Exposed: Globally Renowned Activist Collaborated With Intelligence Firm Stratfor 08:10 Dec 05 0 comments
Galway Bay salmon farm halted as EU concerned by ‘Fundamental errors’ in scientific data 00:08 Dec 01 0 comments
Tom Gilmartin -Key Planning Tribunal Witness -dies and is buried 22:40 Nov 27 0 comments
P.O.W Christmas Appeal 18:43 Nov 25 0 commentsmore >>
For Lefties too Stubborn to Quit
What you want to say? Open Thread, 11th December 2013 02:17 Wed Dec 11, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
The tyranny of working life 13:15 Tue Dec 10, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
After Privatisation 06:04 Tue Dec 10, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Nelson Mandelas speech , with his handwritten notes, from Dublin 1st July 1990 13:11 Mon Dec 09, 2013 | irishelectionliterature
Party polls? 12:43 Mon Dec 09, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Rentier Incomes and Financial Interests (2003) - Gerald Epstein, Dorothy Power 20:25 Sat Dec 07, 2013
5 Harbourmaster Place - Dublin Tardis 22:18 Wed Dec 04, 2013
Wilt thou not chase the white whale! Art not game for Moby Dick? 12:01 Wed Dec 04, 2013
Solidarity Books Launch: Sins of the Father 2nd Ed. by Dr Conor McCabe 09:24 Fri Nov 29, 2013
Using ?Legal Obstacles? like Barricades in the Class War 11:23 Mon Nov 25, 2013
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
Video interview with former Dunnes Stores Strikers en route to Nelson Mandela?s ... Mon Dec 09, 2013 17:14 | Daniel Finn
South Africa?s Unfinished Democratic Revolution Mon Dec 09, 2013 13:06 | Daniel Finn
December Issue of Socialist Voice Out Now Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:41 | Communist Party of Ireland
On the Death of Nelson Mandela Fri Dec 06, 2013 09:15 | Communist Party of Ireland
Irish Landscape Institute Lecture given by Brendan McGrath -Viewing Landscape in... Thu Dec 05, 2013 16:53 | Irish Left Review
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
A shot at bias in the media
Separating the News from the Noise Thu Apr 04, 2013 21:14
Blessed with nothing but good intentions Fri Feb 22, 2013 18:04
The Household Charge - How They Failed to Shape Our Perspectives Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:48
The web's political rainbow Wed Dec 07, 2011 09:47
The Forgotten Constituency: The Majority and The Irish Economic Crisis Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:49
Daniel Finn - Mon Dec 09, 2013 17:14
Related PostsDecember 7, 2009 Aidwatchers | African leaders advise Bono on reform of U2 (2)April 17, 2008 Interview: The Paper Round Pundits (3)October 14, 2013 From Alpha to Omega Podcast: A Model Economist (0)April 28,...
Daniel Finn - Mon Dec 09, 2013 13:06
Nelson Mandela?s death has elicited fulsome tributes from those who were happy to truck with the apartheid regime when he was in prison. There?s no need to linger over their hypocrisy here. Those who supported the struggle against apartheid before it was easy or fashionable will rightly mourn a great popular leader whose personal sacrifices are well-documented. Yet Mandela leaves behind an ambiguous legacy for South Africa. Strongly influenced by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the triumph of neo-liberalism in the West, Mandela and the ANC leadership accepted a peace settlement that left the economic structures of apartheid in place while the political system was being democratized. Two decades after the first multi-racial elections were held, white households still earn almost $50,000 a year on average, compared to $8,000 for their black counterparts. This article was first published by the Irish Socialist Network as a pamphlet in 2009. Since it was written, Jacob Zuma has replaced Thabo Mbeki as South African president and ANC leader. More importantly, the massacre of 34 striking miners at Marikana in 2012 has dramatized like nothing else the yawning gulf between the ANC and the people who brought it to power. As Mandela himself warned in 1993: ?How many times has a labour movement supported a liberation movement, only to find itself betrayed on the day of liberation? There are many examples of this in Africa. If the ANC does not deliver the goods you must do to it what you did to the apartheid regime.? Writing in 1989, the journalist Heidi Holland concluded her sympathetic history of the African National Congress (ANC) with a warning about economic policy in the post-apartheid era: ?The greatest threat to future economic prosperity under majority rule is that blacks may have become so disillusioned by the capitalist system, identifying it with repression, that they will demand sweeping nationalization of industry.? Two decades later, her concerns appear totally misplaced. But they would have found support in the early remarks of Nelson Mandela after his liberation from Robben Island: ?The nationalization of the mines, banks and monopoly industry is the policy of the ANC and a change or modification of our views in this regard is inconceivable.? We know now that a reversal of the ANC?s commitment to public ownership was anything but ?inconceivable?. The movement that led the struggle against apartheid for half a century has embraced the orthodoxy of the ?Washington Consensus? and governed in strict accordance with neo-liberal tenets. Whether this move is considered a welcome embrace of pragmatism or a shameful capitulation, its emphatic nature cannot be denied. Thabo Mbeki?s willing description of himself as a ?Thatcherite? could readily be applied to his party and government as a whole.
