Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2017

UK voters ‘favour socialism over capitalism’

Polls shows support for public ownership of utilities, as Corbyn and May go into battle over the economy
Voters in the UK want the government to take a more socialist approach to economic policy by renationalising railways and utilities, while creating a wage cap for top earners, according to a new survey.
The report, published by the Legatum Institute, a centre-right think tank, shows that the views of the public on the economy are more in tune with Labour's policies than the Conservatives, in what The Times called a “warning” to the Tories on the eve of their party conference in Manchester.
According to the figures, 83% of British voters would prefer public ownership of water companies over privatisation, while 77% want to re-nationalise electricity and gas companies and 76% want the railways back under state control.
The news comes after a week of back-and-forth between Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn regarding economic policy. On Tuesday, the Labour leader attacked Bri…

At Labour’s Conference I heard the voices of the poor, the oppressed, the ignored, and the patronised

Labour’s conference may not yet have delivered a fully perfected programme – but hearing working class voices everywhere was a breath of fresh air, despite the media sneers.
Widespread media hostility to Labour was on maximum revs during and in the immediate aftermath of the Party Conference. Labour can expect nothing favourable from the likes of the Daily Mail or the Murdoch press, but the coverage in much of the self-styled ‘liberal’ press and supposedly ‘impartial’ broadcast media was more dispiriting.
The Independent opted for a nasty, distorted interpretation of everything Jeremy Corbyn said in his closing address. The Guardian was at least largely positive with both Polly Toynbee and Owen Jones among the enthusiasts.
But Channel Four’s Jon Snow conducted a belligerent interview with Jeremy Corbyn during the Conference in which he belaboured the Labour leader on Brexit and on Venezuela. And the BBC was more subtly dismissive. Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg completed an on-air rep…

US pulls 60% of Cuba embassy staff, halts visa processes

Washington claims its diplomats were "attacked" in Cuban hotels, failing to provide specific examples.
Washington has announced that the United States is removing about 60 percent of government staff out of Cuba, the Associated Press reports, citing “specific attacks” that allegedly harmed U.S. diplomats.
It claims its diplomats were “attacked” in local hotels. Washington, however, has not released specific information about the nature of these so-called “attacks.”
The U.S. government has also indefinitely suspended visa processing in Cuba, warning its citizens that they could be “harmed” in Cuba.
The remaining 40 percent of employees who will remain at the Havana embassy are “emergency personnel.”
“The Cuban government has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate attacks of any kind against diplomats,” Cuba said in a statement on Thursday, when rumors of the embassy staff cut began swirling. “The Cuban government has never permitted nor will it ever permit the use of its …

One million cholera likely by year's end in Yemen - Red Cross

With around 750,000 cases already, the unprecedented scale of the epidemic makes it “the worst in history,” according to the Red Cross representative.
In a grim prognosis of what is the “world's largest humanitarian crisis” in current days, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced on Friday that they fear that there could be at least one-million cholera cases registered by the end of the year.
The high civilian casualties and cholera epidemic are caused by the use of “disproportionate force” and destruction of civilian infrastructure, Alexandre Faite, the head of the Yemen ICRC delegation said.
Yemen has been destroyed by a simultaneous blockade and vicious bombing campaign waged by a Saudi Arabian coalition backed by western governments such as the United States and United Kingdom.
According to Faite, there have been 750,000 suspected cases of cholera so far in the battered country, and at least 2,119 have died of the disease, which spreads due to lack of access …

We will need sterling resistance to stop the bosses’ sabotage

Capitalists will try every trick to derail a Labour government. Sarah Bates argues it will take mass resistance and strong counter-measures to give them a run for their money
Part 1
It’s not a paranoid fantasy to argue that parts of the establishment want to derail the left wing Labour leadership’s plans. The prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government seemed like an outside chance earlier this year. It now seems more than possible, with even the bosses’ Economist magazine calling him “The likely lad”.
At The World Transformed festival in Brighton last week, shadow chancellor John McDonnell spoke about a “potential assault” by the ruling class. He said the leadership is doing “war game-type scenario planning” for all possibilities following a Labour victory.
One possibility is that bankers could launch a run on the pound. Britain’s currency—the pound sterling—“floats” on the international market. Its value goes up and down as investors buy and sell sterling. When the pound falls, pr…

