Citizen Journalism Ireland: Published articles on different topics 2009 year. Revised 2020. 10 headings words Tranche (C)

No. 1

20th September 2009

Awareness, influence from the street up to ensure the
survival of the Island of Ireland and the Rule of Law

Ireland is rapidly being consumed by a recession the majority of our people have no idea about the hardships that come with Recession/Depression. It has been thrust upon them, all within the space of a year, and now unprepared they find themselves with qualifications and no jobs to match.

A greedy bunch of developers funded by greedy bankers have fuelled this recession to a pinnacle that a compliant greedy Government stands alone, afraid, overpaid, making decisions that do not necessarily relate to the ordinary man, woman or child, who are there on the street. Has anyone noticed the increased number of people begging on our streets? Has anybody noticed the shopping centre off Dawson Street already stripped of a number of their exclusive shops? Has anybody noticed that the franchised coffee shops are already feeling the pinch? Then has anybody noticed the number of taxis queued up in all the main streets off the main streets in Dublin City centre? Try talking to a taxi driver who will tell you they have earned only euros 15 for several hours work.

The people press and social networking has a most important role to play. They can contribute to Government in a subtle but effective way. Ordinary people with ordinary observations can make the difference. They live, walk, see, hear and engage in the reality our Politicians have lost through the ‘heady days of the Celtic Tiger’.

Back to this site. View the derelict buildings. Ask what do these derelict buildings do for valuations of properties in their locality? They further cause a reduction in value. What can be done with these buildings? I would suggest if you take an example of Dublin 4 and look to those Georgian squares and streets and all the to let signs and all the quite evidently vacant floors that an inward drive of people indicates that driven urbanisation could be most cost effective. These houses stand resplendid for their period in time and their architecture. We failed in the 1960’s and lost many to slums and then dereliction. Now – are we planning to do the same? We ought to be saying to NAMA / NTMA listen to us also…..we have something to say. We have a way of working out a value per square meter that properties are worth…..we can promote space utilisation by policy decisions….we can suggest appropriate taxes. Just include us and keep us informed.

I would suggest that a form of rates ought to be re-introduced (not a 200 euro tax on mobile homes, and second homes irrespective of income). There is a new Green rule that anyone selling a property or letting out a property must have a BER certificate. This is fine but it will lead to more houses for dereliction. Surely, there is a better way to promote space utilisation. We hear nobody discussing how to make our Georgian Houses properties compliant with the environment and self sufficient. One example is a mirror on the roof space. People out there must have more suggestions. We have had the slums….we should say via green initiatives, that we will not be returning to the slums. Look at Elgin Road. Half the houses cost millions and half are what I would call semi occupied slums that are funded by rent allowance. Is this what humanity is about?

Next time you are on the bus, take a look out for patterns in housing. Look at the houses in Leeson Street that still house many tenants and are in poor upkeep. Then look out for those houses that our probably stuck in limbo due to inheritance conflicts. Look at the beautiful squares say Fitzwilliam, Merrion and think of Mr. O’Gara who caught the locals out and bought the ground rent of the square. He along with others have opened up this park to use of all people……this is positive. This is reviving the history of Rathmines, Donnybrook, Baggot Street, Fitzwilliam Square.

Let us be diligent. Let nobody reduce an area to desolation because buildings are allowed become derelict. Moyross is the obvious answer. Let us take example from the people in Ballymun who revived their community with spirit.

Realistically, we face the proposition that the International Monetary Fund may have to intervene in the running of our Irish Financial affairs. We have one saving grace that may prevent us becoming totally isolated and that is our alignment with the EU. It was this alignment to the EU and euro currency that attracted a lot of US companies to Ireland during the Celtic Tiger. Let us not lose site of this.

It is time to reform and promote community. People need to look out for each other and to support their local shops, their elderly, their young people. In London in the 1950’s and 1960’s, areas around Shepherd’s Bush once homes of the rich famous fell into the hands of people like Rachman … gangsters that were cruel landlords. We don’t want this to happen again and we have power as people to divert this. You see we have a political culture in Ireland, we can sell our history through tourism…….we have Peace on the Island of Ireland and it is our duty to promote it.  @

Michelle Clarke

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No. 2

19th September 2020

To the Open Economic Forum at Farmleigh
Ideation yes but worth looking at the photos of dereliction

 

The Diasporo are to be tapped for ideas.

