Cuts, socialists and international politics in Europe

24th January 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Bryan Connor

During the international financial crisis US imperialism has succeeded in striking further blows against its European and Japanese capitalist competitors. Data on the US economy to be published later this week will probably show US GDP has regained its pre-crisis level. That means an average zero percent US growth for three years – a terrible performance. But Japanese and European production are even worse, remaining below their previous levels four years into the crisis. The US, however, has been pursuing policies that worsen the economic position of its European and Japanese competitors – pushing Japan to engage in confrontational policies with its largest trading partner, China, and in Europe both cheering on every step of belt tightening in countries such as Greece and Ireland and trying to break up the Euro.

Photo: Wassim Ben Rhouma

Support the Tunisian revolution

19th January 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Andrew Williams

The uprising

The mass uprising in Tunisia which overthrew the hated Ben Ali regime has inspired protests across the Arab world. The struggle now unfolding in Tunisia turns around whether the ruling class can reimpose the old regime, with a few very limited concessions to the masses, or whether the mass movement is able to push things further and impose more radical changes.

Whatever the outcome of this struggle, the mass movement in Tunisia has showed a truly tenacious willingness to mobilise and fight, despite armed repression. This demonstrates the continuing capacity for struggle across the semicolonial world, and has sent shock waves through right-wing regimes world-wide, especially in the Maghreb and Middle East.

National Demonstration, Dublin, Ireland, 27th November 2010

Sinn Féin’s electoral advance

9th December 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

National Demonstration, Dublin, Ireland, 27th November 2010

Photo lusciousblopster

Sinn Féin’s stunning victory in the Donegal South West parliamentary by-election on 25 November represents a huge advance in what was the first electoral test for the Dublin government since the sharp deepening of the state’s economic crisis. Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty saw his party’s vote soar from 21 per cent at the last general election in 2007 to 40 per cent of first preference votes. In a reversal of previous showings, Sinn Féin also won an increasing share of the transfers from the eliminated candidates.

Lisbon Protest

Portuguese general strike

26th November 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Nicky Dempsey

Lisbon Protest

Photo NunoRibeiro

The Portuguese general strike on November 24th registered a major increase in the response of the working class and its allies against the attacks on social welfare, pay and jobs. The government claim that there was only 30% support for the strike in the public, and even less in the private sector was widely derided.

Political response to economic crisis in Ireland

10th November 2010 Socialist Action 0

Sinn Féin offers a better way

By Nicky Dempsey

Sinn Féin has published its response to the Dublin government’s threatened plans to cut public spending once more in its Budget for 2011, There Is A Better Way. The Fianna Fail/ Green coalition in government has outlined planned further cuts totalling €6bn in both capital and current spending, including welfare payments to the poor. This would bring the total level of ‘fiscal tightening’ to €20.6bn since the end of 2008, which is now equivalent to 13.1% of GDP. For comparison the British government’s current plans – among the most draconian of any major European country – amount to 9.2% of GDP.

Dilma election poster

Two trends in world politics

5th November 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Jane West

Dilma election poster

Photo WavesDream

The recent results of the elections in Brazil and the USA highlight two divergent trends in world politics. Trends in the countries dominated by imperialism continue to go to or remain on the left. Since the outbreak of the international financial crisis political trends within the imperialist countries have moved to the right.