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Showing posts from November, 2008

Fascist Thugs Terrorise Passengers at Bangkok International Airport

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Associate Professor Giles Ji UngpakornChulalongkornUniversity, Bangkok.BangkokInternationalAirport has now been closed by Fascist thugs from the anti-government PAD. The PAD are demanding that the elected government resigns. This is despite the fact that the government has the backing of the majority of the Thai population and even the majority of Bangkok citizens. This backing has been proven by repeated elections. The PAD want a dictatorship to replace democracy because they deem that the majority of the Thai electorate are too ignorant to deserve the right to vote. How did the PAD thugs manage to seize Bangkok International airport? Airports are supposed to be high security areas. Thai airports are controlled by the Thai military. It is obvious that the Thai military, who staged an illegal coup in 2006, have quietly supported the actions of the PAD. It is obvious that the military is unwilling to provide basic security to air travellers and air crew. But they are happy to rake in h…

Shockwaves of the crisis of capitalism spread round the world

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Panic over the recession often focuses on the Western economies. But it is the world’s weaker economies that are bearing the brunt of the turmoil, argues Sadie Robinson The global ruling class is caught in the grip of panic and confusion. Until only recently there were hopes that the world’s newly emerging economies – such as China and others that had undergone rapid growth – could offer a way out.Some economists even talked of a “decoupling”, through which these countries would insulate themselves from the West and avoid recession.Today even those faint hopes have gone. As swathes of small and medium size Chinese businesses close due to lack of orders, the country’s rulers have been forced to admit that its employment outlook is “grim” and that this could lead to social unrest.Already many towns and cities report growing numbers of “mass incidents” – the Chinese state’s euphemism for riots and demonstrations.Professor Joseph Cheng, of Hong Kong’s City University, points out that the l…

John Minto- the Maori Party is wrong

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From whatever way you look at the deal between National and the Maori Party it’s a hopeless, cringe-inducing arrangement and a disaster for most Maori. How could they have reached such a lame-duck agreement?

Significant progress for Maori is dead in the water once more. Compare it with the deal signed between National and Act. Like the Maori Party agreement there are two MPs who become ministers outside cabinet in return for support on confidence and supply. However the ACT agreement has several policy concessions and specific mechanisms to set in motion policy development for further concessions down the line. The Maori Party deal has none of this. There are no policy concessions but simply agreements to review the foreshore and seabed legislation and the future of the Maori seats. What’s worse is that neither of these are bread and butter issues for Maori families involved in the day to day struggle to make ends meet.

The Maori Party say National did not have to do a deal with…

WE WON’T PAY FOR THEIR CRISIS

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Join the Resistance!

7pm Thursday 11th December
Auckland Trades Hall
147 Great North Road
Grey Lynn

New Zealand is heading for recession. Our jobs, wages, homes, pensions, benifits and public services are all under threat. We did not cause this. It was the financial elite of wealthy bankers, investors and speculators who have put us in this situation, yet they expect us to pay for their crisis. Already we have seen job losses, cuts in services and price rises.

We can not rely on the New Government to protect us. National and Act are the parties of big business, so they will be sure to secure the bosses profits ahead of our jobs, wages and conditions.

We can fight back. Through our unions, our political and community organisations and our ability to protest, we represent a force that can stop these attacks. To do this it is vital we put aside our differences and concentrate on what we agree about, the need to get resistance organised.

Socialist Aotearoa has invited a wide range of speak…

John Minto- Key faces cabinet isolation

Key faces cabinet isolationWaking up on Sunday morning was different to most post-election days after a change in government. Usually the euphoria of the winners is greater and the depths of despair of the losers is deeper. Not so this time when an eerie feeling of sameness seems to hang in the air.In part this is because while National and Act will form a government their win has not been the landslide it would have been under first past the post. In fact had New Zealand first gained just an extra 0.7% of the party vote then the Maori Party would be the kingmakers and we would probably be looking at a coalition government run again by Helen Clark.The more important reason for the ho-hum post election mood is that there are no longer the sharp differences in policy which have often characterised Labour/ National politics. Labour has moved so far to the right it has on many issues passed John Key while he has been moving National’s policies closer to the centre. John Key can run a righ…

The Value of Money

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How do the billions wiped off the stock market relate to the rest of the capitalist system?Joseph Choonara goes back to Karl Marx to explain.

