Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Migration in Europe’ Category

President Michael D Higgins Rejects Religious Invitation Issued by Men of God in Armagh – The Right Decision – The 1921 Partition of Ireland Created a Carnival of Reaction

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Eejit is a great word living within the English language spoken in Ireland. Author Mike Finn reveals the meaning in a sentence of nine words : “Those advocating Brexit are an awful shower of eejits”. Likewise, those who advocate “marking” the partition of Ireland are an awful shower of eejits. President Michael D Higgins is no eejit.

Michael D has become a spokesperson for the vast majority of people living in Ireland who hate partition. He will not attend a religious event in Armagh commemorating the 1921 creation of the Northern Ireland Orange State. An opinion poll on the issue shocked numerous pro-Unionist forelock-tuggers in Ireland – 81 per cent of people in the 26 County bit of Ireland agree with the President’s decision.

“Huge backing for President Michael D Higgins” – Irish News Headline

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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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Nazi Rally Scheduled in Dublin – Don’t Go! Boycott!

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A correspondent highlights a tiny rally in Dublin next Saturday – Don’t Go!

“I see Justin Barrett’s National Party, who want a Catholic Fascist Dictatorship in Ireland, have organised a little protest for Saturday ‘against the lockdown’. Even if you don’t agree with public health measures, don’t be fooled by this shit. These people want young women and girls back in slave labour laundries, young men and boys back in industrial schools, an end to birth control and women’s bodily autonomy, all non-white-Irish people to be forcibly exiled, and executions of their political opponents. All under the jackboot of a paedophile-protecting Catholic dictatorship.”

Don’t Go!

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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Mary Toomey (Valarasan) : “I would consider every child born in this country as Irish”

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On August 12 2020 the Irish Times published an interview with a citizen who came to work study and live in Ireland in 1967.  Her name is Mary Toomey; she was born in Sri  Lanka.  I asked myself : was this the same woman who  got a job teaching in Sandymount High School (SHS), and was known by her pre-marriage surname, Valarasan? I did some searching, found out my guess was correct, and established direct contact. I was one of her SHS pupils, starting in September 1967.

Dr Mary Toomey, an Ecologist

A copy of the interview is at the link below :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/28f3db3uism75fa/Mary%20Toomey%20%28Valarasan%29.pdf?dl=0

See Also https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/once-you-are-not-lily-white-or-freckle-skinned-you-are-labelled-as-non-irish-1.4316508

A good description of Sandymount High School, which

was founded in 1947 and was initially controversial because, as a non-denominational school, it wasn’t owned by a church but by the Cannon family[1], who also provided the two headmasters the school had: father and son Patrick and Conall Cannon. Patrick’s wife Eileen Cannon also served as headmistress.

The school’s student body was arguably drawn from several distinct groups: those from a local council estate called Beech Hill, the offspring of parents disenchanted with denominational/same sex schools, students on the Malahide/Howth to Bray rail corridor and the 3 & 18 bus routes, and foreign nationals who paid tuition fees.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandymount_High_School?wprov=sfti1

In those days, unlike in 2020, very few people born outside Ireland lived and worked in a country famous for exporting its people. The Irish constitution stated that everyone born in Ireland (on both sides of the border dividing Ireland into two states)  automatically was a citizen of the state.

On June 12 2004 voters amended the constitution on a day of shame – the definition of “citizen” changed.

Mary Toomey observes

I would consider every child born in this country as Irish. But the problem is, once you are not lily-white or freckle-skinned, you are still labelled as non-Irish or a non-national.”

The protection of children – regardless of nationality, race, caste, creed, physical and mental disability or socio-economic status – should be Ireland’s primary focus, she says. But, 16 years on from the referendum, Dr Toomey says racism towards children of colour in Ireland has become noticeably worse.

I was an activist in the “Vote No” campaign.

Two items arguing against the new citizenship rules are below. Read the rest of this entry »

Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives are more worth than their profits – Fourth International European Declaration

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The workers’ movement, and all progressive forces, have a duty to resist the Covid-19 Assault, and put forward practical proposals which will work at local, national, and international levels. The full text of a Fourth International Declaration is here : http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article6517 Key extracts are below.

