Monday, May 17, 2021
Historically the Middle East has been the centre of conflict between different imperial powers with its strategic and economic importance in terms of trade routes and oil. For over thirty years the US has been embroiled in “endless wars” there. Now it is attempting to use proxies in the area so that it can withdraw much of its military presence to concentrate on new priorities. The situation, however, is highly complex with other resurgent regional and world powers asserting themselves in a shifting pattern of alliances. Russia, Turkey, Israel, the Gulf States and Iran are major players. The peoples of the Middle East are continuing to suffer and there is a real threat of major conflict between big powers, whether by accident or design. There is, therefore, a duty on the movement in the west to mobilise unconditionally against war wherever it is instigated and whatever the supposed justification. Also to support the Palestinians in their fight against Israeli oppression.
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Joe Biden’s political appointments and domestic policies are the backdrop to the United States strategy to maintain its world dominance. These policies are being forged by veteran Washington insiders - key figures who were also prominent in the Obama era. Domestically policies are aimed at stabilising the US economy post-pandemic and preventing social dislocation and potential further unrest. This includes a big stimulus package for the economy and progressive measures on trade union rights and policing in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. But the Republicans will block much of this and the left will need to push Biden and Harris to fight for these policies. Though Biden’s rhetoric is different from Trump’s, he has appointed foreign policy hawks to his cabinet and will continue with the policies of Obama and Trump aimed at confronting the rise of China and Russia on the world stage. To be able to focus on that more effectively, however, the US is seeking to get out of major military commitments in the Middle East, which have proved a quagmire and instead to use proxies as a more effective way of achieving its ends.
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Capitalism and greed, as Boris Johnson is proud to say, go together. However, they are not the success he likes to pretend. In fact markets have failed abysmally to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. It is actually the public sector and state intervention that has had the greatest success in combating the virus. Capitalist greed benefits no one but the capitalists. The rich world - the EU and countries like Britain and the United States - are battling it out to secure shares of vaccines while poorer countries are being left far behind. The EU has struggled with it's procurement programme which is a further blow to those who wish to centralise power even more within the bloc.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Amazon employees endure oppressive working conditions but there are now struggles taking place to improve these and to gain union recognition across the globe. These are hard fought battles as the company uses any dirty tricks: lying to staff, spying on union organisers and sacking activists, to fight their own workers.
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.
Sunday, January 3, 2021
SOCIALIST CORRESPONDENT ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION MEETING Speaker: Steve Howell – Former adviser to Jeremy Corbyn, Author of Game Changer, the story of Labour’s 2017 election campaign, and a US-UK joint citizen. Chair: Elly Baker
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
The West has, over decades, used its technological capabilities to spy on a host of other countries and organisations. Spy hardware was built into communications systems by Crypto AG. Crypto was a Swiss firm founded in 1952 and secretly bought by the CIA and the West German spy service. In all, 120 countries were sold apparatus which enabled their communications to be decrypted by the US National Security Agency (NSA). The information gathered was actively used by the West to intervene for example, in the Egyptian/Israeli negotiations at Camp David in 1978, and to aid the British during the Falklands war. Crypto continued in use until 2018 its capabilities having been superseded by the use of software. We are now all spied on through our use of search engines and social media and the NSA has a huge capacity to process all that data fed in from Google, Facebook etc.