“The People’s Front” – The Merging of Fascists and Liberal Democrats in Ukraine

September 13, 2014 - Leave a Response

On September 10th the founding congress of the “People’s Front” political party in the Ukraine was held. The new party is led by Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and speaker of the Rada, Oleksandr Turchynov. It also includes two current government ministers, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, and Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko. Other well known members are former National Security and Defense Council Secretary, Andriy Parubiy, and the former head of the National Anti-Corruption committee, Tetiana Chornovol. Both resigned from the current government in recent months. We will return to them later.

The new party has been viewed as a splinter of the Batkyvschyna party of former prime minister and oligarch Yulia Tymoshenko.

The first noteworthy thing about the new party is that media sources have suggested it is being funded by the oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. Business News Europe for example states:

Oleh Lyashko’s success with his Radical Party is widely attributed to his backing by former head of the presidential administration Serhiy Lyovochkin and the TV channel Inter that Lyovochkin co-owns with gas oligarch Dmitry Firtash. Pundits say that Yatsenyuk has struck out on his own with People’s Front after being promised support by Firtash’ bitter rival, oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, owner of Ukraine’s largest bank Privat and one of Ukraine’s largest TV channels 1+1, and currently also governor of the wealthy Dnipropetrovsk*region. *Kolomoisky has funded volunteer battalions fighting in the east, commanders of which were present at the founding of People’s Front on September 10.

As the article notes, Kolomoisky is closely associated with the fascist paramilitary battalions.

Kolomoisky’s Dnipro Battalion “securing” a public building

His name has also cropped up with regards to the tragic events in the Trade Union Building in Odessa.

Interesting photos from the founding congress of the Peoples Front can be viewed here.

These photographs illustrate a second noteworthy thing about the party, namely the number of prominent paramilitary leaders who attended the launch. These have apparently been formed into a “military council”. Why a political party would require a military council is not readily understood.

The most significant of these leaders is Andriy Biletsky, the head of the “Azov” battalion, the most openly fascist of the paramilitary battalions. Biletsky is also the leader of the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine and it’s paramilitary wing Patriot of Ukraine. According to wiki:

The Patriot of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Патріо́т Украї́ни) is a Ukrainian nationalist organization with racist and neo-Nazi political beliefs. It constitutes a paramilitary wing of the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine (S.N.A.), an assemblage of neo-Nazi organizations and groups founded in 2008 that share the social-national ideology and agree upon building a social-national state in Ukraine. Both the “Patriot of Ukraine” and the S.N.A. engage in political violence against minorities and their political opponents. The leader of the “Patriot of Ukraine” and of the Social-National Assembly is Andriy Biletsky.

The political ideology of the SNA has been summed up by the analyst Anton Shekhovtsov as follows:

The SNA is a neo-Nazi movement, which has always been too extreme for the Right Sector. According to its official documents, its ‘nationalism is racial, social, great-power imperialist, anti-systemic (anti-democratic and anti-capitalist), self-sufficient, militant and uncompromising’. Its ideology ‘builds on maximalist attitudes, national and racial egoism,’ while glorifying the Ukrainian nation as part of the ‘White Race.’

At the time of the February coup Biletsky was languishing in jail along with other prominent Patriot of Ukraine members, Ihor Mykhailenko and Vitaliy Kniazhesky, for a gun attack on a prominent anti-fascist journalist Serhiy Kolesnyk. Within days the three (along with other imprisoned Nazis) were freed on foot of a special Rada bill.

Azov Battalion volunteers swearing in

The open incorporation of a Nazi like Biletsky into the party of Yatsenyuk and Turchynov shows that it is no longer possible to separate “liberal democrats” from fascists in the Ukraine. Any lines of distinction have now been blurred. Platforms are shared, political parties are shared, etc.

Launch of the People’s Front: Chornovyl and Yaatsenyuk, below party symbol

This can also be seen in the Radical Party of Lyashko’s which is tipped to gain anything up to 20% of the vote in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Lyashko has lured many SNA activists from the Right Sector in recent months and in the May 2014 Kyiv city council elections the following SNA members ran for the Radical Party: Oleh Odnorozhenko (SNA’s main ideologue), Ihor Mosychuk (second in command of the Azov), Ihor Kryvoruchko, and Volodymyr Shpara.

Establishment Politics in the Ukraine has moved sharply to the right. Extreme nationalism is now espoused by all the bourgeois parties. The Banderaite slogans “Hail Ukraine” and “Glory to the Heroes” are now main stream. Within this, however, there are various groupings representing different oligarchs, with differing connections to “western” imperialism and prepared to embrace far right extremism to differing degrees. Lyashko represents the oligarch Firtash, in the People’s Front we have linked Yatsenyuk (Washingto’ns man), the oligarch Kolomoisky and various paramilitary forces. Many of the Nazis in the Ukraine have recognised the collapse of barriers between themselves and “liberals” and availing of open doors have abandoned party building and moved into “mainstream” parties.

Aside from Andriy Biletsky and the other paramilitary leaders there are two other prominent individuals associated with the People’s Front which, to my mind, mark it as a clear and present danger to the Ukrainian working class. These are Andriy Parubiy and Tetiana Chornovol. Parubiy I described early this year during the Maidan protests as possibly the most dangerous individual in the Ukraine. He was the founder of the Social-National Party of the Ukraine (the forerunner of Svoboda) and is also a former leader of the Nazi paramilitary Patriot of Ukraine group. He left these organisations in 2004 to infiltrate the establishment parties. He was one of the main leaders of the “Orange Revolution” in 2004 and was a commander and in charge of “security” during the Maidan protests. His name has often appeared in discussions of the sniping attacks on the Maidan. After the coup he was appointed Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council which oversaw the “ATO” against Eastern Ukraine. Chornovol, who is often described as an anti-corruption activist is also of the far right and cut her political teeth in the Nazi UNA-UNSO organisation which was notorious for sending fighters to the Transnistrian, Abkhaz and Cechen conflicts. Her husband, Nikolai Beryozovoi, was killed last month in the fighting in east Ukraine. Not surprisingly, he was a member of the openly fascist, Azov Battalion.

Both Parubiy and Chornovol resigned from the government recently. He refused to give a reason while she stated that no inroads were being made in tackling corruption. It is interesting, therefore, that both have seen fit to set up a new party with prominent members of the government. It is possibly because this party will be placed significantly to the right of the Poroshenko Bloc, as shown by Yatsenyuk’s recent attacks on cease fire initiatives, and who knows what plans US imperialism has for it and it’s “military council” if the situation the Ukraine continues to deteriorate.

Sam Lord 13 September 2014

More discussion on Ukraine at Politicalworld.org, our discussion forum

 

Yatsenyuk, Ukraine P.M., with Obama in the Oval Office, March 2014

Greek “Surgeons of History”- Excavating a Lost Empire

September 7, 2014 - Leave a Response

Day by day accounts of the important excavations at Amphipolis, Macedonia, Greece, from Ephilant – two weeks of posts made at Politicalword.org – for more updates follow the “Absolute Thread of Randomness” on our forum Politicalworld.org

13.8.2014

Exciting times for archaeologists in Greece.

