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Heads you win, tails I lose. The limits of protest and political position in democracy… August 30, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, European Politics, Irish Politics, The Left.

It’s useful to hear the recent thoughts of Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker. He is quoted as saying that:

Greece will lose sovereignty and jobs to meet [the bailout] criteria, a comment that has enraged unions. Any suggestion of foreign intervention in running the country is an incendiary political issue that will make implementing reforms even tougher.


“The sovereignty of Greece will be massively limited,” Mr Juncker told Germany’s Focus magazine in an interview released yesterday. Teams of experts from around the euro zone would be heading to Athens, he said.

”One cannot be allowed to insult the Greeks. But one has to help them. They have said they are ready to accept expertise from the euro zone,” Mr Juncker said.

We can consider the issue of sovereignty in this context with some interest. I was very struck by how the vote early in the Summer in the Greek Parliament appeared to teeter on a knife edge, albeit not quite so much of an knife edge when one NDP MP voted with PASOK to ensure the passage of the measures. And when two of the three PASOK dissenters eventually rowed in behind the government.

What was educative was the fact that despite massive protests the government pursued a strategy of implementation.

And it has not mattered how heated, how energetic (and in some instances violent) the protests have become on the streets of Athens and elsewhere because ultimately representative democracy trumps those protests.

This provides some object lessons on the limits of protest in liberal democracies – it also provides a very useful insight into how the effective co-option of social democracy by orthodoxy has led to cosmetically perverse, but functionally orthodox, outcomes when social democratic parties attempting to impose austerity are faced with large conservative oppositions. That the opposition, or at least the NDP component was rhetorically opposed while functionally in favor [if there had been a greater danger of the measures not passing more NDP members would have stepped up to the plate] was merely positioning. And this, of course, is the inverse of the situation we saw in this state in the aftermath of the Budget when all the opposition were against the measures being implemented on a rhetorical level but significant components [Fine Gael and Labour] did little to stymie their passing and we even heard from individual FG TDs musings about how they would ‘do the national interest’ thing and vote with the then Government.

In a sense it is not that the larger and largest political formations agree and acquiesce on the orthodoxy which surprises (given the range of interests that are arrayed in favor of the orthodoxy it is the fact there are exceptions which is remarkable), it is that they attempt project an image of [limited] dissent when out of power.

Fundamentally this is noxious from a democratic position. It strips away agency from citizens and gifts it to parties. It renders policy positions essentially meaningless.

It is in many respects the approach we saw when Eamonn Gilmore went to the US embassy and privately agreed there would be a second Lisbon referendum while publicly arguing against the possibility of any such event.

And it underlines the truth of what Juncker is saying. Greek sovereignty is hollow in the face of the dynamics in play around it. The protests on the streets, whether violent or pacific, are a sideshow with no actual import – unless the situation spiraled into civil war or revolution [and it is worth reflecting upon the reality as against the perception of the recent UK riots, which while not political in the sense of the Greek protests are indicative of how dissent of any form is dealt with by contemporary European societies. At no point did they constitute, whatever the very real violence and upset and danger, a genuine threat to the UK state – a state which suppressed them simply by pouring more police onto streets and waiting for them to burn out. It didn’t even have to bring in curfews or any significant measures, and strikingly it is only in their aftermath with – frankly – excessive sentencing of some that the state has bared its teeth] , both of which are unlikely outcomes. The course is predetermined and colluded upon by political formations who even as they collude put out an image of themselves as locked in combat with one another.

None of which means that the protests are meaningless in themselves. It is because they exist that the contradiction, or is it hypocrisy, of the Greek polity is laid bare before its own citizens. And it is very probable that their severity and energy serve to blunt some of the worst impacts that the ECB/IMF might seek to impose.

But what is most instructive in all this is the response of markets and their proxies. Because it would appear that despite everyone knowing that the Greek situation will end either in restructure or default, the former being the less catastrophic option by quite some distance, there is still lip service and more paid to the idea that Greece can be squeezed in a fashion almost unthought of in contemporary Europe, outside the former Communist regimes.

The following was written before the most recent measures, but it still has significance.

Two rollover proposals being touted for Greek debt would amount to a selective default, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s warned today, tempering hopes for a resolution to the long-running saga.

The euro slipped on the dollar in Asian trading after S&P said that two recent plans for debt relief floated by Federation Bancaire Francaise (FBF) would count as “distressed” and involve losses to the debt holders.

