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May 19, 2009



Well put michael, the silence from the Left is deafening? or intentional manipulation by the media to promote the issues you have rightly outlined.what happened to the partnershiptalks? the day of action?,all huff and puff.
Watch the deliberate targetting of Nurses now by the HSE & Government re the moratorium in Health in applying divide and conquer tactics between Nurses and other Health Disciplines not effected by the same.
All to play for.


One may feel passionate but it is difficult to know what do with it, short of joing a political party and trying to influence it from inside. Partcipation in determining our own future can't just be about going to the polls ...


Off topic, but I heard an interesting piece on BBC Radio 4 (via the web, so it will be there only until the weekend) in Start The Week ( about "Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism" (
by George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller. My interest was piqued enough that I am now looking for more info on that book to decide whether it's worj borrowing. And, on my ride into work this morning, I read half of Solow's review of Posner's "A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression" (


Those links don't seem to work, but you forced me to check out the NYRB site for the first time in ages. Animal Spirits is reviewed as part of an excellent essay by Benjamin M. Friedman:The Failure of the Economy and the Economists here


Yvonne is spot on "participating in determining our future can't be just about going to the polls" but then what is it about?Participating!
1 being active in your union
2 getting involved in your local credit union
3 participating in your local residents' association
4 helping out with various community groups
5 joining progressive lobby groups
and so on, always aiming for social justice.My local residents' coommittee used to bang on about increasing house values and those seeking to create a "great place to live in" were usually scoffed at!Nobody's scoffing anymore.
Michael,wouldn't it make sense for a future Left bloc to come up with their own 10 or 20 point plan and present it to the electorate.Something simple yet relevant after some kind of consultation universal healthcare,housing education,green issues,social inequality and so on.I think the French socialists and communists had a Common Programme for government containing 100 points,if my memory serves me well in the 70s leading eventually to Mitterrand's election in 1981.

Michael Taft

Thanks Tipster and Donagh for those links (and I'm sorry if there was trouble using my links).

Fergal, you're absolutely correct. It's time those of us who believe in both an economic and political realignment stopped complaining at the lack of and start doing something about it. Drawing up a 'Common Programme' would at least give people on the Left and trade union movement something concrete to support, or reject. I certainly will start doing my bit once this little exercise in democracy is completed (i.e. Euro/local elections).


What you propose Feargal does represent worthwhile participation at the level of individual choice-making but I suppose am wondering how our system of democracy can become more participatory?


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