Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Poll: 99% of people believe Irish polls are worthless.

Last week the National TV3/Millward Brown Poll dramatically announced figures that showed Labour winning the next Irish general election, if it were held the next day, while the Greens would be wiped out, and Sinn Féin would be left with one TD. A few days later the REDC poll showed Fine Gael winning the election and had Sinn Féin on 10%, which meant a substantial increase of our representation in Leinster house. Who was telling the truth?

The truth is that the people conducting these polls are engaged in an act very similar to using a wood chisel and coconut milk to preform keyhole brain surgery. It might seem to some people to be a science, but any sane person knows its just stupid, a little dangerous and will end up giving you the mother of all headaches.

Polls are down this month!

No one knows what will happen in the next election. We all have ideas, and most people think Fianna Fail will take a hiding. But we thought that in 2007 and they pulled through by the skin of their teeth and the widespread publicising of their lies. There are people out there who vote Fianna Fail because their parents vote FF, and their parents before them. Those people will vote Fianna Fail in the next election, and even if Cowen closes every hospital in the country and appoints Mr Bean as the new head of the NTMA, they will continue to vote Fianna Fail.

Most of these polls are being over kind to Labour, and if anything will only hurt the potential of Gilmore's crew. Everyone knows that outside Dublin, Labours figures are optimistic to say the least. The only way they can show what they can do is to go through the next election. These polls may actually damage labour chances by making them such early favourites. Dick Springs labour didn't have to face as much pre election campaign exposure as the current party before the Spring Tide, so it is impossible to guess labours actual true strength at the moment. These polls are unfairly making opposition parties like labour the focus of media scrutiny while all the medias attention should be glued to the people who have bankrupted the country and still hold their positions in government.

The polls have continually targeted Enda Kenny to such an extent that members of his own party moved against him in a coup some months ago. It failed because Kenny had the support of the majority of his party. Who's to say that the polls are right about his popularity (or lack of it) with the general public?

The Irish media has a fascination with these polls. Last week they were fighting to get a piece of a gleeful Gilmore in the wake of the TV3/Millward Brown poll. The soundbites all predicted a new Spring Tide. A Gilmore Tsunami. Then along came the REDC poll and blew that out of the water. Or did it?

Maybe the Irish media should spend less time analysing polls and more time calling for an immediate general election, or at the very least, call for the three outstanding by-elections to be held.

90% of people believe they won't bother.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tales of the Golden Circle: Ireland's not so very secret conspiracy

What if we told you that a circle of influence, in which lies the big guns of Irish politics, banking, business and media, not only exists, but exists with the full knowledge of the majority of the population of Ireland?
Would you say no, that's impossible. Would you reason that the exposure of such an elite cable of parasites would inevitably lead to immediate social revolution and the overthrow of this golden circle? Would you accuse this blog of pandering to the sensationalist gutter press stories of overly ambitious "investigative journalists"?

One law for the rich, one for the poor
 The golden circle does exist, and is unfortunately much more than the wishful fantasies of an Trinity Trotskyist. The influence of this group continues to resonate around our nation, and it is their actions that left our country open to the worst possible effects of the global downturn and corrupted any chance we had of a quick recovery.
Ireland had an abundance of SUV's, holiday homes in Turkey and up market restaurants during the Tiger years. We also had a plentiful supply of corrupt, greedy bankers. The shady dealings and narcissistic granting of high wages and bonuses to themselves make bankers like Sean Fitzpatrick, Brian Goggin and Denis Casey the architects of our economic destruction. These people including "bankrupt" Fitzpatrick, have drawn the "get out of jail free" card in recession Ireland.

Fianna Fail looked after their closest (and richest) supporters during the boom
While the rest us face wage cuts, trips to the dole que and sleepless nights worrying will we lose the house, these guys will be living off their massive pension. Former Bank of Ireland Managing Director ,Goggin will receive €650,000 a year. Former Irish Life and Permanent Chief Executive Casey left his job with €4.6 million, which included a €2.9 million payment into his benefit pension. "Bankrupt" Fitzpatrick can look forward to living off his wives €3 million, which includes part of his €3.4 million pension which is supposedly being seized.
These bankers are criminals, and there is no doubt that they exploited their golden circle connections with politicians and big business to defraud the state. But our government has learned its lesson, hasn't it? Ask John Corrigan, the new chief of the National Treasury Management Agency who has a salary of €490,000 a year, with a possible bonus of €390,000. This is in a time that your government believes it may have to cut the children's allowance to balance our nations books. NTMA was formed to manage our national debt, not to increase it!

But at least our politicians are tightening their belts now, arnt they? They have taken wage cuts, and Brian Cowen even sacked seven junior ministers last year to save money. Well it turns out Brian felt sorry for the poor dears and handed them €25,000 each to lighten the blow. Ooops!
The Golden Circle lives on. In fact, it prospers and will continue to as long as Fianna Fail or Fine Gael are steering the government of Ireland. The only chance to destroy the golden circle is to keep these two rotting abominations of Irish history out of office. The only chance to see the rise of an Ireland without corruption is to use your democratic power and vote in a new alternative.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Trust your Leaders!" - James Connolly, 1915

Trust your leaders! Recently we have been treated to a homily upon the above text. Trust your leaders; what do you know of their plans and resources, or what amount of confidential information they may possess that is denied to the rank and file? That is good advice. We endorse it thoroughly; agree with it in every essential. Your leaders have a right to your confidence. Let them know that you will obey them – that is one kind of confidence. Let them know what the rank and file are thinking and saying – that is another sign of your confidence.

The last is the most sacred kind of confidence. It is the confidence you only give to a loved friend, a friend whom you love so much that even at the risk of wounding his feelings you are prepared, for his sake as well as your own, to challenge his judgment and impeach his wisdom. That is the highest kind of confidence ’ the most sacred kind of trust.

If you are adventuring under a leader of proven judgment in the task you both have set out to perform, do not question his judgment rashly. But if his experience is no more than yours - his judgment untested, and his experience nil, do not leave him to flounder along without that saving criticism which must in peace provide the only possible substitute for the terrible punishment with which mistaken judgment is visited in war. If you do, you are untrue to him, to yourself, and above all to the common cause. “Teach them, O Lord,” said a French writer, “that in the haven of Liberty there are neither heroes nor great men.”
In Ireland, however, we have ever seized upon mediocrities and made them our leaders; invested them in our minds with all the qualities we idealised, and then when we discovered that our leaders were not heroes but only common mortals, mediocrities, we abused them, or killed them, for failing to be any better than God made them.
Their failure dragged us down along with them because we had insisted that they were wiser than we were, and had stoned whoever declared them to be common mortals, and not all-wise geniuses. Our real geniuses and inspired apostles we never recognised, nor did we honour them. We killed them by neglect, or stoned them whilst they lived, and then went in reverent procession to their graves when they were dead.

We are raising our voice, or using our pen, to insist upon taking the military leaders of the Irish people into our confidence; to ask our readers to insist likewise that if the rank and file must obey, so also is it true that the leaders must listen. We see neither heroes nor great men amongst these leaders, and we are devoutly thankful that it is so. Being common mortals like ourselves we shall refuse to invest them with the super-sanctity of gods or the wisdom and foresight of prophets. And above all we refuse, and we counsel all others to refuse, to assume that our policies for Ireland in this crisis are identical until we know that they are. At a time when all they hold dear trembles in the balance, should the armed citizens of Ireland fall in behind leaders without questioning what are the policies of those leaders, or what their outlook upon the immediate future?
We do not call for public pronouncements from them, but every man is the guardian of his own conscience and responsible to that conscience if he shirks his duty to his country and its cause. By your choice of a leader now you make your choice of the part you shall play in the hour of destiny. How can you make that choice wisely if you do not know what that leader’s policy for the future is?
Do not be deceived, nor deceive yourself by words. For instance, when you hear that some one will ‘fight conscription,’ push the question until you find out what he means by ‘fighting’ conscription.

