Last Wednesday, Greece was shaken by a general strike. On Thursday, there were protests in all major cities against a new round of austerity measures. Unlike previous general strikes, which are regularly called as a formality and fail to mobilise significant sectors of the working class, this time important services were affected and various ports, hospitals, and airports were paralysed.

On Sunday, 187,949 members of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) were called to the ballot box to choose a new leadership for the party. After a heated campaign where the more left-wing candidate, Pedro Sánchez, locked horns with the right-wing Susana Díaz, Sánchez won a resounding victory with a lead of almost 11% that has given shivers to the ruling classes.

Twenty-two people have been killed and 59 injured in the most deadly terrorist attack on British soil since the London 7/7 bombings. The attack on a pop concert at the Manchester Arena, carried out by a lone suicide bomber, was deliberately timed to strike as thousands of people, including many children, began to leave the venue at 22:35. A number of children and teenagers are already known to be among the dead and missing.

Within hours of the launch of the Tory manifesto, the Conservative lead over Labour in the polls was slashed by half. The Tories are in a crisis over their “dementia tax” bombshell, which is a direct attack on the aged and sick, the most vulnerable sections of society. Another manifesto pledge, to axe free school lunches, provoked widespread uproar after a report found it could hit 900,000 pupils. Out of desperation, there has been a feeble attempted U-turn on the “dementia tax”, with promises of some kind of cap. But this is too little too late. Welcome back to the Nasty Party!

The recent local elections provide important lessons for the labour movement as a whole. In many areas the Labour vote decreased and the party lost overall control over some of its core local authorities, such as Merthyr Tydfil, the home constituency of Keir Hardie, the first Labour MP in the House of Commons.

With only a few weeks to go until election day, Labour’s campaign to boot out the Tories is gathering momentum and the gap in the polls is narrowing. Despite a concerted and co-ordinated effort by the Tories, the right-wing press, and the Blairites to discredit Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader and his campaign are cutting through the web of lies and slanders by appealing directly to workers and youth on the basis of mass rallies and a bold and radical programme.

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