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Revisiting The Tahrir Square Occupation
February 11, 2016

It is five years since the historic mass movement of millions of Egyptian, 25th January to 11th February 2011, in which the people forced Mubarak to stand down afer a 30 year rule. “The People Demanded the End of the Regime.”

Over the last couple of days I’ve re-read all of this thread on Political World forum on the experience of the Tahrir Square occupation and also all of our thread on the Arab Spring and thought about the experience of the truncated Egyptian revolution, and my experience for ten days being part of it.

People asked at the time, when Mubarak went, was it a coup, or a revolution. It was neither – it was a moment of hesitation by a mass movement, at which the question of power – who should rule the country – was implicitly posed, and the people stepped back from it.

After the first 8 days of battle and hundreds of deaths of unarmed protestors, Tahrir Square for the next 10 days was a state within a state, in one space, self-organised, and full of energy, determination and a feeling of surprise and elation. The people of Egypt came together 5 years ago, today and accepted Mubarak’s departure, along with assurances of elections, and promises of constitutional reform to a democratic state. On that basis they went back home and left power in the hands of the army, along with the judiciary who proposed to act as guarantors of constitutional change.

“The People and the Army are One Hand” was a slogan chanted at that time, half in belief, half as an appeal to the army not to crush the people. The people offered themselves up in the exposed open spaces of the squares, protected mainly by their numbers, and by the fact that the Egyptian was a conscript army, manned by their brothers and sons.

It was the decision of the People when they left the Square and handed power back: they were not ready, or did not at that time see the need, to press on and take on the difficult and dangerous task of dismantling and replacing the armed forces, and taking power, and taking over the running of and ownership of the country themselves – as they had run the Square – equally and communally, with forces that act for them, instead of exploiting and oppressing them.

There followed five years of treachery and political suppression by the army and establishment, and of anger and disillusionment of the people. Energies that were needed for long term organisation were spent on repeated street battles and mass protests.  Nevertheless, enormous political experience was accumulated by youth and workers who before had none.

Many Egyptians, whose historic experience of colonialism was under the British, did not recognise the malign, background, role of the US establishment, and sincerely believed that an old style western democracy had been on offer. The US tooled up the Egyptian army, and as is known from leaked cables, having been taken by surprise by the massive power of the 2011 rising, worked at ‘transitioning’ first through the elected Muslim Brotherhood and then directly with the army and wealthy, pro-Mubarak forces, to divert Egypt back, via an army coup, army massacres and mass jailings, to a military regime even more brutal than Mubarak’s. The Egyptian economy is even more devastated, corrupt and unsustainable now than in 2011. Far from new democracies being created, the global economic crisis is driving erosion of democracy, from west to east.

In 2011 I walked the Square for hours every day, observing, discussing with people, working with others on the basic tasks of maintaining the occupation, and also looking for any sign of Egyptian socialists who might be putting forward an alternative, and could not find one. I expect other people were searching too.  I met workers, agriculturalists, Ultras, women from the MB, members of the pro democracy youth movements, doctors, poets and many others. The Nasserites (left nationalists) were openly meeting every day, as was anyone else with anything to say. There was freedom for anyone against Mubarak to be there and speak. After the occupation was over, in the celebrations of Mubarak’s departure, I met a girl student, a member of the Revolutionary Socialists, who had not been to the occupation – hard to comprehend this apparent detachment of a ‘left’ from an event of enormous revolutionary potential. History, and the state of the socialist movement, has brought us to a point where there is virtually no organisation of the working class that is preparing and is able to seize – or recognise – a moment like that when it comes.

I’ve been reading blogs and interviews with people who took part in those 18 days of uprising and the experience of “No More Fear”. I’ve not seen anyone say they regretted being at Tahrir Square, only people who wished they had been, or who, like me, wished they had got there sooner. Everyone who was there knows what revolutionary power of millions of people feels like, even though that power was not used to make a revolution.

There was a moment of hesitation and ‘he who hesitates is lost’. The working class and youth, who had unleashed the occupation with such courage and determination, were not ready to go on, but when they are ready, as they will be only when the political organisation and study needed has been done, and when they know that there is no alternative, they will, and not only in Egypt.

C. Flower  11 Feb 2016

Tahrir Square – February 2011


“Is the Troika Trying to Break Social Cohesion in Greece ?”
June 8, 2015

“Is the Troika trying to break the social cohesion in Greece in order to bring back their wooden trojan horse (traitor) Samaras to power ? I noticed that most recent poll showed a drop fo 5.3 % for Syriza party in contrast to Turkish elections today a bit of a shock but a warning to any mainstream political parties allied to the Troika.” (D.S.)