The Quakers in England will fight conscription, the Dukhobors of Russia will fight conscription, the ‘No Conscription Fellowship’ is already fighting conscription. But no blows are or will be struck by them – indeed their ‘fighting’ consists in refusing to strike blows. Is that your method, or that of your leaders? Or do you prefer the method of that Catholic priest who recently advised his people to send a deputation of their ten best shots to meet the conscriptors? Words are said to be the medium by which we express our ideas, but in Ireland words are generally the means by which we conceal our ideas. Do not let them be so used in this great game now being played.
It is poor quibbling to say that the Workers’ Republic stands for reckless fighting and ill-considered action. It does not. The Workers’ Republic holds that at any time since the war broke out the British Government could have been halted in its inroads upon public liberties in Ireland by a flat refusal on the part of the majority of its armed citizens to allow their rights as citizens to be interfered with.
It needed no insurrection, no flying to arms, no storming of jails, it only needed that the armed Volunteers who claimed to stand for Ireland should mobilise and speak for Ireland. And so speaking should declare that they would not demobilise until all orders of deportation were withdrawn, and full liberty accorded to the Irish Volunteers to organise under their own chosen offcers. Not a troop would have been moved against them, nor a shot fired. The competent military authority would have been repudiated as readily as was the gentleman responsible for ordering out the military on Howth Sunday.
Does anyone imagine that at that period of Captain Robert Monteith’s deportation, when everything was going wrong with England, that she would have hesitated to sacrifice her dignity or swallow an affront, rather than provoke in Ireland a conflict that she knew would have tested severely the loyalty of the reserves newly recalled to the colours? Just as Redmond could have gained Home Rule by refusing to speak in the House of Commons until he had called a Convention in Ireland upon the outbreak of the war, so the leaders of the Irish Volunteers could have prevented the flowing over this island of the wave of military despotism by quietly challenging its force when first it broke upon us. But neither had the requisite imagination. Both essayed to grapple a revolutionary situation with the weapons of a constitutional agitation.
The tyranny we have since suffered under has been progressive in its virulence. At first it was only Government employees like Captain Monteith who were arrested or deported, now it is any civilian under any conceivable circumstance. Tyranny grows with what it feeds upon.
We are told that the arrest of our leaders would justify action. Our leaders would have been arrested long ago were it not for the fact that at the protest meeting held by the Citizen Army against the deportation of Captain Monteith it was declared by the chief speaker that the arrest of the Volunteer leaders would be a proof to their followers that the British had been defeated at sea, or that the Germans had landed. Fear lest the people of Ireland should so interpret their arrest has spared them to us up till now.

We believe in constitutional action in normal times; we believe in revolutionary action in exceptional times. These are exceptional times.
When General Friend took down the sign from over Liberty Hall he did not do so in order to provoke us to insurrection. He calculated that a body of 100 armed men would scarcely spring to arms at such an insult after a body of 5,000 armed men had submitted meekly to a greater one in the same city. His calculation was right. Had the numbers been changed his calculation might have missed. We acquit the competent military authority of any intention to provoke a revolt. But we are glad that it was not a Labour paper that pointed out to him that he could at any time provoke a revolt by seizing the leaders of the Volunteers. We are sure that he is grateful for the suggestion, but we do not believe that he needed it.
What do you think of the wisdom of those who tell you to be patient and trust your leaders whose plans you do not understand, but if those leaders are arrested, fly to arms? If your leaders who alone have plans are arrested your flying to arms will be that of a leaderless mob in a planless insurrection. And you know, don’t you, that the same voices who talk thus of flying to arms, would then talk of waiting until your new leaders would have made new plans to meet the new situation? Finally: think over this chunk of wisdom. A revolutionist who surrenders the initiative to the enemy is already defeated before a blow is struck. It is a fine day if it wasn’t for the rain.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Patients before Profit

A leaked HSE document given to South East Radio during the week states that the HSE plans to downgrade Wexford General Hospital's A&E unit to daytime only, and to remove Wexford's Mmaternity and Pediatric units, forcing patients needing these services to go to Waterford.
The HSE has responded by saying that this is only one of several draft documents being put forward for discussion, and that nothing is finalised yet. Hardly reassuring words. Now I'm not saying that this blog doesn't trust the word of the HSE or that this blog believes that those involved in the "reconfiguration" process are untrustworthy, but promises have been broken in the past.

HSE are gambling with the lives of Wexford people
 At the start of the Summer, twenty five beds were removed from Wexford General as a "temporary" cost cutting measure. The beds were to be returned in September. Those who voiced concern over this promise from the HSE and the management of Wexford Hospital, including Wexford SF, were labeled paranoid. The HSE then announced that the beds would not be returned until at least 2014, but its ok everyone because apparently Wexford doesn't need the beds.
Or so they believe in the magical world of HSE Bureaucracy. In the real world of hospital trolleys, waiting lists and general degradation of the sick, theres a different cconsensus. In the real world, the loss of those beds is called downgrading, something that the HSE deny is happening in Wexford at the moment. In the real world, the broken promises from the HSE and the management of the hospital is called lying through your teeth to the public.

Today Dr. Colm Quigley, head of the "reconfiguration" process at Wexford General, resigned for personal reasons. What a coincidence that he would come to this decision twenty four hours after the release of the leaked HSE document. Is Dr. Quigley a rat deserting a ship?
He denies that he is but he also said that those twenty five beds would be returned at the end of the Summer.
Liar, liar, pants on fire...
Dr. Quigley says that "reconfiguration" will eventually produce a better health system, which will include the creation of regional centres of excellence. A noble sentiment, and I'm sure we would all welcome these centres of excellence. But not at the expense of the loss of services at hospitals like Wexford.
The HSE has made balancing the books the order of the day, and have clearly forgotten that the welfare of the patient must come first.

Enniscorthy SF protest against health cuts
We live in a civilised society where we believe that people are entitled to such things as dignity and health care. We believe that health care is a right and not a privilege.
However since the formation of the HSE, there has been a general policy pushed by them to remove that right. The policy of taking the right to health care away from Irish citizens was clear in the popularisation of the two tiered health service and in the current reconfiguration/downgrading process currently being prepared for Wexford, and the greater nation.

Cllr Anthony Kelly & Ann Hogan in Wexford town last year
These actions spit in the face of the promises of rights for all laid down in our proclamation of 1916 and our democratic programme of 1919, and cannot be accepted by the Irish people. Previous generations of Irish people sacrificed all for their rights and the rights of future generations. If we do nothing now, how will history judge us?
The people of Wexford must take to the streets, not for a photo shoot on a Summers day, but for a prolonged campaign to combat any downgrading and ensure that future generations will have the right to good health care. Now is the time for action.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A new Republic to end recession

"The Republic guarantees the right of every citizen to an adequate share of the produce of the nations labour" - Democratic Programme of the first Dail Éireann, 1919.

Four hundred and fifty five thousand people are now unemployed in Ireland. Emigration has reached its highest levels in twenty years. The recession has engulfed all and we are told that the only possible return to a near prosperous state is by the introduction of stern cuts that will effect every single Irish citizen in the next budget.
Every citizen must pay to dig Ireland out.
But should every citizen pay? What are they paying for? And why should it be the duty of every citizen to pay now when many of them did not benefit from the prosperous years and have nothing left to show for their labour?
The Irish Republic dreamed of by Pearse and Connolly was based on equality. The 1919 Democratic Programme of the first Dail enshrined these principals as the pillars of the nation that would be won. Unfortunately successive Irish governments have forgotten those principals and have allowed the pillars to decay, and to collapse. Celtic Tiger Ireland knew no equality, only greed.

