Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Britain’ Category

We need travel bans in Ireland; We need travel bans between Ireland and Great Britain – ZeroCoVid Ireland is the way forward

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Decisions made by the Dublin Belfast and London governments threaten the lives and health of everybody living in Ireland. Solutions exist.

On December 21 Claire Byrne, RTÉ Radio 1 journalist, asked the right question : do we need a travel ban in and out of Northern Ireland, a CoVid-19 hot-spot? Do we need to seal the border? Is this proposed measure any different, operationally, from a Kildare travel ban some weeks ago? This was an internal 26 County state ban – and it worked. The virus in the north currently runs at four times the rate of the 26 Counties.

“The NI Executive has voted against imposing a travel ban from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.

In a late-night vote, Sinn Féin and the SDLP backed the move but Alliance, the DUP and Ulster Unionists voted against.

The executive later unanimously backed plans to issue new guidance against all but essential travel between Northern Ireland, GB and the Irish Republic.” https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-55406075

Message to Sinn Féin and the SDLP – the Stormont Government has voted for mass murder.

Do the honourable thing – resign from the coalition government, bring down Stormont.

Shame on the DUP, Alliance Party and UUP. A public backlash is developing rapidly – Already Alliance Party representatives, such as the North Down Westminster MP Stephen Farry, are publicly trying to backtrack.

Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann votes against Great Britain travel ban – Mass Murder via Belfast Airport and the Larne-Stranraer Ferry

On December 21 Claire Byrne, RTÉ Radio 1 journalist, asked the right question : do we need a travel ban in and out of Northern Ireland, a CoVid-19 hot-spot? Do we need to seal the border? Is this proposed measure any different, operationally, from a Kildare travel ban some weeks ago? This was an internal 26 County state ban – and it worked. The virus in the north currently runs at four times the rate of the 26 Counties. https://www.rte.ie/radio1/today-with-claire-byrne/

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“The Royal Navy will only be deployed to assist with fisheries protection and enforcement activities if requested to do so by the Northern Ireland Executive” – Political Dynamite in Laps of Sinn Féin Stormont Ministers

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Will the Stormont Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill authorize the British Navy to attack Irish and EU Fishery Vessels after Brexit on January 1 2021? Far-fetched? Hypothetical? Scare-mongering? Think again, dear reader.

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) “told the Belfast Telegraph that gunships will only be deployed around Northern Ireland if requested to do so.”

British Royal Navy gunships cannot patrol Northern Irish waters without Stormont permission

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/brexit/stormont-can-request-royal-navy-to-protect-fishing-waters-39859236.html?fbclid=IwAR1m25RBgxqvVQ162DA4pTj8KxIumOQ__jLsJHQVLx3ig7AZHwq_AwNLDdI

“The Royal Navy will only be deployed to assist with fisheries protection and enforcement activities if requested to do so by the Northern Ireland Executive as this is a devolved matter,” stated an MoD spokesperson.

Here’s that political dynamite question again. A simple answer is needed.

Will the Stormont Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill authorize the British Navy to attack Irish and EU Fishery Vessels after Brexit on January 1 2021?

Let’s demand a categorical answer : NO!

Update : the position in Scotland and Wales :

The Scottish government has ruled out any participation in UK ‘sabre rattling’ over fisheries. See related post: https://www.celticleague.net/news/scottish-government-distances-itself-from-use-of-force-over-fishing/. The Stormont government needs to follow the excellent Scottish example.

The Welsh devolved government is also responsible for UK fisheries policy – hopefully it will follow the excellent Scottish example and rule out deployment of the Royal Navy after January 1 2021. https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2019-01/180717atisn12396doc062.pdf

“Michelle O’Neill says No to Arlene Foster” – a refreshing thought

Say No to Royal Navy attacks on Fishermen and Fisherwomen in Stormont Waters

Charlie McConalogue (Fianna Fáil), the Dublin Government’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is anxious. The Donegal TD hopes the problem will go away, urging “the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier to ensure that UK access to the single market is conditional on continued access share for EU fleets to British waters.” https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2020/1215/1184623-fisheries-brexit/

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What’s happening? “Britain will do a Brexit Deal on Europe’s Terms” V Boris Johnson’s gunboats will put Johnny Foreigner in his place

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Britain will do a Brexit deal on Europe’s terms, Gideon Rachman, Financial Times, December 15 2020

A correspondent, Gregor Benton, asks : “War at sea? Johnson should think twice about what he pretends to wish for”.