The Institutions (Troika is a bad word these days!) are doing two things:
– they are destroying the social cohesion of Greece and its people, and the weapon is poverty
– they are destroying what is left of the Greek economy as a blueprint for the economic wasteland they need around the thriving centre of the EU.  This is in order to ensure two things for that centre –  a pool of easily accessible cheap labour which is to be kept at the highest possible level of economic and social poverty and deprivation, and a remaining viable market to which they can sell their products. For the second objective, the weapon is debt. Together, this creates the perfect vicious circle, a peripheral economy fuelled by debt, which is then repaid to the centre. Of course, eventually, that is self defeating for the centre, but hey, that’s a problem for tomorrow’s generations, so who cares? They deserve their world war as well…

Greece and its government are refusing to play ball, unlike Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and the Baltic States. Simply look at the Institutions demands and you’ll see what the objective is. The vast bulk of those demands are aimed at destroying the social aspect of our society. Divide and rule. The big fear of course is that if Greece gets away with this, then those other peripheral countries might just grow a pair as well and demand similar things. That would mean the necessity for the EU to become a transfer (sharing) economy instead of the vulture economy it now is. And of course, expecting that to happen would be like expecting Turkeys to vote for Christmas.
Gombeen men like Samaras and Papademos are of course being lined up at the side lines. Watch out for these guys: Γκίκας Χαρδούβελης (Hardouvelis), former Minister for Finance under Samaras. He is the new puppet on the rise, backed by all the wrong people (from a Greek point of view). Samaras has served his time and will get his reward soon.
The other one is Ανδρέας Λοβέρδος (Andreas Loverdos, PASOK), ex minister for health. He is the b*****d who plastered posters all over Athens with the names and photos of HIV positive women to “protect” the Greek men… guess what he would be willing to do if giving free reign…

As for the poll showing that decline, of course keep an eye on it, but take it with a serious chunk of salt. It was conducted on behalf of STAR TV, the official mouthpiece for Nea Demokratia… The poll results that have so far proven to be most reliable are those carried out and published by the University of Macedonia. They give SYRIZA a 45% slice of the vote, with a comfortable 22% lead on ND, and rising…

Ephilant 8.6.2015

NAMA, the NTMA and The Public Interest
June 2, 2015

Having purchased the Sunday Independent (17th May),  largely for a 10 Euro off Lidl voucher, I came across an article on N.A.M.A that was both alarming and eye opening.

I have long held the view that this outfit would end up as a national scandal at some stage. On reading this article I discovered that we have taken stupidity and incompetence to a whole new level. But first a brief recap:

The NTMA is the body which handles the state debt. It incorporates NAMA (the National Asset Management Agency), the body established by the Government to handle toxic bank loans.

Recent figures reveal staff at the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), which incorporates NAMA, to be among the best-paid in the public sector. The figures show:
– 202 NTMA staff earn up to €100,000.
– 65 earn between €100,001 and €150,000.
– 22 earn between €150,001 and €200,000.
– 16 earn more than €200,000.
The figures mean that, of the total of 305 staff in the NTMA, a third earn more than €100,000 a year.
They also mean that several NTMA staff are paid more than ministers, who receive €181,000 a year.
For example, NTMA chief executive John Corrigan recently revealed he is paid €490,000 a year after a FOI request concerning the salary of his predecessor. Mr Corrigan could also earn annual bonuses of up to €392,000 in line with his contract.
It is believed the chief executive of NAMA Brendan McDonagh also earns about €500,000.
So, what are all these splendid people doing?
The article in the Sunday Independent, page 12 of the news section, gives some examples of deals they have been making on our behalf.

Project Holly, the loan portfolio of developer Sean Reilly, with a par value of €373 million was sold by NAMA in 2014 to US equity company Lone Star for €220 million. In 2015 Lone Star sold in on to US fund Starwood Properties for €350 million. Net loss to the Irish taxpayer of €130 million! Or just under €3 million a week profit for the vulture funds.

One Warrington Place, Dublin2. Sold to to US fund Northwood Investors for €27 million. Last year that property was sold on for €42 million. Cost us € 15 million that one did.

The Forum Building, IFSC, Dublin 1. sold for €28 million and sold on for €37.8 million.

1-6 John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. Sold for €7.5 million sold on for €17.75 million

Dock Mills, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2. Developer Chris Jones paid NAMA €1.3 million. Spent €1.4 million converting to offices and then sold on for €13 million.

Booterstown Marsh Site sold for €400.000 sold on less than two years later for a million.

Makes you weep. In just the six examples in this article a staggering difference of some €170 million between NAMA sales and the actual market values they reached, in many cases in less than two years.

I take the view that, where it is possible to get the values of properties wrong, but it takes a level of incompetence that is staggering to get them wrong this often and by this much.

