Feature

Palestine: Voice of the Silent Majority

Issue section: 
Author: 

Distinguished writer Edward Said on a new initiative to end Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Since it began 15 months ago the Palestinian intifada has had little to show for itself politically, despite the remarkable fortitude of a militarily occupied, unarmed, poorly led, and still dispossessed people that has defied the pitiless ravages of Israel's war machine. In the US the government and, with a handful of exceptions, the 'independent' media have echoed each other in harping on about Palestinian violence and terror, with no attention at all paid to the 35 year Israeli military occupation, the longest in modern history.

Labour and the Unions: Byers and Sellers

Issue section: 

Judith Orr explains why the state of Britain's railways is producing a political crisis for New Labour, while Gareth Jenkins blames years of underinvestment.

It was only 2,000 workers. Hardly enough to shake a majority government off course. Yet within days of the first South West Trains strikes the air of crisis around the government threatened Stephen Byers' position. ScotRail drivers refused to work rest days and stopped one in four trains running. Arriva train drivers returned a 17 to one vote for strike action, and even commuters are planning a passenger strike on 1 March . The media was suddenly full of talk about a return of the 1970s.

1972: A Great Year for the Workers

Issue section: 
Author: 

Thirty years ago Britain's workers were on the offensive. We reprint an article from 'Socialist Worker' which explains how solidarity and socialist politics can strengthen the workers' movement.

1972 was a tremendous year for Britain's working class. The struggle rose to new heights, both in terms of the number of workers involved, the size of strikes and their length, and above all in the quality of the struggle. There have been far more large-scale and prolonged strikes this year than in the previous ten years. November and December figures have not yet been published, but there is no doubt that the total number of strike days has reached or exceeded 30 million this year.

Labour and the Unions: We are Throwing Down the Gauntlet

Issue section: 
Author: 

RMT activist Greg Tucker explains how growing radicalisation is leading to a rift between New Labour and the unions.

The RMT leadership was always proud of the deep links between Labour and the union at all levels. At the top the RMT sponsored half the shadow cabinet and had great expectations of a Labour government. A significant number of union activists had been encouraged to become Labour councillors and at the grassroots the union boasted the highest density of party membership of any trade union.

Japan: All in the Family

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The history and myths behind Japan's imperial dynasty

Japan's Crown Princess Masako gave birth to a girl in early December - no ordinary child, this, but potentially the heir to an imperial dynasty that claims a 2,600-year unbroken line. The press, when it was not using the language of a stud farm to discuss the problems of a family 'running out of its stock of males' because no boy babies had been 'produced' since 1965, filled its pages with stories and pictures of happy flag-waving subjects.

Tolkien - Middle Earth Meets Middle England

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Fantasy writer China Miéville looks at the ideas and work of JRR Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings.

In 1954 and 1955 a professor of English at Oxford University published a long, rambling fairy story in three hardbacks. And nothing much happened. This was the 1905 of fantastic literature - a dress rehearsal for the revolution. That revolution came in earnest ten years later, when the book, The Lord of the Rings, was published in the US in cheap, pirate paperbacks, along with rapid response authorised versions. And they sold. A generation of students, hippies and potheads found hidden meanings in legends of power, wisdom, magic and secret knowledge.

Clones Maketh a man?

Issue section: 
Issue: 

John Parrington examines the controversy over the cloning of human embryos.

A controversial area of science that has hardly been out of the spotlight since the birth of its leading lady - Dolly the sheep - is cloning. The recent announcement that scientists have succeeded in cloning a human embryo has reignited the simmering debate about the issue. The US biotechnology firm responsible, Advanced Cell Technology (Act) says its intention is not to produce a cloned baby. Instead it aims to produce cloned embryos as a source of human stem cells. These have the unique property of being able to mature into any cell type in the body.

The Culture of Discontent

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

What is "Britishness"?

So David Blunkett has decided, like Norman Tebbit before him, that immigrants should be tested for their responsiveness to British cultural values! In Tebbit's case, the key test was cricket. A British person was a man (note!) who knew his cricket, who understood the world of cork on willow, and the deep significance of taking tea and cream scones on the village green.

Black and White Lies

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Race in Britain

It didn't take long for this government's brief flirtation with Britain's Muslims to come to an end. No sooner had the war against Afghanistan been 'won', accompanied by convenient pictures of religious leaders on the steps of 10 Downing Street, than it was back to normal. Tony Blair tucked his copy of the Koran away, and out came the Old Testament figure of home secretary David Blunkett.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Feature