Britain

Freeing Julian Assange — the last chapter

One of the epic miscarriages of justice of our time is unravelling. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention — an international tribunal that adjudicates and decides whether governments comply with their human rights obligations — has ruled that Julian Assange has been detained unlawfully by Britain and Sweden.

English socialist rockers The Hurriers say Corbyn is bringing hope

British band The Hurriers are passionate, independently-driven — both in terms of control of their output, promo and gigs — and, almost as a bonus, a kick-ass in-your-face rock'n'roll act.

The five-piece hails from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, a working-class town with a long history of mining. Their debut From Acorns, Mighty Oaks was released last May and is a cracker.

Britain: Junior doctors strike to save public health system


Photo: Counterfire.

For the first time in 40 years, tens of thousands of junior doctors took to their picket lines on January 12 to oppose government plans to attack Britain's public National Health System (NHS).

As part of its bigger plan to run the NHS into the ground, the Conservative government is trying to impose a new contract on all junior doctors working in England.

Suffragette offers paean to women's struggle, but a distorted story

Suffragette
Directed by Sarah Gavron, written by Abi Morgan
Starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter & Meryl Streep
In cinemas now

Suffragette, written by a woman (Abi Morgan), directed by a woman (Sarah Gavron) and co-produced by two women (Alison Owen and Faye Ward) is a paean of praise to the British women who rebelliously demanded the right for women to vote.

Britain: Climate-driven floods the new normal, but gov't fails to act

Storms have mercilessly battered Britain, one after the other over the festive period, bringing with them severe and unrelenting floods. The scale of damage and devastation was unprecedented, but it was not unpredictable. We have seen these storms growing with intensity every year.

Britain joins bloody Syrian conflict

British parliament sat late into the night on December 2 before eventually voting up Prime Minister David Cameron's proposal to join the US-led air war in Syria.

Opposition Labour Party leader and veteran anti-war activist Jeremy Corbyn argued strongly against bombing Syria, as did protesters outside parliament. However, many right-wing Labour MPs supported the government.

The Dubliners' 'The Old Man' -- remembering war through the eyes of a working man

Remembrance Day is marked in Commonwealth nations on November 11 -- to commemorate the end of the bloodbath that was World War I. As a commemoration of fallen soldiers, it is overshadowed in Australia by Anzac Day -- but is a far bigger deal in Britain.

Willie McBride vs the fortunate sons -- anti-war song controversies prove popular culture matters

Tom Waits once said that writing songs against war was like throwing peanuts at a gorilla. Which may be true, but no one said gorillas liked peanuts in their face.

After all, the veteran American songwriter made the comment as a self-deprecating reference to the anti-war songs on his 2004 album Real Gone ― inspired by the Bush adminstration's wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Waits noted: “But then I think, look how important soul music was during the civil rights movement.

Britain: Protesters rejects anti-union bill

Thousands of trade union activists mobilised outside Parliament on November 2 to protest the Conservative government's proposed ultra-right Trade Union bill. The turnout defied expectations of the event’s organisers, the Trade Union Congress.

Speaking at the lobby’s Central Hall rally, the Fire Brigade Union's Matt Wrack channelled the anger of his union’s rank-and-file. Unite's Len McCluskey reiterated his union's commitment to extra-legal action should the bill be passed, invoking the movement’s proud historic tradition of overriding unjust laws.

Britain: Students protest fee rise as Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell backs campaign

Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell threw his weight behind students who took to the streets on November 4 over Tory plans to cut maintenance grants and raise tuition fees.

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