Against Salvini, against Conte

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 11:34

Hugh Edwards

Italy’s new government won its vote of confidence in parliament on 9 September.

The Democratic Party (PD) of Nicola Zingaretti monopolises all of the principal offices articulating relations with Italian and European “big” capital and with the apparatus of the state — defence, economy, infrastructure, agriculture.

The Five Star Movement (M5S) occupies those it already had in the preceeding governmental alliance with Salvini’s Lega, justice, labour, environment, and gains education and the Foreign Office.

The “left” Free and Equal Party (LeU) got the Ministry of Health, so this abject orphan

A premier for all seasons

Published on: Thu, 05/09/2019 - 10:49

Hugh Edwards

The former provincial lawyer, Giuseppe Conte is once again premier-designate of another Italian government. He has already set out his rhetorical stall for his second term of office.

Without a blush he describes himself as “The Premier of the New”, while a little over a year ago, as he assumed the same role in the Lega Nationale — 5 Star government, he presented himself as the “Minister of Change”.

Up to a week ago he would have happily continued to serve La Lega of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. Witness his ready signature to the Minister’s draconian security laws licensing the mass

Free Carola Rakete!

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:58

Hugh Edwards

At 7 p.m. on 28 June, Italian custom officers informed Carola Rakete, the 31 year old captain of the volunteer rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, that she faced charges of aiding and abetting illegal trafficking of refugees and illegal entry intoFree Italian waters.

They demanded that she immediately leave her vessel — blocked by the Italian coastguards outside the port of Lampedusa — and report there to be interrogated and charged.

She replied: “I will not leave my ship. I am exhausted , not having slept for days. But my priority is the fate of the 42 refugees on board, many of whom now ill and some

The rise of Salvini

Published on: Wed, 12/06/2019 - 12:55

Hugh Edwards

The ascent of Matteo Salvini’s Lega in Italy has no equal in Europe in its astonishing progress — from 17% in Italy’s March 2018 election to 34% in the May 2019 Euro-election. In May 2019, the Lega got three million more votes than in March 2018, though seven million fewer votes were cast overall.

It advanced further on its already historic mass base in the North. It advanced significantly in the hitherto “red” centre. It quadrupled its presence in the South and the Islands. Its social bloc has now extended vastly beyond its historic hegemony among the small and medium producers of the

Salvini, leader of the Euro-right

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 13:05

Hugh Edwards

With rosary beads in hand, and flanked by eleven of the leaders of Europe’s most reactionary and racist political parties, Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s La Lega and Minister of the Interior in the country’s coalition government, rounded off his last Euro-election campaign rally in Milan’s Piazza Duomo.

He wound up, as he had begun his campaign, with a war cry against immigrants. “With the support of my government I have replied to the appeal of the pontiff with deeds not words to reduce the deaths in the Mediterranean… A historic moment of liberation of the continent from the abusive

Courier fight widens

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 10:40

Zack, IWGB National Deliveroo Committee Chair

Couriers and IWGB members at The Doctor’s Laboratory will strike for 48 hours from 7.30 a.m. on 23 May until 25 May, over better pay and terms and conditions and equality with non-courier staff. TDL have been trying to illegally intimidate couriers out of striking, but have not managed. Deliveroo couriers will be joining them in solidarity.

The second issue of Puncture, the IWGB Deliveroo bulletin, started being distributed on Thursday 16 May. We’ve had very good reception from the first one, and we had way too much content to fit into it — a good problem to have! It’s on A3 folded, with two

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 01/05/2019 - 09:30

John Moloney and Ollie Moore

The PCS union’s ballot for action on pay, which closed on 29 April, gained a turnout of 47.7%.

That is over 6% higher than in 2018, but still about 3,000 votes short of reaching the 50% threshold required under Tory anti-union laws. This has highlighted, yet again, the extreme unevenness of our organisation on the ground.

There has to be a frank and honest discussion about how we can rebuild our organisation. Involving a full autopsy of our areas of strength and weakness. In the past, the suggestion that the union leadership should be open with members about which areas are stronger or weaker

Students go for system change, not climate change

Published on: Wed, 20/03/2019 - 11:09

The best guess is that one and half million students, in over 120 countries, struck on Friday 15 March to demand that their governments start emergency action on climate change.

In London, the central rally of school students in Parliament Square was 4,000 or more. Everyone we talked with said there was no ongoing organisation in their school for the walkout. They’d found out about it on social media and come with their friends.

There were also sizeable groups of university students at Parliament Square.

The National Union of Students had officially supported the action, but did nothing to

Macron, Salvini, and the left

Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 12:09

Joan Trevor

On 7 February, France recalled its ambassador from Italy, the first time this had happened since Italy’s fascist leader Benito Mussolini declared war in 1940. The recall was the latest act in a growing row between French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s coalition government, formed of the populist Five Star Movement and the far-right National League.

Macron had criticised the coalition for promoting the “leprosy” of nationalism, and Italy’s new policy of turning away migrant boats from its shores. The Italian government accuses Macron of hypocrisy for returning migrants in France to

Salvini pushes Italy to right

Published on: Wed, 30/01/2019 - 12:40

Hugh Edwards

“The moment we have been waiting for 50 years has arrived, the cycle has of anti-fascism has closed — determinate ideas have entered the hearts of the Italian people”. Roberto Fiore, veteran fascist, and now national secretary of Forza Nuovo, one of Italy’s fast growing neo-Nazi forces, addressing a conference on “From Populism to Revolution”.

Whatever one might think of the self-regarding Fiore and his posse of thugs, his estimate of the significance of the 4 March 2018 election victory of the populist Five Star Movement of Luigi di Maio and its governmental alliance with Salvini’s La

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