Irish Thatcherist party disbands


This video from Ireland says about itself:

Today, Sunday 7th October 2012, two activists from the “Galway Alliance Against War” peace group (GAAW) marked the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan by blocking Shannon Airport‘s main runway. GAAW issued the following statement:

“Today, 7th of October 2012, marks the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan and the beginning of the illegal ‘war on terror’ that has led to the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent people. To mark this shameful anniversary actions are being taken around the world from 6th- 12th October against the war, against the waste of public finances on killing instead of caring, against killer drone warfare, and calling for invading troops to be returned to their country of origin- including the Irish troops in Afghanistan.

Here in Ireland, two members of the Galway Alliance Against War, Margaretta D’Arcy and Niall Farrell, blocked the main runway at Shannon airport. “The Irish State has been an accessory in this illegal ‘war on terror’ from its very outset. GAAW believes it was essential to highlight the craven collaboration of consecutive Irish Governments in these wars and that is why the protest was held. “Over the past 11 years Shannon Airport has been transformed into a US military base, literally into a Warport. Millions of armed US troops, millions of tonnes of weaponry travel freely through Shannon, including the killer drones that daily rain down terror and death on the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Shannon airport has been an integral part of the CIA’s illegal “extraordinary rendition” programme. It is known that the kidnappers and torturers of a number of victims of the CIA have travelled unhindered through our country. This makes consecutive Irish Governments guilty of colluding in torture as well as mass murder. “Margaretta D’Arcy and Niall Farrell feel completely justified therefore in carrying out this peace action against Ireland’s role in the so-called ‘war on terror’ and do so with the backing of the peace movement in Galway.”

The present crisis of capitalism has already seen the downfall of big businesses, like Lehman Bros bank.

What will its political consequences be? We cannot yet be certain about the answer to that. However, “free market” (in practice: pro monopolist or oligopolist corporate big business) policies as preached by the United States Bush administration, certainly seem to be on the ideological defensive now.

A good sign is that, after the death of “free market” guru Milton Friedman, and of his pupil, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, now the loudest pro capitalist political party in Ireland, the Progressive Democrats, is dying.

Contrary to what their name may suggest, just like the “free market” brings freedom just for big corporations and non-freedom for most people, the Progressive Democrats are neither progressive nor democratic, but based on the ideologies of Milton Friedman and British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

It is good to see this party as a casualty, with official banktruptcy probably coming soon, along with Lehman Bros and the rest.

It is to be hoped others still suffering from Thatcher’s disastrous heritage, like British “new” Labour (more like old Thatcherite Tory), and David Cameron’s Conservatives, will follow this Irish example.

6 thoughts on “Irish Thatcherist party disbands

  1. >>>>>> Anger at education cutbacks

    Up to 15,000 teachers, parents and students gathered outside the
    Leinster House parliament in Dublin this week to express their
    opposition to spending cuts by the 26 County government.

    At a noisy demonstration on a cold and wet night, the Fianna Fail/Green
    Party government was warned of major disruption in schools across the
    South from next January.

    The protest coincided with a debate in Leinster House on the
    government’s budget cutbacks, and involved teachers unions and branches
    from right across the country. In the end, a Labour Party motion
    against the cutbacks was defeated by eight votes.

    One group included 60 teachers and parents who travelled from St
    Mochulla’s national school in County Clare by bus. School principal
    Brian Torpey said the cutbacks will result in larger class sizes of up
    to 37 students.

    “We’re basically going back to the 1980s with a 21st century curriculum
    and 21st century children,” said one school principle, referring to
    the planned increase in clas sizes.

    Eimear Dolan from Killorglin, Co Kerry – holding a placard reading,
    “Hey TDs, leave our kids alone!” – said parents and teachers in the
    area were furious.

    “I’m a teacher and a parent and I’m completely outraged. They’re going
    after older people and children,” she said.

    “We thought we had made progress over the past few years, and now we’re
    going to lose all of that.”

    Anger over budget cuts and taxes reached a crescendo last weeek with
    30,000 pensioners and students besieging parliament, forcing a partial
    u-turn on the issue of medical care for over-70s.

    Support for Fianna Fail has plunged in recent weeks on the back of the
    botched budget, according to latest opinion polls.

    Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael now leads the main government party in the 26
    Counties by seven points, with only 20 per cent of voters saying they
    trust Brian Cowen’s government to manage the public finances out of the
    downturn.

