Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Double Standards’ Category

Brendan Ogle’s Challenge – Vladimir Putin’s War Crimes in Ukraine

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Brendan Ogle, an activist who works for the UNITE trade union in Ireland, offers a challenge.

A CHALLENGE….

Here’s a challenge to all those on the left seeking to justify, obfuscate, excuse, confuse or (my favourite) ‘EXPLAIN’ Putin’s war crimes. It comes in 2 steps. Give it a go:

‘Step 1: Look at the picture. Now imagine when you opened your curtains or blinds this morning that this is what you seen. Your neighbourhood was devastated and your neighbours are incinerated.

Step 2: Now imagine that 3,799km away there are people who consider themselves leftists saying that you and your neighbours are NAZI’s and that this happened because Michael Martin was sucking up too closely to Joe Biden/US/EU/NATO.

What would you think of such people?’

Challenge over.

Well, how did you get on?

Brendan Ogle March 25 2020

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British State Trying to Shoot a Birmingham Six Messenger Chris Mullin – Journalist in the Old Bailey Dock – Charged under 2000 ‘Terrorism Act” because he is protecting his sources

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This Duncan Campbell story comes from the British Guardian Newspaper. The journalist and former Labour MP (Sunderland South) Chris Mullin is protecting his sources. He bravely confronted a monstrous British State frame-up of Six Irish political hostages, jailed for 16 years for a crime they did not commit. These men were known all over the world as The Birmingham Six.

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Pretty vacant: a gaping hole in the response to the housing crisis.

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Capital Dock January 2021 – nearly half the 190 apartments in the 22-storey built-to-let tower in Dublin’s Docklands were vacant

Guest post by Des Derwin

The figure of 183,000 vacant dwellings in the state dates back to the last census of 2016. The housing crisis would have mopped up many of these. Not as many as you might think. Half of them. Or at least there are 90,000 vacant dwellings now according to the reports below.

To great surprise Richard Boyd Barrett recently drew attention in the Dáil to the fact that the census figures for vacant dwellings did not include derelict dwellings!!!! 

And the first report below tells us that “Furthermore, there were 22,096 residences classed as derelict in 2021, although this has fallen 7.3 per cent since December 2016.” That is, 22,000 further to the 90,000 vacant addresses.

For some reason several components and figures across the housing movement, and media stories too, have recently raised the outrage of the number of vacant and derelict residences in the country. This is both timely and overdue.

Timely because the state and the private sector have both shown, for all the fanfares and ‘returns to normality’, a paralysis about delivering the number of new houses needed. So common sense responds with, ‘Let’s get procuring, refurbishing and making available these vacant residences right now!’

Overdue because, while the housing movement was and is quite right to put at the top of its demands the need for public housing, built by the state and affordable for rent and purchase to working people, it is a bit of an anomaly that the solution to the housing crisis, building thousands of houses, would not be supplemented by an emergency programme of bringing vacant and derelict dwellings into use.

For three obvious reasons. One, the relative speed at which many vacancies – some even brand new, some local council flats and houses – could be deployed. Two, the avoidance of the waste of having these houses, flats, over-shop places, apartments, derelict buildings and sites, lying empty while building extra new-builds instead of utilising them. Three, the reduction in the energy, materials, new infrastructure and resultant emissions, in comparison to exclusively all-new builds, to address the other pervasive emergency, the climate and ecological one. 

I believe that the recommissioning, the compulsory acquirement if necessary, and use of vacant and derelict dwellings – something that has hardly featured at all on some lists of aims and policies – should be bumped up near the top of the priority aims of the housing movement.  

https://www.buzz.ie/news/irish-news/grant-buy-renovate-derelict-properties-26013226?fbclid=IwAR1dQjb88pjKslf3rOx-Tk6ffn1ROtWnNMcGlKk85Oq67OY-oG65fqtt_mg

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40787289.html

https://www.facebook.com/groups/416618381831880/permalink/1992243947602641/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/416618381831880/permalink/1995976103896092/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/416618381831880/permalink/1973460046147698/