It was former President Mary Robinson who first highlighted this group of people and a light was left shining at the Aras as a sign to welcome them.

An Taoiseach Mr. Cowen has taken up the mantle and this time there is an Open Forum at Farmleigh, the Phoenix Park, to welcome our Diaspora of importance and influence to help rescue the Island of Ireland from financial ‘ruin’.

As a believer in the power of people and their individuality, I would like to see this particular citizen journalism site highlighted to the Conference Group in Farmleigh to whet their appetites and enthusiasm.

The photos are about the reality that existed during the Celtic Tiger, it represents those properties that still ‘were not attractive enough to encourage investment’ and the investors who upheld the ‘wait and watch’ theory.

NAMA is about discounting properties (no longer in existence) that cost too much, that are partially completed, that need never be completed, that need to be knocked, that need waiver. It is estimated that it will take a decade for prices to return to Celtic Tiger heights but remember this is part of the Casino Economics and it is really all about the best guess.

The Island of Ireland needs to re-market itself, economically, socially and politically. It is about embracing cultures and people power.

Quotation
Fidel Castro (born 1926) – the Cuban Revolutionary. (We certainly could apply the Cuban medical system to our faltering Irish health system).

‘I began the Revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I’d do it with 10 or 15 and absolute Faith.

To those attending the conference and who chose to become tax exiles from Ireland, a thought perhaps from Martin Luther (1483-1546) German Rebel Theologian, opposed to the corruption and abusive power of the Catholic Church

‘God grants wealth to those coarse asses to whom He gives nothing else’

 

Michelle Clarke
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No. 3

20th September, 2009

NAMA and the big Gamble

Nama is a casino gamble. The Question the Irish people have to ask themselves is:

Do you trust this Government, after the chaos with the Bankers and Developers and of course, the members of the legal profession who made millions, who are now those who need to be ‘bailed out’?

It is that simple a question.

I note that certain members of the legal profession are forming a group. Insurance premiums are most costly now thanks to the misappropriation of funds, and breach of trust by certain members of the Profession. What is the story re. Michael Lynn? Where is the Money? Banks in haven locations are now poised to be more open about their ‘hidden sources’ of money. This is the product of the Global impetus of Government heads, the G20, the World Bank, IMF etc to move away from the de-regulation positions that earmarked the past two decades, back to a more regulated ‘mindset’.

Who knows NAMA may be a beneficiary to this change in policy over the next Decade – investments are about assets, commodities, cash, derivatives – yes speculation and people willing to take risks.

Michelle Clarke

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No.4

20th September 2009

Fred. Yes, where are all these people?  Those who we can now call the self nominated ‘Entitled Classes’. Those who gained a little power and abused the ethics, trust and credibility of the people in the Island of Ireland.

Talking about Islands Fred, are you a man from the coast of Galway? I live in Dublin so I too have access to the sea.

A taxi driver (an interesting grassroots conversation on the day of two marches) gave me a paper, mentioned in earlier posting. What an interesting piece of journalism and well worth reading if you have an interest in Ireland as it stands now, on the eve of yet another Referendum!

Title of article reads ‘Irish Resources robbed from the people of Ireland’. The temptation is immediately to think of Shell and Corrib but this article goes far deeper and covers the loss to the Island of Ireland of our fishing waters which it sums up as ‘A Continental Coup’.

Michael O’Driscoll quite rightly asks people to take account of what we the Irish people gave to the EU when we are bleeting about what we received from the EU in the form of structural funds. He goes on to say that we gave up our entire fishing waters, as a price for entry to the EU. So we had to pay a “Fine Price” to enter the EU?

The seas that surround Ireland and Britain are among the world’s richest fishing waters. I must admit to being ignorant about this but now I am going to look into this further. Apparently there were four applicant countries in the 1970’s (Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway). The point of major significance is that these four countries amount to 90% of EU fisheries. The legal profession were called upon to find some loophole in the Treaty of Rome so that a deal could be made (what has changed, just look to NAMA). Article 38 1 was the only article that mentioned ‘fish’. They were looking for words that would say “equal access” principle, which was made a condition for EU membership….’right up to the beaches’.

O’Driscoll further comments on the irony that during the same period of time, the United Nations conference had extended the national control of fisheries to 200 miles which meant Britain and Ireland controlled 86% of European Fishery waters.