An excavation in Αμφίπολη (Amphipolis, Serres, Macedonia) has gripped the nation, with the possibilities being outlined as “exceptional” by the head archaeologist Katerina Peristeri, who describes this as potentially more important than the Ακρόπολη (Acropolis). The site is a huge tomb, surrounded by a 497 meter long marble wall. So far, a 4.5 meter wide road leading to the tomb has been uncovered, as have two enormous statues of sphinxes guarding the road. The tomb has been dated between 300 and 325 BC, which is the time the great Macedonian king Alexander the Great died. Although he was killed in Babylon and later buried in Egypt, his final resting place was never disclosed.

The dig begun in 1960, when a 5.2 meter high sculpture of a lion was unearthed outside the tomb. It then got side-tracked when a huge settlement, dating back to 3000 BC was uncovered. Meanwhile, the lion got restored and the dig around the area where the lion was found resumed.

And then, they found the wall…When the wall, made from Thassian marble, was discovered, they knew they had something really big on their hands. The sheer size of the tomb makes this a painstakingly slow job , but Peristeri says it is worth it to remove the soil grain by grain, because they are finding an enormous amount of things while doing this. She has rightfully resisted calls to go in with mechanical equipment and go to the centre to find who is buried there. She expects to be able to enter the actual burial chamber by the end of the month. The danger is that the roof may collapse, as it is not in the best of shape. So re-enforcements are built as they go along, after they removed everything that may hold clues as to what may be hidden further down the 4.5 m wide road. Then we will know if this is indeed, as speculated, the tomb of Alexander the Great. It is also being speculated that this could be the tomb of his wife and son, who were both murdered after his death. I think Katerina Peristeri may suffer be a good few sleepless nights before that time arrives…


20.8.2014    The archaeologists digging in Amphipolis are getting ready to enter the tomb. They have now cleared the two sphinxes guarding the entrance and have decided not to move them, for among other reasons the fact that these boys weigh 1.5 ton each and there is little wiggle room to lift them out.

Katerina Peristeri said yesterday that they have now uncovered 13 steps and reached the wall separating the tomb from the outside world, and they will begin removing this today. They have brought in a specialist mining-architect to help construct a support for the roof to ensure it does not collapse. Katerina Peristeri was visibly excited at the prospect of entering this tomb, and expressed the hope that the tomb would be intact and not looted. “That would be the ideal situation. If the roof has not caved in and the tomb has not been looted, we will find everything intact inside, then the personal items buried with whoever rests in there will tell us a lot more about who he/she/they are. We still have no idea, other than the carbon dating giving us a date of 325 – 320 BC and it being important person(s) due to the sheer size of the tomb. The sphinxes indicate some link to ancient Egypt, but we don’t know anything more just yet. An intact chamber will tell us everything we need to know.” This date range has given rise to serious speculation that this might just be the last resting place of Alexander the Great, and has prompted the archaeologists to request, and get round-the clock police protection for the site as they fear modern looters might just take their changes. Certain people in FYROM are already using the situation to once again stir trouble and demand that all the contents be transferred to their country as they are the only legitimate heirs of Alexander and other claptrap.
Comment: The sheer quality of that sculpture is awesome, no matter who or when made it. I wonder when that chap lost his head ? It does not look as though it would have fitted under the vault, suggesting that it may have been moved into that position from elsewhere.

“Is there another one, facing him ?” C. Flower

There is indeed another sphinx opposite this guy, they are about 2 meters apart.

You can just see his paws sticking out from behind the outer wall. from there it’s 13 steps down, and another wall, which the archaeologists assume seals the tomb. The job is painstakingly slow, they expect to be ready to start taking the other wall down in about 2 weeks. It must be nerve wrecking for those involved in this.

The head is indeed missing, but as far as I know they have one, ir bits of one, and it would seem like the sphinx is looking head down, a bit like a vulture… Restoration is not going to be easy, they reckon it will take up to 3 years.

20.8.2014 (later)  So, here they are, in half their glory

The archaeologists have confirmed that the wings and pieces of the head have been found on the site, leading some to believe that the tomb was raided at some stage, or at least vandalized. Now begins the painstaking part of removing the rest of the wall. The entrance to the tomb is apparently underneath the sphinxes and not, as first thought, behind them. This could speed things up a little. They have meanwhile also found traces of red and blue paint on and around the sphinxes, and an intact black and white mosaic with rhombus shapes ( a rhombus is basically a square pushed out of shape). They have also determined that the sphinxes were made by the same person(s) who made the lion, and they are indeed of exquisite craftsmanship.
The wings were found in the same area where a huge portion of the meanwhile restored lion was found. Archaeologists now believe that the lion originally stood on top of the mount, but was pulled down by raiders at some stage. Others say he may have been dislodged by an earthquake.
23.8.2014     This is getting seriously exciting now.

As the wall is carefully dismantled, this is what is emerging from behind it

We are looking at distinct Ionic architecture, which is beginning to reveal frescos in red blue and black. It is painstakingly slow, and Katerina Peristeri estimates it will take another month or so before they have the entrance cleared. She has now also barred all the politicians from the site, and told them to read the briefings she gives to the ministry and the press every day if they are indeed that interested… Peristeri is becoming a serious celebrity here, and every politician seems to think it vital for their career to have a picture taken of themselves with the woman. The head archaeologist also poured cold water on the ministers daft idea of organized tours to the ongoing excavations. Nobody is allowed anywhere near the site without her permission, and that is extended to her team only. She briefs the press on a daily basis, supplies the images, but will not let anybody near the actual entrance.
This morning she excitedly announced that they have unearthed all the pieces of the wings of the sphinxes and now have the complete wings in their possession.
Amazing to see the colour and decoration. We are so used to seeing Greek architecture bleached white with age and wear and tear. The crispness and quality of the carving too – having been protected from the elements.

“Wow, loving the reports from the Amphipolis dig, exciting stuff!” Sidewinder

26.8.2014  Getting there, slowly but surely..

And while the archaeologists, who describe themselves as “the surgeons of history” meticulously remove all the earth from the entrance, many theories about the origin and content of the tomb are being offered. Including of course the necessary conspiracy theories accusing every traditional “enemy” of the country of having looted the tomb at some stage…
What the whole thing has done is it has galvanized the people to take the right kind of pride in their heritage. Another major site, the ancient city of Messene, is currently being threatened by an enormous wild-fire which is being fanned by strong winds and high temperatures. It is getting that tricky that the government has ordered the evacuation of a number of villages, fearing that the fire-fighters will not be able to contain the fire before it gets there. Apart from the villages, the site of the city of Messene is also being threatened by the same wild fire. Last year this would not have raised an eyebrow anywhere, people just lost all interest in everything and anything thanks to the economic/political situation in the country. This year, it’s different. The head archaeologist in Amphipolis, Katerina Peristeri, has really managed to capture the imagination of the Greeks, and rally them around not just the project, but their heritage in general. Her daily reports are absolutely breath taking, and the enthusiasm she has generated is contagious. As soon as news spread about the fire and the potential damage to the villages and Messene, literally hundreds of volunteers from all over the place gathered in Messene and started helping the fire fighters clearing bush, digging fire trenches, evacuating the old people etc. So far, the fire has destroyed some 2000 acres of land, but it has been diverted away from 3 of the villages and the latest reports say that with the help of the volunteers and 6 airplanes the fires have been brought under control.


Katerina Peristeri has more news for us…

They have now entered the antechamber and are facing another wall.

The hole at the top left of this wall is large enough for a full grown man to go through, which has again fuelled speculation that the tomb may have been raided at some stage. Meanwhile, a few more details have been released. As commented on by C. Flower, the quality of the sculptures is incredible.

