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What you want to say – 28th June, 2017 June 28, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

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1. GW - June 28, 2017

With a slight feint to the left in Germany, Merkel disarms the SPD’s main election platform. A master tactician against gutless amateurs.

So the CDU is willing to put the gay marriage issue to a free vote with whatever junior coalition partner it has in the next federal parliament. Goodbye a major part of the difference between the SPD and Green parties election offerings and the CDU.

So probably within two years gay marriage legislation will be passed.

Conservatives will then bring the issue to the federal constitutional court. Which is when it gets interesting.

Because while that court has been a strong supporter of anti-discrimination on the basis of sexual preference, it has also made decisions in the past on the basis of the ‘natural laws of God and man’.

I don’t know enough about the court to predict which way that will go.

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2. GW - June 28, 2017

Monbiot on who covertly funded the Brexit leave campaign.

The DUP are up to their necks in this.

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3. bjg - June 28, 2017
4. Phil F - June 28, 2017

Great victory for migrant workers – namely, the cleaners at the London School of Economics:
https://rdln.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/important-workers-victory-in-london-the-cleaners-at-the-london-school-of-economics/

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5. Phil F - June 28, 2017

Amid all the gushing over Corbyn, it’s important to look at his support for all the repressive institutions of the British imperialist state: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/british-election-results/

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Alibaba - June 28, 2017

The ‘gushing’ referred to did come from some of those on the left who are sorry they didn’t back Corbyn and are now found wanting for their defeatism, given that he gave the Tories an unexpected good kicking against all the odds. Also, what leftist in their right mind wouldn’t welcome the election result?

I think to say: ‘Corbyn also appealed to young people … Many of these young people are genuinely concerned about inequality and Labour cynically tapped into their idealism.’ is inaccurate. It did this and other things under his leadership as a matter of principle.

The closer Corbyn gets to holding power the gushing may come from the right wing too. He is no revolutionary and never claimed to be. He is an adept radical left reformist. To his credit he doesn’t countenance the smothering of dissent. Of course, the establishment would rather greet him than the far left as they view him as ultimately a safe pair of hands. I suspect that you, like me, can agree on that one.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 28, 2017

And roddy keeps telling us Corbyn is a friend of SF.

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6. Phil F - June 28, 2017
Joe - June 28, 2017

Ááá, mo leithscéal, tá mo phócaí folamh. Tá mé díreach ag dul go dtí an poll sa bhalla. Chífidh mé ar an slí amach thú. [Téann díreach go dtí an slí amach contráilte].

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7. GW - June 28, 2017

Two interesting contributions on the (lack of) future of the Eurozone from Perry Anderson and Yanis Varoufakis.

Anderson (IMO rightly) thinks that Macron’s federalism-lite (as a prelude to real federation with Germany ceding the economic policy veto) will founder against the monumental walls of Goering’s Luftwaffe palace – appropriately now housing the German Finance Ministry.

Macron’s version was prudently vaguer, calling for a Eurozone parliament—even less realistically, composed just of all ‘members of each national parliament’, a body that would run into the thousands, meeting once a month—and Eurozone finance minister to launch a bold investment plan, without specifying where the resources for one are to come from. [25] For the Finance Ministry in Berlin, this vision could probably be forgiven as campaign fluff, not to be taken too seriously.

Varoufakis is similarly sceptical of the chances of the German political establishment being seduced by Macron:

“Once the Germans accept the principle, the economics will force them to accept the necessary magnitudes,” is how a French official put it to me recently. Such optimism may seem justified in light of proposals along those lines made in the past by none other than Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister. But there are two powerful reasons to be skeptical.

First, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Schäuble were not born yesterday. If Macron’s people imagine a federation-lite as an entering wedge for full-blown political integration, so will Merkel, Schäuble, and the reinvigorated Free Democrats (who will most likely join a coalition government with Merkel’s Christian Democrats after the September federal election). And they will politely but firmly reject the French overtures.

Second, in the unlikely event that Germany gives federation-lite the go-ahead, any change to the functioning of the eurozone would, undoubtedly, devour large portions of the reformers’ political capital. If it does not produce economic and social results that improve, rather than annul, the chances of a proper federation, as I suspect it will not, a political backlash could ensue, ending any prospect of a more substantial federation in the future. In that case, the euro’s dismantling will become inevitable, will cost more, and will leave Europe in even greater shambles.

Varoufakis continues to promote his ideas of enough fake federation using existing institutions to make the Eurozone workable.

And that’s where Brexit, if it occurs, with the Brits out of the way, may deliver a dividend to the remaining EU. With the Brits out of the way, demands like Melanchon’s (or indeed DiEM25’s) for a radical overhaul of the political economy of the Eurozone, may gain traction. As Anderson puts it:

The problem of recasting monetary union was not a technical issue, as typically depicted, but a geopolitical one. France had the economic and demographic weight, if it had the political will, to bring an unaccountable European Central Bank—the real sore, not the euro—to book, and compel Germany, an ageing society that was not as strong as it seemed, to accept social and economic democratization of the Union, on pain of breaking it up.

