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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2022/06/29 ? Open Thread Wed Jun 29, 2022 07:00 | herb
2022/06/29 06:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link Behind the Tin Curtain: BRICS+ vs NATO/G7 Tue Jun 28, 2022 17:08 | amarynth
The west is nostalgically caught up with outdated ‘containment’ policies, this time against Global South integration. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the world is moving on, together. By Pepe

offsite link Gonzalo Lira: The Sitzkrieg We?re In Tue Jun 28, 2022 12:22 | amarynth

offsite link BRICS+: It?s Back with Scale and Ambition Tue Jun 28, 2022 11:25 | amarynth
http://infobrics.org/post/3... By Jaroslav Lissovolik After several years of being relegated to backstage of the BRICS agenda, in 2022 the BRICS+ format is back and is at the very center of

offsite link Lavrov gets it right by comparing European Union and NATO to Hitler?s old Axis Tue Jun 28, 2022 10:33 | amarynth
By Guilherme Wilbert for the Saker Blog Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on 06/24/2022 that the European Union and NATO appear to be carrying out a military coalition for

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTE bias complaint

offsite link Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony

offsite link Irish Examiner and fake news Anthony

offsite link Labour Party: The unvarnished truth Anthony

offsite link Humanity: Zero chance of survival Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link France to Extend Vaccine Passport Entry Requirement Until March 2023 Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:12 | Will Jones
France is planning to extend its vaccine passport scheme obliging travellers to present proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or negative test results to enter France until at least the end of March 2023.
The post France to Extend Vaccine Passport Entry Requirement Until March 2023 appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link The Free Speech Union?s Summer Comedy Special is Tonight Wed Jun 29, 2022 09:49 | Toby Young
The Free Speech Union is hosting a fundraiser tonight at the Backyard Comedy Club. Click below to buy tickets. Prices start at £20.
The post The Free Speech Union?s Summer Comedy Special is Tonight appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link School Closures Caused Large Declines in U.S. Test Scores Wed Jun 29, 2022 08:18 | Noah Carl
A study by four economists has found that school closures in the US caused a large decline in math pass rates. This result provides yet more evidence that the switch to remote learning harmed children's education.
The post School Closures Caused Large Declines in U.S. Test Scores appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Jeremy Vine Says the Vulnerable Should Stay Indoors Again and Shield Wed Jun 29, 2022 02:10 | Will Jones
Hot on the heels of Frances Ryan in the Guardian calling for the return of masks, mass-testing and self-isolation, Channel 5 presenter Jeremy Vine has said vulnerable people should stay home and shield once more.
The post Jeremy Vine Says the Vulnerable Should Stay Indoors Again and Shield appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Wed Jun 29, 2022 01:42 | Will Jones
A summary of all the most interesting stories that have appeared about politicians? efforts to control the virus ? and other acts of hubris and folly ? not just in Britain, but around the world.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Right2Change: The Theft of the Commons

category national | bin tax / household tax / water tax | opinion/analysis author Wednesday February 17, 2016 23:17author by right2water - Right2Change Report this post to the editors

We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.’ An affirmation that should, by now, be familiar to most of us.

Given Connolly’s input into what became the Proclamation of the Republic, argues the labour historian John Callow, this passage ‘could be taken as legally enshrining the nationalisation, and common ownership, of industry and the land’. Democratic control of the island’s resources and indeed all aspects of the economy was a central tenet of Connolly’s political thought, and has featured prominently in the efforts of his followers to transform society for the benefit of the majority.

Other political forces, such as the Fianna Fáil governments of the early 1930s or indeed the contemporary proponents of populist nationalism, have not been above using the principle of Irish ownership as a rhetorical tool to appeal to all sections of the population. But as the abhorrent treatment of Dunnes Stores workers starkly demonstrates, this limited objective does not in itself constitute the making of a more democratic and equal society. Connolly made this point repeatedly, not least in the weeks leading up to the Easter Rising: ‘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.’

For the greater part of its existence, the economy of the southern Irish state has been designed to benefit the class of people so despised by Connolly. At various points in Irish history, native policy makers have privileged ranchers, commercial banking interests, multinational corporations and those engaged in FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate) activities over the needs of the broader population. As early as the 1950s, with the opening up of the economy to free trade and FDI, government ministers had begun to establish Ireland’s ‘open for business’ credentials with a giveaway of oil and gas exploration rights worth £ millions. Henceforth, the two civil war parties would create between them the architecture of an economy based on speculation, while the middle-men continued receiving huge fees for services rendered to multinationals.

Neoliberalism – as those living in Thatcher’s Britain or Reagan’s US understood and experienced it – took longer to reach Ireland, but by the time it did it was pushing at an open door. From the late 1980s onwards, the Irish economy began to replicate the features of global neoliberalism – low taxes, a weakened labour movement, financialisation, and commercial property speculation – while somehow retaining the structures that benefited its strong middleman class. Indeed, it was in 1989 that the Fianna Fáil Minister for Energy Ray Burke reduced the reduced the state’s 50% share in its offshore oil and gas to zero and abolished royalties completely.

The characteristics of the neoliberal turn are well known to us, but it is privatisation that best encapsulates its grasping nature. Privatisation is not efficient, it’s not clever and it doesn’t deliver. It’s simply a massive wealth grab, a project increasing in scope and intensity across the globe with annual revenues reaching the hundreds of billions. As we have reduced progressive and wealth taxes, and as public finances have collapsed, new infrastructural investment has increasingly taken the form of installing private tollbooths over the economy’s most critical access points such as roads, public transportation, communications, energy, healthcare, education and, of course, clean water. It represents the final theft of the commons and allows private interests to control our most important public assets. Privatisation is the backbone of the neoliberal project and shows the true nature of the free market, monopolies owned by the few. That’s not democracy, it’s an economic tyranny.

Having formed a key component of the project that led to the biggest capitalist crisis in living memory, privatisation is now proposed as part of the solution. Embedded in TTIP, EU treaties and the programmes of national governments are a set of policies that lead inexorably to the privatisation of everything that remains in common ownership. In the twenty-six counties, this involves the sale of profitable state assets, the defunding and creeping privatisation of a two-tier healthcare system, and the transformation of Irish Water into a commercial entity.

Contained within the Right2Change Policy Principles for a Progressive Irish Government is a rejection of privatisation, wholesale opposition to TTIP and a number of measures aimed at (re-)establishing democratic control over ‘surrendered natural resources’ and crucial parts of the economy. Realisation of these proposals would go some way towards reversing the drift to a market society, deepening economic democracy both in places where it can already be found and where it has not existed. Achieving and sustaining this kind of radical change will require victory on the political front and a fundamental transformation in the balance of class power.

Written by Stevie Nolan and Sean Byers, Trademark Belfast

Related Link: http://www.right2change.ie/blog/theft-commons
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