Communist Party of Ireland - Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:41
The December issue of Socialist Voice is out now. Read it online or download it here.[pdf] Articles in this issue include:
Communist Party of Ireland - Fri Dec 06, 2013 09:15
Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland, 5 December 2013 The Communist Party of Ireland expresses its great sadness at the death of one of the great anti-colonial leaders of the late twentieth century, Nelson Mandela. Mandela was a towering and inspirational figure, a leader of the oppressed of South Africa and beyond. Together with other liberation leaders he was convicted in the Rivonia Trial, concerning two charges of sabotage, one under the Suppression of Communism Act and one under the General Law Amendment Act. Their arrest and trial provoked worldwide solidarity, with money being collected in Ireland and around the world in the early 1960s to be sent to the International Defence and Aid Fund to assist Mandela and the other liberation prisoners in their legal defence. At this moment it is important to acknowledge the major contribution made by working people around the world to Mandela's liberation. Despite spending decades incarcerated in apartheid prisons, he remained unbowed and unbroken. His walk to freedom, with his wife, Winnie Mandela, beside him, was a defining image of the late twentieth century. The white apartheid regime, which for decades nestled snugly under the protective wing of western governments, did not and could not break him or the people?s resistance. In one of his first speeches Mandela paid tribute to the unbreakable and unselfish solidarity given to the oppressed masses of South Africa by the Soviet Union and the socialist bloc, as against the inaction and active collaboration of almost all western government with the apartheid regime that incarcerated him for twenty-seven years. Mandela also paid tribute to the heroic Cuban internationalists who defeated the invading South African army on the battlefields of Angola, which marked the beginning of the end of apartheid South Africa. No doubt those same western governments will now heap false praise on this champion of human liberation, though they did nothing to help during his long incarceration. With his passing we also remember the thousands of ordinary citizens, both inside and outside South Africa, who campaigned for his release and for the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime but whose demands fell on deaf ears for many decades. With the death of Nelson Mandela humanity has lost a deeply humane and committed liberation leader. We salute him and all the great leaders and fighters who struggled, and those who are still struggling, for freedom and social liberation. The long walk to freedom still has many miles to go.
Irish Landscape Institute Lecture given by Brendan McGrath -Viewing Landscape in all its Complexity: 12.12.2013
Irish Left Review - Thu Dec 05, 2013 16:53
Viewing Landscape in all its Complexity: The Planning Perspective
Thursday 12th December 2013 at 6.30pm Goethe Institut, Merrion Square East, Dublin 2The Irish Landscape Institute present an evening event to explore the special relationship between landscape and planning with Brendan McGrath, speaking about his new book Landscape and Society in Contemporary Ireland (Cork University Press, 2013). All welcome, please rsvp to: email@example.com About Landscape and Society in Contemporary Ireland: Ireland stands out as a country which has landscapes that are admired the world over and a society that is ill at ease with the places it inhabits. We tend to assume that when we look at a hill or a valley or a row of houses, our neighbours see much the same as we do, but this is often not the case. The book outlines the country?s outstanding landscape heritage. Changes to that heritage are then explored from different perspectives, with landscape viewed as commodity and symbol and as an expression of beauty. Three especially contentious types of development are described in detail; wind farms, rural housing and the designation of countryside for public recreation and enjoyment.
