social democracy today

  The Civil War in Syria is complex. There seem to be many different policy options on offer on how to resolve this crisis. I reject the government with its support for Iran. I don’t know if the opposition can create liberal democracy. I don’t know if the opposition want a liberal democracy. I worry for the future of the minority in Syria. The Christians in Syria go back to St Peter. Doing nothing is not an option. Our common humanity demands that we help the ordinary people there to survive. Humane assistance is the least that the global community can give. I fear that military support could make things worse after what has happened in Iraq. The sectarian civil war in Iraq isn’t a good model for Syria to follow.

  Mallow Town Council is planning to celebrate the town council later this year. With the town council going next year it is good that we Ireland it is important that all the social partners work together. It is important that the economy will grow again.

John O Brien.


social democracy today

After the 2nd world war both left wing and right wing democratic parties agreed that the mistakes that led to the great depression would never happen again. They created a mixed economy. A regulated market economy with state planning and public services was seen as the solution to the problems of humanity. This consensus succeeded in achieving peace and prosperity.
During the 1970s an increasing number of conservatives wanted to return to free market capitalism. Their success forced social democrats to embrace free markets as well. The fall of the free markets since 2008 has discredited their ideology. Now we must build a new consensus.
The war crimes committed by both sides in the Syrian civil war has led people calling on the international community to intervene. I think that this call for intervention is misguide
The Syrian regime is allied to Iran. The rebels are supported by Sunni extremists. If these extremists gain power religious minorities and liberty would be destroyed. It is a conflict i9n which I hope that the 2 sides loose. I think we should stay clear of this conflict.
Mallow development partnership made a presentation to Mallow Town Council. They laid out practical plans to make Mallow a centre for a hi tech and food business hub. Mallow can improve on science and math. the teaching of Chinese is introduced in the schools. These and other steps will create the foundation for the future prosperity of Mallow. Local government, local business and community groups can improve our quality of life.
Fergal Cronin has replaced Richard Dempsey for the Fine Gael seat on the Town Council. Dan Joe Fitzgerald of Fianna Fail was elected Deputy Mayor of Mallow. All councillors supported the election of Councillor Fitzgerald to the post.
John O Brien

social democracy today

  Fabian social democracy had a major influence on the British Labour Party. The economic crisis of the 1970s and the Conservative victories in the 1980s created an opening for the extreme left. They demanded revolutionary socialism, They wanted the  UK to  pull out of NATO and support for any tyrant who happens to be anti-western. Their policies made Labour less likely to defeat the Conservatives.

  New Labour returned to the defence and foreign policies of former Labour governments. They opposed all communist and fascist dictatorships. New Labour rejected revolution and supported the agenda of reform. The Blair and Brown governments made Labour electable again. Extreme free market dogma was hard to challenge in this era. New Labour went along with Conservative economic politics.

  New Labour was a child of its time we are in a new era now. Our present economic crisis gives Labour the strength to rebuild a mixed market economy. A social democratic strategy today should learn from the past. It can’t live in the past. Labour today needs to continue to support democracy at home and abroad. They need to support a Keynesian solution to the economic crisis today.

   I think President Higgins is doing a great job. His criticism of present European economic policy is timely. I think he is giving voice to what the majority of people are thinking.

  I am sorry on a personal level to hear of the passing of the former junior minister Dick Barry. He lived a long life serving the people. The Fine Gael convention to replace Richard Dempsey was changed as a mark of respect. Fergal Cronin, Brian Hyde, Frank Roche and Eddie Ward are seeking to vacant council seat. Best of luck you are dedicated to public service and democracy.  

John  o Brien.


social democracy today

  To give legal force to the X case judgement is an emotional issue at present. It divides the nation. I will not comment directly on this issue.

  I am reminded of the television series The West Wing. The Republican candidate for President was pro choice. His position divided his party. The Democratic candidate who was played by Jimmy Smits publicly wanted to restrict abortion. He didn’t state his views on abortion publically. He was a Catholic and he got into trouble with the Bishops. His Vice Presidential candidate tried to comfort him. The Presidential candidate Matt Santos revealed that that he was personally pro life.

  We have a man who believes in the New Deal. Many of his supporters are pro choice. America is divided on the abortion issue. The Catholic Bishops are putting unrealistic pressure on Catholic politicians. This scenario sums up the dilemma many people face today.

  3 great social movements sought to reshape economics in the 20th century, communism, free market capitalism and social democracy. Communism went broke and the Berlin Wall fell. Free market capitalism caused 2 crashes, the 1929 and the 2008 economic crashes. Social democracy saw productive economic growth and greater justice and fairness. Communism had too much state regulation. The free market had too little regulation. Our present crisis reveals to all thinking people the need for more regulation of the market. But I hope we will be wise, I hope that we will not over regulate the market.

  Coming into Mallow I noticed a new sign welcoming people to the town. I also noticed a sign saying pay parking is in operation. Do we want to drive business and jobs out of the town? Business groups and the town council need to talk with each other. For a private company to be running the pay parking is like the state running a chip shop. That is how mad it is. Traffic warden’s functions should never have been privatised.

  The public toilets are still closed. When will they open? Will there be a big event when it opens? I don’t know if this is a joke or if it is beyond a joke at this stage.

social democracy today

  Revolutions are inspired by the highest ideals. The reality of humanity means that these ideals are impractical. Humanity is not ready for utopia yet. Revolutions usually fail or they lead us towards greater tyranny.

  The French Revolution preached liberty, equality and fraternity. The revolutionaries attacked everything that French people held dear. The revolutionaries wanted a new order. But instead of freedom the revolutionaries gave the people terror.

