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What you want to say – 5 December 2018 December 5, 2018

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. Starkadder - December 5, 2018

I don’t want to turn into one of those “Kids today!” guys, but this
Tweet from PETA is incredibly annoying:

I’m reminded of a quote from Winifred Holtby:

Whenever two- legged animals meet to discuss the welfare of their four-legged brethren drama descends, like a proprietary goddess, upon the scene. The affection ungrudgingly bestowed on cats, dogs, and horses, by the people of these islands, diverted to human channels, could bring about the reign of brotherly love and goodwill towards men within a fortnight.

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WorldbyStorm - December 5, 2018

Agreed. It’s well meaning if a bit simplistic but literal to the point of being counterproductive – it seems unlikely that anyone would feel this language was meant literally and there’s the whole issue of metaphor and how one polices that. A more cynical take us that some folk have to justify their existence by doing something anything during the working day to prove they’re earning their wage – particularly in PR and campaigns.

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yourcousin - December 5, 2018
soubresauts - December 5, 2018
Bartholomew - December 7, 2018

Anyway, if the horse is already dead, where’s the cruelty in flogging it?

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2. Joe - December 5, 2018

Odds on May still being PM this day week? Slim enough I’d say.

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makedoanmend - December 5, 2018

As stated previously on this site and others, who replaces her that is acceptable to the various factions in the toryific party? (Leaving aside the sheer incompetence of most leading tories). And she really didn’t loose the 3 votes by huge margins yesterday. It’s widely accepted she really never thought she’d get the treaty through on the first vote. I heard it suggested that if she loses the treaty vote by less than a hundred votes, she’s remains. If she can keep the margin even closer, she definitely remains.

I’m thinking she’ll be around well beyond Christmas – but I want 3:1 odds and five points!

[And we have to leave out that there really isn’t any way at this date that a new set of negotiations between the UK and the EU are going to occur, or that any significant changes to the current proposed treaty are going to occur either. The EU has always had the upper hand in this negotiation, vis-a-vis the power/economic positions, so that any suggestion that a new government is going to change the circumstances are pure ‘cakeism’. Brexit, as pursued by the UK, has been pure cakeism since day 1. Any new government and leader should know this – except cakeism rules. It’s cakeism all the way down.]

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Joe - December 5, 2018

Yep. It’s mad isn’t it? Humiliation after humiliation for her but no viable alternative Tory leader out there with a viable plan b. She must be tempted though – to tell them all to go f themselves and let them sort it out since they’re not happy with the effort she came up with.

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CL - December 5, 2018

‘Legal advice on the Brexit deal, published reluctantly after MPs found the government in contempt of parliament, warns the terms of the Irish backstop could trap the UK in “protracted and repeated rounds of negotiations” in the years ahead.
The legal status of the arrangements for preventing a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland – and in particular, the UK’s ability to extricate itself – are at the heart of the political row about whether MPs should accept the prime minister’s deal.’ The Irish Question,-again.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/05/brexit-legal-advice-warns-of-uk-trapped-in-talks-by-irish-backstop

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GW - December 6, 2018

DUP has said it will support May in a no confidence vote.

She could (health permitting – not that I can summon up much personal sympathy for the refugee persecutor) still be in post in two years – no one else seems willing to sup on the poisoned chalice. The chances of a general election seem to have been played down, even by the BLP.

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CL - December 6, 2018

And on Monday the ECJ will issue its ruling on whether the UK can unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the EU. Would having such a right have any significance? Is May correct when she says the choice is her deal, no deal or no Brexit?
If the BLP in alliance with the DUP and ERG vote down May’s deal is the choice then no deal or no Brexit? Or are there other alternatives?

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3. GW - December 6, 2018

Good Another Europe is Possible podcast about fighting fascism in the British context in the internet age from veteran anti-racist activist Asad Rehman.

Big picture: when the left and centre gives and inch on immigration to the racist right, they just strengthen the latter. The left needs to make the case for immigration and open borders.

