Monday, April 09, 2007

Socialist Worker # 2046 April 14th 2007

Socialist Worker (April 14th) has an agitational frontpage, with a nice photo of a field of Iraqi flags labelled 'A million march aganist the occupation' (but is this the usual exaggeration - I've heard half a million estimates), plus a 'Join the protests on 1 May. Break Brown's wage freeze' with quotes from a Kevin Courtney of the NUT executive. The tone, taken up by reports from the NUT conference, is one of anger and activity. Elsewhere Esme Choonare takes up the defence
of public libraries and several student nurses talk to Yuri Prasad. Tim Riley looks at the failure of Labour's New Deal scheme.

The Iraq story is followed up on the backpage with a story from Simon Assaf: 'Iraqis Unite to Demand U.S. Out' following Moqtada al-Sadr's demonstration in Najaf, who comments about the scale of his following, but also the divisions in the Mehdi Army, with some supporting retaliatory sectarian killings, but with Sadr calling on his supporters to not attack other Iraqis. There was a Sunni delegation on the march.

May 3rd elections: there's a booster story for Respect, but also mentions of Galloway joining Sheridan for rallies in Scotland and a London Respect meeting to select candidates for the GLA elections in 2008. Unite Against Fascism also gets a column for its activities.

Alex Callinicos's column is titled, 'This profits boom can't be sustained', reporting a Financial Times story about record levels of profitability for British corporations. Alex is concerned whether this means the boom slump cycle and tendency ofr the rate of profit to fall has gone away, but, thankfully, he doubts it. He points to a squeeze on household disposable income to argue that exloitation is still key, and that increases in household debt make us more vulnerable to interest rate rises - a tendency even more strongly pronounced in the US. The US profits share rose from 7% to 12.4% between 2001 and 2006, but American profits are now starting to fall. Alex's conclusion: profits might be driven up to boom levels, but they can't be sustained.

SW reports from France about 'The real alternative...' pointing to the race between Sarkozy and Royal, but with background in struggles that have 'shaken the political terrain over the last few years., referring to the No vote for the EU constitution, riots in the autumn of 2005, the anti-CPE struggles of March 2006. SW points to Olivier Besancenot of the LCR as 'expressing the spirit of the resisance', drawing in new forces, speaking to big meetings, and keeping ahead of the other left candidates. Controversially Callinicos in SW had a while back advised Besancenot not to stand but to support Jose Bove's candidature, but the blogger critics (here and here) are making too much of this: largely for sectarian purpose I think.

Leo Zeilig does the centrepage spread on Zimbabwe, 'From Liberation to Dictatorship': NOT backing Mugabe. And Kieran Allen has a detailed page devoted to 'Resisting Corporate Power' in Ireland, based on his new book.



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