So we the Irish are far from cap in hand to Europe, I would think.

Then we have the Corrib and Shell to consider. Our Sell out to Corporates for our resources from the sea, oil, gas and who knows what else. The Sea to the Island of Ireland is like the innovative mind of the human being!!

The sea is our history, our emigration, our aquaculture, our fishing, our starvation due to ignorance of the food of sea. We may have costed it too low in the 1970’s as we did not understand its true value to our country and as it transpired to the whole of Europe…The question here is whether article 38 1 is a legally binding?

They say scenery cannot make up for hardship , ‘but Ballyvaughan and its surroundings are rich in scenery. The limestone hills are themselves impressive in their grandeur, there is a wonderful expanse of water in Galway Bay, which must be one of the largest, loveliest and alas least used bays in the world and in the distance across the bay lies Connemara, with its expressively named mountains, the Twelve Pins, ranging across the horizon’ by a man who believed in the wealth of Ireland and the potential.

 

Michelle Clarke

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No.5

26th September 2009

Greens have steadfastly abandoned their Green identity
since their allegiance with FF:  No to Lisbon Vote

 

Can anybody out there qualify why the Tanaiste did not seek the advice of the Attorney General regarding the resignation of Roddy Molloy from his position in FAS.

The Lehman collapse is one year a way now, so surely the Senior Fraud Office and the Department of Justice and Equality have had adequate time to sift out ‘The Good from the Bad’ and put in place laws that would criminalise fraudulent activities. Where is the whisteblowing charter? Are people too afraid to abide by it. Bribery and Corruption is unacceptable now and we must act in a positive way. We need an outcome urgently to the Mahon Tribunal.

When will pay heed to the model of Federal Law in the US? If you interfere in anti-trust or engage in insider trading or trading practices that can result in company bankruptcy, the Federal detectives are active and due process applies with haste. People get serious time prison for bribery and corruption in the US.

Bruce Arnold, a seassoned ‘Chestnut’ has an interesting article in the Indo. today:

he says
‘If we reject the Lisbon Treaty we reject the European Union’ or do we!
‘Many wise and powerful leaders in Europe, including the prime minister of Sweden, who is currently EU president, as well as a former President of France, have dismissed this idea as rubbish, which undoubtedly it is. The two are in fact quite separate. If we pass the referendum it will change the EU it quite radical if not revolutionary ways.

If we do not pass it, we will go on as before. Going on as before is an Irish occupation’

There is dire global economic failure and yet we are holding a second referendum within 14 months in the hope that the people of Ireland will change their vote to Yes to appease our European partners. Meantime, we take a step down the ladder, losing a commissioner, and gaining a lower proportion of votes while other countries with larger populations enter the arena and basically Ireland’s experience because of low demographics, merits what is basically pure demotion.

We need to review the plus side of Ireland. We have achieved a resolution to the Troubles in the North – surely the experience of this counts for something.

We have immigration problems in Ireland but we do not have the same problems as the French or Italians. They call the immigration encapments, the Jungle. Only now do we see examples of these ‘jungles’ on the TV as the French Police raid the sites and demolish the houses. We know that this is done in Harare, in Zimbabwe, and we all shout out again Mugabe but why is it acceptable in Europe. This is the nasty side of demographics for the European Elite.

Ireland is a knowledge economy because it always was. Our origins are monastic settlements where people travelled to Europe to teach. In the last few centuries, priests, nuns and lay persons have continued with this mission to places in Africa, South America, and of course Asia. We have established links with the Japanese, the Chinese, the Koreans, and these are part of the world economic markets of today. We in Ireland via our universities and colleges are teachers of the English language to many peoples from different continents.

Where do the Greens stand viz a viz Tara. It is a polyglot of roads with no appreciation of what could be a world heritage site. What about these Stealth taxes on people who have invested in property, some using investment in property as a source of pension? Now they are left with BER tax, property tax probably no tenants etc. What about all the buildings being held for investments but with no occupation just vacancy in the hope of an investment return e.g. Mountjoy Square – who is going to make these Green. The greens ought to be thinking on their feet regarding property in Ireland. The bulbs they suggest fail to carry a warning list and if you get a chance to see the warning list you will find comments like if you break it ‘don’t touch, don’t use the vacuum cleaner, it contains mercury a dangerour substance.