Other items have really raised the fever regarding who is buried here…

 

Today we learned that the architecture of the tomb, the wall, and some of the other items still under examination (mosaic floors etc) strongly indicate that the tomb was designed by Dinocrates, the architect who was responsible for the design and construction of Alexandria, and personal friend of Alexander the Great.

1.9.2014    Today we got the news that the antechamber has been accessed, and after some cleaning up a white and red marble floor was literally unearthed.

According to Katerina Peristeri the antechamber is in “excellent condition” and the marble floor is of “superb quality and craftsmanship”. This discovery has now slowed down the process of getting to the actual tomb itself, with could conceivably consist of a number of rooms, giving the size of the tomb.
2.9.2014   Painstakingly slow, the archaeologists are finding their way in to the tomb and reveal exquisite craftsmanship in the process.


They now know of 3 chambers behind the sealing wall, created by traverse diaphragmic walls. It turns out that not just the sealing wall had a top stone missing, but each of the traverse walls has a similar “flaw”, making the archaeologists think that this was not the work of grave robbers, but part of the construction.

Each of the chambers has been filled with large quantities of earth which must be removed literally trowel by trowel…At the same time, reinforcements must be constructed to allow the walls to remain upright under the increasing pressure from the earth on the other side.


Preliminary inspection of the walls in the antechamber have revealed a fresco with traces of blue colouring.
This video gives you a very good idea of the size of the Amphipolis tomb, and why the archaeologists are so excited about this…

Ephilant 4 Sept 2014

For more updates, visit our forum, Politicalworld.org

The Difference Between ISIS and Israel

August 19, 2014 - Leave a Response

In the first days of the Israeli assault on Gaza, some asked ‘Why the news concentration on Israel’.  Why not Syria, or ISIS etc. ?    This became one of the talking points of Israeli apologists who argued that it  is unjust – some suggested it reflected growing anti-semitism in Europe.   But at least we were making some progress: Israel was now being viewed on the same level as other backward, racist, fundamentalist movements or pariah states.    It is a sign that the ‘oasis of democracy is a sea of savagery’ myth is getting threadbare. Israel keeps pushing that myth but struggles in the face of growing press and social media focus.

So, what are the differences between Israel and  ISIS ?

Well, for one, ISIS thankfully does not have diplomatic representation here in Dublin.    ISIS doesn’t have an ambassador and his wife down in Ballsbridge peddling racism and Jewish supremacy. Here in Dublin we have a pair of bigots who argue that Israel is fighting for “us” against “them’.     Using racist stereotypes, the embassy tells us that were it not for Israel, Ireland and Europe would be overrun by Jihadi hordes.   (Strange that they are concerned about us, as Mrs. Bodai recently referred to the Irish as “anti-Semitic heathen hordes”).   In doing so they have become a global laughing stock – although that term minimises their sinister role. It is no wonder that there is a petition going around trying to put pressure on Enda Kenny to throw Boaz Modai and his Madame Ngu out. They are also a source of shame and concern to that dwindling, endangered group: the Israeli left.  It is staggering, however, to think that this locker room racism and barracks bigotry is coming from a diplomatic mission.   But sadly violent racist rhetoric is often be heard amongst the mainstream. Calls to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages or kicking the population out can heard from mainstream members of today’s Knesset.

Nor is my government complicit in ISIS atrocity the way it is with Israeli politicide. ISIS does not sit in the UN pretending to be a civilised nation. When we cut off diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, then things can change. Until then Israel’s PR machine deserves our attention.  And, as we can see from Dr Luntz’s manual, it is still very effective at peddling the con.  Israel has a far more evolved public relations machine than ISIS. It knows it is not good PR to go around beheading people in public. And when it does shoot innocent people who are trying to drag family members out of their bombed homes and then finishes them off as they lie in rubble, it doesn’t promulgate youtube clips of its actions.   Israel, as the Dr. Luntz manual reminds us, is fighting an information war.  It used to be very good at peddling the con. But the more it is exposed, the cruder it gets. The crudeness is part of a growing lack of sophistication as opposition and dissidence is stomped on. The crudeness is a sign that Israel is on the defensive.

Photo: Moamar Awad

The “Why us, not Syria?’ line showed the cracks in the con job. That’s the last line of defence before admitting the game is up.   ISIS does it by sword. Israel by drone. But the end result for the poor ******* on the wrong side is the same.

Israel must be stopped before it achieves its objective of bombing the Palestinians into an ISIS state of mind. It is a testament to the Palestinians’ sophistication as a culture that this has not yet happened. But in the despicable prison lab that is Gaza, in a brutalised world without the semblance of hope, in a world of humiliation and constant daily indignity, frightening mutations can happen. Israel wants vicious jihadi hordes to justify its vicious barbaric repression. Israel panics at the sight of moderation. That is why Israel originally supported Hamas. And that is why – after the emergence of the  recent Hamas Fatah reconciliation – we are witnessing the IDF slaughtering its way through Gaza. Israel prefers this bellicose status quo to the prospects of giving up land. Israel has never ever wanted to give up land. And Israel want to ensure it creates facts on the ground that means it never can. The Neo Cons made the Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו visions a reality when they deliberately tore Iraq apart and rendered it into a set of warring sectarian factions. The next step was supposed to be Iran. Once the grunts left Iraq where they would have been at Iran’s mercy. Benny screamed ‘onwards to Tehran’. But the brutalisation of Iraq gave birth to mutations like ISIS.  And now we have both Tel Aviv and its bastard twin ISIS engaged in genocidal activity. But curiously we only have talk of humanitarian aid for the Christians stranded on the mountain where Noah’s ark was said to have been built. Down below circle Rumsfeld’s twisted barbaric offspring. And no-one comes to the aid of the Gazans,

Israel prefers a bellicose status quo to land yielding peace.

Israel has never ever been prepared to give up land.

Israeli apologists will point to Gaza.

Israel gave up Gaza.

But the Gaza ‘withdrawal’ was a mere cosmetic move where Israel merely changed its role from repressive occupier to brutal prison guard.

The IDF moved from one side of a wall to another. Locking “in” instead of locking “down”.

Israel strives to replicate what it has done with its own state, that is, to create sufficient “fact” on the ground that it becomes indisputable. If a couple of million Palestinians are in the way, so what.

They have a choice, it says.

Submit, leave or die.

This is why Israel sees itself as innocent of the crime of genocide: the Palestinians don’t face certain death. No they have the luxury of leaving. Or submitting.

It’s very like ISIS with their variants on ‘Cough up, convert or die.”

Furthermore, Israel is at pains to point out that Palestinians live ‘freely’ within the State of Israel itself and even can participate in the body politic.

Yes, they can live as second-class citizens in an increasingly intolerant racist society. And their political leaders often stand accused of ‘treason’ for representing their voters.

Israel has come up with a more “telegenic – as Benny would say -” form of genocide and that’s politicide – the attack on all constructs that bring people together as a nation, that give people identity, pride and hope.

Under the cover of endless peace talks, it steadfastly pursues this objective. An objective that clearly explains attacks on schools, hospitals, power plants and universities.

So why do I agitate about Israel?  Because the West  is complicit in its silence. America enables the whole brutal show with its aid. And Europe either acquiesces or cheers on. Much to the horror of a growing percentage of citizens.

