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Building the fightback

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This September marked six months since the UK entered national lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The terror of the lockdown, when thousands of people lost their lives as a result of Covid-19, gave way to an eerily carefree summer with the Tories desperately attempting a return to normality, encouraging people out with the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, opening schools and universities and pushing for a return to work even when some people could work from home. The economic picture is grim.

Covid-19 unleashes the economics of chaos

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The Covid crisis has led to lockdown measures which have produced big declines in economic activity across the world. Britain has suffered the worst declines of any major economy. In the second quarter of this year, April to June, the British economy shrank by 20.4 percent, the worst slump by far since records began in 1955 and twice the decline in the US economy. There are two reasons why the British economy has suffered much more than others, both of them due to deliberate policies of Conservative governments.

Will Covid-19 break the Union with Scotland?

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A widespread perception that Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis has been better than Boris Johnson’s shambles seems to be convincing growing numbers of people in Scotland to break from the United Kingdom. Six polls conducted in 2020 have consistently shown support for independence hovering at over 50 percent. And while Johnson’s approval rating stands at minus 39 percent, Sturgeon’s is at plus 60 percent. In 2019, new support for independence was registered mainly among people who opposed Brexit.

Domestic abuse law will not end violence at home

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The new Domestic Abuse Bill aims to broaden the definitions of abuse and to improve the support available for victims. The main hope for this new legislation is that by more accurately defining abuse, more victims will get help. This comes at a time when domestic abuse charities and campaigners, both in the UK and across the world, have reported a surge in calls to helplines and online services during the lockdown. Currently, many who report abuse are told to come back when they are physically assaulted, as this is the only form of domestic abuse the law recognises.

Domestic abuse law will not end violence at home

Issue section: 

The new Domestic Abuse Bill aims to broaden the definitions of abuse and to improve the support available for victims. The main hope for this new legislation is that by more accurately defining abuse, more victims will get help. This comes at a time when domestic abuse charities and campaigners, both in the UK and across the world, have reported a surge in calls to helplines and online services during the lockdown. Currently, many who report abuse are told to come back when they are physically assaulted, as this is the only form of domestic abuse the law recognises.

Israel's plan to annex West Bank is another catastrophe for Palestine

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The 1st of July is the date of Israel’s 1967 annexation of the Jordan valley. What does it mean? If we ask president Donald Trump he will say: “The annexation is good for the Palestinians because there will soon be a Palestinian state.” If we ask Benjamin Netanyahu, he will say: “The annexation is great for Israel. It will add 33 percent of the area of the West Bank to the state of Israel.” If we ask the Arab leaders, some will keep silent and some will support Netanyahu. But if you ask Palestinians, we already rejected it, and here is why.

Track and Trace: In safe hands?

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Even in the middle of the Dominic Cummings scandal, it still comes as a surprise that the person put in charge of Track and Trace by Matt Hancock is Baroness Dido Harding. Among other things she is also on the board of the Cheltenham Festival. As the Daily Mail pointed out, the board decided that the event should go ahead this year despite the pandemic, and experts believe it “caused a spike in Covid-19 deaths”. Now even taking into account the fact that Johnson and Cummings and the rest of the Cabinet are without shame, perhaps she was still the best person for the job.

Starmer bends the knee to the Tories

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Keir Starmer’s sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey was both opportunistic and profoundly ideological. It enabled him to identify himself with western imperialism’s support for Israel and simultaneously to distance himself from the Left in the Labour Party and trade union resistance to the Tories. The pretext for the sacking was spurious, but symbolic. By no stretch of the imagination could Long-Bailey have been guilty of furthering “antisemitic conspiracy theories” by re-Tweeting an interview with the actor Maxine Peake.

A glimpse of struggle as France eases restrictions

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There have been a series of hundreds-strong demonstrations outside hospitals

France is emerging blinking into the post-lockdown light. It is not a liberation like the last scenes of beethoven’s opera Fidelio, where the freed prisoners sing of their joy.

Although many of us are happy to escape from confinement, we are also aware that we are being chased out far in advance of what is medically sound in order to start the euro-making machinery for the corporations.

In the poorer parts of Paris, people had to keep working for the most part anyway. If you live from week-to-week you can’t afford to be too unwilling to turn up when your employer calls.

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