Irish Left Review - Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:34
Statement from Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199 There is a special category of up to 30,000 low-income distressed mortgage holders who do not have sufficient income to enable them to avail of the personal insolvency procedure put in place by the government. Labour has abandoned them to repossession and eviction. The Irish people have a long history of resisting evictions. Workers and Unemployed Action, in accordance with this noble tradition, will support these families in resisting repossessions and evictions. On December 3, at Leaders Questions in the Dáil, I asked the Tánaiste and Labour Party Leader, Eamonn Gilmore, the following questions: (1) Last week the Taoiseach refused to answer my question on the issue but he repeatedly stated that there is a solution for everyone in mortgage distress. Does the Tánaiste regard bankruptcy and repossession of the family home as a solution for those blameless families? Is that the reason the Government removed the legal ban on repossessions? One could ask whether that is the reason the indefensible situation has arisen whereby the Government has allowed the Central Bank to reduce the moratorium on repossessions from 12 months to two months. Will the Government ensure that the families which have fully engaged and have modest mortgages that are not buy-to-let properties, who are not strategic defaulters - will the Tánaiste ensure that these families will be allowed to remain in their homes? (2) The Icelandic Government announced today that it will defy the banks by writing off up to ?24,000 of household mortgages. Iceland obviously has real sovereignty. Will the Government exercise sovereignty by preventing reckless bailed-out banks, some owned by international vulture capitalists, from evicting 30,000 families in this country? Mr Gilmore did not answer either question but continued to assert that these families do not face repossession despite the evidence. He expressed meaningless wishes such as: ?We want every family and householder in mortgage difficulty to have that difficulty resolved and to avoid up losing their home? He said that each distressed mortgage would have to be dealt with ?on a case by case basis?. He is clearly refusing to take any action to protect this special category of low income mortgage holders. His ?case by case basis? places the individual mortgage holder at the tender mercy of the banks. My question was based on a Report by the company Grant Thornton Debt Solutions which showed that thousands of distressed mortgage holders, unemployed or lowly paid, did not have sufficient income to avail of the Personal Insolvency procedure put in place by the government. This is because their income is below the minimum permitted living expenses for their household and consequently have no money to give to the bank each month. An interview with Michael McAteer, senior partner with Grant Thornton, can be heard by clicking here. Mr McAteer makes clear that the only option for these low income families is to seek bankruptcy. Under bankruptcy law, which has recently been revised, ownership of all assets of the bankrupt person including the family home are transferred to the Official Assignee for the benefit of the creditors (the bank). In the last 12 months, Mr Gilmore's government has removed the absolute ban on repossession of the family home. The Government has also reduced the one year delay before a bank can take legal action for repossession against a person who can?t pay a mortgage to a mere two months. Mr Gilmore and the Labour Party have removed the protections for unemployed and low income distressed mortgage holders. They are clearly on the side of the banks.
Irish Left Review - Wed Dec 04, 2013 09:38
Ireland?s leading magazine for progressive news, views and solutions ? available in Easons stores and selected newsagents across the country ? 48 pages for just ?2/£1.50. The new issue of LookLeft (vol.2 no.17) includes: News Features All Politics are Local The 2014 local elections in the Republic should offer an opportunity for the left to make major gains but are they capable of taking advantage? Dara McHugh and Kevin Squires report. Thinking of a Better Way Justin O?Hagan examines the work of progressive think tanks in mapping a better economic and social future for Northern Ireland. Bringing the Vote Home Irish citizens forced out of their homeland by economic mismanagement are organising to demand a say in the country?s future, reports Hilary Rock-Gormley. A Comradeship of Heroes Kevin Brannigan reports on efforts to maintain the memory of the Irish Brigadistas. News Denis O?Brien linked to company installing water meters Overwhelming support for neutrality McStrike! Places of learning or profit? Barriers in access to the pill And much more? The Forum Ireland ? NATO?s Next Target ? Padraig Mannion Ending the long night for women ? Fiona Dunkin Building a fair city ? Paul Dillon Does Ireland need a new Left party? ? John Lowry More than a morality tale ? Conor McCabe Showdown in the classroom ? Anne Finnegan Plus international features on the Left and Scottish Independence, interview with the Iraqi Communist Party, the Rise of Republicanism in Spain, culture and history and much more? Buy it now only ?2
