Another victim of Nato expansion during the Ukraine war is the fate of the Kurdish people. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan dropped his objection to Finland and Sweden joining Nato last week in exchange for major concessions in his war against the Kurds. Erdogan wanted the two countries to cease all support to the YPG People’s Protection Units on the border of Syria.
The YPG is linked to the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which has been fighting a long war for Kurdish freedom against the Turkish state. This tawdry deal is a big boost for Erdogan in his efforts to bolster his sliding domestic support in the run-up to presidential elections next year.
“As Nato allies, Finland and Sweden commit to fully support Turkey against threats to its national security,” said Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg. “This includes further amending their domestic legislation, cracking down on PKK activities and entering into an agreement with Turkey on extradition,” he added.
Sweden and Finland will now lift their arms sales ban on Turkey. They will share information with the notorious Turkish security forces on refugees who are accused of being YPG supporters, and back Turkey’s war.
Swedish security service have a list of over ten PKK figures who may now be deported to Turkey.Nato’s blessing will encourage Erdogan’s latest series of assaults. The Turkish army has intensified shelling of civilian areas across northern and eastern Syria.
Erdogan is stepping up his war on the liberated Rojava zone and is trying to ethnically cleanse around 2.5 million people from the area. Turkish violations of human rights have always been powered by US and Nato-supplied weapons. Now there will be more armaments. Those Kurdish voices who were silent when there was an alliance with the US should now reflect on the treachery of the imperialists of all types.
Labour leader Keir Starmer confirmed last week what most of us already expected. He’s ditching Labour’s 2019 manifesto, along with most of the “ten pledges” he made during his leadership campaign to win the support of party members.
We sort of know what we can expect from Labour’s next manifesto. More money for police and the military, handouts to businesses and precious little for the rest of us. After all, this is a Labour Party that refuses to back above inflation pay rises for NHS workers.
Starmer’s announcement was designed to show Labour is no longer the party of Jeremy Corbyn. “We’re starting from scratch. The slate is wiped clean,” he said. As ever, it upset the few remaining socialists still inside the Labour Party. But I think we can do better than stamp our feet and pine for the years of 2019.
They were horrible. We were under constant siege from the right and—eventually—we lost. Momentum decries Starmer’s leadership and demands he supports strikes. But were there any of its placards on last month’s TUC march?
If you’re still in the Labour Party feeling like there’s no hope, maybe you’d be better leaving. Throw yourself into the fights for today rather than remaining in Starmer’s party of gloom.
On hearing the government is planning to give massive tax breaks to fracking companies, anti-fracking campaigners are ready to fight back. Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng wants to restart fracking and has asked the British Geological Survey to conduct a report on whether it can begin again.
But nothing has changed since the moratorium on fracking in 2019—when Lancashire was shaken by seismic events. The frackers and the government are trying to weaponise the invasion of Ukraine to say we need to go ahead with new projects. But fracking won’t reduce the price of domestic gas.
And fracking projects take years to produce oil or gas. The people of Lancashire remember what happened last time fracking projects were given the go-ahead.
So If fracking starts again, protesters will be out in bigger numbers than they’ve ever seen.
Frack Free Lancashire
Despite our resistance, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill was fully enacted last week. And the Tories wasted no time flexing its powers. The first target was the Stop Brexit Man who regularly sets up camp outside parliament and will now face prosecution.
It’s not a protest that will change the lives of thousands. But Travellers, anti-racists or climate activists know they could be next. I remember being on one of the first Kill the Bill demonstrations in London. People were still reeling from Sarah Everard’s murder by a police officer and the fundamental right to protest was under attack.It was liberating to be out demanding change. Now we need to keep this up.
In truth it’s scary that after this new law we could be arrested for simply being on the streets. But this is what the Tories want, and we can’t let them have it. I say we continue to shout as loud as possible. How else can we let our enemies know how much we utterly despise them, and fight for something better?
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy last week did a U-turn on his opposition to strikes by British Airways workers.
But that’s only because it’s resistance to a previous 10 percent pay cut. And he hasn’t withdrawn his comment that a “serious party of government does not join picket lines”. I’ve no time for such a party.
Because of Keir Starmer, I have not renewed my Labour Party membership. Isn’t it time to create a new proper socialist party? Why don’t you do this?
Any Labour members who are not really socialist could then vote for the Liberal Democrats which would be better than a Tory government. And trade unions could then support your new party.
Ghislaine Maxwell deserves to spend time in jail for her participation in a sordid scheme with Jeffrey Epstein. Together they helped to sexually abuse and traffic underage girls.
But I also hope we will see more investigation into those who travelled in Epstein’s private Boeing 727 called the “Lolita Express”. They included Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Prince Andrew and Bill Gates.
If ever there was a time for law-breaking, it’s now in the US over abortion. Everyone who helps women to get a safe abortion whether it is legal or not will be doing the right thing.
People who assisted escape from slavery are now venerated. One day so will those who defy this attack on women.
Don't lose momentum
Striking is the way
Don’t adopt ‘moderate flank’ strategy
Criminal legacy of London Olympics 2012