Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

2021 General Election Result in Germany – Preliminary Notes – Will Berlin go Red-Red-Green?

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  • These are the official numbers :
  • Preliminary official result
  • Distribution of votes
  • 24.1% CDU/CSU (Christian Democrats)
  • 25.7%. SPD (Social Democrats)
  • 10.3% AfD (Far-Right)
  • 11.5% FDP (Liberals)
  • 4.9% Die Linke (Left)
  • 14.8% Greens
  • 0.1% SSW (Danish Minority)
  • 8.6% Others


Distribution of seats
Total seats
735

  • 196 CDU/CSU
  • 206 SPD
  • 83 AfD
  • 92 FDP
  • 39 Left
  • 118 Greens
  • 1 SSW

A Red-Red-Green coalition is just short of a majority 206 +118+39 = 363

https://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/s-9097

Do any readers know the politics of the single SSW member?

“Do minorities have their own parties?
In Germany there are four state-recognized minorities: Sorbs, Danes, Frisians and the German Sinti and Roma. There is only a special party for the Danes and Frisians in Schleswig-Holstein, the South Schleswig Voters Union (SSW). It is standing for election to the Bundestag for the first time in 2021. The SSW has a good chance of gaining a seat, because it is exempted from the 5 per cent clause as a protected minority. This means that the calculated average number of votes needed for a single mandate is sufficient for the party to be represented.”


https://www.deutschland.de/en/topic/politics/the-german-federal-election-facts-about-the-bundestag-and-electoral-law

The far-right party, the AfD, are shunned by all other parties (including the Christian Democrats and the Liberals).

German voters made very positive decisions about housing in Berlin elections


Voters in the German capital, Berlin, alongside casting ballots for the makeup of the new German parliament and for their local legislature, also took part in a referendum on whether to force large real estate companies to sell off most of their housing units.

With Berliners casting more votes in a day than the city ever had, there was chaos and delays at several polling stations. About 34,000 helpers were working at more than 2,250 polling stations across the city.

Therefore, final results on the nonbinding referendum are not expected until Monday.

After counting 27% of the ballots, a clear margin was already emerging: 56.9% had voted in favor and only 39% against the proposal.

“This is just an extrapolation, we won’t get the final results until tomorrow! But even this number shows that Berliners have had enough of speculation and mad rents,” the movement to expropriate Berlin housing corporations said on Twitter.

The measure required a simple majority to pass as well as a “yes” vote from at least a quarter of all eligible voters, but, even if it does pass, that would only force the incoming Berlin city-state government to debate the proposal.

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-berlin-locals-vote-to-expropriate-real-estate-giants/a-59315431

Die Linke (Left) suffered a significant electoral reverse. It gained 4.9% of the National vote, losing 4.3% compared with 2017. By comparison the SPD and the Greens gained 5.2% and 5.8% respectively. The big losers were the Christian Democrats (down 8.8%). The AfD Nazis also lost ground (down 2.3%). The free-market Liberals, the FDP, held their ground (up 0.7%).

Here is a Die Linke pre-election statement :

Janine Wissler, Chairperson of DIE LINKE party, declares on the occasion of the Global Climate Strike on 24 September 2021:

A supporter of die Linke chairperson Janine Wissler

“On Sunday, we are facing a General Election. The coming federal government will be the last one that still has a chance to prevent the worst in climate protection and still achieve the 1.5 degree target. As the Left, we say: stop the politics of lost time. In the last three years, the many committed people at Fridays for Future have ensured that society, politics and business can no longer ignore the climate issue. Their fight for climate justice is making history.
DIE LINKE stands in solidarity with the climate movement. We call on our members to participate in the climate strike! We have requested the recognition of the climate emergency in the German Bundestag and are on the ground with MPs as parliamentary observers at climate protests.
With an “Immediate Programme for Climate Justice”, we want to set the course for a change in climate policy after the Bundestag elections. Our goal is climate neutrality by 2035. The Left Party is the guarantor of consistent and socially just climate protection:
We want to complete the coal phase-out by 2030 at the latest and introduce compulsory solar on roofs. In addition, we want to expand wind power, for 100% renewable energies by 2035 at the latest.
For us, a socially just mobility transition means: We want to expand public transport and make it free of charge. Making Germany a rail country: Railways must become a real, low-cost alternative to cars and air travel. No more fossil combustion engines from 2030. A moratorium on new motorway construction and finally enforce a speed limit.
We want to push ahead with the ecological refurbishment of buildings by investing billions and protect tenants from burdens by abolishing the modernisation levy.”

