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Signs of Hope – A continuing series September 29, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?


1. 6to5against - September 29, 2016

Oh God, a perpetually empty signs-of-hope thread is causing me to lose hope. so, if only to fill things in…..

The GRA, ASTI, INMO and bus unions have all done a reasonable job these last few weeks at undermining the false image – much loved by media and government – that all is well in the country’s workplaces.

They haven’t yet managed to make any real progress, but this will be a long war, and it is a sign of hope – to me, at least – that there are people still prepared to fight their corner.

Liked by 1 person

CMK - September 29, 2016

One sign of hope is that the demonisation of striking workers by the media is have considerably less effect than it used to.

The LUAS drivers were done over by the media but I don’t think the media succeeded in demonising them; the bus drivers, despite the hardship the strike imposes on bus users, have also not been demonised.

Hopefully, this is a feature of future industrial actions, which are sure to come.

Liked by 1 person

Gewerkschaftler - September 30, 2016

I never expected the signs of hope to be particularly frequent.



Joe - September 30, 2016

Yep. Peole were broadly with the Luas and bus workers. And now it looks like the bus workers have won. That SP meeting slogan says it all: ‘Support the bus workers. All workers deserve a raise.’
We’ve been stuck with at best static but, for most, falling wage packets for eight years now. That’s why people supported the bus workers. And as CMK said, more to come.


2. 6to5against - September 29, 2016

And on another note, has anybody been watching The Get Down on Netflix? Very enjoyable. If not a sign of hope exactly, it at least provides a refuge from despair.


3. 6to5against - September 29, 2016

And its a lovely day in Dublin……


4. sonofstan - September 29, 2016

Just back from my first constituency Labour Party meeting in about 3 decades. The local party has quadrupled in size to over 800 members in a year and, in the course of the elections to the committee, many younger members, all men, regrettably, were voted in having explicitly stated they were in the party because of Corbyn. In many other respects, of course, the whole ritual of a party meeting has changed less than the Catholic mass….


sonofstan - September 29, 2016

…..and f*ck me, Dundalk!

Liked by 1 person

FergusD - September 30, 2016

” In many other respects, of course, the whole ritual of a party meeting has changed less than the Catholic mass….” which is a problem. How many of that 800 will come to such meetings? Or keep coming if they go to one? They do need to change. Actually Momentum meetings I have gone to are like LP meetings! A double dose gawd help me.


sonofstan - September 30, 2016

Yes. Some of it was funny, it was so bad, some of it charmingly out of step, and a bit of it depressing as a crevice opened up between (some) white members and the asian cohort.
Definitely must change though


5. CL - September 30, 2016

“The U.S. Labor Department finalized rules requiring federal government contractors to provide sick leave for up to seven days per year.”


6. Paddy Healy - September 30, 2016

Capitalism is the fundamental global problem. Its demise/collapse brings closer the liberatio of humanity. So how is this for a source of hope?
More; http://wp.me/pKzXa-ua
DEUTSCHE BANK: For the question of whether or not Deutsche Bank can survive without a bail-out by the German Government is the only topic most other European bankers want to converse upon.
The thorny issue of whether the mooted $14bn (£10.7bn) fine from American regulators for mis-selling US mortgages will bring the German lender to its knees is, unsurprisingly, a hot topic right now.
Hedge funds pull business from Deutsche Bank—Financial Times


Gewerkschaftler - September 30, 2016

Yep – the Chinese private debt ratios and Deutsche Bank problems could get interesting. It was always private not public debt that have had some predictive validity of financial crisis.

I’ve learned not predict the next financial crisis – It depends to a large extent on the reaction of the German and Chinese authorities. I’m not at all sure that the permanent debt-deflation and QE for bankers and austerity for the people could not be quasi-stable for some time.

Erm – this comment probably doesn’t belong in this post. Sorry.


gendjinn - October 2, 2016

It’s feckin bizarre alright. Every single index plummets and the bubble keeps expanding. And has for at least the last 2 years. One would think negative interest rates would have punctured it but no. Onwards and upwards!


Gewerkschaftler - September 30, 2016

My guess is that German authorities will lean on the ECB to effectively print electronic money and transfer it to Deutsche Bank.

That would be politically preferable to the German government bailing it out at the beginning of the federal election year.

But let’s see if their ideological straightjackets will allow them to contemplate this – it’s supposed to lead to disastrous inflation and a replay of the 1920s according to the dominant mythology.

