Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Brexit – Britain Leaves the EU’ Category

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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Irish Left Archive Podcast Number 44: Vincent Doherty: Official Sinn Féin, International Marxist Group, Troops Out, People’s Democracy, H-Block Committee, Sinn Féin – reblogged from The Cedar Lounge Revolution

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I first met Vincent Doherty in the late 1970’s via People’s Democracy and the Fourth International. Since then we travelled on different political paths, while remaining on very good personal terms. In 2022 Vincent and me – along with a group of left-wing activists who come from different but complementary streams of the Irish Left – have been working actively together in the Irish Left With Ukraine organization.

The comrades who publish the Cedar Lounge Revolution Blog come from a stream of the Irish Left which is different from Vincent Doherty and me. But we converge politically in 2022 on a very decisive issue – the genocidal imperialist Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On the left nothing stands still. There is a strong mistaken current dominant of the Irish Marxist left which does “what if” interpretations of historical events. This interview avoids that approach. It is much better to accept the past, warts and all. We cannot change the past, but we can with 20-20 vision learn from our history. We can apply that knowledge to the present day and the immediate future – which we can influence.

Rayner Lysaght Tribute – Irish Labour History Society Event

Rayner Lysaght RIP (January 30 1941 – July 2 2021) was a close comrade of Vincent and me for many years in People’s Democracy and the Fourth International. The Irish Labour History Society staged a commemorative tribute in honour of Rayner on May 14 2021. I delivered the speech below, which also deals with some of the events described by Vincent Doherty.

John Meehan January 2 2023

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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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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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“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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Changing of the Guard 💂‍♀️ in London’s 10 Downing Street – British Prime Ministers 2022

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Brilliant Satirists are superb political analysts – getting the message across, injecting lethal poison into the heart of a terminally ill body. Examples :

Jeremy Hunt, current finance minister (chancellor) in Britain, brings misery to the masses https://www.belltoons.co.uk/hotoffpress
Rishi Sunak , the latest British Prime Minister, married a billionaire, Akshata Murthy. https://www.belltoons.co.uk/hotoffpress
The story is true – Liz Truss, British PM for 50 days, is guaranteed £115,000 a year for life.
The tweet is a humorous fake – John Truss, father of former British Prime Minister Liz Truss, is a socialist
A prediction of doom https://www.belltoons.co.uk/hotoffpress
Rishi Sunak, Leader of the Pack
Brexit Britain – the view from the other side of the Irish Sea – Martyn Turner, The Irish Times

Solutions? Smashing Brexit would be an excellent start!

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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Britain – “The War on Woke”

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Attacks on trans people are an international phenomenon in the 2020’s. The article below examines these bizarre and dangerous politics in Britain, where they have featured in the grisly Conservative party contest to replace British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Predicted winner Liz Truss is likely to promote a couple of transphobes to high-level Cabinet posts. These developments are likely to encourage transphobes in Ireland who recently got a boost on RTÉ Radio 1 presenter Joe Duffy’s live phone-in programme.

The source of this article is the British revolutionary socialist publication Anti-Capitalist Resistance. https://anticapitalistresistance.org/the-war-on-woke/

roland rance details the latest goings-on in the anti-trans moral panic, placing Kathleen Stock’s appalling attacks on trans people, their defenders and families, in the context of reactionary attempts to divide liberatory struggles.

When examined, the moral panic about trans people never survives surface scrutiny. To pick a recent example, when transphobic academic Kathleen Stock resigned last year from her post at Sussex University, it was widely misreported that she had been sacked for her views. This was then used to smear supporters of trans rights and opponents of bigotry as “censors”, and Stock was misleadingly compared to academics who had been fired from their jobs because of their support for Palestinian rights. Unfortunately, this sleight of hand was echoed by some on the left, who mistakenly accepted this comparison, and expressed solidarity with Stock on that basis.

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The Brexit Disaster – Have British Voters Rejected It?

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Traffic jams at the English port of Dover are telling us why many voters who ticked the Yes to Brexit box in the 2016 British State Referendum have changed their minds. Anti-Brexit critics, such as the brilliant left-wing comedian Mark Steel, are taking full advantage. So, why are so few British left wing organisations failing to queue up on the winning anti-Brexit side? There is one notable exception : https://anticapitalistresistance.org/nato-expands-kurds-betrayed/

It is starting to look like a no-brainer. The latest reliable data indicate that a new Brexit referendum in the British state would produce a 55 to 45 per cent rejection of a right wing exit from the European Union.

https://whatukthinks.org/eu/questions/if-a-second-eu-referendum-were-held-today-how-would-you-vote/

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Socialists and Coalition with Sinn Féin – Colm Breathnach, Independent Left

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Colm Breatnach makes an important contribution here

SOCIALISTS AND COALITION WITH SINN FÉIN

Sinn Féin Oireachtas and Stormont Members on the steps of Leinster House, Kildare Street

Is a Sinn Féin controlled left government in the 26 County bit of Ireland possible or likely? Right now, a general election electing the next Dáil can be delayed until February 2025. The current FFFGGG coalition (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Greens and Gombeens) has a comfortable majority and will not voluntarily cut and run – unless it is forced to change course. Reliable opinion surveys show that, if a general election was held soon Sinn Féin is likely to increase its number of Dáil seats – but the current government would retain a majority. There is more detail on this important “technicality” in a note at the end of this article. John Meehan May 11 2022


SOCIALISTS AND COALITION WITH SINN FÉIN

The experience of Syriza, Greece warns against coalition with Sinn Féin

As the likelihood of a Sinn Féin led government grows, the prospect that the government might include radical left parties as coalition partners looms. But should socialists take up roles in government in coalition with Sinn Féin? Are there circumstances where this might prove to be necessary? Obligatory even? Now is the time to debate this issue, rather than being rushed into hastily made post-election decisions that could have a disastrous effect for the left in Ireland.

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