A left case for Brexit

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 11:50

The left was right to campaign against leaving the EU in 2016. Based on the tenor of the campaign, it was clear the Leave campaign would embolden the xenophobes and nationalists that exist across the class spectrum in the UK. This prediction was proven chillingly correct with both the spike in hate crime that followed the referendum and the movement that has emerged around Tommy Robinson over the last few weeks.

Rewind Labour’s policy on Europe

Submitted by SJW on Wed, 09/05/2018 - 12:54

Labour right-winger Chuka Umunna is using European issues as a device for self-promotion and to bash Corbyn, but on the Single Market he is right.

It will be abject if Labour ends up using its votes in the Commons to save the Tory government on a possible pro-Single-Market amendment which will be debated in the House of Lords on 8 May and may be backed by enough Tory rebels to defeat May unless Labour gives her its votes.

Danger in US-China tit-for-tat

Submitted by SJW on Tue, 10/04/2018 - 19:18

As I write on 10 April, US stock markets are recovering after dipping in the wake of tit-for-tat tariff announcements by US president Donald Trump and by the Chinese government on 4-5 April.

Trump and then the Chinese authorities have announced new 25% tariffs on a range of imports from each other. Those are bigger than and additional to the new tariffs introduced by Trump in March on steel and aluminium, and the Chinese retaliations for them.

Editorial: Trump threatens trade war

Submitted by SJW on Wed, 14/03/2018 - 12:28
World trade

On 1 March Donald Trump announced tariffs of 25% on steel imports, 10% on aluminium imports.

Other governments are alarmed by this shift towards trade war. The OECD, a consortium of the world’s 35 strongest capitalist economies, has criticised the move. Further argument will come at the meeting of the finance ministers and central bank governments of the G20 (20 strongest countries) in Buenos Aires on 19-20 March.

Socialists should be alarmed too, for our own distinct reasons.

Davos: saving the world for the capitalists

Submitted by Matthew on Wed, 31/01/2018 - 10:20

At the end of January, the world’s elite met in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Davos to discuss how to maintain and improve their position in the economy.

Both the setting and the speeches were utopian, as the politicians and bankers professed the virtues of neoliberalism. While millions were spent on round-the-clock security and caviar, we were told of the dangers of largesse spending by the state and the need to slash public services. Life is tough at the top.

WTO stalemate in Buenos Aires

Submitted by martin on Wed, 20/12/2017 - 21:45
Trump is impatient with world trade rules

"Expectations were low as the meeting began in the Argentine capital", or so the Economist magazine reported on the latest World Trade Organisation meeting of trade ministers, in Buenos Aires on 10-13 December.

"They sank even lower as it progressed. Delegates failed to agree on a joint statement, let alone on any new trade deals".

Trump’s “America First” means workers last

Submitted by Matthew on Wed, 08/02/2017 - 13:57

Perhaps it’s foolish to take anything Donald Trump says as an articulation of core principles or beliefs. But this passage from his inaugural address hit many like a bolt of lightning: From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs.

Ports and workers’ power

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 14/09/2016 - 12:27

"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.

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