I find the argument from the likes of McCluskey that ‘we must have Brexit because fascism’ both despicable and strategically utterly wrong-headed.

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WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2018

+1

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yourcousin - December 7, 2018

“The left needs to make the case for immigration and open borders”

Could you please? Because just saying we need mass immigration doesn’t seem like a great way to win friends and influence people.

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CL - December 7, 2018

“some on the left see a progressive case for reducing immigration…
In their view, the resurgence of a nativist far-right across Europe — and the election of a certain far-right nativist in the United States — have demonstrated the impossibility of reconciling progressive politics with mass immigration….
the liberal political analyst John Judis argues that “without control of borders and immigration, it is very hard to imagine the United States becoming a more egalitarian society” ..
.
Angela Nagle writes that a mindless “moral absolutism” about immigrants’ rights has led progressives to blind themselves to what libertarian champions of “mass immigration” see all too clearly: that the so-called free movement of labor actually “benefits the elites within the most powerful countries in the world, further disempowers organized labor, robs the developing world of desperately needed professionals, and turns workers against workers.”…

in countries with declining birth rates like the United States, regular infusions of working-age laborers from abroad render social welfare programs more sustainable, in fiscal terms…
Liberal restrictionists may see mass immigration as a political boon for the American right — but the American right sure doesn’t….
as the foreign-born share of the U.S. population has surged over the past three decades — and the Democratic coalition has grown markedly less white — Team Blue has grown markedly more progressive….
The GOP’s declining popular support — and the Democrats’ burgeoning progressivism — are shaped by countless factors besides America’s shifting demographics. But it seems telling that both developments are especially pronounced in states and cities with large immigrant populations….
If mass immigration undermines the left by eroding social solidarity, then how did supporters of single payer health-care just oust the GOP from Orange County?…
The rapid diversification of the U.S. has undermined white supremacy more than it has dulled class consciousness….
America’s native-born white supremacy remains the fundamental challenge to progressivism in the U.S. And this reality helps explain why mass immigration has had ambiguous — if not positive — political implications for the American left:..
The “ceaseless importation” of workers whose worldviews weren’t shaped by the legacy of chattel slavery, and who have little (or no) investment in the maintenance of white supremacy, has diluted the electoral clout of white revanchism in the United States.”
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/11/immigration-open-borders-hillary-clinton-angela-nagle-the-left.html

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GW - December 7, 2018

Good question – it’s hard to present positively – but the consequences of a ‘left’ anti-immigration policy are well presented here at Red Pepper.

And Luke de Noronha goes on to advocate a ‘no borders’ position as the only one that doesn’t imply massive state violence and policing:

If advocates of the no borders position (like me) are accused of being unrealistic, blind to the apocalyptic prospect of uncontrolled movement, then please do tell me how your bordered world might take form, and how the walled workers will unite?

Nagle and her kin endorse a radical politics in which the fight for better working conditions concerns only natives. Their ‘leftism’ justifies immobilising people on a global scale, despite the inevitable expansion of violent technologies of state coercion and surveillance on which such a programme relies.

Nagle argues that when we make arguments for open borders, we end up in chorus with free market capitalists – and much of the organised left seems to agree. But a politics of no borders – not open borders – is precisely one which refuses all forms of border violence. This refusal is based on the recognition that there is no way to restrict people’s mobility in a world this unequal except through extreme forms of state coercion. This refusal provides the starting point for our solidarity with migrants, not because we romanticise all forms of migration but because we abhor all forms of bordering.

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yourcousin - December 8, 2018

I’m sick right now (like puke for ten minutes by the side of the truck before work sick). So not a whole lot of strength to respond to you both. I did read both articles, and I must say that they don’t so much make a case for open borders as they do attack the leftist case for controlled immigration.

I’m not so much concerned about convincing leftists. How do we not make enemies of John Q. Public? Because saying to Joe the Plumber or to bread roll man that we’re bringing the global south to him and he must give up his privilege, seems like a pretty quick way to get supporters of the wall.