    The departure of two government-supporting TDs during the political
    upheavals of last week has raised the prospect of an early general
    election.

    Fianna Fail support has fallen by 10 percentage points since late
    September and just 26 per cent of voters say they would vote for the
    party in an election. It is the most dramatic move ever seen in the
    monthly polls.

    The deepening public resentment at inequitable policies favouring the
    wealthy could force Brian Lenihan to change his upcoming finance bill
    with a new levy for the super-rich now thought to be on the cards.

    Sinn Fein Education Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has called on the
    government to reverse the “devastating” education cuts.

    “Budget 2009 should have delivered a strategy to address the public
    finance crisis whilst in tandem delivering a road map for economic
    recovery,” he said.

    “It should have ensured that working families and the most vulnerable
    sections in society were protected during the current economic
    challenges.

    “It should have ensured that investments in frontline services such as
    education were prioritised.

    “It did none of these things. Instead government has chosen to target
    low to middle income earners, the old and the young in an array of
    savage cuts that will have a detrimental long term effect on the
    economy and society at large.”

    Sinn Fein held a number of pickets on the offices of government
    ministers over the weekend and will be distributing hundreds of
    thousands of leaflets across the country over the coming days outlining
    what the party said was the “grossly negligent choices” the government
    made in Budget 2009.

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  2. >>>>>> Inquest reopens after coroner views secret files

    The North’s most senior coroner John Leckey has revealed that new
    evidence had been uncovered in top secret Crown force files regarding
    an IRA attack in 1982.

    Three members of the RUC were killed when their armoured vehicle was
    destroyed by a 1,000lb IRA landmine near Lurgan.

    It later emerged that the explosives used in the bomb had been hidden
    in a hayshed that had been under surveillance of the force’s own
    Special Branch intelligence unit.

    Mystery still surrounds the October 1982 bombing, and there have been
    allegations that a high-level informer was somehow involved.

    Within weeks, five republicans and a Catholic teenager were killed in
    the area in a series of planned Crown force killings, known as
    ‘shoot-to-kill’ attacks.

    On November 11 1982, an undercover RUC unit shot dead IRA men Gervaise
    McKerr, Eugene Toman and John Burns near Lurgan.

    Toman and Burns had been linked to the bomb which had killed the three
    policemen.

    Two weeks later Catholic teenager Michael Tighe was shot dead in a
    hayshed near Craigavon where the explosives used in the bomb had been
    under police surveillance.

    On December 12 INLA men Seamus Grew and Roddy Carroll were also shot
    dead near Armagh city.

    Deputy Chief Constable John Stalker of Greater Manchester Police was
    temporarily brought in to investigate the killings but within months
    was hastily removed from the inquiry in a cover-up by British military
    intelligence.

    For the past 20 years the families of the six men have been engaged in
    one of the longest legal battles in northern history to discover the
    full facts behind the shootings.

    However, coroner John Leckey caused surprise yesterday when he
    unexpectedly announced that he now intended to reopen the inquests into
    the RUC men’s deaths.

    The coroner said that “additional and new evidence” and significant
    information relating to the case had emerged from Mr Stalker’s secret
    report, which had not been available when the original inquests were
    held in 1983.

    Mr Leckey would not reveal the nature of the evidence uncovered in the
    Stalker report but his comments have already led to speculation as to
    whether the IRA attack could have been prevented.

    ————————————————————————–

    >>>>>> >>>>>> Anti-Irish penal law challenged

    A British ban on the use of the Irish language in courts in the North
    which stretches back to 1737 was challenged this week.

    In the High Court in Belfast, Justice Treacy was asked to hold that the
    centuries-old ban should be quashed as it was in conflict with the
    Human Rights Act, European treaties and international norms.

    The move to end discrimination against the Irish language arose in an
    application for judicial review brought by Caoimhin Mac Giolla Cathain,
    a member of the Shaw’s Road Gaeltacht community in west Belfast.

    He applied for a drinks licence in Irish for a concert in the
    Culturlann centre on the Falls Road.

    But he was informed that the application had to be in English under the
    Administration of Justice (Language) Act Ireland 1737 which states “all
    proceedings in courts of justice within this kingdom shall be in the
    English language”.

    The 1737 act belongs to the penal laws in Irish history which sought to
    discriminate against the majority population.

    The law has been repealed completely in Britain, where it was seen to
    adversely affect Scottish and Welsh speakers.

