Britain

On 7th June, the people of Britain will go to the polls to elect the next government. According to all the polls Labour is set to gain a hefty majority over the Conservatives. The polls show that Labour is now leading the Tories by a massive 28 points. The personal rating of Tory leader William Hague is just 13 per cent.

On 7th June, the people of Britain will go to the polls to elect the next government. According to all the polls Labour is set to gain a hefty majority over the Conservatives. The polls show that Labour is now leading the Tories by a massive 28 points. Yet the election campaign has been as dead as a Dodo, and the great majority show little interest and less enthusiasm for either New Labour or the Tories. The general election turnout is likely to be low - some have even predicted the lowest for over 100 years. The reason for this alleged "voter apathy" is not hard to find.

75 years ago an earthquake shook the very foundations of British capitalism. In the greatest display of militant power in its history the British working class moved into action in the General Strike of 1926. For 9 days, from May 3, not a wheel turned nor a light shone without the permission of the working class. In such a moment, with such power, surely it ought to have been possible to have transformed society? How can such a position have ended in defeat?

This statement by the Editorial Board of the Socialist Appeal analyses the situation in Britain today. It looks at Britain within the context of world economic and political developments and analyses how these affect the British trade union movement, the Labour Party, the youth and outlines the perspectives for the coming period and poses the tasks of Marxists today.

Over the past weeks the news has been dominated by the story of yet another crisis in farming. The rapid spreading of the food and mouth epidemic in Britain is a direct consequence of capitalist farming methods.

In a matter of days a magnificent and largely spontaneous movement of truck drivers, farmers and cabbies has brought large parts of the country to a virtual standstill. This movement represents the biggest national unofficial strike action seen in Britain for decades. The ruling class are quaking in their boots.

This month marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of the British Communist Party. As a result we are publishing the following article on the early years of the Communist Party.

The horrific deaths of 58 Chinese migrants found in Dover, revealed to the world the monstrous effects of Britain's immigration regime. By making it virtually impossible for refugees and migrants to enter this country legally, many thousands every year seek to come here illegally. Jack Straw was quick to place the blame on Chinese smuggling gangs called the Snake Head. Thinking people can see through this.

"Britain is already a different and better country..."
Tony Blair at the Periodical Publishers Association, 9th May.

"I'm totally opposed to New Labour. They are not any different to the Thatcherites. I would like to see a return to the old values."
George Fleetwood, 48, an engineer.

"I have a wife and two children to raise and I really thought in 1997 that we were heading for a bright new era. Tony Blair has failed to deliver. If anything, he is more of a Tory than many Tories."
Brian Cox, 31, unemployed dockyard labourer.

We hear a lot about the Third Way these days. But does this represent anything new or is it just the socialdemocrats recognising that there is no longer any room for manouvre? Barbara Humphries looks at where these ideas come from and what do they really mean.

This is supposed to be, as the media are forever telling us, the people's game, our World Cup, etc., etc. But we have little or no say in it. We generate the passion but all the officials see are the buckets of cash. The governing bodies of football, both national and international, are remote, out of touch and above all travesties of democracy. So long as big business and the multi-nationals control the game and shape it in their interests, this will continue to be the reality of things. The fightback should start now, starting with the grassroots supporters groups, to ensure that fans have a say in the...

In August 1931 the Labour prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, crossed the floor of the Commons with a handful of supporters to join with the Tories and Liberals in forming a National Government. This event was considered one of the greatest betrayals in the history of the Labour Party. More than sixty-five years later, voices have once again been raised about the need for a radical realignment of British politics and the formation of some kind of coalition. "If Blair is the Ramsay MacDonald of the Nineties," warns the Observer, "he could be getting his National Government in early as...

The recent rebellion against the Lbour government's decission to cut single parent benefit and the growing disquiet about proposals to cut benefits for the sick and disabled have brought the welfare to work programme into sharp focus. Mick Brooks looks at what is all about, adn asks the important question: can it create real jobs or is just another way of massaging the statistics and reducing the social security budget?