Does anyone know what happened about the Chromium situation in Cork? This is a really serious crisis yet it is swept under the carpet. Where is the EU in relation to this.

The US have been prompt with a man from Ireland who ‘mis managed waste’ he is to be extradicted.

October 2nd looms. Globalisation was about de-regulation but remember Sterling currency still exists, the Euro exists, the US$ exists, the Yen. They all are about money but money is about commodities and factor of production so Ireland given the North South Stg. Euro connection needs to think a little more laterally.

Reply:

To be Roasted Chestnut

We Irish Just Love Horses.

 by PeteSat Sep 26, 2009 17:13

“Ireland is a knowledge economy because it always was. Our origins are monastic settlements where people travelled to Europe to teach.”

Caligula was not the only person with a carnal interest in horses.

Giraldus Cambrensis informed us that Irish Kings had to copulate with horses in order to be regarded as “proper” Kings.

If you don’t believe me read this:

http://books.google.ie/books?id=XSnDAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA54&lp…false

================

 

No 6

26th September, 2009.

Greens have steadfastly abandoned their Green identity since
their allegiance with FF

by Chestnut – No Vote to Lisbon

Can anybody out there qualify why the Tanaiste did not seek the advice of the Attorney General regarding the resignation of Roddy Molloy from his position in FAS?

The Lehman collapse is one year ago now, so surely the Senior Fraud Office and the Department of Justice and Equality have had adequate time to sift out ‘The Good from the Bad’ and put in place laws that would criminalise fraudulent activities. Where is the whisteblowing Charter? Are people too afraid to abide by it?  Bribery and Corruption is unacceptable now and we must act in a positive way. We need an outcome urgently to the Mahon Tribunal.

When will pay heed to the model of Federal Law in the US? If you interfere in anti-trust or engage in insider trading or trading practices that can result in company bankruptcy, the Federal detectives are active and due process applies with haste. People get serious time prison for bribery and corruption in the US.

Bruce Arnold, a seassoned ‘Chestnut’ has an interesting article in the Independent. today:

he says:

‘If we reject the Lisbon Treaty we reject the European Union’ or do we!

‘Many wise and powerful leaders in Europe, including the prime minister of Sweden, who is currently EU president, as well as a former President of France, have dismissed this idea as rubbish, which undoubtedly it is. The two are in fact quite separate. If we pass the referendum it will change the EU it quite radical if not revolutionary ways.

If we do not pass it, we will go on as before. Going on as before is an Irish occupation’

There is dire global economic failure and yet we are holding a second referendum within 14 months in the hope that the people of Ireland will change their vote to Yes to appease our European partners. Meantime, we take a step down the ladder, losing a commissioner, and gaining a lower proportion of votes while other countries with larger populations enter the arena and basically Ireland’s experience because of low demographics, merits what is basically pure demotion.

We need to review the plus side of Ireland. We have achieved a resolution to the Troubles in the North – surely the experience of this counts for something.

We have immigration problems in Ireland but we do not have the same problems as the French or Italians. They call the immigration encapments, the Jungle. Only now do we see examples of these ‘jungles’ on the TV as the French Police raid the sites and demolish the houses. We know that this is done in Harare, in Zimbabwe, and we all shout out again Mugabe but why is it acceptable in Europe? This is the nasty side of demographics for the European Elite.

Ireland is a knowledge economy because it always was. Our origins are monastic settlements where people travelled to Europe to teach. In the last few centuries, priests, nuns and lay persons have continued with this mission to places in Africa, South America, and of course Asia. We have established links with the Japanese, the Chinese, the Koreans, and these are part of the world economic markets of today. We in Ireland via our universities and colleges are teachers of the English language to many peoples from different continents.

Where do the Greens stand regarding Tara Hill. It is a polyglot of roads with no appreciation of what could be a world heritage site. What about these Stealth taxes on people who have invested in property, some using investment in property as a source of pension? Now they are left with BER tax, property tax probably no tenants etc. What about all the buildings being held for investments but with no occupation just vacancy in the hope of an investment return e.g. Mountjoy Square – who is going to make these Green? The greens ought to be thinking on their feet regarding property in Ireland. The bulbs they suggest fail to carry a warning list and if you get a chance to see the warning list you will find comments like if you break it ‘don’t touch, don’t use the vacuum cleaner, it contains mercury a dangerous substance”.

