Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Sinn Féin’ Category

Disastrous CoVid-19 Epidemic in the north of Ireland – Stormont Government Shambles, U-Turns and Half-Measures

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A CoVid-19 disaster is happening in the north of Ireland. It is spreading. This was preventable. And drastic measures are now necessary – the Stormont government’s latest measures are “too little too late”.

Zero CoVid Strategy Needed in Ireland https://www.facebook.com/PeopleBeforeProfitDerry/

Éamonn McCann, veteran socialist and People Before Profit Councillor (Derry-Strabane) reports from a state in Ireland which has one of the highest CoVid-19 infection rates in the world. The official name of that failed state is Northern Ireland.

Eamonn McCann’s alarming analysis is supported by the north’s doctors’ union, the British Medical Association (BMA [NI]).

The north’s BMA chairperson Dr Tom Black, warns :

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Who will be boss of the Northern Ireland Civil Service? Foster-O’Neill Deadlock, Frantic Piggies 🐷 in Queue for £182,272 top job

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Ugly scenes are visible at the highest levels of Belfast’s assembly government, rivalling FFFGGG coalition government jobbery in Dublin. Anything Fianna Fáil Fine Gael and the Greens can do in Leinster House is matched by the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin in Lord Carson’s Stormont.

🐷 Three piggies are slugging 🐌 it out, frantic to slurp alone at a very expensive trough – it is called Head of the NI Civil Service.

“In July, it was reported that the NI Civil Service was offering a salary of up to £188,272 for its top job.

The NI Civil Service employs about 22,845 staff and has a total annual budget in excess of £20bn.”

First and Deputy First Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill hold the keys 🔑 needed to unlock 🔐 a pot of gold, but can’t agree which of three piggies’ snouts 🐽 is the winner.

Sisters Grim Arlene Foster & Michelle O’Neill deadlocked at Stormont – who gets top job worth £188,272 a year?

“The First and Deputy First Ministers have failed to appoint a new Head of the Civil Service in Northern Ireland following a round of interviews.

It is understood that three candidates were interviewed on Wednesday, but were unsuccessful.

In a statement, an Executive Office spokesperson confirmed an appointment had not been made.

They said the “next steps are currently being considered”.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said she hoped the Executive Office would be shortly able to appoint an interim Head of the Civil Service, until a new full recruitment process can take place.

The post has remained vacant since David Sterling stepped down at the end of August.

He had worked in the civil service for more than 40 years, joining in 1978.

It is understood the three candidates interviewed yesterday were Sue Gray who is Permanent Secretary with the Department of Finance, Peter May who is Permanent Secretary at the Justice Department and Richard Pengelly who is the Permanent Secretary at the health department.”

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Nice Try But Public Not Falling For Government’s 10% Pay Cut Bullshit – Waterford Whispers News

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Satire which is real news.

Irish FFFGGG coalition government ministers continue to fumble in the greasy till and get caught.

FFFGGG Ministers Line Their Pockets

THE PUBLIC has doffed its cap to the government in appreciation of its attempt to pull a fast one with its selfless decision to institute a 10% pay cut for ministers, but added ‘we ain’t falling for this bullshit’.

“It’s the sort of tokenistic gesture that I actually might have appreciated were it not for the fact Taoiseach Martin and some of his ministers will still actually be earning more than the previous government’s salaries,” explained one member of the public.

“Sorry, what was that? Could you speak up,” asked the Taoiseach when it was put to him his government have taken being tone deaf to new inaudible highs.

The Taoiseach had been hoping the 10% cut would have distracted from Junior Minister pay bumps, welfare hunters at airports and reemerging focus on the treatment of victims of the Cervical Check scandal among 400 other things, however, the move has gone down like a dozen lead balloons strapped with explosives.

“Fair play, only this clown car of a government could take a pay cut and still end up earning more money, and that’s before expenses even come into play,” shared one member of the public, who as a healthcare worker, will have to settle for saving up all the applause they received to pay the bills in lieu of any pay increases.

In a last ditch attempt to secure a positive PR win for his government the Taoiseach stated Jack Chambers is worth every penny of the €140,000 he is paid.

Elsewhere, Sinn Féin, a party who incorrectly claimed their TDs only take home the average industrial wage labeled the 10% pay cut ‘a disgrace’.
— Read on waterfordwhispersnews.com/2020/07/28/nice-try-but-public-not-falling-for-governments-10-pay-cut-bullshit/

Irish Left Unity: a new round of engagement in a year of change, 2020

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Guest post by Des Derwin

The period before and since the general election has produced a renewed interest in left unity. There have been many contributions on it from across a wide sweep of the left.
There are several direct proposals for unity, or more unity.
As a small assistance to all this I have compiled links to and extracts from most of the leading interventions, since the general election, in the new round of interest in left unity. The collection is below.
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Irish Left Unity: a new round of engagement in a year of change, 2020. 

