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How the BNP needs to be fought

1st July 1997 Socialist Action 0

First published: July 1997

The doubling of the vote for fascist candidates in the general election should set the alarm bells ringing about the risk of a rise of racism and fascist activity under a right wing Labour government. While the extreme right, concentrated mainly in the BNP, remains a tiny political force, such an advance – in a general election characterised by a massive swing to Labour – should not be taken lightly. A right wing Labour government which presides over the further dismantling of the welfare state, drives down wages and attacks the most vulnerable in society will create exactly the conditions which led to the breakthrough into mass politics of fascist and far right currents in France, Italy, Austria and elsewhere in Europe.

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NATO expands towards Russia’s borders

1st July 1997 Socialist Action 0

First published: July 1997

The first East European states will be admitted to NATO in July at a summit in Madrid and become full members by 1999. Having delayed for fear of losing Boris Yeltsin last year’s presidential elections, NATO is now poised for rapid expansion towards Russia’s western borders.

The states most likely to be admitted in July are Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. All three occupy the strategically crucial central European corridor between Russia and Germany. Other candidates are Romania, which has the backing of France, and Slovenia, sponsored by Italy.

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The left after the general election

1st July 1997 Socialist Action 0

First published: July 1997

Labour’s 179 seat majority in parliament will not be taken by Tony Blair as a mandate for progressive social reform. Instead it is going to be used to impose the most right wing economic policy of any Labour government in history.

In the period between now and when the voters, trade unionists and party members start to realise this, Blair will use the good will he starts out with to move as fast as possible – starting at this year’s conference – to suppress the mechanisms whereby alternative policies could be expressed within the Labour Party.

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Zyuganov’s address to the CPRF Congress

1st July 1997 Socialist Action 0

First published: July 97

In his political report for the Central Committee to the congress of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation on 19 April, party chair Gennady Zyuganov correctly pointed out that Russia remains ‘the main stumbling block in the path of the creators of the new world order’ – the United States and its allies. That is why the class struggle in Russia today is the most momentous in its historical consequences since the Second World War. As when Hitler came to power in Germany, no person in the world is going to be able to escape from the consequences of the outcome of the class struggle in Russia.

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Votes on 1 May – a Tory collapse, not a Labour landslide

1st July 1997 Socialist Action 0

First published: July 1997

The 1 May general election did not simply close 18 years of Conservative government. It brought to an end an entire era in British politics – a 111 year-long political party system based on the dominance of the Conservative Party.

This assertion may cut against the grain of the media coverage – which has been mesmerised by the scale of Labour’s majority in parliament – but it nonetheless corresponds to the facts.

On 1 May Labour won its biggest parliamentary majority in history – an overall majority of 179 seats. But it did so with a share of the UK vote, at 43.2 per cent, which does not remotely qualify as record-breaking. The party won a larger proportion of the vote in 1945, 1950, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1964 and 1966 – that is, in every single general election between 1945 and 1966. That included three elections which it lost and Harold Wilson’s 44.1 per cent in 1964 which gave him a majority of just four seats.

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Albania — a mass, armed anti-capitalist uprising

1st July 1997 Socialist Action 0

First published: July 1997

The mass armed uprising which won control of a third of Albania in March this year showed why the United States and European Union are determined to expand NATO into eastern Europe – because the new capitalist states in the region are too weak to confront a really mass movement of the people and will be even less able to do so if a Communist government comes to power in Russia.

The 6,000-strong Italian-led force in Albania would be equivalent to more than 100,000 troops in a country with Britain’s population. Such a large imperialist military operation was the only way to defeat the first popular, mass, armed insurrection against a capitalist government in Europe since the Second World War. The insurgents rapidly won control of a third of the country. The Albanian army and police sympathised more with the uprising than with the government. A network of ‘Salvation Committees’ took control of the south, establishing territorial dual power which was rapidly expanding northwards.