Last week, Young Fine Gael made an excellent attempt to outdo their daddy party in the contempt for the commoners race when their proposal of an “Earned income Tax Credit” surfaced on Broadsheet.ie.

In a recommendation full of political buzzwords that comes right out of an essay by a 3rd year Law and Economics student, this proposed ‘twofold strategy’ would see a ‘restructure’ of how minimum wage is paid by employers which would take €2 off what businesses had to pay minimum wage employees. So instead of the 8.65 employers would normally pay an experienced employee, they would pay only 6.65. For workers under the age of 18, this new pay rate would see them be paid only 4.06 by employers. But don’t worry folks, that two euro that your boss isn’t paying you will be given back to you in the form of a tax credit by the government (read taxpayers/yourself) so it all works out even in the end right? Read the rest of this entry »

With TCD’s Phil Society debating whether or not to re-invite Nick Griffin back to Trinity, let’s take a look back at some previous attempts to bring him onto Irish university campuses and why a No Platform policy is not the same as being against freedom of speech.

It came to my attention today that The illustrious Phil of Trinity College Dublin had a motion last week entitled “This house would re-invite Nick Griffin”, I presume to ‘debate’ (read as espouse racist hate speech under the thin veil of standing up for the good, decent working class people of Britain) immigration reform and/or free speech, while the debating students of the Phil look very open minded and liberal while cracking some witty remarks at his expense and using logical debate. All the while they have stood up for free speech by letting a racist in a suit talk shite. End of the night the students can go home safe in the knowledge that democracy is the best system we have and anyone who would deny Griffin his speaking writes are no worse than the fascists themselves. Sure who really listens to him anyway?

 

The Phil Society's flier for the Griffin motion

The Phil Society’s flier for the Griffin motion

I know. The sheer thought that we potentially have to go through all this again after two years and two colleges inviting Griffin (UCC being the other) has me holding my head in my hands and weeping into my copy of Rabble magazine as well. Unfortunately, as Aidan Rowe stated in an open letter to the Phil Society in the wake of the last attempted visit:

Read the rest of this entry »

After hiring strippers to preform for them in their SU bar, Maynooth Student’s Union have said that they cannot comment on the matter because they are in the middle of an SU election. Nonsense hackery really. We’re happy to re-blog a post from Karl Gill’s blog Red Head, where he talked about the nature of student politics in Ireland last year. If you like this, you should go check more of his stuff. 

Ireland’s largest student union, University College Dublin Students’ Union, is facing a referendum on affiliation to the Union of Students in Ireland. The call for disaffiliation is becoming extremely popular and increasingly hard to challenge. The old mantra of ‘united we stand divided we fall’ seems to fall on deaf ears as people do not see or believe in the USI tagline “together we’re stonger”. This has led a number of people to discuss the very nature of student politics, apathy and engagement. This post is an attempt to stimulate debate about the nature of Irish student politics.


 

Every single student in this country is a member of a student union. Unlike a Trade Union, students do not choose this membership, the majority of students are not consciously Read the rest of this entry »

In the wake of NUI Maynooth’s recent stripper incident, Pádraig McCarrick talks about what it means for 3rd level institutions as safe spaces. 

There was an extra special case of irony around the most recent furor of sexist allegations against some at NUI Maynooth insofar as that the story broke just after International Women’s Day. This highlighted that for all the successes in increased gender equality that have been achieved, the culture of casual sexism exemplified by the lad culture seen on campuses across the country is attacking the concept that universities and other public places are to be seen as safe spaces for all.

 

This particular incident, which took place last Monday involved an event in which a current Students’ Union Exec Officer was having a mock stag night before a charity wedding later on in the week. In good stereotypical fashion exotic dancers/strippers (which apparently have no connection with the Ex. O in question despite his name being attributed to the event) were produced and the story ended up being picked up by the Sunday World. If you want more on Read the rest of this entry »

This week students in NUIG are being asked to vote on whether their union’s pro-choice position should be repealed. Sarah McCarthy writes on why students should reject this proposal.

Last year, NUIG students voted overwhelmingly in favour of our union adopting a pro-choice position. Over 70% of votes cast agreed that our union should play an active role in the campaign for reproductive rights in Ireland. However we are being asked to vote on the issue again, just one year later. On Thursday March 6th, you will be asked to vote on whether the pro-choice position should be repealed and a “neutral” position adopted. Why should you vote No? Read the rest of this entry »

Frank Doherty enlightens us on whether armed struggle is necessary in Ireland today….

War; what is it good for?! Absolutely Nothing”… but death, destruction and the wrecking of lives. That’s why the default position for everyone should be explicitly anti-war, especially given its historical record as a category of human endeavour.

However human conflict does exist in today’s society both on the individual level and that of the polity or globalised society as witnessed in the drunk fight, the economic conflict between worker and boss, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Troubles in our own country and various other imperialisms around the world. As Plato said, “[…] only the dead who have seen the end of war” and today it rages all over the planet; not just the types involving states and standing armies and territories but all war; taking as our broad definition human conflict, mediated or resolved through use of lethal violence.

So when to advocate violence or, put differently, under which circumstances if any should we break from a principle of nonviolence?


Read the rest of this entry »

- Aoife Campbell writes about a new campaign launched today which aims to improve accessibility to the Morning After Pill in Ireland.

