Early on Monday morning, 20 November, the leaders of the German, right-wing, liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) suddenly declared their exit from preliminary coalition talks and walked out of the room. The negotiations with Chancellor Angela Merkel`s Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and the Greens had been going on for nearly five weeks.

The proclamation of the Republic by the Catalan Parliament on October 27th was short-lived. The Spanish state was ready to crush it decisively, while the Catalan government had no plans and no strategy to defend it. That, however, is not the end of the movement.

 The Catalan general strike against repression, article 155 intervention and for the release of the political prisoners managed to paralyse the country. Despite all difficulties, the strike had a large following in education, the public sector and the media, but was almost non-existent in industry and transport. However, the day was marked by mass road and transport blockades organised by the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDRs) and mass demonstrations in all cities and towns.

As Brexit negotiations grind to a halt, big business is entering panic mode. A no deal, “train-crash” Brexit - the one scenario that capitalism wants to avoid at all costs - looms large. And caught on the tracks is Ireland, the only country that shares a land border with the UK.

The Spanish state intends to appear as the victor in the unfinished battle against the Catalan independence movement, but the most significant development in these 2 months has been the emergence of the largest movement of civil disobedience in the Spanish state in 40 years.

The revelations of harassment in Westminster reflect the rottenness of the establishment and the crisis facing this Tory government.

“I have never seen a class so deeply demoralised, so incurably debased by selfishness, so corroded within, so incapable of progress, as the English bourgeoisie,” commented Frederick Engels more than 150 years ago. Such an appraisal could have been written today. The establishment is in crisis and so is the Tory government. They are being paralysed by one revelation and scandal after another. There appears to be no let up. Meanwhile, the stalemate over the Brexit negotiations is forcing them to peer over a very-unnerving precipice.

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