    Janet Muller, chief executive of Pobal, an umbrella organisation for
    Irish-language groups, prepared an affidavit which was included in the
    evidence.

    “This is an outdated and unfair law which discriminates against the
    Irish language and against Irish speakers,” Ms Muller said.

    “In Wales, Welsh speakers have had the right to use Welsh in court
    proceedings of all kinds since 1942.

    “In Scotland, there are a number of courts where Gaidhlig can be heard
    on a daily basis if requested.

    “The evidence which I am placing before the court shows that the
    British government is once again guilty of applying double standards to
    the users of the different primary indigenous languages on these
    islands.”

    Ms Muller argues that continued application of the act contravenes the
    rights of Irish speakers under the Good Friday Agreement, the Human
    Rights Act, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and
    the Framework Convention.

    Penal laws began to be seriously enforced in Ireland from the late
    1500s – part of a determined effort to impose English culture and
    government control throughout Ireland for the first time.

    The ‘plantations’ of Ireland brought with them the anti-Catholic
    legislation which would eventually disenfranchise the richest of the
    Catholic Irish and Presbyterian Scottish settlers in favour of a
    minority of Church of Ireland worshippers.

    The following years saw a series of reversals and returns to the laws
    as the British monarchy’s attitude to its Catholic subjects fluctuated
    from king to king.

    New penal laws were passed after 1695 and at this stage there was an
    even more determined effort to enforce them.

    Among the discriminations now faced by Catholics and Dissenters under
    the penal laws were: exclusion from most public office; a ban on
    inter-marriage with Protestants; a bar from holding firearms or serving
    in the armed forces; exclusion from voting, the legal professions and
    the judiciary and owning a horse worth more than five pounds.

    Defending for the British Lord Chancellor, Paul Maguire QC, has claimed
    that the current Stormont administration is the prime authority to
    decide the issue, not the courts.

    Commenting on the case, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams once again
    called for the introduction of a comprehensive, rights-based Irish
    language act to secure the rights and entitlements of speakers in the
    Six Counties.

    “It is unacceptable that a century’s old and oppressive ban on Irish
    being spoken in the Courts is still in effect in today’s multi-lingual
    and culturally rich Ireland,” he said.

    “The ban on an Irish speaker applying for a drinks licence in Irish
    flies in the face of equality legislation here in the North as well as
    the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

    “This law should be consigned to history and this case indicates very
    clearly the real and practical need for the Minister of Culture to
    bring forward a comprehensive, rights based Acht na Gaeilge.”

    ————————————————————————–

    >>>>>> >>>>>> New republican unity project launched

    A number of different republican groups have said they will join forces
    to explore a united approach in future.

    In a new initiative, the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and
    the 32 County Sovereignty Movement have agreed to discuss “a way
    forward” with the Republican Network for Unity, the group initially
    known as ‘Ex-POW’s and Concerned Republicans against RUC/PSNI’.

    The project will involve public meetings throughout Ireland and is said
    to have been sanctioned by the leaderships of all organisations
    involved.

    The first debate of the “Republican Forum for Unity” takes place at the
    Tower Hotel in Derry on November 6. Further meetings will be held in
    Belfast, Dublin, Newry and other venues to be arranged.

    A spokesman for the newly established forum said it had been organised
    to examine the struggle for national liberation since the signing of
    the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and to find an agreed way forward.

    “The republican vision, as eloquently articulated in the Proclamation
    of 1916, appears to be distorted by divisions and lack of agreement
    around core republican positions,” he said.

    “That being the case a number of republicans feel that 10 years on from
    the signing of the Good Friday Agreement the time is appropriate for
    republicans to review where the republican struggle stands and how best
    we can collectively pursue the sentiments expressed in the
    Proclamation,” he said.

    ———————————————————————–
    The following is the full text of the statement issued regarding the
    launch.
    ———————————————————————–

    Over the past ten years – since the signing of the Good Friday
    agreement – Irish Republicans have witnessed a dramatic change in the
    manner in which the struggle for National Liberation and the
    establishment of a 32 county Republic has been waged. To say that not
    all Republicans agree with, nor comprehend how such changes are leading
    to the establishment of a 32 county democratic socialist Republic, is
    to point out the obvious and is evidenced by the large number of groups
    that now exist with the stated aim of establishing such a Republic.

