Why I shall vote to remain in the EU

by Ann Pettifor

EU_UK FlagsBack in 1975 I did not just oppose membership of the EU, I actively campaigned against it. In the 1990s I strongly opposed Britain’s membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). My opposition to the Labour leadership’s support for ERM helped ensure that I did not get chosen as Parliamentary candidate at the time. I won a modest 6 votes at a General Committee Meeting that in 1991 selected the next MP for Dulwich and West Norwood! (While I was to be vindicated by Britain’s eviction from the ERM in September 1992 that was no comfort as Labour, having backed the ERM, was unable to capitalize on the huge political damage caused to the Conservatives by the Black Wednesday fiasco.) Continue reading →

Putting members in charge of the Party: are we up to it?

by David Pavett

IsTheLeftUpToItBI remember a television programme about the death penalty many years ago in which the Governor of a US state (I can’t remember which) said that the death penalty was supported by the majority of voters and that therefore it required no further justification. That is one view of democratic power and voting: the rule of the people as a summation of popular prejudice. Continue reading →

Theresa May’s leadership bid

by Phil Burton-Cartledge

Theresa_May copyAs the EU referendum battle gets nasty and Tory tears lumps out of Tory, spare a thought for the chancellor and the London mayor. At times these last six months, both men have had reason to believe their careers are sloping upwards. Number 10 has conceivably been in reach, but their grip on political gravity has loosened and its possible their rise will be accompanied by a death plunge. And now, threatening to hasten their fall has appeared Theresa May, the one oft-overlooked as Osborne and Johnson tussle for the prize.

Her intervention on Tuesday in the EU debate was pretty disgusting. Far from lecturing her party on its nastiness, May scraped up the foul-smelling discards of her “celebrated” 2002 conference speech and tried transmuting them into political gold. And, unfortunately – talking about it with @catherinebuca last night – it could just work. She trotted out the basic argument that leaving the EU would weaken the British economy, which is Remain’s strongest suit. Sticking with the economic theme, she passed directly over into the crudest economism and said the European Convention on Human Rights “adds nothing to our prosperity.” Continue reading →

A Sikh perspective on antisemitism and Zionism

by Katy Sian

star of david memorial antisemitismSpeaking as a Sikh woman and also as an academic who has written, studied, and campaigned for racial equality and social justice, it has been somewhat troubling to hear the Labour Party standing accused of antisemitism. It has been particularly surprising that Jeremy Corbyn has been associated with the alleged rise of antisemitism, this despite his life long campaigns against all forms of oppression. Apparently it appears Corbyn’s leadership has opened the floodgates to closet or out-and-out antisemites. Continue reading →

Britain’s problem: Philip Green is the archetype British capitalist

by Phil Burton-Cartledge

Philip GreenOn global capitalism in Lenin’s day, the Bolshevik leader had this to say: “Imperialism is an immense accumulation of money capital in a few countries … hence the extraordinary growth of a class, or rather, of a stratum of rentiers, i.e., people who live by “clipping coupons”, who take no part in any enterprise whatever, whose profession is idleness …” If only the money men of 21st century Britain remained excrescences on the economy, of directing their stooges to invest capital and growing fat off the labour and talent of others. At the risk of being wistful, this ideal-typical view of your average capitalist is long buried and have gone beyond mere uselessness. Drunk on their parasitism, they are oblivious to how their appetites are not just imperiling the health of the enterprises they gorge upon, but threaten to kill them outright. Continue reading →

Yemen’s calamity – blood on Britain’s hands

by Mike Phipps

a-shameful-relationshipThe Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) has published a new report, A Shameful Relationship: UK Complicity in Saudi State Violence by David Wearing. It exposes how the UK’s supply of weapons to Saudi Arabia for its devastating bombing of Yemen systematically violates international law.

UK-made aircraft, bombs and missiles have been used in the bombing and our Government continues to offer training and support to the Saudi regime. The report states

One year into the intervention in the civil conflict in Yemen by a Saudi-led military coalition, 6,400 people have been killed, half of them civilians, including 900 children, and more than 30,000 people have been injured…. The large majority of these casualties have been caused by Coalition air strikes in a campaign where combat aircraft supplied by the United Kingdom have played a significant role.”

Continue reading →

Sanders must keep up his Momentum until the Democratic Party is won for Socialism

by Jon Lansman

Bernie's MomentumFollowing the New York primary, Hillary Clinton is “cautious but confident” says yesterday’s New York Times, and is busy picking running mates. Bernie Sanders, who lost by 16%, picking up 106 delegates to Clinton’s 139 is ploughing on. And so he should. Even the New York Times in an editorial agrees:

Mr. Sanders has voiced the concerns and energized millions of young people, many of them voting for the first time. His candidacy has forced the party to go deeper on addressing issues like wealth inequality, college tuition costs and the toll of globalization — important points of distinction with Republicans. What’s more, Mr. Sanders’s commitment to small individual contributions has put the lie to Democrats’ excuses that they, too, must play the big money game to win. This is a message too seldom heard in the party that first championed campaign finance reform.”

Continue reading →

Explaining the election of Malia Bouattia

by Phil Burton-Cartledge

What to make of the election of Malia Malia Bouattia to the presidency of the National Union of Students? Well, the political establishment are pretty clear about the opinions every right-thinking person should have. “Malia Bouattia’s election as NUS president proves deeply divisive“, says The Graun. “Disaffiliation threat could leave NUS facing a financial blackhole“, The HuffPo writes. And eager to stir things up, the increasingly tabloid Telegraph reckons Malia’s election “sends a dark message to Jewish students“. Sounds serious.

In my younger days, I was often of the view that if radicals succeeded in pissing off the centre left establishment, then it couldn’t be so bad. Specifically in the case of the NUS, I do recall a sliver of hysteria greeting the election of Kat Fletcher to the NUS president’s post in 2004. A position, in case we’ve forgotten, that has long been regarded the private property of wannabe Labour MPs in what passes for the students’ movement. Well, the sky didn’t fall in, Kat went on to become a Jez aide/handler, and after 2006 control returned to a succession of colourless and uninteresting mediocrities. And yes Wes, I include you in that number. Continue reading →

Keep it Co-op and ensure a strong voice for cooperatives in politics

by Jeremy Corbyn

The Co-operative movement has a long and proud history in this country, working to build a society where wealth and power are shared.

Implausibility of a “Social Europe”

by Danny Nicol

EU_RulesAndRegsBEven the dogs on the streets know that David Cameron’s EU “reforms” are pitiful.  Indeed, even he no longer mentions them.  So why assume that reforming the EU into a “real Social Europe” is any more feasible?   It’s when one examines the constitutional obstacles to reform that one realises that the whole idea just doesn’t stack up. Continue reading →

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