Does anyone know what happened about the Chromium situation in Cork? This is a really serious crisis yet it is swept under the carpet. Where is the EU in relation to this?

The US have been prompt with a man from Ireland who ‘mis managed waste’ he is to be extradited.

To conclude: October 2nd looms. Globalisation was about de-regulation but remember Sterling currency still exists, the Euro exists, the US$ exists, the Yen. They all are about money but money is about commodities and factors of production so Ireland given the North South Sterling. Euro connection needs to think a little more laterally.

~~~~~~~~

To be Roasted Chestnut

We Irish Just Love Horses.

by PeteSat Sep 26, 2009 17:13

 

“Ireland is a knowledge economy because it always was. Our origins are monastic settlements where people travelled to Europe to teach.”

Caligula was not the only person with a carnal interest in horses.

Giraldus Cambrensis informed us that Irish Kings had to copulate with horses in order to be regarded as “proper” Kings.

If you don’t believe me read this:

http://books.google.ie/books?id=XSnDAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA54&lp…false

===============

No. 7
15th October, 2009
Criminal Assets Bureau. Use the Model when creating NAMA data

26th September headling caught my attention. The title ‘CAB nets Euros 6 million in war on gangster dole defraud.

Tom Brady, Security Editor reported that the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has ‘deprived gangsters of more that Euros 6 million in social welfare payments since it began targeting them’. Well done.

Apparently a number of social welfare inspectors have been re-assigned to the CAB. This is the news we don’t hear about! These men are actively working to identify and target funds accumulated by criminals.

Now the word criminal is unclear in this article. Does this mean a person who has a criminal record only can be targetted?

If so, what about the alleged Euros 80 million and solicitor Michael Lynn? It is disconcerting to hear people informing the Joe Duffy show that they encountered Michael Lynn on their recent holidays and that they felt quite certain, it was him. Now that the pressure has been placed on TAX HAVENS like Switzerland, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Lichtenstein etc, surely we can locate this solicitor and if not arrest him, we need to source where he has invested his funds. There is one thing we must know and that is if he has ‘spent’ the money, there will be a record and if not we can presume it is buried away in some Swiss Bank account. His ‘crimes’ which can only be called alleged in his absence and those crimes of many other financiers give rise to one impact ’cause and effect’. What Lynn and his sterotypes failed to provide for is the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the impact that was a globalised financial crisis and the remedies required to contain it.

If the CAB nets 6 million euros from its war on gangster dole fraud (well done to Mary Hanafin), can we please have more officers appointed to the Criminal Assets Bureau to target the funds of those who in time will be found guilty of fraudulent transactions (as has happened in the case of Madoff – the pyramid man, who will spend the rest of his life in US prison)? If people embezzle funds, the funds must be transferred somewhere via bank account. The CAB was set up in 1996 and has worked ardently and successfully over the years.

If this model works, then adding additional officers makes sense and allocating a task e.g. find tax haven accounts with a focus on the Countries like Switzerland that the US have put pressure on to release details on US tax exiles.

=====================

No. 8

6th October 2009

Challenges to inadequate social policies

Protection of vulnerable sectors in the Community

In the past, I have written about a treasure trove of information much under utilised for parents, for individuals, for children, for the elderly concerned about the future, and for students. It is the EU office in Dawson Street. This is adjacent to the Royal Irish Academy, and St. Anne’s Church which are also a haven for people with time on their hands and a curious mind. They have a coffee centre and for over 50’s they assist people in learning how to use the computer.

The Lisbon Treaty Re-Run has proved one point and that is the splintered groups of socialism that were unable to form the phlanx of NO. We need to ask ourselves now, as a Nation that has said yes to the Treaty, what do we expect from the Government?

At the moment in Ireland domestically, we have serious problems. We have the abuse of taxpayers money by who? Let’s go: FAS, TD’s expenses, Ministers expenses, county councillor expenses, and now as the whole country knows we have John O’Donoghue, Ceann Comhairle of the Oireachtas (above politics) but as Eamonn Gilmore placed a No Confidence Vote in the Dail today for the resignation or dismissal of Mr. O’Donoghue, it raises serious questions.

Doom and gloom abounds for 1 year now. The collapse started with one of the biggest banks in the US – Lehman Brothers and since then economics worldwide are in free flow.

