Both sides in the official EU referendum debate were excelling themselves in their hideousness as Socialist Review went to press.
In late May, Vote Leave launched a racist poster with the headline “Turkey (population 76 million) is Joining the EU” and a picture of a British passport. The Stay campaign hit back with another dodgy dossier from the UK Treasury predicting a year-long recession if we leave — this from the geniuses who forecast 2.5 to 3 percent growth in the recession year of 2008.
Whatever way you look at it, the Scottish National Party have won another crushing victory in the Scottish parliamentary election. Due to the bizarre maths of the list system, designed to prevent an overall majority, the SNP won more constituency seats than last time but won less list seats and so do not have an overall majority, missing out by two seats.
The election of Davao City “warlord” and gangster Rodrigo Duterte as president of the Philippines last month raises many questions. The man has a history of human rights abuses in ordering the extra-judicial killings of thousands of petty criminals. Some of those were children. His death squads were made up of police, hired gunmen and ex Communist Party fighters.
No truly democratic institution could have passed Third Energy’s application to frack at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire last month. The 4,375 objections gave the County Council a 99.2 percent mandate to vote against. There was almost a day and a half of speeches against. The Tory-controlled planning committee received barristers’ letters and scientific papers detailing health and environmental risks.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has been in the news as its recent annual conference launched a year-long debate about “revitalisation”, to look at what the purpose of the organisation should be in future. Aside from the old Alex Glasgow song, “As Soon as This Pub Closes (the revolution starts)”, why is this of interest to socialists?
The more radical elements of Corbyn and McDonnell's economic policies can challenge the logic of capitalism
The ire on the right and the applause on the left provoked by “Corbynomics” demonstrate that you can move a long way to the left by standing still. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have long opposed the pro-market consensus among successive governments since Jim Callaghan adopted monetarism in the late 1970s. Compared with that consensus, their ideas are both radical and welcome.
Jeremy Corbyn is not the first leader of the Labour Party to have supported strikes and opposed war. Keir Hardie, who had himself been victimised for trade union activity, had a record of supporting workers in struggle and condemning government repression. In 1911 Hardie had written a devastating indictment of the Liberal government’s repression in Wales, Killing No Murder, condemning the shooting dead of two workers by troops.
James Connolly, one of the seven signatories of the proclamation of the Irish Republic and commander of the armed forces in Dublin during the Easter Rising of 1916, was a Scot born to Irish parents in Edinburgh who grew up in the slums of the Cowgate. But Connolly was by no means the only Scot who took part in the 1916 Easter Rising.
Last month saw yet another football crisis. Former England international and Sunderland player Adam Johnson was found guilty of grooming and engaging in sexual activity with a child.
Johnson had groomed the young girl via social media, exchanging over 830 WhatsApp messages with her. He admitted grooming and kissing the under-aged girl before the trial but after a court case he was additionally found guilty of sexual activity with a child. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment.