Dec 3rd, 2013by Aaron Kiely
Aaron Kiely previews the Latin America ¡Adelante! Conference 2013 taking place this Saturday (7 December) at Congress House. The Latin America is now in its 9th year, and offers a unique opportunity to hear all about the latest developments in the region.
40 years ago the democratically elected left-wing President of Chile, Salvador Allende, was brutally overthrown by the forces of US imperialism in alliance with the forces of domestic reaction. Yet, today, led by countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, progressive governments and social movements in Latin America are honouring his legacy by combating US intervention in the region, and showing unity through regional alliances for social justice and US domination. Continue reading →
Dec 3rd, 2013by Michael Meacher
The roll call of shame and disgrace about the record of the private banks, privatised utilities and outsourcing companies has now reached such a pitch that surely Labour must now challenge the whole culture of ‘the market knows best’ and in the extreme form of the neoliberal ideology that ‘government should get out of the way and leave it all to the market’. That is now so utterly discredited that patching up a failed system or tweaking at the edges the overblown corporate power or regulatory cosiness simply will not do.
As everyone can see, the marketising obsession that Thatcher and Reagan initiated in the 1980s has now run its course, disastrously, not only in bringing about the worst financial crash for a century and the prolonged austerity that has followed, but now an almost daily succession of scandals that should destroy any political party that continues blindly to pursue it. Continue reading →
Dec 2nd, 2013by Mike Phipps
Despite widespread allegations of massive fraud, Honduras’s Supreme Electoral Council declared ruling National Party leader Juan Orlando Hernández the winner in the country’s presidential election in November. The right wing National Party was adjudged to have defeated Libertad y Refundación (Libre) party candidate Xiomara Castro de Zelaya. Xiomara Castro challenged the official returns and claimed victory. She is the wife of the former president Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a 2009 coup.
Details of electoral fraud across Central Honduras were reported by the US-based International Action Center. These allegations included vote tampering and large numbers of Libre supporters unable to vote due to being left off the electoral rolls. Continue reading →
Dec 2nd, 2013by Phil Burton-Cartledge
This weekend saw the launch of Britain’s newest political party. Left Unity is officially alive. Since Ken Loach called for a left alternative to Labour back in March, there has been a tortuous road to today’s founding conference, as the cpgb’s coverage and comment has demonstrated in anything but gripping detail. Yet 10,000 Facebook likes, 1,000 paid up members, and a founding conference later, the new party is with us. The closing speaker remarked Saturday 30th November *could* be a historic day. Is this boosterism for the troops, the usual left hype that attends these sorts of events; or, *gasp*, could Left Unity be a real contender? Continue reading →
Dec 1st, 2013by Michael Meacher
The boisterous pantomime that is Boris Johnson may well have taken a step too far in his irrepressible flair for self-publicity. To observe that “as many as 16% of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2% have an IQ above 130″ in order to justify ‘shaking the pack harder so it will be easier for some cornflakes to get to the top’ says a great deal, not only about Johnson himself, but about the Bullingdon Club mentality which so strongly infuses the menagerie of characters around the Tory leadership.
This was an unabashed assertion that the super-rich deserve all that they have ‘because they’re worth it’, even though he expressed the forlorn hope that the “Gordon Gekkos of London are conspicuous not just for their greed as for what they give and do for the rest of the population” – fat chance of that. And harking back to classic Thatcherism he added that “I hope there is no return to the spirit of loadsamoney heartlessness – figuratively rifling banknotes under the noses of the homeless”. He doesn’t seem to have noticed that this is already happening ever more starkly. Continue reading →
Nov 29th, 2013by Phil Burton-Cartledge
If only. Last night de Pfeffel Johnson delivered the annual Margaret Thatcher lecture in defence of inequality. Funny how you always get people who benefit from this state of affairs singing its praises. But anyway, there’s was a five minute brouhaha that will last until another leading Tory says something outrageous in a day or two. Perched as I am in front of the computer 24 hours after, chances are I might have the last word. So here goes. Continue reading →
Nov 29th, 2013by Michael Meacher
The EU Commission has today outlined its attack on the artificial hybrid structures used by multinational companies to reduce or entirely avoid their tax liabilities. Three companies – Tate & Lyle (sugar), FirstGroup (transport) and Linde (industrial gases) were specified as saving as much as $150m a year by lending billions of dollars to their own US subsidiaries and then exploiting legal differences between the US & UK to offset the interest payments against tax both in the US and the UK.
The hybrid structures work by inserting a new UK subsidiary, which typically has no employees, into the company’s US group. The new entity is then lent large sums by another British subsidiary, resulting in both interest payments and receipts in the UK. Continue reading →