Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Six County State’ Category

“The State’s obligation to provide accommodation for tens of thousands of newcomers from abroad is a logistical dilemma but it is exacerbated by a housing crisis that governments have presided over for the past decade” – Justine McCarthy talks sense about Ireland’s political problems today

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Justine McCarthy’s article appeared in the Irish Times, February 2 2023. She talks a lot of sense.

A member of Streetlink Homeless Support helping homeless people remove some of their belongings from a migrant camp in Ashtown, Dublin. The camp was the target of an alleged attack by a group of Irish men last weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Justine McCarthy's face

Justine McCarthy

Any John Wayne movie worth its cast of cowboys has a scene where the baddie sets light to the dynamite taper. As the flame sizzles towards the point of detonation, the audience prays to God and all the saints above in heaven to send someone, quick, to stamp it out before the whole damned town of Tombstone goes up in smoke. That is how it has felt this week watching the lit taper of Irish xenophobia pick up speed in its burn towards cataclysm. Heightening the fear is the absence of any star-billed hero dashing to the rescue.

As gardaí investigate the suspected arson of a 19th century former schoolhouse in Dublin, which had been wrongly identified on social media as a location being prepared to house people from abroad seeking refuge here, the response of Ministers has run the full gamut from tut to tutting. As a group of Irish-born men equipped with a German shepherd, a pit bull terrier and a baseball bat yelled “pack up and get out now” to men who were not born in this country at an encampment in another part of Dublin last weekend, Ireland’s most admired leader, President Higgins, was nearly 3,000 miles away in Africa.

Amid this paralysis of State leadership, two sides have gone to war. On one side are some residents of mainly non-privileged areas who are furious that the Government is trying to look after people fleeing their native lands while many of those born here struggle to pay their bills and to secure homes. Malign keyboard warriors are deliberately stirring this resentment with lies and innuendo for their own bigoted agenda, but there are also many kind-hearted residents who have justifiable reasons for feeling discriminated against. The disproportionate number of communities with inadequate public services that have been chosen to accommodate people from abroad is as provocative as the racist rhetoric.

On the other side are many residents in these communities who are sickened by the hatred being spewed at people coming from abroad to live among them and who, in numerous cases, have suffered unimaginable vicissitudes before arriving here. The prejudice pricks a folk memory of times past when desperate Irish immigrants were as unwelcome as dogs in other countries. Besides, it belies Ireland’s self-image as the compassionate land of the céad míle fáilte.

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Zero Tolerance for intimidation – Anthony McIntyre reports on a Labour Party Public Meeting in Drogheda – Unity in Action Against a Common Far-Right Racist Enemy

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Differences exist on the left-wing spectrum in Ireland – some of them concern fundamental disagreements about political principles. One clear example is opposition to entering any coalition government with right wing ruling class parties in Ireland such as Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Democratic Unionist party or the Alliance party.

Other issues place a duty on parties in the broadly left-wing spectrum to put aside tactical differences, and explore methods of practical co-operation. Building effective practical opposition to the dangerous growth of far-right racism in Ireland is on the agenda today. In this spirit we re-publish an Anthony McIntyre article which reports on a well-attended Irish Labour Party rally in Drogheda which tackled the issues of racism, immigration, and Russia’s fascist and genocidal invasion of Ukraine head-on.

Anthony pulls no punches discussing his political differences with the Labour Party!

John Meehan February 3 2023


link : https://www.thepensivequill.com/2023/02/zero-tolerance-for-intimidation.html

Zero Tolerance For Intimidation

Anthony McIntyre Wednesday, February 1, 2023

It has long struck me that the Irish Labour Party more than any other has abandoned the constituency that returns it in pursuit of office. It promises a left package then delivers the Rabbitte punch to the recipients of the promise so that it may become the prop sustaining governments which view left packages much as a dog does a lamppost.

Whatever the Labour leadership sought to project onto the screen, the filtering process left the electorate feeling that it had just viewed Pensions Before People. Last time out those who had voted the party in such numbers in the previous general election followed through on Eamon Gilmore’s promise, while still with the Workers Party, to destroy the Labour Party. Since then Labour has struggled to make any impact on the Irish political scene.

None of that stopped me from turning up at a Labour Party Town Hall meeting in Drogheda’s D Hotel on Monday evening. I actually left Dublin early to make the event which was attended by around one hundred people. I had never been at any of the party’s gatherings before although any time I have approached its elected representatives or party workers, the response has been nothing less than helpful. Their members also have been to the fore in defusing the moral panic that the far right has been trying to stoke and amplify over a range of issues, most notably refugees.

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Irish Police Arrest a Dublin Fascist

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Gardaí have arrested a fascist from Finglas, who has not so far been charged with any offences.