Links to and extracts from selected articles, posts, podcasts and interviews.

 

1. Jacobin; Michael Taft: ‘This Month’s Elections in Ireland Are a Historic Opportunity’, 2nd January 2020

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/02/ireland-elections-fine-gael-fianna-fail

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2. Rise website: ‘Why a Combined Left Challenge in the General Election is Essential’, 6th Jabuary 2020.

https://www.letusrise.ie/featured-articles/why-a-combined-left-challenge-in-the-general-election-is-essential

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3. Paul Murphy TD, speaking at the ‘Stop the Stitch Up’ rally, Dublin 7th March 2020.

“We need to build a mass political party of the left which is open to different trends, to be organised within, and to represent working class people.”

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4. RISE website: ‘After Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, what next?’ by Diana O’Dwyer, 20th February 2020

https://www.letusrise.ie/featured-articles/after-fianna-fil-and-fine-gael-what-next

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5. From: RISE website: ‘We need a socialist government’, 7th March 2020.

https://www.letusrise.ie/featured-articles/we-need-a-socialist-government

“Build a new mass left-wing party

There is a desperate need for a mass political party of the left. Because of Sinn Féin’s acceptance of the capitalist market and its hesitancy to engage with people-power movements, it will not be that party.
None of the existing radical left parties are likely to grow directly into that mass left party either. Instead, we need a left party that is anti-capitalist, anti-coalition and anti-oppression, while being open for different groups to organise within it.
RISE and our TD, Paul Murphy, wants to work with others to build such a party. While fighting for every reform in the here and now, we are a revolutionary socialist group that sees the need to end the rule of the bosses and big corporations.”
Left Unity Needed for Socialist Green New Deal

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6. RISE website: ‘No going back, but what’s ahead’ by Cian Prendiville, 1st May 2020.

https://www.letusrise.ie/featured-articles/no-going-back-but-whats-ahead

“This new era will pose new challenges and opportunities for the socialist left.
The recent general election was a brush with fate. The fractured socialist left took blows, but kept on our feet, holding onto most of our seats. This shows that a certain base of support for socialist TDs has been built. A Sinn Fein surge squeezed our vote, and we struggled to respond in a positive and principled way. In too many places the left split its vote, costing perhaps two seats and putting a third at risk. We should learn from that, and strengthen the left for the future.RISE’s proposals for a combined left challenge are a good starting point.
The truth is, this isn’t a bad place to begin. Just before the 2008 crash, Sinn Fein had 5 Dail seats, now it is the largest party in the state. Crisis changes everything.
Back then the socialist left had no seats. Now on the cusp of another major turn, we are the ones with 5 seats. We are the ones with the ideas to change the world. A desire for a radically different and better world is growing every day.
Let’s make this the decade of that revolution.”

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7. Irish Broad Left blog: ‘Uniting the Left to fight for an ecosocialist united Ireland’ by Cian McMahon, 6th June 2020.

https://irishbroadleft.com/2020/06/06/uniting-the-left-to-fight-for-an-ecosocialist-united-ireland/?fbclid=IwAR22GKSsaXbJWoISzYkC5-m2H5MOzxXqrkF6Bp-FYTF-cZrSZ-tfteQDRWQ

oooOOOooo. Read the rest of this entry »

Border Poll: It’s Just Democracy – People Before Profit

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New Fianna Fáil taoiseach Mícheál Martin rejects a border poll about the partition of Ireland – People Before Profit has issued a good political statement on the issue.

The welcome statement highlights a number of issues the radical left needs to address, urgently. The looming threat of Brexit – a right-wing British Exit from the European Union – should be a wake-up call.

He has only been a week in office but already Micheál Martin has ruled out a border poll, saying that it would be ‘divisive’.

Under the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, the British government has the power to call a border poll. But with the Irish government saying they do not want one, they have got cover to refuse.

This is a disgraceful rejection of democracy.

People have every right to aspire to a United Ireland and they should be able to put their case before the people of the North – and the South. Read the rest of this entry »

Stormont Crackdown on Black Lives Matter Rallies in Derry and Belfast – Dáil greenIights Special Criminal Court

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In Dublin Sinn Féin is the largest Dáil opposition party up against the new right-wing FFFGGG Coalition. In Belfast the same party is part of a coalition headed by the far-right Democratic Unionist Party at Stormont.