”If either option were implemented in its current form, absent other mitigating information, we would likely view it as constituting a default under our criteria,” S&P said.

”In that event, we would likely lower Greece’s issuer credit rating to ‘SD’, indicating that it had effectively restructured some, but not all, of its bond debt.”

And in this perhaps is revealed the contradictions intrinsic to the orthodoxy. The markets know/knew that Greek restructuring and the austerity measures are/were well nigh-impossible to fulfill. And yet simultaneously any effort to ameliorate them is regarded as anathema. This contradiction is intrinsic to the ‘markets’ which will – entirely naturally from their perspective – want to have their cake and eat it. That’s why the ‘markets’ – and I use the term advisedly because it encompasses a multitude, are ultimately so dangerous, not merely their societal aspect in the sense of their goals being other than social ones, but their functional nihilism and distorting effect upon our societies and our polities, and this is why they and their proxies must be constrained by states and citizens.

And consider this. Juncker’s thoughts on sovereignty are merely further underlined by the fact that a non-state agency S&P can with a simple statement further diminish Greek agency in this. That his interpretation was based around the intervention of the ECB/IMF in regard to sovereignty serves to demonstrate where the real power lies – or is allowed to lie – in this current context.


1. John Palmer - August 30, 2011

The debate about the – undoubted – diminution of “national sovereignty” as exposed by the euro-area crisis has focussed too little on the really important challenge for the future. This is how to generate a far stronger, collective, democratic sovereignty at European level to confront the pan-European nature of crisis in finance capitalism. The Greek situation underlines this in spades. The truth is that there is no effective or progressive response which can be given by the Greek state alone to this crisis. The austerity measures and unemployment generated by the EU/IMF conditions attached to the Greek bail out are only transcended by the collapse of living standards and the multiplication of Greek debt which would follow Greek exit from the euro-area and the re-creation of some kind of drachma.

If you take the (17 nation) euro-area as a whole, the crisis looks very different. The euro-area has a smaller collective debt and deficit than the UK or especially the US. The mobilisation of the collective credit worthiness of the euro-area could mobilise resources not only to defend Greece, Portugal, Ireland et al – but also lay the basis for an economic recovery based on sustainable investment and growth.

It is true that the right wing in the richer euro-area economies kick and scream about having to support the poorer states. But the Green and Social Democrat parties in Germany and the Green and Socialist Party in France now support Euro-bonds and a radical shift in EU economic policy. It also seems that a coalition of the Danish social democrats and the left wing Socialist Peoples party is likely to win the general election in Denmark next month with a similar sustainable growth oriented strategy. All of this makes it all the more urgent for left, social democratic and green parties to create a united front not just in the European Parliament but across the euro-area to force a radical change in euro-area/EU policy.


2. ejh - August 30, 2011

And PSOE, John?


3. Organized Rage - August 30, 2011

“how to generate a far stronger, collective, democratic sovereignty at European level to confront the pan-European nature of crisis in finance capitalism. The Greek situation underlines this in spades.”


I wonder if this is possible, even in the medium term. the problem we face is capital operates internationally, using its anointed political place-men. (Many of whom, as we have witnessed in Greece and Ireland have been members of the social democratic parties.)

Ordinary folk mainly operate politically at a local level, rising to the national level when they have common interests. Since its foundation there has been very little sign of a radical transnational movement emerging within the EU.

This may sound defeatist but it is a fact and given how the EU has developed, one wonders if those leftists who have supported the project, myself included, should reassess that support.

What has happened is capital has been able very successfully to put the cart before the horse. Pushing the ‘free market’ into every nook and cranny of the EU and excluding real democratic accountability, deceitfully pushing it back down to a national level which in reality meant hardly any democratic accountability at all.

The fact is the EU is demanding ordinary people pay for a crises which is not of their making, it may be a cliché, but it is true and if we continue to support it, does that not leave us sitting on the wrong side of the fence?


FergusD - August 30, 2011

But, OR, do you accept that the globalized economy essentially limits national sovereignty? In fact this has been true for a very long time, but perhaps is even more true now. In that case keaving the EU is no answer either. I dooubt that the social democratic, let alone green, parties will do anything but still JP is right, what is needed is an international movement, and teh right place for us to start would be in the EU. The platforms, imperfect though they are, are there, they need to be used in a way they haven’t before.