on behalf of Antje Dieterich

Press Office DIE LINKE Party Executive Committee
Press spokesperson Matthias Hinze – office 030 24009-543 matthias.hinze@die-linke.de
Deputy Press Spokesperson Götz Lange – Office 030 24009-674 goetz.lange@die-linke.de
Deputy Press Spokesperson Antje Dieterich – Office 030 24009-544 antje.dieterich@die-linke.de

German comrades will have to deal politically with this interesting electoral result. John Meehan September 27 2021

Bombing will not go softly: on Andreas Malm’s ‘How to Blow Up a Pipeline’.

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[Guest post by Des Derwin]

I have written a long critical essay on Andreas Malm’s new ecosocialist book ‘How To Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire ’ (Verso, 2021).

It was written quite independently of Alan Thornett’s review on the Global Ecosocialist Network website, and before I had read it. It concurs with his review in almost every aspect, though his response is expressed more forcefully and briefly than mine. The exception is Alan’s enthusiasm for James Hansen’s fee and dividend proposal, which strikes me, at first glance, as less realistic than the ‘Just Transition’ demand. The paper is here:

https://www.academia.edu/45142728/Bombing_Will_Not_Go_Softly_On_Andreas_Malm_s_How_to_Blow_Up_a_Pipeline

For a European shutdown in solidarity from below against the pandemic – For a ZeroCoVid Policy in Ireland

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Irish Action – German Action – European Action – ZeroCoVid is the way forward.

Promote the Call

The CoVid-19 virus does not recognise borders. Sign Circulate and Promote this Zero CoVid Call :

The appeal says: “We need a common strategy in Europe immediately to fight the pandemic effectively. Vaccinations alone will not win the race against the mutated viral variant – even more so if the pandemic fight continues to consist of actionist restrictions on free time without a shutdown of the economy.” Similar initiatives emerged a few weeks ago in other countries, notably the UK and Ireland, see for example Zero Covid The Campaign to Beat the Pandemic or the article “Covid is a Class Issue”.

https://zero-covid.org/language/en/

Paul Murphy is a RISE TD for Dublin South-West, part of the Solidarity – People Before Profit grouping in the Dáil. See below, one of many articles written and circulated by Paul Murphy promoting a Zero CoVid policy for Ireland and further afield.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Anti-Capitalist Resistance” – Planned launch 🚀 of new anti-capitalist organisation in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 and Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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Some convergence on the radical left is occurring in England and Wales. https://www.timetomutiny.org/. https://socialistresistance.org/

Anti-Capitalist Resistance

INITIAL STATEMENT, INVITATION, & PROGRAMME

Anti-Capitalist Resistance

A Weekend School:
Saturday/Sunday 12/13 September 2020

The radical left faces major challenges following the defeat of Corbynism and the consolidation of a new Labour leadership under Starmer. We also face a resurgent far right following Brexit, an unprecedented economic crisis, and the existential threat of climate chaos. Many left organisations and activists, inside and outside the Labour Party, are uncertain of the way forward. This is a moment of reflection and potential realignment. We must learn the lessons of the past and apply them in creating new socialist organisation fit for purpose in the 21st century.

The aim of this weekend school is to analyse the political situation we face and to consider launching a new, united, anti-capitalist organisation in England and Wales. (The political situation in Scotland is very different, though we wish to work closely with Scottish anti-capitalist organisations.)

What we stand for

We seek revolutionary transformation to meet the compound crisis of ecological disaster, economic collapse, social decay, grotesque inequality, mass impoverishment, growing militarisation, and creeping authoritarianism.

• We are internationalists, ecosocialists, and anti-capitalist revolutionaries. We oppose imperialism, nationalism, militarism, racism, misogyny, and homophobia. We stand in solidarity with all the oppressed at home and abroad, and we support all struggles from below against the system.