Liked by 1 person

CL - September 30, 2016

The science of historical materialism shows that the collapse of capitalism is inevitable and that the ineluctable coming of socialism is determined by the laws of social and historical development.
The collapse of capitalism has been imminent for over one hundred years.


7. Logan - September 30, 2016

But could the German government bail it out under current rules?

I thought there now had to be a “bail-in” first nowadays?

Take ten or fifteen percent off depositors before ECB money can flow?

Of course that plan was designed with the surcharging savings of Italians and Cypriots in mind, Merkel might blanch at applying such a regime to the savings of the “Swabian housewife”…


Gewerkschaftler - September 30, 2016

All very good points especially the difference between German domestic savings and those of feckless southerners.

EU rules apply in a different way to the hegemon, however. And the Swabian housewife is increasingly inclined to vote AfD.

Interesting times.


8. Paddy Healy - October 2, 2016

More Hope of an End to Capitalism -an inherently barbaric system


More; http://wp.me/pKzXa-ua
Dan White S. INDEPENDENT 02/10

“The woe of the German banks is one of the major reasons the Euro Stoxx index of leading European bank shares is down 30pc since the start of the year. Not alone has the fall in bank shares shaved €700m off the value of the Irish Government’s remaining 14pc stake in Bank of Ireland, it has also put the kibosh on its plans to sell down some of its 99.8pc AIB shareholding.”


CL - October 2, 2016

Periodic crises have been a feature of capitalism since its inception.
That capitalism must necessarily collapse to be followed inevitably by socialism is a myth.


9. Paddy Healy - October 2, 2016

I have never said that capitalism would necessarily be followed by socialism. A wise, effective, determined and deeply rooted working class political leadership is required. But the periodic crises provide opportunities for such a leadership. Only history will tell, but there is some reason to believe that the crisis now developing will be more far reachig and long lasting than heretofore because of extreme globalisation and financialisation under late capitalism.
Unfortunately the dislocation of the ENTIRE left of all colourations, not only in Ireland but internationally is of the nature of a debacle. NONE of them is up to the task
Work is needed urgently to remedy this situation. Manouvers by sects should be replaced by serious discussion and practical co-operation.

It is important to note that the Irish Working class continued fighting from 1913 to 1923 . The Irish Labour leadership had numerous opportunities to form a leadership in the Connolly mould but refused.
The German working class also gave the left plenty time to defeat Hitler. But all wings failed. But there is hope!

The spontaneou working class will give us significant time but if we fail the whole world will replicate Nazi Germany or even worse- a nuclear wasteland


CL - October 2, 2016

I agree with most of what you are saying.


10. CL - October 2, 2016

“abandoning the fiscal orthodoxy that shaped official thinking from Blair and Brown to Cameron and Osborne, accepting the need for a national industrial strategy and reasserting the role of the state as the final guarantor of social cohesion, the May government has broken with the neoliberal model that has ruled British politics since the 1980s…

The debacle of the left is one of the defining facts of our time. The irony is that it has come about because of a crisis in capitalism…

Unchecked mobility of capital and labour may raise productivity and create wealth on an unprecedented scale, but it is also highly disruptive in its impact on the lives of working people – particularly when capitalism hits one of its periodic crises. When the global market gets into grave trouble, neoliberalism is junked in order to meet a popular demand for security. That is what is happening today…
History may look on Hillary Clinton’s struggle for the presidency as the closing act in the neoliberal experiment.


11. Paddy Healy - October 2, 2016

The Gray article in New Staesman is interesting as a contribution to a discussion.
” Idle dreams of a global free market have yielded to geopolitical rivalries”, I think this seriously underestimates the growing conflicts between the big powers which always accompany deep-going and protracted capitalist crisis. It gave rise to two world wars.
Proxy wars are already taking place in the Middle East and in the Ukraine. This is more than “rivalry”
Interestingly, there is no mention of the British “far left” in the article. Is this because it is in an even bigger “debacle” than the centre-left?


Gewerkschaftler - October 2, 2016

Indeed Paddy – what’s going on militarily between the US and China is very little reported but a steady ratchet towards a new cold war.

The relations between Russia and NATO are become steadily more dangerous.

But this comment doesn’t belong here!


