Opinion

Corruption old and new

Issue section: 

Politics in Britain at the end of the eighteenth century was described as the “Old Corruption”. The state was, at every level, in the hands of the great landowners and their allies. It was used to serve their interests, to protect their wealth and privilege, and they ruthlessly pillaged it to further enrich themselves. Place and position were wholly at their disposal. What made all this possible was the enormous scale of social and economic inequality. This Old Corruption came under sustained assault from a number of directions in the course of the nineteenth century.

Who is to blame for the rise in obesity?

Issue section: 
Author: 

The government announced a new initiative to tackle obesity, but it is limited, poorly resourced and fails to
acknowledge that the stress of living under capitalism is a major cause of the condition, argues Rhoda Thomas.

The government’s role in supporting the food industry — evident throughout the pandemic — is to encourage us to eat and drink (witness the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme) and to return to work in city centres, thus giving a boost to pubs and coffee shops, regardless of health risks. Simultaneously, it lambasts us for ‘obesity’ — a kind of ‘gaslighting’ whereby we come to believe that obesity is of our own doing, thus deflecting from the reality of ‘profits before people’.

Mental Health: Brave New World?

Issue section: 
Author: 

Mental health services have become focused on generating profits and the use of labour-saving technologies as a key way of achieving this. Iain Ferguson looks at recent developments.

Robots that can hold simple conversations and learn people’s interests are being deployed in UK care homes after a trial found they could improve mental health and reduce loneliness, according to a recent report in the Guardian. The researchers who developed the machines stressed that the aim was not to replace human carers with robots but “to help fill periods when, because of a stretched social care system, staff did not have time to keep residents company”.

Students face Covid-19 chaos on campus

Issue section: 
Author: 

By forcing students back to college, the government and university authorities have abandoned them to an ill
thought out strategy of ‘herd immunity’, and the consequences are a wildfire of infections, writes Carlo Morelli.

Since students returned to universities and colleges across the UK in September over 21,000 positive cases of Covid19 have been identified by the lecturers’ union, the UCU. These figures underestimate the true figures, since, according to research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, as many as 80 percent of students may be asymptomatic and therefore are not being tested. Students are being subjected to a public health experiment in herd immunity without consent or any of the protection in place that would be expected in human medical trials.

The pandemic has exposed the abject failures of privatisation

Issue section: 

Central to neoliberal ideology is selling off public services, welfare and utilities to the private sector. The result has been disastrous for users. Jan Neilsen and Alan Gibson introduce our special report.

At the heart of the neoliberal project has been the privatisation of public services and other publicly held assets. The strategy — begun in Britain during the 1980s — has engulfed the world since. It was and is about one thing only: shifting wealth and the balance of class power to the global ruling class. Privatisation is a political tool with which global ruling classes have waged war for the past 40 years. It was never about setting free the more efficient private sector to replace the inefficient public sector, as we show below.

Nuclear Fusion: A new technology, but who controls it?

Issue section: 

With the first operational power plant only a decade away, can nuclear fusion live up to its promise of green power?

Within the climate movement of recent years there is much debate about the way forward. Some have looked towards exciting technologies to change capitalism from a carbon-based economy to a Green one. One of the most notable is nuclear fusion, an idea that has attracted scientists and venture capitalists for decades. But what are nuclear fusion technologies?

US elections: The movement is the key

Issue section: 

Amid Donald Trump’s bluster and threats over the forthcoming presidential race, the real power to fundamentally change the sick system is on the American street, says US activist Virginia Rodino

Last month US president Donald Trump was asked what he would do should he lose the election. He replied, “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster… There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.” This follows Trump’s repeated blustering claims that the only way his opponent Joe Biden can win is through a rigged election.

Pages

Subscribe to Opinion