Ireland is in particular disgrace. Led from the front by politicians, bankers and professionals, Ireland is awash with people who have lived lavishly off others and now, without shame, we the ordinary people ask will they be held accountable?

The people have expressed an opinion. The re-run of the Lisbon II Treaty indicated a change in consensus about Europe and support for Lisbon Treaty. This time, we were not influenced by the No campaigners, there was a change of perspective, a change of view, and the fact that the European Central Bank has intervened to support us, all these factors contributed to the Irish people saying Yes to Europe.

Diversity in the Media

A study on Media and Diversity in EU Member States and 3 EEA countries. The manuscript was completed in March 2009.

Immediately, I thought of the Irish citizen journalists. Blogs are popular but citizen journalism sites is more about people press; it is more about the diversity part of the ‘unity’ and an exchange of views. This can be witnessed by using the search topic and say typing in a key word e.g. Peace, Corruption, and the citizen journalism site will take you back a number of years and you will witness for yourselves about a different kind of interaction. Articles written about Tara, and writers like Chris Murray, Sean Crudden introduced us to a broad range of subject including prisons, mental health, suicide, the Peace Process, the Gardai, Child Sexual Abuse, housing, public private partnerships and O’Devaney Gardens.

The ENFO office in Suffolk Street has been closed – an immediate response to An Bord Snip snipes. Let’s now starting looking to the libraries, to Indymedia, to the EU offices, to form that Knowledge platform that the Europeans expect Ireland to have arrived at.

Ireland stands challenged now but where is the Shame? Where is the public Outrage? Do we really want to have a two tier society, the really rich and very poor ‘underclass’. The indicators exist but alas the facts stand that people are already suffering. There are more young people begging on the streets. There are small businesses humbled for small loans to the banks that have been bailed out by NAMA. Old people are worrying what lies ahead of them, will they be able to live on social security, middle aged people are wondering how long will they have to continue to work beyond retirement age and what jobs will they be expected to do? What about third level education? Will people with disabilities, or from poorer backgrounds be able to access third level education? Will young people be able to take responsibility and work and study to pay for education? Do we expect too much of them? What about our prison system? What about life long learning? Why do so many young people quit school before leaving certificate? What about Suicide? I have heard that 5 taxi drivers have committed suicide in the last number of weeks? Who cares about these people?

Regrouping is needed and citizen journalism sites have a broad spectrum coverage but biases hinder the diversity.

For people who are serious about going forward, I would suggest a visit to the EU office and I would highly recommend the book (free of charge) on Media4Diversity – Taking the Pulse of Diversity in the Media to form an underbelly of how to extract from ‘the fatted’ calf of the Celtic Tiger and help us move forward into that Knowledge Economy of the Celtic Tiger.

A positive for us to take account of is: There is now a Whistleblower Charter. People will be free to make revelations and not be penalised by their employers.

Quotation Choice:-

Shell on Trial by Ken Saro Wiwa (1941-95) Nigerian Writer and Activist: Leader of the Ogoni people who were protesting against Shell’s exploration on their land, environmental destruction and human rights abuses. Saro Wiwa was executed with eight others by the Nigerian Government

‘I and my colleagues here are not the only ones on trial. Shell is here on trial…the company has indeed ducked this particular trial, but its day will surely come’.

The power of print and people

Michelle Clarke

===================

No. 9

3rd November, 2009

 

 

Irony:  2017 a regular BreastCheck at Merrion Road, Dublin 4, found breast cancer.  Thankfully my mother had VHI cover for me so it was private medicine which provided my treatment.  It was Professor Crown who was my Oncologist.  I wrote book during the period of treatment which he describes as “A sledgehammer to catch a fly” and June 2020 and I am still here so I am a cancer survivor and have proved very resilient during the dark and strange times of COVID-19.

Book title:  Fortune Favours the Brave by Michelle Marcella Clarke, Foreward by Professor John Crown https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1912639610/

 

=============================

No. 10

5th November 2009

Strikes and Unions. How learned are we about our rights and change?

 

Before we strike, let us use the media and look to our near neighbour and the Royal Mail strikes. Times are different, another era was the time of Scargill and the coal miners strikes.

