As a postscript to British Perspectives 2005 (What is happening in Britain)
Phil Mitchinson analyses the results of the recent general election in
the context of mounting insecurity in the British economy, politics and
society as a whole. Labour won the election with the smallest share of
the vote of any victorious party in history. With the government's
majority severely reduced how much longer can Blair last? 'New' Labour
has set off on a collision course with its own backbenches and with the
trade unions and the working class.
Ezker Marxista and El Militante
organised a speaking tour last week throughout the Basque Country, with
Gerry Rudy and Danny of the IRSP (Irish Republican Socialist Party)
speaking in many Basque working class neighbourhoods, drawing the
lessons of the experiences in Ireland and linking these to the struggle
for national liberation of the Basque Country. The common thread was
the need for the organised working class to take a lead in the struggle
and link it to a socialist perspective.
Speaking at a meeting in solidarity with Venezuela in London, Frances
O'Grady, Deputy General Secretary of the British Trade Union Congress,
made clear the opposition of the TUC on US interference in Venezuela. See the article on the Hands off Venezuela website.
The events in Oldham have hit the national headlines. Similar explosions of racial conflict have taken place in other towns in Britain. This has brought the BNP and the danger from far-right groups back into the spotlight. Bryan Beckingham, Secretary of Oldham National Union of Teachers, and Alan Creear in Oldham describe the background to these developments.
The Editorial of next month's Socialist Appeal deals with the economic effects of the current crisis and the build up to a war against Afghanistan. It also explains how the right wing leaders of the labour movement are using the pretext of the "war against terrorism" to prevent any criticism of their policies regarding privatisation with the curtailing of the TUC and Labour Party Conferences. This is also the pretext for the introduction of ID cards and other measures against civil liberties.