Europe

The Tories are once again whipping up another divisive culture war, blocking attempts to introduce gender recognition reforms in Scotland. But this cynical move will fail in its aims – to distract from the rising tide of class struggle.

The horrific case of serial sex offender and serving officer David Carrick is yet another reminder of how the institution of the police is rotten to the core. Workers and youth must fight to sweep the whole system into the dustbin of history.

More than a million people were on the streets of France today at over 200 rallies, as part of a national strike against President Emmanuel Macron’s latest attack on pensions. Workers from the railways, the Paris transport system, oil refineries, and the media; along with teachers, civil servants, truck drivers and bank staff all walked out in opposition to Macron’s plans to increase the age of retirement. The potential for a showdown exists, but will the labour leaders rise to the occasion?

With industrial militancy growing and spreading across Britain, the Tories and bosses are pushing for further restrictions on workers’ right to strike. The trade union leaders must organise a militant fightback to smash these laws to pieces.

Today marks one hundred years since French troops invaded the Ruhr. This occupation, combined with hyperinflation, sparked revolutionary convulsions across Germany. With crisis once again haunting Europe, Rob Sewell examines the lessons of 1923.

The NHS is in the midst of a deep crisis. Chaos is unfolding in A&Es, with record-breaking wait times. This catastrophe has been a long time coming – the result of years of austerity and privatisation. But health workers are fighting back.

This year’s New Year edition of Der Spiegel features an interesting piece titled, “Was Marx right after all?” Full of astute observations about the state of capitalism, it’s a piece symptomatic of the anxiety of the ruling class. But the ‘solutions’ it proposes – reactionary and utopian ideas based on keeping capitalism intact, like ‘degrowth’ and Keynesianism – are really no solutions at all.

On 10 January, the French government will reveal the details of its draft law on pensions. We already know the main measure that has been proposed: the postponement of the retirement age by four months, each year, to reach 64 or 65 years of age (against the retirement age of 62 today) in 2027 or 2031. In addition, the increase in the length of contributions required for a full pension could be raised to 43 years (from 42 today) before the planned deadline of 2035. There is no doubt that these policies will be opposed.

Britain's winter of discontent has begun. With nurses, ambulance staff, and border guards all taking action, the country is set for its biggest month of strikes in decades. And the struggle is set to intensify, as the Tories threaten repression.

On 28 October, German president and member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Frank-Walter Steinmeier addressed an array of distinguished guests at Bellevue Palace, his official residence. In his ‘State of the Nation’ address, he noted that the world was “heading into a period of confrontation” and that the “struggle for dominance” was coming to the fore.

On Saturday 26 November, a national demonstration was called in Rome as part of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. There were possibly around 10,000 on the demonstration, at most: far fewer than the 100,000 or so of previous years.

The UK’s highest court has blocked Scottish hopes for a second independence referendum. SNP leaders are now looking to the next general election. But only mass struggle by workers and youth can break the deadlock, one way or another.

We were delighted to announce recently the republication by Wellred Books of Alan Woods’ Ireland: Republicanism and Revolution, the first edition of which came out in 2005 and has long been out of print. The brand new introduction to the book, which we publish below, draws out the processes that have been developing in Ireland in the years that have passed since: from the burgeoning crisis of capitalism, to the rise of Sinn Féin in the North and South, and the reemergence of the border question under Brexit.