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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: March, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Must Labour Wait?
The outcome of the Election of 25th February, in terms of the traditional parties, is that it gives the Labour Party the opportunity to end 'Civil War politics'. It has been said often enough over the years that this is what it wants to do, because it is held back by the overlay of Civil War politics which obscures class issues. Well, the Election has given it the opportunity to attempt this under very favourable conditions.

The Labour slogan at the start of the Election campaign was Gilmore For Taoiseach!. It seemed for a moment that the old order was in melt-down under the impact of the second major crisis of capitalism that the State has had to face. But it soon became clear that the old order would not crumble so easily, and that Fine Gael was benefitting from the collapse of morale in Fianna Fail.

The appeal to the electorate was then to prevent the return of a single-party Fine Gael Government by ensuring that it would once more have to form a Coalition with Labour as its minor partner. As minor partner in a Coalition, Labour would calm down the wilder capitalist impulses of Fine Gael.

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: February, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Melting Down Ireland?
The Opposition parties have been gifted with the opportunity to win the Election and save the economy, which has already been saved by the discredited Government. That's democracy.

Having saved the economy the discredited Government consolidated its arrangements with a Finance Bill, which the Opposition Parties disagree with and oppose. But the Opposition Parties are facilitating the passage of the Finance Bill through the Dail, while voting against it. They might have subjected the Bill to a thorough scrutiny in the ordinary way, dwelling on the grounds of their opposition to it with a view to amending it, or even defeating it.

They chose instead to facilitate the rushed passage of the Bill through the Dail while voting against it for the record. They did not want the Bill which they opposed, and which they think (or say) is bad for the country, to be defeated. They did not want the country to be saved from a Finance Bill which they say is damaging to it. The wanted the Bill passed, with them voting against it, so that it would be an accomplished fact before they won the election and became the Government. That's democracy.

Why have they acted like this?....

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: January, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Economic Mindgames
To Default or Not to Default? that is the question facing the Irish democracy at present. Should Ireland become the first Euro-zone country to renege on its debts? The bank debt in question has largely been incurred by private institutions of the capitalist system, which made plenty money for themselves when times were good—which adds a piquancy to the choice ahead.

As Irish Congress of Trade Unions General Secretary David Begg has pointed out, the Banks have been reckless. The net foreign debt of the Irish banking sector was 10% of Gross Domestic Product in 2003. By 2008 it had risen to 60%. And he adds: "They lied about their exposure" (Irish Times, 13.12.10).

When the world financial crisis sapped investor confidence, and cut off the supply of funds to banks across the world, the Irish banks threatened to become insolvent as private institutions. If market forces had been left to themselves, the banks would have gone under…

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From: Church & State: Editorials
Date: January, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: The Usury Crisis
The financial crisis threatening to engulf Europe is a usury crisis. Usury is the making of money out of money at several removes from the production of things. An element of usury has always been present in capitalist economy, but it is only in the last twenty or thirty years that it became the controlling element of capitalism as a world system.

Shortly before the usury crisis struck us, the Politics Professor at the National University, Tom Garvin, wrote a very popular book called Preventing The Future. He said that De Valera and the Catholic Church had cheated us out of the future we ought to have had, a future of all-out capitalism. Well, we achieved that future just in time to experience its inevitable crisis, which might be described as the second general usury crisis. The first was 80 years ago.

An Irish Times opinion columnist now offers the thought that nationalist Ireland has been overwhelmed by this crisis because it is Catholic and that Protestantism might have saved it…

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From: Irish Political Review: Articles
Date: December, 2010
By: Editorial
Title: Ireland: The Political Crisis
Politics precedes economics and so it follows that if there is an economic crisis there must be a political cause. Economics might influence human behaviour, but politics is determinant.

Objectively Europe should not have an economic crisis. Its debt is dwarfed by the USA's and yet nobody can deny that Europe is in economic turmoil. Why?

The seeds of the current crisis were sown in 1989. Western Europe was absorbed in its own project when the deck had to reshuffled following the collapse of the Soviet house of cards. Germany was distracted by the prospect of unification and France feared that the European project would be abandoned....

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