A great deal of nonsense has been said about the dispute over the petrochemicals plant at Grangemouth in Scotland. BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last Saturday ran an item comparing the Unite union leaders’ climb-down at Grangemouth to the defeat of the 1984-5 miners’ strike. Both, presenter John Humphreys suggested, represented a historic weakening of union power.
The British business delegation to China headed by George Osborne and Boris Johnson was more interesting than these things usually are. Chinese people still have bitter memories of imperial arrogance during the colonial era. So, if they noticed the visit at all, they must have been amused by Britain hustling for Chinese custom.
While expressing greater optimism about British prospects, the IMF cut its forecasts for global economic growth this year and next. This isn’t primarily because of the uncertainty caused by the standoff between Barack Obama and the Republicans in Congress in the United States, writes Alex Callinicos
Once again the United States is shutting down government services because of a confrontation between president Barack Obama and the Republicans in Congress.
THE G20 summit has been dominated by the divisions among the Great Powers over Syria. The line-up has been predictable. A joint statement signed by the US, Britain, France, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Turkey called for “a strong international response” to Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
David Cameron’s defeat in the House of Commons last week has left the policy of using Western military power for “humanitarian” purposes in tatters.
Whatever the extract truth about the chemical weapons attack east of Damascus on Wednesday of last week, it seems to have been on a huge scale, writes Alex Callinicos
The Egyptian Revolution is teaching us what we had at best learned from books before. It is showing that revolutions are vast complex processes that embrace both advances and retreats.
Sometimes the witlessness of the Guardian surpasses all understanding. Last Saturday it carried an article explaining why, after the Office for National Statistics announced that Britain’s economy grew by 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2013, “The future looks bright for Osborne”.
Detroit, I Do Mind Dying, by Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin, paints a marvellous portrait of a great industrial city pulsating with working class revolt.
Alex Callinicos says Labour's failure to commit to stopping Tory cuts will only benefit the right
One might say that the historical role of Labour leaders is to disappoint their supporters. The fundamental contradiction of Labourism lies between its promise to make the world a better place and its commitment in government to managing capitalism efficiently.
The great powers seem to be squaring off over bleeding, war-torn Syria, writes Alex Callinicos. Britain and France have bludgeoned the European Union (EU) into ending its embargo on arms supplies to the rebels.
The financial markets have been behaving recently as if the 2008 crash was merely an unhappy memory, of no relevance to the present.
One of the many puzzles about the economic crisis is that people still listen to economists after they failed to anticipate the financial crash of 2007-08, writes Alex Callinicos.
When asked about her greatest achievement, Margaret Thatcher famously replied, “Tony Blair and New Labour”. So it’s quite appropriate that, as one monster is laid to rest, the other should suddenly surface.
A big talking point in Washington at the minute is a new book by David Stockman, who was Ronald Reagan’s budget director from 1981-85. Disillusioned by his failure to stop Reagan cutting taxes and boosting military spending, he became a right wing libertarian.
Totally marginalised under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the Labour left has been one of the driving forces behind the swelling protest movement against the bedroom tax, writes Alex Callinicos
Alex Callinicos considers the options for US imperialism on the tenth anniversary of its invasion of Iraq
What is the shooting case of Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius really about? First, it’s about sport, celebrity, and money. It’s hard to explain otherwise how he was granted bail when he admitted that he blazed away at his bathroom door, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.