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Lessons from a ground-breaking political artist
By Christina Prentice
Tate Britain’s current spotlight on Sylvia Pankhurst’s art work gives an extraordinary new insight into the most important feminist leader of the 20th century.
It challenges the view that she gave up art for politics and brings alive the importance of her distinctive brand of feminism – not the narrow struggle for parliamentary democracy for elite women, but a hegemonic view of the struggle needed to take the whole of society forward, in Britain and internationally.
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’.
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 Bridget Robertson
The recent floods across the south west, which are set to spread this week further across the country, highlight the urgent need to both prepare for and do to everything possible to avert climate change.
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.
Anyone keeping one eye on the UN climate negotiations in Warsaw could be forgiven for concluding that the, now routine, spectacle of international bickering is messy but, on the whole, is guiding the world to hold back climate change. Politicians attend, they tell the world's media that there have been difficult negotiations – even staying up all night. And at the last minute a deal is struck and we are told there has been great progress. It's all a sham of course.
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.
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.
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.
Countdown toEnd of Cameron's political career
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Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East by Socialist_Action
Colour leaflet, PDF 350KB
Investment not cuts, colour leaflet, PDF 1.75MB
Drop cuts not bombs, colour leaflet, PDF 1.32MB