Opinion

Orlando: Bigotry fuelled the slaying

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The massacre of 49 people at gay club Pulse in Orlando, Florida, in June has gone down in history as one of the most violent episodes against LGBT+ communities. Josh Hollands examines the context of US society.

The victims of the mass shooting at Pulse were overwhelmingly young, LGBT+ and Latino.

That the assailant, Omar Mateen, claimed to support Isis in a phone call to the police has allowed politicians and the mainstream media to produce a narrative that scapegoats Muslims for this tragedy.

Letter from Beirut

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Unprecedented electoral success for a new left alliance in the Lebanese capital has shaken up politics

The elections in May for control over Beirut proved to be a major breakthrough for the popular discontent that has been simmering in Lebanon since the advent of the Arab Spring.

Local elections are traditionally dominated by sectarian parties that reflect the religious makeup of the capital’s many neighbourhoods.

Laws dictate that inhabitants who moved to the capital over the past 40 years can only register to vote in their home villages. As such the electoral base does not reflect the city’s population today.

Down with miserablism

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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.

Can the Scots left rebuild?

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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.

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.

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