4. D_D - August 30, 2011

“All of this makes it all the more urgent for left, social democratic and green parties to create a united front not just in the European Parliament but across the euro-area to force a radical change in euro-area/EU policy.” – JP

That’s if social democratic or green parties are interested in radical, or any, change in policy. Or if they are still even social democratic or green, given, for example, our recent experience with the Green Party here and our current experience with the Labour Party.

The main dialectic is between European classes not countries, or, for the debt crisis, between “peripheral” countries and the EU centre. Or, qualified but still in class terms, between the elites of the dominant EU states and the ordinary people of all the member states.

It can be argued that “the collapse of living standards and the multiplication of Greek [or Irish] debt which would follow Greek [or Irish] exit from the euro-area and the re-creation of some kind of drachma [punt]” would be worse than the present “collapse of living standards”. Perhaps. (Has John seen the famous letter of 26th August to the ‘Irish Times” from MP MacDomhnall of Kerry who said, “Today I have had nothing to give my children only bread and cereal. My dole payment is completely servicing my mortgage and my savings have run dry on essentials. I dread what each day will bring”?). It is by no means a consensus on the left that departure from the EU or even the euro, or any move to independent capitalism, is economically viable.

But the solution – general or to the present case – is not seen at all on the left, or the radical left, as an integrated and more integrated capitalist EU. Rather the present move to more integration and ‘transcendence’ is seen as, at least in part, an opportunist move by the central elite to strengthen their domination and the domination of neo-liberal politics over the continent. The dynamics of the underlying crisis of debt and austerity are not one of a benign centre rescuing a straying periphery, but a rescue of the central creditors by the imposition of their gambling losses onto the working people of the debtor countries. Certainly that is what the IMF/EU/IMF deal in Ireland is about.

The left, the trade unions etc.across Europe should create a united front to resist austerity, change EU policy and the policy of their own governments. Certainly. Part of this could include the left attempting to require, or at least demanding that, “their” governments, even in combination with other states, end the bail-out deals and the austerity they embody.


DublinDilettante - August 30, 2011

Great comment, D_D. Palmer is by no means the only liberal Europhile scrabbling for some way to frame the EU-imposed crisis as a failure of integration (c.f. Varoufakis’s bizarre recent post about “Euro-Mensheviks”). It’s frankly rather embarrassing, but it’s a mindset which still has a worrying grip on the vestigial remnants of social democracy in continental Europe.


5. Organized Rage - August 30, 2011


Not sure a globalised economy limits national sovereignty, after all the Chinese and Russians seem to have plenty of that, with the former flexing it daily. What it does limit, is national government options, especially those EU countries who either deliberately destroyed their manufacturing base (UK), or did not have much of one to start with.(Ireland) But the industrial world was always globalised. Was WW1 really that long ago? With the ease with which the current crop of politicos go to war to win economic advantages, it seems not.

My point is the EU has been established for decades and still no sight of a radical trans EU movement. We have the European left party, but its roots in most EU states are still very shallow. If someone argued, as it stands the EU is a neo liberal market which works against the interests of the overwhelming majority of its working people, I would find it hard to argue against that.

There was a time when the EU was the bastion of social democratic values, fair days wage for a fair days work, job security, democratic and employment rights, etc, it was far from paradise but it was worth defending. The neo liberals have stripped all that away and today the EU stands for a neo liberal free market asset stripers charter which privatises all which is not nailed down, bails out banks and transnationals whilst destroying workers rights and societal benefits.

I suppose my question is what trench do we on the left occupy. It is a question not a suggestion.


FergusD - August 30, 2011

OR. In an way in or out of the EU is a bit of a red herring. The point is to resist the austerity measures and teh attempt (well it’s more than an attempt, it is happening) to get us to bail out the bankers etc. We are in the EU, and to paraphrase the Maoists of yore, the left must “fight where you are” (NB I’m not a Maoist). I agree that the EU-wide left and labour movement is a poor show but the fact of the matter is that an international movement is absolutely required. That doesn’t mean we wait for such to appear of course, but it has to be part of the strategy. A campaign to leave the EU would be a disaster in my opinion and would inevitable be dragged to the right. The EU was never going to be a socialist project, at best it was influenced by social democracy when social democracy meant something. Yes we should point out the direction the EU has gone, let’s face it social democracy crumble sbefore a crisis anyway, whtehr it is in or out of the EU.


