By Najete Michell
Although the March elections in France were only at a local level, they took on a national character. They were the first elections since the Socialist Party (PS) formed the government in 2012 and were therefore the first opportunity to test the level of discontent at its record so far.
By Paul Roberts
The crisis in Ukraine is escalating. Unable to quell a growing protest movement against the February coup, the Kiev regime has mobilised army units to attack the people occupying government buildings in the cities across Ukraine’s east. Meanwhile, to deter the Russian Federation intervening to protect the pro-Russian population, imperialism is rapidly increasing its military deployments across the region.
The Western backed parliamentary coup in the Ukraine was a significant advance for the US-led project of advancing its sphere of influence and pushing Russia further back in Eastern Europe. The US’s goals in the country have nothing to do with greater self-determination for Ukraine and are all about bringing it under imperialist control. Moreover this objective is not new, but has been the long-term aim of the US since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, to which end, aided and abetted by the EU, it has been funding and orchestrating pro-Western movements and organisations in Ukraine.
By Frances Davis
The current failure to move forward on proposals which emerged from the 'Haass' talks in relation to the north of Ireland, as Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy recently pointed out, `go to the heart of the issues and difficulties involved in making political change and progress’.
The proposals which emerged from all-party talks chaired by US diplomats Richard Haass and Megan O’Sullivan, put forward reasonable and modest ways of dealing with the problematic issues of the past, contentious parades, the flying of flags and use of emblems. Resolving these issues is crucial to maintaining and progressing the Good Friday Agreement’s core principle of equality.
By Tom O’Donnell
Sinn Féin is hosting a conference in London on October 19 on the theme of Irish unity. It is a tremendous opportunity to hear and learn from the party leadership as it engages with a wide array of forces in the continued struggle against austerity, in defence of the Good Friday Agreement and for a united Ireland.
Book review by Najete Michell
La Laicite Falsifiée [State Secularism Falsified] by Jean Beauberot
The question of what is known as ‘laïcité’ has raised passions in French politics for more than a decade.
It was in the name of ‘laïcité’ that laws were passed first prohibiting the hijab in schools, then the niqab in the street. Both led to increased Islamophobia. And now this is extending to the consideration of new laws prohibiting children’s nannies and mothers accompanying their children on school trips from wearing the hijab.
By Nicky Dempsey
Repeated claims that the European crisis is over are entirely false. Among the countries whose creditors have been bailed out the Greek economy is expected to contract sharply again in 2013, the Portuguese centre-right coalition government has threatened to fall apart and Ireland, long touted as the model for a bail-out, has officially gone back into recession.
The by-election on 23rd June in Villeneuve sur Lot was a wake up call for the French political class. The second round run-off posed the question of whether the National Front candidate would win in the election for this Southern France parliamentary seat.
In the event, the NF candidate lost, but he nevertheless got 46 per cent of the vote in the run off against the UMP, apparently getting 7,000 more votes than in the first round, although the exact figures have yet to be released.
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Previous publications (PDF):
Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East, pamphlet
Unite to fight the Tory attacks, leaflet
Investment not cuts, leaflet
Drop cuts not bombs, leaflet