    There are those for whom the local British assembly represents the best
    route forward while for others the very existence of a local assembly
    stands as a bulwark against National Sovereignty and as such hinders
    not helps the struggle for National Liberation. Still others are so
    frustrated by the lack of progress or a clear strategic way forward or
    a unity of purpose that they have given up on the Republican struggle
    ever arriving at its revolutionary objective. In short, the Republican
    vision, as eloquently articulated in the Proclamation of 1916, appears
    to be distorted by divisions and lack of agreement around core
    Republican positions.

    That being the case a number of Republicans feel that ten years on from
    the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, the time is appropriate for
    Republicans to review where the Republican struggle stands and how best
    we can collectively pursue the sentiments expressed in the
    Proclamation. Such a review needs to address not only were we stand in
    relation to core Republican beliefs but also how we attempt to be
    pro-active on those beliefs within the Republican tradition.

    This is vital to ensure that we move our core aims beyond the
    aspirational and into the attainable.

    Towards this end all views should be encouraged and given equal weight
    using the rule of thumb that at this juncture it is of equal importance
    to consider where we, individually and collectively, are going to as
    were we are coming from. Towards this end a grouping of Republicans
    comprising members of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, the Irish
    Republican Socialist Party, the Republican Network for Unity and a
    number of individual Republicans are formally launching “The Republican
    Forum for Unity”. Within this Forum all issues of importance to
    Republicans can be openly discussed with the intention that the ideas
    generated will be taken back to existing organizations for the purpose
    of focussing political activity to achieve more definitive results.

    In this way Republicans can begin to address the areas of division that
    have been created due to lack of open, frank and democratic discussion
    and begin the process of establishing an agreed Republican agenda
    rather than Republicans merely responding to a series of ‘contrived’
    crises. “The Republican Forum for Unity” will undertake a series of
    Public Meetings throughout the country to outline our position and
    secure as much support for it as possible. It is an open Forum and its
    future is in the hands of those who freely participate in its workings.

    The first debate under the title “The GFA: Ten Years On” will be held
    in the Tower Hotel, Derry at 8.00pm on November 6th 2008. Dates and
    Venues for further debates in the months ahead will to set later.

    ————————————————————————–

    >>>>>> >>>>>> Feature: The first casualty

    By Mary Nelis (for the Derry Journal)

    It is twenty years to the day, since the British Government imposed the
    media ban as part of another review of security in the North of
    Ireland.

    The effects of the ban are still evident in the death of investigative
    journalism and real freedom of speech. Truth has been well and truly
    sacrificed on the altar of self censorship and the mediocrity that
    passes for news these days.

    ting Ban, which applied to all interviews with the IRA, INLA, Sinn
    Fein, the UVF, UFF and the UDA and their supporters, was severely
    criticised at the time as amounting to censorship on the lines of the
    apartheid South African Government and Section 31 of the Dublin
    Government. It didn’t however stop editors applying the ban as they ran
    for cover in front of the Hurd statement in the British House of
    Commons on the 19th October, 1988, the day that free speech died.

    The most disturbing aspect of the ban was the suspicion that it would
    lead to increased self censorship, something that has been borne out
    since. It also provided cover to those who would use the phrase ‘fellow
    traveller’ to silence any critical questioning around Britain’s role in
    Ireland, North and South.

    As well as silencing the democratically elected politicians of Ireland
    oldest political party, Sinn Fein from effectively representing their
    constituents, the Thatcher security review also abolished the’ right to
    silence’ of suspects in interrogation centres.

    Liz Curtis, author of Ireland, the Propaganda War’ told a meeting in
    London called to protest the Broadcasting ban that the British
    Government’s position could be summarised as ‘ You will speak when we
    want you to speak, and you can speak to incriminate yourself, but you
    can’t speak to put your case.’.

    The Thatcher Government’s move was roundly condemned by some sections
    of the international media who stated that it had little to do with
    improving security and seeking political and judicial resolutions to
    the conflict. The New Zealand Herald in an editorial headlined’
    Selective Gag on Messengers’, commented that ‘The ban in covering not
    only proscribed groups but legal organisations, including a political
    party that holds seats on local Councils and one in Westminster,
    demonstrates the insidious and unacceptable nature of media
    censorship’.

    Meanwhile Thatcher was in Poland proclaiming ‘There should be a real
    dialogue with all sections of society’.

    She forgot that all sections of society in both the North and South of
    Ireland included a substantial number who not only supported and voted
    Sinn Fein but also supported the IRA.

