The opinion of a WSM member. This piece has not been reviewed by any WSM editing body

Union opposes mandatory IBEC recognition


The unions have warned that any attempt to introduce mandatory IBEC (Irish Business and Employers Confederation) recognition would endanger working conditions, pay rates and general government policy.

Regressive Taxation


Progressive taxation is a taxation system which seeks a higher tax rate for higher incomes.  It is a relatively common feature in the western democracies.  In Ireland however, its implementation is almost entirely nominal.

Kyrgyzstan: Ethnic Violence or Political Violence


National Emblem of KyrgyzstanThe current violence errupting in the southern region of Kyrgyzstan is deeply troubling.

If we are to go by the news reports given by the BBC, the violence is the culmination of long standing ethnic tensions.  If we are to believe the Economist's recent article "Stalin's Harvest" we are seeing the inevitable fruits of Stalin's labour. 

According to The Economist the ethnic violence is to be attributed to Stalin based on his inefficiency in drawing borders.  Any ethno-geographer of the region would acknowledge that drawing effective borders, even if based on language groupings -  is effectively impossible for Central Asia as populations are organised as consistently by elevation as by region.  Uzbeks typically being in more sedentary populations at lower elevations, while the Kyrgyz historically lived in pastoral highlands.  When ethnicity is brought into the equation things become even more complex.  The result is a maze of populations where borders are abitrary by necessity.

Public Service Agrees to Implement Austerity Program


Public services are safe from the threat of a fair deal for four years. The kind of crippling cuts that were recently pushed through by ICTU, amounting to a 10% pay cut in some cases in the form of a "pension levy", are now almost certain to remain.

Anarchism and The State


The state is a central concept in the political philosophy of Anarchism. Anarchism is often defined as being an anti-state ideology. While this is sometimes a useful way to distinguish anarchists from other state socialists it also leads to a fair bit of confusion. We will look at the source of this confusion with the aim of showing that anarchism is in its essence opposed to rulers and is not a naive or idealistic form of anti-statism.

Merthyr to Mayo Cycle Arrives in Ireland


Cork hosts arrival of solidarity cyclists destined for Rossport

Nearly thirty cyclists who had started off from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales the previous day arrived in Ringaskiddy on the ferry early on Monday 24th of May.  They passed through Cork city on their way up the west coast to Rossport, Co. Mayo, and were joined by a dozen-strong cycle contingent from Spain, who had cycled all the way from Madrid, also linking struggles around fossil fuel extraction, refining and nuclear power in Spain with those in Wales and here in Ireland.

On the Greek Crisis "The people have had enough"


In Mass protest against cuts in GreeceGreece there are more people with a class consciousness that in other parts of Europe. But still is not that significant a percentage of the population in order to have a massive change. The trade unions, the majority of them, are affiliated to the big parties, Conservative and Socialist, except for PAME that is affiliated to the Communist Party. The problem with them is that even though they hold 10% of the electorate they do not bring fresh ideas. The anarchists marched only in detached blocks, there was a bit of vanguardism, but now they are starting to march with their unions and with their social organisations what is a positive development.

Joe Duffy Highlights Makeup at Protest


Joe Duffy invited two protesters, Holly, and Leah, who were at the protest at the Dáil on Tuesday the 18th of May, on to his Radio show on RTE.  These two protesters were contacted because they had been wearing fake blood, in an attempt to highlight that the Gardaí had taken quite violent action, including bludgeoning protesters with steel batons, against people who were fighting against public service cuts - indeed fighting against the very cuts that the Gardaí themselves will suffer. 

Afternoon of the Anglo Irish Bank protest, after the arrests


About 100 people were gathered outside this infamous bank, Anglo Irish Bank, on St. Stephens green by the time I'd arrived. I had already been informed of the fact that 7 members of Eirigi had been arrested after occupying the building from early morning. The Gardai had sprung into action and decided to clear out the occupation and they'd done that with the brute force that's become a bit of a speciality over the last few years.

Teachers, the crisis and the wolves going after Greece


Brian Mooney used his regular column in the 'Education Today' section of the 'Irish Times  to tell teachers why should vote yes to the public sector agreement.  This is a response to his argument by teacher and WSM member Gregor Kerr submitted as a letter to the irish Times.

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