By Frances Davis
In the north of Ireland the election was dominated by two factors: the economic situation and austerity; and the political and peace process. Sinn Fein have been at the sharp end of the fight against austerity and in resisting Tory welfare `reform’ cuts from being implemented in the six counties. They have also been in an on-going struggle to defend the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement against an anti-agreement offensive of unionism and the Tory-led government, which has attempted to stall and roll back progress.
By Najete Michell
The results of the French départemental elections on 29 March were a devastating defeat for French President, Hollande’s Socialist Party (SP) government and a clear rejection of austerity policies.
Watch the video here of the launch of Sinn Féin's People's Pact at Belfast Castle on 30 March.
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD points out that Sinn Féin's progressive politics is the only alternative to austerity.
7pm Monday 9 February
Jubilee room, YMCA Indian Student Hostel 41 Fitzroy Square London W1T 6AQNearby Tube Stations: Warren St, Goodge St and Gt Portland St
Following Syriza's victory in the Greek elections far wider forces than socialists are supporting the new Greek government's calls for renegotiation of Greece's debt - for example the Jubilee Debt Campaign. Before the election letters to the Financial Times and Guardian by leading economists supported this. The following article analysing the the situation after Syriza's victory appeared on Socialist Economic Bulletin by socialist economists Michael Burke and John Ross.
This interview with a member of Borotba, a Ukrainian left-wing organisation, analyses the situation of the left in the east of Ukraine in the 'Peoples Republics'. It points up the role of Russia in holding back any developments to the left, including blocking the recently refounded Communist Party in east Ukraine from standing in the elections held in October precisely because it has mass support and would probably have won. However, it should also be noted that it is only the pressure from Russia that forced Kiev to agree the ceasefire that significantly reduced the bombardment of eastern cities. The article was previously published on the website of Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine.
By Jude Woodward
In the wake of the grotesque and vile attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which left 12 innocents dead, there has been an understandable rush to not only condemn the attack but to gather under the principle of the "defence of freedom of speech".
Large demonstrations in Paris have taken up the slogan "Je suis Charlie” to express their defiance at attempts to intimidate journalists into silence.
By Bob Clarke
The political impact of the economic crisis in Europe has entered a new phase. When the economy was contracting virtually all parties implementing austerity policies were thrown out of office or at least experienced a large drop in their support. In the more recent period of economic stagnation, the same economic policies have the effect of shifting the burden of the crisis onto workers and the poor while capital benefits, boosting the incomes of the very rich and allied layers.
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