    The day after Douglas Hurd made his Commons announcement of the ban,
    journalist David Pallister writing in the Guardian, said, ‘The election
    of Bobby Sands to Westminster came as a shock to most of the British
    media.

    This newspaper then remarked that his death bed victory, had thrown
    years of myths out of the window and the biggest myth is that in its
    violent phase, the IRA represents only a tiny minority of the
    population.’

    Most of us will remember the mantra from pulpits and papers, ‘It’s only
    a handful of violence men etc;

    The ban was welcomed by many of the political parties and by large
    sections of the electronic media.

    The Alliance Party asked why Sinn Fein was not also banned from the
    printed media. Indeed if that reactionary party had looked at the
    history of the repressive Six County State since its formation in 1920,
    they would have read among the provisions of the Special Powers Act,
    legislation for the prohibition of’ publication or distribution of any
    newspaper, periodical, circular, or printed matter’ that was thought to
    be ‘prejudicial to the peace and the maintenance of order in Northern
    Ireland’.

    Under the Special Powers Act, censorship then extended to any
    publication that mentioned Sinn Fein and these included religious
    publications like the Capuchin Annual and local newspapers. The Derry
    Journal was banned for a brief period in the 1940’s.

    The SDLP reaction to the ban was that it was ‘counter productive’. For
    whom? Banning or censoring a party from live media was not in the eyes
    of the SDLP an admissible infringement of freedom of speech, or the
    right of the electorate to hear the facts, or an affront even to the
    concept of democracy.

    The only concern of the SDLP, in the words of Seamus Mallon, was that
    the Broadcasting bans ‘would hand propaganda weapon the IRA’. This
    spurious statement was followed by the comments of the SDLP chief whip,
    Eddie Mc Grady, whose concern centred on the question of why Sinn Fein
    wasn’t also banned during elections.

    The position of the Dublin Government was even more sinister since they
    had beaten the British to it some seventeen years previously. Some
    months prior to Hurds statement in the British House of Commons, the
    RTE authority in the South had sacked the journalists Jenny McKeever
    for allowing Martin McGuinness to say the words ‘It’s acceptable to us
    and seemingly acceptable to them.”

    The context was an interview for Morning Ireland as Sinn Fein was
    trying to negotiate the funeral arrangements across the border of the
    IRA volunteers murdered in Gibraltar.

    The Dublin Government did express’ grave concern’ on the restriction by
    the British, of the right to silence.

    Both Fine Gael and the Workers Party supported the British move with
    the Workers Party like the SDLP, claiming ‘it would have been
    preferable if it had been imposed at a time and in a way that would
    have been less suitable for the propaganda purposes of the IRA.’

    The effects of the ban were immediate if not confusing as broadcasters
    ran for cover in the face of Hurds statement. Indeed some hours before
    the censorship order was made, the BBC Radio West Midlands news
    programme, abruptly pulled the plug of Sinn Fein’s General Secretary
    Tom Hartley, who was waiting on a phone line to talk to the news
    editor, Tom Riley.

    Commenting, Hartley said, ‘They told us to use the ballot box and now
    we have proved we represent a great number of people, they are afraid
    to talk to us’.

    Another pre emptive strike was made by the English BRMB local radio
    that axed an interview with Bernadette McAliskey, who was not a member
    of any of the listed organisations.

    Indeed the absurd nature of the ban which extended to prohibiting the
    broadcasting of statements by any person which supported or invited
    support for such organisations, was reflected in the BBC Kilroy chat
    show when every member of the audience, was asked if they supported or
    had voted for Sinn Fein.

    No one was asked about support for Unionist paramilitaries, for it was
    clear at this stage that the real purpose of the Ban was to stymie the
    political progress of Sinn Fein.

    In the British House of Commons, Hurd was asked by Unionist MP Harold
    Mc Cusker, if the intention of the ban amounted to’ squeezing Sinn Fein
    out of the political system’. Hurds response was that the question was
    ‘paraphrasing boldly.’ In other words, yes.

    Many journalists fought back against the ban among them Nell
    McCafferty, Liz Curtis, Gearoid O Caireallain the editor of La the
    Irish language paper all of whom spoke at a major conference in
    Belfast, a few weeks after Hurd’s announcement.

    Many paid a price in terms of their careers such was the paranoia among
    editors and media executives.

    Indeed the ban proved that the first casualty of the war in Ireland was
    truth.