Remember how secretive this outfit is. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Nobody is watching. Welcome to the brave new World of petty, nasty new taxes, cuts to services and topically, a heath services that is bad for you health.

All this, while are we paying these people a fortune to cost us a fortune with government convinced of how well it is doing!

Peter Farrahy  May 2015

Towards 2016
May 7, 2015

But let FG/FF/LAB be, FG are dead and gone,
They’re with DOB/KMPG/IBRC in the grave.
Their hopes of two terms in government gone.
Their secrets of corruption exposed: they’re hidden in the grave.

Catherine Murphy on the rise and spoke out.
Ordinary people are with Murphy on this one.
Catherine Murphy’s and Ireland’s folks together.
FG/FF/Lab/Renua destroy Ireland’s credibility.

Need for an instability government just like the Greeks,
Instability ashes can rise only from the IND’s and Murphy & co,
Instability creates a new Ireland with new ideas/constitution.
Instability is the way forward now,

Stability government (FG/FF/LAB) only breeds contempt and divide/spinning,
Stability government (FG/FF/Lab) breeds insider information and corruption,
Stability government (FG/FF/Lab/Renua) creates jobs for the boys and their own interests not yours,
Stability government (FG/FF/Lab/Renua) not worth voting for in the end (next election),

Let’s bring on new Govt stuffed with Catherine Murphy and likewise IND’s (not deranged Ind’s).
Let us vote for them and see what happens, not SF,

SF only represents Suck and Feed their own chickens not ours,
Again Suck and Feed (SF) jobs for the boys just like FG and FF.
Suck and Feed is their mantra
Suck and feed is like a mini cult with no questions asked.

With Ireland dead and gone,
Let the ashes of 1798 rise again along with 1916 and revive our IND’s
Not corrupted FF/FG/Lab/Renua parties but our people first.
Let our ordinary people rise and vote with their feet.

FG/Lab dead and gone!!!!
They’re with DOB/KMPG/IBRC in the grave.
Their hopes of two terms in government gone.
Their secrets of corruption exposed bare and some hidden in the grave.

Disability Student  May 2015

‘ISIS Did A Thing’ – Orientalist Narratives of Fabricated News
March 6, 2015

Since ISIS appeared on the scene it is hard not to notice how much of their own propaganda, and more so stories about them, are tailored so perfectly for Western eyes and fears. What is more striking though as time goes on is just how many ‘Isis did a thing’ stories turn out to be fake. I don’t mean that the beheadings, massacres or big events are staged, there are enough youtube warriors out trying to disproved that kind of thing. What I mean is the constant stream of daily headlines often feel part of something much bigger, it’s all shock shock shock, like internet and media reactions are being tested and studied for effectiveness. What pushes buttons and what doesn’t.

Particularly on the middle east, there is an entire industry dedicated to fulfilling Orientalist narratives with fabricated news. These are then lapped up by the neo-cons, racists, Sam Harris types etc. The emergence of ISIS here is real grist to the mill because you can publish the most outlandish claims with full confidence that it will be shared in the mainstream and all over for a few days without question. Too often now, the truth emerges a week later but never to the same attention. With ISIS there is something for everyone and you can target different markets for niche outrage because common variety genocide on its own just doesn’t interest people, does it. The ‘running off to join ISIS’ stuff coming out now is new departure in the long established panic around muslim girls, for example.

In the age of ISIS, it would be naive to believe the worlds of PR, clickbait, prejudice, internet tracking and Dail Mail-style outrage have not converged to be developed and used for nefarious ends. Whose ends an other matter.

Some related links…ay-11-year-old…-isis-stories

by Dr. FIVE; Today at 05:29 PM.

ISIS Emo Teen

An Garda Síochana – Analysis of a Police Force Unfit for Purpose – Study by Hanahoe, Conway and Monaghan
March 3, 2015

This post and the thread on the same topic at Political World forum, is a new departure for Its a Political World blog is making available for the first time via Scribd a new publication on a topic of great current political interest, much discussed on our forum – the fitness for purpose, or otherwise, of An Garda Síochana. This important piece of  research goes back to the earliest days of the “Force” up to and including the Shell to Sea experience.Seán Ryan, who is very familiar with the study, has written the introduction to it below.

An Analysis of a Police Force Unfit for Purpose

A historical and contemporary account of political policing in Ireland

A compilation of writings by
Tom Hanahoe (journalist, formerly with Irish Press newspaper group).
Terence Conway (Spokesperson Shell to Sea).
John Monaghan (Spokesperson Pobal Chill Chomáin)

It’s a privilege to introduce this study.

Not knowing what I should focus on, I called Terence Conway, one of the authors. After telling me to get over myself he made a few suggestions that strike me as being ripe for the taking.

