The media

Rendezvous in Northern Ireland?

Martin McGuinness shaking the Queen's hand offended socialists because of our contempt for the institution of monarchy but his motive at least was progressive, and also republican in the sense defined by the founder of modern Irish republicanism Wolfe Tone — “to replace the name Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter with the common name Irishman”.

In a hugely symbolic moment on 27 June, during a royal visit to Northern Ireland to mark her jubilee, the former commander of the IRA shook hands with the Queen.

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Don't believe what you read in the Mail

Author: 

Harry Davies

Over the last fortnight the national press has picked up a story about a violent incident at Hinde House School in Sheffield.

To take the version initially printed by the Sheffield Star and then picked up by the Mail... three Roma Slovak pupils attacked another boy following an argument “about a football”. The victim was “punched to the ground” and left with a broken nose. The school has now, the reports continue, been presented with a 1,600 name petition demanding that, in the words of one parent “something be done”.

The national press has picked up a story about a violent incident at a school in Sheffield.

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FireChat: yet another spurious techno-panacea

Author: 

Eric Lee

Hardly a day doesn’t go by when we don’t hear about some new “revolutionary” technology that is going to make the world a more open, transparent, and better place.

There have been a few high profile ones in recent days, including the new social network Ello, which is being pushed as the “anti-Facebook” (it’s nothing of the sort). Ello claimed that 30,000 people per hour have been trying to sign up to be users of the beta version of its software.

Hardly a day doesn’t go by when we don’t hear about some new “revolutionary” technology that is going to make the world a more open, transparent, and better place.

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Survey

The political vacuum in Albania (Colin Foster)
Levers for the lovers of power (Joan Trevor)
Blair wins a place in the Sun (Jim Denham)
Glasgow councillors abandon election pledges (Stan Crooke)
Tony Blair and the union laws. (Tom Rigby)
Letter from prison (Dita Sari)
Anti-abortion campaign, a winning scheme? (Helen Rate)
Should holocaust denial be a crime?
Iranian oil workers dare to fight
Obituary: Coin Coyle
The left and the election

A round-up of news from WL39

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Kick the ice bucket, for collective action!

Author: 

Andy Forse

The recent “Ice Bucket Challenge” internet campaign had an impressive number of people taking part.

Participants video themselves tipping a bucket of cold water on their head and nominate others to do the same; if they refuse they have to donate to charity. Often those that take part still donate. Celebrities and political figures from Unite union leader Len McCluskey to George Bush have taken part.

Collective action is a more potent force for social change. While fads come and go, the work of socialists and trade unionists will reverberate into the future. Fight for genuine change; don’t get caught up in bourgeois forms of social action.

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War and Virgin Birth: Capitalism Drives You Crazy!

Author: 

Sean Matgamna
Now we have the triumphant homecomings. And what do the soldiers come home to, in the country whose fantasies they embody? To a tremendous outcry in the press about artificial "virgin birth"!

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Bloody War and the Threat of Virgin Birth, or, Capitalism Drives You Crazy!

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

During the Gulf war it was hard o avoid the impression that Britain was a country in the grip of a mass psychosis.

From the grey dull little Thatcher-made Prime Minister, with his robotic voice and the grey metallic glint round the eyes, by way of no-guts Neil Kinnock translating Major's pronouncements into a better class of sub-Churchilian rhetoric, all the way down into the sewers of the tabloid press, official society was caught up in a fierce fantasy about fighting a glorious war for freedom and liberty against great odds.

Now we have the triumphant homecomings. And what do the soldiers come home to, in the country whose fantasies they embody? To a tremendous outcry in the press about artificial "virgin birth"!

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Bloody War and the Threat of Virgin Birth, or, Capitalism Drives You Crazy!

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

During the Gulf war it was hard o avoid the impression that Britain was a country in the grip of a mass psychosis.

From the grey dull little Thatcher-made Prime Minister, with his robotic voice and the grey metallic glint round the eyes, by way of no-guts Neil Kinnock translating Major's pronouncements into a better class of sub-Churchilian rhetoric, all the way down into the sewers of the tabloid press, official society was caught up in a fierce fantasy about fighting a glorious war for freedom and liberty against great odds.

Now we have the triumphant homecomings. And what do the soldiers come home to, in the country whose fantasies they embody? To a tremendous outcry in the press about artificial "virgin birth"!

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