Notes from the front – of the week 14/1/2015

14th January 2015 Socialist Action 0

SYRIZA retains poll lead despite co-ordinated opposition campaign

SYRIZA has remained at the head of Greek opinion polls as the 25 January election moves closer, despite a concerted campaign by domestic and international representatives of big business to drive down its support. SYRIZA’s opinion poll lead has varied from 3 per cent to 8 per cent throughout this calendar year with no sign so far of it falling. 
Domestically within Greece the main tactic of the anti-SYRIZA campaign is to attack SYRIZA for ‘extremism’, while attempting to pretend that they are also anti-austerity but more ‘realistic’ and moderate than the leftist poll leader. This includes former Prime Minster Samaras and his right-wing New Democracy Party which now tries to pose as anti-austerity, as well as various centrist parties who claim the same mantle. This is failing miserably.

Notes from the front – of the week 7/1/2015

7th January 2015 Socialist Action 0

Victory to SYRIZA – Strike a blow against austerity

The snap Greek general election on 25th January poses the possibility that an explicitly anti-austerity political party may top the polls in a European election for the first time since the imposition of austerity across Europe in the wake of the 2007-8 financial crisis.

Notes from the front – of the week 18/12/2014

18th December 2014 Socialist Action 0

Abe’s fake ‘landslide’

The result of the snap election called by Japan’s premier Abe has been hailed as a thumping victory for his combination of right-wing nationalism and competitive devaluation of the yen, which has fallen 20 per cent against the US dollar since July and depreciated by nearly two-thirds since the beginning of 2012.

Notes from the front – of the week 9/12/2014

9th December 2014 Socialist Action 0

Jim Crow alive and well in the US

Tens of thousands took to the streets nationwide across the US in response to the exposure of the depth of the structural racism embedded in US society through the impunity with which the US state kills black people.

The movement on the streets, triggered by the grand jury decision in St Louis not to prosecute the police killer of Michael Brown, took on a new dynamic following a similar decision in the New York case of Eric Garner. In New York the guilty were let off despite video evidence that this unarmed black man was choked to death by a police officer.

Notes from the front – of the week 2/12/2014

2nd December 2014 Socialist Action 0

US and Saudi Arabia collude to use oil price fall against Russia

The dramatic fall in world oil prices – down to around $70 a barrel from $95 earlier this year – is already having a profound economic effect, particularly on countries that are reliant on oil and gas exports. Venezuela’s budget deficit is accelerating, Iran is under increased pressure, but the most dramatic impact so far has been in Russia.

Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter with oil and gas accounting for 70 per cent of all exports and half of government revenues. The combined impact of the oil price fall and Western sanctions in response to developments in Ukraine have led to a huge tumble in the value of the rouble, which has fallen by 36 per cent so far, falling 6 per cent in one day on Monday 1st December.

Notes from the front – of the week 25/11/2014

25th November 2014 Socialist Action 0

Ferguson – the ‘American dream’ is revealed as a nightmare

America’s post-crisis weak recovery has not led to any improvement in living standards particularly in its most impoverished and disenfranchised African American communities. On the contrary inequality has risen and in the most powerful country in the world its inner cities are riven with poverty and its communities criminalised. Facing growing disaffection the police have attempted to maintain control through increased use of violence and repression. After the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Fergusson, Missouri the response of the black community and progressives was that enough is enough. The grand jury decision not to charge the St Louis police officer who shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, will unleash another round of protest and struggle as the state is thrown back on violence alone and oppressed communities refuse to accept it and the deep-rooted racism that lies at its core.