Comment & Other
David Balfe is the mastermind behind the solo project For Those I Love and his self-titled debut in which he showcases his unique take on the themes of love, loss and friendship. Balfe appreciates the power of words and poetry as he paints a picture of the Northside areas of Dublin, specifically Coolock, Kilmore, and Donaghmede. The textured electronic arrangements underpin the intriguing storytelling and spoken word rhymes of For Those I Love.
The brilliant, inspiring, and deeply moving Channel 4 drama series It’s A Sin has touched a chord with many since its release last month. This five part series follows a group of friends and housemates living in London between 1981 and 1991. The joyous and hopeful scenes of young LGBTQ people enjoying their lives in the “Pink Palace” (the name they have given their flat) is gradually overshadowed by the emerging, horrifying HIV/AIDS epidemic. Its tragic impact on their lives is felt keenly throughout, as is the disgusting shaming that went with it, rooted in the naked homophobia fostered by the Thatcher government, whose criminal indifference and inaction helped exacerbate the epidemic.
Thatcher’s reputation and legacy has left a deep scar across the whole face of British society which is still very keenly felt today by successive generations.
84 years ago today, on 4th October 1936, Communists and socialists came together with Jewish and Irish workers in an historic stand to stop Oswald Mosley and several thousand of his fascist Blackshirts from marching through the East End of London. In what became known as The Battle of Cable Street, Mosley and his thugs, with police protection, were blocked by an estimated 300,000 counter-protesters across east London.
It’s not new that people feel that society is being run in interests other than their own. Historically, recognition of this fact – that bosses and the rich dictate what happens in our lives, even in supposedly democratic societies – is why working-class people organised in trade unions and workers parties to fight for their own interests.
Millions have spent the past four years horrified by the experience of the increasingly authoritarian Trump administration, that deliberately stokes racist division. But many are nonetheless disappointed that his main opponent, Joe Biden, is a corporate tool who was an architect of mass incarceration and whose campaign message boils down to “I’m not Trump.”
This week sees the reopening of schools in Northern Ireland. Ahead of that, Kevin Henry from the Socialist Party spoke to Susan Parlour, an English teacher and NI Vice-President of the National Education Union, about the approach being adopted by Stormont and the education authorities.