Attila

An unrelated exposition on right-wing thought is the novel Attila by William Napier that I coincidentally borrowed from the library at the same time as Right-Wing Ireland. Yes, it is historical fiction about Attila the Hun. Quite good. Now I just have to wait for the second book in the trilogy to be published next year.

Right-Wing Ireland?

I’ve just finished reading Right-Wing Ireland? The Rise of Populism in Ireland and Europe by Michael O’Connell (ISBN 1-094148-34-4). While the book mostly discusses Euro-scepticism and rascism, the best line in the book, in the section on the effect on the political climate of an economic slump, is:

There are few more reactionary forces than a million p*ssed-off yuppies who can’t meet their mortgage repayments.

However, the book quotes surveys that indicate that people with less income and less education (which may have contributed to their less income), not the yuppies, that feel threatened by immigration since they see themselves competing with immigrants for both jobs and social welfare.

The book also makes several points about immigrants and crime, or of crime statistics, that I found noteworthy. The book was timely since just last week I saw a newspaper headline saying that 25% of the prison population are immigrants. A similar headline from 2003 – “One in five sent to prison non-nationals, study shows” – from the same paper, I believe, boiled down to closer to 17% being non-nationals, and 17% of those non-nationals being from the UK or elsewhere in the EU rather than being the stereotypical immigrant evoked by the headline.

As to why there is a high proportion of non-nationals in Irish prisons, several pages of discussion of studies of crime and racial groups in multiple countries is summarised thus:

Higher levels of offending by non-nationals, while far from inevitable (given generational and cultural differences) are possible, in the context of the economic and social disadvantage of many newcomers, as well as low self-esteem, alienation, cultural problems, possible trauma, the experience of racism and discrimination, as well as the systematic exacerbation of the situation caused by apparently neutral legal practices.

I don’t have an answer. The book refers to policies in Sweden that “have contributed to keeping second-generation immigrant crime low.” From this remove it would appear that those sorts of policies seem to be in place in Ireland, but the tone of the book would indicate that that not enough is being done.

GI jobs

In the far gone days of my youth, some girls I knew used the acronym “GI”, for “Geographic Impossibility”, when evaluating potential boyfriends. Leaving aside the decades-old question of how often did they discuss boys for them to develop their own vernacular, I’d like to revive the acronym (assuming it has ever gone out of use) and apply it to jobs.

The problem with searching for jobs on the World Wide Web is that it’s all too easy to do a worldwide job search or find out through other means about jobs that, while interesting, are “a bit too GI”, as my friends used to say:

The pages at the ends of the URLs may have disappeared by the time you read this, but you get the idea of what would be interesting if it were in Dublin or allowed remote working.

Out of Sun

I did the paperwork today, and my user ID was expunged yesterday, so I am now officially out of Sun.

Best news

I received permission to remain in Ireland for five years without the need for a Work Permit. Happy Day!

RSS for this blog via GNUS

Quoting the fifth comment in http://www.lshift.net/blog/2005/07/15/rss-via-gnus:

I finally got it to work! The trick is to set mm-url-use-external to t so that emacs uses an external program, by default wget, to fetch the feed, rather than its built-in http support.

I couldn’t have put it better myself (except perhaps to emphasise finally), and without that comment I would still be floundering. Thank you, Matthias.

More good news

I called the Immigration Division of the Department of Justice, Equality, and Law Reform again today, just to confirm that they had received the replacement information that I had sent them. I got through on my first attempt, I only had to spend about ten minutes on hold, I still wasn’t in the computer, and the good news was that my case file was on the appropriate person’s desk and I was told that I would receive a decision in a week or two.

Now, I have been told “two weeks” before, as my previous post attests, but I am choosing to believe that within a week or two I will recieve that politely worded and, in an ideal world, affirmative letter from the department.

Bad news, worse news, good news

In a prescient moment in July, I wrote to the Immigration Division of the Department of Justice, Equality, and Law Reform asking for extended permission to remain without requiring a work permit, as I am entitled to do since I have worked in Ireland for over 60 months. After I was told I was RIFed, I contacted the department by phone (itself a long story) and was told that they would be “in communication” with me within two weeks.

That was four weeks ago. My expectation of receiving a politely worded letter from the department having faded, I phoned the department again last week, another long story in itself.

I’ve called the department’s number so many times that I have it on speed-dial so it takes less time to be hung up on because their queue is full. I also have it registered with our “Friends and Family” calling plan so there’s a discounted tariff. We should save more through the misnamed plan this period than we have for the whole rest of the time we’ve been on the scheme.

The bad news, once I did get through after two days of trying, was that the person on the other end had no idea why I would have been told two weeks for an application sent in July since the department was still processing applications from April. When I mentioned that I was being made redundant, the person said she would look into my case for me after the phone call, since she couldn’t find my details on computer in front of her.

The worse news, when I was called back later, was that while the department did have a record of my sending a letter, they no longer had either the letter or its supporting documentation, and could I send it all again?

The good news from the same phone call was that my application could be fast-tracked since I was being made redundant. I don’t much like jumping the queue ahead of someone who has been waiting since April (and I’m sure that the person waiting since April wouldn’t much like me either), but waiting a little bit longer when you are in stable employment makes less of a difference than the difference that freedom from work permits will make to my reemployment prospects.

Xubuntu 6.06 on Fujitsu P1120

I have installed Xubuntu 6.06 on my (and I use the term loosely) Fujitsu P1120. Actually, I’ve installed it about six times so far.

Xubuntu promises a lighter weight window manager for use on older or slower processors like the 800 MHz Crusoe in the P1120, but installation from a netboot is not at straightforward as installing the Ubuntu desktop. The instructions at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/InstallingXubuntu help a lot.

The good news is that the display is automatically configured with the right 1024×600 resolution. The bad news is that the mouse freezes after a suspend-resume, the wireless doesn’t yet work though the Networking tool says that it’s enabled, and I can’t yet persuade it to use the pre-existing encrypted filesystem that is happily used by multiple JDS installs on the same machine.