A sound bit of advice is to not get involved in something unless you know what will emerge as the outcome! Last week, there was two day strike at the Royal Mail. The impact is that the ordinary punter became the victim e.g. the person whose medical report got lost in the system and whose disability benefit is cut off for weeks as a result and a whole myriad of other outcomes. Times are different now, Markets are different also. What is the impact of the Royal Mail strike now? Well, now there are rivals and marketeers out there looking for opportunities and like vultures and prey, they are circling. Take an example – and look at online marketing and shopping and the delivery market. This could be a serious chunk of loss for the Royal Mail. I understand that Amazon availed of this opprortunity to market themselves to their clients!!! This is business and opportunity for others.

Unions. We in Ireland are aware of Unions. They paved their way with nationalism from the heady days after World War I. In Britain of the 1970’s, the proportion of British employees in unions was 44.8% but by 2003 this had fallen to 20.3% (refer 2006 study by US bureau of labor statistics). The US, in the same time period saw a fall from 23.5% to 12.4% and France the fall was from 21.7 to 8.3%. Germany, Japan and New Zealand resulted in far greater falls.

Trade Unions indicate a free society in that tyrannical regimes would not tolerate them. Worker representation is vital but this doesn’t mean that equity applies. There is a new paradigm – there is the management groupings and they are represented through the system of bureaucracy and this is what we ought to be aware of. It is this group who have seen their wages rise exponentially over the last few decades to the heady heights of certain trade union officials earning over 100,000 euros, perks, pensions, cars, entertainment allowances etc. This executive class have received wage level rises far in excess of their competence factor. This is evidenced by the CRASH landing we have had.

Union membership has fallen in other countries. We in Ireland need to consider this before the strike campaigns already diarised. We need to consider who joins unions. We need to think about graduates and their penchant for being unionised and does this reflect on the membership. We need consider the impact of the web and work structures (refer: European Trade Union Institute). The reflection is that unions need to engage in adjustments. Did you know that a union in Microsoft opened up via the net to members – it guides IT staff online on job security and healthcare. We could learn from this.

We need to think of who are unions are made up of in Ireland. A large proportion is made up from civil service, healthcare, education bureaucratic and often rigid type bureaucratic structures. Thinking before marching is essential.

How would Jim Larkin mobilise forces now is a question we ought to consider?

Michelle Clarke

2017 a regular BreastCheck at Merrion Road, Dublin 4, found breast cancer.  Thankfully my mother had VHI cover for me so it was private medicine which provided my treatment.  It was Professor Crown who was my Oncologist.  I wrote book during the period of treatment which he describes as “A sledgehammer to catch a fly” and June 2020 and I am still here so I am a cancer survivor and have proved very resilient during the dark and strange times of COVID-19.

Book title:  Fortune Favours the Brave by Michelle Marcella Clarke, Foreward by Professor John Crown https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1912639610/

About michelleclarke2015

Life event that changes all: Horse riding accident in Zimbabwe in 1993, a fractured skull et al including bipolar anxiety, chronic fatigue …. co-morbidities (Nietzche 'He who has the reason why can deal with any how' details my health history from 1993 to date). 17th 2017 August operation for breast cancer (no indications just an appointment came from BreastCheck through the Post). Trinity College Dublin Business Economics and Social Studies (but no degree) 1997-2003; UCD 1997/1998 night classes) essays, projects, writings. Trinity Horizon Programme 1997/98 (Centre for Women Studies Trinity College Dublin/St. Patrick's Foundation (Professor McKeon) EU Horizon funded: research study of 15 women (I was one of this group and it became the cornerstone of my journey to now 2017) over 9 mth period diagnosed with depression and their reintegration into society, with special emphasis on work, arts, further education; Notes from time at Trinity Horizon Project 1997/98; Articles written for Irishhealth.com 2003/2004; St Patricks Foundation monthly lecture notes for a specific period in time; Selection of Poetry including poems written by people I know; Quotations 1998-2017; other writings mainly with theme of social justice under the heading Citizen Journalism Ireland. Letters written to friends about life in Zimbabwe; Family history including Michael Comyn KC, my grandfather, my grandmother's family, the O'Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forsters; Moral wrong: An acrimonious divorce but the real injustice was the Catholic Church granting an annulment – you can read it and make your own judgment, I have mine. Topics I have written about include annual Brain Awareness week, Mashonaland Irish Associataion in Zimbabwe, Suicide (a life sentence to those left behind); Nostalgia: Tara Hill, Co. Meath.
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