The first Dail
 The people who benefited from that greed are the ones who are now preparing to impose massive cuts and taxation upon the rest of us. They are the ones who blew more money than any Irish government in history. They are the ones who lied and cheated to stay in power, and sacrificed building for the future with auction style economics, constantly outbidding the opposition with spectacular rises in benefits. They are the ones who inflated our bubble until it had to burst. They are the ones to blame, the ones who should be paying now.
And what do they want you to pay for?
The government have so far pumped €33 billion into banks and building societies, who need money to pay back loans that they should never have accepted from international bondsmen. Your government wants you to pay for their corruption and stupidity.
The government has so far paid €13 billion for real estate loans that were once worth €27.2 billion. Your government wants you to pay for the greed of property tycoons and developers, many of whom are still rich and living the high life abroad.

The government are pushing these insane policies despite them being extremely unpopular with our citizens.
The fact is that if the government were to follow the programme of 1919, there would be no need for doomsday cuts.
It has been estimated that Ireland's offshore oil and gas reserves are worth €420 billion. To put that in perspective, its 840,000 times the cost of providing an extra acute hospital bed. Imagine what a competent, non corrupt government could do with such income? Imagine what a government that accepts the principal of 1919, that every citizen shall get "an adequate share of the produce of the nations labour", could do?
What has our current government done with these reserves?
Green Minister Eamon Ryan has continued to issue licences to multinationals on the terms laid down by Ray Burke and Bertie Ahern, who changed Irish law in 1987 and 1992 in favour of the multinationals.
These companies now have the right to own 100% of the oil and gas reserves that they find under Irish waters, and have to pay no royalties on it.

Fianna Fail, and previous Irish governments which included Fine Gael and Labour, believed it was their right to decide the fate of these oil and gas reserves. Never for a moment did they refer back to the principals of equality laid out in 1919. In fact, only one Irish political party believes in these principals. They are the only party who will oppose all cuts. They are Sinn Féin.

"To establish in the Republic a reign of social justice based on Irish Republicanism and socialist principals in accordance with the proclamation of the Republic of 1916 and the Democratic Programme of the first Dail Eireann in 1919 and by a just distribution and effective control of the nations wealth and resources, and to institute a system of government suited to the particular needs of the people" - Sinn Féin Constitution

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spirit of '98 alive at Great Island

The protesters who are currently involved in picketing the site of the new Endesa Power Plant in Great Island in South Wexford have vowed to keep fighting until a satisfactory outcome is reached.
The protest broke out after workers learned that foreign workers were to be brought in and under paid during the construction phase of the multi-million euro project. Polish workers have joined Irish workers in not crossing the picket line.

Great Island
 Endesa have claimed that they don't understand the nature of the protest, saying that this job is a simple overhaul, and not the first phase of the project. This sounds like the poorly prepared lies of a company that has been well known to exploit workers in other countries.
For too long, during the Tiger years, Irish people were prepared to ignore the exploitation of foreign workers here. This exploitation led in part to the collapse of the Irish construction industry. Foreign workers were not to blame. The blame lays with those businesses who exploited them.
Endesa is such a business.
If we are going to reach the light at the end of this very dark recession tunnel, then we must put new laws in place that will prevent  any worker from being exploited in the future.
During the great recession, the Americans adopted the policy of "an honest days pay for an honest days work". Its time for Irish society to adopt such principals. Its time for us to punish the likes of Endesa, who continue to ignore wage laws. Its time to build our new Ireland.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sinn Féin rep. goes after government criminals

Dublin Sinn Féin representative, Eoin O' Broin is demanding that Gardaí launch a fraud inquiry to investigate the Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and top officials at Bank of Ireland and AIB. Mr O' Broin has contacted Gardaí at Pearse Street in Dublin, saying the men should face questions on whether they deliberately withheld information from the Dáil regarding the insolvency of Anglo Irish Bank. He also wants the chiefs of the banks to answer questions on whether they withheld information from Mr Cowen and Mr Lenihan in meetings before the enactment of the bank guarantee scheme which led to huge financial loss for the Irish taxpayer.

Criminals should be prosecuted.
O' Broins move comes in the wake of the decision by Iceland authorities to bring charges against former government ministers over their alleged failings connected to the economic crisis. The ministers, including former PM Geir H. Haarde will now be sent to court where they will have to prove their innocence. In such a climate, it comes as no surprise that someone should bring similar charges against our own incompetent government. Every man, woman and child in this country has been effected by their failures to deal with the economic decimation of our nation, and if you walk into any public gathering in Ireland, you will hear our citizens criticising this government for their inaction.

The only surprise is that it was left to a Sinn Féin representative to do this, while the supposed main opposition of Fine Gael/ Labour sat on their thumbs, sniggering about Brian Cowens alcohol problems. It was left to a Sinn Féin representative to take action while the many banner waving "socialist" parties did nothing, except perhaps critising Sinn féins status as a peoples party because they don't waste time holding meetings to discuss the finer points of dogma created by men who have been dead for a century. It was left to a Sinn Féin representative to take the peoples fight to the heart of the corrupt regime in Leinster house while the rest did nothing.

Eoin O' Broin deserves a medal for bringing this action against these people, who have been protected by the inadequacies of the opposition, and their amiable relationship with the O' Reilly media for so long. Now is not the time to sit back and allow Joe Duffy to tell us that this is Ireland, and not Iceland or Greece. Don't listen to Kevin Myers tell you that Eoin O' Broin  is a supporter of terrorism who wants to eat your children and turn the country into a homosexual, vegetarian, communist utopia. Don't mind George Hook when he tells you that the Government are to blame but bringing them to court is a step to far, and will turn Ireland into a joke.

"Breaking stones in the mid day sun..."
They have already succeeded in turning Ireland into a joke.
The protesters in Greece carried banners declaring proudly, "WE ARE NOT THE IRISH".
This is not the view of Ireland I want the rest of the world to have. This is not the way I would like future generations of Irish men and Irish women to remember us.
We are Irish and we are proud. We don't lie down for anyone, and we certainly don't allow rulers to get away with hell and leave us lying in the gutter. Just ask the english.
Ninety four years ago, brave Irish men and Irish women rose up against a corrupt regime that seemed untouchable at the time. Though few in number, and though eventually forced to surrender, the news of their actions spread around the globe, and the memory of their rising has inspired Irish people the world over since.

Our own Irish Republican Super Hero, O' Broinman?
Eoin O' Broin has taken the fight to the government, but he cant do so alone. It is time for all of us to rise up and stand behind O' Broin. Its time to get rid of these criminals and the equally guilty main opposition that have allowed them to stay in their Ivory tower for so long.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Are you entitled to the Farm Assist Allowance?

Many farmers are currently struggling to maintain their lifestyle. Many small farmers were up until recently supplementing their incomes by holding down a second job in the construction industry. With this gone, many of them may not be aware that they may now be entitled to a form of social welfare aimed at farmers.

Farm Assist is a means-tested income support scheme for farmers in Ireland. It is similar to Jobseeker's

Allowance, but has a more generous means test. In addition, you do not need to be available for work in order to qualify for Farm Assist.