America could call a halt to this whole quasi-genocidal show. But it has neither the courage nor the moral integrity to do so.   That can change. Political parties may seem paralysed but the people’s view is changing. It’s almost 10 years since Pulitzer Prize winning Middle East reporter, the late Richard Ben Kramer wrote his New York Times best seller ‘How Israel Lost.’ Kramer chronicled how US Jews were becoming increasingly alienated from the extreme policies of modern Israel. Change may be tragically slow. But it is happening. Look at the series of Latin American countries that have just recently broken off diplomatic relations with Israel.

Personally I am fascinated by propaganda and love nothing more than a good fight.  Writing in Dublin Ireland, there is very little one can do to combat the threat of ISIS. But Israel is different. Political support, or the lack thereof, matters to Israel. So it makes sense to create political pressure. Highlighting what is happening to Gaza informs people and makes them more likely to lobby. The boycott of South Africa took time for it to hit a critical mass.

Kevin Barrington  19.8.2014

Images published by Israeli Embassies – July 2014

 

 

 

Dear Palestine

July 26, 2014 - Leave a Response

Merry Christmas Mister Sand Men
Stay hidden in your pods
I’m dreaming of white phosphorous
A present from our gods
A blazing western charity
That burns down canvas streets
High calibre instalments so
Tear off the linen sheets
A payload of democracy
From a war we didn’t start
That arrow that you tossed at us
We’ll thrust it through your heart.

Chorus
You’d think you would be grateful,
It’s for your kith and sin
We wash away the antiquity
And cleanse you from your kin.

If we step upon a serpent
It grows a thousand heads
Had to build a quiet camp for you
But still your hatred spreads
We lost a generation
Those deaths aren’t on your hands
But the cold corpse of my holocaust
Still wanders through these sands.
My righteousness is written on
A withered desert scroll
In blood upon the back of it
Is etched your body toll.

Chorus
You’d think you would be grateful,
It’s for your kith and sin
We wash away the antiquity
And cleanse you from your kin.

The junk food logos shelter us
And keep the world in line
They pay for two-faced satellites
With pop-stars on its mind
Humanity might care for you
But their leaders stay aloof
They trade a blind eye for an eye
And we take a tooth for truth
Your friends are only occupied
By their private revolutions
There’ll be no spring in Palestine
From a UN Resolution

Chorus
You’d think you would be grateful,
It’s for your kith and sin
We wash away the antiquity
And cleanse you from your kin.

 

5intheface   25th July 2014

 

Israel and Terror

July 26, 2014 - Leave a Response

I don’t like this thing of equating Israel with terrorism. Boyd Barrett calling it a ‘terrorist state’ last weekend and loads of other instances all over the place. WTF is ‘state-terrorism’ that isn’t already war, occupation, invasion, humiliation, starvation, colonialism and everything that goes on already? Is there some acceptable or legit ethic cleansing? State-Terror isn’t used for Cromwell or own history, not for any imperial project and what is state terror to the Palestinians when it isn’t even their state?

It falls into this unhelpful post-911 idea of terror. All violence is now terrorism for some reason or can be label so and where does that come from. We have all sorts of ‘insurgents’, ‘separatists’, ‘rebels’ in the news but they are all interchangeable with terrorist depending on what way the wind is blowing and I don’t think this kind of framing/rhetoric – that really took hold during the Bush era – is something we should bolster. Terrorist violence uses fear to achieve goals because fear is seen as most effective weapon available. Israel don’t have anything approaching a weapon shortage. Keeping US politicians or anyone who might dissent in check is one thing, there is fear there for sure but Israel don’t care if people in Gaza are afraid they just want to kill Palestinians and take their land.

And something else that bothers me is inseparable. Who gets labelled terrorist and who doesn’t in this day and age? Not Breivik, not school shooters not any shooters unless they are non-white. Sticking the banner of terror on Israel like some Extra Bad Terrible Thing beyond what they are already doing has connotations of saying they are just as bad as People of colour or more precisely Muslims, those Other people. There is no getting away from how the label of terrorism has been racialised and we must be mindful of that when people have dubious ideas of acceptable and unacceptable violence.

 

Dr. FIVE  25th July 2014

 

Those Marching Feet…

July 7, 2014 - Leave a Response

Working-class British nationalists (aka ‘Loyalists’) in Northern Ireland are openly talking about violence working, and imputing that they will be ‘forced’ to use violence if they don’t get their way on the Ardoyne Orange Order march issue.

They’re also getting ambiguously-coded support from the political representatives of the wider British nationalist community (aka ‘Unionists’) in NI for these threats. That’s what the phrase ‘graduated response’ really means.

‘Graduated’ does not mean either ‘proportionate’ or even ‘calibrated by people with a third-level degree’. It is a weasel word covering for ‘a series of discrete levels of organised violence, starting at widespread public disorder all the way to a campaign of lethal terrorism, against all those we deem to be our cultural, political and institutional foes.’

These British nationalists are 100% correct about the effectiveness of violence to achieve political ends, anybody’s political ends. That’s why state power moves might and main to secure and maintain a monopoly on the use of violence everywhere its sovereignty extends. It’s not always reliable, but it usually is. The Northern Ireland jurisdiction would never have existed but for the threats and reality of political violence on their forefathers’ part starting from the early 1880s right through to the early 1920s.

British nationalist violence brought down Sunningdale back in the 1970s. In 1996, the killing of taxi driver Michael McGoldrick was part of a NI-wide campaign of British nationalist violence and terror which forced an O.O. parade down Portadown’s Garvaghy Road totally against the will of the local residents. The killing of the three Quinn boys from Ballymoney in 1998 was an act of British nationalist violence too far, that horrified the great majority of NI residents, including many British nationalists. Yet, the O.O.’s spokesmen sought to deflect its responsibility in that matter (as did much of institutional British nationalism in NI in other ways: for instance the UVF’s silence at the time re responsibility was telling) and impute that the Quinn’s catholic uncle was the guilty party.

That (alas uncommon) instance of the failure of a campaign of violence to achieve its aims has meant that the loyal orders have not marched down that road since 1998. Even so, the resort to violence and threats of violence seems to be a reflex response of most British nationalists in NI when there is effective political opinion and action deployed against their triumphalist desires.

I’m no fan of Irish nationalism either. Yes I am Irish and I am comfortable enough living with that cultural identity, but my politics are anarchist and socialist/ communist and furthermore I want to live in a world where our common humanity is the identity we all cherish above all others. But I recognise that throughout modern history, Irish nationalism has, unlike its British counterpart (which has used the violence of the state and paramilitary auxiliaries as a first resort), most often employed violence as a last resort after other peaceful methods had patently failed. Within the broad political community of Irish nationalism there has been a political discourse about political violence – whether it is justified either globally or specifically, what political violence does to the politics of the wider nationalist movement, and what sort of political grounding/authorisation is required in order to employ it – going on for a very long time indeed, since before Parnell’s time at least. There is little or nothing of a comparable self-awareness that I can see in all British nationalist circles over the same period of time right up to the present, either on this island or on the island of Britain. British violence is good violence, even when it commits atrocities. It took the British state nearly 40 years to merely apologise to the relatives of the Bloody Sunday victims, and that state still refuses to co-operate fully/at all when it comes to investigating the Ballymurphy Massacre and the Dublin/Monaghan Bombings, to name but two war crimes in which that state is clearly implicated.

