Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘European Union’ Category

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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“The Royal Navy will only be deployed to assist with fisheries protection and enforcement activities if requested to do so by the Northern Ireland Executive” – Political Dynamite in Laps of Sinn Féin Stormont Ministers

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Will the Stormont Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill authorize the British Navy to attack Irish and EU Fishery Vessels after Brexit on January 1 2021? Far-fetched? Hypothetical? Scare-mongering? Think again, dear reader.

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) “told the Belfast Telegraph that gunships will only be deployed around Northern Ireland if requested to do so.”

British Royal Navy gunships cannot patrol Northern Irish waters without Stormont permission

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/brexit/stormont-can-request-royal-navy-to-protect-fishing-waters-39859236.html?fbclid=IwAR1m25RBgxqvVQ162DA4pTj8KxIumOQ__jLsJHQVLx3ig7AZHwq_AwNLDdI

“The Royal Navy will only be deployed to assist with fisheries protection and enforcement activities if requested to do so by the Northern Ireland Executive as this is a devolved matter,” stated an MoD spokesperson.

Here’s that political dynamite question again. A simple answer is needed.

Will the Stormont Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill authorize the British Navy to attack Irish and EU Fishery Vessels after Brexit on January 1 2021?

Let’s demand a categorical answer : NO!

Update : the position in Scotland and Wales :

The Scottish government has ruled out any participation in UK ‘sabre rattling’ over fisheries. See related post: https://www.celticleague.net/news/scottish-government-distances-itself-from-use-of-force-over-fishing/. The Stormont government needs to follow the excellent Scottish example.

The Welsh devolved government is also responsible for UK fisheries policy – hopefully it will follow the excellent Scottish example and rule out deployment of the Royal Navy after January 1 2021. https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2019-01/180717atisn12396doc062.pdf

“Michelle O’Neill says No to Arlene Foster” – a refreshing thought

Say No to Royal Navy attacks on Fishermen and Fisherwomen in Stormont Waters

Charlie McConalogue (Fianna Fáil), the Dublin Government’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is anxious. The Donegal TD hopes the problem will go away, urging “the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier to ensure that UK access to the single market is conditional on continued access share for EU fleets to British waters.” https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2020/1215/1184623-fisheries-brexit/

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Scottish Salmon farmers tell Boris Johnson to seal Brexit deal

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Scottish Salmon farmers tell Boris Johnson to seal Brexit deal

This Financial Times report neatly summarizes a Scottish Salmon Fishing Catastrophe created by Boris Johnson’s Brexit.

Scottish industry group says PM needs to decide whether he is on the side of business or politics

Mure Dickie, Edinburgh, December 15 2020

Mr Scott told the Financial Times that even with a deal fish farmers faced greater difficulties because of increased bureaucracy in getting shipments to the EU, which accounted for more than 64 per cent of the UK’s £250m salmon exports in the year to October.

Boris Johnson “needs to get his act together” and seal a trade deal with the EU to prevent major disruption to sales of farmed salmon, the industry group for the UK’s biggest food export said on Monday.

The comments from Tavish Scott, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, were the sector’s strongest intervention yet on Brexit and reflect rapidly deepening concern about the consequences of a no-deal end to the transition period on December 31.

Mr Scott told the Financial Times that even with a deal fish farmers faced greater difficulties because of increased bureaucracy in getting shipments to the EU, which accounted for more than 64 per cent of the UK’s £250m salmon exports in the year to October.

“Boris Johnson needs to get his act together . . . He’s got to decide what side he is on: is he on the side of business or is he on the side of politics?” Mr Scott said of the UK prime minister. “A deal is really important because the alternative is disruption to trade lasting, I think, not just weeks, but potentially a long, long time.”

The UK and Brussels on Sunday extended trade talks into this week but Downing Street said on Monday that a no-deal outcome was still the most likely.

Scottish farmed salmon was the UK’s largest food export in 2019, worth a record £618m, and the sector’s reliance on the EU market has increased this year because of a slump in sales to more distant markets, caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Scott, a former Scottish transport minister and Liberal Democrat member of the parliament in Edinburgh, welcomed UK government plans to prioritise shipments of time-sensitive seafood exports across the English Channel. But he said such plans were unlikely to be enough to shield the salmon sector and wider UK economy in the event of a no-deal end to the transition period.

