Saturday, 29 November 2008
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Citigroup says gold could rise above $2,000 next year as world unravels by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard from Telegraph.co.uk 26 November 2008 Citibank said the damage caused by the financial excesses of the last quarter century was forcing the world's authorities to take steps that had never been tried before. This gamble was likely to end in one of two extreme ways: with either a resurgence of inflation; or a downward spiral into depression, civil disorder, and possibly wars. Both outcomes will cause a rush for gold.
What Next? The Elections, the Economy, and the World by Noam Chomsky Transcript of recent address in Boston from Democracy Now! 24 November 2008 Well, let's begin with the elections. The word that the rolls off of everyone's tongue is historic. Historic election. And I agree with it. It was a historic election. To have a black family in the white house is a momentous achievement. In fact, it's historic in a broader sense. The two Democratic candidates were an African-American and a woman. Both remarkable achievements. We go back say 40 years, it would have been unthinkable. So something's happened to the country in 40 years. And what's happened to the country- which is we're not supposed to mention- is that there was extensive and very constructive activism in the 1960s, which had an aftermath. So the feminist movement, mostly developed in the 70s--the solidarity movements of the 80's and on till today. And the activism did civilize the country. The country's a lot more civilized than it was 40 years ago and the historic achievements illustrate it. That's also a lesson for what's next.
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
At last, the party of social justice has woken up by Polly Toynbee from The Guardian 25 November 2008 The New Labour era is over - welcome to social democracy. Following in Obama's footsteps, it is suddenly safe to tax the rich and spend to protect jobs. Keynes and Roosevelt are the world's spirit guides through this crisis, because in a crisis social democracy is what works. Yesterday that faith allowed Labour to shed its disguise and follow its nature in a £20bn shower of spending. Yesterday saw the Conservatives strip off their sheep's clothing too, as George Osborne tore into the "unexploded tax bombshell" with gusto, merrily defending the aspirations of the wealthy. Now we can see both parties naked as nature intended, and at last comfortable in their own skins.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
- Chávez Supporters Win 17 out of 23 Venezuelan States, but Lose 3 Most Populous (24 Nov 2008)
- Opposition Also Wins Tachira and Carabobo States in Regional Elections (24 Nov 2008)
Towards the foundation of a New Anti-Capitalist Party
by Pierre Rousset from LINKS - International Journal of Socialist Renewal The political impact of the New Anti-Capitalist Party (Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste or NPA) process is quite important. In a number places, this new political party in construction is already de facto replacing the French Revolutionary Communist League (Ligue communiste révolutionnaire or LCR)and is very active.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Monday, 17 November 2008
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Monday, 3 November 2008
Last election, 7,000 people gave their votes to very small left-wing parties that never had any chance of winning a seat in Parliament. That's 0.3% of the vote; a small but not insignificant amount. If those votes to the Alliance and Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis had gone to the Greens instead (who, after all, have 99% of their policies in common), the Greens would have won another seat. This election, there are two more micro left wing parties - the Workers' Party and the Residents Action Movement. Two parties with, as far as I can tell, identical policies and ideology that sit comfortably within the ideals of the Greens and Labour, just more extreme, but have no hope of getting elected (RAM came dead last in every local council election that it contested last year). I have a lot of sympathy for these parties and their policies. It is important to have groups that pulling the political spectrum left. But that is no reason for voters to waste their votes on them. Last election, the micro parties and the Progressive took a combined 33,000 votes, each one of them wasted when they could have been contributing to more seats for the Left. If that happens again, it may be the difference between keeping the Left in power and a National-led government. Which leads to a sad but inescapable conclusion - voting for a micro party rather than a party that will return to Parliament is like voting for a National-led government.Pierson's comments on RAM are a distortion of the facts. He ignores the 100,000 votes that RAM received across Greater Auckland, which was a very respectable result for a left party. And RAM could still have held their one councilor on the ARC if the Labour Party dominated City Vision had not stood against RAM’s councilor in a seat they were never going to win. Despite Pierson's claim that he supports smaller parties that would drag the political centre to the left (if they can make an impact), in reality he advances an argument that will always doom the left to the shadows of the Labour Party. All that grassroots people can hope for is National-lite, a pro-market party with a handful of social policies that talks left at election time. Pierson accepts the tweedle dee and tweedle dum nightmare of Labour and National swapping positions in parliament for perpetuity. Such is the crisis of vision and imagination that still grips many people who still consider themselves to be “of the left”. Matt McCarten's dismissal of RAM in the NZ Herald (Formula for strategic voting is as clear as the Greens' policies 2 Nov 2008) also needs rebuttal. McCarten, if he is in touch with working people as he claims to be, can not be unaware that many working class people are considering voting National. When I meet these people (usually at our stalls, but also as work) and tell them of RAM they are often visibly relieved to have another choice open to them. RAM isn’t helping National win. It’s the conservative market driven Labour Party policies that are alienating working class people. McCarten is repeating the line used by the Labour Party against the Maori Party. Senior Labour Party figures have for some time been going around and accusing RAM of being right wing and helping a National party victory. I'm disapointed in Matt McCarten for not challenging this rubbish and instead supporting the growth of a party that’s unashamedly on the side of grassroots people against the corporate interests that today’s Labour Party embraces. In April 1904 at the Trades and Labour annual conference, which was held in Christchurch, a resolution was passed 16 votes to 3 that: "conference is of the opinion that an Independent Labour Party should be formed immediately." The new party put up candidates for the 1905 general election. They all got thrashed. Only one candidate got enough votes to get his deposit back. In 2008, I would rather lose with RAM than win with any of the others. This is because I know RAM are building something better. When Ralph Nader was building the Greens as a left alternative to the two party dictatorship that runs America, he was attacked in much the same way as Steve Pierson and Matt McCarten are attacking RAM. Nader mockingly asked his critics: "is it better to vote for what you want, and not getting it? Or vote for what you don't want, and getting it?" His point being, that if these so called commentators were as left as they claimed, then instead of using their pulpits in the media to attack him, they should have been giving him all the support they could.