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British politics in turmoil as right-wing surge fuels Brexit chaos


Members of the trade union Unite march in London to support Jeremy Corbyn. Photo by Andrew Burgin.

The victory of the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union (“Brexit”) in the June 23 referendum was the result of — and is intensifying — a huge right-wing anti-immigration campaign.

Britain: 'Brexit' vote dividing all sides, but Corbyn right to campaign to remain

British politics is being dominated by the June 23 referendum on whether Britain leaves the European Union (EU) — the so-called Brexit.

This is a question that has, over recent decades, threatened to fatally divide the British right. But left forces also hold contradictory perspectives on the question.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Green Party of England and Wales and Left Unity are calling for a “yes” vote to remain in the European Union, but are demanding an alternative to the neoliberal EU.

Britain: Huge march opposes new cuts


Hundreds of thousands march in London on June 20

More than 200,000 people marched through central London on June 20 as people came from across the country to show their anger and opposition to further spending cuts.

The demonstration involved many young people coming out to protest against the newly elected Conservative Party government, marching alongside seasoned activists.

Britain: Revitalised climate movement draws 20,000 to protest

Some 20,000 people marched through central London on Saturday, in the Time to Act! protest, demanding that climate change be taken seriously by political parties in the coming General Election.

Time to Act!, launched by the Campaign Against Climate Change, brought together a wide coalition of environmental and left wing organisations.

The march was young, vibrant and diverse: placards from the Greens, Socialist Worker and Left Unity mixed with banners and flags from Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Peoples’ Assembly and trade unions.

Britain: Greens surge on back of anti-austerity anger

A Green Surge has hit Britain. Thanks to an ongoing growth spurt, the Green Party of England and Wales has now hit 54,000 members, on top of nearly 10,000 members in the Scottish Green Party.

Opinion polls put the party on the rise, frequently beating the Liberal Democrats, who are governing in coalition with the Conservatives. The Greens now have more members than the far-right anti-immigrant UK Independence Party (UKIP), whose growing support has generated much media attention.

John Pilger: War by media a triumph of propaganda

Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?

Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what’s called the mainstream media is not information, but power?

Britain: Marxist seminar brings together European left

How does capitalism survive? This was the question that greeted the 11th annual Historical Materialism conference in London. Held from November 6 to 9 at the Vernon Square Campus, it was a four-day long broad marriage of global leftist activists and academics run by the Marxist journal of the same name.

Posed as a simple question, it quickly developed into as many answers and narratives as there are positions within the left.

London joins global protests to stand up for Palestine

With tanks rolling through the outskirts of Gaza and the Israeli Defense Force organises new air strikes targeting hospitals and civilians playing football on the beach, almost 100 protests took place right across the world on July 19 and 20, calling for an end to the brutal occupation of Palestine and the bombing of Gaza.

Britain: More than 2 million join public sector strike

Workers in more than 50 cities across England, Wales and Scotland joined Britain's largest trade union mobilisation since the mass strike over pensions in 2011.

More than 2 million public sector workers took part in marches in their local cities, while others maintained pickets of public sector buildings and local authorities.

The main issue driving the mass strike was the meagre 1% pay rise offered by the Conservative-Liberal-Democrat coalition government. This amount to a wage cut the soaring living costs workers have been experiencing in the past several years are factored in.

Mark Steel: How 'leftie' academics hijacked the Great War

Now the centenary of 1914 has got going, we should do as British education secretary Michael Gove suggests and celebrate the First World War, instead of taking notice of “left-wing academics”, who complain it was a regrettable waste of life.

But the other day, on the radio, they played an interview with Harry Patch, the last man alive who fought for the British in the war. Harry said: “Politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder.”

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