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Letting Bush and Blair off the hook


What a cowardly bunch of timeserving lickspittles Labour backbenchers are. Last week they were offered the opportunity to vote for an official inquiry into the Iraq war.

Republicans face voters’ rebellion in US midterm elections


There is a real chance that the Democrats will win both Houses of Congress in the US mid-term elections on Tuesday of next week. This would reverse the historic defeat they suffered in 1994 at the hands of Newt Gingrich’s "Republican revolution".

The bitter choices for Bush in Iraq


Even George Bush now acknowledges there may be a similarity between the present situation in Iraq and the Tet offensive mounted by Viet Cong guerrillas in South Vietnam in early 1968.

Collapse of George Bush’s Iraq strategy


George Bush has taken to saying that, in retrospect, the present violence in Iraq "will look like just a comma". I doubt if the families of the 30 US soldiers who were killed in Baghdad last week will ever see it that way.

John Reid’s record of opportunism


When better than the week of the Labour Party conference to talk of low, crawling things? I mean, of course, John Reid, the home secretary.

Bush’s ‘long war’ is falling apart


Five years after 11 September 2001, George Bush and his advisers continue to affirm that they are engaged in a global "long war" against terrorism.

Crises combine to bring down Blair’s regime


"This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper," wrote the poet TS Eliot. And that was how Tony Blair’s premiership in effect came to an end - at a north London school amid a press scrimmage and the jeers of anti-war students.

Polish migrants and unemployment


No one knows how many people from the new central and eastern member states of the European Union (EU) have moved to Britain since they joined in May 2004. Estimates vary between 300,000 and 500,000, mainly Polish workers. Certainly in London, they seem to have fitted in very quickly.

Who are the true terrorists?


The political fallout from the alleged plot against airliners is a sign of how far the wider debate over the "war on terrorism" has shifted against the government.

Why ‘two states’ is not the solution for Palestine


The massacre at Qana is typical of the malicious brutality with which Israel has conducted all its wars, not just the present one. It poses the perennial question of how Israel can ever coexist peacefully with the rest of the Middle East.

Reaching the limits of imperial power


Today in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan we are experiencing a test in the limits of imperial power. On the face of it, the military might that Israel is projecting at Lebanon is overwhelming in its capacity to pulverise solid infrastructure and soft human bodies.

By-election blues for both big parties


The Westminster village has moved remarkably quickly to bury the parliamentary by-elections in Blaenau Gwent and Bromley & Chislehurst on Thursday of last week. That is because they contradict the official story about where British politics is going.

Attac divisions reflect a shift


During the dark years of the 1990s, there were a few signs that new movements of resistance were about to emerge. One of the most important was the formation in France in 1998 of Attac.

Whatever happened to Make Poverty History?


A year ago many of us were gearing up for the protests at the G8 summit at Gleneagles, Scotland. We were doing so in a climate of great optimism that the summit would achieve real improvements for the poor of the world, especially in Africa.

World economy’s balancing act


"Market volatility". This is the conventional description of the period of intense turbulence that financial markets have been going through these past few weeks. The main stock markets saw share prices fall sharply, though these subsequently recovered most of what had been lost.

The Euston Manifesto: covering up for colonialism


Over the past few weeks much attention in the media and on the web has been devoted to a document called the Euston Manifesto, which was finally launched on Thursday of last week.

Does globalisation weaken workers?


It's good that the trade union leaders have said they won’t let the closure of Peugeot’s Ryton plant go through without a fight. Last week the Peugeot bosses admitted they could build a new model in Ryton profitably – though not as profitably as in a new plant they are building in Slovakia.

Respect isn't a communalist organisation


The media blackout on Respect’s breakthrough in the local elections is, I suppose, par for the course in the era of Tony Blair, the master of the sincerely uttered Big Lie. But simply ignoring the results is only one way of dismissing Respect’s achievement.

Maoism in the 21st century


"Maoism Rises Again" lamented a Financial Times editorial a few weeks ago.

Workers’ rights in France and Britain


Why are Britain and France so different? This question is back in the air. Trade union officials have been complaining that Britain’s flexible labour laws made it easier for Peugeot bosses to shut down their car plant at Ryton rather than any of its French counterparts.

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