Feature

How austerity hurts women

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Underlying the sexism women experience is a structural oppression based on women’s role in the family, exacerbated by austerity, writes Jan Nielsen

The #MeToo campaign has rightly shone a glaring light on the misogyny and discrimination that women experience. Less publicised has been the striking increase in inequality that women are experiencing as a result of austerity, cuts to services and changes to the benefits system.

Recent government statistics show that women will shoulder a startling 85 percent of the burden of the government’s cuts to social security and tax changes by 2020. They also show that women’s incomes are being hit twice as hard as men’s as a result of changes to the tax and benefit system.

Iran 1979: an opportunity squandered

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Forty years ago protests in Iran rolled over into a revolution. John Rose tells a tale of huge potential brutally suppressed.

The Iranian Revolution of February 1979 was one of the most startling events of the 20th century. This is true not just because of the almost total participation of the entire population in the active overthrow of the Shah, the dictatorial self-proclaimed monarch, but also because of the determination of the new regime to install what it described as an “Islamic Republic”.

Tory impasse: how can the left intervene?

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After two and a half years of negotiations, it is still absolutely unclear what will or will not happen with Brexit. Joseph Choonara looks at the scale of the crisis for Theresa May’s government, but also at the potential opportunities for the left to shape events, rather than simply spectate.

It is astonishing that, as I write this article, two months before Britain was scheduled to leave the European Union (EU), and after two and a half years of negotiation and planning, it is entirely unclear what fate awaits us.

Back in summer 2016, few people predicted that one of the greatest stumbling blocks would prove to be the Irish question — an issue fusing the legacy of Britain’s colonial past with the EU’s determination to police its external borders.

Fighting the far right on the campuses

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One arena in which the far right is trying to build is in universities. Lewis Nielsen and Naima Omar investigate.

In a context of growing political turmoil and polarisation, the far right are attempting to win the battle of ideas. They aim to seize on the racism that comes from the top of society — from islamophobia to myths about refugees — and sharpen it. In the process their goal is to make their ideas more acceptable and in turn to win larger numbers to their politics.

Joseph Arch and the revolt of the fields

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In the 1870s agricultural workers across Britain began a whirlwind campaign to organise trade unions. Martin Empson looks at the involvement of the now little known leader of the movement, Joseph Arch, who died a century ago this month and whose contribution shouldn’t be forgotten.

Joseph Arch, agricultural labourer, trade unionist and Liberal MP, died in February 1919 at the age of 92. Today he is almost forgotten, yet in his lifetime tens of thousands of agricultural workers looked to him as a leader. In the 1870s, in response to poverty and unemployment in agricultural communities, he was at the heart of an explosion of trade unionism that terrified landowners and farmers.

The day the Zulus beat the British Empire

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The Zulu victory over British forces at Isandlwana in southern Africa 140 years ago profoundly shocked a Victorian society ideologically bound to the notion of white superiority over black "barbarism". Barry Conway explains why the victory should be celebrated by every socialist.

This month sees the 140th anniversary of the Battle at Isandlwana. This, the first major encounter in the Anglo-Zulu War and a decisive win for the Zulu, will be commemorated and celebrated across KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. Isandlwana brought the name “Zulu” to the attention of the world and established them as the paramount native force on the African continent.

Terror tacticians

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The Ku Klux Klan is back in the spotlight. Huw Williams looks at its blood-drenched record.

The film BlacKkKlansman by Spike Lee, in the context of the rise of the far-right in the US and globally, has once again put a spotlight on the history of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The KKK claims a near 150-year history since its origins in the US’s Deep South after the American Civil War of 1861-65.

The war on trans

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Proposals aimed at enabling trans people to more easily transition have met with attacks from the right, and sadly parts of the left. Laura Miles argues that socialists must support the fightback.

Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November 2018 commemorated 369 trans people murdered globally that year. The 2017 figure was 325, itself an increase on 2016. These figures don’t cover the much higher numbers who took their own lives.

Celebrating Rosa Luxemburg

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A remarkable figure amid a revolutionary ferment, Rosa Luxemburg lit the way for generations to come. Sally Campbell recalls her legacy, and we reprint Luxemburg's final article, written the day before she died in January 1919.

Rosa Luxemburg is, without a doubt, one of the most important revolutionaries to emerge from that tumultuous period that ran from the end of the 19th century through to the aftermath of the First World War. This was a time of immense social, political, technological and economic change. It was also the time when socialist revolution became real — and Luxemburg contributed to theorising and partaking in those revolutions, right up until her murder at the hands of the counter-revolutionaries in Berlin on 15 January 1919.

Continuity and change in the Labour Party

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First published in 1988, Tony Cliff and Donny Gluckstein's The Labour Party: A Marxist History was indispensible to those trying to understand the power and limitations of reformism. Charlie Kimber explains why he has contributed to an updated edition covering the period from Blair to Corbyn.

An extraordinary transformation in the image of the Labour Party happened in 2015 with Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader. A party that had acted as an efficient and loyal servant of the capitalist class was suddenly speaking about a challenge to big business, the banks, and the super-rich.

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