Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Double Standards’ Category

South Africa trades profitably in weapons with two major capitalist powers, Russia and Germany – “Our identity since Nelson Mandela has been as a moral power – that’s gone now”

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Bob Myers examines the decision of South Africa’s African National Congress Congress (ANC) government to conduct joint naval exercises with Russia and China.

Article Source : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article65451

An extract from a Financial Times report (January 28) shows that Pretoria is using Russia’s genocidal invasion of Ukraine to trade profitably with both Moscow and European Union powerhouse Germany.

South African Capitalists play the game of “splendid isolation” – imitating the British imperialist 19th Century policy of playing one European power against the other – London had no permanent friends, only permanent interests.

The full Financial Times report is below, complete with a picture of smiling politicians, the Foreign Ministers of Russia and South Africa, Sergei Lavrov and Naledi Pandor.

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The Strange Rebirth of Stalinism – Colm Breathnach (Independent Left)

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THE STRANGE REBIRTH OF STALINISM

THE STRANGE REBIRTH OF STALINISM

The editors of this blog offer recommended reading – an article By of the Irish Left-Wing organization Independent Left.

Source : https://independentleft.ie/rebirth-of-stalinism/

A more colourful literary description of this phenomenon was offered by Yuliya Yurchenko at a November 2022 Dublin public meeting organised by Irish Left With Ukraine. The Ukrainian Marxist and Feminist offered us the idea that the USSR is dead – it is not coming back. The worst features of the dead ☠️ USSR have been imported into a new capitalist-imperialist-genocidal monster headed by Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. The good bits have been discarded and killed off permanently. Think of Stephen King’s horror story Pet Sematary :

A well-tended path leads to a pet cemetery(misspelled “sematary” on the sign) where the children of the town bury their deceased animals.

A cat called Church dies, then :

after Church is run over outside his home around Thanksgiving. Rachel and the kids are visiting Rachel’s parents in Chicago, but Louis frets over breaking the bad news to Ellie. Sympathizing with Louis, Jud takes him to the “sematary”, supposedly to bury Church. But instead of stopping there, Jud leads Louis farther on to “the real cemetery”: an ancient burial ground that was once used by the Miꞌkmaq Tribe. There, Louis buries the cat on Jud’s instruction. The next afternoon, Church returns home; the usually vibrant and lively cat now acts ornery and, in Louis’s words, “a little dead”. Church hunts for mice and birds, ripping them apart without eating them. He also smells so bad that Ellie no longer wants him in her room at night. Jud confirms that Church has been resurrected and that Jud himself once buried his dog there when he was younger. Louis, deeply disturbed, begins to wish that he had not buried Church there.

WHAT IS STALINISM?

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Oh Ah, Up the Ra “One Song Two Reactions – Why is it different when the rugby boys sing Celtic Symphony?” – Joe Brolly, Derry All-Ireland Winner, Gaelic Athletic Association

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This story assesses three sporting activities in Ireland – Gaelic Games, Soccer, and Rugby. It shines a light on a misogynous (woman-hating) West-British media culture.

Thanks to the Dublin Council of Trade Unions for bringing this story to our attention.

See Also : https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/10/12/double-standards-applied-to-irish-womens-soccer-team-song-author-derek-warfield-declares-dont-tell-that-you-cant-sing-celtic-symphony-but-you-can-sing-god-save-the-king/

Joe Brolly in the Sunday Independent, January 8 2023 :

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Solidarity With Palestine, Solidarity With Ukraine – Sotsialniy Rukh (Ukraine) Compared With People Before Profit (Ireland)

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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African Anti-Apartheid Activist

Sotsialniy Rukh Statement on Palestine and Ukraine (in English and Ukrainian)

📣 November 29 since 1978 has been celebrated as the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. For 44 years, the world officially talks about the Palestinian tragedy that has no end.

This day reminds us of Palestine’s ongoing struggle for life and freedom. Despite condemnation of Israel’s policy, which leading human rights organizations say fits the crime of apartheid under the Roman Statute, the de facto Palestinians and Palestinians still have neither protection nor independence. Their homes are being taken, cities bombed, and their lives are totally in vain.

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The Politics of Apologising – Sinn Féin to Regret the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland and expel members who sing “Come Out You Black and Tans” – Could this be true?

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Before readers leap to their keyboards, rest assured folks – the claim is a brilliant joke. The full story is below – Source is the journal.ie.

Moving to a serious point – Irish public figures are regularly swamped with ignorant demands to “apologise” for any Irish ballads which belong to a rich culture of resistance to British Imperialism. The latest example is the Irish international women’s soccer team which recently secured World Cup qualification for the first time.

