By Stephen Bell
On Monday 16 January, following the resignation of Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister, the British government announced that there will be new elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 2 March. Events leading up to this have created the most serious political crisis in Ireland since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
By Pat Tanner
Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech explicitly declared that the UK will not only be leaving the European Union but will also be leaving the Single Market and the institutions of the European Union, including the European Court of Justice. The effect will be to create new tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers on trade, which will raise prices, depress trade and lower investment thereby lowering living standards and losing jobs.
Xi Jinping is the first Chinese president to speak at the Davos World Economic Forum. This visit has attracted even greater international media attention than the normally high levels of interest in a trip by China's leader. As the Financial Times chief foreign affairs columnist Gideon Rachman put it, "The big star of this year's forum is certain to be Xi Jinping."
The statement below has been published by Stand Up To Racism
Stand Up to Trump statement
The election of Donald Trump is deeply disturbing and a stark warning to us all. Every right-wing figure and organisation is rejoicing at the prospect of President Trump. The shameful list stretches from Marine le Pen and the Front National in France, Gert Wilders in Holland, Norbert Hofer in Austria, right wing leaders in Poland and Hungary to most of the Republican Party and the Ku Klux Klan.
On Monday 9 January, Sabah Jawad died in hospital, following a battle with cancer. To the end, he remained steadfast in his support for principled socialism and anti-imperialism.
The furore in the US and Europe over Trump’s relations with Russia is not just a storm in a teacup but the manifestation of a serious fight at the heart of the US foreign policy establishment over how the US should orient strategically to Russia in the context of the chief question that the US confronts internationally – the rise of China.
- Imelda Staunton and Mike Leigh join Abortion Rights’ panel
Abortion Rights is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act this year. This piece of legislation allowed women to receive safe and legal abortions for the first time avoiding the backstreet doctors and homemade remedies. This is an important stage in women’s liberation and should be seen as an part of our social history, not just for women but having knock on effects in our workplaces, universities and further legislation.
Unite the Union is holding an election for its General Secretary in 2017.
As the Tory government heads towards a hard Brexit and tightens austerity, Unite needs a strong leadership that fights to defend people’s jobs and living standards.
Support Len McCluskey
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.
By Frances Davis and Ian Richardson
The much-anticipated General Election in the southern Irish state, called for 26 February, has brought into sharp focus two clear political alternatives – a continuation of right wing austerity politics or a break with it, in favour of a left wing alternative. The fact that the election is taking place in the centenary year of the 1916 Rising also gives an added significance – and one which is not just based on an historic poignancy. Most of the fundamental tasks of 1916 are yet to be accomplished.
Support the junior doctors – on the frontline in the battle to save the NHS!
The Tories’ attacks on the NHS are intensifying, with huge numbers of NHS staff reporting that the health service is being pushed to breaking point.
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