Britain

Under the former coalition government and now the Tories, a swathe of brutal cuts and closures has been sweeping the country. And this blight is set to continue. “To eliminate the deficit”, states the Financial Times, the mouthpiece of big business, “Mr Hammond [the Tory Chancellor] will need to extend austerity well into the next decade.” (FT, 20/2/17)

Britain - The script was clearly written in advance by Jeremy Corbyn’s critics. After, Labour’s “humiliating” defeat in the Copeland by-election, surely Corbyn would “do the right thing” and step aside? Indeed, leading figures from the Blairite camp are likely feeling aggrieved that Labour actually won in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election – a victory that slightly ruins and contradicts their narrative about the “unelectable” Corbyn.

The resignation of Clive Lewis from the Labour front bench has dealt yet another blow to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, as Brexit continues to torment the Labour Party. But while last summer’s “Chicken Coup” may have seen a greater number of resignations, the public resignation of one of Corbyn’s most well known supporters in order to vote against the whip may prove even more damaging.

“Vote Leave - Take Control” was always a deeply cynical slogan, designed to exploit the alienation and powerlessness of the working class in the EU referendum. It is only now, however, as the brave new world of Brexit starts its lengthy unfolding, that its irony is being exposed.

On 9th January, Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of the Stormont Assembly in Belfast, resigned in protest against the ongoing Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal. As the Assembly was unable to elect a new Deputy, new elections have been triggered, as required under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, which are now scheduled for 2nd March.

Sam Ashton takes a look at the history of housing in Britain and the mass struggles that have risen up time and time again in the fight for the basic right to a decent, affordable home. Today, the question of housing is a key issue, with the glaring contradiction of homelessness alongside empty mansions plain for all to see.

After months of vexed speculation over the possible terms of Britain’s departure from the EU, Prime Minister May mounted the podium on Tuesday to announce her grand Brexit plan to the world. In a 45-minute speech, May set out her vision for a “stronger, fairer, more united and more outward looking” Britain; a “global Britain” which will “re-discover its role as a great trading nation”.

And so the Bonaparte of Momentum was born. At a stroke, Momentum’s democratic structures have been abolished; the tireless work of thousands of Corbyn supporters over the past year-and-a-half thrown out the window. Overnight, grassroots activists have been shunted to the side in what can only be described as a coup.

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.

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.

Following the resignation of Nigel Farage – and his successor, Diane James, after only 18 days – Paul Nuttall, UKIP MEP and former deputy leader for the party, was yesterday announced to be the newly elected UKIP leader, winning the leadership contest with over 62% of the votes from party members. But does the future hold in store for Nuttall and this far-right, racist party?

When Boris Johnson, the pro-Leave Tory foreign secretary, recently promised to “make a titanic success” of Brexit, it is unlikely that he realised at the time just how apt his choice of words was. With the Office of Budgetary Responsibility (OBR), as part of yesterday’s Autumn Statement, predicting slower growth and a £122bn hole in the government’s finances as a result of Britain’s forthcoming departure from the EU, it is clear that the UK economy is heading for an iceberg.

Walter Bagehot famously remarked that there is no point in a mediocre monarchy - either the monarchy is fabulously expensive, or there is no monarchy. And fabulously expensive it certainly still is.

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced that the government’s agenda is “unashamedly pro-business”. Millions of Britons who are gearing up for Christmas must be in a state of shock at this earth-shattering news that a Tory government is an “unashamed” supporter of big business.