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Anti period-poverty campaigners win in Scotland

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In November of last year, there was a brief moment of light amid the darkness that was 2020. Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free for all.

Just as the weekend and the eight-hour-day are now regarded by many as a given, future generations may be in disbelief that period provisions ever had to be fought for.

Yet fought for they were: by multiple grassroots campaigners and ordinary people who believe that every person who menstruates has the right to safe, hygienic and dignified periods.

Tories: Cracks begin to show as Johnson’s government blunders from crisis to crisis

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It has been a difficult second lockdown for Boris Johnson. Currently self-isolating in Downing Street, he has been struggling with two huge challenges. On the one hand his negligent policies have meant there is little prospect of an end to the covid19 pandemic any time soon, despite the promise of a vaccine. The Tories have been forced into another lockdown and an extension of the furlough scheme and are finding it increasingly difficult to balance their interest in opening up the economy with the need to contain the public health crisis.

Fox in the hen house

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Boris Johnson has offered key positions in the media to his right-wing Tory allies. Paul Dacre, former editor of the viciously anti-trade union Daily Mail, is poised to take charge of Ofcom, the body that oversees the media and regulates the BBC. While Richard Sharp, a former Goldman Sachs executive who donated over £400,000 to the Tory party, is tipped to become BBC chairman. Sharp’s personal net worth is estimated to be over £100 million, and has close political ties to Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Greece: The sun has set on Golden Dawn

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The long, drawn out trial of Golden Dawn has ended in a spectacular victory for the antifascist movement in Greece. The court found Golden Dawn members guilty of the murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssos, the attempted murder of four Egyptian fishermen and a violent attack on trade union members of the Communist Party. More significantly, the court put paid to the pretence that Golden Dawn was a parliamentary party by finding it guilty of being a criminal enterprise, one whose prime purpose was to carry out criminal acts planned by its leadership.

Brexit and Covid-19 failures reduces Johnson to tiers

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Faced with the twin crises of the Covid-19 pandemic and the looming Brexit deadline it is looking increasingly likely that Boris Johnson’s premiership is beginning to unravel. His criminal incompetence on the former is now being compounded by the chaos of the different tiers of lockdown he is attempting to impose, while his brinkmanship on the latter has put him at odds with the CBI and business leaders. On both of these issues cracks in the Tory monolith are beginning to appear and are reflected by growing disquiet among MPs and even splits in the Cabinet.

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.

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