Paul Hampton reviews True Mission: Socialists and the Labor Party in the US by Eric Chester (Pluto 2004, £14.99)
Solidarity 3/58, 23 September 2004
Dan Nichols watches Fox News
Depending on which polls you trust, the US presidential race is currently either tied or being won by Bush. This is amazing when one considers Bush’s appalling record. Part of the reason behind Bush’s lead is the way that America’s politics are covered by its media.
The presidential election in Afghanistan is scheduled for 9 October. As of 23 August 10.35 million Afghans had registered to vote. That is good. That so many people have registered must indicate that people feel a tremendous relief at being free of the Taliban regime. (Although apparently only 42% of eligible women have registered.)
Jim Byagua reviews The Good Fight: Declare Your Independence and Close the Democracy Gap by Ralph Nader (Regan Books)
Kitty Kelly’s new book about the Bush family — The Family — is the book that the capitalist political class deserves. It’s full of gossip, innuendo, heated-up Internet facts, speculation about familial dysfunction and disorder, rumour and salacious scandal.
Stories about the past of Alan Milburn are now doing the rounds of the intra-left email lists. For anyone who missed it, he has returned to government to take up the Cabinet post of Election Planner (co-ordinating rosette colours and MPs ties?)
James P Cannon still has a lot to teach Marxists today and the balance sheet on his life and politics is largely positive (Solidarity 3/56 and 3/57). There is no doubt his decision to support Trotsky in 1928 was of enormous significance in creating the international tendency opposed to Stalinism, on whose shoulders we stand today.
Another bright-spark Blairite who has been recently elevated to high places — as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions — is Alan Johnson.
Johnson was also a “Trot” when he was a teenager. But he also soon left that behind.
By Joan Trevor
Last-minute preparations are being made for the 3rd European Social Forum, less than a month away. While it’s far from being the ESF we — or many others — would have wanted, it will still be an immensely significant and enjoyable event.
The Labour Party conference opened at Blackpool on 1 October. It overturned and overruled the platform line on the miners’ strike.