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A Crisis in 21st Century Feminism – Don’t Miss the Forest for the Trees – Choice Should be the Guiding Principle

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This interesting post comes from an Irish-American activist, Mary Scully :

There’s a deep crisis in modern feminism around fundamental questions of women’s oppression. Philosophical idealists like Judith Butler have taken over the narrative, gained ideological dominance, & destroyed its relevance for working class women. One of the chief symptoms of this decline is the almost complete lack of solidarity with Muslim women who wear the hijab or niqab whilst at the same time supporting women resisting the forcible imposition of the headscarf.

They get the concept of resistance but that’s not good enough if they refuse to accept the concept of choice, as if Muslim women were just empty-headed Barbie dolls in scarfs.

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Double Standards Applied to Irish Women’s Soccer Team : Jack Charlton 1 Vera Pauw 0 – Oh Ah Up the Mná

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Irish Women’s Soccer Team Celebrate World Cup Qualification, October 11 2012

A gaggle of West-Brit politicians have denounced Irish Women’s Soccer Team Celebrations. Wolfe Tones songwriter Brian Warfield dismisses the reactionary chorus as “cranks and unionists or people who side with them”. Warfield is dead right.

Song Composer Derek Warfield Declares “Don’t tell that you can’t sing Celtic Symphony but you can sing God Save the King”

Jack Charlton was the best international soccer manager who ever worked for the Republic of Ireland – he encouraged his players to sing Irish rebel songs. Former kit-minder Charlie O’Leary recalls :

Sean South of Garryowen was his favourite.
It got to the stage where it had to be played. It’s a rabble rousing song full of life, if you forget about the words; it was lovely.

Charlie O’Leary, kit-minder for Jack Charlton’s Boys in Green https://www.balls.ie/football/jack-charlton-rebel-songs-350401-350401

“I had two tapes with me. One tape was all Luke Kelly songs and your man Moore [Christy Moore]. Going to Lansdowne, I’d come to around Haddington Road, and I’d stop that tape and I’d put on the other tape – Seán South of Garryowen. Just as we’d be arriving in the ground, we’d be at the crescendo of Seán South of Garryowen. So the lads would be really worked up by that time. They’d be singing at the top of their voices.”

Irish Times December 15 2014

In his book on the Charlton brothers and their relationship, Leo McKinstry recorded how there was hell to pay when news of the Republic of Ireland team playlist reached the English tabloids.

Teddy Taylor, the comically Eurosceptic right-wing Conservative MP from Glasgow, fulminated in public that Jack should be ashamed of himself for belting out such a ballad.

The FAI weren’t inclined to play up the fact that the Irish team used to sing songs celebrating the IRA’s 1950s Border campaign.

https://www.balls.ie/football/jack-charlton-rebel-songs-350401-350401

Jack Charlton 1 Vera Pauw 0

Public figures must stop bullying the Irish female soccer players. Manager Vera Pauw has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Jack Charlton.

Pauw’s game management strategy is a carbon copy of the Jack Charlton method “Yeah, of course,” Pauw says. “We need to develop further. We’ve got five clean sheets in a row. We’ve got four goals against, and that’s our strength. Because we always create chances, so we always score in a game. As long as you don’t get goals against and you score in a game you win, right?”

Charlton was a brilliant motivator, an extremely empathetic manager. He backed his players – even when they misbehaved – and bought into the Irish rebel ballad culture, our anti-imperialist culture, and sense of fun. After his team was eliminated from the Euro 88 tournament in Germany Charlton expected a barrage of criticism in Ireland. We did not win. Instead the manager and his team were greeted by hundreds of thousands of fans who did not give a toss about losing Euro 88 – we got to a major tournament for the first ever, and we beat England 1-0. The miner’s son from Ashington in the north of England, an unorthodox man of the left and the workers’ movement, understood this very profoundly.

Jack Charlton – “Proud to be Irish” – Dublin Airport after Euro 88 in Germany

Pauw failed to back her players – and appears to have no understanding of Ireland’s proud tradition of cultural resistance. She made a public statement which must immediately be withdrawn :

Pauw insisted that the release of the footage on social media by one of the squad was not the core issue, adding the player “was devastated and crying in her room”.

“I don’t want to hide behind that because it she hadn’t put it on social media and I had been notified about it and the significance, then I would have addressed it immediately.

“I’ve also told her that putting it on social media is not the biggest thing.

“The biggest thing is that it has happened. It doesn’t matter if you are in private room or a dressing room or if you are outside.”

European Soccer bosses in UEFA are threatening disciplinary sanctions against the Girls in Green. https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/63242412

Football Association of Ireland (FAI) blazers, assorted cranks and a talented soccer manager are profoundly wrong. Let’s hope Vera Pauw reflects on the successful methods of Jack Charlton, the miner’s son from Ashington who loved Irish rebel songs.

Jack Charlton, The Best Republic of Ireland Soccer Manager

John Meehan October 13 2022

An interview with song composer Derek Warfield :


Irish team being ‘persecuted and bullied’ for singing ‘ooh ah up the ‘Ra’, songwriter says

Article Source https://www.irishtimes.com/ireland/2022/10/12/irish-team-being-persecuted-and-bullied-for-singing-ooh-ah-up-the-ra-songwriter-says/

Wolfe Tones songwriter Brian Warfield has accused those who criticise his song Celtic Symphony of being “cranks and unionists or people who side with them” amid controversy over the Irish women’s football team singing along to it.

