By Jane West
No one should underestimate the depth of the crisis now confronting the Tory Party, which has snow-balled from the moment in January that Cameron conceded to the Eurosceptic wing of his party and made a pledge for an in-out referendum on Europe if the Tories won in 2015.
This was an enormous miscalculation, undoing all the work that Cameron had done in turning the Tory Party towards the centreground in British politics with his mantra that ‘banging on’ about Europe had alienated the voters.
The murderous attack on a soldier in Woolwich yesterday was horrifying, and nothing justifies such a vile act. The only response that is appropriate – apart from expressing sympathy for the victim’s family and friends – is to isolate the approach of the perpetrators and for communities to stand together in condemnation of this attack, as Ken Livingstone spells out in the article we reproduce below.
By Paul Roberts
Syrian government forces are currently fighting in an important battle to retake control of Qusair, a town between Homs and the Lebanese border.
The government has over recent weeks broken the stalemate and developed impetus behind a series of military and political advances. If this momentum persists imperialism’s offensive will be significantly weakened. Hence it is determined to halt Syria’s current progress, so Israel has increased its direct attacks on Syria and there is a renewed drive for stepped up support to the opposition guerrilla forces.
by Nicky Dempsey
Thousands marched in London yesterday (Saturday May 18) in defence of the NHS.
By Paul Lewis
There can be few more compelling pieces of evidence of capitalism's redundancy as a vehicle for human progress than the news that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose above four hundred parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history last week.
It can hardly have escaped even the most committed Wagnerphobe that this year is a centenary celebration.
Alongside concert performances of all his major operas at the Proms, radio and TV broadcasts there are countless assessments of his life, politics, opinions and their relationship to his work.
The near-unanimous support for austerity policies in the ruling classes of the main capitalist powers is showing signs of strain. This is not because there is some recognition of the social and economic damage from the crisis, nor because of the valiant level of social resistance in some countries, or even because of the entry of populist and other unpredictable parties of the right.
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 re-election of Obama as US President rather than a right-wing creationist Republican in hock to the Tea Party movement has naturally pleased progressive opinion in the West.
But the truth is, whichever candidate had won there would be little change, and the indifference to the result reported on the streets of Islamabad, and the coolness of response in China, are a far more accurate response.
1.30pm – 4pm
Saturday 31 March
Outside the US EmbassyGrosvenor SquareLondon W1A 1AE
On Facebook here
By Jane West
Following the mass protest on the weekend of 1st/2nd October, hundreds of primarily young people remain camped out in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park under the slogan of ‘Occupy Wall Street’, and calling for action against the banks to alleviate poverty and unemployment.
While the precise demands of the protests are vague and varied, there is no doubt about the overall character of the mobilisations – they reject that the American people should be forced to pay for an economic crisis made on Wall Street.
The mobilisations in Wisconsin in response to Republican proposals to strip public sector workers of collective negotiating rights indicate that the US working class may just be beginning to stir from the slumber that has gripped it through three decades of assault on its living standards.
A demonstration held on Saturday 12th March after the Republicans found a way to force their legislation through despite the Democrats’ blocking tactics saw a demonstration up to 100,000. Initial large protests were further galvanised by the decision of the Democrat members of the state legislature to render the body inquorate and absent themselves. In order not to be subject to subpoena they had to go outside the borders of the state.
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