Sunday, March 25, 2018
President Macron is driving through anti-worker measures to make France more "competitive" with other low wage economies and bringing it into line with the UK and Germany. He is attacking workers rights, eroding job security, cutting public services and jobs and privatising publically owned assets. There is opposition, however, it is weaker and more divided than it was. This weakness on the left is providing fertile ground for the right to make advances.
Sunday, March 25, 2018
The Syrian government, with the help of Russia and Iran, is making significant advances in eradicating terrorist forces like Islamic State. The United States is still trying to frustrate this process as it pursues its own objectives in the region.
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Whilst Jacob Zuma was a problem he was not the only issue facing South Africa and the African National Congress. His departure has offered hope of change, but there are more deep-seated problems which need to be tackled. Despite advances, there has been corruption and growing inequality within South Africa. Opportunists have joined the ANC for personal advancement. Too often the needs of capital have come first. The ANC itself has produced critiques of these problems, but tackling them will be a major challenge.
Friday, March 23, 2018
The PR company, Bell Pottinger, collapsed after it was revealed that it orchestrated a campaign in South Africa designed to inflame racial hatred and divert attention from allegations of "state capture" against the Gupta family. This is the end of a long line of political interventions made by the company and its founder to promote reactionary policies. These include running Tory election campaigns, advising the government and the National Coal Board during the Miners Strike, working on FW de Klerk's election campaign, campaigning to halt the fraud investigation into the Al-Yamamah arms deal and producing propaganda for the US in Iraq.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
The latest protests in Iran have different character from those that have gone before. They were more widespread involving both the rural and urban populations and uniting the working and middle classes. Though sparked by growing impoverishment, slogans were also directed against the repressive regime itself. Although the US and Israel expressed support for the demonstrators they have another agenda, hoping to use their repression as a pretext for further attacks on Iran. The Tudeh Party of Iran has warned against the protests being hijacked by reactionary forces both inside and outside the country.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
The confrontational tactics adopted by both the governments in Catalonia and Spain have entrenched the polarisation of pro and anti-independence views. In the elections called after Carles Puigdemont's declaration of independence, pro-independence parties again had a narrow victory, however, more worryingly a majority of Catalans voted for the right-wing. The two biggest parties coming out of the elections were both of the right, one of them pro and the other anti-independence.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
US defence strategy has shifted from terrorism to "threats" posed by Russia and China and the Pentagon is lobbying for more resources to take them on. Allegations of links between Trump and Russia and interference by Russia in elections there and elsewhere, need to be seen in this context.
Monday, March 19, 2018
Reviews of Kingsman - The Secret Service and The Golden Circle, Jumanji and Star Wars the Last Jedi.