Monthly Archives: June 2009

The Michelin File: Drive to empire

Michelin Usine

Michelin rubber plantation in Vietnam, circa 1930 | Photo from Francois Dennis Fieve’s website, History of French Rubber Plantations (http://belleindochine.free.fr/Caoutchouc.htm)

Seventh in a series of articles on the Nova Scotian elections by TONY SEED*

THE MEDIA DISCOURSE around Michelin promotes that the “average” salary at a Michelin factory in Nova Scotia is $49,000, a product of a “union-free environment.” This disinformation aims to hide the source of wealth, the exploitation of labour in America and the super-exploitation of plantation workers in Brazil and Indo China or that it is Nova Scotian labour which contributed to creating the material base of modern productive capacity, whose fruits are controlled by a predatory French multinational. Continue reading

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Filed under No Harbour for War, Nova Scotia Government, Working Class

The Michelin File: Michelin’s ‘exemplary citizenship’

Sixth in a series of articles on the Nova Scotia elections by TONY SEED*

Michelin threat advertisement

NOVA SCOTIA NDP leader Darrell Dexter, to whom the polls have ascribed victory in the June 9 provincial election, has stressed that Michelin Tires Manufacturing of Canada, a subsidiary of the world’s leading tire monopoly that controls 20 per cent of the world market, has been “a good corporate citizen in this province.”

The statement does not represent any change in NDP policy as some media want to divert. In an address to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce on February 12, he went even further in his accolade: Continue reading

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The Michelin File: No more deals – Nova Scotians must reject the politics of ‘pragmatism’

Fifth in a series of articles on the Nova Scotia elections*

By ENA BOUTILIER and TONY SEED

110501-OttawaMayDay-32cropAT A RECENT campaign stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia MLA – and prospective Premier – Darrell Dexter proclaimed that, if elected, his NDP government will not repeal the anti-labour “Michelin Bill” of 1979. “I have no interest in fighting battles that happened 30 years ago,” he said on May 11. Far from contesting ancient history, Mr. Dexter has declared that his Nova Scotia will fight to remain an open shop for the exploitation and plunder of the province by monopoly capital, for monopoly right, for militarizaton and for annexation to the United States through such projects as the Atlantic Gateway. Continue reading

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Nova Scotia election and the Bard Dan Alec MacDonald – ‘tonight, she walks the streets with Yankees’

Fourth in a series of articles on the 2009 Nova Scotian elections by TONY SEED*

LOOKING at how the establishment parties – the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP – are behaving towards the people of Nova Scotia, one is reminded of the bard Dan Alec MacDonald of Framboise, best known for composing “Song to Cape Breton” (Òran Do Cheap Breatainn – the island’s “national anthem”).

MacDonald family monument: “Because of their vision, we have been able to see farther.”

MacDonald family monument: “Because of their vision, we have been able to see farther.”

The famous composer expressed his displeasure with the quality, content and direction of change in “Oh, How the Place is Changing”: “once, we rode on horses with saddles and with reins to pull us along… nowadays everyone is in too much of a hurry for that; they’re busy yelling and pushing. Today, if you get sick, they’ll take you away in the airplane right up into the sky, which is not a very nice place to be.” Continue reading

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‘Real Life’: Democracy 251 and ‘devotion’ to ‘a mature democracy’

Third in a series of articles on the Nova Scotian elections by TONY SEED*

ElectionIncubatorCartoon“IT’S important that everyone vote,” the three Nova Scotian party leaders repeated as one in their closing remarks in the Leader’s Debate on May 19.

In this, the second “great debate,” the three leaders were asked to address the decline in voter participation. Tories, Liberals and New Democrats joined together to blame the people. It is noteworthy that not a single leader advanced any substantive proposals for democratic renewal. For these individuals, Nova Scotia represented the best system in the world. Incumbent premier Rodney MacDonald touted the great work of the multi-party Democracy 250 project amongst youth in promoting Nova Scotia as the self-styled home of “responsible government” going back to 1758. For his part, NDP leader Darrell Dexter blamed the fact that the assembly had only been convened for a grand total of thirteen days in 2008 for “people not buying in”; his government would make people “buy in.” Continue reading

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Atlantic Gateway: The politics of pragmatism and the elephant in the room

Second in a series of articles on the Nova Scotian elections by TONY SEED*

THE Nova Scotia NDP has won unprecedented accolades in the 2009 provincial election from the private and public monopoly media for its “pragmatism” and “measured policies.” Pragmatism worships the absence of principles. If something works in the interests of the status quo, it must be applauded, applied and fought for. The Nova Scotia NDP has taken the vow that “the end justifies the means.” Continue reading

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Nova Scotia elections 2009 – There is an alternative!

First of a series on the Nova Scotia elections by TONY SEED

Nova Scotia Elections 2009
Nova Scotia elections 2009 – There is an alternative!
• Atlantic Gateway: the politics of pragmatism and the elephant in the room
‘Real Life’: Democracy 251 and the ‘devotion’ to ‘a mature democracy’
• The Nova Scotia election and the bard Dan Alec MacDonald — ‘tonight, she walks the streets with Yankees’
• The Michelin File: No more deals — Nova Scotians must reject the politics of ‘pragmatism’
The Michelin File: Michelin’s ‘exemplary citizenship’
• The Michelin File: Drive to empire

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ON MAY 4, Nova Scotia’s opposition parties defeated the MacDonald government’s finance bill. The defeat was quickly followed by the fall of the minority Conservative government, and the setting of a provincial election date for June 9. The bill proposed an amendment to the Provincial Finance Act which would have allowed a portion of the $830 million dollars from the so-called Atlantic Accord to be used for purposes other than financing the province’s $12 billion dollar debt, the highest per capita debt in Canada (much of which is held by private Wall Street financial interests), on which Nova Scotians now pay an annual interest of nine hundred million dollars. Both the NDP and Liberal parties accused the MacDonald government – which forecast a surplus of $4 million for 2009-10 – of using money from the Atlantic Accord to cover up the deficit. For its part, the MacDonald government claimed that no alternative source of funding was available to live up to the cost of the programs and services tabled in the bill. His cabinet then exercised special spending powers through orders-in-council to expend $130 million for paving and building projects under the pretext of “stimulus.” Continue reading

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