The boxer Mike Tyson had once said that pre-fight plans rarely survived a punch in the face, Mr Scott said, adding: “I think we will get hit in the face.”

Without a trade deal, exports of chilled whole salmon would be subject to EU tariffs of 2 per cent and those of smoked salmon to 13 per cent. But Mr Scott said a bigger worry was the potential for delays in getting fish across the Channel to EU customers.

“The really significant danger is at the pinch point that is the Channel,” he said. “With a no-deal Brexit that blockage would be appreciably worse than if there is a deal.” Freshness is a major determinant of price for premium fish and any delay to that schedule could have a dramatic impact on the value of salmon to EU customers. The Increased paperwork and tighter customs and health checks could be compounded by the potential for action by French fishermen who would lose access to UK fishing grounds.

“The really significant danger is at the pinch point that is the Channel,” he said. “With a no-deal Brexit that blockage would be appreciably worse than if there is a deal.” Freshness is a major determinant of price for premium fish and any delay to that schedule could have a dramatic impact on the value of salmon to EU customers. The Increased paperwork and tighter customs and health checks could be compounded by the potential for action by French fishermen who would lose access to UK fishing grounds.

“If there is no deal, I think it would be fair to assume that French fishermen are not going to be very happy about life,” Mr Scott said. “And French fishermen’s approach to these things may be fairly militant.”

Asked about the salmon sector’s concerns, the UK government said: “Leaving the EU means we can take advantage of the growing global demand for great British produce.”

Asked about the salmon sector’s concerns, the UK government said: “Leaving the EU means we can take advantage of the growing global demand for great British produce.”

The government was intensifying public campaigns to let businesses know “exactly what to expect”, it said.

You could not make this up! Brexit is creating havoc, undermining the British State’s grip on Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The British Labour Party leadership flounders.

What’s happening? “Britain will do a Brexit Deal on Europe’s Terms” V Boris Johnson’s gunboats will put Johnny Foreigner in his place

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Britain will do a Brexit deal on Europe’s terms, Gideon Rachman, Financial Times, December 15 2020

A correspondent, Gregor Benton, asks : “War at sea? Johnson should think twice about what he pretends to wish for”.

Johnny Foreigner is not frightened.

Mr Johnson insists that the UK and the EU are “sovereign equals” but, as long as the EU maintains its unity, they are not equals in terms of power. And that is what has mattered in these negotiations. It is why Britain has made a series of painful concessions over the past four years – most notably by agreeing a separate status for Northern Ireland, which will see customs checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea, effectively dividing the United Kingdom

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times (See Above)

A few questions : If the British Navy attacks French Fishery Vessels 🚢 in the seas of Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 what will Admiral Macron do? Turn the other cheek? Grin and Bear It? Impose punitive tariffs on Scottish Fish 🐠 intended for tummies in France 🇫🇷? 80 per cent of fish 🎣 caught in seas “owned” by the British State currently are exported to the European Union, I am informed. The fish companies will quickly have warehouses full of unprofitable food. The Brexiteer capitalists could, we guess, dump the fish after a few months into the gullets of starving Brits for free. Is this the “Oven-Ready Brexit” promised by Chef Boris?

Boris Johnson’s Brexiteers are like cornered rats – so far they are throwing shapes at the EU crafty cats, Ursula of Germany and Michel of France. If Boris is only a play-acting jingo admiral, more passengers on board the doomed tory Titanic will jump ship. Warning signs are already flashing – Brexit is rejected by large majorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But what if desperate gambler Boris goes for broke, and attempts a repeat of something like his hero Margaret Thatcher’s Falkland Islands adventure? That’s unlikely, but good strategists plan for possible futures, including the improbable ones.

What should the left in Ireland and Britain say and do? It is a no-brainer :

“”I can’t imagine any Brexit deal emerging that will protect the jobs and livelihoods of my constituents, that will protect our rights and the environment. I believe Labour should have nothing to do with this Tory deal and vote against it”. British Labour MP John McDonnell.

https://mobile.twitter.com/another_europe/status/1337775362353328129?ref_url=file%3A%2F%2F%2Fvar%2Fcontainers%2Fbundle%2Fapplication%2F6309570d-0cdf-4c60-93eb-32b35d92e01e%2Fwordpress.app%2Fwordpressshared.bundle%2F&fbclid=IwAR3Vwa0KgN6NvqAON6yqsQ2d1xDX74kXEFdDDErp6UrGKD_LNm42WVu7Ehc

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

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

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

Don’t Go!