The Northern Ireland State is almost a world-leader for practicising racism, bigotry, and discrimination. The “Protestant State for a Protestant People” spent decades discriminating against a nationalist minority. That still happens, but has been scaled down. Rebellions helped – and mass struggle caused progressive legal change – for example the lifting of legal bans on abortion and gay rights. But, in 2020, this state discriminates vigorously against other minorities, especially immigrants.

Derry People Before Profit highlights Sinn Féin moving in the wrong direction on these issues :

Despite Sinn Féin’s claim to be a party interested in fundamental change – they are headed in the opposite direction.

In the North, Sinn Féin support the PSNI crackdown on Black Lives Matter rallies in Derry and Belfast. In the Stormont Assembly Sinn Féin MLAs voted with the DUP and others for Amendment 5 of the Health Regulations to approve the PSNI’s political policing of the Black Lives Matter rally including prosecution threats and fines. By backing Amendment 5 Sinn Féin voted to give the PSNI more enforcement powers even though no other incidents or events – including mass rallies of loyalists and racists to ‘protect statues’ – have been targeted by the PSNI.

Sinn Féin President and Vice-President Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill

In the South, by abstaining on the vote Sinn Féin gave the greenlight to legislation empowering the Special Criminal Court. Throughout its history Sinn Féin has voted against and called for the non-jury Special Criminal Court to be abolished. They’ve now turned their back on this position.

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A West Belfast Republican Funeral Breaches CoronaVirus Restrictions – Trouble Ahead

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The Sinn Féin organisers of Bobby Storey’s West Belfast funeral on June 30 2020 got plenty of advance warning – which they chose to ignore.

Suzanne Breen set the scene in the pages of the Belfast Telegraph :

Sinn Fein has adopted an uncompromising approach to fighting coronavirus in Northern Ireland. On school closures, workplace regulations and much more, the party has rightly insisted that health and safety trumps all else.

The funeral of Bobby Storey should be no different. No ifs, buts or maybes. It doesn’t matter that he was Sinn Fein’s northern chairman, spent 20 years in jail, or has heroic status for some in the republican community.

The same guidelines that apply when ordinary folk die apply to Bobby Storey, too. Just imagine the outrage there would be in the nationalist community if loyalists flouted the rules for a UDA or UVF funeral? https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/comment/sinn-fein-should-set-example-at-bobby-storeys-funeral-but-its-a-case-of-do-as-i-say-not-as-i-do-39319738.html

Dominic Cummings moments in the six county statelet :

Sinn Féin  President and  Vice-President  Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill
Bobby Storey’s Funeral in Belfast

PBP Belfast Councillor Matt Collins observes

At the risk of sounding repetitive I will make the point again….

The only people in Belfast who have been systematically targeted with fines, cautions and prosecution threats from the PSNI for breaching the regulations during this crisis have been BAME protestors taking part in safe, socially distant Black Lives Matter protests.

Such a fact— in a majority white city with tonnes of examples of proportionally different police treatment to other gatherings — is discrimination by definition.

People should be shouting loudly about this. Those in power keeping quiet about it are increasingly becoming part of the problem in my opinion.

The double standards were also highlighted by Vincent Doherty.

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Strange resurrection in Tallaght – Sinn Féin‘s Martial Arts Fighter Paddy Holohan returns to the stage after a 5 month suspension – political gobshitism in action

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Many people were startled by this news report :

Paddy Holohan suspended by Sinn Féin for remarks about women and underage girls during #ge2020 tonight nominated for Mayor of South Dublin by Sinn Féin councillors.

“Paddy Holohan

@PaddyHolohanMMA

County Council Annual General Meeting.

Honoured to be nominated in the running for Mayor of South Dublin by my sinn_fein comrades, Congratulations to the incoming mayor and a job welldone to the outgoing Mayor… https://instagram.com/p/CB5_3LFFiU3/?igshid=uy8eg795a10b

Mr Holohan made a number of racist and woman-hating statements, prompting his party leader Mary Lou McDonald to take swift disciplinary action in January 2020 :

Speaking in Bray, Co Wicklow, described the comments about women as “beyond offensive” and “very upsetting”.

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Abolish The Special Criminal Court – it will die if an Irish Government is not formed on June 30 – but Sinn Féin and the Labour Party are riding to rescue it!

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A deadline of June 30 2020 approaches – if a government is not formed by then, the non-jury Special Criminal Court, will die.