International Viewpoint

Emergency measures

The organizations and activists of the Fourth International in Europe, together with their respective organizations, are in favour of a programme of emergency measures:

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the injection of sufficient means for the mass availability of screening kits, the multiplication of resuscitation beds and respirators. Generalization to the entire population of suitable protective masks and biologic tests is the condition for confinement lifting. Immediate support for democratically controlled production of these means and for non-commercial research for medicines and vaccines against Covid-19.

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Ireland ‘squanders’ geographical advantage with different Covid-19 stances North and South – Scally

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Once Again, Professor Gabriel Scally points out that the British Government’s “let them die” Covid-19 policy does not stop at the border in Ireland.

Boris Johnson’s policy means unnecessary death and illness for hundreds and thousands of people.

https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/reality-catches-up-with-waterford-whispers-story-keep-calm-carry-on-johnson-tells-room-full-of-corpses-150000-people-to-die-in-britain/

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland public health specialist Dr Gabriel Scally, who was the author of a report on the CervicalCheck screening controversy, has warned that Ireland’s geographical advantage is being “squandered” by differing approaches to the public health crisis North and South.

“Historically islands have advantages when dealing with epidemics. For example, avoiding importation of new cases by controlling movement to and from the island is comparatively simple.

“However, in this coronavirus pandemic Ireland’s geographical advantage is being squandered by the adoption of very different approaches to dealing with the disease.

“The advice to someone in Lifford [Co Donegal] with symptoms of the disease is to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days – a stone’s throw away in Strabane [Co Tyrone] the advice is isolation for seven days.”
— Read on www.irishtimes.com/news/health/ireland-squanders-geographical-advantage-with-different-covid-19-stances-north-and-south-scally-1.4216251

Professor Gabriel Scally

Waterford Whispers News Imagines Boris Johnson Inspecting Corpses

The complete Gabriel Scally Irish Times Article : Read the rest of this entry »

Statement on the Irish government’s response to COVID-19 in Direct Provision – MASI

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Irish State Racism in Action

Direct Provision Centre, Milltown-Malbay, County Clare

The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland is appalled by the discriminatory response to the Covid19 pandemic in Direct Provision. On the 20th March 2020, MASI asked members of the public to email Minister Charlie Flanagan with a simple ask: protect asylum seekers in Direct Provision by ensuring that they are able observe all the Health Service Executive guidelines on social distancing and self isolation, particularly for asylum seekers 60 years of age or older, people with pre-existing health conditions, and asylum seekers in shared and crammed bedrooms, and other congregated gatherings such as canteens during meal times.

This is because asylum seekers around the country are following news and updates from the Health Service Executive on what measures they can take to protect themselves and people around them from the Covid19 pandemic. The guidelines were also posted on notice boards in Direct Provision centres and efforts were made to translate them into some foreign languages. However, the HSE posters on social distancing are useless to an asylum seeker sharing a tiny bedroom with a stranger or as many as 7 other strangers, having to use communal bathrooms and congregate in a canteen for meals 3 times a day. MASI was not surprised to learn that an asylum seeker in a hostel styled Direct Provision centre contracted the virus. We are pleased to hear that he is doing well.
— Read on www.masi.ie/2020/03/27/statement-on-the-irish-governments-response-to-covid-19-in-direct-provision/

See Also : https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/03/26/ciuin-house-carrick-on-shannon-county-leitrim-gombeen-state-racism-in-ireland/

Stormont Health Minister Robin Swann Offers CoronaVirus Unnecessary Deaths in Ireland – North, South, East and West

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Professor Gabriel Scally came to the attention of many people in Ireland because of his no-holds-barred examination of a Cervical Smear Scandal in the Irish Health Service. https://www.thejournal.ie/scally-review-outsourcing-labs-4677380-Jun2019/

Scally assesses the behaviour of Stormont Government Health Minister Robin Swann (recent leader of the Ulster Unionist Party)

Robin  Swan n Must  Go!
Robin Swann Must Go!

