The article below by Tom O’Leary provides an analysis of the recent Autumn Statement including the forecasts for growth and living standards that have been revised sharply lower by the Office of Budget Responsibility. A key point is that the OBR is clear: around 60 per cent of the cuts made to those forecasts are a result of the Brexit referendum vote. Brexit will make us poorer.
By Stephen Bell
‘There can be no doubt that dire poverty alone compels people to abandon their native land, and that the capitalists exploit the immigrant workers in the most shameless manner. But only reactionaries can shut their eyes to the progressive significance of this modern migration of nations.’
Gerry Adams’ tribute to Fidel Castro, reproduced below, was originally published on the Léargas blog.
Below is the official statement made by Chinese President Xi Jinping on the death of Fidel Castro. It is highly interesting as it could not offer greater praise to the Cuban leader. This indicates relations between Cuba and China and the character of the Communist Party of China itself. The message was formally addressed to Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.
Today we mourn the loss of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, who holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Cuba, Latin America and all anti-imperialists and progressive people world-wide. His death on 25 November, at the age of 90, is a loss for the entire world.
By Frances Davis
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.
By Jane West
The conduct of the opposition in the Thai election held Sunday 2nd February was a success for the forces of Yinglunk Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai party despite the attempts by the right-wing minority opposition movement, led by Suthep Thaugsuban, to disrupt the elections and delegitimise the results.
UN anti-racism day
Organised by: UAF and TUC Sponsored by: CWU, GMB, NASUWT, NUT, PCS, Unison, Unite
Supported by: MCB, Migrant Rights Network, Morning Star
By Jennifer Nash
Next week students across the country will be taking part in a week of action to oppose the government’s latest attack on students and education: the planned privatisation of the student loan book. Activities are already planned at 50 university and college campuses nationwide.
The sell-off of student loans is just the latest major assault on education under the current government; following the tripling of tuition fees, the scrapping of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) plus the austerity agenda which is hitting the living standards of students hard.
By Peter Wilson
Five years into the current economic crisis it is possible to see beyond the immediate impact of the global financial crisis and recession to see clearly some of the structural shifts that have taken place. A key change that has taken place is a sharp fall in capital creation, and therefore investment, in the imperialist countries. Given that investment is responsible for the bulk of economic growth, there is no immediate possibility of rapid growth in these economies being recreated. The cumulative effect of the resulting economic stagnation in the imperialist centres lies behind the spreading of social and political instability to widening areas of the world.
We will always remember!
By Annabel Kerr
Since the impact of austerity measures first started to bite in 2010 we have been aware that it will be those who are already worse off who will be most hit by the cuts and job losses.
By Linda Anderson
New government figures underline that the benefits cap is all about ideology.
The figures show that 33,000 households were affected by the bedroom tax. Undoubtedly hard news for those people affected – and many of those bearing the brunt will be children. More than half of the total number of households affected so far are single parent ones. Single parent households are, in the vast majority, headed by women. So this is a policy hitting women – part of an assault on the post-war welfare state that is sledge-hammering away at the social and economic status of women – and children in the poorest households.
One of the most inspiring moments in the days of tribute following the death of Nelson Mandela has been the way in which it has highlighted the connections between the leaderships of national liberation struggles spanning continents – from South African to Cuba and to Ireland. The critical role of the Cuban leadership and people in helping defeat apartheid was given significant prominence in South Africa at the memorial service with the speech and presence of President Raul Castro.
In addition, and of particular note for the left here, was the prominence given to the connection between the Sinn Fein leadership and the ANC, where decades-long links with the struggle against apartheid and Irish republicans came to the fore.
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