Leftists must finally take notice of – and buy stock in – bitcoins

by Ramin Mazaheri
Part 1
I can easily prove the leftist utility of bitcoins by relating one question I commonly hear: “Ramin, can you please take this medicine to my family the next time you visit Iran?”
The US produces more than half of all new medicines, but there is an embargo on Iran (and Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, etc.): With bitcoins, Iranians can circumvent these criminal, terroristic restrictions and get medicines which sick people are being cruelly denied.
So I see that bitcoins can save lives. Today.
Iran needs medicine, Cuba needs concrete, Venezuela needs toilet paper – bitcoins can be used for all these things…IF the left would immediately get involved with them.
One thing is absolutely, undeniably clear about bitcoins: The market is absolutely exploding for them in a way absolutely unseen in any field since the dot-com boom.
This process began in April, and it is fascinating. The mainstream media has only just picked up on this fact.
That means the average person is totally unaware…

Greece could leave the EU: why the Grexit option deserves consideration

With the Greek psyche itself the victim of a relentless shaming campaign, the idea of Greece “going it alone” begins to seem outlandish and quixotic. It is not. But it is as much tied to a revival of spirit and self-esteem as to the nuts and bolts of economic transformation.
by Michael Nevradakis
Part 5 - The argument for leaving the eurozone and the EU
If we truly support and believe in open and robust public debate, then the discussion as to whether Greece (or any other EU member-state) will be better served by departing from the EU or eurozone must be a part of that dialogue. So far, however, it has largely been excluded from the public sphere and from anything resembling equal footing in public discourse—whether that discussion is occurring in the media, in academia, or in the political arena.
Even if one is not a proponent of leaving the eurozone or the EU, the fiscally and politically prudent thing to do would be to have a plan in place for such a possibility. If, for instance, the…

Η Αριστερά και η Βενεζουέλα

του Κλάουντιο Κατς
Μέρος 9ο - Οι δυνατότητες της Συντακτικής Συνέλευσης
Προφανώς, η καλύτερη ευκαιρία για μια Συντακτική Συνέλευση που θα θέσπιζε σημαντικούς μετασχηματισμούς χάθηκε πριν από μερικά χρόνια. Η παρούσα εκλογή της είναι καθαρά αμυντική, μια προσπάθεια να αντιμετωπιστεί η απελπιστική κατάσταση.
Όμως, είναι άχρηστο να μιλά κανείς μόνο για ό,τι δεν έγινε. Υπάρχει χρόνος για αυτούς τους απολογισμούς. Το σημαντικό σήμερα είναι πώς η Συντακτική Συνέλευση θα ανοίξει ξανά δρόμους για την ανάπτυξη της λαϊκής πρωτοβουλίας.
Πριν από το κάλεσμα για την εκλογή της Συντακτικής Συνέλευσης, η κυβέρνηση περιοριζόταν στην καθαρά γραφειοκρατική αντιπαράθεση μεταξύ της μιας και της άλλης κρατικής εξουσίας. Βασιζόταν στην πάλη από τα πάνω μέσω της εκτελεστικής εξουσίας ή του Ανώτατου Δικαστηρίου ενάντια στην Εθνοσυνέλευση. Τώρα συγκαλεί επιτέλους την κοινωνική-κοινοτική εξουσία και απομένει να δούμε εάν αυτή η ιδέα θα μεταφραστεί σε πραγματική κινητοποίηση.
Μέσα στο τσαβίστικο κίνημα υπάρχουν πολλ…

Jeremy Corbyn should prepare the Labour Party for a fierce battle with the neoliberal regime

globinfo freexchange
Jeremy Corbyn's speech at the end of the recent Labor Party conference was on the right direction. Corbyn mentioned all the necessary steps that need to be taken so that one of the motherlands of ruthless neoliberalism change course, away from the destructive policies dictated by the neoliberal doctrine.
Leo Panitch, scholar and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at York University spoke to Sharmini Peries and The Real News, pointing that Corbyn's speech was "full of confidence":
           It was a great speech. full of confidence. When he was first surprisingly elected leader just over two years ago, he wasn't used to being in the limelight in that way, and his speech was often halting. But he's a conviction politician and now that he has the wind behind him and he has strong evidence that his message is in fact shifting the ground of British politics, he is full of confidence. It was a brilliant speech. He made a number of speeches l…