Johnny Foreigner is not frightened.

Mr Johnson insists that the UK and the EU are “sovereign equals” but, as long as the EU maintains its unity, they are not equals in terms of power. And that is what has mattered in these negotiations. It is why Britain has made a series of painful concessions over the past four years – most notably by agreeing a separate status for Northern Ireland, which will see customs checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea, effectively dividing the United Kingdom

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times (See Above)

A few questions : If the British Navy attacks French Fishery Vessels 🚢 in the seas of Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 what will Admiral Macron do? Turn the other cheek? Grin and Bear It? Impose punitive tariffs on Scottish Fish 🐠 intended for tummies in France 🇫🇷? 80 per cent of fish 🎣 caught in seas “owned” by the British State currently are exported to the European Union, I am informed. The fish companies will quickly have warehouses full of unprofitable food. The Brexiteer capitalists could, we guess, dump the fish after a few months into the gullets of starving Brits for free. Is this the “Oven-Ready Brexit” promised by Chef Boris?

Boris Johnson’s Brexiteers are like cornered rats – so far they are throwing shapes at the EU crafty cats, Ursula of Germany and Michel of France. If Boris is only a play-acting jingo admiral, more passengers on board the doomed tory Titanic will jump ship. Warning signs are already flashing – Brexit is rejected by large majorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But what if desperate gambler Boris goes for broke, and attempts a repeat of something like his hero Margaret Thatcher’s Falkland Islands adventure? That’s unlikely, but good strategists plan for possible futures, including the improbable ones.

What should the left in Ireland and Britain say and do? It is a no-brainer :

“”I can’t imagine any Brexit deal emerging that will protect the jobs and livelihoods of my constituents, that will protect our rights and the environment. I believe Labour should have nothing to do with this Tory deal and vote against it”. British Labour MP John McDonnell.

https://mobile.twitter.com/another_europe/status/1337775362353328129?ref_url=file%3A%2F%2F%2Fvar%2Fcontainers%2Fbundle%2Fapplication%2F6309570d-0cdf-4c60-93eb-32b35d92e01e%2Fwordpress.app%2Fwordpressshared.bundle%2F&fbclid=IwAR3Vwa0KgN6NvqAON6yqsQ2d1xDX74kXEFdDDErp6UrGKD_LNm42WVu7Ehc

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Apologies and Recantations – The Strange Cases of two Elected Representatives from Ireland and England – Brian Stanley TD (Sinn Féin, Ireland) and Jeremy Corbyn MP (Labour Party, England)

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We start with a tip, and two savage cartoons.

All political apologisers – such as the Sinn Féin Laois-Offaly TD Brian Stanley – forced to swallow and spit out his words of praise for IRA ambushes in 1920 and 1979 – do not believe any of the sentences they are forced to utter in humiliating public recantations!

Memorial Statue at Kilmichael Co. Cork, Commemorating an IRA 1920 Ambush of Black-and-Tan British Crown Forces

Nobody ever believes the recantation :

The same applies to apologies uttered under duress by former British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Steve Bell’s Cartoon, Banned by the British Guardian Newspaper
Steve Bell’s Cartoon, Banned by the British Guardian Newspaper?

Nobody believes the apologies. The effect is to censor debate on issues which ought to be publicly aired.

Every honest person knows Brian Stanley’s Kilmichael/Narrow Water Tweet about British soldiers successfully ambushed by the IRA in Ireland – Black-and-Tans (1920) and Parachute Regiment (1979) – is a public picture of his own personal opinion and the opinions of many members of his own party.

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Conspiracy Anti-Vaxers against Covid-19 lockdowns blend with far-right fascists – Irish and British Examples

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No to Racism Defend Our Public Health Workers – Minorities, Migrants, Homeless, Asylum Seekers, LGBTQ+Solidarity for Real Change

12 September 2020 | 1 PM
Assemble: GPO | O’Connell Street Dublin United Against Racism is organizing this rally in partnership with others and co-hosted by all organisations supporting it. For support and endorsements please email: info@united-against-racism.net…

https://www.facebook.com/events/653860718566358?active_tab=about

Congratulations to United Against Racism for calling this event. It needs to be supported by other organizations across the left, and mass membership organizations like trade unions.

Mass action is badly needed to confront and crush the racist far-right.

Professor Dolores Cahill, leader of far-right Irish Freedom Party

In Dublin, across Ireland and internationally the racist far right are using anti-mask, anti-vaccine and other fears to promote themselves and their racist agenda. In Dublin they mobilised up to 2000 at the Custom House on 22 August. In London, with the aid of Dolores Cahill (pictured above) from the Irish Freedom Party they put several thousand in Trafalgar Square.

In Berlin they mobilized up-to 30,000 and in the US they have been holding armed demonstrations. In Dublin they also rally regularly at the GPO on Saturdays. This is very dangerous; they must be exposed and opposed. At the heart of these mobilizations are individuals and organisations whose core agenda is to attack people of colour, migrants, minorities, asylum seekers, Muslims etc. but at present they are focusing on other prejudices, bigotries and COVID-19 fears and doing so in the name of an utterly perverted version of Irish nationalism that is an insult to Connolly and Pearse and all they stood for. They mounted a vile homophobic campaign against Green Party government minister Roderic O’Gorman.

DON’T ENDANGER OUR FRONT LINE WORKERS

ANTI-MASK IS ANTI – WORKER!

We can trust our healthcare workers who have risked their lives and are telling us first hand to wear a mask and follow the basic health advice. We can mind our health and criticize the government at the same time without the lies and conspiracy theories of the far-right.It is urgent that their lies are exposed and their influence is countered.The far-right have zero policies or interest in protecting civil liberties, defending workers, ending the housing crisis, improving the health system or uniting people. These are the same people that campaign against asylum seekers and refugees. They simply want to divide us and scapegoat vulnerable sections of our society which lets the government off the hook.We therefore call on all progressive organisations and individuals – trade unions and trade unionists, migrants rights organisations , anti-racists, LGBTQ+ activists, feminist activists, progressive political parties, environmental activists, housing activists – everyone who wants to defend public health and see a more just and equal country – to unite and oppose the far-right and their growth in IrelandWe in United Against Racism like to organise this rally in partnership with others and co-hosted by all organisations supporting it. For support and endorsements please email info@united-against-racism.netWe are planning to call for an organisers Zoom meeting next week 8 September 2020, 6.30PMJoin us for a peaceful, socially distant rally to give your support to our front line heroes in hospital; shops etc who are being put in danger by those who think COVID-19 is a conspiracy – not a disease.’This is will be a socially distances rally. Please wear a mask to protect yourself and others around you. Thank You!

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Hands off the US! Stand with the American people and their democratically elected leader against the regime change plot!

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Which camp are you supporting?

Opponents of the following rebellions:

the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests

the Belarus anti-Lukashenko demonstrators

the anti-Brexit marchers in Britain

turn the spotlight on to the USA, where all is not so clear once another side of the question is examined :

Conspiracy Theories Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

Aug 19, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Civil War in the British Labour Party Intensifies – Sir Keir Starmer Targets Jeremy Corbyn

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For what it’s worth, my personal reaction, and advice to Jeremy Corbyn et al from the western side of the Irish Sea : prepare a split from the British Labour Party now – show firm and decisive leadership – study the Stalin anti-Bolshevik manual of the early 1920’s, and compare it with the salami tactics used today by the Starmer gang – do not try to reason with the Starmer-Stalin gang, that’s a waste of time – gather together the willing fighters and fight, fight, fight – nothing to lose, everything to gain – the Starmer-Stalin purge is coming – John Meehan

British Labour Party Boss Sir Keir Starmer Purges Socialists, Promotes anti-Socialists
An Ex British Labour Leader “Ed Miliband has denied a purge is taking place against the Labour left under Keir Starmer’s leadership.” – He would say that, wouldn’t he?

