April 2008

Information flow and why Managers Mess Up

Date:

The Paddington Rail crash in London in 1999 led to 31 deaths and well over 400 injuries. At fault was a simple set of rail signal lights which were difficult to see (from the train driver’s point of view). When the crash was investigated it quickly emerged that Network Rail (then called Railtrack), the company responsible for rail line maintenance, had been repeatedly warned about the danger. A number of drivers had been involved in near misses and reported this to management, yet nothing was done. Then two high-speed trains collided.

Nine Derry people face jail for decommissioning weapons

Date:

Nine people from Derry are facing jail sentences for their part in ‘decommissioning’ weapons of war. The silence from official Ireland is striking. Not a murmer from Nobel Peace Prize winners John Hume and David Trimble, or from Cowan or Paisley, or Adams or Gormley, or Gilmore or Empey. Not even an empty platitude from Bono or Bob Geldof. Nobody was harmed but computers belonging to a multinational arms firm were tossed from windows and destroyed. It seems that the right of arms dealers to make big profits is a lot more important than the right to life of people in the Lebanon.

Why we celebrate May Day

Date:

The 1st of May as International Workers’ Day dates back to the struggle for the 8-hour working day in the USA. 
In 1886 the American Federation of Labour declared that after May 1st, “8 hours shall constitute a legal days labour”. Between that declaration and May 1st workers all around the United States went on strike to make their employers agree to a shorter work day.

Sinn Fein & DUP plan to introduce water tax

Date:

The Assembly plans to charge us for water from next April. Even though the DUP and Sinn Fein said they opposed the water tax when they wanted votes, they don’t regard that as important. They got the votes and now they can ignore the promises.

“Oppose the imposition of water charges and the privatisation of the water service, and any other forms of regressive double-taxation”
(Sinn Féin, 2007 manifesto)

“Other parties are against water charges now but the DUP has been consistently opposed to the scheme”(DUP, 2007 policy document)

Vote no to EU Lisbon treaty

Date:

Imagine that, leaving the pub on Saturday night, you find a fight outside. The Gardai turn up, grab a load of people, including you, and drag you off to the station, and throw in a beating in the back of the van. Next morning you are taken to an interview room and an old garda gives you a cup of tea, apologises for the “mix-up” earlier and says you can go as soon as you’ve signed a 6 page statement he’s prepared for you.

Mayday Picket to support Ballymun Plaza Hotel workers

Date:

Picket in support of Ballymun Plaza Hotel workers
5pm
Thursday 1st May
Ballymun Plaza Hotel
Ballymun

10 Years on from the Good Friday Agreement

Date:

The war may be long over and our political rulers have finally decided to get it together but there has been no ceasefire in the class war against working-class people both locally and globally despite the promises of ‘prosperity’. With the onset of economic ‘recession’, continued decimation of our manufacturing industry and public services, increase in the cost of living (energy costs such as heating and electricity have risen by over 30% since 2006 never mind 1998), lack of affordable housing combined with the lowest wages in the UK and highest level of people on incapacity benefits in the UK, the wee ‘North’ isn’t a bed of roses that our rulers are keen to promote. Sectarian divisions institutionalised under the voting system at Stormont, and racist attacks are more evident and visible now more than ever as the ‘peace-walls’ have got higher and there are more of them.

Review of Nick Davies' Flat Earth News

Date:

This is an extraordinarily detailed exposition of how the modern media functions. The author, veteran Guardian journalist Nick Davies, along with a team of researchers from Cardiff University, spent several years monitoring the British media and tracing the sources of the stories that they carried. The results were pretty shocking, even for somebody who already has a very low opinion of the corporate and state media.

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