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8. mineau - June 28, 2017

will some of you boffins consider the problem of surveillance in dublin, some business organisation called Dublin City Business Watch – convey/relate to the next near business information on persons/customers. all of these business have security firms and these – various – security firms, liaise instantly with all other security firms.
is this a second police force in dublin?
i know Dublin City Business Watch are known to/by the Gardai, but essentially these security firms are appropriating too much power?
i think in Denmark there are five police forces?
these security firms have too much power.

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9. Tomboktu - June 28, 2017

I was thinking after the Dublin Pride parade last Saturday that with the scouts, the Taoiseach and Tesco taking part, it’s almost totally mainstream – all it needs to be completely MOTR is a GAA group.

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10. ar scáth a chéile - June 28, 2017

Very good essay in the latest LRB from Greg Grandin on Chavez and Venezuela:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n13/greg-grandin/down-from-the-mountain

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2017

Excellent, thanks a million for the link.

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11. sonofstan - June 28, 2017

I’m in Germany at the moment, the first time I’ve spent any length of time here since before the wall came down. One thing I notice; with an election, what?, three months away, politics and politicking is pretty visible – much more so than in England on the very eve of a poll. Lots of meetings that seem to be like the *not* an election meeting that parties have in Ireland when everyone knows there’s an election in the offing. Are there the same restrictions? (GW?)

Direkt Democraktie Deutschland have an ‘omnibus’ (see what they did there?) parked in the centre of Kassel – I take it we don’t like them? Fairly visible Die Linke presence, and quite a bit of left leaning graffiti (if i can trust my rudimentary German)

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WorldbyStorm - June 28, 2017

Strange that SoS. I wonder what the story is in the UK in relation to electioneering being so low level? Or conversely in Germany being more obvious (and RoI as well). Actually it would be interesting to compare and contrast North and South here as well.

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GW - June 29, 2017

The campaign has been underway unofficially for a while, but I think the rule is that you can only put up posters and accost people in the street (there’s not door-to-door campaigning) a couple of months before the election.

You’re right – there tends to be an increase in general political meetings before the official kick off.

I know that die Linke street contacts and leafletting are planned to start in the middle of July.

die Linke presence depends on where you are. You’d have to search pretty hard in rural Bavaria.

Direkt Demokratie and Mehr Demokratie want to establish the right to collect signatures to force a law to be put to parliament at the German federal government level. That right exists at the regional and the European level. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Are you there for Dokumenta, SoS? Might pop down ourselves some time in the summer. Never was in Kassel. Bombed to bits because of arms factories and transport hubs during WWII and they decided not to rebuild in the old style, so a friend from Kassel tells me.

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sonofstan - June 29, 2017

In kassel for different conference but had a wander around documenta yesterday – or a fraction of it. Impressed with a city the size of cork with 7 tramlines and integrated ticketing. Normal in Germany no doubt

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sonofstan - June 29, 2017

And to add, at the AGM of the organsiation for this conference, they’ve just decided to move the bank account from the UK because Brexit….

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Joe - June 29, 2017

I hope you told them that Dublin is an excellent banking centre with state-of-the-art light touch regulation and very competitive tax rates. Along with excellent well-established connections with more downmarket tax havens like the Cayman Islands. In short, I presume you told them that Ireland is the best little country in the world to do business in.

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12. Starkadder - June 28, 2017

Re-posting this in the appropriate thread:

The abortion debate is going to get nastier. Not only have the mobocrats behind the anti-abortion movement arranged a protest march in Dublin for the 1st of July, but a group boasting the name Irish Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (straight out of “The Handmaid’s Tale) is planning to stick anti-abortion posters up in airports.

http://www.thejournal.ie/pro-life-events-cork-dublin-airports-3465938-Jun2017/?utm_source=shortlink

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13. GW - June 29, 2017

Well – that was unexpected…

A closely-kept secret of the last/current German federal government was that the die Linke, SPD and the Greens have a majority, should they wish to use it.

So after Merkel promised a free vote on gay marriage, I think it was someone in the Greens, who has long campaigned for equal marriage rights, woke up and tabled and emergency motion for tomorrow, Friday at 08:00. If the majority noted above votes for the motion, there will be a short debate and the marriage laws could be changed this week.

The laws of 1901 thought that it went without saying that marriage should take place between people identifying or being identified as having different genders. I think judicial custom inserted that, but I could be wrong.

Anyhow the new law will make it explicit that marriage would be possible between people identifying as having the same gender.

Then there may be a challenge in the constitutional court, and the civil service will have to make changes which may not be in place until the end of the year. I don’t really understand why, but quite possibly gay marriage will be celebrated in Germany by the end of 2017.

If it happens, I’m not sure how it will affect the election. Although it will not be a contested point during the election, leaving the manifestos of the SPD and the Greens looking rather threadbare, the meeja will confer a certain kudos on the SPD and Greens as a result.

The meeja can be guaranteed to ignore the fact that die Linke has been pushing for gay marriage for years.

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14. Michael Carley - June 30, 2017
15. ar scáth a chéile - July 1, 2017

The devastation in Mosul isn’t getting much coverage , maybe because the civilian death tolll is so high. I’m wary of imagery substituting for detailed reporting but this picture in today’s Guardian tells a lot:
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2017/jul/01/the-20-photographs-of-the-week#img-4

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