Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘FFFGGG Coalition’ Category

Mandatory vaccination: much ado, red herring, or getting it wrong?

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Guest post by Des Derwin

If mandatory vaccination is a delicate issue then why is it being raised by the left (statements yesterday by Sinn Féin and loud blasts from People Before Profit)? Statements yesterday from the left assert that the government wants to bring this in, and the statements oppose it vehemently. The source of the idea seems to be a public health one, with apparently mixed and tentative views emanating from NPHET (the National Public Health Emergency Team). The government, or at least the head of the government, the Taoiseach, has said straight out that he is opposed to mandatory vaccination. The genesis of this issue could well be the main front page story in the ‘Irish Times’ (January 10 2021) and its typical and infuriating mode of creating stories out of unattributed sources to push a line or float a try-on (though in this case there are – suitably leaked – NPHET minutes as substance). If anything the same story indicates that the government might be considering the lifting of restrictions – mandates – on pub and restaurant times and cutting down isolation days for close contacts (to reboot the labour force).

It is said that mandatory vaccination would push a minority of the working class into the arms of the fascists. On the contrary, and quite apart from the existence of vaccination compulsions already and of a minority already in the mental clutches of the far right, supporting the ‘right’ of the unvaccinated and of anti-vaxxers to free access to wherever they want is encouraging them into the arms of the fascists by legitimising their position. And giving oxygen to the position of the fascists who have made this, and other anti-public health measures, their main and most successful appeal to a new audience. Socialists need to be clear and firm, to explain why vaccination (taken up by 94%) is safe and socially essential, and how the far right are misleading and deluding people through well orchestrated and well resourced disinformation campaigns.

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Rupture magazine: Issue 6, Winter 2022

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Special feature: Home sweet home Green gaffs for all, by Nicole McCarthy & Des Hennelly Mica & the fight for 100% redress, by Kiran Emrich The …

Rupture magazine: Issue 6, Winter 2022

Special feature: Home sweet home

  • Green gaffs for all, by Nicole McCarthy & Des Hennelly
  • Mica & the fight for 100% redress, by Kiran Emrich
  • The North’s housing crisis, by Amy Merron
  • Expropriate the big landlords, by Nelli Tügel

Features:

  • Fascism & the algorithm, by Méabh French
  • “Learn from each others’ struggles: Interview with Laurence Cox, by Brian O’Cathail
  • Tax haven Ireland – the inside story, by Brian O’Boyle
  • Feeding an insatiable monster: Data centres in Ireland, by Diarmuid Flood

What is to be done?

  • The feminist challenge to traditional political organising, by Penny Duggan
  • Keep it in the ground, by Sarah Frazer
  • Permanent revolution: Myths, reality & relevance, by Sami El-Sayed
  • Lighting the way: Transitional demands & the struggle for socialism, by August Thalheimer

Rupture Regulars

  • The Tipping Point by Jess Spear
  • Lesser-spotted comrades: Walter Rodney, by Emma Finnamore
  • Gaslighters, Ghouls, and Gobshites, by Des Hennelly

RUPTURE is produced by RISE, a network within People Before Profit. Paul Murphy TD, Dublin South-West is a member. https://rupture.ie/. See also : https://www.letusrise.ie/

Workers’ Solidarity Movement (Ireland) has come to an end

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I developed a lot of political respect for comrades of the WSM, who worked well with political rivals on political campaigns where common objectives were sought.

I think particularly of referendum campaigns opposing various pro-austerity European Union treaties, and referendums on the Irish abortion ban which was finally removed from the state constitution in 2017. Also, many WSM comrades worked in a collaborative way with other revolutionary left activists in trade union activities and the mass boycotts of water charges and the property tax. The political difference which could never be resolved was : participation in state elections. Once the Irish revolutionary Left made a small but significant electoral breakthrough – moving from margins to better connection with mass struggles – the political writing was on the wall for electoral boycott anarchism. In my opinion that trend began – we are still living through it – when Joe Higgins scored an extraordinary by election success in Dublin West in 1996, running as an anti Water Tax candidate, and as a member of the Socialist Party. Higgins lost that contest by a very small margin, but comfortably won a Dáil seat in the following 1997 General Election, unseating then Labour TD and coalition minister Joan Burton.