Paul Murphy TD has a clear policy :

Abolish the Special Criminal Court

This no-jury court has been responsible for numerous false convictions, it has no place in a democratic society. It has allowed the state to abuse its power to frame innocent people for crimes they have not committed.

It is an affront to the right to a fair trial. It is an affront to the right to be tried by a jury of your peers. It is an affront to the idea of equality before the law. It is an affront to basic civil liberties. It is an affront to human rights as a whole. There are many ways to deal with potential jury intimidation which don’t require a subversion of our fundamental democratic rights.

But, hold on – cavalry are charging to the rescue!

An update from a Cedar Lounge Revolution correspondent : “A watershed moment in Irish politics today: Sinn Fein for the first time in its history did not vote against the Offences Against the State Act and the attendant emergency powers, including the non jury Special Criminal Court. It is hard to imagine them sending a stronger signal that their house training has been completed and the state does not have to fear their involvement in government.

“With the Greens also abandoning their traditional civil liberties opposition to the OASA, the only voices against were Solidarity – People Before Profit and the SocDems. Strong speeches as you would expect from Paul Murphy (Rise) and Brid Smith (PBP). Fair play to Catherine Murphy (Soc Dems) for being the only liberal speaker to show some backbone when it comes to civil liberties.” https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2020/06/24/what-you-want-to-say-24-june-2020/#comment-771420

Members of the Irish Senate are on manoeuvres to the right of Leo Varadkar’s lame duck Fine Gael government.

The linked article below clarifies that if the Michael McDowell led legal challenge succeeds, the grossly undemocratic non-jury Special Criminal Court will not die on June 30 next.

It makes sense that the right-wing McDowell, a former government minister belonging to the extinguished Progressive Democrat party, takes legal action to extend the life-span and powers of the lame duck Varadkar régime. McDowell is joined by legal colleague Ivana Bacik of the Labour Party and assorted gombeens from Seanad Éireann!

Is this part of the final political epitaph of the Irish Labour Party and Sinn Féin – we saved the Special Criminal Court with Michael McDowell?

During the 1978 Sallins Train Robbery Special Criminal Court Frame Up Trial of 4 IRSP Members one of the 3 Judges constantly fell asleep. Defence counsel protests were dismissed. Then the judge died. Justice still sleeps in the Special Criminal Court in 2020.
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Bobby Storey has passed away – Suzanne Breen reviews the life of a Peace Process IRA soldier

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Most lives contain a mix of the Good, Bad, and Ugly. The long war in the bit of Ireland 🇮🇪 directly controlled by Britain 🇬🇧 finished in the 1990’s, and was, according to the Official Version (OV), replaced by peace. We are all expected to go along with the OV, while the British and Irish ruling classes protect their own interests. We are supposed to Keep Up Appearances (KUA)!

OV’s and KUA are politically lethal. People rise to the top who are masters of loyalty to leadership hierarchies, which protect reactionary unethical behaviour. Bobby Storey was a very talented man. According to former Long Kesh prisoner Anthony McIntyre Storey held his nerve during a daring 1983 prison escape :

McIntyre said that when the 1983 escape started going wrong after the prisoners reached the Maze tally lodge Storey took control of the situation. “He held it together, thought on his feet, and directed people as to what to do. I later asked him how he’d managed that. He said he had been as terrified as everybody else, but the trick lay in overcoming those feelings and getting the job done.”

Storey probably masterminded the 2004 Northern Bank robbery and a 2002 IRA raid of British Secret Service Headquarters in Castlereagh. In both instances the Peace Process motored along very smoothly. KUA triumphed. The organisation which robbed the bank raid and broke into Castlereagh was supposed to be on a ceasefire. And there was a dark side – Bobby Storey was totally loyal to a party leadership which protected its own interests. Gerry Adams never had to account for the disappearance of Jean McConville. How much else is hidden from view?

Keeping Up Appearances – the Chuckle Sisters

Bobby Storey, and his organisation, prop up a Stormont Parliament in Belfast, run by a corrupt politician called Arlene Foster, responsible for a major financial scandal, the Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI). Keeping Up Appearances.

After Bobby Storey’s death, his republican organisation sheds another republican principle – abolition of the non-jury Special Criminal Court in the 26 County State. Keeping up appearances, as the facade crumbles : https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/06/24/abolish-the-special-criminal-court-it-will-die-if-an-irish-government-is-not-formed-on-june-30-but-sinn-fein-and-the-labour-party-are-riding-to-rescue-it/

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