Europe

Left must defend freedom of movement cathy n Sat, 01/14/2017 - 19:22

After weeks of intense pressure from the Labour right (and from some supposed to be on Labour’s left), Jeremy Corbyn has retreated on freedom of movement. In a speech on 10 January he said: “Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle... Labour supports fair rules and reasonably managed migration as part of the post-Brexit relationship with the EU”.

Far right defeat in Austria

Submitted by AWL on 9 December, 2016 - 10:02 Author: Felix Roth

After almost a year of campaigning, voting, a second ballot, and a delayed re-run of the second ballot, the Austrian presidential elections finally came to an end on 4 December. With a relatively narrow lead of just 53.8 per cent, the Green Party candidate Alexander Van der Bellen was able to defeat the far-right Freedom Party’s Norbert Hofer.

Ports and workers’ power

Submitted by AWL on 14 September, 2016 - 12:27 Author: Martin Thomas

"The RWG [container] terminal [in Rotterdam, 2.35m teu capacity], with its fully automated cranes, is operated by a team of no more than 10 to 15 people on a day-to-day basis. Most of its 180 employees aren’t longshoremen, but IT specialists” (Journal of Commerce, 4 Feburary 2016).

The managing director says: “We are in fact, an IT company that handles containers”.

Compare: in 1900 the Port of London was the busiest port in the world. It had 50,000 workers shifting cargo mostly by hand, as they had done for thousands of years. It handled 7 million tons of cargo.

Europe: the Stalinist roots of the “left-exit” myth

Submitted by cathy n on 22 June, 2016 - 11:34 Author: Paul Hampton

The revolutionary left once had reputable politics towards Europe, an inheritance from Trotsky that was not finally dispensed with until the early 1970s. The story of how the British revolutionary left went from an independent working class stance to accommodation with chauvinism and Stalinist “socialist-in-one-country” deserves to be better known.

Austria: far right surge and Green’s narrow win

Submitted by Matthew on 25 May, 2016 - 8:55 Author: Martin Thomas

On 22 May, the far right candidate for Austria’s presidency, Norbert Hofer, was defeated by the narrowest of margins.

Hofer, candidate of the “Freedom Party”, stood on a strident anti-migrant platform, and was way ahead of other candidates in the first round of the presidential election on 24 April. He scored 35.1%.
Alexander Van der Bellen, a veteran ex-Green running as an independent, who rallied a range of support to defeat Hofer on the second round, got 21.3% on the first.

Far right surge in Swiss election

Submitted by Matthew on 21 October, 2015 - 1:56 Author: Sebastian Osthoff

On 18 October Swiss voters elected new representatives for the two chambers of the Swiss parliament.

Though there has to be a second round of elections for the smaller chamber of parliament, the Council of States, the results are clear. As was generally predicted the right wing nationalist Swiss People’s Party (SVP) won the most votes, increasing its share of votes to 29.4%.

United Europe and the Marxist tradition PaulHampton Sat, 08/08/2015 - 12:57

Working-class socialists will advise workers how to vote in the UK’s European Union (EU) in/out referendum by addressing the actual question on the ballot paper and by evaluating the known, quantifiable consequences of the options. Judged on the basis of workers’ interests, it is clear that however much the EU is a capitalist club, however neoliberal it is, however hostile it plainly is to migrants and refugees seeking shelter – the alternative of “Britain out” in today’s conditions will be far worse.

2. Marxists in the nineteenth century PaulHampton Sat, 08/08/2015 - 12:53

Marx and Engels developed their original synthesis of socialism as working class self-liberation through combining elements of English political economy, Germany philosophy and French socialism. Marx and Engels inherited the common sense demand for a federal united Europe from other socialist writings of their time – for example Henri Saint-Simon and Augustin Thierry’s De la reorganisation de la societe europeenne (1814).

3. The debate on a united Europe around the First World War PaulHampton Sat, 08/08/2015 - 12:51

The threat of world war did not recede into the new century. On the contrary, it became clear by the second decade of the twentieth century that Europe was fast heading towards a terrible armed conflict. In these circumstances, the demand for European unity took on a growing urgency.