When the European Parliament meets in Strasbourg for one week every month, the last session which takes place on Thursday afternoon is always devoted to debates on human rights issues in different parts of the world. Although most MEPs will have already left to get their transport connections to often far flung corners of Europe, this session is usually very purposeful in illuminating the suffering of different opposition groups, vulnerable individuals or minorities at the hands of brutal political or military regimes.
Analysis & News
Democrats Failure Shows Need for New Party
The US 2010 midterm elections were the third “wave election” since 2006. They revealed the deepening instability of the two-party system and U.S. capitalism. The shallow analysis of Fox News and most media pundits is that the sweeping Republican victory and gains for Tea Party candidates demonstrates a swing to the right by the American people and a rejection of Obama’s “left-wing” agenda.
New pro-capitalist measures introduced by Raul Castro
In September 2010 the Cuban government announced a series of economic “modernisations”. Among the most significant of these was the proposal to slash 500,000 jobs in the state sector by March 2011 as a first step to reducing employment by 1 million. Licenses are to issued by the state to allow the creation of self-employed persons (“cuentapropistas”) with the legal right to employ other employees, not just family members.
The real effects of these cuts can be seen with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service cutting 70,000 hours from front line cover. This will affect people across the North, but will particularly hit those in rural areas that have suffered from years of cuts backs including the closure of several hospitals.
As a 16 year old male currently seeking work, I know first hand how difficult it is to find a job for young people. Any sort of jobs are few and far between. But on the rare occasion that I find a job suitable to apply for, I see that several years of previous experience are needed. How can anyone get a first job if all employers are seeking experienced workers?
Women are not only over-represented in low paid jobs, 40% of working women are working part time against only 6% of men. Most of these jobs are an extension of work which women have traditionally carried out unpaid at home. The ideology of women’s second-class status – which has its roots in the development of class society thousands of years ago – has been adopted and adapted by capitalism to maintain its profits and its rule.
Peter Hadden, Socialist Party, speaking at solidarity meeting in support of Linamar Unite convenor Rob Williams in Belfast 26th May 2009
Peter Mandelson’s plans to sell off 30% of Royal Mail and allow for up to 49.9% to be privatised, are facing mass opposition. A recent poll carried out by the Communication Workers Union shows 75% of the public oppose privatisation.