Britain

10 point guide for post Brexit resistance as racist right wins EU referendum

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1. The Brexit vote for the UK to leave the European Union demonstrates that even weak parliamentary democracy is incompatible with escalating neoliberal inequality.  In the UK as elsewhere a tiny segment of the population have taken a larger and larger share of total wealth in the last decades.  Particularly under austerity almost everyone else has seen their share of the wealth they produce decline massively.

2. The Remain campaign was headed up by the political class of the neoliberal establishment and backed by model neo liberal corporations like Ryanair.  But because the anger against rising inequality was successfully diverted through scapegoating already marginalized people, in particular migrants, the Leave campaign was also lead by wealthy elitist bigots whose variant of neoliberalism looks to the former colonies and the US rather than Europe.

The British Miners strike of 1984-85 -Video & Audio from DABF 2014

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At this session at the Dublin anarchist bookfair Dave Douglass talked about his experiences of 1984 - the year the British mines almost defeated Thatcher. "That fight in 84-85 involved the whole community, it was not only about unions. It was partly about unions but it was about an industry, it was about a way of life. The miners were almost an ethnicity, with father to son for hundreds and hundreds of years in the same miner family. And we had a very strong revolutionary and radical tradition. So, all of the politics of power, fuel power was about political power and not just about energy. It was about more than that. It was about "Who rules ?""

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

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Released in Summer 2011 and now in its second edition, Chavs is Owen Jones' attempt to help rescussitate debate around class within mainstream outdated concept and political discourse.

Broadly speaking, it is focused on the fate of working class communities in Britain since the Thatcher era and the disappearance of working class political representation, and puts forward some possible ideas to envision a renewed class politics for today. The book has proven a popular one and has propelled its author's public status as a prominent left-wing commentator, and one of the main voices of initiatives to reclaim the Labour Party as a working class organisation.

London burns - causes & consequences of the riots - an anarchist perspective

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The police killing of Mark Duggan resulted in four nights of rioting across England. The immediate trigger was the killing itself, and the disrespect shown by the police to Mark’s family and friends. But the riots rapidly broadened to expressions of a more general anger and alienation; an anger that was all too often unfocused and striking out at the nearest target of opportunity. This resulted in widespread destruction of resources in already deprived neighborhoods and some anti-social attacks on bystanders. Despite this, the roots of the riots lie in the economic and political conditions of these districts, and not in ‘poor parenting’ or ‘mindless criminality’. These conditions were created by the very politicians and business elite who now call for a return to normality and repression. [French translation]

(Image: By SkyFireXII via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0)

Absolute boy - The Youth Revolt that led Corbyn to a victory of sorts

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Corbyn’s strong showing in the June 2017 UK elections has given a big morale boost to the left.  A considerable youth vote, self-mobilising in larger part as a reaction to the ‘me and mine’ selfish society revealed by the Brexit vote seriously set back Tory plans for a fresh wave of Brexit required austerity.  Activists used social networking to overcome what had previously been seen as an all powerful smear machine of the billionaire print press.  Very few outside the radical left expected this outcome, what drove it and more importantly where can it lead?
[ This is a long read so you can also listen to an audio of the text ]

This piece is not going to answer that in terms of assumptions and assertions but as far as possible through hard numbers.  66% of 18-24 year old’s voted Labour, only a quarter of that, 18% voted Tory [p4].  27% of those 18-24 year olds said the NHS was the most important issue for them, even though they are least likely to need it [p40].  For the over 65 age group this was flipped, only 23% voted Labour and over twice as many (58%) voted Tory [p4].  In fact, given the way the UK election system works, if only 18-24 year olds had voted, Labour would have been heading for 500 seats.  If it had only been those over 65 voting the Tories would have had over 400 seats.

Grenfell fire - our live coverages as news of the atrocity become available

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With at least 12 confirmed dead at the London towerblock fire this morning (14th June) it has emerged that repeated warnings to the landlord and council of a fire hazard were ignored.  Early reports indicate that tower was home to 120 families, many drawn from poor migrant communities. 

The Grenfell Action Group this morning posted "we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC." - they had previously called KCTMO "an evil, unprincipled, mini-mafia" in their blog where 8 warnings about this tower had been posted.

Plan B is no alternative - time for an anti-capitalist Plan C

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We are publishing the following interview with David Harvie of the new English group "Plan C" carried out by Shift Magazine earlier this year. This interview has since been republished on Plan C's new website (www.weareplanc.org) launched this week. But we thought that although the interview is specifically addressed at political actors in England and the UK, the arguments over Austerity (Plan A) and a possible "New New Deal" or neo-Keynesian "Plan B" are also relevant to Ireland, where today organisations like Claiming Our Future are campaigning to build support for an Irish Plan B. We think the following is a useful contribution to that debate. Reprinted with permission from David Harvie.

Obituary for Manchester anarchist Bob Miller

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It was with great sadness that the WSM learned of the news of the passing of Bob Miller on June 17. Bob was a member of the Anarchist Federation and a comrade from Manchester, England. Many of us got to know Bob since after he visited Mayo in 2006 spending a week in Rossport supporting the Shell to Sea campaign. Since then Bob and his partner Sally have attended several Anarchist Bookfairs in Dublin and many members of the WSM had the priveldge to get to know Bob as a friend. 

London Calling to the Faraway Crowds

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At the beginning of April, the G20 group of major world economies met in London. Media attention focused as much on the confrontation between police and demonstrators outside the conference as on what was going on between the suits inside. The London police were their usual charmless selves and even managed to kill an uninvolved man, Ian Tomlinson, on his way home from work.

Sex, Gasmasks & Pantyhose

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THE 'BACK TO BASICS' propaganda campaign has been undermined because the Tories failed to meet their own moral standards. In condemning the Tory party we must be careful not to take on their morality. There's nothing wrong with shagging. No one should expect human sexual behaviour to be expressed in only one way. It's strange that while we accept diversity in tastes in food, music, book, films when it comes to sex we talk of rights, wrongs and norms.

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