Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the LRC. We are currently undergoing technical problems with the site and currently with the links to blog postings. Please bear with us until we can complete a new website.

Some good election news – from Spain

Mike Phipps
25th May 2015 at 20:08

“Spain’s indignados made the move from city squares to the halls of power on Sunday in municipal and regional elections that saw an anti-poverty activist elected as mayor of Barcelona and the ruling People’s party battered at the ballot box,” reports The Guardian.
Elections in thirteen regions and more than 8,000 municipalities saw sweeping gains for new left-wing alliances, as voters delivered their verdict on rampant corruption, a stagnant economy and vicious austerity. The two traditional parties, the ruling conservative PP and the opposition social democratic PSOE were reduced to just 52 percent of the vote.
The biggest victory of the night was for Ada Colau, an anti-eviction activist and leader of Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in Common), who was elected mayor of Barcelona. Barcelona en Comú is a grassroots coalition of several parties and thousands of activists. It includes Podemos, the new radical left party, which was founded just over a year ago and won 5 MEPs in last year’s European elections.
Ada Colau is a founding member of the Mortgage Victims’ Platform, which fights evictions, a huge issue in Spain, where there are more than 5 million empty houses. Half a million people have been thrown out of their homes but still have their mortgage debt with banks. One analyst explained: “The Spanish mortgage system is different from the UK in several respects: a home owner can find their property repossessed easily, if they fall into just one month’s arrears, and a bank is entitled to be repaid the full loan amount at that point – even if the borrower has already paid back 50% of the original loan. If a bank repossesses and sells a property on, it is allowed to keep the entire sum raised at sale even if the loan is cleared and there is an excess.”
Barcelona en Comú was crowdfunded and underpinned by a strong code of ethics, written by its members. It plans to limit the mayoral monthly salary to €2,200 (£1,600) and eliminate official cars and expense budgets for attending meetings.
Elsewhere, the elections were a disaster for the ruling PP, which previously controlled a majority of Spain’s regional parliaments – now they run none of the newly elected ones. Nor are they certain to run Madrid, where their candidate, a countess, won most votes and 21 seats on the city council. But Podemos came from nowhere to take twenty and the PSOE came third, so a left-wing alliance looks possible.
With a general election later this year, the PP could be on the way out. More significantly, the whole post-Franco model of politics is being called into question by the rise of Podemos, which came third in many contests. Speaking in Madrid on the night of its spectacular gains, its leader, Pablo Iglesias, declared that “in Madrid and Barcelona there was a battle between business as usual and happiness and hope. Hope won.”
He went on: “If you do not impose democracy on the economy, you open the door to the totalitarianism of the market and corruption. Today Madrid has shown that we can defeat the party of the banks in elections.”  [continue/comment...]

First thoughts after May 7th

Mike Phipps
9th May 2015 at 12:46

Irrespective of who succeeds Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour Party, there needs to be a thorough-going discussion about its future strategy. On one side, there will be a new offensive from the remnants of New Labour, claiming it was the radicalism of the 2015 Manifesto that was the cause of Labour’s dire showing on May 7th. While some of these policies may have inspired the print media to plumb new depths in fear - and hate-mongering, the idea that these policies were inherently unpopular should be treated with extreme caution. [continue/comment...]

LRC create Labour “Nat. Gallery Strikers’ support” currents

Marie Lynam
21st April 2015 at 22:11

The strike at the National Gallery is very important. Beyond the campaign to reinstate Candy, which is just and correct in itself, there is the struggle against the penetration of finance capital – in the form of private enterprise and ‘culture for profit’ – in the field of culture. [continue/comment...]

Iraq: When will it end?

Mike Phipps
19th March 2015 at 19:03
1 comment

Twelve years on from the 2003 invasion of Iraq, there is no let-up in the misery being inflicted on the Iraqi people. The UN mission to Iraq says violence in the country claimed the lives of at least 1,100 Iraqis in February, including more than 600 civilians. [continue/comment...]

Wonderful 30th anniversary end of miners strike event in Wakefield

Barry Ewart
8th March 2015 at 22:20

Went to the wonderful end of the miners strike 30th anniversary ‘With Banners Held High’ Event on Saturday. Excellent debates, films, a book launch ‘Wisdom of Our Own’ by the Castleford Community Learning Centre set up by Women Against Pit closures - highly recommended E Mail: (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  There was also an excellent performance of songs about the strike by Red Ladder Theatre who sadly have had their funding cut by the arts council (whilst millions given to arts dominated by the middle class)  - Google Red Ladder Theatre. Also excellent stalls such as the Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign (just Google them) and powerful films on the strike- there was also a brilliant speech from Denis Skinner which got a standing ovation -as someone said on Twitter this event was really cooking!  A heart warming and often moving day - the Tories on behalf of the rich and powerful may have won a big battle (using the full forces of the state) and although at times it may have been touch and go but they got the prize they wanted - Neo-Liberal cheap labour - (and the UK as a service sector economy and a centre for finance capital) but they haven’t won the war.  It is the labour of the working billions which creates the wealth and makes societies work - every night the rich and powerful must pray that working people will turn up for work tomorrow and we just need to continue to try to wake working people up.  As I said in a debate (I think I have learnt over the last 40 years) that working people seem to be afraid of money - hundreds of thousands, millions, billions, trillions aargh! but it is our wealth really. I went to a talk by Dr Ha Joon Chang a few years ago and have read the financial pages of newspapers ever since and I repeated Dr Changs argument that we should all do this to become economically aware citizens.  I also said the rich and powerful are clever they set neighbour against neighbour re welfare to make the rich invisible as millionaires are distant from most people’s lives. So poor people pay £15/25 per week on the bedroom tax and 13,000 of the richest people get tax cuts worth £108,000!  Big business in UK is sat on £800b and we should confidently, calmly and rationally take £200b in a windfall tax, tax the rich, tax land,  have a living wage, more democratic public ownership plus have a 5% EC Financial Transaction Tax which would bring in £1.75 trillion in the EC and makes the financial sector pay for the mess they caused - I think we should try to gather a trillion to wipe out debt and austerity at a stroke, to have state led public investment to help people and to do good plus we would have plenty in reserve for a rainy day,. But we need to work with sister parties so working people in every country in the World are fighting for he same things.  Yours in international solidarity!  [continue/comment...]

Page 3 of 12 pages
previous / 1 / 2 / [ 3 ] / 4 / 5 / next / last page 

Latest blog posts

Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the LRC. We are undergoing technical problems with the site and currently with the links to blog postings. Please bear with us until we can complete the build of new website.

Log in to post or comment...
Not a member? Join the LRC!