The Sunday World reports :

The 39-year-old from Finglas claimed protestors are going to “go through” Finglas Garda Station at an anti-immigrant protest tonight.

Further details :

Far right activist Graham Carey has been arrested this morning at his home by armed members of the Special Detective Unit (SDU).

He is currently being held at a south Dublin Garda station where he is being questioned under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

It is understood that his arrest follows a lengthy investigation by SDU officers.

The 39-year-old, from Finglas, claimed protestors are going to ‘go through’ Finglas Garda Station at an anti-immigrant protests tonight.

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Join Community Standout Against Racism — Monday January 30 6pm @Ashtown Station, Dublin 15

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A Homeless migrant camp in Ashtown was brutally attacked on January 28 2023 in Dublin. Ruth Coppinger, a former member of the Dáil (TD) for the Dublin West constituency circulated the report below. Directions at this link : https://www.irishrail.ie/en-ie/station/ashtown

Infamous Racist Attack at Ashtown Station, Dublin 15

Earlier today there was a brutal racist attack in Ashtown at a site where a group of migrant workers, made homeless by unaffordable rents, have been living in tents for months.

A gang of 5 or 6 men with dogs, armed with sticks and baseball bats descended on the camp and violently attacked and injured at least one person. They would have done more damage, only that witnesses disturbed them.

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The British Royal Family is “unequal, outdated, and should be consigned to the dustbin of history” – Agree or Disagree?

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Read the news items below and decide for yourself if the statement above – written by West Belfast Stormont Assembly member Gerry Carroll (People Before Profit) – should be supported by everyone on the anti-imperialist left in Ireland.

I think the answer is Yes – and this should not be a controversial opinion, especially in Ireland. Unfortunately, some prominent public figures disagree. Lies about the British Royal Family resemble a mountain of dead dogs, and fresh stinking corpses are added daily.

Reliable news reports tell us that the English Prince Andrew, brother of British King Charles, is getting support from a convicted child abuse criminal.

A courageous woman, Virginia Giuffre, successfully won substantial damages in a USA court from the British Prince, who was a close associate of the convicted child abuse criminals Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

“Maxwell, who paid out millions to Giuffre herself in a separate lawsuit in 2017, was jailed for child sex trafficking in connection with Epstein.

But she claimed in an interview with CBS that Ms Giuffre’s claims are unfounded, and that she did not introduce her “dear friend” Prince Andrew to the teenager as had been claimed.

Ms Giuffre said: “My goal has been to show the rich and powerful are not above the law and should be held accountable.” Source : https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/prince-andrew-overturn-claim-by-sex-accuser-virginia-giuffre/

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Readers might assume that no self-respecting Irish political leader would risk getting close to the sinister Buckingham House royal parasites.

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Outrage as UK Tories attack Trans Rights and Scottish Devolution

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Unpopular British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – whose Brexit Tory party is around 20 per cent behind the opposition Labour Party in most credible opinion polls – has picked a fight with the Scottish Parliament over a minor administrative reform which improves the human rights of transgender people.

Across the British state, writes Mike Picken, there is a growing opposition to the Conservative UK government’s unprecedented blocking of a Scottish Parliament legislative Bill on transgender rights passed last month – the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.

After weeks of misleading propaganda about what the Bill says and its implications for UK wide legislation, on 17 January the Tory government at Westminster announced they were going for the so-called ‘nuclear’ option of blocking the Bill using a ‘section 35 order’.

The ‘section 35’ mechanism is part of the 1998 legislation that created the Scottish Parliament and was only ever intended to be used as a last resort, if there was a grave threat of the Scottish Parliament trampling over other rights across the UK. During the passage of the 1998 legislation it was dubbed the ‘Governor-General’ clause, a reference to the British Empire’s colonial controllers, as it gives total discretion to a government minister to overrule democratic decisions. It has never been used before now and the legal basis presented by the UK government has been widely described as completely flimsy.

‘Section 35’ is being used to overturn the Scottish Bill as a political move by a reactionary government against progressive legislation, not because of an infringement of rights.

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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 Far-Right Threatens Dublin Mid-West TD Gino Kenny (People Before Profit)

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This story was published in the Irish Examiner newspaper.

Gino Kenny says he 'will not be intimidated' by far-right threats to his home
Gino Kenny TD; Picture: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos

Gino Kenny says he ‘will not be intimidated’ by far-right threats to his home

PAUL HOSFORD, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, Irish Examiner, January 17 2023

The Dublin Mid-West TD says he has received threats after he joined a counter-demonstration at a temporary centre for asylum seekers in Clondalkin.

The far-right has been targeting me and my family,’ says People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny.

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny says he “will not be intimidated” by members of Ireland’s far-right who have threatened to come to his home.

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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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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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