Bloomberg: Έλληνες «μην ανοίγετε σαμπάνιες» για την απομάκρυνση Σόιμπλε

Πολύ πιο σκληρός απέναντι στην Ελλάδα αναμένεται να είναι ο νέος υπουργός οικονομικών της Γερμανίας μετά την απομάκρυνση του Σόιμπλε, αναφέρει το Bloomberg σε άρθρο που υπογράφει ο Leonid Bershidsky.
Το άρθρο επισημαίνει ότι ο Βόλφγκανγκ Σόιμπλε υπήρξε πάντα οπαδός του ορθολογικού φιλελευθερισμού (Ordoliberalism), ο οποίος προβλέπει παρεμβάσεις του κράτους για τη διατήρηση της κοινωνικής ειρήνης.
Αντίθετα ο επόμενος υπουργός οικονομικών, που θα προέρχεται πιθανότατα από τις τάξεις των Φιλελεύθερων, θα είναι «ανερυθρίαστα» νεοφιλελεύθερος και θα επιτεθεί σε κάθε σχέδιο διαγραφής χρέους και αύξησης των κρατικών δαπανών – με επακόλουθα δημοσιονομικά ελλείμματα, που θα μπορούσαν να ενισχύσουν την ανάπτυξη.
Αν δεν καταλάβατε δηλαδή, μέχρι τώρα ζούσαμε το κοινωνικό πρόσωπο της Γερμανίας και με τον ανασχηματισμό της Μέρκελ έρχονται οι σκληροί νεοφιλελεύθεροι σε θέσεις-κλειδιά της κυβέρνησης.
«Πολύ σύντομα οι νοτιο-Ευρωπαίοι θα νοσταλγήσουν τον Σόιμπλε» καταλήγει το άρθρο.
Το ερώτημα είναι εάν η Ε…

In allowing women to drive, Saudi Arabia looks to cover its war tracks

It’s hard to go negative on such a positive and long overdue reform, but that seems to be precisely the point, as Saudi Arabia times its lifting of ban on women driving to drown a critical UN vote and ongoing financial and diplomatic woes in flood of glowing media coverage.
by Whitney Webb
On Tuesday, international corporate media outlets were abuzz with the news that the hyper-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia had finally lifted its ban on women drivers. A royal decree credited to King Salman was responsible for the sudden change in policy, which Prince Khaled bin Salman, the king’s son and the country’s ambassador to the U.S., called a “huge step forward.” Prior to Tuesday’s decree, Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to have such a ban, which was often cited by critics of the regime’s human rights record.
Much of the coverage regarding the decision spoke positively of the kingdom’s human rights trajectory, asserting that “women’s rights have steadily and slowly gained gr…

Israel refuses to end arm sales to Myanmar despite state crackdown on Rohingya

The Israeli High Court ruled on the petition Wednesday, however the judges hearing the case had issued a gag order a day earlier.
Israel has refused to stop selling arms to Myanmar even though the state has been accused by the United Nations of "textbook ethnic cleansing" of the minority Muslim Rohingya population.
A group of activists in Israel filed a petition in the country’s High Court of Justice demanding an end to the sales but a senior Israeli official Shosh Shmueli said that the court should not interfere in Israel's foreign relations.
While the Israeli High Court is set to rule on the petition Wednesday, the judges hearing the case had issued a gag order a day earlier at the request of Israeli government officials, preventing the case from being discussed in public.
In recent years, Israeli arms companies have sold more than 100 battle tanks, as well as patrol boats and light weapons to Myanmar’s military.
The Israeli company, TAR Ideal Concepts has also trained trai…