When you apply for Farm Assist, a social welfare officer will call to see you and ask to see various documents. For example, accounts prepared for tax purposes, creamery returns, cattle registration cards, details of headage payments, area aid, etc. They will also want information on the sale of crops, cattle, milk and other produce. The officer will then assess the costs actually and necessarily incurred in connection with the running of the farm. These costs may include rent, annuities, the cost of inputs like feed and fertiliser and the depreciation of farm machinery. Labour costs are taken into account, with the exception of the labour of the farmer and spouse. The farmer is entitled to receive a copy of the farm income calculation.

Your income from a job is assessed. Your assessable weekly earnings (gross income less PRSI, union dues and superannuation fees) are assessed usually on the basis of the 13 weeks before you claim. Not all of your income is taken into account. €20 per day (up to a maximum of €60) from casual work will be
deducted from your assessable weekly earnings and then 60% of the balance will be assessed as weekly means. Your spouses income will also be taken into account.
Irish Farmers are often forgotten, but they too are fighting poverty in post Tiger Ireland.

Income from capital includes property, savings and investments. If you own property that you are not personally using or you have investments or any other form of capital, the value is assessed, using a special
formula. You may or may not be getting an income from the property or investment.

The value of capital is assessed as follows:

The first €20,000 of the capital is disregarded

€20,000 to €30,000 is assessed at €1 for every €1,000

Next €10,000 is assessed at €2 per €1,000

Excess of €40,000 is assessed at €4 per €1,000

Your total means from all sources are added together. A Department of Social Protection deciding officer will then decide how much, if any, Farm Assist you will get. You can appeal a decision if you are unhappy with it. You should appeal with 21 days of the decision and you can ask for an oral hearing. An Appeals Officer, whose decision is final, will then hear your case. If new information comes to light or your circumstances change, you can apply for Farm Assist again.

Further questions in connection with Farm Assist should be addressed to your local social welfare office. If you feel you need help in applying for Farm Assist or any other benefit due to you, contact Cllr. Anthony Kelly on 087-1361785.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Drunk or Duped?

Yesterdays Morning Ireland will go down in the pop culture history of modern Ireland. Recently this blog said that Brian Cowen was looking for his "Reeling in the years" moment by inviting the english queen over on an ill timed, budget busting state visit. Now it looks like hes got his moment, but for different reasons.
Yesterday, at least according to Fine Gael and the Irish Media, Brian Cowen went on national radio, drunk as a intoxicated skunk.
Now we at Rathangan SF have listened to the interview on you tube, and in all fairness to Cowen, he sounded the same as always to us. The same gruff, slurring of words, refusal to commit on any issue Taoiseach that we've come to hate and despise.
Drunk Cowen
So we got to wondering, is this all a plot to discredit an already severely under fire Taoiseach?
We could see why Fine Gael would want that, but why would the so called impartial Irish Media turn on the leader of our Government?
The Irish Media have never been impartial, and have brought down more than one Irish Government. But would they sink so low as to claim that our leader was a scuttering drunken gobshite?
Maybe they weren't wrong about his intoxication?
Maybe the reason we didnt see a difference in Mr Cowen was because he and his government have been in a constant state of drunkenness since the formation of their Government. So heres five things that could indicate a permanent intoxication of the Irish government.

1. Mary Harney is still Minister for Health.
Despite being without doubt the most hated woman in the country, and despite showing herself to be not only incompetent in her handling of the Irish health service, but also incapable of seeing those mistakes that she makes and that are so clearly pointed out to her by everyone else in the country.
Having Harney in the front bench has been a constant hindrance for Fianna Fail, yet she remains. She offers them nothing. Surely only a drunk would not notice her malevolence.

2. Forced a second vote on Lisbon.
The Irish people clearly said no to the first Lisbon treaty. However the Government insisted on having a second vote. Only a drunk could be that stubborn.

3. Refuse to call by-elections. The government have continually refused to call the three outstanding by-elections even though this makes no since. If those three missing TDs arnt needed, then why are the tax payers paying so many reps? And if they are needed, then why refuse to call the elections? Only a drunk could come up with their own logic to justify this.

4. Close public transport links, but move ahead with planned construction of more motorways.
We're in the worst recession that modern Ireland had known, a time when you would expect people to be more ready to use public transport rather than own their cars. Our government has ignored this thought and closed the Rosslare to Waterford Rail Line. A planned motorway into Rosslare is going ahead however.
Drunks often have trouble making the right decisions, don't they?

5. Say we're out of recession even though unemployment figures are going up.
455,000 people are now on the live register. There has been a steady increase in the figures for the past few months. The government says this doesn't matter, we are still out of recession. We have argued with them over this, but you know what arguing with a drunk is like!

So maybe we have the worlds first permanently drunk government. How do we get out this mess? How do we avoid more mistakes, more cuts and more suffering for the normal people? And how will the government deal with the hangover their going to have on the morning after the next general election?

The Democratic Programme of 1919

We declare in the words of the Irish Republican Proclamation the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies to be indefeasible, and in the language of our first President. Pádraíg Mac Phiarais, we declare that the Nation's sovereignty extends not only to all men and women of the Nation, but to all its material possessions, the Nation's soil and all its resources, all the wealth and all the wealth-producing processes within the Nation, and with him we reaffirm that all right to private property must be subordinated to the public right and welfare.

We declare that we desire our country to be ruled in accordance with the principles of Liberty, Equality, and Justice for all, which alone can secure permanence of Government in the willing adhesion of the people.

We affirm the duty of every man and woman to give allegiance and service to the Commonwealth, and declare it is the duty of the Nation to assure that every citizen shall have opportunity to spend his or her strength and faculties in the service of the people. In return for willing service, we, in the name of the Republic, declare the right of every citizen to an adequate share of the produce of the Nation's labour.

It shall be the first duty of the Government of the Republic to make provision for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the children, to secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing, or shelter, but that all shall be provided with the means and facilities requisite for their proper education and training as Citizens of a Free and Gaelic Ireland.
The Irish Republic fully realises the necessity of abolishing the present odious, degrading and foreign Poor Law System, substituting therefor a sympathetic native scheme for the care of the Nation's aged and infirm, who shall not be regarded as a burden, but rather entitled to the Nation's gratitude and consideration. Likewise it shall be the duty of the Republic to take such measures as will safeguard the health of the people and ensure the physical as well as the moral well-being of the Nation.

It shall be our duty to promote the development of the Nation's resources, to increase the productivity of its soil, to exploit its mineral deposits, peat bogs, and fisheries, its waterways and harbours, in the interests and for the benefit of the Irish people.

It shall be the duty of the Republic to adopt all measures necessary for the recreation and invigoration of our Industries, and to ensure their being developed on the most beneficial and progressive co-operative and industrial lines. With the adoption of an extensive Irish Consular Service, trade with foreign Nations shall be revived on terms of mutual advantage and goodwill, and while undertaking the organisation of the Nation's trade, import and export, it shall be the duty of the Republic to prevent the shipment from Ireland of food and other necessaries until the wants of the Irish people are fully satisfied and the future provided for.

It shall also devolve upon the National Government to seek co-operation of the Governments of other countries in determining a standard of Social and Industrial Legislation with a view to a general and lasting improvement in the conditions under which the working classes live and labour.

The Democratic Programme - A legacy to Cherish

The inaugural meeting of the first Dail took place on January 21, 1919.Many feel that the most important document of that historic first day was the Declaration of Independence. This took the form of ratifying (to great applause) "the establishment of the Irish Republic . . . proclaimed on Easter Monday 1916 by the Irish Republican Army'' and now receiving the allegiance of "the overwhelming majority'' of the Irish people.

Other business transacted on opening day included the drafting of a short, provisional constitution; the issuing of a rhetorically high-minded message "to the free nations of the world''; and the adoption of a Democratic Programme, unanimously approved without debate.