    This newspaper then remarked that his death-bed victory, had thrown
    years of myths out of the window and the biggest myth is that in its
    violent phase, the IRA represents only a tiny minority of the
    population.’ Most of us will remember the mantra from pulpits and
    papers, ‘It’s only a handful of violence men etc;

    The ban was welcomed by many of the political parties and by large
    sections of the electronic media.

    The Alliance Party asked why Sinn Fein was not also banned from the
    printed media. Indeed if that reactionary party had looked at the
    history of the repressive Six County State since its formation in 1920,
    they would have read among the provisions of the Special Powers Act,
    legislation for the prohibition of’ publication or distribution of any
    newspaper, periodical, circular, or printed matter’ that was thought to
    be ‘prejudicial to the peace and the maintenance of order in Northern
    Ireland’.

    Under the Special Powers Act, censorship then extended to any
    publication that mentioned Sinn Fein and these included religious
    publications like the Capuchin Annual and local newspapers. The Derry
    Journal was banned for a brief period in the 1940’s.

    The SDLP reaction to the ban was that it was ‘counter productive’. For
    whom? Banning or censoring a party from live media was not in the eyes
    of the SDLP an admissible infringement of freedom of speech, or the
    right of the electorate to hear the facts, or an affront even to the
    concept of democracy. The only concern of the SDLP, in the words of
    Seamus Mallon, was that the Broadcasting bans ‘would hand propaganda
    weapon the IRA’. This spurious statement was followed by the comments
    of the SDLP chief whip, Eddie Mc Grady, whose concern centred on the
    question of why Sinn Fein wasn’t also banned during elections.

    The position of the Dublin Government was even more sinister since they
    had beaten the British to it some seventeen years previously. Some
    months prior to Hurds statement in the British House of Commons, the
    RTE authority in the South had sacked the journalists Jenny McKeever
    for allowing Martin McGuinness to say the words ‘It’s acceptable to us
    and seemingly acceptable to them.” The context was an interview for
    Morning Ireland as Sinn Fein was trying to negotiate the funeral
    arrangements across the border of the IRA volunteers murdered in
    Gibraltar.

    The Dublin Government did express’ grave concern’ on the restriction by
    the British, of the right to silence.

    Both Fine Gael and the Workers Party supported the British move with
    the Workers Party like the SDLP, claiming ‘it would have been
    preferable if it had been imposed at a time and in a way that would
    have been less suitable for the propaganda purposes of the IRA.’

    The effects of the ban were immediate if not confusing as broadcasters
    ran for cover in the face of Hurds statement.

    ————————————————————————–

    >>>>>> >>>>>> Analysis: Idea that SF could ignore march is absurd

    By Jim Gibney

    The idea that Sinn Fein could ignore a march through Belfast city
    centre by a regiment in the British army, a march however it is
    presented which glorifies the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, not
    to mention Ireland, is patently absurd.

    To expect Sinn Fein to somehow pretend Sunday’s march is not happening
    in a city which has experienced the worst excesses of the British
    army’s occupation is to expect Sinn Fein to reject its raison d’etre.

    Sinn Fein is right to organise Sunday’s protest. The British Army in
    any guise has no right to march through the centre of Belfast. Their
    presence on the streets of our city is an affront to the people of this
    nation who have had to endure for centuries the consequences of
    Britain’s military occupation of Ireland.

    The last forty years of conflict in the north and the thousands of
    people killed or injured and the legacy relatives have been left to
    deal with is directly attributable to partition and to the occupation
    by the British Army of this part of Ireland.

    If those cheerleaders for the British crown forces want to appreciate
    how nationalists and republicans feel about Sunday’s coat-trailing
    exercise then they should ask themselves how they would react if the
    Belfast Brigade of the IRA announced they intended to march their
    volunteers through the centre of Belfast in tribute to all its members
    who lost their lives during the war.

    I am not at all surprised that this march has tapped into the most
    reactionary and jingoistic elements inside the unionist and loyalist
    community but I am surprised that the British government did not
    intervene and block the idea of the march before it reached the stage
    of a proposal.

    It beggars belief that the British government allowed the British
    Ministry of Defence the freedom to select Belfast for a march which
    they must have known would be deeply divisive and provocative for at
    least half the population of the six counties who are nationalist.

    Nationalists are not the only people opposed to the wars of occupation
    in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to the invasion of Iraq many people from
    a unionist background marched in opposition. The Rev David Latimer, a
    chaplain, just back from Afghanistan, said an ecumenical service not a
    parade was more appropriate.

