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Argentina: Taste of our Power

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Can workers take control in Argentina? Chris Harman examines the evidence.

Mass demonstrations dispose of two presidents in as many weeks. A star performer for the IMF-World Bank Washington consensus circus, Cavallo, is forced to flee the economics ministry. A leader of the largest political party warns of the danger of civil war. Such has been the picture in Argentina since the end of December. Yet much of the western media give the impression that these events are of marginal interest. They are happening a long way away, we are told, in a 'developing country' or an 'emerging economy', very different to western Europe, North America or Japan.

Going Nowhere Fast

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The rail unions have built up some powerful muscle they can flex.

When Stephen Byers was spotted in a Westminster canteen just before Xmas, deep in talks with Mick Rix of Aslef, eyebrows were raised all round. We were all under the impression that trade unions had been virtually airbrushed out of the frame. Now here was one apparently on the best of terms with the transport secretary. One interpretation might be that, with the railways in particular, the government has dug itself into such a hole that it needs every bit of help it can get to winch itself out again.

Chocks Away, Biggles

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Labour's chair is an old acquaintance of Pat Stack who recalls fond memories

I was once told by someone that I was the most dishonest person he'd ever met. This is not a remark one would normally take lightly, let alone treasure as a compliment. Yet some 25 years or so later I still look back fondly on the remark, rather as I do my favourite denim jacket of about the same time.

The Wrong Attack

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Why has the anti-war movement in France has not matched others?

I wrote two months ago how in most countries the movement over globalisation had moved on to become a movement against the Afghan war. One reason for this was the way the movement's best known figures had seen the war as the military face of globalisation.

Unfortunately there were exceptions. A year ago France had the biggest movement around globalisation, focused to a very large extent by the organisation Attac. Yet it was the one major European country without serious protests against the war.

Heralds of Free Enterprise

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The collapse of Enron has shone the torch into a cellar full of crimes.

Luckily for Bush and Blair, the relentless drone of the B-52s has helped mask the thunderous clatter of the biggest bankruptcy in corporate history. Not only was the Enron corporation the world's biggest energy trader, but it had also emerged over the past decade as the archetypal global corporation, dominating the world's energy markets through online manipulation of supply fluctuations, and constantly changing prices for gas and electricity.

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