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/almost-20m-in-vacant-and-derelict-site-levies-owed-to-dublin-city-council-1.4773831?fbclid=IwAR3dT3Onx3tKjEgPyTCaHCmrArfgbz74yUkw1-mvahQzVSIrAkl5vdVoqg8

Irish Police Boss Drew Harris and Two Unsolved Murder Cases – 1975 Miami Showband Massacre; 2007 Paul Quinn Murder

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The Masks of Garda Boss Drew Harris

If you knew nothing about Irish 6 County whataboutery you might think “Fair enough – Garda Boss Drew Harris is doing the decent thing”. Maybe there are better questions : What mask is the former Royal Ulster Constabulary / Police Service of Northern Ireland high-flier wearing? Is he a “fox in charge of the hen-house”? Or, should we trust a “warm and friendly” chap “committed to justice”?

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has visited the barn in Co Monaghan where Paul Quinn was battered to death by the IRA, and has pledged to help bring his killers to justice.

But, when you know about Harris’s obstructive behaviour towards survivors of the 1975 Miami Showband massacre, you correctly suspect the motives of a powerful state agent who shields British State killers.

Garda boss Drew Harris and his legacy – Stephen Travers, Miami Showband, Aftermath of a loyalist murder spree.

Miami Showband Massacre survivor Stephen Travers also criticised Mr Drew Harris’s appointment, describing it as “putting the fox in charge of the hen house”.

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RTÉ Broadcaster Claire Byrne Censors Joe Brolly, who criticised the reactionary politics of DUP Westminster MP Gregory Campbell

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The Censor, RTÉ Journalist Claire Byrne

Media Alert!

The Claire Byrne RTÉ 1 Show on the Irish Border (March 22 2021) was incredibly bad, swamped in identitarian gibberish. The tone was set by Sinn Féin leader MaryLou McDonald and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar. The rest of us should focus on “the carnival of reaction”. Once Joe Brolly criticises the reactionary politics of a previous contributor, Gregory Campbell, he is censored.

Derry GAA Star Joe Brolly, Censored

Joe Brolly explains

I was taken off air and told it was because RTE could not risk me saying the DUP were homophobic, racist or sectarian. I must apologise to the DUP at once.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B : Mr Gregory Campbell MP (DUP) allegedly once described homosexuality as “evil” and claimed God sent AIDS as a homosexual “curse”.

He had claimed: “It’s an evil, wicked, abhorrent practice. My opposition to that is based on the Bible and also based on natural justice and I know many people who do not share my Protestant faith but who would share my opposition to homosexuality because they believe it is something which would corrupt society as a whole, and is something so radically awful as to merit total and utter opposition. You’re not even talking about someething which is a run of the mill sexual practice but something which is totally and utterly depraved.

“The AIDS scare which is currently running through America is proof that homosexual practice is something which calls upon the curse of God.

“I would see homosexuality as something which merited the curse of God.

“AIDS came about because of sexual contact between homosexuals. Now that to me is something which shows in a small way that there is more than just human opposition to homosexuality.

“In the Bible there is only one sin which called down literal fire and brimstone from God and that wasn’t murder, it wasn’t theft, it was homosexuality.” https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/06/12/meet-the-dup-homophobes-who-now-hold-the-keys-to-power-in-the-uk/

Exhibit C

John Meehan March 23 2021

Roy Greenslade – Agent Of Influence – TPQ – Anthony McIntyre Explores a Strange Story

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Anthony McIntyre offers a useful review of the Roy Greenslade story. At this stage I agree that the retired Professor is probably telling the truth, denying any role in an alleged IRA plot to kill the journalist Liam Clarke in 1988. We should all accept that denial unless any new facts are brought forward casting doubt on the former journalist’s statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Joe Biden President of USA – Donald Trump Departs – Extreme Right Criminals Celebrate

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One correspondent is not impressed with many displays of forelock-tugging on Irish mainstream media outlets. Joe Biden is an Irish-American, who frequently quotes Irish poets and writers such as Séamus Heaney WB Yeats and James Joyce.