The political difference which could never be resolved was : participation in state elections.

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Ireland’s Culture and History Wars – Che Guevara and the nation’s “stamp of the year” – Michael D Higgins Rejects Men of God Partition Pray-In at Armagh Cathedral

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Dateline October 9 2017.

Fine Gael politician Neale Richmond launched an ill-judged ambush on the Irish Post Office’s Ché Guevara stamp. Richmond’s sniping helped make this stamp one of the most successful products ever sold by An Post.

Four years on, Neale Richmond has moved up the ladder from the Seanad to Dáil Éireann – he is now a TD in Dublin-Rathdown. This Fine Gael bulldog may be set loose on President Michael D Higgins – currently much more popular than the FFFGGG coalition after rejecting Ireland’s “Carnival of Reaction” – partition.

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Michael D Higgins 6 Partition 0 – Two Opinion Polls Show Landslide Support for the President’s Anti-Partition Actions – Irish Times Dampens Impact

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Casual Irish Times readers may not have noticed an important story. A news item is presented in a tiny corner on the front of the October 8 2021 edition of the newspaper :

Poll: A majority approves of the decision by the President to refuse to attend a religious event in Armagh : page 2

Turning to page 2 alert readers might notice a headline on the bottom of the page :

Poll reveals support for Higgins’s decision to decline invitation to partition event

The stubborn facts :


A large majority of voters approves of the decision by President Michael D Higgins to refuse the invitation to attend a religious event in Armagh to mark the centenary of partition and creation of Northern Ireland, today’s latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll finds.

More than two-thirds of respondents (68 per cent) agreed that the President was “right to decline the invitation”.

This is a statistical landslide, proving that mass sentiment is against the political establishment on this issue

Support for the President’s decision is highest among older age groups, with 74 per cent of those over 50 agreeing with him, against just 54 per cent of those aged 18-24.

A higher proportion of Fianna Fáil voters (74 per cent) than Sinn Féin voters (72 per cent) backed the President’s position, though supporters of the Green Party (81 per cent) were most likely to say he was right to decline the p

Supporters of Fine Gael (19 per cent) and Labour (20 per cent) were most likely to say he should have attended the event.

A different media outlet, the Irish News, published details of another opinion poll with very similar numbers, and decided this headline worked

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

Practical Conclusions?

Boycott the October 21 Armagh Cathedral Celebration of Partition

The men of God have no right to summon the President of Ireland to anything – certainly not a Partitionist Pray-in.

John Meehan October 8 2021

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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Very bad news for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil – Sinn Féin secure a 10 point lead in a new Irish Times Opinion Poll

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www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/poll-sinn-féin-opens-up-10-point-lead-as-most-popular-party-among-voters-1.4693054

A new Irish Times opinion poll gives bad news to the Irish government parties Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

Note, however, that if these results occur at the next Irish general election, the present FFFGGG coalition (FF + FG + Greens + Gombeens) coalition will remain the government.

The numbers in this opinion poll are very similar to the February 2020 General result with one exception – the increased support gained by Sinn Féin :

http://irelandelection.com/elections.php?detail=yes&tab=summary&elecid=238&electype=1

“A sharp fall in support for Fine Gael has opened up a 10-point lead for Sinn Féin over its nearest rival as the party strengthens its position as the most popular party among voters.

The latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll shows that Sinn Féin has the support of almost a third of voters at 32 per cent, far ahead of Fine Gael (22 per cent) and Fianna Fáil (20 per cent).

The poll also shows a drop in the satisfaction rating of the Government from 53 per cent in June to 46 per cent on Wednesday. Both Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar also see their personal approval ratings fall, Mr Martin by eight points to 41 per cent and Mr Varadkar by a substantial 13 points, to 43 per cent.

The state of the parties, when undecided voters and those unlikely to vote are excluded, is as follows: Sinn Féin, 32 per cent (up one); Fine Gael, 22 per cent (down five); Fianna Fáil, 20 per cent (no change); Green Party, 7 per cent (up one); Labour, 4 per cent (up one); and Independents/others, 16 per cent (up three). All of the above figures are rounded which accounts for the total of 101%.