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Left Greens in Ireland Organising Internally – and Saoirse McHugh Leaves calling for “an actual eco-socialist party”

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This is a rapidly moving story. Saoirse McHugh’s departure from the Green Party in Ireland is no surprise to readers of this blog :

https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/07/11/saoirse-mchugh-is-leaving-the-irish-green-party/

McHugh signed a “Just Transition Greens” (JTG) statement which did not address a key question : rejection of coalition with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael – actively opposing the current FFFGGG government. Active Opposition to the Maradkar-Ryan coalition is the accelerating direction of travel. Saoirse McHugh signed the the JTG statement, and has left the Green party. She directly calls on the JTG to break off from the Ryan-Greens and form “an actual eco-Socialist party”.

Saoirse McHugh – “Form an actual eco-socialist party”
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“Eamon Ryan’s sleep-in 💤 wasn’t a mortal sin” – Gene Kerrigan returns us to the Dublin Government’s real world – First on the agenda : gut low-paid workers

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Reviewing a week in the so-far short life of the Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green/Gombeen (FFFGGG) government readers may have missed some interesting details. Twenty mini-ministers are behaving worse than piglets at a trough. RTÉ News did not notice a connection between human events at the Dáil (Leinster House and the Convention Centre) – and piglet events at a midlands farm.

The village of Moyne in Co Longford is celebrating the arrival of 20 piglets to a first-time mother. The bumper delivery is believed to be one of the highest ever recorded in the area. https://www.rte.ie/news/leinster/2020/0718/1154128-piglets-longford/

Only 16 of the Longford piglets out of 20 can feed from the mother. Special arrangements are needed for the remaining four.

In Leinster House three piglet mini-ministers out of 20 are demanding improved feeding facilities – even though they slurp from the same source as their colleagues.

One of the Government’s immediate priorities will be to rush through legislation to ensure that each of the super-juniors will be entitled to an extra €16,288 a year on top of the junior rate. This is not a joke.

– Gene Kerrigan

16 Piglets in Longford offer ecological example to Leinster House mini-ministers (especially Greens)
Green Party Leader Éamon Ryan

Eamon Ryan’s sleep-in 💤 wasn’t a mortal sin. In another life, I spent many an hour crouched on the Dáil press gallery. It can be difficult to listen to that stuff and stay awake. Ryan was one of at least two TDs seen sleeping during Thursday’s proceedings. – Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan’s complete article, July 20 2020 :

Read the rest of this entry »

Open letter to left Greens: What next?

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Open letter to left Greens: What next?
— Read on www.letusrise.ie/featured-articles/open-letter-what-next

Greens on FFFGGG

Yes 1435 No 457

for political suicide 76%

against political suicide 24%

Saoirse McHugh Green Party Opponent of FFFGGG

Dear left activists in the Green Party,

Over the last week, Green Party members who opposed the Programme for Government waged an impressive fight against entering a right-wing coalition with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Unfortunately, with the assistance of an immense campaign by the media, and enormous pressure from the pro-coalition TDs, the Yes side has won. Tomorrow, Green TDs will become Ministers and begin to implement a neoliberal Programme for Government.

We appreciate that as we are not members of the Green Party, we don’t have the detailed understanding of the internal dynamics that you have. However, the decisions you make in the coming days can have a significant impact on the development of the left that we need. We therefore offer some ideas here, which hopefully you will find helpful while you discuss your next steps. Read the rest of this entry »

American Biden-Democrat “Hostility” to Trump – Not the same as “Opposition” – A Highly Recommended Article

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At times readers of online political commentary despair going through useless drudge that can be found on the internet. But if you keep at it, watch for sources you know are usually solid and reliable, you find excellent material. This article came to the attention of the Tomás Ó Flatharta blog via an FB friend Suzi Weissman.

https://www.kpfk.org/on-air/suzi-weissman/

It is a devastating, withering, attack on the Biden-Democrat “hostility” to the Trump administration – which is not the same as opposition. A stunning catastrophe looms now in the USA as the Trump Government “opens up” this land to the Covid-19 Monster at the Door of New York. Now, more than ever, the USA radical left must look towards the November 2020 General Election, and attempt to offer a credible alternative to the Evil Biden-Trump Tweedledee Monster. Shame on Bernie Sanders. The article concludes :

Bernie’s consistent criticism falls flat these days as he loyally signs on to the party consensus while trying to push additions and improvements. AOC is a lone voice in the wilderness daring to cast the occasional no vote.