  The Bolsheviks preached revolutionary socialism. Russia was barely emerging out of Feudalism. The advanced Western countries were not ready for revolution. Instead of democratic socialism Lenin and his followers gave Russia and one third of the world slave states, terror, dictatorship and a new feudalism to replace the old feudalism.

  The Fabians realised that humanity moves slowly towards a better society. They were realistic, democratic and non-dogmatic. They included people of all religions and people of no religion. Different philosophies influenced the Fabians. The revolutionaries gave the world greater terror and tyranny. The reform socialists or the social democrats gave the world greater liberty, democracy and social justice.

  Reform not revolution is the best method if humanity wants a better world.

  Our present industrial policy is based on the thinking of Lemass. That is how old it is. Multinational companies over represent industry in Ireland. Irish industry and the Irish economy need to please foreigners. Banks and property developers instead of native wealth creators dominate the native economy. Speculators dominate us. The logical results of this lopsided policy are property booms and busts. If we want to avoid the mistakes of the past we need to support domestic industry. We need a proper bankruptcy law like they have in Britain. Employers need the protection of the welfare state from the possibility of unemployment and sickness. I fear these reforms aren’t high on the government’s agenda. Banks and property developers are too powerful still. They need to be put in their place.  We had 2 industrial policies already, The 1930’s and 1959. It’s about time we have a 3rd industrial policy today.

  The business community as rate payers are the only ones at present who pay local tax. The issue of pay parking in Mallow is still a problem for the business community especially in the Main Street. Town Councils will be abolished. If Mallow Town Council wants to be saved it will need all the support it can get. Business people I met are not happy with the Council. They couldn’t care less if the Council is gone in the morning. I appeal to the Council and the local business community to talk with each other and resolve this issue in a spirit of dialogue and mutual respect. John O Brien.

social democracy today

  The Fabian society got its name from a Roman general and politician Fabius Maximus. Fabius fought and defeated Hannibal. This was the Hannibal who used elephants to attack Rome. Fabius didn’t fight Hannibal head on in open battle. He waited and delayed fighting until the time was right.. By his tactics  Fabius saved the Roman Republic.

  Fabian socialism rejects violent revolutionary socialism. They rightly point out that a peaceful democratic approach to social justice is the best method if humans want to create a better society.

  The death of Margaret Thatcher has produced mixed feelings among people. Some people were delighted that she died. Others were sad at her passing.

  I hate personalised politics. I believe that politics should be a battle for ideas. I will ignore my personal opinions of Thatcher as a person. I will briefly look at the ideas she produced called Thatcherism. Thatcherism believed that state intervention in the economy is harmful to the smooth running of the market. The results of Thatcherism is there for us to see. Businesses and banks were allowed to do what they wanted. Her beloved free market crashed in 2008. We are living with the legacy of Thatcher. The legacy of Thatcher is a global economic crisis that we are suffering with now.

  I wish Rebecca Mulcahy from Mallow all the best as she is starting a new life in Australia. People leaving Ireland for work abroad is sad. We are loosing many great people to other countries. I hope the government’s no. 1 priority is jobs. We need to create and maintain more jobs in Ireland.

  Dairygold farmers met in Mallow on Thu. 11 Apr. last. They voted to expand Dairygold’s post quota plan. They rejected the independent milk testing.

  One of the issues discussed in last Monday’s Town Council meeting was water safety. New signs will be introduced. People are discouraged from going near the water. Water safety is all our concern. John O Brien.


social democracy today

Real scientific history can liberate us from false views of reality. Real history can guide our decisions in the world today. I want to contrast 2 leading people who I believe represent social democracy and communism.
The 1945 Atlee government in Britain was tasked with transforming the country based on its reformist socialist ideas. Labour with the Conservatives and the Liberals formed a war time government. They defeated fascism in most of the world. The Labour government had domestic and foreign challenges after their victory in 1945. They created the welfare state introduced the mixed economy and supported democracy at home and abroad. Atlee’s government made life better for ordinary people and they gave greater freedom to ordinary people. Internationally the Cold War started after 1945. Labour correctly saw communism as the enemy of social democracy. Atlee’s government supported America against the Soviet Union. They developed an independent nuclear programme to defend democracy from communism. Atlee’s government cooperated with others in setting up NATO.
Russia in 1917 was developing into a progressive social democracy. Lenin launched with his party a Coup against Provisional government. He with Trotsky created a dictatorship with the secret police and labour camps. The social democrats suffered the most under Lenin and his followers. Communism developed into a militant atheism that was as intolerant as a religious state. People of all faiths and none have embraced socialism. Socialism is democratic to its core. Anyone claiming that dictatorship and atheism are part of socialism should be rejected. British socialism under Atlee was democratic liberal fair and open to religion. It allowed for the market to exist and it was anti communist. Lenin’s Russia was a dictatorship, a terror state and a threat to humanity. China. Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba are communist dictatorships. Any one who values liberty and democracy will hope that their dictatorships will fall and their people will be liberated.
Meath East was a bad result for the Irish Labour Party. Fine Gael’s vote held up. It seemed to me that the majority of people in Ireland are conservative in their thinking. The Labour Party needs to ask itself does its policies meet the real needs of the people? Does social democracy guide Labour in its thinking and its actions.
I hope people enjoyed the Easter festival in Mallow. It was a pity that Easter Sunday was raining. We can’t control the weather.
I read in the Mallow Star that Hi Cone is to close in Mallow. It is important that jobs are created and maintained in this time. My heart goes out to all the employees of Hi Cone. John O Brien.