It’s all about “The Great Reset”. In a few months’ time, in the wake of a year of pandemic and lockdowns,
world leaders will meet at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland to, as organisers put it, “integrate all stakeholders of global society into a community of common interest, purpose and action”.
Is there anyone left in Britain, apart from that tiny, tiny minority of individuals with a vested financial interest, who thinks that entrusting to private health capital Britain’s response to the pandemic was ever a good idea? The British Medical Association certainly don’t. Their report published mid-September, The Role of Private Outsourcing in the Covid 19 Response, is an expose and utter condemnation of how contracting out virtually every aspect of pandemic-related services has been an utter and complete disaster.
In his short, fascinating and hugely influential book Capitalist Realism, Mark Fisher talks, amongst a great many other things, about education. He says, “Education, far from being in some ivory tower safely inured from the ‘real world’, is the engine room of the reproduction of social reality, directly confronting the inconsistencies of the capitalist social field.”
There are organic links between the global anti-racist rebellion and the Covid-19 pandemic. As Socialist Review has repeatedly shown, there is a clear class nature to how the virus affects global populations. Poorer communities, many with underlying health conditions socially determined by what Engels called the slow ‘social murder’ implicit to capitalism, have suffered by far the worst consequences.
SR is changing. After a year of being a supplement to Socialist Worker, it is to return to being a separate publication, with its own editorial and distribution team.
The move follows a decision of the annual conference of the Socialist Workers Party, held in January this year.
It is hoped that in its new format, the magazine will be better able to reach the growing audience for socialist ideas.
The new magazine is set to launch at the beginning of May 2007 and this issue of SR is the last one in the supplement format.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped produce SR over the last year - our writers, photographers, illustrators and columnists.
Given Tony Blair's loyal support for George Bush's demented political programme, it is fitting that the two men appear to be going down together. For 2005 will surely be remembered as the year things finally went belly up for Bush and Blair.
Their international standing has been battered by mass movements against the neo-liberal project they champion. In May the French people voted no to the EU constitution, the European bosses' pet project. The vote was a result of a mass popular campaign uniting the left, the unions and the global justice movement. It was soon followed by a similar result in the Netherlands.
Tony Blair's contempt for free speech and democracy has reached critical levels.
The defining image of this year's Labour Party conference was 72 year old Walter Wolfgang being manhandled out of the hall for heckling. That says a lot about both the conference and the popular perception of New Labour. The incident was shocking and demoralising for even the most hardened delegates. That Walter and 600 others in Brighton were detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act has become another mini scandal among Labour members.
One of the great myths of the occupation of Iraq is that, despite the problems in the rest of the country, the situation in the south around Basra has been improving because it is under the so called 'softly-softly' approach of British forces.
This myth was blown apart recently when British troops launched an assault on a prison in Basra. The images in the press which saw British troops forced to flee burning tanks after they were set alight by protesters says much about the relationship between the British army and local Iraqis.
Political paralysis, a big fall in the value of the euro and talk of a policy vacuum showed that Europe's bosses suffered a serious setback following the general election results in Germany.
Angela Merkel, the leader of the CDU and strongest advocate of neo-liberalism, was the biggest loser. Having led the polls for months and widely tipped to be the next chancellor, she was unable to secure an overall majority and is now desperately trying to cobble together some sort of workable coalition. Gerhard Schröder's SDP received its lowest vote for 15 years as people expressed their anger against high unemployment and economic stagnation. The political turmoil looks set to continue for months, leading to further instability in Europe's largest economy.