Sally Campbell

The Falling

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The Falling is a dreamlike story of a fainting epidemic among pupils at a girls’ school. It is director Carol Morley’s first feature film, following her haunting 2011 documentary Dreams of a Life.

Set in a damp England in 1969, the times are changing, but the stuffy school in which the action takes place couldn’t be less swinging. Most of the teachers are stuck in the 1950s — if not austerity Britain of the 1940s — particularly Greta Scacchi’s Miss Mantel, who initially recalls Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Safe spaces?

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The cancellation of feminist comedian Kate Smurthwaite’s gig at Goldsmiths College in February — possibly out of fear of protests by other feminists over her views on sex work — has escalated into a row over who is allowed to speak on campuses and who decides.
Different examples are being lumped together with little clarity. A recent article in the Guardian is a good example:

Abortion amendment rejected

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An attempt to restrict access to abortion in the UK was thwarted last month — but the vote was too close to be ignored. Fiona Bruce MP, the Tory chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, put up an amendment to the serious crime bill, which would have criminalised abortion on the grounds of foetal sex. She was defeated by 292-201.

Make 2015 a year of resistance

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In four months time we face a general election amid an unprecedented political crisis. This is set to be the most racist general election campaign any of us has experienced. Tory chancellor George Osborne’s proposed cuts will take total government spending to just 35 percent of GDP — the lowest since the 1930s. The impact will be devastating.

European bosses' club

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Montage of EU suits

The EU was never about peace or defending workers' conditions, but a means of expanding the bosses' power. Sally Campbell argues for unity with Europe's workers but hostility to its rulers

In January 2013 Prime Minister David Cameron made a speech on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) in which he promised to renegotiate the “terms of the relationship” and put the result to a referendum in 2017.

Cameron was seeking to stem the growing support for Ukip, undercut the Eurosceptic wing of his own Tory party, defer the EU question until after the May 2015 general election, and simultaneously blame Britain’s economic troubles on the Eurozone debt crisis.

Future Days: Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany

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Krautrock is rather an offensive term. It certainly isn’t one that any of the bands that emerged out of the West German 1968 generation would use to describe themselves.

The term came from the British music press, which greeted the avant-garde groups with headlines such as “Can: They Have Ways of Making You Listen” and “Kraftwerk: The Final Solution to the Music Problem?”

But the long, slow fallout from the Nazi period is precisely the situation which generated a radical new cultural scene.

Spain: Defeat for abortion rights attack

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Spain

Pro-choice campaigners were celebrating last month as an attempt to savagely restrict access to abortion in the Spanish state collapsed.

The right wing People’s Party government approved a law last December, which would have made abortion illegal except in very limited circumstances.

Protests by tens of thousands throughout this year have exacerbated divisions within the ruling party, leading prime minister Mariano Rajoy to finally announce the bill dead.

Why does Capitalism lead to war?

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Death from the sky

The century since the slaughter in the First World War has been littered with endless more bloody wars. Sally Campbell argues the drive to war is not accidental but inherent in the logic of capitalism.

In the 20 years running up to the First World War there were approximately 100 binding agreements between the Great Powers promising peaceful coexistence. The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague was set up in 1899 “with the object of seeking the most objective means of ensuring to all peoples the benefits of a real and lasting peace, and above all, of limiting the progressive development of existing armaments”. This was at the behest of the peace-loving Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (nickname: Bloody Nicholas).

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