The debate surrounding the legalisation of abortion in Ireland has dominated both national and international media discourse, exploding particularly in the last twelve months. Full reproductive emancipation of women and the right to safe, legal and accessible health care in Ireland challenges traditional and detrimentally Catholic social policy, denounces the entitlement or importance of religious views in the health care of others and holds firm that, despite centuries of social and political subordination; women are in fact the experts, rulers and legislators of their own bodies. Bearing this agenda in mind, there is no better hour than now to examine policies governing reproductive rights already legalised in Ireland; the reality of their accessibility and the experiences of women who choose to access them. One such being – emergency hormonal contraception, or ‘the morning after pill’.  Read the rest of this entry »

From Voice for Teachers Facebook page….

Classroom teachers, SNAs, Secretaries, Caretakers, Classroom Assistants, Computer Teachers, School Administrative Assistants, Office Administrators, Sports/PE Teachers, Speech and Language Therapists…

These are just some of the positions that have been advertised by primary schools on the JobBridge website overthe past couple of weeks. In fact, in that period of time primary schools have advertised over 170 positions.


Read the rest of this entry »

A member of UB1913 reports on the series finale of their podcast series as aired on NEARfm.

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[image credit: Moira Murphy]

This past Monday(26 August) marked 100 years to the day of the commencement of the great Lockout of 1913. While official commemoration events are planned for this weekend. for the day that was in it, RTE that evening screened a special episode of Nationwide. The first half of the show fittingly featured the beautiful commemorative Lockout tapestry being put together by volunteers with the help of artist Robert Ballagh.

The second part, however, championed the owner of a small chain of curtain stores of the time who “bravely stuck his head above the parapet” and refused to join in the bosses’ lockout. With much fawning, the segment praised his efforts to bring the two sides to the negotiating table. Apparently, it was to his eternal credit that he disagreed with the other bosses literally starving half the city to break the union..!

Only the anti-worker establishment could take the momentous and infinitely political story of new unionism(aka “Larkinism”) in Ireland – in its apex of the great 1913 Dublin Lockout – and sideline the self-agency of the working class in its most epic moment. The story of Larkinism and the Lockout is one of direct, brutal class struggle between the workers of Ireland and the bosses of Ireland, not the embryonic corporatism of social partnership advocated by RTE in their chosen micro-history.

Expecting this obscuring of the workers’ story by elites; a small group of young unemployed, students, precarious workers(and combinations thereof) got together at the beginning of the year to form the 1913 Unfinished Business collective with an aim of countering the neutering of our history by elite commemorations such as the RTE Nationwide episode. Instead, we seek to make prominent our history of radical struggle, which we believe is incredibly relevant with the return of white-hot class war being waged from above by bosses on the working class of Ireland since 2008.

By drawing on the real inspiring events of the Lockout period and stories of the likes of Jim Larkin, James Connolly, Rosie Hackett, Constance Markievicz and others – we recorded a podcast series, culminating in the series finale released on Monday(embed below). We hope by using our incredibly rich past to talk about the present, we can locate its contemporary relevance to inspire young people in particular to preach Larkin’s “divine mission of discontent”  in future. Stay tuned.

Episode 6 Description

In our final episode of the 1913 Lockout podcast series we look at how workers can organise today to meet the challenges we face.We take a critical look at the state of the Irish trade union movement today and explore what needs to be changed.

We speak with Joe Carolan, Organiser with Unite, on his experience with organising Fast Food Workers in New Zealand and hear from Esther Lynch, Legal and Legislative Officer ICTU, on the legislative framework for Irish trade unions. Derek Keenan, chair of the ICTU Youth Committee, speaks to us about what the trade union response has been to Job Bridge and Kieran Allen, Lecturer and Shop Steward, addresses the history of social partnership.

This episode also takes a look at a form of community unionism as advocated by the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci.

The series concludes with group discussion on the need for a reinvigorated mass movement of workers to fight back against bosses, and where to go from here.

Contributors: Moira Murphy, Pádraig Madden, Ronan Burtenshaw, Shane Fitzgerald, Eoin Griffin, and Jen O’Leary.
Produced by: Moira Murphy
Music by Lynched & Lawless.
Thanks to: Joe Carolan, Esther Lynch, Derek Keenan, Kieran Allen

In a post originally found here, Aidan Rowe gives us an article looking the fight for marriage equality and is it enough for the continuation of LGBTQ liberation?

“Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us. Society is stronger when we make vows to each other and we support each other. I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.” ― David Cameron

“Legalizing gay marriage would offer homosexuals the same deal society now offers heterosexuals: general social approval and specific legal advantages in exchange for a deeper and harder-to-extract-yourself from commitment to another human being. Like straight marriage, it would foster social cohesion, emotional security, and economic prudence… it could also help nurture children. And its introduction would not be some sort of radical break with social custom… A law institutionalizing gay marriage would merely reinforce a healthy social trend… Those conservatives who deplore promiscuity among some homosexuals should be among the first to support it… If these arguments sound socially conservative, that’s no accident. It’s one of the richest ironies of our society’s blind spot toward gays that essentially conservative social goals should have the appearance of being so radical.” ― Andrew Sullivan, ‘Here Comes The Groom: A (Conservative) Case For Gay Marriage’

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As it’s presently constructed, the LGBT movement is probably less than a decade away from achieving all of it’s major aims in most Western societies: centrally, same-sex couples having the right to marry and Read the rest of this entry »

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