6. Organized Rage - August 30, 2011


Well said


7. EWI - August 30, 2011

it also provides a very useful insight into how the effective co-option of social democracy by orthodoxy has led to cosmetically perverse, but functionally orthodox, outcomes when social democratic parties attempting to impose austerity are faced with large conservative oppositions. That the opposition, or at least the NDP component was rhetorically opposed while functionally in favor [if there had been a greater danger of the measures not passing more NDP members would have stepped up to the plate] was merely positioning.

As you say, just like Labour and Fine Gael.

The question is why the social democratic/labour parties have all hollowed out to such an extent that there’s no resistance. There’s been the real coming of age of the professional party machine, the early Eighties purges of the left-wings in those parties, the early Nineties fall of the Communist threat to western shark capitalism (and probably others that don’t occur to me), but I’ve yet to see a coherent account that pulls all these threads together to explain what’s happened.


LeftAtTheCross - August 30, 2011

The financialisation of capital since the 70s, the reduction in relative importance to capital of labour-intensive production in the real economy, the disappearing necessity for compromise between capital and labour, the resulting undermining of the social democratic promise.


8. John Palmer - August 30, 2011

The PSOE is being dragged to the right by the crisis in Spain, ejh. This is pretty much true for most European social democratic parties as well. The record of Left parties is better but still mixed. Some of the left parties increasingly emphasise the key battles to be fought at European level (see the Danish Socialist Peoples’ Party, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung – supportive of Die Linke. Support for the the Left,Ecology, Liberty Party in Italy is very much on the increase. The record of most of the EU Green parties is much better than the Irish Greens with their disastrous affair with FF. The revolutionary left is pretty much nowhere. All in all, we have to work with the economic, social and political forces which exist not with imagined forces as we would wish them to be..


DublinDilettante - August 30, 2011

In fairness, John, I think most observers would consider your conception of a European Union of solidarity and brotherhood assailed from without by reactionary forces to be an entirely imagined landscape.


D_D - August 31, 2011

“All in all, we have to work with the economic, social and political forces which exist not with imagined forces as we would wish them to be..”

Of course. Wise advice.

In Ireland the Labour Party is in government and heading the campaign against those who make “a lifestyle choice” of unemployment; the Green Party has been buried, while their killers, Fianna Fáil, are still only dying. The trade union movement is in a stupor.

So, then. Sinn Féin. And the revolutionary left is pretty much at the centre of a new force with five members of parliament, an MEP and about 20 local authority councillors. Small beer yet of course and always apt to spill, but “we have to work with the economic, social and political forces which exist not with imagined forces as we would wish them to be..”


9. make do and mend - August 31, 2011

We’ve been in the EU for, what, over 40 years, and I’ve yet to see a coherent EU wide formation emerge to combat neo-liberalist capitalism (NLC). The so-called social democratic parties of the EU have all proved to be nothing more than NLCs in drag. We’ve only to look at our own ill-named Labour Party to see the gusto with which they’ve pursue NLC class pogroms and adopt NLC propoganda to justify their acts. Power is more alluring than tending to people.

Where are the grass root meetings between working class people from Spain, Ireland, UK, France, Italy and other countries? Are we just supposed to wait for an emergent EU progressive elite to lead us ot the promised land? Isn’t that just another variant of Junker’s notion that the only duty of the EU citizen to elect experts every five years and then go to sleep while these super people decide how diverse societies and cultures can be taught to conform to the centre’s dictats?

We live in post industrial fiat economies where a section of the population in every country achieves just enough education to hive themselves off from other working class people. I suspect many know they’ve made a Faustian bargain but are willing to put up with detriorating working conditions simply because they know the alternative is worse – they could become working class overnight. Or, as is so acerbically put these days, part of the under class.

Until the working class, themselves, begin to evolve a positive identity of their own within the current economic conditions primarily characterised by fiat capital formation we won’t make head way.

I’d like to think that an emergent grass roots working class identity will form across the EU and that it will actively engage with themselves on this level, but the work starts at home and from a very low ebb.


10. John Palmer - August 31, 2011

DD – Having identified the “economic, political and social forces which exist” the question is what are they doing to link with like minded forces elsewhere in Europe? And around what kind of programme?
Makedoandmend: Yes, we start from “a very low ebb”. But what we have to begin abd also we have to recognise that this will require a united front with all of those who want change (not just those who accept the kind of comprehensive programme we wuld prerfer.)