This Democratic Programme would later become a point of devision as the treaty split the Irish Republican government and army.

The First Dail
 But what is the Democratic Programme, and what is its lasting legacy?

Despite being passed unanimously at that first meeting, the Democratic Programme was not accepted by everyone from the start. Some seen it as a necessary pay back to the Labour party, who had stood by to allow Sinn Féin a clear run at the 1918 elections. (In fact the programme was drafted with the assistance of Thomas Johnson, the leader of the Labour Party.) They did not see it has something that belonged to the nation they were fighting to build.

The Irish Times of the day discerned a deep division within Sinn Féin between moderates and extremists. On one side there was “a body of idealists who nurture themselves quite honestly on visions of an independent, but peaceful and pious Ireland”. On the other, there were those who planned “to apply the principles of Lenin and Trotsky to Irish affairs. It is working for the disintegration of society and the confiscation of all property, public and private”.

Irish nationalists in general had always believed that an independent Ireland would be prosperous and just; Sinn Fein's social policy specifically envisaged the development of national resources for the public good. The Democratic Programme went much further however.

It was a radical manifesto with some striking phrases, e.g. "no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing or shelter''. The programme outlined a socialist policy which included: the public ownership of the means of production, natural resources and "wealth"; state provision of education for children and care for the elderly; ensuring that children receive food; promotion of industrial development as well as the exploitation of natural resources. The historian Diarmaid Ferriter (2004) has argued that this document "was an indication that only a certain type of nebulous, ambiguous rhetoric concerning equality and redistribution would be tolerated by Sinn Féin." The Labour Party inserted a clause that private property was to be subordinate "to the public right and welfare."

IRB leaders, like P S O'Hegarty, single-mindedly concerned with ending British rule, dismissed it as "socialist theoretical high-sounding jargon''. It hardly reflected the mind of a lower middle-class Dail and certainly not the sentiments of a recently-established peasant proprietorship.

One of the greatest supporters of the Democratic Programme was the great Irish Socialist, Liam Mellowes. Mellowes, who spent the Summers of his youth in North Wexford, felt that the Anglo-Irish Treaty as signed to be a betrayal of the Irish Republic, saying, in the Treaty Debates of 1921–22:

“ We do not seek to make this country a materially great country at the expense of its honour in any way whatsoever. We would rather have this country poor and indigent, we would rather have the people of Ireland eking out a poor existence on the soil; as long as they possessed their souls, their minds, and their honour. This fight has been for something more than the fleshpots of Empire.”

Liam Mellowes at Bodenstown
He wrote a social programme based on the Dáil's Democratic Programme of 1919 aimed at winning popular support for the anti-Treaty cause, and was a firm believer in the ideals of the original programme for the rest of his short life.

Today, Sinn Féin continue to site the Democratic Programme of 1919 as an important historical text, which all the Irish governments since have failed to even try and implement. The spirit of this document lives on today in the republican socialist tradition, and is as relevant to us now as it was on that day in January 1919.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What is a Free Nation? - James Connolly (1916)

We are moved to ask this question because of the extraordinary confusion of thought upon the subject which prevails in this country, due principally to the pernicious and misleading newspaper garbage upon which the Irish public has been fed for the past twenty-five years.

Our Irish daily newspapers have done all that human agencies could do to confuse the public mind upon the question of what the essentials of a free nation are, what a free nation must be, and what a nation cannot submit to lose without losing its title to be free.

It is because of this extraordinary newspaper-created ignorance that we find so many people enlisting in the British army under the belief that Ireland has at long last attained to the status of a free nation, and that therefore the relations between Ireland and England have at last been placed upon the satisfactory basis of freedom. Ireland and England, they have been told, are now sister nations, joined in the bond of Empire, but each enjoying equal liberties – the equal liberties of nations equally free. How many recruits this idea sent into the British army in the first flush of the war it would be difficult to estimate, but they were assuredly numbered by the thousand.

The Irish Parliamentary Party, which at every stage of the Home Rule game has been outwitted and bulldozed by Carson and the Unionists, which had surrendered every point and yielded every advantage to the skilful campaign of the aristocratic Orange military clique in times of peace, behaved in equally as cowardly and treacherous a manner in the crisis of war.

There are few men in whom the blast of the bugles of war do not arouse the fighting instinct, do not excite to some chivalrous impulses if only for a moment. But the Irish Parliamentary Party must be reckoned amongst that few. In them the bugles of war only awakened the impulse to sell the bodies of their countrymen as cannon fodder in exchange for the gracious smiles of the rulers of England. In them the call of war sounded only as a call to emulate in prostitution. They heard the call of war – and set out to prove that the nationalists of Ireland were more slavish than the Orangemen of Ireland, would more readily kill and be killed at the bidding of an Empire that despised them both.

The Orangemen had at least the satisfaction that they were called upon to fight abroad in order to save an Empire they had been prepared to fight to retain unaltered at home; but the nationalists were called upon to fight abroad to save an Empire whose rulers in their most generous moments had refused to grant their country the essentials of freedom in nationhood.

Fighting abroad the Orangeman knows that he fights to preserve the power of the aristocratic rulers whom he followed at home; fighting abroad the nationalist soldier is fighting to maintain unimpaired the power of those who conspired to shoot him down at home when he asked for a small instalment of freedom.

The Orangeman says: “We will fight for the Empire abroad if its rulers will promise not to force us to submit to Home Rule.” And the rulers say heartily: “It is unthinkable that we should coerce Ulster for any such purpose.”

The Irish Parliamentary Party and its press said: “We will prove ourselves fit to be in the British Empire by fighting for it, in the hopes that after the war is over we will get Home Rule.” And the rulers of the British Empire say: “Well, you know what we have promised Carson, but send out the Irish rabble to fight for us, and we will, ahem, consider your application after the war.” Whereat, all the Parliamentary leaders and their press call the world to witness that they have won a wonderful victory!

James Fintan Lalor spoke and conceived of Ireland as a “discrowned queen, taking back her own with an armed hand”. Our Parliamentarians treat Ireland, their country, as an old prostitute selling her soul for the promise of favours to come, and in the spirit of that conception of their country they are conducting their political campaign.

That they should be able to do so with even the partial success that for a while attended their apostasy was possible only because so few in Ireland really understood the answer to the question that stands at the head of this article.

What is a free nation? A free nation is one which possesses absolute control over all its own internal resources and powers, and which has no restriction upon its intercourse with all other nations similarly circumstanced except the restrictions placed upon it by nature. Is that the case of Ireland? If the Home Rule Bill were in operation would that be the case of Ireland? To both questions the answer is: no, most emphatically, NO!

A free nation must have complete control over its own harbours, to open them or close them at will, or shut out any commodity, or allow it to enter in, just as it seemed best to suit the well-being of its own people, and in obedience to their wishes, and entirely free of the interference of any other nation, and in complete disregard of the wishes of any other nation. Short of that power no nation possesses the first essentials of freedom.

Does Ireland possess such control? No. Will the Home Rule Bill give such control over Irish harbours in Ireland? It will not. Ireland must open its harbours when it suits the interests of another nation, England, and must shut its harbours when it suits the interests of another nation, England; and the Home Rule Bill pledges Ireland to accept this loss of national control for ever.

How would you like to live in a house if the keys of all the doors of that house were in the pockets of a rival of yours who had often robbed you in the past? Would you be satisfied if he told you that he and you were going to be friends for ever more, but insisted upon you signing an agreement to leave him control of all your doors, and custody of all your keys? This is the condition of Ireland today, and will be the condition of Ireland under Redmond and Devlin’s precious Home Rule Bill.

