The run-up to the visit of Elizabeth Windsor to Ireland has seen the Gardaí requesting personal data from people who both live and work on the way she'll wend through Dublin's streets; announce restrictions on movement through those streets; and the City Council bring a postering ban into force (the postering ban doesn't apply to commercial advertising on billboards, obviously). Meanwhile Apple have been criticised for collecting data on iPhone users' movements, and the EU wants your credit card number.
As part of the May Day International initiative, all of this week's CrisisJam articles are also being published on a special subsite hosted by newleftproject.org (see here), along with contributions from the Greek Left Review, ZNet (USA) and the New Left Project itself.
Promotion of private property ownership in Ireland in the 1950s was based on the idea that 'The man of property is ever against revolutionary change.' This point has been overlooked in the glut of armchair psychoanalysis seeking explanations for Irish passivity in an inherent selfishness or idiocy. But, as Hugh Green writes, if the so-called 'Negative Equity Generation' is not agitating for revolutionary change, it's not least because they're struggling have to pay off mortgages many multiples their annual salary on insecure and dwindling incomes.
Ireland is now ruled by 'financial speculators unknown'. Ireland's governing elite has pledged itself to providing for these speculators, at the expense of all of its citizens, for the foreseeable future. It has not asked who they are, nor, it seems, does it plan to. It is enough, it seems, to leave tithes outside the cave of the mythical beast, and run away without checking if the beast is real, or just a man with a dragon mask and an eye for a scam.
There is an overwhelming democratic case for a referendum on the EU/IMF ‘bailout’ which commits Ireland to swingeing austerity and the gutting of public services for years, if not decades to come. Voters in February’s general election thought that by voting in Fine Gael and Labour they were effectively saying ‘no’ to the terms of that bailout, but within three weeks the new government had capitulated on promises made during the election campaign, and committed themselves to exactly the strategy pursued by the former ruling coalition of Fianna Fáil and the Greens.
A rose-tinted view of the past more often than not gives rise to a pessimistic outlook on the present and future. Talk about the death of working-class movements often overlooks the fact that establishing and giving momentum to such movements was hard work; contemporary hopelessness as to the potential for new movements of resistance to come into being has perhaps less to do with the strict impossibility of such a thing, and more to do with a failure to remember that the organised and effective resistance of the past more often than not occurred against all odds.
The time of the respectable dissenter - clad in an office suit, with a seat at the table and a place in line for funding – is past, writes Laurence Cox. The bodies involved in ‘social partnership’ are now too depending on funding and policy access, and their bases too disillusioned, to be effective vehicles for change. What is needed in Ireland are effective organisers, movements for change whose primary concern is finding issues around which ordinary people can organise.
Cuts to welfare, threats to wage-setting agreements for low-paid work, and rollbacks in public services are all having a severe impact on women in Ireland and across Europe. Not only that, but in classic ‘shock doctrine’ style, the economic crisis is being used to sideline and silence the fight for female equality.
The trolls - most of us will have encountered them at one time or another. In a comment section, on a message board or Facebook page there is always someone ready to unleash a torrent of abuse, and more often than not the most vicious language is reserved for those who least deserve it. Angela Nagle looks at the phenomenon of trolling, the cultural politics behind it, and asks is it a necessary evil?