This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ted Grant. As part of commemorating his achievements, In Defence of Marxism is launching an appeal to all our readers and supporters to raise €2,000. [Read the appeal]
The “New Trade Unions and the Democratic Left: Historical Roots and Ideological Landmarks” conference occurred November 2-3 in Kiev. The conference brought together around 200 trade unionists, activists and academics for the two day event, mostly from Ukraine and the former USSR. The organizers of the conference included the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU), the Russian Confederation of Labour (KTR), the Belorussian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP), the Confederation of Trade Unions of Georgia (KPG), the social critique magazine Spilne (Спiльне), the Global Labour Institute/the Praxis Centre, the International Memorial and the workshop “Russian Left in History and in Modern Times”.
The recent interview between Russell Brand - actor, comedian, and guest editor of New Statesmen - and Jeremy Paxman - presenter and interviewer on the BBC’s Newsnight became an overnight sensation, quickly gaining popularity to become the most watched video on YouTube.
A year of revolutionary uprisings in Bulgaria has culminated this week in further mass protests calling for the removal of the government. On Sunday 10th November students of the country’s largest university in Sofia declared “total and effective occupation” and joined thousands of others on the ‘March for Justice’ through the centre of the capital.
People are becoming increasingly revolutionary, according to the latest polls. A growing hatred for big business and profiteering comes on top of the bankers’ bonus scandals, the Libor rigging scandal, the foreign exchange manipulation scandal, and the callous profiteering of the energy companies. Energy companies are now trusted less than bankers and car salesmen. This backlash against capitalism has rung alarm bells amongst the apologists of big business.
Despite comments on a tentative recovery with improvements in the housing market and banking profits booming once more, there is no doubt that there has been no recovery for the vast majority. Government debt stands at £1.2 trillion; many cuts are still to be made; poverty continues to grow – last year real income fell by 3% and government studies have shown that 52% of people in Britain struggle to pay their bills.
Students coming to London this year face an unprecedented attack on their education. Ever since the Tories and Liberals trebled university tuition fees to £9,000 in 2010, we have seen university funding continually rolled back and the costs of student living soar.
As part of the battle against the “cost of living crisis”, Ed Miliband has announced plans to incentivise businesses into paying a “living wage” through temporary tax breaks. The Labour leader paints a win-win situation, in which both workers and business gain. Every increase in real wages for workers is a step forward that is to be applauded. But what is likely to be the real outcome of Labour's latest pledge if implemented?
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