We talk shit about Merkel, Macron, Blair, etc. but we spend very little actually dealing with the likes of Orban, and Erdogan etc. We have an easy reply for Neoliberals but how do we address the Illiberals? Moral purity is fine for rhetoric but unless the left can be relevant then our piousness is just that. Making ourselves feel better about our impotence to actually affect change.

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4. CL - December 6, 2018

Uber Is Headed for a Crash…

“Comparisons of Uber to other storied tech wunderkinder show Uber is not on the same trajectory. No ultimately successful major technology company has been as deeply unprofitable for anywhere remotely as long as Uber has been….
Unlike Facebook or eBay, having more Uber users does not improve the service….Uber has no competitive advantage compared to traditional taxi operators….
UberX drivers, which represent the bulk of its workforce, earn less than $10 an hour. They would do better at McDonald’s….
Uber has succeeded in getting the business press to treat its popularity as the same as commercial success”-Yves Smith
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/will-uber-survive-the-next-decade.html

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5. Michael Carley - December 7, 2018
6. CL - December 7, 2018
7. GW - December 7, 2018

Sorry Brexshit news…

But I’ve always been astounded how certain commentators (including climate-change deniers) have assumed that Norway would be happy with the UK getting similar or even better EEA/EFTA access.

They aren’t, and they’ve now made it explicit. And I’d don’t blame them – who would want the UK dominating Norway’s currently rather consensual position among a few other smaller fish, given the UK’s previous?

Also there’s not a chance that the UK could enter EEA/EFTA on a temporary basis with the goal later being further separation from the EU – as certain persons have theorised. EEA is designed as the opposite – the eventual agreed end-point of the members is full membership of the EU.

So can we please assign EEA/EFTA to the same fairy dust strewn place as the better deal that Corbyn and the head-banger Brexiteers claim that they would have gotten?

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Alibaba - December 7, 2018

+ 1 to those thoughts. But no need for apologies GW: keep carrying on.

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WorldbyStorm - December 7, 2018

I’d tend to agree that at this stage, despite there being a logic to it EEA/EFTA is not going to happen (agreed, who can blame the EFTA members?). I think that with a more congenial UK government something short of that and better than Switzerland would have been an option, but I also think that for that they’d have had to be willing to accept freedom of movement. And Matthew d’Ancona in the Guardian made the point this last week that that was the one red line May has had throughout, no freedom of movement for EU citizens and that’s why she’s got the deal she has. What the hell happens next?

One of the real disappointments is hearing Corbyn say stuff about a customs union etc which he must know isn’t possible. I wonder is his shadow Chancellors rhetoric on a second referendum tic tacking or sincere. He’s an interesting character.

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8. GW - December 7, 2018

Brexshit Friday:

Can anyone make head or tail of this?

I conclude that should May go for a ‘my deal or no deal’ referendum ‘my deal’ would win (with every remainer abstaining or spoiling their ballot.)

And ‘the deal or remain’, as John MacDonnel claims to favour would be a toss-up. With hard Brexiteers abstaining or spoiling their ballot sheets.

As for a three-way referendum with possible transferable votes…?!

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Alibaba - December 7, 2018

Too complicated a political landscape for me to call.

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CL - December 7, 2018

Everyone is more than ready for a denouement to the Brexit drama; alas, there may be none.
Britain over the next several years will have to (re)negotiate its relationship with the EU.
The tug-of-war over the backstop reflects that Ireland is partitioned, with one part now firmly within the EU orbit, and the other part constitutionally bound to a Britain that is trying to reverse almost half a century of integrating with Europe.
Maybe there are some problems to which there are no solutions, just adroit political management. But such political acumen is absent in the Tory party, and also it seems in Labour.