Enda Kenny our much less than glorious leader scoffs, in that witless way of his, at the idea of political policing, regularly. He scoffs despite the fact that his own constituency has been the focal point for political policing for many years. You’ve seen it on your televisions. RTE was only too glad to blare it at any given opportunity. People being beaten like cattle, off the streets, with retractable batons, by gardaí acting at their political best for the State and for Shell. Well, not like cattle. If such were the case, viewers would have recognised that for the criminal act that it would have been. Enda turned a blind eye towards political policing, even when in opposition.

The GSOC. Not fit for purpose. A mere paintjob of respectability, quickly applied in lieu of action after the Donegal scandal.

The constant refrain from parliament and the media is that, “We must restore public confidence in the gardaí.”

This study unambiguously shows that the gardaí should never have enjoyed the trust of the public, ever.

The media and the State have long held copies of this study. To date the only outlet to acknowledge its existence was Village Magazine. It seems that Politicalworld shall be the second, with the study itself being published, to speak on its own behalf.

For good measure, Steven Bennett has joined the forum and will take part in the discussion. Steven is easily Ireland’s most arrested man, for a number of years running, I’d guess. His insight will be a valuable addition to this work. It’s one thing to understand what political policing is. It’s quite another to understand what its actual effects are. The blowback, into the rest of one’s life. And of course, how effective it all is. Wouldn’t be much point in doing it, if all that effort didn’t achieve something…

Anyhow, let’s come to the end of this. Please read this study and please distribute it wantonly.

Seán Ryan March 2015

Discussion on the study is welcome here, or on the Political World forum.   For a larger print version, read here  LINK

View this document on Scribd


Prelude to the Greek Elections – Inequality and an Increasingly Unpopular Government
December 29, 2014

What now for Greece and for Europe?

This is the first of a series of blog posts by Ephilant, a long-standing Political World member, writing from Greece, where the announcement of early Presidential elections has been another turning points in the crisis in Europe.  Greece continues to be the testing ground for the political and economic road down which other EU states follow.

Prelude to the Greek Elections – Inequality and an Increasingly Unpopular Government

 The Greek Presidential election has been called 2 full months ahead of schedule. What is Prime Minister Samaras up to?

Syriza is heading the national opinion polls, and support for the government has collapsed. The way I see this it, the early election is a concerted effort to kill all opposition to TROIKA-imposed, government-executed policy. Samaras offers an election to get his man in place. That, he hopes, will give him enough time to sign away the rest of the family jewels and do the bidding of the TROIKA/ECB/IMF to the point that whoever comes after him has no way out. There is probably a nice, cushy job waiting for him in Brussels as well.

While we are struggling to get out of the EU IMF Programme, in Greece the spin on the economy is at full speed. Officially unemployment has fallen. But nobody mentions that emigration has risen by more units than unemployment has fallen. Greek economic data is being doctored like there is no tomorrow: the corner has been turned, apparently…

This is an excellent article on why we in Greece are where we are today after seven years of this crisis:

… Read the full article here

The troika has lined the pockets of the very forces that brought about the economic collapse in the first place. And Greece is not an isolated case. European bailout funds have had a similar effect throughout the smaller economies of the eurozone, including Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. Leaders in these countries, too, have spent European funds to maximize their short-term political advantage; meanwhile, Brussels has proved incapable of combating cronyism and criminality.

hard hitting report has been published by the International Federation for Human Rights.

The findings go well beyond Greece, and highlight the total failure of the EU, IMF and ECB to take into account the effects of the austerity policies on the human rights of those subjected to the austerity measures.

Greek austerity measures are both unreasonable and disproportionate, particularly in disproportionately impacting on already marginalized and vulnerable groups. This finding is substantiated by the European Parliament as discussed below. As a result, the austerity measures have had a discriminatory effect based on socio-economic status, in contravention of international law.

When the EU parliament substantiated these findings, why didn’t it stop the charade, instead of pushing us even further ? The direct result of our “Programme” so far

More than half of the children at Greek schools in deprived areas were suffering from a lack of access to enough food to ensure a healthy life, also known as food insecurity, at the start of the academic year in 2013, but this eased slightly thanks to donated meals.

By “deprived areas”, you can understand everywhere outside the affluent areas of Athens and Thessaloniki, meaning, about 99% of the country. The situation is worst on the islands, the North of the country and in the Peleponnese. In Greece at the moment 2 out of every 3 rural schools have no heating (and won’t have because the funding isn’t there to buy the fuel), and winter is knocking at the door..

