more liberal wars for democracy?

This month’s editorial looks at the rising threat of war in Syria and Iran

March was quite a month for the champions of liberal imperialism. Not only does the raging civil war in Syria raise the prospect of Western intervention, but the social media-based ‘Kony 2012’ campaign  saw such luminaries as Russell Brand and Rihanna promoting the cause of humanitarian intervention in Uganda. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu complained that his country would not wait long in attacking Iran’s alleged nuclear facilities.

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dressed to kill

It was against this backdrop that David Cameron and Barack Obama reaffirmed the ‘special relationship’ between Britain and the United States, a ritual of Prime Ministerial visits to Washington dating back more than thirty years. Many media noted their chummy relationship, including visiting a basketball game and playing table tennis. Continue reading “more liberal wars for democracy?”

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a friend in need is a friend indeed…

David Broder’s thoughts on the cosy ruling-class ties being pulled apart by the Middle East uprising

Like many of the great revolutions in history, the current wave of democratic uprisings surprised all the intelligence experts and media pundits. Not only has the hated NUS chief Aaron Porter been displaced in a palace coup, but so too have dictators such as Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak.

This element of surprise in the Arab revolt has left many of the great and good caught with their pants down. If dictators are falling, it’s not the right ones, and the changed situation has left some cosy friendships rather exposed. Continue reading “a friend in need is a friend indeed…”

big society: all that is holy is profaned…

With the ‘Big Society’ project apparently on the rocks, Adam Ford asks what’s really behind the initiative

The political fraud that is David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ has been grabbing a lot of mainstream media attention over the last couple of weeks. The frenzy was kicked off when ‘Big Society Tsar’ Lord Wei cut his hours, after discovering that working for free on three days each weeks was not compatible with “having a life”. But what is the class significance of the Coalition’s crusade?


Wei – a ‘social entrepreneur’ – was ‘created’ a Tory peer by Cameron in May last year. He started work advising on the ‘Big Society’, but “at the last moment it turned out to be unpaid”. He committed himself to first two and then three days per week, but “in the autumn I asked to go back to two days”. Apparently, he had to balance “…making a living, seeing my family, and helping to change society.” Continue reading “big society: all that is holy is profaned…”

a beginners’ guide to cuts

by Robert Kirby

In the last few months, the constant refrain from all the mainstream parties has been the need for cuts in the public sector. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg promised “savage”  cuts at his party conference – before rapidly backtracking when his attempt at virility didn’t go down well with the party faithful. David Cameron has promised an “age of austerity”; an entire political era built around government belt tightening. George Osborne has threatened a pay-freeze for all public sector workers. And whilst Labour party figures like Peter Mandelson have complained that the Tories would be “gleeful” in enforcing cutbacks, their “responsible” brand of austerity will mean the same cuts in living standards for ordinary people.

cameronpigs

The UK national debt is currently around £800 bn; around 60% of GDP, and is predicted to rise much higher in coming years. The government runs an approximately 12% deficit, meaning that a predicted £175 bn more will go out than come in. Around half of this deficit is structural – meaning that it is a permanent feature rather than a credit-crunch induced blip. This means that the increasing interest on government debt has to be serviced, a cumulative weight on the exchequer that will get worse and worse without action. The deficit could raise interest rates throughout the economy, cause inflation and potentially lead to a devaluation of the currency. From the perspective of the ruling elite, these figures make it seem pretty imperative to restore the economy to balance and competitiveness. But ultimately, capitalism isn’t about balance and competitiveness, but about profit. Continue reading “a beginners’ guide to cuts”

the commune’s 21st september london forum on the tories

Public discussion forum

Polls put the Tories ahead of Labour by 17% and heading for a 100 seat majority at the coming general election. All indications are that we are heading for a Tory government by next summer.

camerontoryconf

When the Tories were last in power, Thatcher and Major led a vicious 18-year capitalist offensive against the working class, and the anti-union laws they introduced remain to this day under Gordon Brown. They restructured industry, created mass unemployment, scapegoated the poor and casualised labour.

We have every reason to worry: but what is the Tory agenda today? Are we ready for the challenge? The Commune is hosting a public forum to discuss these questions, and all are welcome. Continue reading “the commune’s 21st september london forum on the tories”

the tories: what are they planning, and are we ready for them?

21st September London ‘uncaptive minds’ forum

Polls put the Tories ahead of Labour by 17% and heading for a 100 seat majority at the coming general election. All indications are that we are heading for a Tory government by next summer.

camerontoryconf

When the Tories were last in power, Thatcher and Major led a vicious 18-year capitalist offensive against the working class, and the anti-union laws they introduced remain to this day under Gordon Brown. They restructured industry, created mass unemployment, scapegoated the poor and casualised labour.

We have every reason to worry: but what is the Tory agenda today? Are we ready for the challenge? The Commune is hosting a public forum to discuss these questions, and all are welcome. Continue reading “the tories: what are they planning, and are we ready for them?”