On 18 May the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications issued a policy statement on the importing of fracked gas, in which it was noted that the Programme for Government contained a commitment to banning it. The press release stated that because of EU membership, in particular EU Directive […]
According to its high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, the EU at present has 5,000 troops stationed around the world under its aegis.¹ Most of its operations are based in Africa (as shown in part 1 of this article). However, the EU’s most significant operation on the European continent […]
Bus drivers in London went on strike last month against pay cuts that a number of “private bus operators” tried to impose. However, all is not as it seems. The British government has privatised much of the public transport system as they push ahead with their neoliberal agenda. They followed […]
After nearly half a century of membership of the EEC and then the EU, Britain finally left on 1 January 2021. The period leading up to its departure was heavily choreographed, with displays of brinkmanship, the stock in trade of the European imperial powers of Britain, France and Germany and the other old imperial states of Europe that make up the core of the EU.
The fact that the particular characteristics of Brexit arose out of an inter-imperialist conflict and were determined by the most right-wing forces in Britain may have significantly
THE GOVERNMENT has been forced to postpone a controversial vote on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)—a free-trade agreement between the European Union and Canada—until the new year.
It had hoped to have it ratified by the Dáil after a 55-minute debate on 15 December. The vote had already been postponed from October to give the Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan, time to convince his members to support the treaty, which he has failed to do. A number of senior members still have concerns, and they are attempting to
Sinn Fein published their discussion document “Economic Benefits of a United Ireland”1 in November 2020; and, seeing that it’s a discussion paper for “contributing to the ongoing and exciting debate around a United Ireland,” it’s a worthwhile exercise to analyse and to critically engage with Sinn Féin’s vision for a united Ireland.
Two significant factors, Brexit and covid-19, have really accelerated the debate on reunification; and now, as stated in the document, “it is not a question about whether we can afford Irish Unity the fact is that we
Robert Owen, the nineteenth-century philanthropist, was by any standard a decent sort of bloke. He believed workers should be treated compassionately and that they deserved a reasonable standard of living. In fact he went a step further and attempted to build ideal societies in different countries, including one at Ralahine […]
The much-heralded recent “Next Generation EU Agreement” between the member-states of the European Union is little more than the papering over of growing and deepening cracks. The lack of a co-ordinated response to the covid-19 pandemic exposed the underlying fault lines within the European Union, contributing to and speeding up […]
We are in the first moments of an economic crisis more serious than anything experienced in living memory. The World Bank’s “baseline forecast” envisages a “5.2 percent contraction in global GDP in 2020—the deepest global recession in eight decades.” Even that assumes we are living through the most optimistic scenario. […]
Writing in the Irish Times on 17 April, the Spanish academic Javier Cercas described the EU’s response to the covid-19 pandemic as having been slow, stingy, and fearful. It is a view shared by many, especially those in southern Europe. Indeed the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, went so far […]
The efforts to form a “government of the willing” following the general election earlier this year rumble on. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have had to pretend to dance and engage in a courting ritual to give the impression that there are significant ideological and political differences between them, thereby requiring such a long period to produce a draft programme for government. Fianna Fáil are desperate to get into government at any cost in order to re-establish a presence in urban areas.
But what drives the state and these two main parties of the establishment is the need to thwart the desire of working people for real, meaningful change, as
THE BRITISH State left the European Union on the 31st of January, after nearly three years of political theatre, manoeuvring, backstabbing, and manipulation. How the ruling class now manage this process will depend very much on what the working class does. Many on the left have adopted a wait-and-see approach, thereby allowing the ruling
Socialist Voice has arguably been the most unwavering of English-language socialist periodicals in its analysis and exposition of the European Union as an inter-state structure of monopoly capital, under German…
Towards the end of November the Irish media published reports of comments made by Prof. Christian Kastrop, a former associate of the German minister of finance, Wolfgang Schäuble, one of the architects of the debt crisis. Kastrop now works for the Bertelsmann Foundation, a think tank sponsored by the Bertelsmann Group, one of the principal German transnational
THE CONSTANT NARRATIVE in the Brexit debate, be it in Ireland or Britain, from politicians, especially those elected who are supposedly of a progressive slant, is how they are opposed to Brexit because “the EU protects workers’ rights.” These views are also expressed by leading figures in the NGO sector.
THE “BRITISH REBATE” is known: the reduction in British contributions to the EU budget that Margaret Thatcher pushed through in 1984. She pointed out at the time that a large part of the EU funds had gone into agriculture, and that the United Kingdom had a comparatively small