People were lured in the Eurozone boom into becoming asset rich but cash poor. First, people everywhere got lured with “cheap money”, with little or no regulation, checks or controls on the system. The money gets invested in assets. Along comes 2008, and the money tree is chopped down. People find themselves suddenly cash poor, unable to service their loans and any other financial commitments

Now we are at the verge of being made asset poor. As things stand, primary residences in Greece are protected from repossession for debt. But the current ban on repossessions expires on December 31.  Samaras and his merry band of looters have just announced that the government will NOT renew it. This is one of the key demands of the TROIKA. After all, their friends and relations must have access to cheap properties, how else are we going to get the property market working again? Let the floodgates open.  Personal assets are being repossessed by banks if their value is up to 200,000 euros and the owner’s annual income does not exceed 35,000 euros. Bottom line, the vast majority of people end up with neither money nor assets, the elite ends up with both.

People are beginning to realise this.  Samaras and New Democracy is rapidly losing its grip on parliament and on the country. For the past number of months SYRIZA ( left alliance) had been consistently moving ahead of New Democracy in the national opinion polls.  Even after the media barrage of the last weeks,  SYRIZA appears to be leading New Democracy by 3.6 % (27.6 % over 24.0 %, respectively), with Golden Dawn getting with 5.6 % , followed by PASOK with 5.0 %, the KKE at 4.4 %, To Potami at 4.1 % and Independent Greeks (ANEL) 2.9 %.  DIMAR (Democratic Left) the former government party is doing a very good impression of the Irish Green party, and has more or less disappeared from measurable results.

Worrying times indeed for the EU mandarins and their puppets… Tsipras and SYRIZA is coming, it seems, and Tsipras is in no mood to act “correctly”. The elite is running scared, and will use every dirty trick in the book in order to stop the election of a left, anti-austerity government in Greece. They know that if one domino in Europe falls, the rest goes with it. And this cannot be allowed, not with Italy at the verge of going under, France rapidly heading in the same direction, ditto with Spain.

So we are told by Prime Minister Samaras that the prospect of a SYRIZA government is pushing Greece towards the “Grexit… the “Drachma lobby” has been mentioned more than once, of course everything said by anybody other than himself is “irresponsible” and will destroy the Greek economy. Juncker, Moscovici, the ex Greek PM Constantinos Mitsotakis (also honorary president of NC and good buddy of Samaras) are holding up the spectre of a Grexit etc. etc. Don’t these people realise that if you sow fear you reap anger? And that is exactly what they have got in Greece, anger ready to boil over. It’s no wonder the TROIKA didn’t want to meet our reps in Athens but pick Paris instead…. They warn that the supply of cash will be stopped, as the ECB did to Cypress two years ago. They really do not like the idea of Tsipras in power…

In an attempt to stem the tide, Samaras is now playing (perhaps was ordered to play?) a game of poker with very high stakes. The day after he called the elections, Athens stock market plunged nearly 13%, its biggest one-day fall since December 1987. Voting for a new head of state began the following week. The press was full of articles on how bad things will get if we don’t get a president elected and have to organize a general election. If SYRIZA wins the general election, or becomes the majority partner in a coalition government, then we are to believe the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse will turn out to be 8 riders, the gate to hell will open and swallow the lot of us, Armageddon will happen immediately, together with a repetition of the seven plagues, we will be overrun by muslims and SYRIZA will impose SHARIA law, you name it.

Financial markets took the news of the election badly: the FTSE 100 was down 142 points, more than 2%, at 6529, its lowest level since the start of November; Germany’s Dax dropped 2.1%; France’s Cac closed down 2.4%; and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 158 points or 0.88% lower by the time London closed. Banking shares were under pressure on fears that a new round of the eurozone debt crisis would prove another strain on their balance sheets.

The media, the political establishment of Greece and the EU, and finance capital (‘the markets’) responded to this situation with intensive spin, and with threats.  The national and international blackmail machine went into full swing. Grexit (Greek exit from the EU or Eurozone), or military coup, are again openly discussed. Rating agency Moody’s has warned that an election will be interpreted as a “credit negative” and will result in Greece being downgraded. And Goldman Sachs has warned that the plug may be pulled on Greek banks if we vote the wrong way. Meanwhile, Bloomberg has accused Samaras of inviting bond vigilantes with euro exit talk.

One of these vigilantes makes no bones about it. Yannick Naud, a money manager at Pentalpha Capital in London tells us the policy to tell the electorate ‘it’s our way or chaos.’

The thumb screws are being turned by the likes of Paul Poulson declaring that his hedge funds have “withdrawn” from investment in Greece because of the distinct possibility of a far-left government. Poulson was mainly engaged in buying resources on the cheap, like harbours, airports, etc. That source of goodies will dry up immediately as soon as Syriza comes to power. We don’t particularly care about him not “investing” any longer, in fact, we applaud his decision. The right wing press is  in full swing, predicting that Greece will run out of money within 2 weeks if we dare not accept the Presidential candidate and insist on a general election etc.