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CL - December 7, 2018

And from the ‘you-can’t-make-it-up’ dept:

” MPs rubbed their eyes as they watched Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who once praised “the bombs and bullets and sacrifice” of the IRA, denounce the backstop as a threat to the union. Almost as improbably, Ian Paisley quoted C Desmond Greaves, the Marxist historian who acted as a muse to IRA chief of staff Cathal Goulding in the 1960s.
“All fundamental battles in British politics take place in the Conservative Party, with everyone else having bit parts,” Greaves said.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/brexit-mps-hear-of-laughter-in-tipperary-and-galway-1.3723048

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9. Paddy Healy - December 7, 2018

Funeral arrangements for Alan MacSimóin
https://www.rip.ie/death-notice/alan-mac-sim%C3%B3in-stoneybatter-dublin/372782
Reposing at Massey Bros, 88A New Cabra Road, on Wednesday, 12th December, from 4.30pm-5.30pm, followed by wake at The Teacher’s Club from 6pm. A celebration of Alan’s life will take place at Glasnevin Crematorium, on Thursday 13th December at 2.30pm. Donations, if desired, in lieu of flowers, to Brother Kevin, Cappuchin Centre for the homeless. All enquiries to Massey Bros Cabra 01-8389774.

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10. Michael Carley - December 7, 2018

Britain should use the threat of food shortages in Ireland to secure a better Brexit deal from the EU, a former cabinet minister has said.

Priti Patel, the former international development secretary, said the threat to the Irish economy should have been exploited by the UK government during negotiations with Brussels.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-ireland-food-shortages-threat-risk-priti-patel-negotiate-better-deal-a8672326.html

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GW - December 7, 2018

Nice, really nice.

Especially from a Briton whose family presumably originates in Britain’s former colonies, which within living memory was a victim of a famine facilitated by the colonial occupiers.

And that during the war which is the centrepoint of Brexiteer nostalgia.

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CL - December 7, 2018
GW - December 7, 2018

That is mad – less beefs more spuds!

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WorldbyStorm - December 7, 2018

Thought it was telling she’d say that. Glad to hear a bit of pushback.

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11. alanmyler - December 7, 2018

GW, any thoughts on Merkel’s replacement as CDU leader?

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GW - December 7, 2018

Well off the cuff she’s another relatively conservative (devout Catholic) politician of the crumbling centre.

More of the unsustainable same, but at least she’s:

a) unlikely to go into coalition with the AfD any time soon and

b) not going to twist the austerian screw another notch as her challenger Merz was going to do.

The eco-conservatives (sorry the Greens) would I think easily form a government coalition under her leadership if they get the numbers.

She’s also instinctively in favour of good Franco-German relations, but unlikely to approve the changes needed to put the Eurozone on a more stable footing.

So the lesser of several weevils for now.

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GW - December 7, 2018

What did strike me was that yet again the male anglophone journosphere was wrong. They have been predicting the imminent demise of Merkel and those around her for years.

Bild and Spiegel must be spitting bricks, having aggressively promoted Merz ever since Merkel announced that she was stepping down.

Now I guess they’ll start on AKK.

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makedoanmend - December 8, 2018

Thx for the info GW.

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12. Paddy Healy - December 8, 2018

Leo Varadkar, in Government for 7 Years, says housing crisis keeps him awake at night on Late Late Show!!!!
Varadkar:“Particularly when it comes to kids, people find it [homelessness] offensive, and I find it offensive too that children are in emergency accommodation. That impacts on their education and lots of other things,” he said during an interview on RTÉ’s Late Late Show on Friday, Dec 7. Irish Times https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc
But his government has just sold 1.3 billion in PTSB mortgages to Secret US Vulture Capitalist so that FG/IND. Alliance can’t be blamed for evicting or financially harassing them

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13. Phil - December 8, 2018

As we approach Xmas, let’s give a particular thought to political pirsoners around the world, including those in Ireland: https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/republican-pows-and-the-struggle-in-maghaberry-today/

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14. kestrel - December 8, 2018

vaguely heard the last part of a radio discussion about local government elections in 2019. But mostly it seemed to be about the remuneration paid to these councillors. Not sure how much they are paid, probably about 16k per annum maybe. the population of this town is c.50k; and the councillors receive good votes, some of 1300, 780, 700, 696, etc.
yet, they do not respond to phone calls if there are any contentious problems.
Is it not time that the ordinary public were allowed to attend those monthly Council meetings. At present a person may attend though only if a/one Councillor has agreed that they may attend. This may give the wrong impression that a person actually agrees with that councillor’s politics. Beyond me why the public cannot just attend at the council meetings.

