By Martine Dwyer
Last Sunday’s Venezuela elections resulted in a convincing win for the Maduro-led Chavista party the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) confounding the hopes of the right and their US backers and vastly strengthening the position of Maduro after his narrow win by 1.5 per cent in April.
By Jane West
The decision by Yingluck Shinawatra to call a snap election in Thailand in response to a determined attempt by the right to overturn her democratically elected government is a high risk strategy, despite the fact that her party would almost certainly win in any fair election. The right-wing monarchical elites and the army in Thailand know they cannot win in a free election and so are looking for an opportunity to delegitimise or distort the electoral process and impose an army or so-called technocratic ‘people’s council’ government instead.
By Tom Castle
Nelson Mandela is a hero to all those who have struggled for freedom, for black liberation and for revolutionaries the world over. He was hounded and imprisoned for almost half a lifetime by the apartheid regime, in close collaboration with the imperialist powers led by the US and Britain. In death he is rightly receive tributes from across the world, even including entirely hypocritical ones from the likes of Obama and Cameron.
Every socialist and progressive person will mourn today for the loss of Nelson Mandela.
The struggle he waged was against the greatest inhumanity to afflict the post-war world: the existence of a state where black people were treated as little more than cattle, racially segregated in every aspect of life, confined by pass laws, forcibly removed from traditional homelands, imprisoned, beaten and often killed, denied any democratic voice, banned from protest, forbidden to marry as they chose, under-educated through the ‘Bantu education’ system, subject to discriminatory taxes and denied South African citizenship including the right to a passport.
By Bridget Robertson
Rising energy bills mean that a quarter of the population of Britain now has to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on energy, at the same time as energy company profits have increased by 77 per cent in one year alone.
This has meant thousands of households are being forced to choose between heating and eating as the Tory assault on living standards takes its toll. However, for the vulnerable the consequences are even more serious. Last winter 31 000 people died prematurely, with around a third of those deaths attributable to living in a cold home.
By Nicky Dempsey
The battle over austerity is moving into a new phase. Encouraged by talk of recovery a number of disputes have broken out across a wide variety of sectors, on pay, jobs, pensions and against privatisation.
The decision of the United States to fly two B-52 bombers unannounced through Chinese strategic airspace was nothing less than a calculated, and extremely dangerous, act of aggression against China, further whipping up tensions in the East China Sea.
The B-52 fly-through was directly aimed at toughening up Japan’s stance vis-a-vis China. Two Japanese airlines that had previously agreed to inform China of flights over the disputed Diaoyu islands withdrew this agreement following the US action.
The remarks by former Labour Home Secretary, David Blunkett, alleging that the ‘behaviour’ of incoming Roma migrants in Sheffield could lead to violent inter-community clashes and even riots have been seized on to whip up a further round of racism and anti-immigrant scape-goating.
By Jennifer Nash
On Saturday 150 students from more than 50 campuses attended the Student Assembly Against Austerity to discuss ideas and actions to take forward the struggle against austerity nationally and on campuses. Upbeat, energetic, optimistic – students are ready for action against austerity and to play our part in the upturn of struggle.
The event was one of the biggest gatherings of the student anti-austerity movement since the height of the student fight back against tripling tuition fees and the scrapping of EMA in 2010.
Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East
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.
By Lisa-Jane Green
A reactionary campaign against abortion rights has recently been whipped up by senior Tories. Backbencher Nadine Dorries MP secured a debate on reducing the abortion time limit from 24 to 22 weeks, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt re-stated his support for a reduction in the abortion time limit to 12 weeks (in an interview with The Times [paywall]) and Minister for Women and Equalities Maria Miller stated her support for a cut to the 20 week mark.
By Paul Roberts
While the struggle inside Syria appears at present to be in stalemate, the growing threat to regional stability posed by the ramifications of the conflict is beginning to unsettle the imperialists and their regional allies.
Sinn Féin has recently launched a public initiative on the need for a process of national reconciliation in Ireland.Addressing a meeting in the Houses of Commons on 24 October Sinn Féin chairperson, Declan Kearney explained the initiative. His speech included the following points:
By Jane West
The recent visits by the leader of the opposition and two members of the Japanese cabinet to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo solidifies a lurch to the nationalist right in Japanese politics.
Irish Senator Kathryn Reilly addressed the Progressive Students Conference on 13 October. Her speech, setting out Sinn Féin’s alternative to austerity, included the following points:
National reconciliation in Ireland - the need for uncomfortable conversations
7pm Wednesday 24 OctoberGrand Committee Room House of Commons London
Mobilise for this Saturday's TUC march 'for a future that works'.Oppose the government's austerity policies.
By Nicky Dempsey and Jane West
The media consensus on the assessment of both the Labour and Tory conferences indicates a growing acceptance of the political consequences of what the polls are showing – that Labour looks set to win the next General Election or at worst be the largest party, and this will occur under Ed Miliband’s leadership.
Despite the best efforts of the US and its allies, and the vain hopes of the Western media, Hugo Chávez comprehensively won Sunday’s Venezuelan presidential election with 54.42% of the vote against 44.97% for the opposition.
Chávez gained a record 8.1 million votes compared to 6.5 for the opposition in an election with one of the highest ever turnouts in a Venezuelan election.
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Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East by Socialist_Action
Colour leaflet, PDF 350KB
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