by Nicky Dempsey
Thousands marched in London yesterday (Saturday May 18) in defence of the NHS.
By Jane West
The results of the local elections were above all a devastating blow to the Tories.
But while they confirm Labour is on course for a win at the 2015 General Election, this at present is not due to a significant turn to the left in the population.
By Nicky Dempsey
The growing recognition that the 2015 election is Labour’s to lose has led to increasing rightwing pressures on the Labour leadership to maintain the essential thrust of ‘austerity’ policy.
The overwhelmingly Tory press focuses on the demand that Ed Miliband in particular commits to maintaining Tory spending plans.
Recent weeks have seen a clear up-tick in the struggle against austerity in Britain.
The nationwide response to the Bedroom Tax, a number of very significant demonstrations against hospital closures, a jump in size of pickets and protests called against other local cuts and the decisions by NUT/NASUWT to call a series of one day strikes are among the evidence for this. The movement against austerity and the cuts has begun to move up a gear for the first time since the student struggles of late 2010 and the 2011/12 pensions’ actions.
The death of Margaret Thatcher is being shamelessly exploited by her Tory successors, including by awarding her an entirely inappropriate national funeral. This is all in the service of presenting the most divisive British Prime Minister of the 20th century as the most successful post-Churchill Tory leader, an electoral wizard, a paragon of statesmanship, the flame-bearer of liberty and ‘freedom’, a feminist icon and an innovative policy maker.
None are true.
The struggle against austerity in Britain has moved up a gear.
The recent anti-bedroom tax protests were very broad-based geographically and in layers of support. The campaigns against local hospital closures are also gaining widespread support and are increasingly coordinated.
In the furore over the Tories’ retreat on the Leveson enquiry one thing is clear: the Tories are bound hand and foot to the media moguls that own Fleet St and the pundits and hacks that do their bidding.
The one thing it is not about is ‘press freedom’, thrown about hysterically in recent days by those defending the absolute right of the media to decide for itself what level of lying, prying and spying should be deemed acceptable.
The People’s Assembly Against Austerity has been called for 22 June. It is an important initiative to take steps to bring together a national movement against austerity.
By Jane West and Nicky Dempsey
The crisis in the SWP has provoked a discussion including everything from prurient gossip and snide sectarianism to serious political analysis. For those interested in advancing the cause of socialism a potentially disintegrative crisis in the numerically largest current of the British far left is a serious matter, therefore worthy of serious comment.
There are really two issues involved. First, why this crisis in the SWP has developed. Second why the capitalist media, who are implacable enemies of anything progressive, have decided to take such an interest in the matter. As will be seen the two issues are very different.
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