Personally, I believe this was the whole idea. It would not surprise me that the move by Samaras was Troika inspired. Despite all the “good news” put out in terms of our “progress”, which was accepted by the Troika, they suddenly turned the screws, looking for more cuts and ‘reforms’. This, that and the other, or else.  I’m just waiting for what the sweetener is going to be if we decide to “vote correctly”…

As expected, things are hotting up a little.  Since the start of the election campaign, an explosive device went off in the entrance of the tax office in Thessaloniki. Minor damage, no casualties, but a very clear warning that people are not prepared to take much more of this. Bomb defused outside a bank in Athens, Kaisariani (Athens) town hall damaged by bomb attack, 296 people arrested for rioting in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras, police officers in hospital, rioters in hospital, Alpha bank torched, molotov cocktails galore… Syriza’s offices were cleared December 22nd because of a bomb threat.  This is going to be a proper Greek election marathon. We’ll miss Loukanikos, Greece’s recently deceased riot dog…

Today, Monday we will know the results of Samaras’s Presidential election gamble.  He will need to show 180 votes supporting his candidate, Stavros Dimas, or call an election.  Dimas received 168 votes in the second round of voting last week – well short of the 200 required. Today, he must receive 180 votes to be elected.  There are numerous reports of vote-buying.

Tsipras is telling us we can look forward to a SYRIZA-led government from January onwards.

Ephilant 29th December 2014

Update:  Monday 29th December – Samaras could only get 168 votes for his Presidential candidate, Dimas.   A General Election must now be held and has been announced for 25th January.



Defending the Bunreacht in 2014
October 27, 2014


With rumours of impending technocracy on the centre – centre right, and crass ignorance on the left, who is there to defend the once-sacred Irish Constitution ?

Bunreacht na hÉireann was written in 1937 with some skill, under the direction of otherwise arch-conservative and anti-radical Éamon de Valera, by senior civil servants.

It was enacted by the people to set new a democratic foundation for  legislation passed in the 26 county State (soon to become a Republic).  It gave the organs of the State a Republican form with some modest Republican principles on civil liberties, parliamentary democracy, the right to a home, aspiration towards social goals. It outlawed foreign rule (in spite of which the bailout etc. largely remained uncontested) and gave according to article 27, the right to all Irish people to decide their future periodically in matters of national importance by referendum. This has come about particularly on EU issues although the sense of enfranchisement has been somewhat negated by a public feeling of disillusionment, due to being made to re-run EU Referenda of late until the correct response is given.
When you strip away the opening rhetoric about the Holy Trinity, Dev actually managed to limit the role of the Church in the semi-theocratic environment of that time by reducing it to a ‘special position in accordance with the wishes of the majority’, the latter being important, as the majority of people eventually removed that position from the constitution in the democratic mechanism afforded them in the 1970s.  Dev specifically gave constitutional protection to Jews – ‘considered to be a necessary component to the constitution by Éamon de Valera because of the treatment of Jews elsewhere in Europe at the time.’[24] The reference to the Jewish Congregations in the Irish Constitution was removed in 1973 with the Fifth Amendment
The same amendment removed the ‘special position’ of the Catholic Church, as well as references to the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, and the Religious Society of Friends.”
Contrary to his stern and strict stereotyping of asylum seekers(?), between 1946-52 De Valera over-ruled the ever renegade Department of Justice on at least 3 occasions to have several hundred Jewish families admitted to the 26 County State, no small number for the time considering the sizeable community of 5000 Jews in Ireland then. It was constitutionalism and basic human decency that motivated these actions, and they stand out heroically considering the atmosphere towards the Jews in the 1930s-1950s period.

It should not be forgotten either that Irish society at large mobilised against the Blueshirts – the left- leaning IRA under Tom Barry and others battled them effectively and broke up their meetings; the people mobilised in public shows of support against them and the 1937 vote was seen specifically as a rejection of Fascism by a nonetheless very anglophobic and war weary public in the young State; and most importantly the government under De Valera suppressed the Fascist movement, making it illegal in 1933 and used the organs of the State under the Bunreacht to protect Ireland’s neutrality in WW2 as well.


