Tuesday, June 25, 2019
May has been forced out at last, unable to sell her unpopular Brexit deal to parliament. The two leadership contenders to replace her both promise to carry through on Brexit, yet that is not what the ruling class wants. While this saga drags on in Britain, the EU continues to get on with other business, mainly jockeying for the top jobs post the EU elections and dealing with its own internal conflicts.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
The European Union is often portrayed as a harmonious, collaborative body but take a closer look and there are many disputes between member states and with other countries. in particular there are growing tensions with the United States over its tech war with China and spending on NATO.
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Book review. A thought provoking read which follows the story of a US academic whose parents left the Soviet Union in the 1970s. He returns to capitalist Moscow in 2008 and the novel documents his struggle to adapt and the dilemmas he encounters in his life there.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
There are many myths about the EU, among them that it is an internationalist body of equal partners committed to human rights. In fact it is the reverse of this. It serves big capital and the economic interests of its dominant nations at the expense of smaller ones and of the peoples of Europe. Furthermore its structures are undemocratic meaning that it cannot be reformed in a progressive direction.
Monday, February 11, 2019
A review of two contrasting films about families, Happy End by Micheal Haneke and Shoplifters by Hirokazu Kore-eda, where both economics and values are central to the narrative. In Happy End a wealthy, conventional family is portrayed as a loveless hell motivated only by money. Whereas, Shoplifters draws a picture of a motley family group in which some individuals are related and some not. It is their attempt to survive poverty that binds them together as a more affectionate family.
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Review of Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis the Greek Finance Minister in 2015 when the newly elected Syriza Government was trying to find a negotiated outcome with the EU to save Greece from the problems caused by the financial crash. As members of the EU and the Eurozone Greece was unable to to implement its own remedies. However the EU proved an unwilling and untrustworthy partner.
Sunday, November 18, 2018
The current intractable problems of negotiating a Brexit which will satisfy the EU, both wings of the Tory Party, its allies in the Democratic Unionist Party and the divided electorate are rooted in the history of the EU and British imperialism. The impossibility of negotiating as equals with the EU was experienced by the Greek government and it comes as no surprise that it is playing hard-ball with Britain. The future of Brexit remains highly uncertain.
Saturday, November 17, 2018
As well as the current proposal agreed by Teresa May and the EU several other options have been proposed for a "soft Brexit", however the EU will only accept an agreement which does not undermine the integrity of its single-market. This means that in any soft Brexit option Britain would be required to remain bound by its rules, effectively part of the EU without any say in it.