    What is also disappointing about Sunday’s march is that its origins are
    to be found in the rivalry between the unionist parties as they try to
    outdo each other as the party most capable of challenging Sinn Fein and
    its united Ireland agenda.

    The political vacuum at Stormont and the drift by the DUP away from
    working the power-sharing institutions are also a factor in driving
    unionists into a ‘little Englander’ mindset as they retreat further
    from the main-stream of politics and shaping a new society to the
    footpaths of downtown Belfast on Sunday waving little union jacks and
    hankering after a make-believe world that does not exist.

    In defending this march unionists are indulging themselves in a fantasy
    world of ‘welcoming home our boys’ as if their behaviour in this
    country, Iraq and Afghanistan was akin to the trenches of the First
    World War or the fight against Hitler during the Second World War.

    Wars of occupation do not equate with the First or Second World Wars.
    The regiment which will walk through the streets of Belfast on Sunday,
    the RIR, has an ignominious history. There is nothing noble in this
    force’s past; its parent was the Ulster Defence Regiment.

    Like the B Specials before them they were a blunt and sectarian
    instrument which the British government used to maintain its occupation
    here through terrorising the nationalist and catholic people. Many
    innocent Catholics were killed by serving members of the UDR.

    Britain’s occupation of Ireland and the consequences for the people of
    this island, nationalist and unionist has been well documented. Those
    welcoming the RIR on Sunday should dwell on what they left behind in
    Iraq, over 600,000 people dead, two million displaced to neighbouring
    countries and a similar number internally dislocated. The story is
    similar in Afghanistan.

    Is the human toll of misery in Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan worth
    celebrating either publicly or privately?

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    Irish Republican News
    http://republican-news.org/

    Like

  3. >>>>>> PDs out, Libertas in?

    A decision taken by the Progressive Democrats party at the weekend to
    disband after 23 years in existence has been widely welcomed.

    At a special ‘swansong’ meeting of the party in Mullingar, County
    Westmeath on Saturday, members voted by 201 votes to 161 to defeat an
    amendment calling for the party to continue in existence.

    The meeting was described by its former leader Mary Harney as the
    “saddest political day” of her career, but generally acknowledged as
    inevitable.

    The vote, which was closer than expecte, came after four hours of
    debate at a meeting attended by an estimated 500 remaining party
    members.

    The meeting heard a number of speeches for and against the party voting
    itself out of existence. The party leadership, including its two TDs
    and two Senators, argued that the Progressive Democrats had no viable
    future. However, many disaffected members had simply stayed away,
    ensuring the vote would be closer than expected.

    The party will be removed from the parliamentary register of parties
    next month or early in the new year and then cease to exist.

    Ms Harney confirmed she would not join any other political party
    “either now or in the future”, leaving a question mark over her
    position as Minister for Health in the coalition government cabinet.
    The party’s other TD, Noel Grealish, is expected to join Fianna Fail.

    Sinn Féin Dail leader Caoimhghin O Caolain said the demise of the
    Progressive Democrats was welcome in that a negative element in Irish
    politics had been removed, but the reality was that PD policies “are
    alive and well in Fianna Fail”.

    Deputy O Caolain said, “Their anti-republicanism and there opposition
    to social and economic equality meant that they were neither truly
    progressive nor truly democratic.

    “With the PDs over the past decade Fianna Fail presided over a taxation
    system that allowed the wealthiest to pay little or no tax. They were
    responsible for a totally market driven housing policy that failed to
    meet housing need, inflated property prices, allowed wreckless lending
    and massive mortgage debt.

    “That FF/PD approach has led directly to the current economic
    recession,” he said.

    LIBERTAS PARTY?

    A number of PD members have expressed interest in joining the new
    political party which is likely to be set up by high-profile Lisbon
    Treaty opponent Declan Ganley.

    He is to decide within a month whether he will run in the European
    elections under the ‘Libertas’ banner used by his anti-Lisbon campaign
    organisation, and may go on to form a pan-European political party to
    oppose the centralisation of power in Brussels.

    Ganley shocked and infuriated the main political parties in the 26
    Counties when he hosted the President of the Czech Republic at a
    special political dinner on Tuesday night.

    President Vaclav Klaus has, uniquely among EU leaders, trumpeted
    Ireland’s ‘No’ vote against the European Union’s controversial Lisbon
    Treaty. The Treaty increases the power of Europe’s larger nations at
    the expense of smaller nations while expanding the EU to the east.

