Sex Abuse Scandals

A leading figure in a nationwide institution has been accused of rape and sexual harassment. This has shaken many of those who had confidence in the organisation, although others have rallied round to defend him.

This is not a reference to a Scottish Cardinal and the Roman Catholic Church, nor to a Liberal Democrat peer, nor to a dead DJ and the BBC. The latest scandal concerns the ex-National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party.

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History of the Class Struggle

The defeat of the miners and printers in Britain did not bring the wave of class struggles of that decade to a close. 1987 saw a nationwide strike of British Telecom workers. In February 1988, there was a real wave of struggles involving car workers, health workers, postal workers, seafarers, and others. Internationally the movement also continued, with important struggles in the education sector in Italy and among healthworkers in France.

These movements showed a number of signs of a process of maturation in the working class. The struggles in Italy and France, for example, saw the emergence of general assemblies and revocable committees to coordinate the struggle, and in several cases members of revolutionary organisations (the ICC and others) were elected as delegates.

There was also a small but potentially important development of organisation among unemployed workers. WR 92 (March 1986) contained reports of our participation in meetings of unemployed committees in France Germany, and the UK.

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Rape

We are publishing an article by a close sympathiser of the ICC in India, responding to the notorious rape and murder of a young student in Delhi. It is followed by comments by two other women.

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Gay Marriage

By announcing the forthcoming adoption of a law authorising gay  marriage, the French government has provoked a series of mobilisations and media debates where everyone is asked to choose their camp : ‘for’ or ‘against’ gay marriage.  The same thing has happened in other countries: in Britain David Cameron’s proposal to legalise gay marriage has created deep divisions in both the Tory party and the Anglican Church (which had already been convulsed by the scandalously radical idea of allowing gay priests and women bishops).

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British Imperialism

David Cameron has had a busy start to the year. In early February he visited Libya and Algeria. A couple of weeks later he was in India with the largest trade delegation ever assembled by a British Prime Minister. Before that he had given the long-awaited speech on Europe in which he finally promised a referendum after the next election. What does all this tell us about British foreign policy?

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Arab Spring

With the so-called ‘Arab revolutions’ celebrating their second anniversary, the riots and mass demonstrations of the last few months and weeks in Egypt and Tunisia are a reminder that despite the departure of the dictators Ben Ali and Mubarak, nothing has been resolved. On the contrary, the economic situation has got worse, bringing growing unemployment, poverty and attacks on the working class. Meanwhile the reigning authoritarianism, the violence and repression being handed out to the demonstrators, is no different from what went on before.

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Economy

The average worker has lost around £4,000 in real wages over the past three years. In 2017, real wages are predicted to be no higher than their 1999 level. And although there has recently been a 7.8% fall in official unemployment figures, there has been an increase in involuntary part-time working and a sharp drop in productivity.

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After a delay which has been much longer than we originally intended, we are resuming the third volume of the series on communism.

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The aim of the original article was to respond to the widespread trend among a number of currents in or around the revolutionary movement to reject the notion of capitalist decadence, a foundation stone for the class positions contained in our platform. We pointed out that this tendency has affected elements in the communist left as well as those coming from anarchism or ‘libertarian’ versions of marxism. 

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