“As a people, we are excluded from any share in framing the laws by which we are governed. The higher ranks usurped the exclusive exercise of that privilege, as well as many other rights, by force, fraud and fiction.”
I’m pleased to announce a new award which will be handed out on an irregular basis for those who have gone that extra mile in support of oppression of the working class and generally promoting a boorish, nearly proto-fascist approach to life. The first recipient of the Eoin O’Duffy Prize for Blueshirtism is all-round bounder and boor extraordinaire, George Hhook. As you may recall, this ‘broadcaster’ was thankfully taken off the airwaves during 2017 due to a failure to grasp the reality of rape. Hhe marked an impending return to the airwaves by tweeting in late January that “[Generalissimo] Franco is my favourite ‘benevolent dictator'”.
In her rounds of the media after taking over as the President of Sinn Féin, we were told by Mary Lou McDonald that she is a ‘republican’, a ‘woman’, a ‘nationalist’, a ‘believer in shared prosperity’, a ‘united Irelander’, etc., many identities but never once, did Jemmy hear her say a ‘socialist’.
The Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society has spent the last seven years collecting documents and photographs in an effort to preserve the industrial history of the Dublin Docks. In February the Society handed over their collection to the Archives Section of Dublin City Council at an event in Pearse Street library. The documents and photographs will be digitised and made available to the public. Such efforts to preserve our working class history is essential and an activity which must be given greater importance if we are to ensure the truth is preserved for future generations.
The NIPSA trade union organised a ‘Save Our NHS’ rally outside Belfast City Hall in February. The event was part of a wave of protest across the UK demanding that the NHS remain a properly funded health and social care service designed to deliver quality outcomes for all regardless of wealth. Speakers at the rally demanded an end to the outsourcing of health and care services and jobs to the private sector. They also demanded that the vested interests of private healthcare be confronted and challenged. This fight to save this greatest triumph of British social democracy is one that should unite all organisations that claim to represent the interests of the working class – the battle to save the NHS is the most important political struggle facing the people of Northern Ireland.
Early 2018 saw the Republic of Ireland continue its speedy descent into a full NATO lackey. Not only has Shannon Airport continued its role as a key transit for US troops but now we have the return of UK warships to Cork Harbour. In March three British naval vessels berthed inside Haulbowline Naval Base for the first time since the return of the Treaty Ports in 1938, in what peace activists condemned as not only an outrageous breach of Irish neutrality but also national security as Haulbowline is a secure base and headquarters of the Irish Naval Service. Add to this the embarrassing situation of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expelling a Russian diplomat on the basis of highly dubious Tory allegations. The Republic of Ireland once had an independent foreign policy. It would seem that Fine Gael is intent on returning the country to dominion status and outsourcing decisions on our international positions to their ideological bedfellows in Washington, Brussels and London.