Stunning victory for Podemos
The local and regional elections held in the Spanish state were a victory for the anti-austerity political insurgents of Podemos and its allies and a defeat for the ruling Partido Popular (PP). This is an important breakthrough ahead of national elections to be held later this year and is a significant boost to the anti-austerity forces across, especially Syriza in Greece.
The outcome of the British election produced a collapse of the classic ‘centrist vote’ represented by the Liberal Democrats and a polarisation to both the right and the left of the mainstream political parties. This is a new situation as the new formations on the right and on the left are substantial and are a significant factor on the changed political scene.
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 Ian Richardson
The People's Assembly Against Austerity is organising a major national demonstration on June 20 under the headline title End Austerity Now. For the left both inside and outside the Labour Party, and all those who wish to resist the massive attacks to come from the newly elected Conservative Government in the years ahead, building this demonstration must be our immediate priority.
By Michael Burke
The outcome of the 2015 general election was a tactical triumph for David Cameron but it was achieved by destroying his own political allies the LibDems. For Labour this was a huge missed opportunity. There is now a Tory Prime Minister with a majority in Parliament with the lowest share of the popular vote ever, who presided over the longest decline in living standards, yet Labour lost seats. The rise of the SNP, the other big winner from the election, being due to the greater distance it places between itself and Tory policies.
By Paul Roberts
There is no significant electoral threat to Labour from UKIP. The real danger arises from adaption to its politics.
The balance of support of Britain’s political parties, confirmed by opinion polls and actual voting, including last week’s Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election, indicates Labour remains on course to become the largest party at next year’s general election. This is being achieved on the back of divisions on the right between the Tories and UKIP plus disgust at Lib Dem acquiescence with the Tories.
By Jane West
This coming weekend the Women's Assembly Against Austerity will gather in London to discuss the impact of austerity specifically on women. The event is organised under the auspices of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and speakers will include representative from various unions as well as the TUC, women campaigners and activists, researchers and experts. It will be an unmissable opportunity for women in the movement to get together to get the facts and co-ordinate the fight-back. You can register here.
The Tory party is failing to even keep the few women it got elected to parliament in 2010. Amongst retiring MPs, Tory women on average only remain in parliament one fifth of the time of Labour women.
The Centre for Women & Democracy analysis of MP retirement rates (read here) reveals that:
Having recouped the setbacks it experienced in the Middle East in 2011/12, imperialism has now hit some problems. These have largely arisen because imperialism, facing obstacles in the form of the Russia-China veto in the UN, the failure of Britain to back a military strike against Syria and pressures on its own military budgets, has relied on proxy military forces, including al-Qaeda inspired groups, to pursue its campaign to overthrow Assad. These now pose a threat to the West.
As part of a campaign launched by Venezuela’s extreme right-wing opposition leaders, which they have called La Salida (The Ousting), groups of violent Venezuelan opposition thugs launched a wave of violent street disturbances in various parts of Venezuela on Wednesday 12 February. Tragically this has resulted in the death of at least two people with the authorities reporting that 23 people were also injured.
By Jennifer Nash
Last week students from more than 50 campuses took part in the Student Assembly Against Austerity’s national week of action to halt the government’s plans to sell off the student loan book to private companies.
By Nicky Dempsey
Hundreds of militant activists and trade unionists gathered in central London to oppose concerted efforts to curb the power of the trade union movement. The People’s Assembly Against Austerity brought together a series of campaigning organisations, grassroots activists and union members to rally in support of ‘Hands off our unions’.
By Bridget Robertson
The recent floods across the south west, which are set to spread this week further across the country, highlight the urgent need to both prepare for and do to everything possible to avert climate change.
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.
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