The 26-county Irish state doesn’t behave much better when it wrongs its own citizens, but it does not view such citizens (or their kin/legal representatives) seeking to vindicate their human rights as implacable opponents of the state and its political dispensation. Furthermore, I have no awareness of the Irish state knowingly committing or actively colluding in acts of terror outside its jurisdiction in pursuit of its domestic state security agenda. If you have knowledge or claim of different, please bring it up and let’s discuss it.

I do fear deeply for what may happen over this ‘marching season’ for in Scotland the UK state is in existential peril because of the cumulative successes of the independence movement/Yes campaign in the Independence Referendum debate, and this dawning realisation for British nationalists of all locations, classes and stripes is profoundly destabilising. British nationalism is raging against the dying of its light (and hegemonic right), and a growing tide of opinion in Ireland and Scotland is revulsed by its violent domination of political discourse in both countries for far too long. Expect trouble, very serious violent trouble on the part of British nationalists, and don’t be one bit surprised if the UK state gives in to it, or even orchestrates a significant portion of it.

It is right, as some have suggested, that republicans/other Irish nationalists should not respond to British nationalist provocations, because the loyalists and the unionist parties alike are spoiling for violence, as they think it will create the necessary chaos for their nasty ludicrous dream of ‘re-partition’, prompt open UK military intervention, collapse the suspension of major political violence that’s miscalled ‘the peace process’, and ultimately bring back the halcyon days of Stormont Mk I. Unfortunately for unionists and loyalists, the laws of thermodynamics imply that you can’t re-create the past exactly as it was, even in microcosm, so they’re pissing against the wind out of sheer wilful ignorance of how the universe works, which is ironic since the great physicist William Thomson (aka Baron Kelvin) was an Ulsterman of their own stock. Also, ‘No Surrenderism’ and the inability to see beyond their own sectarian fences will destroy ‘Protestant Ulster’ as a viable cultural complex, the good along with the bad and the manifestly ugly. It’s a tragedy that’s been going on since 1912 and the foundation of the UVF and its arming in 1914: Unionism has refused since to meaningfully negotiate a shared culture and politics for this island with all the others who live here regardless of ideological affiliation, and all that time they had useful opportunities for serious influence over such matters were they only willing to cut reasonable deals and drop the supremacism.

The UK’s erstwhile status as a world power gave British nationalists the political cover to shout the cultural odds for the rest of us on these islands without any meaningful budging on British nationalism’s part, and these fools believe that that balance of political and cultural power in the Atlantic Archipelago is going to last forever. By the time the penny drops with Unionism/British nationalism in NI (and in Britain too), its community will have almost nothing of value to bargain with and their overall influence in Ireland (even up there) will be marginal at best. It’s a tragedy almost entirely of their own making – choices made and not made by Unionist leaderships, roads walked and not walked by Orangeism, and no-one to shout ‘Hang on a minute!’ for fear of being ‘Lundied’.

And finally to add, when a mob of people are rabidly trying to burn down the street you live on, as happened when the last ‘troubles’ broke out, it’s hard to exercise restraint, possibly too hard. The violence in NI this summer could potentially be extreme, as British nationalists really need their Irish counterparts to join the eschatological tango. And there’s any number of loyalist nutjobs out there praying for the ‘End Times’ thinking they’re some kind of political ‘Second Coming’ – for instance take a look at Jamie Bryson, the walking farce who wants to follow on from the Carsonian/Craigite/Paisleyite tragedy.

 

Kid Ryder 6th July 2014

(Extracted and edited from the thread of the same title on the Political World forum)

 

 

Things People Stick on Lampposts (Part 1)

July 6, 2014 - Leave a Response

Last year, having completed my collection of eastern European egg cartons my better half suggested that I find a more “Sensible” hobby. I ask you!! Anyway, to keep her happy I took up photographing things that people stick or stencil onto lampposts, bins, postboxes, walls or whatever. Now I know you might find this hard to believe, but she is still not impressed.
Women are a complete mystery no doubt about it.

I’ve been posting photographs now for over a year on Politicalworld.org forum.  It has been suggested to me that the PW blog deserves its fair share of lamppost items, so there will be a “best of” series of posts here for readers to catch up with, or remember, the best of Irish political stickers, starting from spring 2013.

Anyway, if you see something interesting, funny or artistic on a lamppost where you are, post it here and share it with the world. Of course posting something does not mean you agree with it, so don’t be afraid to post far right sh*t. Forewarned is forearmed.
Stuff from anywhere in the world welcome, maybe with a translation if necessary.

I suggest not posting the all to frequent appeals for information about missing people. There is a missing persons thread and including them here among with some frivolous stuff may cause offence.

SOOOOOOO HERE IT IS! In Dublin, Spring 2013 these were the…….

Things people stick on lampposts.

Never Forget:

We have lots of Irish lampposts in Dublin

And we have the occasional foreign lamppost:

Éire Bocht= poor Ireland. But what has yer wan got to do with the price of chips?

Like wtf?

 

 

 

 

Eamo   5th July 2014

Tom Gilmartin – the Man Who Brought Down Bertie Ahern

June 9, 2014 - One Response

Tom Gilmartin’s story, told by Frank Connolly in his new book “Tom Gilmartin – the Man Who Brought Down a Taoiseach and Exposed the Greed and Corruption at the Heart of Irish Politics,” (Gill and MacMillan) is an Odyssean  journey through Irish business and political life of the second half of the 20th century.  Connolly goes through 5 decades of Gilmartin’s life – as a young emigrant going from Sligo to Luton in the 1950s, making a success in the U.K. in the 60s and 70s as an engineer and a developer, then, from the 1970s to the 1990s, going back to Dublin to invest millions,and running into a wall of corruption and insider dealing. This finally brought Gilmartin into the heart of the Irish political turmoil in the 2000s when he became one of the main evidence-givers to the Mahon (Flood) Tribunal into “Certain Planning Matters.”

GiImartin had come back to Ireland sensing a good business opportunity in the Dublin’s underdeveloped and outdated commercial infrastructure, but was also motivated by a wish to provide  jobs and go some way to help stem the bleed of emigration from Ireland’s stunted and moribund economy.   Gilmartin began to assemble lands for development, first on the North side of the city centre, then at Quarryvale, at the future Liffey Valley Shopping site, west of the city at the M50.  What he found was that “the place was totally corrupt.” As soon as he landed, vultures and jackals getting the scent of funds and potential profit descended on him, leeching off and incapacitating his plans.  It seems like the whole Golden Circle wanted a cut out of any development profit for doing nothing.  The next 20 years were years of effort, frustration and disillusion.

The book is a labyrinthine voyage  though a morass of self-seeking power holders, power brokers and bagmen.  Bankers and Gardai were there too, to fund and protect the connected. Gilmartin found that development planning and control powers were seen as assets by politicians and by some public servants, to be auctioned off to the highest bidder for personal gain.  “Party donations” from developers were quietly pocketed by politicians, with a blind eye turned by the party. Professional fixers and middlemen like Frank Dunlop expected a cut at every turn.

Ultimately, after resisting the pressures for years, Gilmartin’s Irish development company and the fruit of decades of his work was taken off him by the future beneficiaries of the west Dublin project: O’Callaghan, Cork Developer (and big donor to Fianna Fail), and the Allied Irish Bank, ably assisted by fulltime bagmen Liam Lawlor TD.and Frank Dunlop, who also got their cut.  A donation of £50,000, given to Fianna Fail, in the desperate hope that it would get the incessant demands off his back, he later found had been taken by Flynn and never reached the party.

