Feature

The Jubilee: The House of Horrors

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Ian Birchall explains why he is not impressed by recent attempts to rehabilitate the monarchy.

Just after the queen mother's funeral Jonathan Freedland of the 'Guardian' apologised for misjudging 'the public mood' and wrote that 'these are days for republicans to walk humbly'. Freedland likes swimming with the stream, and had picked up on a certain swing back to popularity for the monarchy.

The Jubilee: No Future in England's Dream

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Punk was the perfect antidote to the 1977 jubilee, because it stuck two fingers up to the establishment.

By now you are probably sick of the hype surrounding the queen's golden jubilee. Even before the royal beano began, newspaper columnists talked of a country united. Many have evoked the celebrations that took place during the queen's silver jubilee in 1977. But the country was never united. One 7-inch single helped piss on the queen's parade.

Anti-Capitalism: The Agents of Change

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Luciano Muhlbauer invites you to join thousands of others at the European Social Forum in Florence later this year.

After two decades of neoliberal dominance all kinds of divisions are emerging. The rise of the far right, and of racist and xenophobic movements in general, represents the political face of a process of capitalist modernisation based on the defeat of earlier waves of class struggle as well as changes in the social composition of the working class.

Polarisation in Europe: Designed to Deceive

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Today's fascists stand in the tradition of their Nazi forefathers.

Fascism in the year 2002 does not come in a black shirt with a pencil moustache--it comes in a designer suit. It is not going to call openly for the extermination of the Jews and will try to cultivate maximum respectability. Neither is it going to goosestep down your high street complete with swastika flag. This seems to throw many liberal journalists and academics into confusion. For them if someone does not correspond to their image of fascism they cannot be a Nazi.

Polarisation in Europe: Right Turn or Revolt?

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The crisis in Europe has allowed the far right a hearing, but it's also led to a resurgence of the left.

Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.' The Irish poet WB Yeats wrote those words in the wake of the First World War. Today the sense of political crisis across Europe, while not as great as then, is growing weekly as support for the parties of the centre cracks and politics polarises to the left and right.

Kashmir: The Dance of Death

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The possibility of war between India and Pakistan refutes the idea that nuclear weapons act as a deterrent.

When India detonated five nuclear bombs four years ago many of its leaders, especially BJP ministers, convinced themselves that New Delhi had now staked an irrefutable claim to both international prestige and security. When Nawaz Sharif set off six of his own blasts in 'retaliation', he boasted: 'Ab Pakistan hamesha ke liye mahfooz ho gaya.' ('Now Pakistan has become safe forever.')

The Growing Opposition

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The chickens are coming home to roost. Far from the 'war against terrorism' making the world a safer place, its consequences are leading to the threat of more wars and devastation. India and Pakistan are on the brink of a war involving nuclear weapons.

But this is only one part of the instability that the 'war against terrorism' and the bombing of Afghanistan have unleashed. The war in Afghanistan itself is far from over. Fighting still continues in the south of the country, the government's writ does not run outside Kabul and the country is in danger of sliding back into civil war. Freedom and democracy are as far away as ever for the people of Afghanistan. Western troops have been reduced to firing on wedding parties in the mistaken belief that celebratory gunfire at these events is an attack by Al Qaida.

A Fistful of Dollars

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The deadly arms trade between Britain, the US and Israel

Colin Powell effectively went on his 'peace mission' to Israel with a suitcase of guns. Every US call for Israeli restraint is matched by millions of dollars in military aid and huge consignments of US arms. It's not the Jewish-US lobby driving this support for Israel, but those old Texas issues of guns and oil. A well armed Israel can better keep the 'balance of power' in the Middle East, ensuring cheap flowing oil. The arms sales keep up the share prices of Lockheed, Raytheon, Boeing and Textron. Britain hangs on to the coat tails of US policy and also arms to Israel.

Victory to the Intifada

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Anger against Israel's murder of Palestinians has led to mass protests throughout the Middle East. Simon Assaf reports from Lebanon.

On Friday 29 March the Arab world changed. Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon sent his troops in the deadliest assault so far on the Palestinians. Tanks surrounded Yasser Arafat's office, and the massacre of Palestinians began in Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus, and countless towns and villages across the West Bank.

Can There Be a Revolution in Britain?

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Report from a Marxist Forum in Bristol

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in April, 30 of us got together in Bristol for one of our regular Marxist forums. Sitting round cafe tables in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, we discussed the possibility of revolution in Britain. We were of different ages and varying political backgrounds, but what we had in common was a concern about the society we live in and a desire to change it.

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