By Bob Clarke
The political impact of the economic crisis in Europe has entered a new phase. When the economy was contracting virtually all parties implementing austerity policies were thrown out of office or at least experienced a large drop in their support. In the more recent period of economic stagnation, the same economic policies have the effect of shifting the burden of the crisis onto workers and the poor while capital benefits, boosting the incomes of the very rich and allied layers.
By Tom O’Donnell
The question of devolution for Scotland has not been resolved by the outcome of the referendum. All three leading Westminster parties made a pledge just days before the vote, vowing fundamental reform of Scotland’s governance and a strict timetable for its implementation.
By Paul Lewis
The run-up to the critical 2015 Paris climate talks begins in earnest this week with the United Nations’ Secretary General’s ‘Climate Summit’ in New York. The likelihood of an inter-governmental deal has improved with the Obama administration bringing the USA properly into the talks. But the price of US participation has been an attempt to remove historic responsibility for causing runaway climate change as the basis of negotiations.
By Denis Fernando
Pride, which depicts the solidarity shown by activists in the lesbian and gay community in the mid 80s towards the miners struggle, has a touching, profound meaning for 'solidarity' at its heart.
By Paul Roberts
On Wednesday President Obama made a nationally televised address to the US population to confirm the resumption of prolonged military activity in Iraq and its extension to Syria, albeit without the deployment of regular ground troops.
By Tom Castle
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) has called a vigil in Rotherham for Saturday September 13 under the slogans, ‘EDL not welcome in Rotherham’ and ‘Justice for the victims - we will not let the racists divide us’.
The world political situation is characterised by increasing chaos and wars, which are concentrated in a large geographic area that runs eastwards all the way from West Africa to the borders of China.
The ceasefire deal agreed yesterday between Israel and the Palestinians represents a victory for the resistance movement. After 51 days of a relentless offensive Israel has had to stop its aggression and end its massacres and destruction in Gaza. This is a cause for celebration.
The following article by Matthew Willgress, about the concrete help Venezuela and its allies are offering Palestine in contrast to Western complicity with Israel’s attacks on Gaza, was originally published by The Morning Star.
The Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Ministry has been transformed into a hub of activity over recent weeks as Venezuelans responded en masse to their revolutionary government’s call to provide donations for the people of Gaza.
By Nicky Dempsey
Labour’s recent National Policy Forum was a missed opportunity on economic policy, one with potentially grave consequences. There was no attempt to address the economic crisis that Labour will inherit in 2015. As a result, the Labour leadership has also made it harder to win an overall majority next May, even when the Tories are flat-lining close to 30 per cent in the polls shows they cannot possibly win.
By Martine Dwyer
Last Sunday’s Venezuela elections resulted in a convincing win for the Maduro-led Chavista party the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) confounding the hopes of the right and their US backers and vastly strengthening the position of Maduro after his narrow win by 1.5 per cent in April.
By Jane West
The decision by Yingluck Shinawatra to call a snap election in Thailand in response to a determined attempt by the right to overturn her democratically elected government is a high risk strategy, despite the fact that her party would almost certainly win in any fair election. The right-wing monarchical elites and the army in Thailand know they cannot win in a free election and so are looking for an opportunity to delegitimise or distort the electoral process and impose an army or so-called technocratic ‘people’s council’ government instead.
Nelson Mandela is a hero to all those who have struggled for freedom, for black liberation and for revolutionaries the world over. He was hounded and imprisoned for almost half a lifetime by the apartheid regime, in close collaboration with the imperialist powers led by the US and Britain. In death he is rightly receive tributes from across the world, even including entirely hypocritical ones from the likes of Obama and Cameron.
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.
By Christina Prentice
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.
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.
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Previous publications (PDF):
Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East, pamphlet
Unite to fight the Tory attacks, leaflet
Investment not cuts, leaflet
Drop cuts not bombs, leaflet