Notes from the front of 24-10-16
Labour should push for vote before Article 50 is triggered – and oppose a general election
The most important issue in British politics is Brexit. Unless there is a major war with British involvement, then Brexit is also likely to be the most important issue for the foreseeable future. Everything else is subordinate to that.
Notes from the front of 21-10-16
There is no such thing as Lexit
Four months after the EU referendum the consequences of pursuing Brexit are starting to unfold, revealing the reality of its reactionary character. Despite negotiations between the Tory government and the EU-27 not having even started, Brexit's negative consequences are already being felt.
The following piece by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams was published on his regular Léargas blog. He argues that the attack on human rights lawyers by the new Tory Prime Minister should be strongly resisted. They are indispensable in establishing in truth and protecting civil liberties. Nowhere is this more true than in Britain's former and current colonies where human rights lawyers have been murdered because they have sought to expose injustice and to defend those fighting it. As we know, the same British governments who trample over human rights overseas also severely curtail them in Britain too.
By Stephen Bell
On the 14 September, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) published its report, 'Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK’s future policy options'. Published immediately after David Cameron’s retirement from Parliament, the reception given to the report concentrated on his culpability for the political and economic collapse in Libya. But this convenient response ignored how deeply compromised the British government’s intervention actually is. That policy continues to evade parliamentary control; involves fighting on both sides of a civil war, and adds to the chaos facing the people of Libya.
The following article by John Ross, on why China’s economy is so successful, was previously published on the website China & the world economy.
My article ‘China’s socialist model outperforms capitalism’ established factually two key conclusions for global economic and social development. First, that the fastest growing economies since the putting forward in 1989 of the ‘Washington Consensus’ (excluding oil-production dominated economies or countries with populations under 5 million) were not those following this model advocated by the IMF/World Bank but instead those following or deeply influenced by the entirely different China ‘socialist development strategy’ – China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Second, that 85% of the reduction of the number of those living in poverty in the world were in socialist countries and merely 15% in capitalist ones.
Corbyn steps up Labour's campaign into May's elections
With elections due in five weeks, Labour is intensifying its campaign for an alternative to government policies. The current focus is on the steel industry whilst over Easter it was education. These campaigns follow on from Labour’s success in pressing the Tories to U-turn on their Budget’s proposals to cut disability benefits, maintain value added tax on women's sanitary products and on solar panels.
In 1916 the Easter Rising represented the resumption of the struggle for Irish freedom. The decision in 1914 of the Irish National Volunteers and the Irish Parliamentary Party to support the British government in the inter-imperialist war effectively subsumed the national movement. By 1916 hopes for an early victory by either side in the war had disappeared. It was time to reclaim hope for Ireland at home, from its slaughter overseas.
By Paul Atkin
There is an air of recklessness about this government. It’s as if they are aware of how thin and shallow their popular support is, so they are going for broke in the hope of carrying the day through sheer chutzpah. In the process they run the risk of pushing an already straining schools system beyond breaking point.
Economic targets for China were announced during the National People’s Congress of at least 6.5% annual GDP growth during the 13th Five Year Plan in 2016-20 and 6.5%-7.0% for 2016. Some Western economists claim such targets cannot be achieved. In fact, analysis of supply side factors, which will primarily be relied on to achieve these goals, shows clearly why China can achieve its 6.5% minimum growth goal.
Labour’s opposition was instrumental to the Tories’ Budget crisis
Less than one year after winning the General Election the government has suffered a significant setback under the pressure of Labour's attacks. The Tories have been forced to reverse a number of budget proposals, the Chancellor's reputation for competence is in shreds, a cabinet minister has resigned, Tory infighting has intensified and Labour has advanced in the polls.
By Barry Gray
John McDonnell's announcement of a 'Fiscal Credibility Rule' lays the foundation on which Labour can restore its economic credibility and correct the key policy failure that lost it the 2015 General Election. Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda is now underpinned with a sound economic framework. These policies to improve people's living standards should set Labour's agenda for its fight against the Tories. To guarantee this advance can be maintained it is necessary to remove the threat of a leadership coup.
The following article by John Ross, setting out why the Chinese economy will not have a hard landing, was previously published by Socialist Economic Bulletin.
Some US hedge funds, echoed by parts of the international media, are currently trotting out the perennially inaccurate myth that China's economy is about to suffer a "hard landing." This invariably incorrect prediction has been periodically repeated for decades since China launched economic reforms in 1978. The claim then was that by failing to privatize companies, not adopting what became known as "shock therapy" in Russia and Eastern Europe, China condemned itself to stagnation. Instead in 1978-2015, China experienced average annual 9.6 percent GDP growth - the fastest by a major economy in human history.
Refugees welcome here – Join the 19 March protest!
The British government and media demonisation of refugees and their whipping up of other forms of racism is a key ideological component of capital's austerity offensive. The aim is to distract attention from the cause of declining living standards and divide the population so it fights amongst itself.
Labour lost the last general election because it had no economic credibility, as the overwhelming bulk of opinion polls show. John McDonnell’s new ‘Fiscal Credibility Rule’ decisively and correctly addresses that issue.
John McDonnell is restoring Labour’s economic credibility
The Labour leadership are seriously addressing the previous weaknesses in Labour's economic policy, that deprived the party of economic credibility - a major factor in it losing the last general election.
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