Opinion

New Philippines president is a gangster

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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.

Fracking floodgates opened

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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.

Real ale, craft beer and anti-capitalism

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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?

Pushing the limits of Corbynomics

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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.

Left leaders before Corbyn

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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.

Kick sexism out of football

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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.

We got IDS with bold action

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If the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party suggested that politics can be unpredictable, the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) in a self-proclaimed stand for disabled people proves it.

Watching the former secretary of state for work and pensions tell Andrew Marr that the cuts are “hurting the most vulnerable” and that welfare cuts “are going too far” was more than surreal. This from a man who has steadfastly lied and denied his way around the true impact of welfare reform since 2010.

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