Warfield wrote the song, which includes the refrain ‘ooh, aah up the ‘Ra’, in 1987 for the centenary of Celtic Football Club, which occurred a year later.

He claims the line was taken from graffiti he saw on a wall in Glasgow around that time, which read ‘we’re magic, up the Celts, ooh, aah up the Ra’. He said he was not necessarily referring to the Provisional IRA in the lyrics.

No excuses

Celtic Symphony was playing in the dressing room while the Irish team celebrated qualifying for the World Cup after winning at Hampden Park on Tuesday night. Players were filmed singing ‘ooh, aah up the Ra’ and a clip was posted on social media.

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Double-Standards: The Destroyed Kerch Bridge in Crimea, Russia’s Bombing of Civilian Targets – How will the Westplainers on the Left React?

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Russia is losing the war in Ukraine – that is clear. The principled left is for solidarity with Ukraine and favours Immediate Withdrawal of the Russian military forces from Ukraine – also, clear. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Two cartoons and a satirical meme sum up some options :

Two correspondents offer observations

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Ireland should welcome Russians who don’t want to kill Ukrainians – North and South

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The article below comes from Sweden via the USA based Ukraine Socialist Solidarity Campaign.

Link : https://www.facebook.com/groups/307530784861174/?ref=share

The same issue arises in the Irish state – like Sweden, a member of the European Union, which is under pressure to draw down a new Iron Curtain partitioning the European continent.

See Also, from the European Network for Dolidarity With Ukraine :

Open the borders for Russians refusing military service!

https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Latest news from the anti-conscription movement in Russia : https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/9c8950df16724719b875eece066b3912?v=3bc1cb6bcdb84da2b0a88fdb3783cfdc

OPINION: Sweden should welcome Russians who don’t want to kill Ukrainians

In a situation already tragic beyond the imagination, banning Russian draft dodgers would only add to the tragedy in Europe.

An iron curtain is descending across Europe. But in contrast to the beginning of the Cold War, the curtain is being drawn down by EU countries – not Russia.

Any day now, Finland is poised to ban Russians from entering the country on tourist visas, to keep out men who want to avoid being drafted to fight in Ukraine. Announcing the policy, the country’s foreign minister said Finland was becoming “a transit country for Russians who want to leave their homeland for fear of being forced into war, and this traffic could harm Finland’s international position”. Opinion polls put 70 percent of the public in favour of a ban.

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“If you hate the royal family clap your hands”

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You can’t fool Celtic Soccer Fans :

Celtic fans disrupt minute’s applause for Queen Elizabeth II with anti-Royal chanting and banner.

From CNN :

“CNN

Supporters of Glasgow-based football team Celtic FC chanted anti-royal sentiments during a planned minute’s applause for Queen Elizabeth II ahead of the team’s match against St. Mirren in Paisley, Scotland, on Sunday.

The minute’s applause had been organized after the home team, St. Mirren, chose to pay tribute to the late monarch, but Celtic fans unfurled a banner reading “If you hate the royal family clap your hands” and chanted the same words throughout the planned homage.

The Scottish FA said in a statement on Monday that “as a mark of respect and in keeping with the period of National Mourning, home clubs may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem just ahead of kick-off, and players may wish to wear black armbands.”

Sky, who was broadcasting the match, confirmed to CNN that it turned down the stadium microphones to limit the audibility of the chants during its broadcast of the minute’s applause.

After the applause ended, commentator Ian Crocker said, “Apologies if you were offended by anything you might have heard. Most people showed respect, some did not.”

It is the second time this week that groups of Celtic fans have expressed anti-royal feelings, with the club currently subject to an investigation by European football’s governing body UEFA after displaying a banner reading “F**k the crown” during Wednesday’s Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk.

CNN has reached out to the Scottish Professional Football League and Celtic FC for comment but did not immediately get a response.

Though Celtic is based in Scotland, its traditions are intertwined with those of anti-monarchist Irish republicans since it was founded with the aim of alleviating poverty in Glasgow’s Irish Catholic immigrant population in the 1880s.

Its crosstown rival Rangers, meanwhile, is traditionally more aligned with Protestantism and royalist unionism, heightening the antagonism between the two sides.

The Scottish FA, the governing body for football in the country, said to CNN that it didn’t have “any jurisdiction over fan behaviour at league matches.”

Booing during the minute’s silence was also audible in other matches held in the Scottish Premiership this weekend.

Dundee United released a statement, acknowledging that “a small section of the crowd chose to not respect the minute’s silence” ahead of its match against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/19/football/celtic-anti-royal-chants-scottish-football-spt-intl/index.html