Boris Johnson instructs obedient butler Keeves

“Jeremy Corbyn, the former left-wing leader of Britain’s Labour party, is once again making headlines over an “antisemitism problem” he supposedly oversaw during his five years at the head of the party.

This time, however, the assault on his reputation is being led not by the usual suspects – pro-Israel lobbyists and a billionaire-owned media – but by Keir Starmer, the man who succeeded him.

Since becoming Labour leader in April, Starmer has helped to bolster the evidence-free narrative of a party plagued by antisemitism under Corbyn. That has included Starmer’s refusal to exploit two major opportunities to challenge that narrative.

Had those chances been grasped, Labour might have been able to demonstrate that Corbyn was the victim of an underhand campaign to prevent him from reaching power.

Starmer, had he chosen to, could have shown that Corbyn’s long history as an anti-racism campaigner was twisted to discredit him. His decades of vocal support for Palestinian rights were publicly recast as a supposed irrational hatred of Israel based on an antipathy to Jews.

But instead Starmer chose to sacrifice his predecessor rather than risk being tarred with the same brush.

As a result, Labour now appears to be on the brink of open war. Competing rumors suggest Corbyn may be preparing to battle former staff through the courts, while Starmer may exile his predecessor from the party.”

UK Labour party teeters on brink of civil war over antisemitism

Written by tomasoflatharta

Aug 6, 2020 at 8:10 pm

The Miami Showband Massacre – 45th Anniversary July 31 2020 : Files delay ‘appalling’, says judge – BBC News

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Readers are urged to examine the stark facts below.

The British State was caught running the loyalist sectarian murder of Miami Showband musicians returning in the wee small hours from a music gig at Castle Ballroom, Banbridge, County Down on July 31 1975, 45 years ago.

A survivor, Stephen Travers, tells the story to Yvonne Watterson . https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/miami-showband-massacre-i-heard-my-platform-shoes-click-against-each-other-i-still-had-both-legs-1.4318542

My friend Stephen Travers knows all too well about remembering. He was a member of the Miami Showband who survived that atrocity.

They were travelling home from a gig at the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge, Co Down, when they were flagged down at what appeared to be a routine British army checkpoint outside Newry. They were ordered to stand by the road with their hands on their heads, while the men in uniform checked their van.

Stephen recalls being concerned about what was taking so long. “My guitar was in there. I had a very unusual guitar, a transparent Dan Armstrong Plexiglas bass, and I was very protective of it. I was damned if I was going to let some awkward soldier manhandle it. I loved my guitar.”

Two of the uniformed men – later revealed as members of the Ulster Defence Regiment – were planting a bomb under the driver’s seat when it exploded, killing both of them. The other assailants opened fire, killing the band’s frontman, Fran O’Toole, its trumpet player, Brian McCoy, and its lead guitarist, Tony Geraghty. Read the rest of this entry »

“Anti-Capitalist Resistance” – Planned launch 🚀 of new anti-capitalist organisation in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 and Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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Some convergence on the radical left is occurring in England and Wales. https://www.timetomutiny.org/. https://socialistresistance.org/

Anti-Capitalist Resistance

INITIAL STATEMENT, INVITATION, & PROGRAMME

Anti-Capitalist Resistance

A Weekend School:
Saturday/Sunday 12/13 September 2020

The radical left faces major challenges following the defeat of Corbynism and the consolidation of a new Labour leadership under Starmer. We also face a resurgent far right following Brexit, an unprecedented economic crisis, and the existential threat of climate chaos. Many left organisations and activists, inside and outside the Labour Party, are uncertain of the way forward. This is a moment of reflection and potential realignment. We must learn the lessons of the past and apply them in creating new socialist organisation fit for purpose in the 21st century.

The aim of this weekend school is to analyse the political situation we face and to consider launching a new, united, anti-capitalist organisation in England and Wales. (The political situation in Scotland is very different, though we wish to work closely with Scottish anti-capitalist organisations.)

What we stand for

We seek revolutionary transformation to meet the compound crisis of ecological disaster, economic collapse, social decay, grotesque inequality, mass impoverishment, growing militarisation, and creeping authoritarianism.