That is worth dying for in Flanders, the Balkans, Egypt or India, is it not?

A free nation must have full power to nurse industries to health, either by government encouragement or by government prohibition of the sale of goods of foreign rivals. It may be foolish to do either, but a nation is not free unless it has that power, as all free nations in the world have today. Ireland has no such power, will have no such power under Home Rule. The nourishing of industries in Ireland hurts capitalists in England, therefore this power is expressly withheld from Ireland.

A free nation must have full power to alter, amend, or abolish or modify the laws under which the property of its citizens is held in obedience to the demand of its own citizens for any such alteration, amendment, abolition, or modification. Every free nation has that power; Ireland does not have it, and is not allowed it by the Home Rule Bill.

It is recognized today that it is upon the wise treatment of economic power and resources, and upon the wise ordering of social activities that the future of nations depends. That nation will be the richest and happiest which has the foresight to marshal the most carefully its natural resources to national ends. But Ireland is denied this power, and will be denied it under Home Rule. Ireland’s rich natural resources, and the kindly genius of its children, are not to be allowed to combine for the satisfaction of Irish wants, save in so far as their combination can operate on lines approved of by the rulers of England.

Her postal service, her telegraphs, her wireless, her customs and excise, her coinage, her fighting forces, her relations with other nations, her merchant commerce, her property relations, her national activities, her legislative sovereignty – all the things that are essential to a nation’s freedom are denied to Ireland now, and are denied to her under the provisions of the Home Rule Bill. And Irish soldiers in the English Army are fighting in Flanders to win for Belgium, we are told, all those things which the British Empire, now as in the past, denies to Ireland.

There is not a Belgian patriot who would not prefer to see his country devastated by war a hundred times rather than accept as a settlement for Belgium what Redmond and Devlin have accepted for Ireland. Have we Irish been fashioned in meaner clay than the Belgians?

There is not a pacifist in England who would wish to end the war without Belgium being restored to full possession of all those national rights and powers which Ireland does not possess, and which the Home Rule Bill denies to her. But these same pacifists never mention Ireland when discussing or suggesting terms of settlement. Why should they? Belgium is fighting for her independence, but Irishmen are fighting for the Empire that denies Ireland every right that Belgians think worth fighting for.

And yet Belgium as a nation is, so to speak, but a creation of yesterday – an artificial product of the schemes of statesmen. Whereas, the frontiers of Ireland, the ineffaceable marks of the separate existence of Ireland, are as old as Europe itself, the handiwork of the Almighty, not of politicians. And as the marks of Ireland’s separate nationality were not made by politicians so they cannot be unmade by them.

As the separate individual is to the family, so the separate nation is to humanity. The perfect family is that which best draws out the inner powers of the individual, the most perfect world is that in which the separate existence of nations is held most sacred. There can be no perfect Europe in which Ireland is denied even the least of its national rights; there can be no worthy Ireland whose children brook tamely such denial. If such denial has been accepted by soulless slaves of politicians then it must be repudiated by Irish men and women whose souls are still their own.

The peaceful progress of the future requires the possession by Ireland of all the national rights now denied to her. Only in such possession can the workers of Ireland see stability and security for the fruits of their toil and organization. A destiny not of our fashioning has chosen this generation as the one called upon for the supreme act of self-sacrifice – to die if need be that our race might live in freedom.

Are we worthy of the choice? Only by our response to the call can that question be answered.

The Irish Flag - James Connolly (1916)

The Council of the Irish Citizen Army has resolved, after grave and earnest deliberation, to hoist the green flag of Ireland over Liberty Hall, as over a fortress held for Ireland by the arms of Irishmen.

This is a momentous decision in the most serious crisis Ireland has witnessed in our day and generation. It will, we are sure, send a thrill through the hearts of every true Irish man and woman, and send the red blood coursing fiercely along the veins of every lover of the race.

It means that in the midst of and despite the treasons and backslidings of leaders and guides, in the midst of and despite all the weaknesses, corruption and moral cowardice of a section of the people, in the midst of and despite all this there still remains in Ireland a spot where a body of true men and women are ready to hoist, gather round, and to defend the flag made sacred by all the sufferings of all the martyrs of the past.

Since this unholy war first started we have seen every symbol of Irish freedom desecrated to the purposes of the enemy, we have witnessed the prostitution of every holy Irish tradition. That the young men of Ireland might be seduced into the service of the nation that denies every national power to their country, we have seen appeals made to our love of freedom, to our religious instincts, to our sympathy for the oppressed, to our kinship with suffering.

The power that for seven hundred years has waged bitter and unrelenting war upon the freedom of Ireland, and that still declares that the rights of Ireland must forever remain subordinate to the interests of the British empire, hypocritically appealed to our young men to enlist under her banner and shed their blood ‘in the interests of freedom’.

The power whose reign in Ireland has been one long carnival of corruption and debauchery of civic virtue, and which has rioted in the debasement and degradation of everything Irish men and women hold sacred, appealed to us in the name of religion to fight for her as the champion of christendom.

The power which holds in subjection more of the world’s population than any other power on the globe, and holds them in subjection as slaves without any guarantee of freedom or power of self-government, this power that sets Catholic against Protestant, the Hindu against the Mohammedan, the yellow man against the brown, and keeps them quarrelling with each other whilst she robs and murders them all – this power appeals to Ireland to send her sons to fight under England’s banner for the cause of the oppressed. The power whose rule in Ireland has made of Ireland a desert, and made the history of our race read like the records of a shambles, as she plans for the annihilation of another race appeals to our manhood to fight for her because of our sympathy for the suffering, and of our hatred of oppression.

For generations the shamrock was banned as a national emblem of Ireland, but in her extremity England uses the shamrock as a means for exciting in foolish Irishmen loyalty to England. For centuries the green flag of Ireland was a thing accurst and hated by the English garrison in Ireland, as it is still in their inmost hearts. But in India, in Egypt, in Flanders, in Gallipoli, the green flag is used by our rulers to encourage Irish soldiers of England to give up their lives for the power that denies their country the right of nationhood. Green flags wave over recruiting offices in Ireland and England as a bait to lure on poor fools to dishonourable deaths in England’s uniform.

The national press of Ireland, the true national press, uncorrupted and unterrified, has largely succeeded in turning back the tide of demoralization, and opening up the minds of the Irish public to a realization of the truth about the position of their country in the war. The national press of Ireland is a real flag of freedom flying for Ireland despite the enemy, but it is well that also there should fly in Dublin the green flag of this country as a rallying point of our forces and embodiment of all our hopes. Where better could that flag fly than over the unconquered citadel of the Irish working class, Liberty Hall, the fortress of the militant working class of Ireland.

We are out for Ireland for the Irish. But who are the Irish? Not the rack-renting, slum-owning landlord; not the sweating, profit-grinding capitalist; not the sleek and oily lawyer; not the prostitute pressman – the hired liars of the enemy. Not these are the Irish upon whom the future depends. Not these, but the Irish working class, the only secure foundation upon which a free nation can be reared.

The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour. They cannot be dissevered. Ireland seeks freedom. Labour seeks that an Ireland free should be the sole mistress of her own destiny, supreme owner of all material things within and upon her soil. Labour seeks to make the free Irish nation the guardian of the interests of the people of Ireland, and to secure that end would vest in that free Irish nation all property rights as against the claims of the individual, with the end in view that the individual may be enriched by the nation, and not by the spoiling of his fellows.

