Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Left Wing Opponents of Neoliberalism’ Category

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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Afghanistan, the End of the Occupation and the LeftOnline event by ISO and the marx21 network (Germany) with Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale (UK)Wednesday 6 October, 6pm Ireland and Britain 7pm CET

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Afghanistan, the End of the Occupation and the Left
Online event by ISO and the marx21 network (Germany) with Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale (UK)
Wednesday 6 October, 6pm Ireland and Britain 7pm CET


Join Zoom meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81981905958, Meeting ID: 819 8190 5958 With translations ‒ Dari, German and English


The Taliban have defeated the United States of America imperialism and its allies in Afghanistan. The eyes of the world witnessed an event which is part of a shift and reordering of international power structures.


Anthropologist Nancy Lindisfarne and activist-author Jonathan Neale published a detailed article on the return of the Taliban a few days after the “fall of Kabul” on 15 August. It has received much attention, some of it controversial. We invited the two experts and comrades, who have known Afghanistan well for more than 40 years, to the debate.
What does the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan mean? Why was Kabul conquered so quickly? What is happening to Afghan women now and why do so many Afghans support the Taliban? How should the left itself in view of this?


The Taliban have defeated the United States of America imperialism and its allies in Afghanistan. The eyes of the world witnessed an event which is part of a shift and reordering of international power structures.


Article “Return of the Taliban: The end of the occupation” in German:
https://www.marx21.de/rueckkehr-taliban-ende-besatzung-afghanistan/ https://intersoz.org/nach-der-afghanistan-besatzung-deshalb-sind-die-taliban-wieder-da/
Article in original: https://annebonnypirate.org/2021/08/17/afghanistan-the-end-of-the-occupation/ Website of Nancy and Jonathan: https://annebonnypirate.org/. Theses from the essay:

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2021 General Election Result in Germany – Preliminary Notes – Will Berlin go Red-Red-Green?

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  • These are the official numbers :
  • Preliminary official result
  • Distribution of votes
  • 24.1% CDU/CSU (Christian Democrats)
  • 25.7%. SPD (Social Democrats)
  • 10.3% AfD (Far-Right)
  • 11.5% FDP (Liberals)
  • 4.9% Die Linke (Left)
  • 14.8% Greens
  • 0.1% SSW (Danish Minority)
  • 8.6% Others


Distribution of seats
Total seats
735

  • 196 CDU/CSU
  • 206 SPD
  • 83 AfD
  • 92 FDP
  • 39 Left
  • 118 Greens
  • 1 SSW

A Red-Red-Green coalition is just short of a majority 206 +118+39 = 363

https://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/s-9097

Do any readers know the politics of the single SSW member?

“Do minorities have their own parties?
In Germany there are four state-recognized minorities: Sorbs, Danes, Frisians and the German Sinti and Roma. There is only a special party for the Danes and Frisians in Schleswig-Holstein, the South Schleswig Voters Union (SSW). It is standing for election to the Bundestag for the first time in 2021. The SSW has a good chance of gaining a seat, because it is exempted from the 5 per cent clause as a protected minority. This means that the calculated average number of votes needed for a single mandate is sufficient for the party to be represented.”


https://www.deutschland.de/en/topic/politics/the-german-federal-election-facts-about-the-bundestag-and-electoral-law

The far-right party, the AfD, are shunned by all other parties (including the Christian Democrats and the Liberals).

German voters made very positive decisions about housing in Berlin elections


Voters in the German capital, Berlin, alongside casting ballots for the makeup of the new German parliament and for their local legislature, also took part in a referendum on whether to force large real estate companies to sell off most of their housing units.

With Berliners casting more votes in a day than the city ever had, there was chaos and delays at several polling stations. About 34,000 helpers were working at more than 2,250 polling stations across the city.

Therefore, final results on the nonbinding referendum are not expected until Monday.

After counting 27% of the ballots, a clear margin was already emerging: 56.9% had voted in favor and only 39% against the proposal.

“This is just an extrapolation, we won’t get the final results until tomorrow! But even this number shows that Berliners have had enough of speculation and mad rents,” the movement to expropriate Berlin housing corporations said on Twitter.

The measure required a simple majority to pass as well as a “yes” vote from at least a quarter of all eligible voters, but, even if it does pass, that would only force the incoming Berlin city-state government to debate the proposal.

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-berlin-locals-vote-to-expropriate-real-estate-giants/a-59315431

Die Linke (Left) suffered a significant electoral reverse. It gained 4.9% of the National vote, losing 4.3% compared with 2017. By comparison the SPD and the Greens gained 5.2% and 5.8% respectively. The big losers were the Christian Democrats (down 8.8%). The AfD Nazis also lost ground (down 2.3%). The free-market Liberals, the FDP, held their ground (up 0.7%).

Here is a Die Linke pre-election statement :

Janine Wissler, Chairperson of DIE LINKE party, declares on the occasion of the Global Climate Strike on 24 September 2021:

A supporter of die Linke chairperson Janine Wissler

“On Sunday, we are facing a General Election. The coming federal government will be the last one that still has a chance to prevent the worst in climate protection and still achieve the 1.5 degree target. As the Left, we say: stop the politics of lost time. In the last three years, the many committed people at Fridays for Future have ensured that society, politics and business can no longer ignore the climate issue. Their fight for climate justice is making history.
DIE LINKE stands in solidarity with the climate movement. We call on our members to participate in the climate strike! We have requested the recognition of the climate emergency in the German Bundestag and are on the ground with MPs as parliamentary observers at climate protests.
With an “Immediate Programme for Climate Justice”, we want to set the course for a change in climate policy after the Bundestag elections. Our goal is climate neutrality by 2035. The Left Party is the guarantor of consistent and socially just climate protection:
We want to complete the coal phase-out by 2030 at the latest and introduce compulsory solar on roofs. In addition, we want to expand wind power, for 100% renewable energies by 2035 at the latest.
For us, a socially just mobility transition means: We want to expand public transport and make it free of charge. Making Germany a rail country: Railways must become a real, low-cost alternative to cars and air travel. No more fossil combustion engines from 2030. A moratorium on new motorway construction and finally enforce a speed limit.
We want to push ahead with the ecological refurbishment of buildings by investing billions and protect tenants from burdens by abolishing the modernisation levy.”

