Saturday, February 22, 2003 1936 , largely due to the efforts of the I W W U , most employers had conceded a shorter working week , with the working hours being reduced from 48 to 44 hours and , by the 1940's, most workers enjoyed two weeks holidays every year . During the following decades , due in no small part to the I W W U , hours of work , pay and conditions and security of employment had vastly improved for all but the part-time women workers , who eventually won concessions as per their full-time comrades .
In 1984 , the Irish Womens Workers Union amalgamated with the Federated Workers Union of Ireland , and did so in the knowledge that it had left a proud legacy as its trademark .

On February 15th , 2001 , the U S Justice Department instructed a New York federal prosecutor to begin a criminal investigation into all of Bill Clintons 177 last-minute pardons and sentence commutations , and more that a dozen FBI agents were dispatched to interview potential witnesses !
One of those pardoned was a restaurant owner convicted of violating wildlife laws , who was pardoned by Clinton on January 20th , 2001 . Bill Clintons brother , Roger, had his previous convictions for conspiracy to distribute cocaine wiped from his record with a word from Bill in the right place...Fraudster Dorothy Rivers , tax evader Marc Rich , drug dealer Carlos Vignali , fraudster Glenn Braswell , money launderer Harvey Weinig and fraudster Melvin Reynolds ,amongst others , were all pardoned by Bill Clinton days before he was due to leave Office !
This is the man that conspired with others in America , in England and in Ireland , to put together the 1998 Stormont Treaty (' Good Friday Agreement ' ) and , with a compliant media, sold it to the public as a "solution to the Six County problem " in Ireland , which it is not ~ Britains claim of jurisdiction over our Six North-Eastern Counties remains in force . The real solution is a British withdrawal , not looked-for or discussed in the 1998 Treaty . True Irish Republicans still demand that solution - unlike Gerry Adams and his organisation , and Albert Reynolds , Bill Clinton, Bush Jnr , Bertie Ahern and the rest of the ' stay-if-you-want-just-treat-us-better-mob ' , we will not rest untill we achieve that outcome.
Even if it takes another 834 years .....

Friday, February 21, 2003

.....throughout the Black and Tan War ( 1919 - 1921 ) the I W W U played their part in the liberation struggle and were prominent in the 'White Cross' , the then Republican prisoner-dependent relief organisation(now CABHAIR) and the womens Union also campaigned on behalf of the prisoners during the many prison protests . The I W W U , including Louie Bennett , Maire Johnston , Mary O'Connor and Margaret Buckley, opposed the Treaty of Surrender (December 1921) and supported the republicans in the Civil War .
During the mid-1920's , a more militant and political I W W U campaigned tirelessly for the unemployed and their dependants , demanding relief work for the jobless and the opening of a coal fund and the provision of meals for their families . It opposed the ' Conditions of Employment Bill ' of 1935 , Section 16 of which allowed the Free State Industry and Commerce Minister , Sean Lemass, to prohibit the employment of female workers in industry , fixed the proportion of female workers to the number of other workers and forbade employers to employ more women than men ! However , despite the almost 5,000 women trade unionists it rallied to its cause , the Bill was passed . By 1936 , largely due to the efforts of the I W W U .....(MORE LATER)>>

.....the consultant clinical psychologist stated that the workers at the Windscale nuclear plant pass through the psychiatric casualty system "at a considerable rate " and he condemned "very old fashioned " management attitudes for creating at Windscale that could lead to catastrophe . "I have been surprised , when I have had contact with some staff referred to psychiatry and psychology , that such obviously disturbed people were employed at the plant in the first place . One of my psychiatric colleagues has asked the question whether Windscale actually sets out to employ anxious obsessionals , or whether they just make them that way in the end " .
A windscale spokesperson confirmed that the report , made in 1982, had been received and that management had not acted on it !
It seems that the Brits have their own ' weapons of mass destruction ' .....