    Opponents of EU centralisation, anti-abortion campaigners and prominent
    figures in the Irish news media featured on the guest list for Tuesday
    night’s dinner in honour of President Klaus, which did not include Sinn
    Féin representatives.

    Like

  4. Cowen planning Lisbon II

    The Taoiseach Brian Cowen has been accused of “colluding” with European
    Union leaders as he pushes for a re-run of the Lisbon Treaty next year.

    Cowen is in Paris today for talks with French president Nicolas Sarkozy
    on the future of the Treaty. After the meeting, he will travel to
    Brussels for discussions with European Commission president Jose Manuel
    Barroso.

    Based on a previously rejected EU Constitution, the Lisbon Treaty is
    designed to allow the EU to expand further to the east, increase its
    military capacity while concentrating power in the hands of its larger
    nations.

    In a shock defeat for all of the political parties in the Dublin
    parliament except Sinn Fein, and despite strong pressure from Europe’s
    political heavyweights, the treaty was rejected by Irish voters in June
    by a margin of 53.1% to 46.6%.

    It has become clear that Mr Cowen intends to try to get the treaty past
    Irish voters relatively soon.

    Mr Cowen said yesterday following a meeting with British prime minister
    Gordon Brown in Downing Street that he was hopeful next week’s European
    Council meeting will help him identify the “road map” to enable a
    second Irish referendum.

    Mr Cowen stressed that discussions at political and official level were
    “ongoing” and represented “work in progress”.

    Mr Cowen met German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday.

    With further meetings of officials scheduled ahead of next week’s
    summit, Mr Cowen insisted: “These discussions are ongoing . . . Until
    conclusions are actually drafted for that [summit] meeting we can’t
    know whether we’re going to get there or not. I remain hopeful.”

    As the Irish economy continues a downward spiral, with soaring
    unemployment and amid ongoing scandals over corruption, fraud and waste
    in the public service, Cowen’s decision to tour Europe to repackage the
    Lisbon Treaty has come in for intense criticism.

    “Brian Cowen has repeatedly ignored the mandate given to him by the
    Irish people on their rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in June,” said
    Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald.

    “He has refused to use his meetings with European leaders as an
    opportunity to address the peoples concerns around key issues of
    concern such as neutrality, workers rights, public services, democracy
    and Ireland’s loss of influence in the EU.

    “He has refused to stand up for the interests of Irish people. He has
    refused to even open up negotiations for a better deal.

    “People will be watching what the government say and do next week very
    carefully. Riding roughshod over the people’s decision on Lisbon will
    not be tolerated.”

    GREENS DROP THE BALL

    Adding to the government’s woes, the Fianna Fail-Green Party coalition
    government suffered a surprise defeat in a parliament
    vote yesterday after the Green Party’s two Senators accidently missed
    the vote.

    Dan Boyle, deputy Seanad leader, and Deirdre De Burca said they were
    not aware the vote was being taken, amid confusion and prolonged
    protests from Fianna Fail Senators, who claimed that the voting
    procedures had not been followed.

    “It was a drop-the-ball situation, Senator Boyle said. “It’s a huge
    embarrassment,”

    The amendment will allow amateur sports groups to maintain their
    charitable status for fundraising purposes.

    Fine Gael leader in the Seanad Frances Fitzgerald described it as a
    “historic victory for the Opposition”.

    Meanwhile, the Green party leader John Gormley is coming under pressure
    for dodging his responsibility as Minister for the Environment on a
    controversial waste incinerator in Dublin.

    A licence was granted this week by the Environmental Protection Agency
    for the incinerator at Poolbeg, which is in his own constituency of
    Dublin South East.

    Gormley claimed he was powerless to do anything about the plan, saying
    tenders for the incinerator were issued two years before he took
    office.

    Local Sinn Fein councillor, Daithi Doolan, expressed his disappointment
    with the planning decision and the fact that a Green minister in
    government could have let this happen.

    “This is a huge blow to the community. Anyone who took a look at the
    facts will know that no incinerator should be built here. Incineration
    is an industry that is well past its sell-by-date. It is 10 years since
    this plan was first proposed.

    “New waste technology has bypassed incineration and yet we are now
    condemned to have an age-old industry imposed on this community.”

    Like

  5. Pingback: Dutch free marketeers want nationalisation | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Dutch free marketeers want nationalisation | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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