Why French anti-fascists took to the streets last weekend

Thousands marched in Paris and other cities in France last weekend to protest against  violence by far right groups which claimed the life of Clément Méric, a student union and anti-fascist activist. Below is a joint statement by the organisers and supporters of the demonstrations:

Fascism kills. Together, we can fight it!

On 5 June, right-wing militants killed Clément Méric, the student union and anti-fascist activist. This outrageous murder angers and horrifies us: it follows numerous assaults in recent months by far-right groups. The situation calls for a strong response, to put a halt to the spread of these ideas and foul practices. Continue reading

The nastiest by-election ever? And a self-inflicted disaster for Labour

Thirty years ago yesterday. The Bermondsey by-election is certainly a contender for the nastiest by election in Britain. Peter Tatchell refers to it as “the lowest point in modern election campaigning: the most violent and scurrilous election in Britain in the 20th century and the most homophobic election in British history.” Losing a safe Labour seat on a swing of 44.2%, the largest by-election swing in British political history, was also an electoral disaster for Labour but one which was to a large extent self-inflicted. Continue reading

Londoners won’t be fooled by the anti-Ken Livingstone spin

The polls are showing the two leading contenders for London mayor – Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson – running neck and neck. Predictably, sections of the rightwing media have started reaching for the proverbial dog whistle; playing politics with race and religion and appealing to a diminishing band of bigoted voters who respond to the politics of fear. They are painting a picture of the East End which doesn’t exist – but which aims to frighten the voters in suburbia down to the polling stations on 3 May. Continue reading

A Nightmare Scenario

danger sign

click pic for photo credit

I accept what has rapidly become the conventional Labour wisdom: acceptance of defeat and a period of opposition to reflect on the reasons for it is in Labour’s and, if the coalition comes unstuck before too long, the country’s best interest. The alternative was also not a “progressive alliance” but, as Mark Seddon argued at Left Futures on Monday, a Lab-Lib coalition committed “to widespread and swingeing public services cuts”.

But then I had a nightmare. Continue reading