Such was the greed of the political class for more enrichment from property transactions that the Irish Government skewed the entire economy to promote construction, until the resulting property bubble exploded and left us with an unrepayable debt that has ruined the country and the aftermath is continuing to ruin hundreds of thousands of lives. By the time Bertie Ahern called the 2007 General Election to ‘get in’ before the big damage of the Tribunal struck home, civil servants and bankers were already using desperation measures to keep the banks afloat.  By the time of Bertie Ahern’s resignation as Taoiseach in May 2008 all of the Irish banks were facing imminent bankruptcy. By the time he resigned from Fianna Fail in 2012 his own party and the country was pretty well wrecked.

The systemic corruption, with cheques and cash lures for politicians handed out in bulk, led to public outcry and to investigation, initially focused on rezoning.  The Tribunal Into Certain Planning Matters (the Flood, or Mahon Tribunal) was established in 1997 with broad terms of reference and finally reported just over a year ago.

The Tribunal process gave moments of drama that punctuate the book.  Most people first heard Tom Gilmartin’s name in the early days of the Tribunal in Pee Flynn’s nauseating display of gombeen arrogance and clownish pantomime on the Late Late Show, in which he attempted to sully the reputation of Gilmartin and his family while boasting of the high life style afforded him as an EU Commissioner.  It was that shocking performance from Flynn with the gratuitous insult to himself and his wife, that brought Gilmartin back from England to give evidence at the Tribunal.

P. Flynn on the Late Late Show,  RTE, 1999

“He’s not well, his wife is not well , and he’s out of sorts.”

The next game changer was Mary O’Rourke’s evidence in the Tribunal, where in bravura style she made liars of most of the Cabinet and the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, by telling how she met Gilmartin in the Daíl at a meeting which they had all sworn never took place.  From that moment, Ahern’s days in political power were numbered and Gilmartin’s many days of evidence, which had been repeatedly labelled as ‘fantasy’ was accepted as fact.

The third and final ‘moment of truth’ was when Bertie Ahern’s former secretary Grainne Carruth broke down giving evidence about funds she had banked for Aherne,  The evidence contradicted evidence given by Ahern. The personal torment she went through from trying to remain loyal to Ahern whilst giving evidence on oath brought a new level of public contempt and disgust on Ahern, for putting her through this.  It led to his resignation as Taoiseach.

The final report of the Mahon Tribunal was published on 22 March 2012.  Gilmartin’s allegations about an Irish mafia in politics, and in construction, were thoroughly vindicated.  Bertie Ahern resigned from Fianna Fail two days later.

(The Tribunal)  found that former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern failed to “truthfully” explain source of money and it rejected his evidence of “dig-outs”, and that former EU Commissioner Pádraig Flynn “wrongly and corruptly” sought donation from Tom Gilmartin.[6] 

On corruption in public life, Judge Mahon stated in the report that: “It continued because nobody was prepared to do enough to stop it. This is perhaps inevitable when corruption ceases to become an isolated event and becomes so entrenched that it is transformed into an acknowledged way of doing business. Specifically, because corruption affected every level of Irish political life, those with the power to stop it were frequently implicated in it.”[18]

There is an important sub-theme of the book which resonates as much as does the story of corruption.  The attitude in Ireland to returned emigrants can be hostile and suspicious.  Returned emigrants threaten the exclusive hold of the ‘stayers’ on their territory and resources.

Most people who came back to Ireland in the 1980s or early 90s would have experienced this in the context of business and work.  In the boom, with full employment and apparently limitless cash, the attitude softened.  A person respected and successful in much bigger circles abroad, can be treated dismissively ‘back home. ‘  The tight insider circles of power mistrust and are in fierce competition with returned migrants. The petty social snobbery thrown at Gilmartin by the noxious poltroon Flynn is like  a thread of dross running through this whole story. Gilmartin won respect from the wider public for his honest and fearless rebuttals.

Thomas Gilmartin jnr says about this

My take on the story is of a man let down throughout his life by the state for not being from the right family or having the right connections, a man able to flourish outside such a toxic environment, and a man brought down by that same culture because he refused to play their game.

The bigger picture is even more damning than the detail of what went on. The absence of consequences, the apparent contempt for the rule of law in Ireland if you’re on the inside, and the betrayal of the legacy of those, like Dad’s father, who fought for independence, are also an indictment of the state.

Following the report of the Mahon Tribunal, the Irish Government referred the 3,270-page report to the Garda Commissioner, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Revenue Commissioners and to the Standards in Public Office Commission. Discussion of the outcome of that recommendation is welcome on Politicalworld.org discussion forum.

Tom Gilmartin died towards the end of last year.  His robust honesty, determination,  firm personal morality and his humour will all be missed.

His son Thomas jnr., who had ridden shotgun with his father throughout the Tribunal, while fighting the good fight online as Toxic Avenger, took part in the launch of Connolly’s book.  Fittingly, he talked about his father, and the book – and the state of Ireland – on the Late Late Show recently:

Tom Gilmartin jnr:  the Late Late Show, RTE, 2014

This book is a gripping read (enough so to displace John Grisham for this year’s summer holiday), and an essential work for anyone seriously interested in Irish politics.  It was written by Connolly over a ten year period, which adds to the feeling of a journey travelled. For a second edition, it would be helpful to provide a skeleton time line of the Tribunal process for readers of the generation for whom it is modern history.

The book is very well illustrated by contemporary photographs of the main players and has an appendix detailing the Tribunal process and findings.  Read, weep, rage and enjoy.

Cass Flower 7 June 2014

 

What’s going on in the west?

May 30, 2014 - One Response

There was an interesting exchange in the Seanad yesterday

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh: Yesterday, the Minister for Health, Deputy Reilly, addressed the Seanad about the reconfiguration of maternity services across hospital groups. He mentioned issues surrounding the procurement of the report which examines this. It has subsequently been brought to my attention that there may be serious repercussions to this statement and the Minister was not fully open or transparent with the information available to him. I understand the report to reconfigure maternity services was commissioned to a company called the Health Partnership, and worker representatives believe the report will result in the closure of maternity centres in Portiuncula Hospital at Ballinasloe and in Letterkenny, with the possible downgrading of other services in the group.

The company was set up by the current chair of the hospitals group, Mr. Noel Daly. Mr. Daly was appointed chair of the group by the Minister, who expressed full confidence in him at the time.

An Cathaoirleach:
I ask the Senator to refrain from naming people on the record of the House who are not here to defend themselves.

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh: He is the chair of the hospital group in question and involved with the company which produced the report. It would appear there may be a major conflict of interest in the commissioning of the report, and the Minister must make a clear statement that the report is to be withdrawn completely, with Mr. Daly to review his position as chair of the board. When appointing chairpersons to the hospital group, the Minister identified a number of key responsibilities, including ensuring compliance with the code of practice for governance of State bodies, undertaking an assessment of the composition, competency, profile and potential conflicts of interest—–

An Cathaoirleach: The Senator cannot make allegations against people. Is there a question?

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh: I am stating what the Minister has said.

An Cathaoirleach: Is there a question for the Leader?

