Europe

In the course of scarcely a month, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has begun imploding in spectacular fashion. Arlene Foster – the DUP leader and First Minister at Stormont who survived the RHI scandal, the collapse of Stormont in 2017, and the introduction of Northern Ireland Protocol earlier this year – has finally and unceremoniously been booted out. The straw that broke the camel’s back? Her opposition to gay conversion therapy.

The first round of the French regional elections saw the highest abstention rate in the history of the Fifth Republic, by far, at 66.7 percent. Among those under 35, abstention was around 84 percent. It was of the same order in the poorest and most oppressed layers of the population. This is the main takeaway from the first round. It is an expression of the regime crisis of French capitalism, though far from the only one. 

A bill to reduce CO2 emissions was rejected by a public referendum in Switzerland. While the demagogic far-right SVP and big oil companies were pushing a 'no' vote for reactionary reasons, in reality, this was a rejection of green austerity. The climate crisis will not be solved by making workers pay, but by expropriating the fatcat polluters and fighting for socialist measures.

The discredited government of Stefan Löfven in Sweden has faced a successful vote of no confidence in parliament. It’s time to go on the offensive: fight for a snap election on a socialist programme!

It has been four years since the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire in Britain, in which 72 people lost their lives due to the criminal negligence of the bosses and bourgeois politicians. The ongoing public inquiry has exposed how capitalism puts profits before lives. But only the organised working class can bring the criminals responsible to justice.

Under Keir Starmer’s leadership, Labour is heading for disaster. The party is in a deep crisis. Yet the right wing are attacking the left more than the Tories. But grassroots members are fighting back, saying: Starmer out! Fight for socialism!

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the town of Odemira, which led to a lockdown being imposed upon two local parishes, has exposed a festering wound on Portugal’s social fabric. The outbreak has brought to light conditions of modern slavery, involving human trafficking and the exploitation of migrant workers, living under extremely precarious conditions, which contributed to the outbreak of the disease.

Recent events have shone a spotlight on the murky institution of the Monarchy in Britain. This reactionary feudal relic is a key pillar of the British establishment; a reserve weapon of the ruling class. The labour movement must demand its abolition.

The Spanish government’s intention to partially pardon political prisoners of the Catalan independence movement has provoked an angry reaction from the right wing, which is trying to stir up its social base to wear down Socialist Party (PSOE) president Pedro Sánchez. However, key sectors of the ruling class support the amnesty, behind the scenes, confident that their interests are better defended by making this small concession to the Catalan independence movement. What should be the position of the left?