Michael Taft - Tue Dec 03, 2013 17:39
The drums are beating. Throughout the nation we hear a growing chorus demanding tax cuts (including the leader of the Labour Party) to relieve ?hard-pressed? families. And this demand is being buttressed by some highly misleading claims that Ireland is a high public spending country. According to Brendan Keenan, using recent OECD data, we are a high-spender. There?s even a cartoon in the article showing Ireland ?fat? with too much public spending, compared to ?lean? European countries. Is Ireland a high spender compared to European countries? Of course not. One has to know how to read these figures. For instance, the OECD data for 2011 includes special bank payments arising out of the financial crisis. When this is removed (and it represents some 5 percent of GDP), Irish spending falls well down the table. It is highly misleading to claim that Ireland is a high-spending country while including payments to banks; unless one wants to make the argument that Ireland is a ?high bank-subsidising? country which is certainly true. So, can we assess Ireland?s ranking in the EU-15 spending table? Yes, with the help of the EU?s AMECO database. We?ll look at 2014. Even though this money hasn?t been spent yet, AMECO is working off of country?s estimated expenditure under their individual Stability Programme updates. Any change would be marginal. We?ll also exclude interest payments since we want to focus on spending on public services, social protection, subsidies and investment. Further, we?ll exclude defence spending. So what do we find when we examine government spending per capita (after all, Keenan says ?spending per person tells its own tale?)?
Sarah Clancy - Tue Dec 03, 2013 15:18
and yet /we must live/ in these times
In the housing office the woman says if I need a house that I?ll have to tell the council I?m homeless or else bunk in with my parents and I feel the heat of tears in my eyes and let me tell you it?s not sadness I?m feeling it?s anger; after all of my years insisting that no one will ever call me victim in they come and do it from a whole different angle I didn?t see coming and they call it helping, these are the times that I live in still paying the tail end of my mortgage with no home to show for it and I wonder what I?ve absorbed that means even with all of my theories, my politics this, the oldest human endeavour; seeking out shelter has become shame-filled and on my way down through town Rosaleen asks for a fiver, I give it it?s easier to offer than to ask I reckon she says I am beautiful showing the limits of her English vocabulary, I am not what I am is damaged and raging, on days like this I seek the sea out and breath it, or I?ll write love poems to someone and you what do you do to get through it?
Michael Taft - Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:28
Remember all those observations? About how the highest income groups pay almost all the tax and how terrible it is that begrudging lefties want to tax them more? About how Ireland has the most progressive tax system in this quadrant of the Milky Way? The Government has lead the chorus making this claim but in truth it is not based on comparative measurement of tax progressivity (see Note at the end of this post for a discussion of the Government?s claim). So along comes a study that blows those arguments away. Dr. Micheal Collins and Dara Turnbull investigated the issue in a working paper published by the Nevin Economic Research Institute, based on the CSO?s Household Budget Survey 2009/10. They found that, contrary to the received wisdom, the poorest 10 percent income group pays as much tax as the top 10 percent tax and that our tax system is far less progressive than some have claimed. Here?s the bottom line chart.
Oh, my. The poorest 10 percent income group pays a tax rate of 28 percent ? that is, their tax payments make up 28 percent of total income (which includes income from work and social transfers). The top 10 percent pays a tax rate of 29 percent. Doesn?t look that progressive to me. How could this be? Micheal and Dara estimated the impact of all taxation ? income tax, USC, PRSI, and (and this is the key innovation of this study) indirect tax such as VAT and Excise, and levies such as TV licenses and vehicle taxes. Previously, claims about the tax contribution of high income groups narrowly focused on income tax and, sometimes, PRSI. But these make up only part of the tax system. Over 40 percent of tax revenue comes from indirect taxation. The following shows the extent to which indirect taxation undermines the progressivity of the tax system.
Unsurprisingly, the lowest income groups pay substantially more of their income on VAT, excise and levies than higher income groups. So when this is combined with direct taxation ? income tax, USC and PRSI ? we get only an overall marginally progressive effect.