Conspiracy Anti-Vaxers against Covid-19 lockdowns blend with far-right fascists – Irish and British Examples

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No to Racism Defend Our Public Health Workers – Minorities, Migrants, Homeless, Asylum Seekers, LGBTQ+Solidarity for Real Change

12 September 2020 | 1 PM
Assemble: GPO | O’Connell Street Dublin United Against Racism is organizing this rally in partnership with others and co-hosted by all organisations supporting it. For support and endorsements please email: info@united-against-racism.net…

https://www.facebook.com/events/653860718566358?active_tab=about

Congratulations to United Against Racism for calling this event. It needs to be supported by other organizations across the left, and mass membership organizations like trade unions.

Mass action is badly needed to confront and crush the racist far-right.

Professor Dolores Cahill, leader of far-right Irish Freedom Party

In Dublin, across Ireland and internationally the racist far right are using anti-mask, anti-vaccine and other fears to promote themselves and their racist agenda. In Dublin they mobilised up to 2000 at the Custom House on 22 August. In London, with the aid of Dolores Cahill (pictured above) from the Irish Freedom Party they put several thousand in Trafalgar Square.

In Berlin they mobilized up-to 30,000 and in the US they have been holding armed demonstrations. In Dublin they also rally regularly at the GPO on Saturdays. This is very dangerous; they must be exposed and opposed. At the heart of these mobilizations are individuals and organisations whose core agenda is to attack people of colour, migrants, minorities, asylum seekers, Muslims etc. but at present they are focusing on other prejudices, bigotries and COVID-19 fears and doing so in the name of an utterly perverted version of Irish nationalism that is an insult to Connolly and Pearse and all they stood for. They mounted a vile homophobic campaign against Green Party government minister Roderic O’Gorman.

DON’T ENDANGER OUR FRONT LINE WORKERS

ANTI-MASK IS ANTI – WORKER!

We can trust our healthcare workers who have risked their lives and are telling us first hand to wear a mask and follow the basic health advice. We can mind our health and criticize the government at the same time without the lies and conspiracy theories of the far-right.It is urgent that their lies are exposed and their influence is countered.The far-right have zero policies or interest in protecting civil liberties, defending workers, ending the housing crisis, improving the health system or uniting people. These are the same people that campaign against asylum seekers and refugees. They simply want to divide us and scapegoat vulnerable sections of our society which lets the government off the hook.We therefore call on all progressive organisations and individuals – trade unions and trade unionists, migrants rights organisations , anti-racists, LGBTQ+ activists, feminist activists, progressive political parties, environmental activists, housing activists – everyone who wants to defend public health and see a more just and equal country – to unite and oppose the far-right and their growth in IrelandWe in United Against Racism like to organise this rally in partnership with others and co-hosted by all organisations supporting it. For support and endorsements please email info@united-against-racism.netWe are planning to call for an organisers Zoom meeting next week 8 September 2020, 6.30PMJoin us for a peaceful, socially distant rally to give your support to our front line heroes in hospital; shops etc who are being put in danger by those who think COVID-19 is a conspiracy – not a disease.’This is will be a socially distances rally. Please wear a mask to protect yourself and others around you. Thank You!

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Hands off the US! Stand with the American people and their democratically elected leader against the regime change plot!

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Which camp are you supporting?

Opponents of the following rebellions:

the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests

the Belarus anti-Lukashenko demonstrators

the anti-Brexit marchers in Britain

turn the spotlight on to the USA, where all is not so clear once another side of the question is examined :

Conspiracy Theories Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

August 19, 2020 at 3:30 pm

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

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

Dr Mary Toomey, an Ecologist

A copy of the interview is at the link below :

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

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

A good description of Sandymount High School, which

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

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

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

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

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

Mary Toomey observes

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

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

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

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

Fascinating Extracts from a Stalin Biography – Mao got a lucky break – he was almost selected for a part in one of the infamous 1930’s Moscow Show Trials

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Victor Osprey reports :

Interesting passage from the second volume of the Stalin biography by Kotkin.

Especially notable here: after Hitler came to power, 41 of the 68 German Communists who fled to the Soviet Union would be put to death there.

When plans were made for a public trial of “Trotskyite-fascists” in the Comintern, it appears Mao was put on this tentative list of “Trotskyites”.