Martin McGuinness was one of the greatest Irish Republican leaders of his or any other generation. Socialist Action sends its condolences to all his loved ones, friends and comrades.
By Ian Richardson
Geert Wilders’ far right Freedom Party did not make the big breakthrough in the Dutch general election that earlier opinion polls had suggested. But it did succeed in shifting the entire political spectrum towards increased racism and Islamophobia.
The fight over who will be the next leader of Unite is important for the direction of the labour movement in Britain and for the leadership of the Labour Party. On both counts Len McCluskey should be supported in his bid to be re-elected as General Secretary.
By Jane West
There are two distinct projects in Britain to drive down the living standards of the working class and so drive up profits. One is the project of European Union big capital, which is to drive down the share of the economy that goes to the working class and raise profits, through slow attrition meaning a permanent squeeze on public spending, reducing the welfare state and wage decline or low growth. The other is the Brexit project which is an immediate and ferocious assault on living standards, trade union rights and public services.
The first Russian Revolution of 1917 – known in all the historical literature as the February Revolution – actually began on International Women’s Day March 8, which under the old style Russian calendar falls in February. This revolution was led by women.
By Thomas Leary
International Women’s Day in the centenary year of the 1916 Irish Rebellion is an opportune time to recall the life and struggles of Constance Markievicz, one of the leaders of the rebellion and lifelong advocate of women’s liberation, Irish national independence and revolutionary politics.
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.
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