Having in view such a high and holy function for the nation to perform, is it not well and fitting that we of the working class should fight for the freedom of the nation from foreign rule, as the first requisite for the free development of the national powers needed for our class? It is so fitting. Therefore on Sunday, 16 April 1916 the green flag of Ireland will be solemnly hoisted over Liberty Hall as the symbol of our faith in freedom, and as a token to all the world that the working class of Dublin stands for the cause of Ireland, and the cause of Ireland is the cause of a separate and distinct nationality.

In these days of doubt, despair, and resurgent hope we fling our banner to the breeze, the flag of our fathers, the symbol of our national redemption, the sunburst shining over an Ireland re-born.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Biased Wexford Media fake opinion piece

This blog was disgusted to read another "public opinion" in a local newspaper this week, to find the results were one hundred percent in favour of the paper, and the current government's view of how this country should run. The piece in question asked eight "random" people did they think that social employment was a good idea. Of course none of them voiced any concern that the governments latest ill thought out venture , but all weighted in unanimously behind the plan.

I mean how could anyone not trusts the plans of a government that brought us the HSE and NAMA?
One woman even said that it would give the unemployed an incentive to go out and find work!
Where exactly Mrs. Random? Oh yeah, America.... Australia....England. Emigrate and find work serfs, because your the ones who caused the recession. Forget about all that income tax you paid during the Tiger years. That's doesn't matter now. The government and their friends in the media need someone to blame, and guess who's getting it? YOU!

Watch the papers and news in the lead up to the coming "doomsday" budget. Watch out for the headlines. "Unemployed will have to work for their dole" "Sounds reasonable, gives them an incentive to find work" Government borrowing record amounts to pay unemployed "Those pesky buggers. Why cant they get a job?" Government applauded by EU for handling of financial crisis, but efforts hampered by unemployed "They're the ones to blame for the whole thing, bloody unemployed!"
Yes, don't blame the greedy bankers or incompetent heads of our civil service, or even the worst government that has ever led a civilised nation.
No, blame it on the unemployed. "Then the people wont get upset when we cut their benefits to shreds in the next budget"
Would the media lie to you?
We were led to believe that the shell to sea protesters in Rossport were lunatics despite it being a proven fact that they were ordinary people trying to protect their community. Tony O' Reilly used his media arsenal to colour the people of Ireland's perception of these campaigners because he owns his own off shore assets, and fears victory for the shell to sea campaign will cost him.

But lets go back to Mrs. Random who says that the unemployed need an incentive to go out and look for work, in a country where over a thousand people applied for three jobs in a new cinema. Maybe if this woman rose her head above the TV/Radio?Papers propaganda curtain that holds so many of our citizens in a limbo of lies, she might see that her friends and neighbours who have lost their jobs are not lazy bums conspiring to feed off the state, but the actual people who worked hard during the Tiger years, paying high taxes that made Bertie Aherns Fianna Fail government the richest in the history of the state, and one of the wealthiest in the world.
How did they spend this money?
After looking after their friends in the golden circle, they squandered what little was left . Now they are borrowing money, not to pay our unemployed who have already more than contributed to this state during the good times, and will so again under a change of management, but to bail out failed banks.
If Mrs. Random could just break through the veil of lies for one moment, she might see that it wasn't those who are now suffering on welfare who caused the recession, but those who were in charge of the things that we took for granted, our banks, our big Businesses, our media and our government.

The next time our local media decide to run their totally impartial opinion piece, maybe they'll make Mrs Random take her head out of her arse before she answers the question. And maybe they'll print the many answers we know they received that didn't agree with their own views.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Carry on Elizabeth

Sometime next year, the Fianna Fail (the Republican party) and the Greens (Fighting wasteful spending of tax payers money) are going to hold a civic reception, the expense of which Ireland has never seen before. The reception will be held for a number of reason.
A grand gesture by a poor Taoiseach who desperately wants his Bertie/Peace Process historical moment. What better way to get his “reeling in the years” moment than by leading the english queen down O’ Connell Street, a bowl of shamrock in one hand and a miniature union jack in the other. The Artane boys band can play god save the queen and the Orange Order can set up on the back of a trailer, handing out lollipops to kids.

We’ll all forget about Cowen’s drunken past Ard Fheis moments, downing Guiness and roaring the boys of Kilmichael into some young ones ear. Hes political correct these days. “The Shinners are beaten”. No need to dig up anymore dead republicans and reintern them in Glasnevin. Better to be the Taoiseach that brought the english queen to Dublin.
Well, in fairness, he has no real choice. If he reneges now, the O’ Reilly Media Cartel will bring his government down and crush Fianna Fail the way Enda Kenny could only ever day dream of doing. Its not like O’ Reilly has not collapsed governments before! The king of the west Brits, and Kevin Myers role model, was given special permission by a Fianna Fail (the republican party) government to be knighted by the english queen back in the day when his acceptance of such an offer should have meant the loss of his Irish citizenship. If anyone wants the queen here more than Cowen, its Tony O’.
Bringing the english queen to Dublin will also impress the Irish governments friends and bosses in Brussels. “Look, we lost the first Lisbon Treaty vote to the radicals but they couldn't stop us bringing Liz to Dublin. We’re in the worst recession these people have known and still we got away with spending millions of tax payers euro on her holida....I mean her state visit.”
So lets recap. Who benefits from the english queens visit?
The Government (including the republican party, but don't tell anyone, because they’re “republican”. The media. Big Business. The EU.
Who doesn't benefit?
It cost €8 million for George Bush’s security bill alone during his presidential visit to Shannon a few years back. The english queen is coming to our nations capital and largest city, home of several historical sites of rebellion against her country, and home to thousands of unemployed people who wont like it very much when they finally realise that they are the ones paying for this “reeling in the years” moment.
So when you watch the terrible cuts of the next budget, or see another public transport link closed, or hospital downgraded, just remember one thing. Not only are you suffering to bail out a shower of corrupt, incompetent bankers. Your also sacrificing the everyday comforts of life so a foreign monarch can come over here to make some rich people feel good about themselves.
This Reeling in the Years moment will be brought to you by the Irish people. (At great expense)
Carry on Elizabeth!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Ballad of Ed O' Brien

Dear mother Ireland, you grieve once again,
Another Irish family share your suffering and pain,
A brave volunteer gone long before his time,
But the struggle goes on now, for its his, yours and mine.

Brave Ed O' Brien, For Ireland gave all,
For the love of his country, he answered her call,
Now he lies on a hill overlooking Gorey town,
His courage and daring forever renown.

In Wexfords green valley, he learned as a boy,
Of the cruel English tyrants attempts to destroy,
Our right as a nation to determine our fate,
So he followed in the footsteps of the men of '98.


Its been eight hundred years since they came to our land,
and through cruelty and injustice, united we stand,
And with lads like brave Edward we know we'll be free,
When we drive them back to England across the Irish sea.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

People Power in Wexford

On the seventh of April last, Iarnród Éireann announced nationally that the Rosslare to Waterford Rail Line was to be closed. This announcement coincided with the first public meeting of the "Save the Rosslare to Waterford Rail Line" campaign, who had succeeded in highlighting the issue on Facebook, where they had attracted 1500 supporters at that point.
The meeting was shared by a young unknown Bridgetown woman named Tanya Fenelon, who had founded the campaign after realising how the loss of the train would effect her own family and neighbours. Also scattered among the large crowd were TDs and councillors, and reps from all the major political parties.
In the months that followed there were protests, petitions, surveys, meetings and alot of egg on the face for the big guns of Iarnród Éireann. Despite obvious involvement of political parties, these events were all people-centric and revolved around the incredible work load of Tanya Fenelon and the closest members of her committee.

