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More than a Saudi PR disaster

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The brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident and critic of Mohammed bin Sultan (aka MbS), has ripped apart the image the ruling Saudi prince had crafted for himself as a “moderniser”. The details of Khashoggi’s killing — he was enticed into the Saudi consulate in Turkey and butchered with a hacksaw — reads like a script from a horror movie.

Buck passed on jailing Robinson

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On a cold Tuesday morning late last month, 500-1,000 supporters of Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) gathered outside his retrial at the Old Bailey, central London. The retrial focussed on two charges — whether Robinson had breached reporting restrictions on the Huddersfield child grooming case, and for contempt of court. After a short hearing, Nicholas Hillyard QC took the decision to refer the case to the Attorney General.

Glasgow equal pay strike is huge success

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A walkout of over 8,000 low paid mainly women council workers in Glasgow, in late October, was rocking city council bosses as Socialist Review went to press.

The dispute that has brewed for 12 years was said to be easily the biggest strike by workers over equal pay since the 1960s. They work in care, catering, cleaning, caretaking, administrative and educational support roles for the council.

The dispute centres on an unfair pay and grading system that left women worse off. This was under a Labour-run council that also imposed cuts and privatisation of services.

Sweden Democrats are a serious threat

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The politics of the centre has come to an end. In last month’s election in Sweden both of the two main parties, the conservative Moderates and the Social Democrats, lost votes, leading to a situation where neither block can proclaim themselves as the winner.

Both blocks are wedded to the neoliberal economic consensus which has meant privatisation, deregulation, no budget deficit and a more insecure labour market. Sweden has the fastest growing income gap of all the OECD countries and is now a haven for the rich. Many voters clearly don’t want more of the same.

Tories in a bind over migrants

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The Tory immigration policy is in a mess. They are caught in the bind between their “hostile environment” towards immigrants and the needs of their friends in big business. Sajid Javid, the home secretary with leadership pretensions, has been reportedly forced to act against his instincts and allow EU passport holders to be “waved through” immigration after the March deadline if there is a No-Deal on Brexit.

#MeToo strikes a chord at McDonald’s

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Workers in some (but not every) McDonald’s in ten US cities — Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Orlando, San Francisco, and Durham — walked out on strike for 24 hours last month over sexual harassment.

The strikers, inspired by the #MeToo movement, were backed by the Fight for $15 campaign and the Time’s Up legal aid group.

Yemen: ‘I thought that I would not be affected’

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This is the story of 30 year old Abdulsalam Al-Kibdi, a Yemeni man who spent 13 years as a working migrant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, living with his wife and three children, the youngest of whom is only a few months old.

“On 22 November 2017 police officers stopped by my work and asked me to get into their truck. I knew that the Saudi government had put new restrictions on Yemeni migrants and workers but I thought that I would not be affected.

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