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.
The Egyptian army’s July coup was met with widespread confusion on the left. Within Egypt and internationally some socialists actually supported the coup, others were explicitly neutral in the struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood government and the army.
The article by John Riddell that appears below considers these issues from the point of view of the experience of the international communist movement from 1917 to the 1930s, drawing out why these positions are dangerously wrong.
By Paul Roberts and Jane West
As expected Labour conference fired the starting gun for the 2015 election. What was not so anticipated was the Miliband leadership’s announcement of a series of popular policies that are widely perceived as constituting a shift to the left.
The strategy rolled out was for Labour to position itself as the party that defends the living standards of ordinary people. This was a shift in strategy and a welcome one. It is based on a correct understanding that the mass of the population is now more animated by contracting real incomes – the ‘cost of living crisis’ – than the ideology of ‘deficit reduction’.
By Nicky Dempsey and Jane West
It is little more than a year and a half until the next general election and already the main issues in each party’s campaign are being delineated.
Labour is still virtually certain to be the largest party after the next election as the long-term decline in the Tory vote will be further depressed by five years of austerity. Electorally the main question is whether Labour wins a majority – and of what size – or whether it is forced into coalition with the Lib Dems.
Talk of economic recovery and even boom is entirely misplaced, but it may have a very positive effect on the movement against austerity.
Patrice Lumumba was murdered in 1961. The leader of Congo’s first post-colonial government lasted just weeks in office and was dead within months of his election. A Season in the Congo, playing an extended season at the Young Vic, is a joyous celebration of his life and a poignant record of his death.
Whilst President Obama tries to tie down support this week in advance of forthcoming Congressional votes, the US military is preparing an immense assault on Syria. US imperialism does not make idle threats, so it intends that the attack will proceed. Members of Congress are being told that a ‘no-vote’ next week, against air-strikes, would catastrophically weaken the US for years to come.
Propaganda in this country and by the other imperialist powers has sought to portray the use of chemical weapons as a uniquely barbarous act. Nick Clegg speaking in the Commons debate where the government lost in its initial efforts to authorise air strikes claimed they had not been used in a hundred years. More circumspectly, Foreign Secretary William Hague claimed they had not been used in this century.
Both are completely wrong and in trying to create a pretext for attacking Syria attempt to hide the role that the imperialist powers themselves have played in the use of chemical weapons. Chemical weapons are created by industrial processes. The most advanced industrialised countries, until recently solely the imperialist powers, have access to the most sophisticated chemical weapons, either for their own use or for sale to the reliable allies.
Following the victory of the counter-revolution in Egypt, imperialism is now moving on to eliminate its next target in the Middle East – the attempt to overthrow the Syrian government.
It is important to build the broadest possible opposition to the threatened offensive.
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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