Rob Hoveman

Brown and Inflation

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Chris Harman is right to say that Gordon Brown is very lucky (In Perspective, May Socialist Review).

His luck is partly that down to growth in the financial services sectors boosting investment and jobs which have fallen or stagnated elsewhere.

However there are also signs that his luck may be running out. The significant rise in inflation means that the Bank of England is under ever-increasing pressure to get on top of it by raising interest rates. But rising interest rates threaten to slow down or even deflate the housing market. For while inflation in the retail sector has been low, house price inflation has been rampant.

Stormy Waters

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Review of "The Economics Of Global Turbulence", Robert Brenner, Verso £25

Eight years ago an entire edition of the journal New Left Review was devoted to Robert Brenner's analysis of contemporary capitalism under the title The Economics of Global Turbulence. Now Verso has reprinted that long out of print journal article, with a new preface and an 80-page afterword, in which Brenner covers developments over the last eight years.

Andrew Glyn: 'Will we face a dystopia in which very large numbers of less qualified and poorly paid people exist to service the consumption needs of the rich?'

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Andrew Glyn has been a prominent left wing economist for more than 35 years. He talks to Rob Hoveman about his latest book Capitalism Unleashed.

Andrew Glyn's previous books sought to analyse the factors which moved the world economy from its "golden age" of strong growth before 1973 into the subsequent period of mass unemployment, lower growth and greater instability.

Socialist Alliance: A Real Alternative in Brent

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The decision taken by the Socialist Alliance at its annual conference in May to explore the possibilities of building a broader and more credible political coalition has provoked fierce debate in some quarters.

But the perspective of the 'task group' of national executive members charged with giving this project national leadership is very clear.

We intend to continue with the process of seeking to build the Socialist Alliance while actively exploring any possibility of boosting the general project of creating a left alternative to Blair. This means engagement with members of the Muslim community radicalised by the war, community activists and trade unionists.

Young, Gifted and Back

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Cabinet resignations, backbench rebellions and increasing public anger are all making life difficult for the government. Rob Hoveman views the prospects for the left.

Tony Blair and New Labour are in trouble. The most dramatic political event in years - the war on Iraq and the mass movement against it - created deep splits in the party. Some 140 Labour MPs voted against the government even though Blair effectively made it a vote of confidence in him. The movement against the war very nearly forced Blair from office. Two cabinet ministers - Robin Cook and belatedly Clare Short - have now resigned because of the war.

Political Fund: Value for Money?

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New Labour's attacks on trade unionists has provided an important argument about political affiliation.

There will be an intense debate this year in almost every union conference about the link between the Labour Party and the trade unions. No one should underestimate the seismic shift that has been going on for the last couple of years and which has quickened massively even in the last few weeks.

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