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WorldbyStorm - December 8, 2018

Odd given that people can attend the Dáil isn’t it?

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15. Starkadder - December 10, 2018

David Duke, Geert Wilders, and Marine Le Pen have all congratulated Spanish far-right party Vox after its performance in the Andalusian elections :

https://elpais.com/elpais/2018/12/04/inenglish/1543938879_761523.html

One thought: there hasn’t been a far-right movement in this country
with a serious chance of getting power so far, but it would be naive in the extreme to assume that this situation will always remain so.
Preparations for responding to such a movement should be considered by the Irish Left.

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GW - December 10, 2018

Check – we’re living on borrowed time in this respect.

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Joe - December 10, 2018

This lack of a far-right movement here has been noted before. Odd alright that it hasn’t happened here. Or is it?
I could see an anti-establishment populist movement getting traction here – but not a far-right group as in a group openly spouting neo-fascist stuff.

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GW - December 10, 2018

Joe – they don’t openly spout neo-fascist stuff anymore.

They are ‘concerned citizens’ worrying about their culture be swamped by ‘Muslims’ (code of people of colour) and putting the blame for the injuries of neoliberalism on the foreigners and a globalist elite. They imply that they speak for the will of the people, excluded from the MSM. etc. etc.

At the same time behind closed doors they take far-right money and espouse the same fascist goals as before.

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Joe - December 10, 2018

Ok. Gotcha GW. Could happen here any time.

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EWI - December 10, 2018

Preparations for responding to such a movement should be considered by the Irish Left

I would be quite concerned at the notion of providing the casus belli for an alliance between conservatism and the ‘security state’.

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16. GW - December 10, 2018

Sigh – yet more bollixing around with fantasy deals before B*shit reaches a People’s Vote.

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17. Michael Carley - December 11, 2018

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18. CL - December 11, 2018

“Madhu and Manohar Varadkar were among the many Indians who stood up to the British Empire during the country’s long-fought struggle for freedom.
The two men, who are uncles of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, both spent up to a year each in prison for their trouble after they were arrested for protesting against the crown….

In the first biography of the Taoiseach, it is revealed how proud the Varadkar family is of the role the two brothers played in India’s fight for freedom. After independence, both men were decorated for their efforts during the uprising. Their sister, Prabha, also played a role in the independence movement and marched in demonstrations against Portuguese colonialism in Goa….

In commentary on the protracted exit talks, Varadkar has evoked Ireland’s own fight for freedom from British rule. He talked about how we were “forced to accept partition” 100 years ago and warned we cannot go back to the hard borders of the Troubles….

Varadkar’s uncles would presumably be supportive of his stance on the much depleted modern day British Empire.
He is facing down the crown like they did all those decades ago.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/varadkar-family-has-a-history-of-facing-down-british-empire-37185347.html

“Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, took issue with comments by Mr Varadkar that “no Irish Government will ever again leave Northern nationalists and Northern Ireland behind.”..
But… Gerry Adams, welcomed the Taoiseach’s comments saying they acknowledged the reality of partition for most nationalists in the North….
Mr Varadkar said he was pointing up a historical fact that Ireland was forced to accept partition in the 1920s.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/taoiseach-insists-brexit-comments-on-the-north-were-not-meant-to-insult-fianna-fil-36402899.html

That rustling sound in the background…barely heard above the Brexit cacophony…birds flying home..

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