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From: Labour Affairs: Editorials
Date: April, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: Drifting Apart: Fog in the Channel for Britain
In last month’s editorial we pointed out the extent to which both labour politics and trade unionism have declined in Britain over the last twenty five years. What we did not say is that, at the same time we have been drifting further and further away from our north European neighbours, in our politics, economics and welfare policies and have slowly but surely been falling into more of a North American sphere of influence. This is true not just of Conservative, but of Labour politics. Not so long ago we were being assured that the ‘Rhineland’ model of capitalism, such as was found in Germany, was obsolete and was to be replaced by a more dynamic, finance-based and deregulatory form of capitalism exemplified in the United States and successfully practised by Blair and Brown in Britain. One hears less of that now, but more of the need for a housekeeperly approach to the national accounts such as it is practised in Germany.

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From: Problems: Articles
Date: April, 2012
By: Eamon Dyas
Title: Minimum Wage, Part Two
The first part of this investigation outlined the manner in which the concept of the minimum wage is being redefined in Ireland. It was shown that the idea which has come to dominate thinking on the subject is a different concept than the one around which it was originally formed in pre-First World War Britain. It was also shown that the Irish Parliamentary Party under John Redmond was non-committal on the idea of the minimum wage until it became a practical prospect after the governing Liberal party began to support the idea in 1909. Redmond and the Irish nationalists then adopted a policy of outright opposition which continued until the First World War during which time members of the Irish Parliamentary Party began to articulate a different opinion on the subject...

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: March, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: The Trouble With Democracy . . .
Democracy is no solution to the current economic problems of Greece, Ireland, etc. because democracy is the political medium in which those problems were generated. There is no ruling class which can be held to have brought about the economic crisis in its own interest, and which can be punished and overthrown as a means of overcoming the crisis. The economic system which caused the crisis was freely chosen by the democracy, insofar as anything is freely chosen in these things.

It might be said that the electorates did not choose to have mass unemployment, wholesale bankruptcy, and a reduction in their standards of living. They only chose the means which led to this end. But the means which seem to serve the purpose of the moment is all that is ever chosen by an electorate which acts freely, having overthrown its ruling class and having freed itself from hidebound tradition, superstition, and fears related to another would. Free action in the flux of the passing moment cannot have a long-term end as its democratic purpose...

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From: Labour Affairs: Editorials
Date: March, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: Is There A Labour Movement?
Twenty-five years is a long time in politics. So some explanation is needed as to why a magazine produced for such a long time without interruption should change its name.

It should be said clearly that the name change does not represent a change in the basic orientation of the Bevin Society. It remains committed to its basic principle of promoting industrial democracy as an essential element in political life. But, while the Bevin Society remains constant and true in its objects, it cannot be denied that the political and social situation has changed out of all recognition.

In 1987 there was still a Labour Party. There was still a Trade Union movement with a political input into the Labour Party. Indeed in 1987 there was still a working class that recognised itself as such. Britain retained a substantial industrial base. Social services were in public ownership and control. There were nationalised industries. Working class culture remained dominant in society at large. It was a comfortable time to be a socialist....

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: February, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: The Right To Desert
"Minister for Defence, Alan Shatter, has said that serious examination is taking place into the possible pardoning of Irish soldiers who deserted from the Defence forces to fight for the Allies in World War 2. Speaking on Morning Ireland Minister Shatter said these soldiers had fought against fascism and contributed to the future of freedom and democracy in Europe. He said they were penalised by a regulation barring them from being employed in any public service job. He welcomed the passing of a motion in the Stormont Assembly earlier this week calling for a pardon for the soldiers. Minister Shatter said he believes that it is right that the Republic of Ireland now revisit how this issue was dealt with historically"

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