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Signs of Hope – A continuing series March 30, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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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?

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1. Joe - March 30, 2017

Sign of hope. Arise you starlings – Joe is back :).

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WorldbyStorm - March 30, 2017

And very welcome too

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GW - March 30, 2017

Just in time for the planting season in the garden, Joe.

What’s it to be this year?

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Joe - March 30, 2017

The missus has been very creative with the bit of ground already. A complex creation involving fake railway sleepers and two shapes – a square and a circle – surrounded by diamond slabs. Is she a mason in disguise?
First planting has happened already – a few brassicas.
Interesting development on the banks of the canal nearby too. Some ground has been fenced off by a local ‘youth community group’ and is being worked and planted. A neighbour got the ok for a little mini allotment there. I’m sure I could do the same but I haven’t seen any ‘local youths’ involved, just a well-connected man my age that you wouldn’t mess with i.e. a shinner :).
It has to be admitted that it’s good work he’s doing. And that you’d need ‘a presence’ to ensure the space is respected. Time to turn swords into ploughshares?

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GW - March 31, 2017

Fair play Joe – perhaps she’s signaling to aliens?

And using the canal bank – why not?

There’s loads of urban ground on embankments that could be better used. In these parts flat-dwellers have started semi-legal gardens and put up sheds all over.

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2. GW - March 30, 2017

DiEM25 launches it’s ‘New Deal for Europe’ policy paper

There was a complete blackout to an event paralleling the nervous self-congratulation of the EU elites last week – the launch of DiEM25’s European New Deal proposals.

For those of you not familiar with the organisation it is a movement started by Yanis Varoufakis and others dedicated to forming an opposition to the current EU TINA-political economy of contractual neo-liberalism and austerian politics.

It rejects the Leninist position of ‘smash the EU state! and then, erm… leave it to us comrades’ because, among other things, we view the most likely destination of the disintegration of the EU as a group of authoritarian, identitarian nations, quite possibly at war with each other. Even less fertile ground for humanist politics than the current EU – c.f post-Brexit Britain. Instead it positions itself ‘inside and against’ the current EU, and thinks in terms of a wider European internationalism including those parts not currently or leaving the EU.

The EU may well prove incapable of overcoming it’s discontents and disintegrate anyway. But we see in that case DiEM25 as the basis for new forms of internationalist rebuilding.

DiEM25 is a genuinely European movement with chapters and local groups in many countries. It’s not perfect organisationally by any means, but it has concentrated on delivering political content as much as organisation.

DiEM25’s first position paper is on a New Deal for Europe which we can make a start on within the existing EU treaties and later could lead to a European constitutional conference which would extend what is possible and negate the anti-citizen, pro-capital aspects of current EU treaties.

Varoufakis’ original draft of the New Deal Paper was considerably more limited that the one that appeared as a result of input from the wider membership.

What we have now is something that takes some radical positions. Such as:

An unconditional right to the basics of life and to make a contribution.

A. BASIC GOODS PROVISION: All Europeans should enjoy in their
home country the right to basic goods (e.g. nutrition, shelter,
transport, energy), to paid work contributing to the maintenance
of their communities while receiving a living wage, to decent social
housing, to high quality health and education, and to a sustainable
environment.

A turn to an environmentally sustainable economy.

B. TURNING IDLE WEALTH INTO GREEN INVESTMENT: Europe’s futurehinges on the capacity to harness the wealth that accumulates inEurope and turn it into investments in a real, green, sustainable,
innovative economy. What matters is not the boost of one
European country’s ‘competitiveness’ in relation to another
European country but the rise of productivity in green sectors
everywhere

A denial of capital’s unconditional right to accumulate.

C. SHARING THE RETURNS TO CAPITAL: In the increasingly digital
economy, capital goods are increasingly produced collectively but
their returns continue to be privatised. As Europe becomes more
technologically advanced, to avoid stagnation and discontent it
must implement policies for sharing amongst all its citizens the
dividends from digitisation and automation.

A demand for economic democracy.

D. MACROECONOMIC MANAGEMENT CANNOT BE LEFT TO
UNELECTED TECNOCRATS: Europe’s economies are stagnating
because for too long macroeconomic management has been
subcontracted to unaccountable ‘technocrats’. It is high time
macroeconomic management is democratised fully and placed
under the scrutiny of sovereign peoples.

There’s much more to that in the agreed policy paper and I’ll perhaps write more about it, but the Web page is here.

The summary version and the full version of the policy papers can be downloaded here. (PDF-Versions)

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3. Michael Carley - March 31, 2017

Watching from a distance, I have to say the reports of the transport strike is warming the cockles of me heart no end. Solidarity picketing and everything, the sneaky feckers.

Iarnród Éireann spokesperson Barry Kenny said the pickets were designed to have maximum effect and came without warning.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said it was an orchestrated campaign that began at around 4am with picketers from Bus Éireann turned up at train stations across the country.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0331/864017-bus-eireann-dispute/

And I hope the union leadership are struggling to keep a straight face when they say things like this:

Unions accept that they do not have a trade dispute with Iarnród Éireann or Dublin Bus – and their official position is that workers who are rostered on duty at those companies should report for work as normal.

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WorldbyStorm - March 31, 2017

The fact mgmt walked away is really important. Heard union reps today and they were doing well I thought.

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Michael Carley - March 31, 2017

They seem to be holding it together and have an intelligent strategy.

It is one thing that seems better about Ireland, rather than different, compared to England: there has been a lot of public support for strikes on the Luas, Bus Eireann, Tesco, etc. Here, there was support for the doctors, and there’s a certain amount for the Southern Trains but that’s more because everybody hates the train companies.

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Starkadder - March 31, 2017

“Intelligent strategy”?

Just about every person I met today was furious at the wildcat strike, (Including people who were previously sympathetic to the strikers). If these wildcat strikers want to get the BE drivers sacked and the company devoured by the private sector, they’re going the right way about it.

And it’s easy to support a public transport strike when you have a motorbike or car (which I don’t, and neither do several of the people I spoke to about the strike).

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4. Michael Carley - March 31, 2017
5. Gerryboy - March 31, 2017

A French magazine, Le Point, compiles a cheerful-nostalgique Goodbye England playist of songs pour le Brexit. Ecoutez bien!

http://www.lepoint.fr/pop-culture/musique/la-playlist-goodbye-england-31-03-2017-2116257_2946.php

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WorldbyStorm - March 31, 2017

Excellent

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6. irishelectionliterature - March 31, 2017

Kind of amused at this …
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/31/future-of-gibraltar-at-stake-in-brexit-negotiations
The opening paragraph …

“The EU has put the future of Gibraltar at stake in the coming Brexit negotiations, effectively backing Spain in its centuries-old dispute with the UK over the British overseas territory.”

Could swear it was the UK voters rather than the EU that gambled with the future of Gilbraltar

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