On December 9th, 2016, Geert Wilders was sentenced in The Hague for group defamation and incitement of discrimination. However, the court did not impose any punishment. In their understanding Wilders was already punished enough by the media attention the court case got. The reaction to this from wider society reflects the polarized situation in the Netherlands.

The focus of the class struggle in Britain is undoubtedly now centred on the battle inside the Labour Party between the Corbyn movement, on the one side, and the Blairites - backed by the entire Establishment - on the other. Any analysis regarding the tasks of the trade unions at this time must begin from this fact.

Within the next three months, the Brexit negotiations with the European Union will officially start. The plan is to leave within two years, nothing more, nothing less.“Brexit means Brexit” according to Theresa May. We are told that there will be either “soft” Brexit, where Britain has access to the Single Market or “hard” Brexit, where we don’t. However there is a more probable third option: “train-crash” Brexit, where there is a failure to reach a deal and Britain crashes out of the European Union – with chaotic and drastic consequences.

On Monday, a truck ploughing through a crowded Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin highlighted once again the mess that has been created in the Middle East by imperialist meddling. Twelve victims are believed to have been killed while 49 have been injured. The perpetrator of this crime had hijacked the truck from a Polish driver whom he subsequently killed. After the attack, he fled the scene and is still unaccounted for.

It is often said that the British Establishment, at the height of its imperial power, would plan for decades and centuries into the future, such was its confidence and control over its own destiny. In contrast, it has been noticeable in recent years how short-sighted the British ruling class has become - looking for short-term profits through financial alchemy and quick political fixes via risky referenda.

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