By Stephen Bell
On Monday 16 January, following the resignation of Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister, the British government announced that there will be new elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 2 March. Events leading up to this have created the most serious political crisis in Ireland since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
By Pat Tanner
Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech explicitly declared that the UK will not only be leaving the European Union but will also be leaving the Single Market and the institutions of the European Union, including the European Court of Justice. The effect will be to create new tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers on trade, which will raise prices, depress trade and lower investment thereby lowering living standards and losing jobs.
Xi Jinping is the first Chinese president to speak at the Davos World Economic Forum. This visit has attracted even greater international media attention than the normally high levels of interest in a trip by China's leader. As the Financial Times chief foreign affairs columnist Gideon Rachman put it, "The big star of this year's forum is certain to be Xi Jinping."
The statement below has been published by Stand Up To Racism
Stand Up to Trump statement
The election of Donald Trump is deeply disturbing and a stark warning to us all. Every right-wing figure and organisation is rejoicing at the prospect of President Trump. The shameful list stretches from Marine le Pen and the Front National in France, Gert Wilders in Holland, Norbert Hofer in Austria, right wing leaders in Poland and Hungary to most of the Republican Party and the Ku Klux Klan.
On Monday 9 January, Sabah Jawad died in hospital, following a battle with cancer. To the end, he remained steadfast in his support for principled socialism and anti-imperialism.
The furore in the US and Europe over Trump’s relations with Russia is not just a storm in a teacup but the manifestation of a serious fight at the heart of the US foreign policy establishment over how the US should orient strategically to Russia in the context of the chief question that the US confronts internationally – the rise of China.
- Imelda Staunton and Mike Leigh join Abortion Rights’ panel
Abortion Rights is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act this year. This piece of legislation allowed women to receive safe and legal abortions for the first time avoiding the backstreet doctors and homemade remedies. This is an important stage in women’s liberation and should be seen as an part of our social history, not just for women but having knock on effects in our workplaces, universities and further legislation.
Unite the Union is holding an election for its General Secretary in 2017.
As the Tory government heads towards a hard Brexit and tightens austerity, Unite needs a strong leadership that fights to defend people’s jobs and living standards.
Support Len McCluskey
By Paul Roberts
The Western backed parliamentary coup in the Ukraine was a significant advance for the US-led project of advancing its sphere of influence and pushing Russia further back in Eastern Europe. The US’s goals in the country have nothing to do with greater self-determination for Ukraine and are all about bringing it under imperialist control. Moreover this objective is not new, but has been the long-term aim of the US since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, to which end, aided and abetted by the EU, it has been funding and orchestrating pro-Western movements and organisations in Ukraine.
By Nicky Dempsey
Vile attacks on immigrants and ethnic minorities are continuing all across Europe.
Reaction is being whipped up by the pro-austerity parties, who also lend support to each other’s agendas. The latest example, but by no means the worst, is Merkel’s support for Cameron on her recent visit to Britain. While she was completely unwilling and unable to offer any encouragement on his central demand for a European referendum, the consolation prize offered was support for yet another ‘clampdown on benefit tourism’.
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.
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’.
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