Social and Economic Policy

Two months of “Gilets Jaunes”

Submitted by AWL on 9 January, 2019 - 11:32 Author: Michael Elms
gilets jaunes

On Saturday 5 January, an estimated 50,000 demonstrators came onto the streets of France to take part in “Act VIII”, the eighth national protest of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement. In Paris, a bloc of working¬class women in yellow jackets came to the fore and broke police encirclements. The movement has shrunk since “Act I” on 17 November 2018, which saw an estimated 300,000 on the streets, but it has defied predictions that it would die off during the Christmas¬New Year break.

Labour and housing markets breed insecurity

Submitted by AWL on 12 December, 2018 - 10:41 Author: Peter Kenway

When the Minimum Wage was introduced, the bottom scale of local government pay was well above it. Now each time the Minimum Wage is increased, a couple of points at the bottom of the local government pay scales have to be removed because they’re now below that Minimum Wage.

A left case for Brexit

Submitted by AWL on 5 December, 2018 - 11:50 Author: Grace Blakeley

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.

The Tory Scissors

Submitted by AWL on 10 October, 2018 - 11:13 Author: Editorial
Infographic highlighting the amount produced per worker each year in products and services

Theresa May suggests an “end to austerity” if she gets a workable Brexit deal. First get your deal.

Then even the deftest negotiation is going to do no better than limit the damage from Brexit. And by decisions already made by the Tory government, large further cuts in benefits and social spending are pre-programmed for the coming years.

Why the Labour right praises McDonnell

Submitted by AWL on 3 October, 2018 - 11:03 Author: Chris Reynolds

The social-democratic worthy Will Hutton, in his heyday the chief advocate that Britain can come good by adopting “Rhenish capitalism” on the German model, is happy about Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell's plan for a bit of worker shareownership, as announced at (but not put for debate to) Labour Party conference.

Hutton's praise is sincere, but double-edged if read by socialists.

Stop Brexit! Fight Poverty!

Submitted by SJW on 19 September, 2018 - 12:15 Author: Editorial
Labour campaigning

At its conference on 22-26 September Labour has the chance to galvanise its new and enthused activist layer into becoming a serious force against the Tories, their disastrous policies for working-class people pushed through over eight years.

To do that Labour needs to overhaul its democracy and commit itself to a radical programme. Top of the kind of political shift Labour needs to make is on Brexit.

The development of antisemitism in Hungary

Submitted by SJW on 11 September, 2018 - 9:43 Author: John Cunningham
Fascist Arow Cross marching in Budapest

For part two click here

Bibó was not a Marxist but a member of the National Peasant Party (NPP) — a party of radical reformists who adhered to a political position which was loosely described as “the third road” (or “third way”): neither Communist (i.e. Stalinist) or capitalist.

It was, in effect, left-reformist and probably closer to the politics of Bennism (but with an agrarian orientation) than anything else to which it could be compared in the UK today.

The pitfalls of “everything is getting worse”

Submitted by SJW on 4 July, 2018 - 12:59 Author: Chris Reynolds reviews Hans Rosling's Factfulness
Rosling's four levels

Until the late 1950s, with decreasing conviction, the official Communist Parties in western Europe promoted as a dogma the idea that working-class living-standards were falling because an iron law of capitalism made it so, and of course were worse than workers’ living standards in the USSR.

CP writers were commissioned to select and shape statistics to “prove” that claim. In France, critical Marxists denounced this attitude as “misérabilisme”.

Labour fails to stand up against Heathrow expansion

Submitted by SJW on 4 July, 2018 - 11:53 Author: Keith Road
Plane stupid protest

With the support of 119 Labour MPs the government got a proposed third runway at Heathrow through the House of Commons on 26 June.

The government cites numerous benefits from expansion — to international trade and new foreign direct investment for example.

Unite and the GMB, the largest unions representing workers at Heathrow, are uncritical backers of the project, citing only the prospect of new jobs as the key factor in assessing whether an infrastructure project is good or bad.

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