As Shock Therapy failed miserably in the 90s, the neocon dynasty seeks now direct confrontation with Russia

globinfo freexchange
In on of his most interesting films, The Trap: What Happened to our Dream of Freedom, Adam Curtis describes how the free market fundamentalists attempted to apply what has been called 'Shock Therapy' in Russia, right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. 'Shock Therapy' not only ruined the Russian economy, but even led to the rise of Vladimir Putin in power.
As Curtis says:
In 1992, the American government had passed the Freedom Support Act. Its aim was to help Russia reconstruct itself. Along with millions of dollars of aid, came a group of young American advisers, economists and political theorists, that had a radical vision of what was necessary. They called it 'Shock therapy'. The aim was to remove all State control over the Russian economy as a stroke. All price subsidies will be removed, and all State industries privatized overnight. Their leader was a Harvard economist called Jeffrey Sachs.
The Americans allied themselves with a group …

Οι Γερμανικές εκλογές και ο τρόπος που το κατεστημένο εκμεταλλεύεται την άνοδο της ακροδεξιάς

του system failure
Οι πρώτες αντιδράσεις για τα αποτελέσματα των πρόσφατων Γερμανικών εκλογών έδειξαν πόσο αποτελεσματικά το νεοφιλελεύθερο καθεστώς στη Γερμανία και την Ευρώπη εκμεταλλεύεται την άνοδο της ακροδεξιάς. Δεν υποτιμούμε την επικίνδυνη άνοδο της ακροδεξιάς στη Γερμανία (και αλλού), αλλά θα ήταν χρήσιμο να εντοπίσουμε τον βασικό σκοπό πίσω από τους βαρύγδουπους τίτλους στα περισσότερα από τα κυρίαρχα ΜΜΕ σχετικά με αυτό το γεγονός στην Ευρώπη.
Η συντριπτική πλειονότητα των κυριοτέρων ΜΜΕ (αλλά και ανεξάρτητων μέσων) επικεντρώθηκε στην επικίνδυνη άνοδο του ακροδεξιού κόμματος 'Εναλλακτική για τη Γερμανία' (AfD). Πράγματι, η άνοδός του είναι εντυπωσιακή και δεν μπορεί να υποτιμηθεί δεδομένου ότι στις προηγούμενες εκλογές το AfD με ποσοστό μόλις 4,7% δεν κατάφερε να πάρει ούτε μία έδρα.
Ωστόσο, αυτή είναι μια μεγάλη ευκαιρία για το νεοφιλελεύθερο κατεστημένο να εκμεταλλευτεί αυτή την τρομακτική άνοδο της ακροδεξιάς τουλάχιστον με δύο τρόπους:
Πρώτον, το φριχτό τέρας της άκ…

Bolivia holds debate on corporate and community media in Latin America

Participants will analyze corporate media and revolutionary alternatives to them in the region
Bolivia has begun hosting a two-day seminar to discuss the future of alternative media and attacks by corporate conglomerates against socialist governments in Latin America.
The debate will begin by analyzing media attacks against Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution, former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Bolivian President Evo Morales.
Scholars and journalists from the region will also participate, including Argentine political scientist Atilio Boron and Bolivian lawyer and journalist Hugo Moldiz.
It will also include presentations by teleSUR director Patricia Villegas and CubaDebate director Randy Alonso.
"Our objective is to contribute to rethinking the communication issue from our progressive processes, aware of its importance for the construction of a leftist, popular and revolutionary political project," the organizers said in a statement.
The meeting is organized by the N…

US H-Bomb testing forgotten in media frenzy over North Korea threat

In the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s bellicose United Nations speech – where he threatened to “totally destroy” the 25 million inhabitants of North Korea – Trump’s own use of provocative and unprecedented language was largely ignored.
Instead, frenzied coverage focused primarily on North Korea’s response to his shocking UN address. North Korea’s answer came courtesy of foreign minister Ri Yong-ho, who told reporters that North Korean leadership may consider testing a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific in response to Trump’s UN threats.
The latest counter from North Korea prompted a frantic response from corporate media pundits. Fox News interviewed retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters who argued that such a test would be “close to an act of war.” Reuters quoted David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, who argued that such a test would be a “tipping point” for China and might prompt many other countries to call for an “end to the [North Korean] …