Professor Gabriel Scally writes :

Ridiculous assertion on BBC from N Ireland minister @RobinSwannMoH

“the RoI has worse #corvid19 position than N Ireland.”

The South has more cases. But that’s because they have 32 community based testing stations. The North has ZERO and stopped testing in communities last week https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1240923430318456832

Here is A Sharp Comment

Siubhán O’Connor@siubhanoc·Replying to @GabrielScally and @RobinSwannMoHSwann is so utterly blinded by his bias…ppl in the South with NO SYMPTOMS are getting tested where they are deemed ‘at risk’. Our maintenance man has COPD & has been referred for test. 2 day wait. NI is in serious trouble

The Irish Examiner Reports “Public health specialist Dr Gabriel Scally, Honorary Professor of Public Health in Bristol University, has described the UK’s policy on Covid-19 as “way out of line” with the rest of Europe and advice from the World Health Organisation.

Dr Gabriel Scally
Dr Gabriel Scally

“I think it’s dangerous. Their view really is let this fire burn and they will try and damp it down where they can and spread it out over a period of time. 

“But we know from elsewhere in the world that if countries and communities act fast, this can be kept under control and knocked back.”

The UK approach is similar to the old adage: “Everyone is out of step with our Johnny”, he said. 

“If the UK has got it right, then the rest of the world has got it wrong. And I don’t think that’s likely.

“I think it’s displayed by some of their appalling science that they’re talking about, using herd immunity. 

They are reliant on mathematical modelling but this is not a mathematical modelling issue.

Dr Scally said that if there was one threat to how things are being handled in the Republic of Ireland, it is the UK’s position. 

People in Northern Ireland need to be demanding better from their leaders and they themselves need to do a better job.

“They’re following along blindly this notion that somehow all of the wisdom is emanating from Number 10 Downing Street and we know that to be wrong. 

“Even the United States is taking a more proactive approach than the UK.” https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/closing-borders-would-make-things-worse-says-disease-prevention-and-control-expert-988199.html

Readers should also note from the Irish Examiner report that Public Health Experts Oppose the Closing of Borders

“Dr Agoritsa Baka said that given there is already community transmission of the virus in European countries, “we need to collaborate to make sure everyone can deal with the virus in a coordinated way.”

Closing borders would make things worse, she said and would negatively affect the function of healthcare systems, as was seen during the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

Dr Baka said that if, for example, Germany closed its border “everything, like food supplies, personal protection equipment cannot move around Europe, and it would be a disaster.”

Let’s Get Real – Swann Must Go! The Stormont Health Minister has already guaranteed unnecessary death and illness in the North of Ireland – and, because so many people travel daily across the Irish Border in both directions, Swann has guaranteed unnecessary death and illness in the South East and West of Ireland.

Trump Is Toast? Comeback Kid Biden Staggering Into Evil of Two Lessers Saloon?

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The Coronavirus crisis will destroy any chance Donald Trump has of retaining the US presidency this November, for one very simple reason. Driven by …

Trump Is Toast

Ed Moloney thinks he has spotted a silver lining in the CoronaVirus Cloud Haunting the USA.

Comeback Kid Staggers into Evil of Two Lessers Saloon

Trump’s USA Rejects WHO Covid-19 Test Kit – Increases Likely Death and Infection Rate

Not a great deal wrong with that on first view except the Trump-dominated bureaucracy proved incapable of putting that wish into action and so there are not enough US-made test kits to meet the predicted demand. Elsewhere in the world, by sharp contrast, there is no shortage of WHO testing kits, a tribute to the power of international co-operation.

Driven by Trump’s ultra nationalist political world view, the US rejected an international plan for a COVID test kit proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and decided to plough its own furrow.

The consequence of that will be a huge spike in undiagnosed Coronavirus victims in the USA who will not be treated or even put into quarantine and the numbers of those stricken with the virus, and the deaths that will follow will be proportionately higher. The US, thanks to Trump, will not come out of the Covid crisis unscarred.

A Climbing American Death Rate in the Summer Months?

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