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.
On February 25th, the European Parliament approved an EU wide arms embargo against Saudi Arabia until alleged breaches of international humanitarian law in Yemen have been fully investigated.
The article below by Ian Richardson, reviews the book A World to Build: New Paths toward Twenty-First Century Socialism by Marta Harnecker, and was originally published by Counterfire.
Corbyn is overwhelmingly backed by Labour members – so can only be removed by a coup
Recent polling confirms that Jeremy Corbyn would be the choice of Labour Party members, by a large margin, if the Labour right challenged him in another contest. A decisive majority of members approve of his leadership and would vote to re-elect him, possibly with an even larger landslide than last year.
By Michael Burke
The governing coalition of Fine Gael and Labour suffered a humiliating rejection at the hands of Irish voters in the General Election and the anti-austerity forces advanced. This continued the pattern evident in both the Portuguese and Spanish elections in 2015. It may also set the stage for renewed elections to the Dáil in Dublin later this year as no party looks able to form a stable government.
Tories attack democratic rights
The Tory government is increasing its efforts to curb legitimate protests, aimed in particular at the movement in support of Palestinian rights and freedom. Last week the Tory government published a Procurement Policy Note which directs public contracting authorities not to utilise boycotts in procurement except where restrictions have been put in place by the UK government.
The Tory media and the Labour right will spend the next four months claiming that the most important question facing Britain and people within it is whether Britain stays in the EU or not. It is not. The most important question facing people in Britain is whether economic, social, and political policies are pursued which defend their living standards. This requires the rebuilding of social services, increases in wages, a state led investment programme focussed on green and other infrastructure, opposition to Britain’s wars, opposition to the forms of racism whipped up every day in the media and numerous other policies.
Mobilise for 19 March - challenge the racist offensive
There is a huge racist offensive taking place in Britain and in many other European countries. In Britain, the Tories, UKIP and the overwhelming majority of mainstream media including the BBC are determinedly pushing issues of race up the political agenda, having decisively stepped up this reactionary offensive immediately after Britain's May 2015 General Election.
In the centenary year of the Irish Rebellion in 1916, Socialist Action continues its series on the topic. Below is a short article by Lenin, 'The British Liberals and Ireland’, which first appeared in March 1914, that is before the outbreak of the First World War. It is reproduced in full from the invaluable Marxist Internet Archive and can be found here.
By Jude Woodward and Michael Burke
It is now a relatively short time before the May elections, which will be widely taken as the next key test of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party that can be foreseen in advance. It will not be possible to ‘cheat’ this. Therefore, in order to prepare, it is crucial to have a strictly objective assessment of what are the achievements since Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader, problems that must be faced, and the conclusions which follow.
Labour is now carrying out extremely effective campaigning against Tory policies – on tax credits, on the sweetheart Google taxation deal, in support of the junior doctors and pinning the responsibility for the crisis in the NHS squarely on the Tories. This excellent work needs to continue and be strengthened.
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