Opinion

Awkward Moment

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The defeat of Mick Rix has important lessons - but not those the Blairites would have us believe.

The unexpected departure of Mick Rix as leader of the train drivers' union, Aslef, is a bit of a one-off in that it goes against the broad trend which still dominates in union elections. A week before the upset in Aslef, left candidates virtually swept the board in votes on the PCS civil service union national executive. And not long after, a leading Blairite and member of Labour's national executive, John Keggie, was ousted as deputy general secretary of the Royal Mail section of the CWU.

Reformism without Reforms

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What happens when social democracy fails to deliver concessions?

There is strange idea going round much of the far left internationally. It is that because capitalism can no longer afford reforms that improve the life of the mass of people, reformism as a powerful ideology within the workers' movement is dead. From this it is said to follow that the old argument over reform or revolution is no longer relevant.

A Touch of the Sun

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Tony Blair tells it like it isn't to Pat Stack.

I have never been to Barbados before, so I was really looking forward to seeing the beautiful scenery, tasting the local rum and meeting the Blairs.

The enchanting Cherie greeted me - television just doesn't do her justice, she really does have lips. I was brought into a spacious room where the PM was sitting in a cool summer shirt and a pair of neatly pressed jeans. An electric guitar sat in one corner of the room, and there were family portraits all over the place.

Lights Go Out in Blair Bunker

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Campbell‘s departure is unlikely to halt the repackaging of privatisation.

With the ’dodgy dossiers‘ on Iraq in tatters and indeed the entire Blairite project heading for meltdown, now might be a useful point to turn attention to how the government‘s case for privatisation is being repackaged. Just like the war, it continues to be advocated at every available turn, despite overwhelming opposition from the general public.

What's in a Word?

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Our definition of neoliberalism has profound effects on our solutions.

One concept will be much used at the European Social Forum in Paris next month - ‘neoliberalism‘. Some will use it as a synonym for the system of international capitalism, some for the present phase of that system (often also referred to as ’globalisation‘), and some for a particular economic arrangement chosen by governments.

Enough to Make You Sick

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In a recent online discussion, a 'pro-soldier' campaigner was ridiculing the US peace movement's protests. He claimed that in his city of Fort Wayne (population 250,000) a 'pro-soldier' campaign had gathered the support of one in ten of the population.

The aim of his argument was simple - that the pro-war lobby in the US dwarfed the peace movement by many magnitudes.

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