Mark P - August 31, 2011

Those “who want change” are not to be found in the ranks of the former Social Democratic parties, or for the most part in the ranks of the Green parties.


ejh - August 31, 2011

And perhaps just as pertinently, they’re not very often enthusiasts for the European Union.


D_D - August 31, 2011

“the question is what are they doing to link with like minded forces elsewhere in Europe? And around what kind of programme?”

Agree there John.


D_D - August 31, 2011

Incidentally, or maybe not so incidentally to this discussion, there is a speaker at the upcoming and interesting Desmond Greaves ‘Summer’ School in Dublin on 10th September from Die Linke.

Fabio de Masi [a great German name :)]



11. John Palmer - August 31, 2011

So what is your conclusion MarkP: “After the Right – WE come”? This wholesale abandonment of a united front response is all the more worrying because of what it led to last time we had a capitalist crisis of these dimensions.


ejh - August 31, 2011

Ah – is the suggestion here that Mark’s somehow a Third Period enthusiast?


Mark P - August 31, 2011

I have no idea where you got that from, John. I’m in favour of “a united front response”, where there are forces to form a united front with. What I find silly is the proposal for a “united front” with imaginary people.


12. LeftAtTheCross - August 31, 2011

Came across this mildly interesting graphics sequence on the Guardian website which charts the changing political orientation of European governments over the past 40 years.


Note that the remaining “left” governments include those in Spain and Greece!


13. Jim Monaghan - August 31, 2011

“Such window-dressing serves the purpose of covering up the real intentions behind the permanent austerity program. The meaning of the crisis is that the finance capital strategy itself has now imploded, and the capitalist class has no further strategy other than a return to classical capitalism, with mass unemployment and a minimal welfare state.”
I think that this is fairly well on the ball. We are getting competitive austerity. There are 2 parts of the struggle. Those who wish to preserve the status quo and the basic gains of the last 100 years and those who see it as a far more serious struggle. We either move forwrd to challenge the whole system or we wioll be pushed back. I don’t think the bourgeoisie have teh same room for manouvre which they had in previous decades. I especially think the lot we have here have very little space for concessions.
I see some merit in part of what John P says. An isolated struggle in Ireland or Greece cannot push this back. We need allies across Europe on a spectrum of levels. Far left, alliances with forces amoingst the Greens and the SDs for whom there is some bottom line.At the moment I do not see much/any evidence of a left there but as the crisis deepens we will see.
While obviously not an economist I have to say that a lot of what I read in left critiques and papers seem to have a one country focus. Whether it is a Norway type model where we go out own social democratic way in an ausertity ridden world or an Irish Cuba. While a resistance has to begin somewhere )default, leaving the euro) I cannot see it being successful if it is isolated in one or two countries.


14. John Palmer - August 31, 2011

Jim Monaghan is right that most opposition to the austerity/crisis measures are “one country focussed.” But Mark P and others may be interested in this network of European left economists (drawn from socialist, Green and left social democratic parties and organisations – and what they propose – http://www.transform-network.net/uploads/media/transform05b2010-sc.pdf


Mark P - August 31, 2011

Are you suggesting that the views expressed in this publication, which seems to have been put out in cooperation with the GUE/NGL, have some significant resonance in the former social democratic parties? That there are forces within those parties open to such an approach?


15. John Palmer - August 31, 2011

MarkP – Quite a few of the key contributors to this net work are members of different European Union social democratic and Green parties. They are all united in seeking to focus their programmatic demands at European Union level. Parts of their programme (I say ‘parts’ have already been taken up by the German and French social democrats and by French and German Green parties.But all of this amounts to no more than the first stages of what needs to be a major Europe wide campaign to shift the centre of the EU debate on the nature of the crisis and how it should be confronted.


Mark P - September 1, 2011

John, having looked down the list of organisations which make up this network, they seem overwhelmingly to be linked to Communist, ex-Communist, or other left wing parties and not to the former Social Democratic parties. No doubt some of the individual members of this network hold membership cards for Social Democratic parties, but that’s no more meaningful than the fact that Michael Taft is formally a Labour member here – the fact that he actually is arguing for social democratic politics means that by definition his views have nothing to do with those of either the Labour leadership or the wider Labour membership.

