In the middle of the harshest winter for more than a decade, Britain finds itself still gripped by the icy fingers of neoliberal austerity.
British Labour Party
Delegates to the recent Labour Party conference in the English seaside town of Brighton seemed not to notice a video playing in the main entrance. The world’s third biggest arms manufacturer, BAe Systems, supplier to Saudi Arabia, was promoting its guns, bombs, missiles, naval ships and fighter aircraft.
It seemed a perfidious symbol of a party in which millions of Britons now invest their political hopes. Once the preserve of Tony Blair, it is now led by Jeremy Corbyn, whose career has been very different and is rare in British establishment politics.
Everyone sensed the new energy at this year’s Labour Party conference, held in Brighton from September 24-27.
The reality of the conference was something not seen in Britain for a long time: thousands of determined and self-confident members of a Labour Party that boldly stands for what they believe in.
The strike at two branches of McDonald’s in Britain was “just the start”, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said on September 4. Speaking at a rally outside Parliament the day before, the shadow chancellor hailed the striking workers as an “absolute inspiration”.
Workers at the burger giant’s restaurants in Cambridge and Crayford, south-east London, downed aprons in protest at the harassment of workers and the victimisation of union members.
In his September 2 article “Responding on Sanders and reforming the Democrats”, Barry Sheppard fundamentally mischaracterises the position I outlined in “Socialists and Bernie Sanders”. I specifically did not argue in favour of the far left in the US trying to “reform” the Democratic Party.
Disparaged and smeared by the Labour Party machine and corporate media for almost two years, Momentum — a grassroots group of Labour members committed to the socialist politics of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — came out fighting during the campaign for the June 8 general elections.
Spurred on by a sense of idealism, this campaign came close to sweeping Labour into government on the most transformative manifesto for a generation.
Few would have predicted, until recent times, that the biggest act at the Glastonbury music festival would be a 68-year-old socialist reciting a 200-year-old poem.
Yet Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s June 24 speech at Glastonbury attracted what was likely the largest crowd in the festival’s history, NME said.
Theresa May is now Britain’s prime minister in name only. Leading a government that may collapse within days, propped up (she hopes) by the homophobes of the Democratic Unionist Party, it is clear her time is nearly up.
So while May is in office but not in power, who has stepped into the vacuum of leadership she has left? Jeremy Corbyn.
The recent British general election delivered very different results in Scotland than those of England and Wales.
While the question of Scottish independence was still a major issue for voters, tactical errors by the Scottish National Party (SNP) and a muted Jeremy Corbyn-effect in Scottish Labour’s favour led to some unforeseen outcomes.
In the aftermath of Britain’s June 8 elections, in which Labour defied expectations to make major gains while the Conservative government of Theresa May lost its majority, the surge of support for Labour’s socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-austerity platform has grown.