Monday, May 10, 2021
Agriculture is in crisis with the land becoming less productive and agribusiness marketing increasingly intensive chemical interventions to farmers. Farmers are also forced to sell at low prices to supermarket monopolies. Experiments have begun in rewilding the land, challenging the power of big business. But can this be a practical way forward for the future?
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Brexit will leave British capital weaker and marks another significant step in Britain’s decline relative to other imperial powers over the last 100 years. Britain always had an uneasy relationship with the EU, with different allegiances and ambitions from France and Germany. Having said that the dominant sectors of British capital, whose interests were tied up with the EU, were not in favour of Brexit. However it did happen due to the continued tensions within the British ruling-class about its world role, the incompetence of its political representatives and alienation in communities which had suffered neglect over decades. The full impact of Brexit remains to be seen, but there is bound to be a hit on the financial sector which dominates the economy. There is also the prospect of the break-up of the UK with majority support currently for Scottish independence and the reshaping of Northern Ireland’s relationship to the UK and Ireland by the Brexit process. All this is happening against the backdrop of a long term decline in British capital’s share of the world economy, an increasingly parasitic domestic economy and the disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the UK government and the devolved administrations.
Friday, February 12, 2021
Britain has left the European Union and exited from the year-long transition period on 31st December 2020. This is four and a half years after the vote to Leave and it is not over yet. The agreement between the UK and the EU leaves many issues unresolved and constructs a web of committees which will keep them in permanent negotiating mode. Although the UK has gained some formal autonomy from the EU in this agreement, nevertheless it is founded on neo-liberal assumptions and keeping both parties in alignment, precluding progressive intervention in the economy.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
The Brexit deal has exposed Boris Johnson’s false claim that Britain would gain total control of its fishing after Brexit. In fact, the deal has only given Britain an increased 25% share of the fish within its waters. It’s a far lower figure than the Tory promise of 80%. Over decades the UK government and the EU conspired to develop a market in fishing quotas which benefited big business at the expense of small fishermen. The Brexit agreement has done nothing to change that.
Monday, February 8, 2021
Despite the judge in charge of the case ruling against extradition to the United States, Julian Assange remains in prison without charge. He is being detained in conditions which amount to torture and his physical and mental health are at serious risk. Although not charged with any crime his offence has been to expose the misdeeds of the US war machine. His persecution a major threat to investigative journalism and free speech everywhere.
Sunday, February 7, 2021
One of the most notorious aspects of the development of neo-liberalism has been the huge growth in the gig economy. With venture capital having a big stake in it, Deliveroo was one of the pioneers in slashing workers’ rights and their terms and conditions of work. The use of workers with bogus self employed status has become a significant feature of how capitalism exploits workers in the 21st century.
Saturday, February 6, 2021
Whilst big rivals confront each other in a new cold war, the tactics involved in this of sanctions, boycotts and bullying are also being underpinned by military might. This includes a concerning build up of nuclear weapons and the lowering of the threshold for their use by the USA and NATO. There are nuclear and other threatening manoeuvres directed at encircling Russia and China. Britain too is increasing its arms spending and exports, is developing a new National Cyber Force and is still set on renewing Trident nuclear weapons.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Sylvia Pankhurst was sidelined from the official celebrations of 100 years some women getting the vote in Britain. This was not unconnected to her socialist politics. Unlike the other Pankhurst women she took a class position on fighting for women's rights and embraced anti-imperialist causes, especially opposing the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. The Sylvia Pankhurst Memorial committee are seeking to redress this shameful neglect by raising a statue to her in Clerkenwell Green.