The right often forget these things when they talk about the nuisance that is the Bunreacht, about how these regular referenda on societal and EU issues are undemocratic in the greater European scheme of things, and how the people do not take their vote seriously anyways with turnout often below 60%. The right however, since the days of Thatcher and of Haughey, and with the most corrosive levels of corruption and corrupting economic liberalism to hit Ireland and elsewhere in centuries, have replaced the previous centrist culture of complex characters like Dev and Lemass with something that holds the Bunreacht in contempt: re-running referenda after 9 months in 2008 and 2009 remains the most memorable examples. Abortion and divorce referenda were usually held with several years interval to respect the will of the people. There is no pretence to the same anymore as shown by Brian Cowen’s now infamously hollow ‘The people have spoken’ slogan in 2008 and Eamon Gilmore’s deliberately lie to the people on the Six One news in 2008 and 2009 on the Lisbon Referendum. He told the US Embassy his lies were necessary to force the public to swallow the Treaty along with ‘concessions’ not written on paper, but promised half-arsedly by EU Bureaucrats and politicians of the day.
His bare-faced lies were exposed by Wikileaks
So the right has replaced the centre ground and centrist republican principles have gone out the window. Bunreacht na hÉireann specifically states the collective governance of the nation by a Cabinet to be a right of the people We have a government run by a Politburo in the form of a Four Minister and dozen advisors in the Economic Management Council (EMC). This is admitted by the more constitutional government Ministers in Pat Leahy’s new book ‘to be totally unconstitutional’.


The neutering of the Dáil since Bertie’s day and cronyist and cynical actions of late against the Seanad have also worked to the disadvantage of the Bunreacht’s bare necessity to maintain certain Republican safeguards for the people. The Seanad now has a majority against the government. Some are speculating that for the first time it might prove an effective counterweight to a centralising culture within FG and Labour particularly in ending delay of legislation to promote debate and its’ recognition of Palestine.

The public saw through the cynical attempt to rob them of a constitutional safeguard when no real reform of the effectiveness and democratic nature of the Seanad as a checkpoint was on offer. No point removing something from the 1937 doctrine of Republicanism, if nothing better was on offer. The politicians seemed annoyed they had to consult the public on the issue and it is one in a series of bloody noses the semi-fascist Kenny government has had to accept.

By semi-fascist this writer is alluding to the EMC, the open flouting of Data law under Irish Water which may well be against a citizen’s right to privacy under the Bunreacht and certainly is against their rights under Data Protection Law, Kenny’s own notable control through his underlings of several departments at any one time including for a while simultaneous control of Defence, European affairs, Health and Justice(this man sacked the Garda Commissioner more or less, when this is something which under the Constitution only the Cabinet can do).

So on the right and centre ground we have tendencies towards Fascism or Authoritarianism with moderate centrist cabinet voices too Quisling to risk their own political necks by speaking out-with jobs for the boys more important than principles.
We had excitable Dáil-sourced rumours on Max Keiser’s well informed website of an impending technocratic installed government in late 2014/into 2015 if the government failed to pass the 2 billion euro austerity budget asked for by the Troika who continue to monitor us every 6 months, so maybe the rumours are not quite unfounded. A Mario Monti style scenario, imposed by outsiders, would be entirely outside the 1937 Bunreacht’s boundaries. But we saw a cynical attempt to fool the public into allowing political show trials in tandem with the desire to abolish the second chamber(the paralysing second chamber in Italy being the Italian Republic’s last guard on occasion in recent times against Kleptocrats and Technocrats). Overt arse-wiping with the Bunreacht is now commonplace – the troika marched in here without referenda nor significant legal opposition in the courts, the same goes for the ongoing banking reparations foisted on the public. Legally it cannot yet be done, but we do have an upcoming farcical ‘constitutional day’ whereby the government will try and make the Gay Marriage referendum a box ticking exercise along with 6 other issues of theirs, some simply added in to buy votes on liberal issues. It is worth keeping an eye on what else they try and get us to pass, then and after 2015 if re-elected in some form or with the help of a FF that has long since abandoned the pretence of defending the Bunreacht from the time of the 2008 over the phone early morning farce regarding the 440 bn euro guarantee.

Technocracy is already here covertly, but it may become an overt practice where convenient until the public re-elect the ‘right government’ in the same way they have to be seen to hold EU votes until they give the ‘right answer’.

A final note though is in regard to the left.

Karl Gill, a recently-elected politician on the left whose postings online are pretty anti-Republican, anti-SF and anti rival-left generally, recently wrote online that ‘The Irish constitution is rubbish. It does not protect us against water charges or the government of the day forcing a contract on us for any tax or charge. A conservative document written by Eamon de Valera in 1932 won’t and can’t bring us freedom, people power can. Also Irishness or national pride has nothing to do with fighting the water charges.’
The statement above itself is a sad indictment of a left most notably and near exclusively those in PBP, through its’ anti-1916 anti Republican ignorance, not calling for some electoral adaptation of the Proclamation, not calling for discussion of 1916 ideals, not engaged with the Republicans, Sinn Féiners and independent left fighting to preserve our 1916 heritage in the Moore Street area, not aspiring to strengthen the Bunreacht’s basic social provisions more explicitly in referenda, and despite calling for some Iceland referenda on the Troika deal, the bank debts etc. generally using the crisis more as an excuse to attack Republicanism through ignorance of what a constitution is about than what it is for- it is not supposed to bring everyone ‘freedom’ but afford them basic rights and protections, legally and socially.

