Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s last leader, left a truly historical legacy. Aiming to reform bureaucratic rule he helped unleash forces that led to the complete collapse of Stalinism in Russia and eastern Europe. That then fed capitalist globalisation, opening up new markets and cheap labour – and a worldwide propaganda offensive against socialism.
Here we reproduce word-for-word the editorial from the issue of the Socialist (England & Wales) printed on 28 March 2003, the issue of our weekly paper that came out directly after US and UK troops were sent into Iraq. Obviously the Socialist Party could not peer into the future but as you can see we sought to arm our readers with both a perspective of how the processes might develop and with a programme for action to fight to end war.
From a young age, I was brought up with the sense of an ‘other’. Protestants were different, and that’s why we avoided their areas, why we went to different schools and why there was conflict. I accepted this as ‘just the way it is’. However, as I grew up, I made friends from the Protestant community and what I found was a collective viewpoint that the division between Catholics and Protestants is totally futile.
In just a couple of months, we could see a gargantuan victory for reproductive rights and bodily autonomy in the South with the Repeal referendum. The potential for discarding of the Eighth Amendment – which equates the existence of a foetus to the life of the women carrying it – and abortion being made available up to 12 weeks upon request is historic.
The party isn’t backed by big business, it’s not made up of establishment politicians who represent the interests of the richest 1%. It’s there to represent the people and help create a mass movement to end the tyranny of capitalism, allowing us to create a fair and equal society where everyone has the right to the best possible medical care, where everyone has equal opportunity to be educated without the worry of a massive debt over their heads.