What’s left are endangered and desperate people daring to walk off the job and appealing to their peers for support. We the people are on our own and must find our own way forward without waiting for leadership that doesn’t exist. By shedding illusions to the contrary, we open up new possibilities.

Hostility Is Not Enough – Resistance is Not Futile

An internal government document circulating in the United States projects a surge in coronavirus cases and a sharp rise in daily deaths by June 1, the New York Times reported, even as President Donald Trump urged states to lift restrictions in place to quell the pandemic.

The document, based on modelling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, projects that COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, will kill 3,000 Americans a day by the end of May, the Times said on Monday, up from a current daily toll about 2,000. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/model-projects-fold-increase-coronavirus-cases-200504185028572.html

Hostility Is Not the Same As Opposition – Resistance is Needed

There is hostility, which is not the same thing.

Opposition implies a critical analysis and an alternative program, that is, an examination of what is being done wrong, why this is so, and what should change. On all three points, the loudest non-Trump voices offer confusion, distraction, and hypocrisy, not leadership around which a movement could cohere.

What is wrong? Read the rest of this entry »

The Two Versions of Bernie Sanders

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This online exchange is between an American Correspondent Louis N Proyect and some of Louis’s online friends including David McDonald. It makes a lot of practical political sense to me. – John Meehan

“There are two versions of Bernie Sanders – There is the old Bernie Sanders who mounted a quixotic campaign for the Democratic Presidential Nomination as a Democratic Socialist who refused corporate cash and excoriated Democrats. And there is the new Bernie Sanders who dutifully plays by the party’s rules, courts billionaires, refused to speak out in support of the lawsuit brought against the DNC for rigging the primaries against him and endorses democratic candidates who espouse the economic and political positions he once denounced.

Sanders, although he knew by September 2016 that the process was rigged, said nothing to his supporters. He was tacitly complicit in the coverup. It was left to one of the architects of the fraud, Donna Brazile, to reveal the scam. But by then it was too late.

Sanders’ capitulation in the face of overwhelming evidence of the rigging of the nomination process was political and moral cowardice. He missed the historical moment, one that should have seen him denounce a corporate-dominated party elite and walk away to build a third party candidacy.

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A simple warning for the Green Party: don’t screw us on this

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Saoirse McHugh, a Green Party Candidate in the February 8 2020 Irish General Election, recommends this Carl Kinsella article opposing Green Party participation in a Fianna Fáil / Fine Gael Coalition Government.

Saoirse McHugh, Green Party, Mayo

http://saoirsemchugh.ie/

Hey, Green Party. This might sound crazy but… I’m from the future.

And I’m here to warn you that very bad things will happen if you accept Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil’s offer to enter government as their junior coalition partners. I’m talking lose all your seats, never-trusted-again, no-more-wolves-for-Eamon-Ryan bad.

But I accept that there are plenty of people, not just Mícheál, Leo and the lads, who are ramping up the pressure for ye to simply take the climate brief you want so badly and prop up the two boys until 2025.

Their arguments go like this: Ireland is in the midst of a crisis, therefore it needs a government. The Greens have the seats to plug the gap, therefore the junior coalition partner must be the Greens. The Greens are driven by the urgency of climate change above all else, therefore they should jump at this chance.

But you haven’t. Yet.

But if it makes so much damn sense, then why has this proposal remained in early negotiations, gathering criticism for the Green grassroots, rather than seeing a delighted Eamon Ryan skipping off into the sunset as the Tánaiste, or guaranteed a few spins on the rolling Taoiseach waltzer?

It’s simple: because some Greens know that what they want, including the demographics they need to keep onside, is not compatible with five more years of centre-right governance that prioritises profits, banks, big business and economic growth over saving the actual planet.

Long story short, I’m here to warn the Greens that if they go into government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, that’s it for them. Read the rest of this entry »