The state of the world economy, the USA, China, the disastrous war in
Iraq, all have a direct effect on the situation in Britain. Some may
find a contradiction in the fact that although Blair is very unpopular
he will almost certainly win the elections. The fact is that there is
no alternative. The workers of Britain have not forgotten what the
Tories did when they were in power. But the undercurrents are already
discernable and these will sooner or later come to the surface.
As a postscript to British Perspectives 2005 (What is happening in Britain)
Phil Mitchinson analyses the results of the recent general election in
the context of mounting insecurity in the British economy, politics and
society as a whole. Labour won the election with the smallest share of
the vote of any victorious party in history. With the government's
majority severely reduced how much longer can Blair last? 'New' Labour
has set off on a collision course with its own backbenches and with the
trade unions and the working class.
Ezker Marxista and El Militante
organised a speaking tour last week throughout the Basque Country, with
Gerry Rudy and Danny of the IRSP (Irish Republican Socialist Party)
speaking in many Basque working class neighbourhoods, drawing the
lessons of the experiences in Ireland and linking these to the struggle
for national liberation of the Basque Country. The common thread was
the need for the organised working class to take a lead in the struggle
and link it to a socialist perspective.
The events in Oldham have hit the national headlines. Similar explosions of racial conflict have taken place in other towns in Britain. This has brought the BNP and the danger from far-right groups back into the spotlight. Bryan Beckingham, Secretary of Oldham National Union of Teachers, and Alan Creear in Oldham describe the background to these developments.