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Within two years of its formation , many of the I W W U members were involved in the Great Lock-Out of August 1913 and , following the ending of same in February 1914 , almost half the workers failed to get their jobs back . The Irish Women's Workers Union , led by Louie Bennett and Helen Chenvix (both later presidents of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions) and Margaret Buckley (president of Sinn Fein from 1936 to 1949) played a prominent part in the struggle for freedom between 1918 and 1921 .
They took part in the one-day strike organised by the Irish Trade Union Congress on April 23rd , 1918 , called to protest at the proposed introduction of conscription in Ireland and actively campaigned for republican candidates , including Countess Markievicz , who was later appointed Minister for Labour in the First Dail , which prompted the I W W U to declare - " We rejoice that the first woman elected to parliament in Ireland is one to whom the workers can always confidently look to uphold their rights and just cause " .
Throughout the Black and Tan War ......(MORE LATER)>>

If Tony Blair is serious about having a go at Iraq , he should send in workers from Windscale/Sellafield instead of the British Army :
In February 1986 , a Mr Douglas Wilkinson , the then Consultant clinical psychologist at the West Cumbrian Hospital in Cumbria , said that scientists working at the Windscale nuclear plant were " neurotic and unstable " and that management at the plant seem to "breed tension, back-biting and paranoia" among staff ! He issued these findings in an 18-page report he done in 1982 at the request of Windscale medical officers , who asked him to investigate the situation at the plant . His report was based on his findings after treating staff at Windscale over many years ~ he stated that the workers pass through the psychiatric casualty system " at a considerable rate " . (MORE LATER)>>>

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

In September 1911 , at a meeting in the Antient Concert Room in Brunswick (now Pearse) Street in Dublin , which was attended by dozens of women (many of whom were actively involved in Inghinidhe na hEireann and/or the suffragette movement) the ' Irish Womens Workers Union ' ( I W W U) was formed . The principal speakers in attendance included Countess Markievicz , James Larkin , James Nolan and Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington .
Addressing the assembled women , Countess Markievicz declared -
" Without organisation you can do nothing . The purpose of this meeting is to turn you into a army of women " . Conditions and pay at the time for all workers , but particularly for women employed in the shirt and weaving industries , was appalling . In England , organised workers were being paid up to four times the wage of their Irish counterparts and were not fined for absenteeism and damage to cloth on the same scale as the women workers in Ireland were . Also , the Irish women worked a six-day week with very little holidays . Within two years of its formation .....(MORE LATER)>>

More on Paddy Murray , editor of the 'The Sunday Tribune' newspaper , whom I wrote about here recently : in his column in that 'paper on December 9th , 2001 ,(page 14) he described himself as - " opinionated , rightwing (with) a slightly dodgy sense of humour , enjoy more pints than average and to completely lack the ability to listen to the other side of the argument " . An odd choice for a newspaper editor ..... Also , writing in the ' The Sunday World' newspaper on February 8th , 1998 , the bould Paddy stated- " I don't mind being called a Free Stater . Because I am a Free Stater " . That's it , Paddy ~ get it off your chest ...
Or was Paddy just licking-up to his boss , Anto O'Reilly (that's Dr A J F O'Reilly, to you) who , in the newspaper that Paddy now edits for him , on October 2nd , 1988 , (page 36) defined patriotism as -
" Doing a superior day's work for a fair day's pay (and) is also about putting together large sums of capital " ! DAMN IT ! If only the men and women of 1916 had stormed a bank instead of a post office , we could have had Tony on our side .....

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Peter Barnes and James McCormick were to be made an example of - the question of guilt or innocence was immaterial as long as English ' justice ' had sufficient evidence to give it a pretext for judicial murder .
Pleas for clemency flooded into the British Home Office from all over the world , but were ignored .
On the day of the execution of Barnes and McCormick there were signs of mourning all over Ireland ~ flags flew at half mast on public buildings , cinemas closed , sports meetings were cancelled and public bodies passed resolutions of sympathy .
Peter Barnes , 33 , and James McCormick , 30, were hanged in Winson Green Prison , Birmingham , England, on February 7th , 1940 . They are still commemorated in Ireland to this day .

......Roosevelt knew reporters by name , played water polo with his favourites , sent cards on anniversaries , invited some to Christmas dinner and entertained all at square dances which he organised . He talked to them in the small hours while his wife , Eleanor , made them scrambled eggs in a chafing dish , and his daughter , Anna , " bustled around the table making sure that everyone had enough to eat " . By 1933 , the press felt sufficiently comfortable to ask - and receive - permission to use the White House tennis courts and swimming pool . However , not all the journalists were fooled into believing that Roosevelt was their new best friend - Arthur Krock , then head of the ' New York Times ' washington bureau , accused the FDR administration " of more ruthlessness , intelligence and subtlety in trying to suppress legitimate , unfavourable comment than any other I have known " .
Next time the media tell you why it is , for example , that Iraq ' should be made pay ' - step back and think of who's manipulating who ; and think of FDR .....