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh: I have a number of pertinent questions for the Leader. The person in question, the chair of the north-west hospital group, set up the company in 2004 and also appeared to be involved in plans to develop the €75 million Wyndale Clinic which was to be located on the grounds of Letterkenny hospital.

I have some serious questions to be addressed by the Minister. I propose an amendment to the Order of Business that the Minister come to the Seanad today to answer these questions. Does he agree that the report into the reconfiguration of maternity services in the west and north west cannot be relied upon as independent and fully accountable, and will he ask for it to be withdrawn immediately? Does the Minister feel the chairman of the group should review his position? What is the nature of the relationship between the Minister and the chairman of the west and north-west hospital group?

An Cathaoirleach: That is completely out of order as you are reflecting on an individual.

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh: What connection, if any, does the chairman have with Fine Gael?

An Cathaoirleach: I could rule the amendment out of order if the Senator continues.

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh: It is very important as the Minister was not forthcoming when he had an opportunity yesterday to address these issues. He brought up the procurement issue but he did not give us the full information he should have. We have seen decisions taken with Ballinasloe—–

An Cathaoirleach: What is the proposed amendment?

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh: I ask that the Minister comes before the House to give us a full, frank and transparent report on the issues surrounding procurement of the report which considers the reorganisation of maternity services in the west and north west, as well as any matters around the chairmanship of the board. What is the appointment process for the chairpersons of boards? Was that process carried out through public appointment? I understand it was not.

Here are some extracts from an excellent article by Marie O’Connor. It gives a very clear picture of what began under Micheál Martin and Mary Harney. A destruction of public services in the pursuit of profit which has moved up several gears under doctor, minister and businessman James Reilly.

Beaumont Hospital recently announced that it was closing one operating theatre a month on a rolling basis. Yesterday the HSE admitted that it might have to close the Lourdes maternity unit altogether because of a shortage of doctors. Despite the fact that in many specialties we have a dire shortage of medical consultants, plans are afoot to slash the number of doctors in training by 900 –– around one quarter of the current total.

By last December, almost 2 500 graduate nurses had applied for work abroad because of the ban on recruitment. Our GP ratio is one of the worst in Europe, our bed to head ratio – the number of acute public hospital beds per head of population–– one of the worst in OECD countries.

Not content with this level of scarcity, the government plans to close small-to-medium sized public hospitals across the country. Mullingar Hospital is one of them, as is St Luke’s, Ireland’s specialist centre for cancer care for many decades…That Bill has just gone through its second stage in the Dáil. Last week the HSE denied that 24 beds had been closed permanently at Naas General Hospital. These are just some of the 1 200 public hospital beds closed across the country, according to the nurses and midwives’ union. They say the numbers on trolleys are now at their highest since 2007, when the body count was declared a ‘national emergency’.

HSE also denies plans to cut hospital A&E department to ‘office hours only’. We are just two weeks away from D-Day, when ‘junior’ hospital doctor contracts expire. Only on 1 July will it become clear if Naas Hospital will continue to have a full-time A&E service. Hospitals in Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Tralee and Letterkenny are in the same boat.

We are now facing the biggest closure of beds and services since the public hospital asset-stripping of the 1980s. Our public health system is being stripped out by stealth under the banner of ‘transformation’. Like‘reconfiguration’ and ‘reform’, these are weasel words for Government bed-cutting programmes

[...]

The privatisation of public administration is reaching ridiculous lengths. The decision on the location of the planned new hospital in the north-east was outsourced to a firm of private consultants, the Health Partnership. The firm has two principals: one of them is Noel Daly, a former CEO of An Bord Altranais. His firm has advised on at least seven developer-led health care projects in Ireland, including the Vista Primary Care Centre in Naas. Entrusting such a sensitive decision as where to locate a regional hospital to a company with such a strong profile in the private sector raises the possibility of conflicts of interest. In the event, the Health Partnership decided to locate the new hospital in Mr Daly’s own home town.

[...]

Health ‘reform’ is synonymous with privatisation. It is driven, not by evidence, but by ideology, belief in a model that has failed spectacularly in the last couple of years, the market model. Privatisation requires the closure of public services. Strategic management has produced reports and devised tactics, such as the cancer and chronic disease stratagems, all dovetailed to secure public service cuts. These cuts create business opportunities for powerful interests that serve commercial needs, not patient welfare.

Our health system, I believe, is being recast in an American mould. We are witnessing a massive experiment driven, not by science, but by greed. The walls of the public health system are being pulled down from within. Cost cutting is now being used to drive transformation, and transformation, as we have seen, is a Trojan Horse crammed with private for profit soldiers

 

So who or what is Health Partnership?

The website doesn’t offer much. Plenty of management speak but it all feels a bit for show really.  In fact, if you check the address provided they don’t even have an office. The one listed, 6/9 Trinity Street, Dublin 2, Ireland, is owned by this service -

Having a business address helps present a more professional image. Your business will be perceived as being bigger/more substantial which helps open doors when dealing with larger companies. It can also be useful when trying to win business in Dublin if you are based outside of the county or country. For instance, Dublin customers may be more comfortable doing business with companies who have a Dublin presence themselves.

A professional Business Address costs a fraction of an actual office and there are no hidden fees. You get all the benefits of a prestigious business address without the associated costs or hassle. The main benefit is no crippling overheads in the form of rent / rates / utility charges for office space. We can also offer meeting room hire, daily office hire on a “pay as you go” basis at your address.

Not bad for a company presiding over the potential closure of regional hospitals no?

They were also part of the “private consortium” involved in the new children’s hospital in 2008.

Their actual name is D & F Health Partnership Limited and Daly, while a founder, is no longer listed as director. He and founding/current Health Partnership director Deirdre Foley were also directors of Meret Healthcare, which was set up in 2007 “to build a network of primary healthcare centres across the country”. That is property speculation and rent seeking to me and you.

Meret Healthcare is a new, dynamic Irish company, providing specialist property services, and much more, to the primary health care sector in Ireland.

Drawing on a wealth of expertise and international experience, Meret intends to build a network of primary healthcare centres across the country, in partnership with established General Practitioners.

The centres will provide opportunities for the Health Service Executive to establish primary care teams, to bring new services to local communities, and to make health policy happen.

We believe that each Primary Healthcare Centre will become a one stop shop for all primary care services in the community, and we encourage local healthcare providers to relocate to our centre.

If you are a General Practitioner, Chiropodist, Dentist, Dietician, Occupational Therapist, Optometrist, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist or Podiatrist, we can supply you with modern practice facilities, and give you the opportunity to work with other clinicians.

But wait, there’s more.

They are also joint directors two entities, something called North West Healthcare Development Company Limited and another, North West Healthcare Investment Company.

Health Partnership also made a submission to the Dept of Finance on ‘tax exemption and high earners’ in 2005

Mr Daly departed both Health Partnership and Meret Healthcare in April 2012. Two months before he was appointed to the role of Chair the Galway Roscommon University Hospital Group by James Reilly.

The term of the appointments is for three years and the boards of the groups will be established initially on a non-statutory basis.

The two new hospital group Chairmen, working in consultation with the Chair of the Strategic Board, will have key roles in the development of effective corporate and clinical governance structures for the groups along with the quality and safety of systems of care in place for patients of the hospital groups. Central to this will be overseeing the implementation of the relevant recommendations of the HIQA report in relation to Tallaght Hospital.

