James McBarron

Government attack 200,000 low wage workers

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"They want to cut the wages of lowest paid workers, to boost the bosses profits", that was one workers reaction to todays announcement of an all out assault on the wages of low pay workers.  The mask is well and truly off, Fine Gael minister Richard Bruton revealed that workers across the retail grocery, hairdressing and security sector will have their wages, terms and conditions attacked. The government is anxious to row back agreements under the JLC (Joint Labour Committee) system which had set minmum rates of pay in the sectors and insured fixed rates of extra pay for Sunday work, anti social hours and overtime.

Garret "the Good"?

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Former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald's death was announced this morning. As is usual in such circumstances we are being subject to a load of old guff, very rarely in such instances are we treated to an honest assessment of a mans life instead we are expected to believe in the individauls perfection.  The great phrases you will hear for the next week will be that he was "a patriot who always put the national interest first", "an honest man, a fair man", "he did the state some service" etc. At least the last is true, Garret Fitzgerald was a thouroughly pro-state, pro-capitalist, pro-EU, pro-imperialist politician.  He never wavered in his support for the capitalist order.

10,000 to guard the Queen and Obama

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10,000 soldiers and Gardai will be deployed to protect the queen of England and US president Barrack Obama during their visits in May. Over 20 million euros will be spent by the state on the visits.

Rabbitte threatens Public sector workers with wage cut

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Labour party Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte has threatened public sector workers with further wage cuts if they don't deliver cost savings under the Croke Park agreement.  He claimed that since the country "was broke" in his words it is up to the workers to make savings by agreeing to redundancies and increasing their workload.

"Dissident" Republicans in Armed Struggle Cul-de-sac

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When “dissident” republicans killed policeman Ronan Kerr with a booby-trap car bomb on Saturday, they were pursuing what they believed was a strategy that would eventually lead to the defeat of British imperialism in Ireland, firstly by destroying the policy of normalisation, "ulsterisation" and the co-option of  republicans into the political system, and ultimately in breaking the will of the British ruling class to maintain their hold in Ireland.

177 Beggars prosecuted, White collar crime ignored

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Gardai have made 177 arrests in a crackdown on "aggressive" or "inappropriate begging" in Dublin city in the past 2 months.  The Dublin Chamber of Commerce are jubliant, boasting that begging has dropped tenfold as a result of the crackdown, meanwhile no charges have been brought nor even any serious garda investigation concluded into the corrupt awarding of a mobile phone licence to Denis O'Brien by Michael Lowry.

Does the Green Party have a Future?

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Eamonn Ryan was recently on the radio speaking against nuclear power, responding to a pro nuclear expert who had been given airtime to promote it on RTE the previous day. Eamonn was reasoned, logical, persuasive. Then the texts were read out a string of bile aimed at him and his party along the lines of "the people have spoken why are you interviewing this has been" etc. No real reference to the arguments or issues.

Revolt Spreads - Libyan Dictator on brink

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Libyan leader Gaddafi is in the final throes of his dicatatorship as mass demonstrations  take place across the country,as tribal leaders , political allies and army units switch sides.  The courageous actions of the mass of protestors despite brutal murderous attacks by security forces still loyal to the regime, have confounded the dicatorship. Much as in Egypt people have not broken under the attacks but become more enraged. Bahrains monarchy is teetering. Even China is now feeling the effects of this wave of protest and defiance with protests at a number of centres yesterday.

Independent Workers Union poster campaign

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The Independent Workers Union (Cork Branch) has launched a series of posters that have been displayed on poles around Cork city. The posters raise five demands from the unions manifesto of resistance.

Egypt: One Million to march in Cairo, Trade Unions Federate

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As protests continue in Egypt the people are becoming more organised and creating their own structures. After a few days of unsuccessfully trying to smash the movement for change through violent repression, the police were withdrawn from the streets and the army ordered in. The largely conscript army however was unwilling to use violence against the population, whom the majority of soldiers clearly sympathise with.

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