“Whilst we celebrate the return of all of the Miami Five to Cuba, and the changes foreshadowed in President Obama’s speech are to be welcomed, we have to emphasise that the blockade has not ended.”
Abe’s fake ‘landslide’
The result of the snap election called by Japan's premier Abe has been hailed as a thumping victory for his combination of right-wing nationalism and competitive devaluation of the yen, which has fallen 20 per cent against the US dollar since July and depreciated by nearly two-thirds since the beginning of 2012.
The following article by Jude Woodward, assessing the US 'Pacific pivot' strategy following Obama's recent visit to Asia, originally appeared on her New Cold War blog.
Obama’s November week-long, whistle stop tour of Asia – attending the Beijing APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) summit, the ASEAN meeting in Myanmar and the G20 in Australia – was intended to re-launch America’s crucial Asia-Pacific (aka China) strategy, in the doldrums since Obama’s aborted 2013 trip cancelled in the context of the ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis. Instead the trip merely underlined how much ground the USA has to make up in order to trump China’s growing influence in the region.
By Tom O’Donnell
In stagnant waters all sorts of virulent organisms can grow. As Britain’s economy continues to stagnate racism is spreading and becoming more poisonous.
Cameron now says that the British economy is likely to deteriorate once more, prolonging the crisis, but none of the mainstream political parties offers any policy which would resolve it. The economic stagnation will continue and so too will the unrelenting racist propaganda campaign.
By Jane West
The storm that has swirled around Ed Miliband's head over recent days has been entirely the result of hostile media manufactures and the machinations of backbench uber-Blairites. But they have exploited the mistakes and terrible weaknesses of Labour's campaign for the general election.
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.
By Nicky Dempsey
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.
By Paul Roberts
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.
by Paul Taylor Yesterday’s Labour Assembly Against Austerity made clear why the fight against racism must be an essential part of the campaign against austerity.
The Tories are continually searching for new ways to exploit racism as a way to boost their poll ratings and confuse people about the failure of their austerity programme.
Countdown toEnd of Cameron's political career
DAYS TO GO
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner
Fight austerity and racist scapegoating
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