Monday, February 17, 2003

Within hours of the August 25th , 1939 , Coventry explosion ,Peter Barnes was arrested at his lodgings at 176 Westbourne Terrace and three days later James McCormick (operating under the alias James Richards) and the tenants of 25 Clara Street , Coventry, Joseph Hewitt , his wife Mary and his mother-in-law Brigid O'Hara , were detained during a raid on the house . All five were charged on suspicion only and, at their 'trial' the following December , three were acquitted while Barnes and McCormick were sentenced to death by hanging . Before sentencing, McCormick , who had remained silent and composed throughout the proceedings , told the court ~ " As a soldier of the Irish Republican Army , I am not afraid to die, for I am dying in a just cause" .
Peter Barnes , who was nowhere near Coventry on the day of the explosion , stated in court ~ " I would like to say that as I am going before my God , as I am condemned to death, I am innocent, and later I am sure it will all come out that I had neither hand , act or part in it . That is all I have to say " . The English establishment , like so many times before and since , in their endeavours ' to teach the Irish a lesson ' , were satisfied with the result as both men were Irish and had republican connections . They were to be made an example of .....(MORE LATER)>>

Bush and Blair know, from past campaigns, the potential power to be gained by manipulating an already supine media ; it was a tactic used to full effect by Franklin Delano Roosevelt , who was popular with the public but not with the media and attempted to change that situation .
In her book entitled ' FDR and the news media ' , Betty Horchin Winfield wrote of how Roosevelt was elected with 57 per cent of the vote in 1932 , yet he had only 41% of American dailies and weeklies editorial support . In 1936 , he got 60 per cent of the vote while his editorial support dropped to 37% and , when he went for the unprecedented third term in 1940 , he went down to 25% editorial support but won the election triumphantly . That situation was much the same in 1944 . Roosevelt knew reporters by name ..... (MORE LATER)>>>

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Peter Barnes was born in Banagher , County Offaly , in 1907 .
At the age of 14 he joined the local slua (group) of Na Fianna Eireann and , in 1924 , at 17 years young, he joined the IRA . Peter Barnes was one of the first to volunteer for active service , at 32 years of age, in England , when the 1939 bombing campaign began . In June of that year he travelled to England and was appointed Transport Officer , operating mainly between Glasgow , Liverpool and London .
James McCormick was born in Mullingar , County Westmeath , in 1910 .
The McCormick family moved to Tullamore , in County Offaly, after the mother died , and it was in that town that James joined the IRA . In early 1939 , James McCormick volunteered for active service in England where , after acting for some time as Operations Officer in London and Birmingham , he was posted to Coventry (in May 1939) and , in August 1939 , was appointed Coventry O/C .
On August 25th , 1939, in one incident during the IRA bombing campaign , a bomb at the busy Broadgate Centre in Coventry killed five people and injured many more .
The bomb was concealed in the carrier-bag of a pushbike which was left standing at the kerb outside Astley's shop in the city centre . It was being transported to it's target some miles outside Coventry , but exploded prematurely due , apparently, to a defect in the timing device . Within hours of the explosion , Barnes was arrested .......( MORE LATER)>>

According to a book entitled "Landslide:The Unmaking of the President 1984-' 88" , by then Washington journalists Jane Mayer and Doyle McManus , Ronald Reagan "was lazy. He was'nt interested in the job . All he wanted to do was watch movies and television" . The then U S Chief of Staff , Howard Baker (who replaced Donald Regan in the job) briefly considered a proposal that the U S's Constitutions' 25th Amendment be invoked to remove Reagan from Office ~ Baker's aid , James Cannon , sent Baker a memorandum on March 1st , 1987 , which read- " Consider the possibility that Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution might be applied" . The '25th' provides that a President can be removed from Office if the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet certify that he/she is unable to perform his/her duties . When questioned about the above , Ronald Reagan replied "No truth at all" . But then again , some would say that Reagan would'nt know the truth even if it WAS in the script .....