on behalf of Antje Dieterich

Press Office DIE LINKE Party Executive Committee
Press spokesperson Matthias Hinze – office 030 24009-543 matthias.hinze@die-linke.de
Deputy Press Spokesperson Götz Lange – Office 030 24009-674 goetz.lange@die-linke.de
Deputy Press Spokesperson Antje Dieterich – Office 030 24009-544 antje.dieterich@die-linke.de

German comrades will have to deal politically with this interesting electoral result. John Meehan September 27 2021

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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Roy Greenslade – Destroyed Communities and a powerful man who said “sorry”

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Facts, stubborn things, are the friends of good journalists.

Smears, slippery things, are the friends of anti-journalists.

Anti-Journalism

Roy Greenslade, then editor of Robert Maxwell’s Daily Mirror, ran a smear campaign against Arthur Scargill, leader of the British Miners’ Union (the NUM) in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Ten years later Mr Greenslade said sorry. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Roy_Greenslade

The unimpressed film-maker Ken Loach wrote a caustic letter to the British Guardian on May 31 2002.

Dear Roy Greenslade, it was good to read your apology about the Arthur Scargill story (Sorry, Arthur, Media, May 27). I wonder if you remember our film for Dispatches, which exposed those lies in, I think, 1991. It seems a bit late to come clean now.

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Bombing will not go softly: on Andreas Malm’s ‘How to Blow Up a Pipeline’.

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[Guest post by Des Derwin]

I have written a long critical essay on Andreas Malm’s new ecosocialist book ‘How To Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire ’ (Verso, 2021).

It was written quite independently of Alan Thornett’s review on the Global Ecosocialist Network website, and before I had read it. It concurs with his review in almost every aspect, though his response is expressed more forcefully and briefly than mine. The exception is Alan’s enthusiasm for James Hansen’s fee and dividend proposal, which strikes me, at first glance, as less realistic than the ‘Just Transition’ demand. The paper is here:

https://www.academia.edu/45142728/Bombing_Will_Not_Go_Softly_On_Andreas_Malm_s_How_to_Blow_Up_a_Pipeline

For a European shutdown in solidarity from below against the pandemic – For a ZeroCoVid Policy in Ireland

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Irish Action – German Action – European Action – ZeroCoVid is the way forward.

Promote the Call

The CoVid-19 virus does not recognise borders. Sign Circulate and Promote this Zero CoVid Call :

The appeal says: “We need a common strategy in Europe immediately to fight the pandemic effectively. Vaccinations alone will not win the race against the mutated viral variant – even more so if the pandemic fight continues to consist of actionist restrictions on free time without a shutdown of the economy.” Similar initiatives emerged a few weeks ago in other countries, notably the UK and Ireland, see for example Zero Covid The Campaign to Beat the Pandemic or the article “Covid is a Class Issue”.

https://zero-covid.org/language/en/

Paul Murphy is a RISE TD for Dublin South-West, part of the Solidarity – People Before Profit grouping in the Dáil. See below, one of many articles written and circulated by Paul Murphy promoting a Zero CoVid policy for Ireland and further afield.

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Connolly Youth Movement Disaffiliates from the Communist Party of Ireland

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Rumours about sharp disagreements between the Connolly Youth Movement (CYM) and the Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) circulated publicly on various platforms, notably the Cedar Lounge Revolution. https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2020/12/02/what-you-want-to-say-2-december-2020/

The CYM has disaffiliated from the CPI – a public statement is here : https://cym.ie/2021/01/18/cym-statement-on-disaffiliation/?fbclid=IwAR2rMRnPz2RhVRn8x6Q3GPBTmysFeX26swCJKaVpsOyvWpyupMsLloOSQmk

One correspondent observes :

An interesting political development. Whilst I would not overstate it in any sense, it is true that the CYM has presented itself as a generally vibrant group and has garnered a lot of recruits particularly (though not exclusively) through leaning into a particular online aesthetic and social circles.

Their attachment to the Communist Party and, partly, its selection of recruits, has resulted in it inheriting a framework of analysis which led to a fundamentally left-sectarian approach (“anti-Trotskyism”) and self-imposed isolation from a significant section of the socialist left. It is no joke to say that some in the CYM spend almost as much (if not more) time attacking other socialist groups than they do attacking our common enemy.

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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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Pat O’Connor 1948-2015, Limerick Socialist, Supporter of the Fourth International

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cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/left-archive-pat-oconnor-limerick-based-socialist-1948-2015-published-2015/

Recently, following prompts by Pádraig Malone, I forwarded material celebrating the life and political activities of the late Pat O’Connor to the Irish Left Archive site.

A 21 year old Pat O’Connor is holding the placard saying “PD [People’s Democracy] Opposes Racism”. 1970 demonstrations against the touring South African 
All-White Rugby Team.

Readers can find links to to that material in two PDF’s below. The pamphlet link includes the text of a speech I delivered at a 2015 memorial meeting for Pat. A second link is a copy of an obituary submitted to the Limerick Leader newspaper written by myself and Cian Prendiville.

John Meehan December 7 2020

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