The following article by Barry Gray, on Labour’s response to UKIP’s rise, originally appeared on Left Futures.
In the wake of UKIP's electoral advance, both at this year's General Election and last year's European Parliament election, the Labour Party has come under growing pressure, from inside and outside its own ranks, to adapt to UKIP’s anti-immigrant and English nationalist agenda.
By Paul Lewis
The central thesis of Naomi Klein's 'This Changes Everything' is that unless we ditch neo-liberal capitalism it won't be possible to preserve a climate that can sustain human civilisation:
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 Europe, 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 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.
By Jane West
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 following article by John Ross evaluates China’s contribution to the reduction of human poverty. It previously appeared at Socialist Economic Bulletin.
In 2010 Professor Danny Quah, of the London School of Economics, noted: 'In the last 3 decades, China alone has lifted more people out of extreme poverty than the rest of the world combined. Indeed, China’s ($1/day) poverty reduction of 627 million from 1981 to 2005 exceeds the total global economy’s decline in its extremely poor from 1.9 billion to 1.4 billion over the same period.' The aim of this article is to analyse the situation taking data published three years after Quah's analysis; look at the trends not only of extreme poverty, which the World Bank calculates using expenditure of $1.25 a day or less; examine a slightly wider poverty definition ($2 a day expenditure), and compare the trends in other regions of the world economy.
By Paul Roberts
Since using Party conference to shift the campaign agenda to defending ordinary peoples’ living standards, Labour’s support has risen in the polls, party activists have been invigorated and within sections of Labour’s ranks a discussion on alternatives to austerity has opened up.
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 Christina Prentice
Cameron’s attempt to regain the political agenda over the cost of living crisis by pledging to “roll back green charges” on energy bills was not only cynical but damaging and should be actively opposed.
Cynical because Cameron knows that green and social investment to insulate the leaky homes of older people and people in fuel poverty are not the main drivers of energy bill hikes - gas prices and super profits are. In the last eight years, energy bills have risen by £520. The Committee on Climate Change says that the vast majority of this has been because of the rising price of gas. Low carbon technologies have added just £30 in that time.
In the wake of the devastating typhoon that hit the Philippines last week the US is moving to re-establish its military presence in its former colony.
by Paul Taylor Yesterday’s Labour Assembly Against Austerity made clear why the fight against racism must be an essential part of the campaign against austerity.
The Tories are continually searching for new ways to exploit racism as a way to boost their poll ratings and confuse people about the failure of their austerity programme.
By Jennifer Nash
Report on the People’s Assembly National Day of Action which took place on Tuesday 5 November 2013
Yesterday’s National Day of Action against austerity coordinated by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity saw a wave of protests across Britain, with local groups organizing actions in 40 towns and cities.
This National Day of Action built on the upturn of struggle against austerity we have seen in recent months, with the 4,000 strong launch of the People’s Assembly in June, the massive anti-Tory demonstration in Manchester in September and a wave of strike actions from teachers, lecturers, university staff, fire-fighters, probation officers and others in recent weeks.
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.
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