Clothes

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Lots of recent data tells us that voters in the British state – in the nations of England, Scotland, Wales (and in the statelet called Northern Ireland) – reject Brexit. Here is the latest graphic :

Rejecting Brexit – Well Outside the Margin of Error

The polling expert John Curtice publishes lots of interesting information on this and other related subjects.

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Snow Black – A Modern Fairy Tale – English Monarchy Dissected by Irish Feminist Rosita Sweetman

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Meghan Markle as Snow Black; England’s Wicked Queen as England’s Wicked Queen and so on – all are present in this dark fairy tale.

Snow Black – A Modern Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a beautiful Queen. One day she pricked her finger. Three drops of blood fell on her black windowsill. Looking out at the winter snow the Queen said, I wish for a son with golden red hair, a black daughter in law, both with hearts as white as snow.

The Queen gave birth to a baby boy with golden red hair.

Then the Queen died. Everyone thought it was an accident but actually the Queen was desperately unhappy. The King was not a good man. He had deceived the Queen into marrying him while all the time he was having sex with another married woman. As soon as the beautiful Queen was out of the way he and the other woman got married.

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Local politicians Smile for the Camera with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the North of Ireland – Don’t mention the Elephant in the Room – Brexit

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John Hurson brought this parody real picture to our attention. He chose a very appropriate James Connolly quotation to describe the scene.

“Yes, ruling by fooling, is a great British art with great Irish fools to practice on.”
James Connolly

“Yes, ruling by fooling, is a great British art with great Irish fools to practice on.”

James Connolly

John Hurson hits the nail on the head – this gaggle of politicians cannot agree a formula to restore Stormont. The reason is Brexit, which is opposed by a large majority of people living in Ireland.

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John Molyneux – “As capitalism’s crises grow worse, his voice will be missed”

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Many tributes are online paying tribute to John Molyneux, who died in Dublin on December 11 2022 aged 74.

Tempest member Phil Gasper discusses the work and politics of the prominent and dedicated British Marxist John Molyneux. This article comes from the USA based magazine tempest
Source ; https://www.tempestmag.org/2022/12/in-memoriam-john-molyneux/

The Marxist writer and activist John Molyneux died in Dublin on December 11 at the age of 74. John was a longstanding member of the International Socialist Tendency, first as a member of the International Socialists/Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in Britain, later as a member of the Socialist Workers Party/Network in Ireland.

A black and white image of British Marxist John Molyneux. He is a large man with a gray beard and wire-rimmed classes and is wearing a button-down Oxford shirt.
Photo by Hossam el-Hamalaway via Flikr.

John was one of the generation of ’68. He joined the International Socialists in Britain in 1968 after being radicalised by the antiwar movement and the global revolutionary upsurge of that year. He soon became one of the group’s leading theorists and most popular speakers.

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Anyone But England

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This ‘Anyone But England’ mentality is petty and reflects badly on us as a nation, and it’s about time we merci d’ignorer le début de ce tweet et de soutenir nos héroïques français contre les anglais.

Source :

Ce soir. Allez Les Bleus. Allez, allez, allez.
Ni dieu, ni maitre. Ni patrie ni patron.
Aux armes citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!

Postscript by a correspondent :

What’s all the grumbling with the referee about? He gave England two penalties. Was he meant to allow Harry Kane retake them until he scored too? Or was he supposed to give 3 because he missed one? 4 maybe? Weird.

James Doyle

“Neither faction of the Conservatives is nicer. But, for the moment, Trumpian Conservatism is dead. It’s back to food banks and dole queues and cuts to services” – David Renton

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The British socialist David Renton offers an interesting analysis of the turmoil in the 2022 British Tory Party – Three Prime Ministers in quick succession – and he warns :

Sunak’s Conservatives will be more socially liberal than the people who backed Liz Truss or Boris Johnson. But they will also be much more ardent cutters – and this at a time when inflation is at 10%, interest rates are rising, and fuel bills are rocketing…

A contrast – The Financial Times reports

Markets look forward to “dullness dividend” in wake of Truss turbulence

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