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Spirit of Contradiction

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NAMA Wine Lake

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international / gender and sexuality Tuesday October 20, 2009 18:14 by tampon
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Stephen Gately's Funeral
Photo © Michael Gallagher

Today's (October 16th) edition of the English newspaper "The Daily Mail" carried an opinion piece by the English journalist Jan Moir. The homophobia and inherent hatred voiced in the article led to an extraordinary amount of comments on that newspaper's website which together with reaction from other newspapers saw the title of the article changed by mid afternoon. By late afternoon an internet campaign had begun to pressure advertisers who use the Daily Mail to cut their support.

The loss of revenue to the English newspaper might be the most serious blow to its editorial policy of articulating and pandering to middle English prejudice ever. As such the article which prompted this reaction merits archiving.

international / miscellaneous Monday September 28, 2009 11:33 by Red Wedge
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The Lost Revolution

In the first week of its release, “The Lost Revolution” shot straight into the top 5 non-fiction titles in Ireland. This in itself showed the enduring interest in the Official Republicans/The Workers’ Party. This interest was brought home to me again at the launch of the book, held in the Teachers club on September 12, which attracted an audience of around 300, including current and past members of the Official movement, as well as dozens of interested individuals from across the broad range of Republican and left groups in Ireland.

This interview, the first of two, enquires about the author’s interest in their subject. It also includes some analysis from the authors on key events covered in the book.

By Red Wedge. With special thanks to Godot, Brian Hanley and Scott Millar.

Red Wedge: Why is this the first book to be written about the Official Movement?

Brian Hanley: I suppose it suited a whole range of otherwise antagonistic people. One of the ironies is that the version of history that says the Officials wanted to demilitarise and become completely passive ties in with what the Provisionals say about them. Some people wanted to leave it all behind them, and then you have some people who have done very well in Irish society and would rather there was just the bland version of the party they were in rather than a warts and all story. That's one of the reasons why it was never before been written as a whole story.

image Brian Hanley and Scott Millar at the book launch. Photo by Andrew Flood 0.03 Mb PDF Document pdf of the article 0.87 Mb

international / eu Friday September 04, 2009 11:55 by Harry Browne
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Harry Browne
"Voting No is a way of showing them that they’re not out of trouble yet"

There are plenty of good reasons to vote No, again, on Lisbon – far more than there are reasons to vote Yes. We shouldn’t be ashamed of saying that the best of them are only partly to do with the specificities of the treaty itself.

On the other hand, we should be careful about some of the debating points we adopt.

Anti-imperialists, peace campaigners and workers’ rights advocates on the No side have the best set of arguments, to be sure. The writings of Kieran Allen and Andy Storey, among others, are the gold standard and I wouldn’t presume to add to them. But a few folks on ‘our side’ – and with that phrase I don’t include the right-wingers who happen to support the same vote but are otherwise alien politically – are wandering down some political dark alleys.

We should not, for example, get hung up on a ‘No Means No’ kick, as though in putting the Lisbon question to another referendum the Government were behaving like a rapist. Given that many of us on the left would consider ourselves advocates of more direct democracy – and are heirs to a democratic tradition that has often advocated annual parliaments and frequent referenda – it does seem rather churlish for us to suggest that the people aren’t allowed to change their minds, as they eventually did on divorce. Admittedly a simple cry of “we told you already” has some popular, populist traction – we never, after all, get a re-run when we vote the way the elite wants us to first-time. But it’s unsustainable as a real argument.

international / eu Wednesday August 12, 2009 19:37 by Harry Van Bommel
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Harry Van Bommel

In 2005 the Dutch people overwhelmingly said ‘no’ to the constitutional treaty, just as the French had done some days before. In contrast to the Irish, this was the first time the Dutch people had been allowed a say about the future of Europe; and they made it clear that they didn’t like the way it was heading. Did they want to get out of the EU? No - the Dutch are big supporters of EU membership, just like the Irish, but they don’t want Europe to develop into a federal superstate.

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