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.
Step up the campaign for Labour
On 5 May there will be elections in London, Scotland, Wales and in English local authorities. The priority for Labour Party members for these next four weeks is to assist the Labour campaign. Everything should be done to maximise Labour's vote.
Progressive people are being asked to endorse the statement below supporting democracy in Brazil.
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.
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