Radical changes in consciousness often spring from arbitrary collective experiences. Last week’s bombings in London are no exception. On the surface, the story being broadcast and repeated by the journalists, politicians, and purveyors of “objective information” appears to be true. But there is more to it than that.

Schröder has dissolved the Bundestag and has called early elections for September 18. Polls show a drastic fall in the SPD vote and the most likely outcome seems a victory of the right wing Christian Democrats. But on the left a new formation is emerging, the Left Alliance, made up of the PDS (former Communist Party of East Germany) and the WASG, a left split of disenchanted social democrats and trade unionists, and the former leader of the left of the SPD, Oskar Lafontaine, is preparing to be its main leader. The crisis of German capitalism is preparing the ground for greater instability and a polarization of German society.

Despite clashing with both the RISE festival and the traditional Tollpuddle Rally, the main hall at the TUC’s Congress House was largely full for this year’s AGM and rally of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), the main new umbrella grouping for Left activists inside the Labour Party. Amongst others, a number of the platform speakers from the trade union movement, including Jeremy Dear (NUJ), Mark Serwotka (PCS) and Paul Mackney (NATFHE) took time to outline the ongoing process of attacks against the public sector being carried out by the government.

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