On March 29th 2019 the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union. For seventeen months the British government and the EU negotiators have been struggling to reach a legally binding “withdrawal agreement” to govern the terms of UK withdrawal, including the “divorce bill” or the sum the UK pays to settle its obligations to the EU, and a “political declaration” outlining the basic shape of a final deal after further negotiations.
Analysis & News
Socialist TD says “Workers must draw own redlines”
There is an urgent need for a genuinely cross-community, left-wing labour force in Northern Ireland. The surge in membership of the British Labour Party locally in response to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership shows the potential such a party could have if the trade union movement swung its weight behind the project. However, to break through the sectarian morass, a labour alternative here will need to be both anti-sectarian and also adopt left and anti-austerity policies, rather than the failed politics of Blairism or the Irish Labour Party.
Right-wing populist Peter Casey’s rise from 1% in opinion polls to receiving 23% of the Irish Presidential vote shocked many. Failing in the polls, he decided the best course of action was to whip up anti-traveller sentiment. When asked about housing, Casey made a direct attack on a Traveller family in Tipperary and a broader attack on the entire Traveller community, stating they shouldn’t be recognised as an ethnic minority. His racist remarks continued as he rehashed myths of Travellers not paying tax, which oozes with irony considering Casey is a millionaire who has lived outside of Ireland for decades and is yet to impart his income or the amount of tax he’s paid.
he journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul has caused ructions throughout the world. The Saudi government claimed that he died in a spontaneous fist fight, but Turkish government sources claim that he was tortured and murdered by a hit squad.
A misogynist, racist homophobe, he has been called the ‘Trump of the Tropics’. In reality, he poses a more profound threat even than Trump, partly because his own politics are more extreme but also because of the recent history of military dictatorship in the country (ending in 1985), remnants of which are still very much alive in the armed forces and other state institutions.
The run-up to the US mid-term elections saw Trump ramp up his blatantly misogynistic, LGBTQ+-phobic, and xenophobic agenda to a new and horrific level, even for him. This was an attempt to drive turnout of his base and has acted to have a deeply polarising effect on US society.
On 23rd November, the decriminalisation bill will have its second reading. We must mobilise to ensure that the government allots the bill time and allows it to progress to the next stage where it can become law. We must make it clear that a majority in Northern Ireland, across the community divide, support decriminalisation. The trade unions must also stand in solidarity and bring the collective power of workers to bear in this fight, and in the struggle for marriage equality.