Joe Biden is an incubator of Trumpism.

“I wonder did he read any poems written by Black men in American prisons, seeing as he was the main architect of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 which enforced mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. Due to that and other ‘catch-all’ crime laws, Black men (also women) make up about 15% of the population but 40% of the prisoners.”

President Donald Trump sent QAnon-style goons on their way to Washington DC’s Capitol Hill on January 6 2021 trying and failing to overturn a convincing Joe Biden General Election victory in November 2020. Trump lost by a margin of over 8 million votes, a gap of more than 4.5 per cent, and turnout reached record levels. Many of the QAnon-style Trump-goons so far arrested and charged over the Capitol Hill assault on the US Senate and Congress are serving or retired staff in the state repressive forces – Army, Air Force, Police, National Guard and so on. What protection is the US state offering to the people attending the Joe Biden Presidential inauguration on January 20 2021? It is a version of putting the fox 🦊 in charge of the chicken 🐓 coop – 25,000 members of the National Guard occupy the city of Washington DC, whose population is overwhelmingly non-white, politically and socially hostile to Trumpism, and supportive of the magnificent Black Lives Matter Movement. No wonder the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had to desperately “vet” the repressive forces instructed to “protect” the Joe Biden inauguration.

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Nice Try But Public Not Falling For Government’s 10% Pay Cut Bullshit – Waterford Whispers News

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Satire which is real news.

Irish FFFGGG coalition government ministers continue to fumble in the greasy till and get caught.

FFFGGG Ministers Line Their Pockets

THE PUBLIC has doffed its cap to the government in appreciation of its attempt to pull a fast one with its selfless decision to institute a 10% pay cut for ministers, but added ‘we ain’t falling for this bullshit’.

“It’s the sort of tokenistic gesture that I actually might have appreciated were it not for the fact Taoiseach Martin and some of his ministers will still actually be earning more than the previous government’s salaries,” explained one member of the public.

“Sorry, what was that? Could you speak up,” asked the Taoiseach when it was put to him his government have taken being tone deaf to new inaudible highs.

The Taoiseach had been hoping the 10% cut would have distracted from Junior Minister pay bumps, welfare hunters at airports and reemerging focus on the treatment of victims of the Cervical Check scandal among 400 other things, however, the move has gone down like a dozen lead balloons strapped with explosives.

“Fair play, only this clown car of a government could take a pay cut and still end up earning more money, and that’s before expenses even come into play,” shared one member of the public, who as a healthcare worker, will have to settle for saving up all the applause they received to pay the bills in lieu of any pay increases.

In a last ditch attempt to secure a positive PR win for his government the Taoiseach stated Jack Chambers is worth every penny of the €140,000 he is paid.

Elsewhere, Sinn Féin, a party who incorrectly claimed their TDs only take home the average industrial wage labeled the 10% pay cut ‘a disgrace’.
— Read on waterfordwhispersnews.com/2020/07/28/nice-try-but-public-not-falling-for-governments-10-pay-cut-bullshit/

Donald Trump’s Anti-China “Cold War” – Capitalist China’s Hot War against Muslim Uighurs and the people of Hong Kong – Trump’s Hot War against the “Black Lives Matter” Movement

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A lot of tit-for-tat politicking is on the international political agenda. Shooting the messenger is a big temptation. Donald Trump is a hypocrite because he condemns China’s terrible human rights assaults on the Muslim Uighurs – while organising military tear-gassing assaults on “Black Lives Matter” street protests in his own country, the USA.

A correspondent notes the big problem with “shoot the messenger” politics (promoted by nocoldwar.org) :

Oppose all imperialist wars, hot or cold, but I think we can be safe in assuming that nothing will be said at this in solidarity with the Uighurs or independence movement in Hong Kong, unless they are denounced as agents of imperialism that is.