The Minister identified a number of key responsibilities for the Chairmen including:-

  • Ensuring compliance with the Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies,
  • Undertaking an assessment of the composition, competency profile and potential conflicts of interest of potential board members and making the necessary changes required to ensure that the board is constituted appropriately and in accordance with modern day corporate governance of boards,
  • Mandatory board induction programme for new board members and mandatory on-going development programme for board members which the Department will address this at a national level,
  • Clear definition of the role and function of the board;,
  • Oversight of the building of strategic partnerships with other key stakeholders so that the organisation does not operate in isolation of the national and local system for delivery of care and support to its population, ensuring that a clear scheme of delegation of accountability from the board to the Chief Executive and executive directors is designed, taking account of the interim accountability arrangements put in place by the HSE to manage the transition towards the establishment of the independent, competing Trusts planned as part of the programme for government,
  • Ensuring that there are annually agreed objectives in place for the Chief Executive that accurately reflects the realm of their accountability, responsibility, and authority.

The Minister believes it is essential that the business of the board is conducted in an open and transparent manner with the maximum amount of its meetings held in public by June 2013 including an Annual General Meeting in public from 2013. He has also instructed that a self-evaluation of the board should be carried out and arrangements should be in place to facilitate staff to raise concerns about the quality and safety of patient care and for consideration of information provided by external sources, including patient advocates, in relation to the delivery of safe care to patients.

Speaking of the appointments, the Minister said “the leadership skills, knowledge and experience these three gentlemen bring to these important roles will be invaluable. I wish them well in these important roles and assure them of my support. They will be supported and overseen in their endeavours by the Special Delivery Unit in my Department”

 

Ó Clochartaigh yesterday said that Reilly mentioned “issues surrounding the procurement of the report”.

Here is what the minister said

The review of maternity services undertaken by the west-north west hospitals group included the maternity units at Portiuncula Hospital Ballinasloe, Mayo General Hospital, University Hospital Galway, Sligo Regional Hospital and Letterkenny General Hospital. While the draft report presents various options for service reconfiguration, I understand the report does not recommend any option in particular.

I am aware that an issue has arisen, however, concerning the commissioning of the review of maternity services on behalf of west-northwest hospitals group. At the request of the director general, the HSE internal audit unit has undertaken a review and established that the procurement of services was not in accordance with HSE national financial regulations.

I further understand that the director general has written to both the hospitals group chairperson and the chief executive officer outlining his concerns, seeking to ensure the recommendations of the audit unit are implemented and that there will be no further breaches of procurement rules. I am satisfied this operational matter is being dealt with appropriately by the HSE working with the chief executive officer and the group board and that any issues will be resolved in that context.

So..

1) The west-worthwest hospitals group  (Galway, Letterkenny, Mayo, Merlin Park, Portiuncla, Roscommon, Sligo) appear to have procured services in a way “which was not in accordance HSE national financial regulations”.

2) The services were provided by a company called Health Partnership, a company founded by the ministerially appointed chair of the west-northwest hospitals group.

3) According to Ó Clochartaigh, the report will result in the closure of maternity centres in Portiuncula Hospital at Ballinasloe, Letterkenny, and possible downgrading of other services in the group.

4) The ministerially appointed chair of the west-northwest hospitals group is also deeply involved in the development of private healthcare clinics, primary care centres and the property that is at the very heart of so much of it.

Dr.FIVE  30 May 2014

Indian Election Results: Part 2: Resistance to Fascism in India

May 25, 2014 - Leave a Response

There is no widely accepted concept of fascism in India. That’s the trick of the RSS in convincing people that they are just there to promote Hindu culture. The political left in India, mainly the CPI(M) have become pseudo socialists like the Irish Labour party. They voice concerns against the fascist forces but do nothing beyond that. The larger trade unions are affiliated to political parties and don’t do much. The antifascist movements are by the scattered regional human rights activist groups and small non-political socialist trade unions ( http://www.truthofgujarat.com/author/mukul-sinha/,http://nsm.org.in/tag/jan-sangharsh-manch/,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teesta_Setalvad ).

Most activist movements in India are led by women who speak actively against corporate fascism, but are more involved in localized agitations to ensure survival of the disenfranchised. They are not organized as a single force against fascism. The closest thing to a national antifascist movement is the Aam Aadmi party(common man party), which has been successful in uniting India’s best women’s rights activists, land rights activists and other human rights activists across India. Some of their tactics have been questionable, but they did well in these elections for a new party. Their biggest contribution is uniting grass roots leftist and socialist activists in the fight against corporate fascism ( http://kafila.org/?s=aap ). The CPI(M) went the China way, when it came to improving the economic condition of the state: ignoring their core welfare policies and paying the price. They were murdering their opponents, including protesting people in their states of West Bengal ( http://www.countercurrents.org/kavita250407.htm ) and Kerala ( http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report…ks-row-1694163 )

The new CM of WB has been successful in creating an illusion of being an alternative – as someone said on Political World forum, she is indeed a power crazed, anti-women nut case ( http://www.patnadaily.com/index.php/…-banerjee.html ) The alternative or resistance to corporate sponsored fascist majority government in India will not come from other political parties. All the major parties even those led by women only implement token welfare schemes and infrastructure projects to create the illusion of development, while being actively anti-women ( http://genderbytes.wordpress.com/201…omen-of-india/ ) and anti-people. The resistance will come from the people. While this may sound too simplistic, over the years the Indian public has become more enlightened than ever, with stronger regard for human rights. After the Gujarat riots, while BJP won in Gujarat, they were defeated nationally even though they performed relatively well. After the Delhi gang rape people were out in the streets protesting relentlessly, while the government tried to crackdown on them, instead of addressing women’s rights issues. There have been many smaller protests and fights for justice, against rapes and atrocities against dalit women across Indian villages, not reported by the media. The most recent example is the nationwide support for LGBTQ rights, when the supreme court repealed Section 377 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section…ian_Penal_Code).

While the governments and political parties across the world are moving towards the right, the people are moving towards an egalitarian idea. The same is true in India. The BJP will try to implement it’s hidutva fascist agenda and their corporate masters will implement their destructive, unchecked capitalism. There will be victims and the organized left in India is too small and scattered to stop it, just like they were unable to stop Modi from coming to power. There is no instant solution to stop the fascists and their defeat will be painfully slow. But the resistance will come from the people. The present popular resistance to fascism in India comes from small but committed groups like those of university students unions, professors, women’s rights groups and even a few individual activists. Here are links to few of them:

Mukul Sinha, he passed away very recently, but he was actively involved and founded many movements like this http://nsm.org.in/

This is Kavita Krishnan (Secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) and a member of CPI(Marxist-Leninist) party), she is actively involved in various human rights, women’s rights and socialist causes.

There are many student unions, professors in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) like this http://dsujnu.blogspot.in/ and AISA(All India Students Association) 

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEgsdDVCJVdZ28SAyBaukGA

JNU is famous for socialist and democratic activism and dissent.

And here is Arundhati Roy who is known around the world, at least in socialist or leftist circles:

Also this happened meanwhile: “Five youngsters detained for circulating antimodi message on wassup….  http://ibnlive.in.com/news/bangalore-five-youngsters-detained-for-circulating-antimodi-message-on-whatsapp/474326-62.html

dharma 25th May 2014

Comments on this blog welcome here and also at Politicalworld.org discussion forum

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