Hopkins on the gilets jaunes

13 Dec

No, not Katie but C J, the Hopkins who writes wickedly satiric pieces in CounterPunch. Try his t-in-c denunciation of the League of Assad loving conspiracists … of those crypto-fascists who fail to see verbal attacks on global elites and banks as clearly antisemitic … above all of those who must have slept through that golden age before good ol’ peace-loving US of A got itself hijacked by nasty Donaldo to upset an apple-cart Hillary had paid for in advance and was hers by right.

Be warned, though. Unlike Katie, whose so-dreadful-she’s-funny  charm soon palls, CJ is as addictive as crack cocaine.

Now he’s turned his attention on events in France, and again I must warn you. Read his OffGuardian piece today, on the indiscreet charm of the gilets jaunes, and you’ll have to carry the burden of knowing more than a month of Graun, WashPo and Beeb outpourings on the subject would have weighed you down with.


One comment below CJ’s piece, by tutisicecream, sets out the yellow vest demands. Given the grass roots, forest fire spontaneity of the protests, I take tuti’s list to be a kind of superset, each demand having been made by at least some of the jaunes gilets. Whatever, it’s a great list:

• A constitutional cap on taxes – at 25%
• Increase of 40% in the basic pension and social welfare
• Increase hiring in public sector to re-establish public services
• Massive construction projects to house 5 million homeless, and severe penalties for mayors/prefectures that leave people on the streets
• Break up the ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks, re-separate regular banking from investment banking
• Cancel debts accrued through usurious rates of interest

• Constitutional amendments to protect the people’s interests, including binding referenda
• The barring of lobby groups and vested interests from political decision-making
• Frexit: Leave the EU to regain our economic, monetary and political sovereignty (In other words, respect the 2005 referendum result, when France voted against the EU Constitution Treaty, which was then renamed the Lisbon Treaty, and the French people ignored)
• Clampdown on tax evasion by the ultra-rich
• The immediate cessation of privatization, and the re-nationalization of public goods like motorways, airports, rail, etc
• Remove all ideology from the ministry of education, ending all destructive education techniques
• Quadruple the budget for law and order and put time-limits on judicial procedures. Make access to the justice system available for all
• Break up media monopolies and end their interference in politics. Make media accessible to citizens and guarantee a plurality of opinions. End editorial propaganda
• Guarantee citizens’ liberty by including in the constitution a complete prohibition on state interference in their decisions concerning education, health and family matters

• No more ‘planned obsolescence’ – Mandate guarantee from producers that their products will last 10 years, and that spare parts will be available during that period
• Ban plastic bottles and other polluting packaging
• Weaken the influence of big pharma on health in general and hospitals in particular
• Ban on GMO crops, carcinogenic pesticides, endocrine disruptors and monocrops
• Reindustrialize France (thereby reducing imports and thus pollution)

Foreign Affairs
• End France’s participation in foreign wars of aggression, and exit from NATO
• Cease pillaging and interfering – politically and militarily – in ‘Francafrique’, which keeps Africa poor. Immediately repatriate all French soldiers. Establish relations with African states on an equal peer-to-peer basis
• Prevent migratory flows that cannot be accommodated or integrated, given the profound civilizational crisis we are experiencing
• Scrupulously respect international law and the treaties we have signed

5 Replies to “Hopkins on the gilets jaunes

  1. Hopkins just gets better and better.
    I haven’t heard anyone try to factor in popular unrest in France into the Brexit plane crash (not that I have been looking too closely).
    Guardianistas and Novarans seem to be talking in a future tense, but one that does not recognise the likelihood of huge ongoing disruption accross the continent as Neoliberalism segues into totalitarianism/ anarchy.
    I predict that we will eventually ‘Remain’, just in time for the whole EU project to implode upon itself. That would be fitting I think.

    • Hopkins does indeed get better and better, though my personal favourite is a relative oldie: the Putin Nazis.

      I agree too with your closing sentences. I voted Remain, with peg on nose and for reasons given here, but loathe the class disdain, thinly disguised or nakedly on show, heaped on Brexiteers by so many who voted as I did. (Pretty much the same crew CJ spears with such withering accuracy.) But I wouldn’t preclude voting otherwise if a solidly internationalist case – as opposed to the faux internationalism of Remainers – were made, with a clear and convincing strategy for ensuring workers gained, and the (strong) case against the EU disentangled from racism and xenophobia. Both those conditions require a loud and clear voice from the left. Alas, the issue’s toxicity for the tories has dominated public understanding for so many decades that the left case has barely featured. It was this reality that had me reject the Lexiteers. Their understanding of core issues was vastly superior to that of most Remainers (and of course most Brexiteers) but could they (SWP and splinterette escapees from the WRP implosion) convince me they had a strategy whereby workers would gain from Brexit? Could they buggery!

      • PS I forgot to mention but Ed Curtin emailed yesterday to point out that CJH and CounterPunch have parted company under acrimonious circs. That’s a toughie. Though CounterPunch runs not a few weak pieces that could easily have featured in Graun or WashPo, and mystifyingly seems always to find space for Louis Proyect, it continues to provide excellent output from such as Michael Hudson, Gary Leupp and many others – including, recently, some geezer going by the name of Philip Roddis.

        Shame then – and I mean shame in the sense of it’s a pity, not of apportioning blame – to see Hopkins follow stalwart Diana Johnstone and her brilliant namesake, Caitlin Johnstone, into a bitter war of words with the biggest platform on the international left.

        • I read the email exchanges on that one. Largely about platforms like Unz review putting up Hopkins’ work (alongside some overtly racist articles) – that and a muddled communication about publication dates/ priorities.

          Can’t say that I have read CP for a while to be honest, though I agree they have published some excellent reads in the past.

          There is, I think, a huge, unspeakable controversy behind all this, one that concerns the changing acceptable limits of debate in current times, and one that I am not comfortable expressing my view of.

      • Didn’t vote for the very same reasoning as your nose peg.
        I do think that some speculation about the likely future is probably in order in terms of : Lexit would certainly be a national disaster in the short to medium term, but Remain……
        ….well they got EU flags on the armoured vehicles in Paris right now.

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