“Whilst we celebrate the return of all of the Miami Five to Cuba, and the changes foreshadowed in President Obama’s speech are to be welcomed, we have to emphasise that the blockade has not ended.”
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.
The following article by Jude Woodward, assessing the US 'Pacific pivot' strategy following Obama's recent visit to Asia, originally appeared on her New Cold War blog.
Obama’s November week-long, whistle stop tour of Asia – attending the Beijing APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) summit, the ASEAN meeting in Myanmar and the G20 in Australia – was intended to re-launch America’s crucial Asia-Pacific (aka China) strategy, in the doldrums since Obama’s aborted 2013 trip cancelled in the context of the ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis. Instead the trip merely underlined how much ground the USA has to make up in order to trump China’s growing influence in the region.
By Tom O’Donnell
In stagnant waters all sorts of virulent organisms can grow. As Britain’s economy continues to stagnate racism is spreading and becoming more poisonous.
Cameron now says that the British economy is likely to deteriorate once more, prolonging the crisis, but none of the mainstream political parties offers any policy which would resolve it. The economic stagnation will continue and so too will the unrelenting racist propaganda campaign.
By Jane West
The storm that has swirled around Ed Miliband's head over recent days has been entirely the result of hostile media manufactures and the machinations of backbench uber-Blairites. But they have exploited the mistakes and terrible weaknesses of Labour's campaign for the general election.
The murderous attack on a soldier in Woolwich yesterday was horrifying, and nothing justifies such a vile act. The only response that is appropriate – apart from expressing sympathy for the victim’s family and friends – is to isolate the approach of the perpetrators and for communities to stand together in condemnation of this attack, as Ken Livingstone spells out in the article we reproduce below.
By Paul Roberts
Syrian government forces are currently fighting in an important battle to retake control of Qusair, a town between Homs and the Lebanese border.
The government has over recent weeks broken the stalemate and developed impetus behind a series of military and political advances. If this momentum persists imperialism’s offensive will be significantly weakened. Hence it is determined to halt Syria’s current progress, so Israel has increased its direct attacks on Syria and there is a renewed drive for stepped up support to the opposition guerrilla forces.
by Nicky Dempsey
Thousands marched in London yesterday (Saturday May 18) in defence of the NHS.
By Paul Lewis
There can be few more compelling pieces of evidence of capitalism's redundancy as a vehicle for human progress than the news that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose above four hundred parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history last week.
It can hardly have escaped even the most committed Wagnerphobe that this year is a centenary celebration.
Alongside concert performances of all his major operas at the Proms, radio and TV broadcasts there are countless assessments of his life, politics, opinions and their relationship to his work.
The near-unanimous support for austerity policies in the ruling classes of the main capitalist powers is showing signs of strain. This is not because there is some recognition of the social and economic damage from the crisis, nor because of the valiant level of social resistance in some countries, or even because of the entry of populist and other unpredictable parties of the right.
The results of the local elections were above all a devastating blow to the Tories.
But while they confirm Labour is on course for a win at the 2015 General Election, this at present is not due to a significant turn to the left in the population.
By Nicky Dempsey
The growing recognition that the 2015 election is Labour’s to lose has led to increasing rightwing pressures on the Labour leadership to maintain the essential thrust of ‘austerity’ policy.
The overwhelmingly Tory press focuses on the demand that Ed Miliband in particular commits to maintaining Tory spending plans.
Recent weeks have seen a clear up-tick in the struggle against austerity in Britain.
The nationwide response to the Bedroom Tax, a number of very significant demonstrations against hospital closures, a jump in size of pickets and protests called against other local cuts and the decisions by NUT/NASUWT to call a series of one day strikes are among the evidence for this. The movement against austerity and the cuts has begun to move up a gear for the first time since the student struggles of late 2010 and the 2011/12 pensions’ actions.
By Hassan Malik
The Book of Mormon opened last month having come to London on the back of nine Tony awards and rapturous New York reviews. Created by the team behind the successful South Park TV series, it features songs written by the composer from the irreverent Muppet musical Avenue Q.
It is marketed as a satire on the Mormon religion, which there is plenty of material about in the show. However, this is not the only target.
Countdown toEnd of Cameron's political career
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Fight austerity and racist scapegoating
Previous publications (PDF):
Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East, pamphlet
Unite to fight the Tory attacks, leaflet
Investment not cuts, leaflet
Drop cuts not bombs, leaflet