Do not mention the Muslim Uighurs in China, or Police Brutality on the streets of Hong Kong

What is a good collective noun to describe this sort of 21st Century politics? Pierre Rousset offers “Campism” and presents a clear example :

“campism” remains present in this field, like a Pavlovian reflex: satisfied for example to condemn imperialist intervention in Iraq and Syria (which it is certainly necessary to do), but without saying what Islamic State represents or calling to resist it. http://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article3669

“Stalinism”is out of date – the decrepit megalomaniac dictator of the Soviet Union, Stalin, died in 1953. Stalin’s leftwing fan club loyally defended every anti-worker crime performed by the Moscow Régime – “Socialism in One Country” in action.

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, and no serious person on the revolutionary left bickers today about the class character of Putin’s Russia and Xe Jinping’s China – both are capitalist world powers. The fan club listed in the attached notice is of interest to trainspotters since it includes ex-Trotskyist renegades – a name which jumps out is the British China-based academic John Ross.

Let’s work on a positive alternative. We can take inspiration in Ireland from Easter 1916 Rising Rebel Roger Casement’s exemplary 19th and early 20th century campaign against Belgian imperialist brutality in the Congo. Similarly, the 21st century radical left needs to make principled alliances in support of the oppressed Uighur Muslims and the mass pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, oppressed by capitalist China.

Roger Casement’s lesson “when the status quo is injustice, the right thing to be is a rebel.”
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The Annual Orange Order Hate Festival in Northern Ireland – Partition Within a Partitioned State

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Suzanne Breen reports :

‘Kill All Taigs’ on a ‘children’s’ bonfire in Belfast. That’s not family fun, it’s a hate crime. Was there nobody in the community to show leadership & remove it? Shameful.

“Kill All Taigs” Belfast Bonfire
No social Distancing at a Racist Belfast Bonfire

Hang on a second, I hear people say. The 12th was postponed in 2020 because of the CoronaVirus Crisis. That is the “Official Version” (OV):

There will be no official Orange Order parades after the organisation announced their cancellation earlier this year.

Grand Secretary of the Orange Order, Mervyn Gibson, urged people to stay at home, while the Order have launched a ‘Twelfth at Home’ campaign to urge people to celebrate safely.

https://www.derrynow.com/news/news/556402/thirteen-twelfth-parades-to-go-ahead-in-county-derry.html

OV is not the real world – it has become a “talking point”.
Hundreds of thousands of residents of the Six Counties leave their homes and travel far away to avoid the tyranny of the “OrangeFest”. Not this year due to travel restrictions. But residents of Andersonstown and other areas like it do not have to worry about flags; Lambeg Drums; blocked streets; 11th night bonfire parties in their public parks. A new partition within partition exists in the Six County State today.

An update :

The Belfast Telegraph suggests “community relations” have “taken a hit” :

There had been a surge in the number of bonfires being organised by loyalists following the contentious west Belfast funeral of former IRA man Bobby Storey on June 30 – in defiance of an Orange Order plea for no pyres because of the coronavirus threat.

Scrap wood and furniture with messages mocking Bobby Storey written on them were placed on some bonfires along with tricolour flags and the sectarian abbreviation KAT. Pictures also emerged in social media of an anti-Black Lives Matter placard at Whitehill bonfire in Bangor.

Yesterday afternoon cops confirmed they were investigating a separate loyalist banner which also ridiculed the funeral of Bobby Storey.

The ghoulish banner was circulated on social media as preparations for the bonfires ramped up last week and the PSNI said it was being investigated as a hate crime. The banner, which carried images of Bobby Storey and his funeral, carried the caption: “Bobby Storey raised in west Belfast, burnt in Loyalist east Belfast.”

Former British soldier and UUP MLA Doug Beattie condemned the banner, saying: “I’ll be clear – I think this is wrong and only targets the grieving family.

“There are issues to explore in respect to the funeral but this is not the way to do it.”

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/news/burning-bridges-community-relations-take-hit-as-old-hostilities-resurface-39360717.html