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Is the government prepared to leave austerity behind?

Should a government Minister be allowed to make a far reaching statement that sharply contradicts the thrust of government policy and not be immediately challenged as to the practical implications? If the media afforded acres of coverage to such a statement, should it not then demand that the Minister spell out what concrete action she/he proposed to take if the statement was to mean anything more than empty posturing?

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Britain: Survey diverts focus away from power of working class

"Emergent service workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains" doesn't have the same ring to it, was one response to the recently published Great British Class Survey, which itself concluded that traditional social divisions of upper, middle and working class are out of date in 21st century Britain.

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Review: The Spirit of ’45

Ken Loach’s new documentary ”The Spirit of ’45” isn’t just a film about a historical period. It’s an excellent addition to the discussion on how working people can achieve a decent life in 2013.

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Resist IMF’s demand for more shock therapy!

Can an institution, like a human person, suffer from schizophrenia? Judging by the latest report from the International Monetary Fund it would certainly seem so. The condition involves a ‘breakdown of thought processes’, a ‘deficit of typical emotional responses’ and ‘disorganised thinking and speech.’ All these conditions are evident in the prescriptions by the IMF for the Irish people.

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Thatcher – A class warrior for capitalism

Millions have been waiting for this day, 8 April 2013. Margaret Thatcher will never be forgiven for the devastation that her Tory governments' policies wrought on working class communities in the 1980s - and is still being felt today. "I would suggest as a memorial to Mrs Thatcher that instead of the usual headstone or statue, a dance floor should be erected over her grave". This was proposed by a writer to the Observer paper from Durham, a former mining area, on the 30th anniversary of her coming to power.

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Labour fear of political annihilation motivates deferral of Water Tax

Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore's announcement of the deferral of water charges from next January is prompted wholly by the party's fear of annihilation at the Local and Euro Parliament Elections in 2014. The absence of meters did not prevent the Labour / Fine Gael Coalition from introducing water charges in 1983 nor again their reintroduction in Dublin in 1994.

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Bye election shows that Labour is on the ropes

History repeats itself for the Labour Party in the Meath East Bye Election 2013. Just under thirty years ago the Labour Party was humiliated in a Bye election in the Dublin Central constituency against a political background uncannily reminiscent to the present day. The vacancy was occasioned by the sudden death of former Fianna Fail Minister, George Colley.

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EU Austerity Budget – Cuts, cuts, cuts

The Irish government has made much of the fact that it now holds the EU Presidency, chairing meetings of the European Council. It has been proudly proclaiming success in negotiating a new EU budget for 2014 to 2020 (the so-called Multiannual Financial Framework – MFF). What they don’t say, however, that in the position of Presidency, they are pursuing the same austerity policies that they implement in Ireland – imposing unprecedented levels of cuts to the EU budget.

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Varadkar please vamoose!

“I know one or two women... who probably don’t make very much money at all from working but they do it to keep their position on the career ladder, if you like. That’s a legitimate thing to do but if you can’t pay your mortgage as a result or you can’t buy your groceries as a result well then that’s something that needs to be taken into account in any insolvency arrangement.” This is the backward position of Minister Leo Varadkar commenting on upcoming insolvency legislation.

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