Saying that this leftish economist here or there still holds a membership card in a former social democratic party in no way implies that those parties can be pulled into a united front, or even that there are significant forces in the rank and file of those parties which are open to left wing politics. There were approximately 50 (no, I’m not missing a zero there) members of the Irish Labour Party who opposed going into coalition with Fine Gael on the basis of the most right wing programme for government ever conceived in this state.

To be blunt about it, you are a fantasist, drawing up campaign plans for imaginary armies.


16. John Palmer - September 1, 2011

MarkP – Leaving aside your abusive references to my being “a fantasist” – which I have come to expect from you – all I can suggest that you independently check what is happening inside both the French PS and the German SPD – as well as in both French and German Green parties. They are already shifting towards a more oppositional attitude to current austerity orthodoxy. To be clear this is as much opportunism as conviction but reflects their concern to be seen reflecting the public mood. So there clearly ARE some forces in both social democratic and green parties with whom the left can work at a European level. Unless that is that some socialists are so intoxicated with their own inward looking sectarianism that they remain politically paralysed..


Mark P - September 1, 2011

There are no significant forces in the social democratic parties committed to a break with neo-liberal orthodoxy, John. It’s a sign of your desperation that you view the slightest tactical shift as somehow significant or as a sign that those forces can be worked with (or indeed have the slightest intention of working with those to their left).

You start with a fantasy about a progressive EU, move on to fantasies about progressive currents within Social Democracy, which in fact such currents are long dead, and end up with strategy based on delusion and self-deception. It is nonsense at every level.

As for sectarianism, that term refers to the prioritisation of narrow group interests over those of a wider movement. You can’t be sectarian towards forces which aren’t part of the same movement in the first place. I’m perfectly open to working with reformists. The problem in this country starts with finding those reformists.


LeftAtTheCross - September 1, 2011

“I’m perfectly open to working with reformists.”

Is that an SP statement of support for a popular front? Where’s Bolshevik when we need him?


Mark P - September 1, 2011

I think that you may be getting your jargon confused, LATC.

The “united front” involves alliances with reformists and is something Marxists have long advocated. The “popular front” is the Stalinist alternative to the united front and involves alliance with forces outside of the workers movement, centrally the allegedly “progressive” sections of the ruling class.


LeftAtTheCross - September 1, 2011

I stand corrected, thank you. Time for another coffe to wake me up I think!


17. John Palmer - September 1, 2011

This may further hep your research, MarkP – http://www.social-europe.eu/


18. Mark P - September 2, 2011

While we’re speaking of LIsbon and the American Embassy, with reference to Gilmore’s shameful performance, it appears from the Wikileaks cables that their were some other interesting interviews conducted by the Americans. In fact, the US Embassy appears to have had a rather sharper, less self-deluding, insight into the Lisbon debate here than people like John Palmer.

This cable in particular provides some fascinating information. The American’s clearly understood the dynamics of the campaign and the nature of the social forces involved. But perhaps more interesting are the comments attributed to the Chief Executive of the Cork Chamber of Commerce and to the head of the Law and Business School at UCC:



19. John Palmer - September 3, 2011

You completely miss the point MarkP. You dismiss any prospect of building a Europe wide movement opposed to austerity, depression and gross social inequality as “delusional.” But that was precisely what fuelled the pre-War Third Period German CP attitude to a united front against fascism (“After Hitler WE are coming”!). I have posted details of initiatives by socialists, Greens and left social democrats challenging the strategy of EU governments. None of them seem to come up to your standard of approval – so nothing can done it seems, Not just delusional but dangerously delusional.


ejh - September 3, 2011

Obvious misuse of the word “precisely” in that posting.


Mark P - September 3, 2011

I don’t dismiss any prospect of “building a Europe wide movement opposed to austerity, depression and gross social inequality as delusional”, John. As you no doubt know.

I regard as delusional your notion that such a movement can be built around the former social democratic parties, many of which are in government hammering home that “austerity, depression and gross social inequality” and none of which are at all likely to advocate a break with any of that. In fact, I think it would only be marginally less delusional were you to come here wittering about building such a movement around the Christian Democratic parties. You are discussing the deployment of imaginary armies.

I see, by the way, that you have nothing to say about the US Embassy document on the Lisbon debates and their assessment of the forces in play.


20. Jim Monaghan - September 3, 2011

On building a pan European fightback


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