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From: Labour Affairs: Editorials
Date: July, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: Should Germany just pay up?

The clamour is growing for Germany to pay up to solve the seemingly endless problems of bank debt and unsustainable interest rates for government debt in the southern Eurozone countries. Yet it is also obvious that Germany is simply not capable of bailing out all these economies without ruining herself. But, the argument goes, Germany has done very well economically out of the Euro zone, the Euro operates at a competitive exchange rate compared with the Deutschmark and Euro Zone competitor countries are unable to devalue to restore competitiveness. In addition, German banks contributed to the profligacy by lending to countries like Greece. So Germany should pay up and shut up.

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: June, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: Happy Anniversary!
We are in for a long season of centenary anniversaries—ten years of it we are told, from the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill in 1912 to the Anglo-Free State victory in the Treaty War of 1922.

Professor Michael Laffan of University College Dublin led off with a speech attacking Edward Carson at the Ulster Museum in mid-April:

"The Ulster Unionist campaign against the 1912 Home Rule Bill… served the interests of violent republicanism when its prospects appeared grim and hopeless… Unionists unintentionally radicalised the politics of the whole island, he said in a lecture as part of the series 'A Decade of Anniversaries'… The UCD historian said reforms, especially the Wyndham Land Act of 1903, ensured most Irish nationalists were becoming increasingly willing to operate within the Union framework. 'Ireland was clearly not in a pre-revolutionary situation. But when Carson… threatened and planned rebellion, and when marching and drilling and importation of arms were met not with punishment and retaliation, but with concessions from the government, Irish revolutionaries believed their time had come', added Prof. Laffan. 'At last, after decades of patient waiting, hoping for favourable circumstances, these had arrived—and from their point of view, just in time…'

"Prof. Laffan said in effect that the two extremes in Irish public life had developed an informal alliance against 'the centre'—as represented by John Redmond's Home Rule Party—and 'one had given the kiss of life to the other. Such a development appalled Ulster unionists; but it is a commonplace that people cannot determine the indirect consequences of their actions', he said. Prof. Laffan said radical nationalists, many of whom did not belong to the revolutionary IRB, followed Carson's example… After a long absence, militarism had returned to Ireland. The Easter Rising, a resort to arms of precisely the sort that Redmond had always wished to avoid, accelerated the destruction of moderate nationalism. It could be seen as a paradoxical implementation of the plans made by Carson… by republican revolutionaries who followed Carson's example' added Laffan" (Irish News 23 April).

This is what used to be known in the days of the Communist Parties as "objective truth", truth which parts company with the particular facts of a situation. Or what Napoleon called "making pictures" instead of mastering the actual detail of a situation and devising a realistic way of dealing with it. So it seems that we are in for ten years of raking over old passions on the basis of old ignorance. What Laffan said has been said a thousand times before...

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From: Irish Foreign Affairs: Editorials
Date: June, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: Democracy—Syria
The United States and Britain are warning of the danger of civil war in Syria while doing their damnedest to bring it about.

The time when they might have said, with any degree of credibility, that they were supporting a movement to overthrow a tyrant so that freedom and democracy might be established, has long passed. That was their story when they invaded Iraq nine years ago, and destroyed the Baath system of state on which the security and the liberal freedom of the individual depended.

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From: Irish Political Review: Articles
Date: May, 2012
By: Jack Lane
Title: A New Treaty With 'Our Gallant Allies'
In politics context is everything. The greatest vices and the greatest virtues are totally interchangeable depending on the context—the particular object to be achieved. The EU was, and is, considered a most virtuous institution by all pro-Europeans. Now it is the favourite weapon of the anti-Europeans to defeat the Fiscal Compact. Cameron justified his action on 8th December last year on the basis that he was defending the EU against the 26 other members who were ignoring it in proposing the Fiscal Compact among themselves. If he had the guts to follow this through, he could legally bar all work and people concerned with the Compact from every EU building. Bill Cash and Bruce Arnold are now also great defenders of the EU. Anthony Coughlan has not yet taken up this argument. Anthony is probably too honest to play this game but that only means he is just a pedant when it comes to politics.

However, there is a need to explain to the electorate how this situation has come about. After 40 years' membership of the EEC/EU we are back to square one, legally speaking. To utilise a favourite analogy of the past in relation to Europe: the train we were on has run into a siding and a new one has started moving from the station and we must decide which one to join. Trying to be on both is a rather absurd position to be in. But why are there now two trains?

The explanation for this dilemma begins and ends with Britain....

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: May, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: Syria
The turn of events in Syria indicates that the world is in the process of returning to Great Power politics.

Nothing other than Great Power politics is possible, unless the Great Powers submit themselves to some kind of world body which is independent of them. The United Nations is not a body of that kind, and was not intended to be. Its creators, essentially the Powers that defeated Nazi Germany, Russia and America, exempted themselves from UN authority at the outset. Each remained absolutely sovereign, with a Veto power which prevented the UN from attempting to interfere in their affairs, or even criticise them.....

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