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Resist the imperialist coup in Venezuela

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The ongoing right wing offensive to oust Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro came to a head on 23 January, with National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó appointing himself as interim president in a calculated move during a massive anti-government rally.

Within hours the governments of Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and other right wingers had issued statements recognising Guaidó as president and demanding the resignation of Maduro. Support followed from Britain, Canada, the European Union and EU countries.

Brexit: Very little confidence in the Tories

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Theresa May survived the attempt to get rid of her from within her own party in December. But it was a sign of her abject weakness that she won the no-confidence vote by promising to go before the next scheduled election.

The fact that 200 Tory MPs backed her did nothing to resolve the crisis her government, her party and the British ruling class face over Brexit. It merely ruled out a switch of Tory prime minister for at least a year, unless May is ordered out by Tory grandees, and confirmed most MPs have no stomach for Britain to leave the EU with no deal.

Yellow vest spirit takes over France

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The Gilets Jaunes protests in France have come from a spontaneous, grassroots movement expressing people’s frustration at low living standards, threats to pensions and tax cuts for the rich, as well as the trigger point of increased fuel tax charges.

The latter was effectively a wage cut for everyone needing to use private transport in work or to get to work. Protesters put on the yellow jackets that all motorists must keep in their cars.

Tories can’t square the circle of Brexit

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The front cover of September’s Socialist Review asked, “Are the Tories heading for the rocks?” This month came the answer: a resounding yes.

While Theresa May seems to have seen off the initial rebellion against her draft withdrawal treaty from the EU, the Tories’ decades-long row over Britain’s membership of the EU could blow up at any time over the next few weeks, toppling May and crippling the government.

Labour should take a lead against Tories

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A general election now is the best response to the Tories’ crisis, so it’s unfortunate that Jeremy Corbyn and his close allies did not clearly make that call as soon as Theresa May delivered the draft treaty.

They are entangled in a row with Labour Party right wingers and many of the country’s major trade union leaders about the EU, and the call for a “people’s vote”.

However, John McDonnell did go on to call for a general election, and socialists must get behind that call and campaign to oust the Tories.

Aussie teachers give lesson in solidarity

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On 20 November in Australia hundreds of teachers from dozens of schools across Victoria and Brisbane walked out to protest against the offshore detention of refugees.

The atmosphere was charged with excitement as teachers, plus hundreds of supporters, filled the State Library forecourt in Melbourne to demand the government bring all kids and adults off Nauru and Manus immediately.

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.

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