When Rathangan SF attended that first meeting in early April, we realised immediately that this campaign would never have the mass appeal of the campaigns to save hospitals or to stop welfare cuts. It wasn't a "sexy" campaign! It was a lukewarm issue, and despite the fact that the rail line was much needed by the people of South Wexford, it just didn't attract major attention.
Iarnród Éireann must have thought that they had it in the bag.
They thought wrong.
The inventive thinking, hard work and sheer determination of the Save the Rail campaign turned the issue on its head. Iarnród Éireann were told that they legally couldn't close the line without permission from the National Transport Authority. IE's claims that the line was not making money and that only twenty five people used it everyday were exposed as untrue propaganda.
No Rail Line makes money in rural Ireland, but IE only had one ticket collector between four trains, giving you a one in four chance of riding free! The lie about only twenty five people using the train was proven false by the campaigners making daily head counts of passengers.

Interest grew in the issue, and support for the campaign grew. The South East Chamber of Commerce threw their weight behind the campaign, claiming closure was economic suicide. So did surrounding local authorities, and in theory, all of the political parties of the south east.
On Friday the third of September, The NTA granted permission to IE to close the line. Iarnród Éireann celebrated and the local media reported their victory. However, once again we were being hoodwinked by semi state propaganda. It was left to Tanya Fenelon, the unknown Bridgetown woman who had started a facebook campaign a year earlier, to reveal the truth. The line would close, but with conditions.
The line would have to be maintained. An enhanced bus service would have to provided for South Wexford, and most importantly, private operators would be encouraged to reopen the line.

So the Government have allowed another public service to fall, but thanks to the actions of the Save the Rosslare to Waterford Rail Line campaign,there is still hope. People power, the rebel spirit, is alive in Wexford.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ed O' Brien Remembered

Had Ed O' Brien lived he would have celebrated his thirty sixth birthday in a few weeks. Instead he died on foreign soil fourteen years ago, fighting for the independence and unity of his homeland.
A soldier. A freedom fighter. A patriot.
A twenty one year old who had taken everything he had, everything he was, and placed it on the line for Ireland.
His death placed him in the company of Fr. Murphy, Ph Pearse, Liam Mellowes and Bobby Sands. No one could ever validate an argument that would rule him out of this company, or site his circumstances as being any different from the men who's images now grace the walls of our public buildings and the statues in our parks and town squares.
Because there is no difference.

Ed was vilified by the Irish media when he died. In much the same way, a British soldier killed in Iraq is vilified by the Arab media, while an Iraqi insurgent is vilified by the British. Such is war. Its not black and white.
In 1998, the Irish media again kicked up when Eds image was placed beside other patriots on a poster advertising Gerry Adams famous visit to Vinegar Hill. Gerry rightly refused to apologise for the use of Eds image, as did the organisers.
Shortly afterwards the beautiful Balled of Ed O' Brien was composed by a republican in south Wexford. One singer later told that he had been intimidated while singing the song, and was forced to drop it from his set. Alot of people in Wexford know the words of Boolovogue or Kelly the boy from Killane, but few know the words of the Balled of Ed O' Brien. This should be rectified now.
Today many would like to forget about Ed. They would like to brush his struggle and death under the carpet of political correctness. They would choose to airbrush him out of history as Fianna Fail have airbrushed the assassination of Kevin O' Higgins, and New Labour have have airbrushed their involvement with the OIRA and the death of Seamus Costello.

But Ed is remembered.
A north Wexford SF cumann and a fantastic Republican Flute band are honoured to be named after the Gorey man.
And no matter what happens, no matter how many people we elect to Leinster house, no matter how much nonsense is thrown at us by other "pure" republican groups....we will continue to remember Brave Ed O' Brien.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The problem with Social Employment

Four hundred and fifty five thousand people currently lie on the live register. A massive figure. A problem that must be resolved immediately using inventive thinking and practical application.
The Government has suggested Social Employment. They want to take ten thousand people off the live register and put them to work at community projects. If it works they plan to add another forty thousand to the scheme.

"Unemployed will have to work for their Dole" screamed the headlines of the O'Reilly media machine rags. Because we all know that the unemployed are lazy and completely to blame for the dire situation they now find themselves in.
455,000 on the live register.
A massive figure. Worth quoting for those people who want to us to believe that it is the paying of social welfare to these people that is stalling economic recovery. These people, the same people who blindly paid tax into the black hole that was government spending during the Tiger years.

But lets talk figures.
How many people are paying income tax in Ireland today?
Some people, particularly the once self employed, find it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to draw benefits.
And how many people are being juggled off the register and onto FAS courses, and back again?
And how many trained workers will be shafted and replaced by the cheaper, new slave caste of Ireland, the Social Employed?

FAS is a failed organisation. Everyday local Social Welfare offices make mistakes that would not be tolerated under any other circumstances but the quasi-anarchism of post tiger Eire. The HSE was supposed to save Ireland's health system but has instead totally destroyed it.

Social Employment will fail for the same reasons.
Poor planning by completely incompetent bureaucrats unfit to serve the Irish people.
Sinn Féin believes that there are many benefits to people working in the community, but this should be done through Community Employment schemes with proper training and employment opportunities rather than through some ill thought out and unstructured idea.
Wexford Sinn Féin Rep, Cllr. Anthony kelly has called for an increase and modernisation of CE schemes to make them more relevant for the needs of society and local Government and the ring fencing of a set number of places for the young unemployed.

Isn't it strange that your news programmes and papers haven't raised these issues instead of implying that the unemployed are lazy and to blame for economic stagnation?
Maybe they're trying to influence your thinking ahead of a devastating budget, which will target those on welfare and public services.
But perish the thought, that would mean that the Irish media is biased, and in breech of its ethical responsibility to report a truthful account of the news.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dont let lying HSE get away with it

At the start of the Summer, the HSE announced that Wexford General Hospital would lose a twenty five bed unit during the holiday season due to staff shortages. There was no doubt in any ones mind, bar those paranoid shinners, that the beds would be back, available to our sick when September came. Last week came the announcement that the beds are to remained closed until at least 2014, despite the fact that up to thirty two patients were regularly left on trolleys during the Summer months.
Downgrading by stealth?
Or are we still just paranoid shinners?

When the HSE announced their decision to remove the beds on a "temporary" basis three months ago, we voiced objection. We alone highlighted the HSE's promise and our hope that it wouldn't be forgotten through our network of rural and urban newsletters and through our facebook groups. We alone suggested that this was the beginning of the downgrading of Wexford General.
Paranoid shinners. Always negative. Always thinking the worst.
On this one, I really hate to say it. We were right.

Wexford General Hospital has lost twenty five beds. That's downgrading in our book. Doctor Colm Quigley said that he did not think that "people yet realised the full scale of the crisis".
Crisis? But Colm, you said the beds were only being closed for the Summer. You didn't mention crisis then. In fact, you played down any attempt to highlight one.
A HSE spokesman bizarrely went on to claim that the lose of the twenty five beds would "enable [the hospital] to improve the facilities for existing in-patients".
In a draconian move, the management of Wexford General have issued a written warning to all staff, threatening sanctions and possible sacking for anyone who speaks out about the crisis in the hospital.

There was me thinking that the HSE and the hospital were belong to, and funded by the Irish people! Turns out there a private business, who can sack staff for alerting the public to a rapidily deteriorating situation.
Does the HSE believe that by prolonging the stealth downgrading of our county hospital, the people of Wexford will grow tired of the subject and lose interest, allowing them to carrying out the cutting of Wexfords health services?
If they do, they're very much mistaken.

Even if every sane person in Wexford loses the run of themselves and turns their back on our vital hospital (which is extremely unlikely), there will still be one group left to protest and highlight the HSE's incompetence and lack of planning.
That's right, those old paranoid shinners.