Paddy Healy - October 2, 2016

Surely, it should be possible to have this dicussion on CLR-Irelands main Left wing Blog? If not here ,where?
We need a discussion on where exactly we are in the developing capitalist crisis and the inter-Imperialist conflict?
We also need a dicussion on how the left should prepare itself totake advantageof the global financial crisis


6to5against - October 3, 2016

I think it would be fine on CLR, Paddy, but hardly in the ‘signs-of-hope’ section!

Or perhaps I missed the inspirational aspect of your message, which I think simplifies as ‘the left has failed and there’s going to be a war’.


Joe - October 3, 2016



12. Alibaba - October 2, 2016

“Mr Noonan happily frolicked in his €12bn “fiscal space” – Ooooh, he warbled, I might do this and I might do that – until Pearse Doherty totted up the figures, declared them dodgy and had his reckoning validated.

It resulted in an embarrassment factor not reached since the days when Fine Gael’s early leaders had trouble keeping their right arms from shooting up to a 45-degree angle.”

Gene Kerrigan is direct and to the point in dealing with  Fine Gael and Fianna Fail hocus pocus commentary. He adds a bit of poison on the tip of the arrow when he says “Anger has accumulated – along with wage demands”.

And gladly so.



WorldbyStorm - October 2, 2016

Hasn’t it just!


13. Gewerkschaftler - October 2, 2016

Polish women’s strike tomorrow.

Women in Poland are going to withdraw their paid and unpaid Labour and wear mourning to protest against the further tightening of abortion laws that are massively damaging to Polish women. The PiSers and the Catholic Church are aiming to remove the right to abortion in the first three months of pregnancy if a woman’s health is threatened, is a victim of rape, or the foetus is not going to survive.

Women are calling gynecologists out for ‘doing harm’ (contrary to the Hypocratic oath) by bending to the will of the extreme religious right rather than protecting the health of their patients.

Some of the slogans:

“We need doctors, not missionaries”. “Gynecologists? Where are you? Defend your patients!”

This is the beginning I hope of the assertion of the generation that was born or became politically conscious after 1990 against the default social conservatism in Poland.


14. Gewerkschaftler - October 3, 2016

Have we reached peak middle European nationalism?

Clean-shaven defender of Christendom against the hirsute Mongol sorry Muslim hordes, Victor Orban, suffered something of an embarassing defeat in his referendum designed to keep anti-immigrant hatred on the boil – in a country with vanishingly small numbers of immigrants.

He needed 50% voter participation to pass the referendum and, despite throwing everything in his considerable propaganda arsenal at the task, got less than 40% of the valid voter participation. 15% of those who did come out to vote (presumably deliberately) spoiled their votes.

The referendum was against the distribution of refugees across with EU. This just hasn’t happened, with less than six thousand being assigned. ( At the same time the number of refugees fleeing from the latest horrors in the Middle East in Germany is 200,000 fewer than the 1.1 million. Software problems, don’t you know. )

Hungarians have, perhaps, had enough of Victor and his cronies. I’d love to see a breakdown by age of those who did go and vote, but I doubt we’ll get that any time soon.


15. Joe - October 4, 2016


Workers in the Phillipines organise against Irish entrepreneurs (aka exploiters) attempt to export our skills at being the ‘best little country in the world in which to do business’.


16. Joe - October 4, 2016

And another one. IMPACT winning the campaign to keep public libraries open in Sligo.



WorldbyStorm - October 4, 2016



Gewerkschaftler - October 4, 2016

Oh that is good news – thanks Joe.

Good work from IMPACT.


CMK - October 4, 2016

QUB aren’t going to scrap their Sociology degrees following a campaign by staff and students led by the UCU.


Joe - October 4, 2016

Yep. Good work from IMPACT. IMPACT probably got a bit of an unfair slagging on here a while back based on a partial one-line quote from a branch chair in Dún Laoghaire. It’s still a bit of an uncle tom union but it’s my uncle tom union.


17. Paddy Healy - October 6, 2016

This could be a sign of hope depending on how you look at it?
Global turbulence ahead-Michael Roberts, Marxist Economist
More: http://wp.me/pKzXa-ua
The (world economy) spiral is not upwards, it is downwards. Downwards on trade, downwards on productivity, downwards on global growth.”-OECD
World Debt Hits 152 trillion,a record breaking level of debt, says International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Gewerkschaftler - October 6, 2016

And two thirds of that is private debt. The IMF have recognised the concept of debt-deflation as well. That’s possibly a hopeful sign.


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