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Signs of Hope – A continuing series December 7, 2018

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. GW - December 7, 2018
2. GW - December 7, 2018

Amazon delivery centres are closed in today in Spain and Germany due to coordinated strike action.

Boycott Amazon this Christmas!


3. GW - December 7, 2018

Lesser evil dept:

Germany just got a Merkelish politician (Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
– AKK) as Merkel’s anointed successor.

Scraped through against a real neolib shit from Blackrock (the new Goldman Sachs) – who would go into coalition with the AfD at the drop of a hat I suspect.

I don’t think that is the case with AKK.


4. Alibaba - December 8, 2018

This is the fourth weekend of anti-government protests in Paris. Only a few thousand demonstrators perhaps. But all this despite the fact that the capital is in lockdown, 90,000 police afoot and the firing of tear gas: the struggle goes on.


Alibaba - December 8, 2018

I should have said 90,000 police were called up nationwide. But still, but still, it looks like there will be a spread of action, with rail and metro strikes planned. And students and farmers having a go, I suspect. It’s taken French citizens just 18 months to turn against Macron and his faux alternative agenda. Would that there was such a thing happening here.

Liked by 1 person

CL - December 9, 2018

” To call the movement a ‘fuel protest’, as the BBC does, is a huge over-simplification: the protesters have egalitarian pretensions that go far beyond the petrol tank. And for many – as far as we can tell – it’s less a matter of rejecting taxes outright (or social charges for small businesses) than a question about who should bear the brunt. Attac, a movement founded in support of Tobin-style taxes on financial transactions, has expressed its support for the gilets jaunes on the grounds that ‘social justice’ and ‘climate justice’ should articulate in any grand policy for change….
Marine Le Pen and Steve Bannon will be watching eagerly from Brussels, where they’re scheduled to speak against the ‘Marrakech treaty’, a UN-inspired Global Compact for Migration. The document aims to manage human movement, as the driving factors – climate change included – push millions of people away from their countries of origin. The UN compact is non-binding: a member state can sign up to the idea, as France has done, without implementing the recommendations. But for Le Pen – and Bannon’s got her back – it’s the last nail in the coffin of national sovereignty. The gilets jaunes are still susceptible to this line of reasoning as they try to resist the tide of globalisation.”


yourcousin - December 9, 2018

“The gilets jaunes are still susceptible to this line of reasoning as they try to resist the tide of globalisation.”

So pretend you’ve got a crowd of them in front of you. You know the likes of Marie La Pen is waiting in the wings, what’s your argument?


CL - December 9, 2018

What I surmise from the LRB piece is that unless the Left,-broadly defined,-deals more effectively and adequately with the depredations of ‘free-market’ capitalism the attractions of a fascist response will continue to grow.


Alibaba - December 9, 2018

That makes sense to me. My argument is that Le Pen and her ilk are liars and cheats and the left needs to say so.

The utterances of far right leaders with mass following gives signals for physical attacks. Such mass support is usually from the lower middle class and sections of the working class. Unfortunately, many mass sections with no property believe the right-wing lying rhetoric. We must not tire of pointing out how that is the essence of fascism: that mass sections see hope in lies, in their conflict with big capital. The challenge of the broad left is to turn their base leftwards, by showing them that the much vaunted capitalism of the bigots is the real enemy.

Liked by 1 person

GW - December 10, 2018

Yes – it was good that it largely didn’t respond to the provocation of the state and become violent this weekend.

The Gilets Jaunes are a mixed bunch – there are certainly le Pen-like elements, and the demands are confused, but they have had more effect on Macron than the previous long run of protests.

Or perhaps because of the long sequence of previous protests the GJ’s have widespread support still. And France Insoumise seem to be making progress among them.

In the first list of demands translated here in Open Democracy you can see as largely leftish and in the later demands (7th December – unofficial list) you can see the clear influence of Le Pen.


5. Dermot O Connor - December 8, 2018

One of the commenters here remarked that Toibin’s anti-abortion party might pose a threat to FF. Then this:


…there are fears that the new Sinn Féin breakaway could do more harm to Fianna Fáil. If you’re surprised by that notion have a look at the no-holds barred attacks launched against Mr Tóibín’s rather quixotic political mission.

Two leading party members, Billy Kelleher and Thomas Byrne, have unleashed barrages against him.

The speed with which these criticisms were launched, and their sharp tone, suggested some concern within the ranks of the ‘Soldiers of Destiny’. Mr Tóibín is too astute to discuss potential to “damage Fianna Fáil” and confines himself to noting that he is “getting a great reaction across all parties – including Fianna Fáil”.

Interesting to see that the FFers are taking potshots at him.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - December 8, 2018

It kind of makes a weird sense – FF was always astute at keeping a section of its base happy that would have been vaguely leftish but also socially conservative back in the day along with more right wing elements – I tend to think they lost that in the 80s and 90s, so I’d bet they’d see a threat from any serious new entity that sought to fight on that terrain.


6. Gerryboy - December 9, 2018

“vaguely leftish but also socially conservative” is a pointed observation, where socially stands for more than sex. I remember that the PDs Progressive Democrats (maximum 14 Dail seats) were a hive-off from FF and FG, and they were “un-vaguely rightish but socially liberal”. I’ll watch the political permutation of Mr. Tóibín and his followers with interest during the coming months.


WorldbyStorm - December 9, 2018

Interesting point you raise – in fairness to Toibin I cannot find any evidence on other issues than abortion that he is particularly socially conservative and if people know of any I’d be interested to hear it. The issue remains is his vehicle going to run on vague pro life sentiment and vague leftism?


Gerryboy - December 9, 2018

Tóibín is a politician with some idealism about social reform, so it’s in his interest to insist that his fellow new party members will be politically committed to social reform (social housing, rural revival, access to education & library services, better local transport etc.) Being anti-abortion is ‘conservative’ but does not exclude opposition to social injustice etc. In the USA, Dorothy Day was a militant socialist campaigner, and the Jesuit Daniel Berrigan was a militant anti-war and civil rights campaigner. Both of them were anti-abortion. In the USA anti-egalitarian Republicans have cynically swung the prolife voters in their direction while the Democrats have lost them along with the blue collar voters. BTW I’m an independent voter and won’t be joining Tóibín and his followers.


WorldbyStorm - December 9, 2018

I’ve no doubt you’re right, and I agree that individuals can differ on abortion without being reactionary. I’ve friends who are anti-abortion and pro-choice and friends who are anti-abortion and anti-choice and broadly leftwing.


7. Gerryboy - December 9, 2018

Gemütlichkeit can be a disarming and sometimes skin-deep aspect of social interaction in Ireland. We need to accept that neighbours, relatives and associates are potential collaborators on some issues while having separate attitudes to others. The New Irish are a particular sector of Irish society that need to be treated carefully. They come from a range of cultures and have non-European cultural attitudes towards things. Family, beliefs, attitudes to social justice, ideas of society, ideas of beauty, happiness, comfort and, yes, Gemutlichkeit, can differ from the ‘western’ models.


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