Who Created the Refugee Crisis?

This Saturday a huge demonstration swept through the streets of London, with around 300,000 people marching from Marble Arch to Parliament Square to show solidarity with refugees, and to demand better treatment for asylum seekers in Britain and across the EU. The protesters were addressed at Parliament Square by Jeremy Corbyn, as his first official act as the newly elected Labour Party leader, proclaiming his support for the plight of the refugees.

Aylan Kurdi
The image of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi that sparked fiercer support for refugees trying to find safety in Europe

The conscience of the British people has been moved by the picture of the tragically drowned 3 year old Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, lying on a Turkish beach, along with his mother and brother, while the family was fleeing from the horrors being inflicted in Kobane by the terrorist ISIS organisation – spawned by Anglo-American imperialism in its attempts to overthrow Syria’s legitimate elected government headed by President Assad.

As the British people came to realise that these deaths were only the tip of an iceberg of death and suffering visited upon fleeing refugees, they petitioned the government in huge numbers to welcome refugees, and the British government has responded by promising to take in some 5,000 a year, though it was soon made clear that this grudging minimalist concession is to be curtailed in every way possible, with those admitted under the age of 18 to be deported as soon as they reach that age.

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Labour’s leadership election – #JezWeCan – Voting Corbyn without illusions? Nothing can make Labour a party of the working class.

Ballots for the Labour Party leadership election were sent out on 14 August by post and voting ends on 10 September. An estimated 120,000 people have paid £3 in order to become ‘affiliated members’, and vote in the election, substantially increasing the party’s membership figures, which had been steadily eroding over the preceding years.

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Trade unions have been running concerted campaigns to register their members as voters, and to campaign among their membership for the election of Jeremy Corbyn, who announced his leadership bid after Milliband’s electoral rout, in the run-up to the substantial anti-austerity demonstrations held in London and across the country in June 2015.

All of which begs the question: if Jeremy Corbyn is elected to the leadership of the Labour Party, can he make it a party of the working class? If he becomes Prime minister, can his Labour Party lead Britain towards socialism and a fairer, more just and equitable society for British workers and help to shape a fairer and more peaceful world?

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Korea: no game! Tensions escalate as USA and South Korea threaten war with the North

USA-ROK joint exercises
The USA and South Korea stage regular military exercises on the DPRK’s border

In the wake of joint military exercises (Foal Eagle and Ulchi Freedom-Guardian) staged by the United States of America and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) on the border of the DPR Korea (North Korea), clearly designed to threaten and sabotage any peace talks, the South has resumed broadcasting propaganda across the demilitarised zone.

Park Geun-hye
South Korean President Park Geun-hye (daughter of Park Chung-hee, who seized power in a military coup)

Understandably this bizarre approach to “building trust” between the Koreas by President Park Geun-hye has not been taken lightly in the North.

South Korean demands that the DPRK disarm, anti-DPRK propaganda, and ‘defensive’ military drills with the USA (whose nearest border is some 7400km away) mirrors common tactics of provocation and psychological military operations that prelude the invasion of sovereign nations – and show who is really the aggressor in the current ‘stand-off’.

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Anarchism or Socialism?

What are the beliefs of the Anarchists? How are they different from the socialists and communists? In particular: is capitalism the enemy, or is the state machine the enemy?

What do the anarchists think workers should do if they are successful in getting rid of exploitative capitalism? What are the anarchists’ criticisms of communism? What are the basic ideas and beliefs of the communists that make it a useful guide to action, and empower workers to overthrow the old system of exploitation and build a new, peaceful and truly representative society? In what way is socialism more ‘scientific’ and systematic?

Harpal Brar, chairman of the CPGB-ML gives a historical and contemporary look at anarchism, from its philosophical and organisational origins to the present day anarchists and their ‘activity’, and compares it to the Socialist views of Marx and Engels.

A must watch for every thinking person, every would be revolutionary, and every worker who wants to build a better world.

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Stop playing games with our NHS

The following letter was sent by a Proletarian reader to the British Medical Association journal BMA News.Save our NHS
“Readers of BMA News over the last couple of weeks cannot fail to have noticed the BMA’s conspicuous ‘No More Games’ campaign, designed – we are told – to appeal to the UK government to stop “playing games” with the NHS.

With all due respect to the leadership of our trade union, what UK governments – regardless of party political stripe – have done and continue to do to the NHS since 1979 is not a ‘game’, it is a pre-planned step-by-step programme to re-privatise healthcare in this country.

The first step in 1983 was to take NHS executive power away from doctors and place it instead in the hands of new business managers.

Step 2 in 1990 was to replace the old funding system of simple block budget allocation, with an artificial ‘internal market’ whereby ‘providers’ would henceforth compete for funding from ‘commissioners’.

Step 3, from 1997, was the expansion of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), whereby NHS Trusts were encouraged to ‘solve’ their funding problems by – in effect – paying for new (and often unnecessary) infrastructure projects on a credit card.

Step 4 was the introduction of ‘Foundation Hospitals’ – in effect embryonic private hospitals – from 2002: since then the government has decreed that all NHS Trusts must ultimately become Foundation Trusts, or else be subsumed into existing Foundation Trusts.

The final step was the Health and Social Care Act 2011, which in fact formally abolished the NHS as a universal free healthcare system: ‘NHS’ is now little more than the name for a pot of taxpayer money that will increasingly be directed to the government’s friends on the boards of private healthcare providers.

And so you see, the government is not ‘playing games’ here, far from it. It is no more likely to be dissuaded from privatising the NHS by appeal to reason or kindness than it was to be dissuaded from invading Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Libya. Or Yugoslavia. Or Ukraine …

Perhaps if anyone needs to be told to stop ‘playing games’ here it’s the BMA?”