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From: Labour & Trade Union Review: Editorials
Date: February, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: Milliband's New Labour Runs Up The White Flag
For the present we are stuck with the politics and the party system that we have, together with the electorate that shapes and is shaped by them. Neither is capable of bringing about a just society with which we can identify. There is therefore a two-fold task of changing the parameters of the debate —setting out a different perspective of development—whilst also making sense of what the parties are up to at the present time. By making sense to our readers in this way, it is hoped to generate new thinking that will gradually come to capture the public imagination and replace the liberal attitudes which have become deeply ingrained into the social consciousness of our society.

This journal has never entertained great expectations of the reconstituted New Labour project under Ed Miliband, but the swiftness and abject nature of the surrender of Miliband and Balls to the Mandelson-Blair cuts agenda is quite sobering. The Labour Party has now trussed itself up in a way that will make it difficult to put any space between itself and the Coalition.

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: January, 2012
By: Jack Lane
Title: The European Union vs. The Euro-Zone! Has Micheál Martin Lost The Plot?
All politicians across Europe will remember where they were on 9th December 2011. Enda Kenny was sitting next to David Cameron and left the EU Council meeting with him. But he had to jump, and he jumped in the opposite direction to Cameron—though there is no doubt went against his instincts. With an agreed and determined Franco-German position, he had little choice, which is just as well. Irish Taoisigh in recent years have got themselves into a mindset where hard choices need never be made as regards Europe. But Kenny has had to make his bed and if there is to be a referendum he is committed to the Euro whether he likes it not.

What then of Fianna Fail? It is necessary to consider the position of that party, as it could be critical to getting a referendum passed. The omens so far are not good.

Martin made clear where he was on the 9th of December and he was quick out off the mark in opposition...

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From: Irish Foreign Affairs: Editorials
Date: January, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: European Disunion
The decision of all the members of the European Union, minus Britain, to adopt a course of action which Britain opposed, raises the prospect of Britain becoming more substantially foreign to Ireland than it has been since the time of Charles Haughey. Martin Mansergh of Fianna Fail, who was adviser to many Taoiseachs before entering the Dail as a Fianna Fail TD, has denied that Ireland and Britain stand on a footing of foreign relations at all. His view seems to be that Irish is a variant of British, and that British is the default position of Irish. There is much to be said for that view of the matter as an objective description of Irish-British relations during the last forty years, leaving aside the years when Haughey was Taoiseach and acted as if Ireland was an independent state in the European family of states, rather than an Anglo-Saxon adjunct. But, of course, it is not just a matter of objective description. The relationship described by Mansergh coincided with the actual relationship to a considerable extent. But that description was not dispassionate reporting of what existed—it was the statement of an ideal.

Dr. Inge, a famous Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in the 1920s, said that the loss of Ireland was the most shameful event in British history.

Raymond Crotty, founder of the Anglophile ‘Irish Sovereignty Movement’, which campaigned vigorously against the European Union on the same line as the British Eurosceptics...

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From: Church & State: Editorials
Date: January, 2012
By: Editorial
Title: Diplomacy?
The Irish Government has closed its Embassies in the Vatican and in Iran, giving cost—and lack of trade—as the reason. In diplomatic matters it is not expected that the truth will be blurted out. If it was, there would be no role for diplomacy...

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From: Problems: Articles
Date: January, 2012
By: Eamon Dyas
Title: Minimum Wage, Part One
The document entitled “Ireland Memorandum of Understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality” is one of the seminal documents relating to the bailout agreement between the Irish Government and the Troika. It is dated 8 December 2010 and identifies the areas of the Irish economy targeted for reform by the Irish Government as well as providing the timetable for such reforms. As such the document provides one of the means by which progress is measured by the Troika each quarter to ensure that the Irish Government is keeping to its side of the agreement for the bailout. Item 3 of the Memorandum is called “Structural Reform” and is listed as one of the “Actions for the first review (actions to be completed by the end of Q1-2011)”. Because it touches upon one of the few areas in Irish industrial relations in which the Trade Union movement continues to have a direct influence what it says provides an important insight into the political and economic thinking behind the Irish bailout and the direction which a fulfilment of those bailout terms will take the movement in Ireland. Unsurprisingly, what the IMF, the EU, the ECB and the Irish Government have come up with in terms of this agreement displays a consistent viewpoint in which the Trade Union movement continues to be marginalised. This is an unavoidable implication of Item 3 where it states......

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