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Showing posts from October, 2018

Sovereignty and the Brexit negotiations

Sovereignty and the Brexit NegotiationsGerry O'Shea
Sovereignty was at the heart of the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations that took place in London in the fall of 1921. Who would exercise political power in the proposed new state? The Irish delegates, led by Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, wanted complete freedom from Great Britain, but Lloyd George and his colleagues demanded limitations on the power of the emerging new government in Dublin. In particular, they insisted that members of the new parliament would take an oath of allegiance to the English monarch.
This limitation on Irish sovereignty whereby Irish revolutionaries who had sworn allegiance to an Irish republic would have to sign a document stating their subservience to the Crown was the main cause of the disastrous civil war in Ireland in 1922 and 1923.
The issue of Irish sovereignty is still at the heart of the Brexit negotiations that have engulfed the British leadership since their referendum to leave the European U…

The Plight of the Poor in America

The Plight of the Poor in AmericaGerry O'Shea
George W. Bush, a Republican, ran successfully for the presidency of the United States as a compassionate conservative in 2000 and 2004. The leadership he provided in Washington for disbursing more than 40 billion dollars to sub-Saharan African countries to help them deal with the scourge of AIDS shows that his electoral rhetoric was sincere.
The present Republican leadership has moved much further Right, making no claim to compassion in dealing with the poor at home or abroad. It is ironic that such hard-heartedness dominates an administration led by Donald Trump, who, before he ran for the presidency, expressed moderate views on many issues, including the need for a healthcare program that covers all citizens.
Hard-line conservatives dominate the policy discussions in all areas of the Trump administration, from treatment of the children of immigrants to taxation and budgeting to services for the poor and indigent. They believe that anti…