• We are internationalists, ecosocialists, and anti-capitalist revolutionaries. We oppose imperialism, nationalism, militarism, racism, misogyny, and homophobia. We stand in solidarity with all the oppressed at home and abroad, and we support all struggles from below against the system.

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Jack Charlton (1935-2020) World Cup winner, Ireland football manager, supporter of the miners, anti-fascist

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There has also been some coverage of the fact that Charlton along with a number of other footballing figures including Brian Clough & Terry Venables signed the founding statement of the Anti-Nazi League in 1977.

In Ireland Jack Charlton is celebrated – he was the most successful ever manager of the Republic of Ireland soccer team. There was a political side to this cultural phenomenon – it is well explained in the Keith Flegg blog below. Months before the opening 1990 game between Ireland and England in Cagliari a small group of Dublin people met in a Dublin pub, the Teachers’ Club. They wondered : how they could raise funds for a cash-strapped campaign seeking freedom for the Birmingham Six and other Irish political hostages in British jails. The venue, largely because of the example set by this campaign, has become home to many left-wing, trade union, feminist and human rights social movements.

A couple of the men in the group focused on the forthcoming Battle of Cagliari – Ireland’s Game Versus England, our Italia 90 opener. We were overcome by a brainwave : let’s organise a big screen showing. In those days that was a novel idea – we booked the scarce equipment months in advance. The staff in the Teachers’ Club did a great job installing the required technology. As the big day approached many large pubs and hotels offered to buy the equipment from the campaign, allowing us a huge profit. We refused – the event was going ahead. The venue was overwhelmed by the crowd – mainly young, male, Dublin working class, and proudly Irish. A number of women activists joined in – a little bemused, entertained, and deeply moved.

The Diceman, Thom McGinty, Symbolises British Justice and the Birmingham Six

A follow-up

“It begins with a man getting to shake the hands of some of the football heroes he’d only ever previously been able to see on television in prison. It ends with one of those same football heroes, having partied well but not wisely, fast asleep at a table in a motorway café and being prodded awake by a couple of passing Welsh supporters. And in between is one of the defining games of the Jack Charlton era, a 1-1 draw with England in a European Championship qualifier at their national stadium which should, in truth, have been a victory for an Irish side playing at something close to the peak of its powers.

For one Irish supporter in particular, the experience was bound to be memorable, whatever the result. Hugh Callaghan was one of the Birmingham Six, innocent men who had served 16 years of a life sentence for the IRA’s 1974 Birmingham pub bombings. With those convictions finally quashed after a long-running campaign and, having been released amid scenes of unbridled joy only 13 days before the game at Wembley, Callaghan found himself walking the famous turf as a guest of the Irish team at their eve of match training session.

Niall Quinn, the striker who would have such a significant say in the game itself, has vivid memories of meeting a man who had endured one of the most infamous miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

“He came on the bus with us from the hotel and stood with Jack and watched the training,” he recalls today.

“We had a good chat with him first on the pitch and then he had a cup of tea with us in the dressing room. He was a football fan, very proud of what we’d achieved over in Italy. He spoke about how he used to listen intently on the radio and saw bits and pieces on TV. I think Paul [McGrath] was his favourite – but then Paul was everybody’s favourite. It’s one of those nice memories that stay with you. It was a thrill to meet him and my memory of the meeting is that he was thrilled to meet us, and it was a very happy occasion.” https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/we-felt-a-little-bit-robbed-232294.html

Kmflett's Blog

Jack Charlton at the Durham Miners Gala

Jack Charlton who has sadly died at 85 was an iconic figure in post-1945 British culture as part of the 1966 World Cup winning England team, and a football manager most significantly with the Ireland team

The media rightly carries a range of appreciations and obituaries

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jul/11/jack-charlton-england-world-cup-winner-dies-aged-85

There has also been some coverage of the fact that Charlton along with a number of other footballing figures including Brian Clough & Terry Venables signed the founding statement of the Anti-Nazi League in 1977. Charlton had some criticisms. While the ANL was about building a broad united front to isolate the fascists of the National Front it also confronted their attempts to whip up racism when they held deliberately provocative actions.

Charlton was clear in his opposition to fascism but not happy about confronting the NF physically. This of course was a tactical not an…

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