Among the Independents and smaller parties, the results are as follows: Social Democrats, 3 per cent (up one); Solidarity-People Before Profit, 2 per cent (no change); Aontú, 1 per cent (no change); and Independents, 10 per cent (up two). (Rounding of figures gives a total of 101 per cent.)”

The final tally, and Results Dublin Bay South By-Election, July 9 2021 – Easy Win for Ivana Bacik (Labour Party)

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Tallies showed Ivana Bacik (Labour Party) was very likely to win the Dublin Bay South By-Election.

Updates here :

https://www.rte.ie/news/regional/2021/0709/1234013-Dubliner-bay-south-by-election-live-updates/ Ongoing coverage continues.

A first count came in confirming predictions that Bacik would win the by-election.

Here is a brilliantly presented table of all the data :

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YiEnNrYEFWirEiW7mmgxxnpM-MVxGrxqfkIjPx71I_Y/htmlview?pru=AAABeq5c0Lo*b9QSwf-x3ITRC9LswcJRDw

The counts came in :

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/elections/dublin-bay-south-byelection

Initial comments :

1. The Irish Times opinion poll was largely accurate.

2. This is a big defeat for Fine Gael.

3. Bacik is likely to keep the seat in a General Election, removing Green Party leader and government minister Éamon Ryan from the Dáil.

I think all activists should carefully look at the content of Ivana Bacik’s campaign, which was very successful.
Attacking party policies is fine – attacking an individual should not be a left-wing calling card – especially in the case of somebody like Ivana Bacik. Read the rest of this entry »

RTÉ, Censorship, and Irish Unity – Kieran Allen demolishes identitarian gibberish promoted by the Dublin Establishment

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In a recent Tomás Ó Flatharta Blog post – RTÉ Broadcaster Claire Byrne Censors Joe Brolly, who criticised the reactionary politics of DUP Westminster MP Gregory Campbell – https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2021/03/22/rte-broadcaster-claire-byrne-censors-joe-brolly-who-criticised-the-reactionary-politics-of-dup-westminster-mp-gregory-campbell/ “Identitarian Gibberish” is targeted. This is part of a “distinct agenda” promoted by the management of the Irish State Broadcaster RTÉ. The inevitable result is censorship of people promoting a vision of post-partition Ireland which can destroy the “carnival of reaction” created by the 1922 Treaty ending the heroic 1919-21 War of Independence. Writing in “Rebel News” the author and activist Kieran Allen adds extremely useful context. His article is reproduced in full here.

When RTÉ puts on a special programme about a united Ireland, you know that big changes are underway. The partition of Ireland is now under question. RTÉ, however, has a distinct agenda and that was exemplified in one dramatic incident. http://www.rebelnews.ie/2021/03/23/rte-censorship-irish-unity/?fbclid=IwAR1vMTLrz5rsPP2awNgaLDDN1Qycb1Z1PtfpcNbHUgUOgB48vKgrvyBvcIY

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Incivility in Irish political life…

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This is a great Cedar Lounge Revolution Post

“Stephen Collins is very exercised this morning about a problem in Irish politics…

https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2021/01/22/incivility-in-irish-political-life/

“[Biden’s] plea to American politicians to “stop the shouting and lower the temperature” could well be applied to Dáil Éireann where aggressive grandstanding by Opposition TDs like Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and Richard Boyd Barrett have become the norm. Trump thrived on fomenting bitterness and division, constantly attempting to create conflict between “us and them”. A key element of the strategy was to portray political opponents as part of some ill-defined “elite” as distinct from the “ordinary people” he claimed to represent. It is no accident that the Trump social media strategy has been adopted here by Sinn Féin and a variety of extremists who dominate exchanges with aggressive and hate-filled messages which tend to drive more considered voices to the margins. Irish politics has steadily become more Trumpian in recent years and there is no sign that is about to change.

Irish Times Political Correspondent Stephen Collins – ludicrous claims ridiculed : “the idea that Boyd Barrett or McDonald have had to learn anything or adopt anything from Trump is risible. Or even that their politics is akin to that of Trump likewise.”
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