From disgusting authoritarianism on the right to rabid ideological ignorance on the left, the idea of a Republic 14 months out from 2016 seems as elusive from a naturally Republican electorate as ever.

It can only be hoped the coalition built in battling Irish Water, and rapprochements by SF and the SF and independents since the 2 by-elections, are better signs for the future of the left and progressive indos than the PBP’s blind and rancid counter-gang attacks on the Bunreacht, and the undermining of democracy and equality under the law by the government.

apjp 27.20.2014


Diagnosis of Early Daíl Term Syndrome
September 22, 2014

You can’t move for breathless articles in the newspapers about growth and recovery. All day on radio and TV, every opportunity is taken to drive the message. All conveniently timed with the return normal proceedings in the political realm. There was a similar attempt coinciding with returning of the Dáil in January of 2013, ‘green shoots’. A concerted effort across papers – and we are seeing very the same co-ordination now.

The thing to watch out for is how many of these stories are written by say, Fionnan Sheehan and other journalists whose job is not counting beans but talking to politicians, Last year there was a big build up to ‘exiting the bailout’ in November but the wheels quickly came off whatever capital government hoped to make as garda scandal after garda scandal flooded out. They will be trying not to make the same mistake again.

You will only see snatches in Irish business pages, but abroad there is plenty of talk about Germany stuttering for the last year. They kept a good lid on it out of necessity but once October’s federal elections were out of the way, the effect of five years austerity on economies with which Germany trades became harder to ignore, chickens coming home to roost. To underline this, the whole union depends on German strength and none more so than France which is in the tenth straight month of zero growth. It is not that they are only fucked now, their banks and borrowings have been fucked from the start but Europe’s economy has deteriorated to the stage where it can be no longer be hidden. Europe’s economy  s still well well below 2007 levels while US climbed back long ago. The predictions of people whose job it is to make money from all this misery don’t see much changing and we haven’t even started whatever road we are going with Russia.

Will the UK be enough? I don’t know but it is against this backdrop that you are seeing absolutely certainty in the Irish papers. They are up every tree and under every rock looking for ways to conform the lie, believing again in the same sort of Irish economic exceptionalism seen during the bubble. A new Dáil term is a new chance to get back on track. We will have this for another few weeks and then expect there will be war on Sinn Féin.

Dr. Five   22nd September 2014

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Our Reactions to ISIS
September 21, 2014

I was disturbed to see some people on Facebook sharing a North American video which originated on the Facebook page of one Richard Haines. The video has has had over 70,000 shares to date, so I think it can be assumed that at least that number of people watched that video and probably believed it!  The video says the population of Europe and the wider west, from 2008, is being replaced/ will be replaced by tens of millions of Muslim immigrants…and that all of the western states will be replaced by Islamic Republics (citing Gaddafi as well).

It was like watching Der Ewiger Jude. Absolutely disgusting, and obviously it’s an unregistered video because if it was up on youtube the person who originated it could be done for hate speech in a number of countries, certainly in Ireland or Britain, and youtube would probably take it down anyways.

I am disgusted  that anybody would be gullible enough to share that.  I reported it as a racist video to Facebook, and reported the original account for originating that vile crap as well. The facts  are that while some European populations are declining from birth rate etc, others in fact are not-such as Ireland and many Eastern European countries. Immigration isn’t illegal, and neither is being an arab so I don’t know what people who watch this propaganda want.

Disturbing that people would buy into such *****.

I think this ISIS phenomenon is /will be part of a wider provocation to help garner western support for war in the middle east, and anti-muslim laws won’t be long following. Fact is if we did not overthrow elected governments, nor interfere in their affairs, change would come naturally as it came in Egypt (at least until prevented by military coup) and Tunisia, and everybody would be better off. In fact many people who fled home for a better life or to avoid persecution would have been able to return home in time.

Irish Hate speech laws are quite strong and I would not worry about that sentiment gathering pace politically here, as SF for example is an anti racist party with some immigrant candidates ,North and South (including a black representative from the Congo) , and hoovered up much of the so called sovereignty vote, but on a Republican basis.

What I am worried about are countries like France, Britain etc. and what the knock on effects of something like a Front Nationale/UKIP led government would mean for Europe’s minorities, especially Arabs who are really being stigmatized at the moment as a result of ISIS’s actions (ISIS originally having been US backed and funded against Assad (I see they are u-turning on that now too!).

There seems to me to be a wider resource grab on the cards here and a desire of the political elites of some countries to stigmatise the Arabs and maybe others in the process. Europe going back to the worst of its’ roots so to speak.


Andrew Purlfield  20th September 2014




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