Pity money. Over recent months it has been "injected" into markets, "destroyed" in financial meltdowns and stock market collapses; it has been "devalued" and "revalued" and passed along the increasingly unfathomable webs spun by capital.
This raises some questions. Take the concept of the economic "bubble". Assets - shares or properties perhaps - soar in price and then the bubble "bursts". But this implies that it is a bubble relative to something else, relative to some "real" measure of wealth. Similarly we might ask how the "paper wealth" recently wiped off stock markets relates to the "real wealth" that presumably lurks in the background.

The great classical economists such as Adam Smith (1723-1790) had to answer such questions. Back then the capitalist cla…

RESISTING THE NAT-ACT JUNTA- What is to be done?

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The mobile's been hopping all day with texts from activists and disillusioned union members- all looking for a post electoral strategy. When the Soft Left was in power, many people saw us socialists as a moral conscience, out fighting the brave fight that might push things a little further to the left- like the $12 an hr minimum wage and youth rates campaign.

But now the Soft Left is in disarray- people are actually looking for some bravery and firm ideas. Who's going to take the battle to Key and Hide? And a lot of rank and file members are calling for a harder fightback than they got from the weak reformist electoral leaders- there is a huge potential anger in a lot of the young Greens, Labour and working class Maori Party voters.
What;s going to happen?
First, strength and bravery from the Radical Left. We will be getting our shit together and uniting at a rapid speed of knots in the next few weeks.
Two, massive attacks on our rights and conditions as NAT-ACT implement the…

Socialist Aotearoa Post Election Debate begins

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The NZ Election- Notes to kickstart a Socialist Aotearoa electoral analysis
from Joe C

1. Labour Party- end of the Clark Era- many time wasters like Judith Tizzard in the electoral dustbin of history- Clark resigned- leadership contest will be lacklustre- party bereft of ideas and leadership- Mike Williams seriously damaged by his own Neutron bomb- Labour party affiliated union leaderships now will have to fight or die under a National-ACT government

2. National Party- strengthened under Key's "Centrist" sheeps clothing- now face a Global Crisis in Capitalism- will implement a shock doctrine in cuts after honeymoon period- will ensure that the working class, not the wealthy, pay for the crisis with cutbacks in public services, freeze on wages, attacks on union rights.

3. ACT- the radical neoliberal tail that will wag the Time for a Change Nats- Roger Douglas reelected an MP- increased to 5 MPS. Irish example- Fianna Fail (Irish conservative party) ruled with Progressive Demo…

New Zealand Elections 2008- Party Vote results

The National Party has won the general election, ending nine years of Labour Party reign under Prime Minister Helen Clark.

National's leader, John Key, will form a coalition government with the ACT Party and it will hold a clear majority in Parliament.

The results give National 59 seats and ACT 5. United Future leader Peter Dunne adds one seat, making a total of 65.

Labour has 43 seats, the Greens eight, and they are joined by Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton for a total of 52.

The Maori Party holds five of the seven Maori seats but does not hold the balance of power in Parliament.

It is expected to reach a support agreement with National and support the new government on confidence votes.

Miss Clark called Mr Key at 11pm to concede defeat.

New Zealand First did not reach the 5 percent it needed to hold seats in Parliament, and leader Winston Peters' long political career is almost certainly over.

Labour has lost seven of the seats it held in the last Parliament and National has …

Sticking the Boot into John Key in AK's CBD

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OPINION PIECE- Oisin O Connell, Socialist Aotearoa member

This election has been so boring. Not even the LabNats have stepped up for anything in anyway – I'm not talking about dirty tactics but excitement. I haven't seen any real energy or enthusiasm from any party.

I received an sms today calling for a demonstration against a National led government as Key was to walkabout through the CBD this afternoon. Great, I thought this would be a good opportunity to make some last minute noise before polling tomorrow. Logically I assumed it would probably be a group of Labour and Greens and well, it kinda was - but nothing happened on their part.

Dani and I arrived to meet Joe and eventually we met up with some Labour and RAM members. Where were the Greens? Still up at uni as they decided they didn't want to 'go negative' right before the election. No leadership of any kind came from the Lab camp – apparently you shouldn't do anything if you're not going to be totally …

Free Lex Wotton! Aboriginal Political Prisoner gets 6 Years whilst murdering cops get promotion

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Whilst politicians electioneered, Auckland's radical left organised a solidarity picket for Lex Wotton, Aboriginal political leader, who was being sentenced today for his part in the Palm Island uprising against black deaths in police custody. The CBD Downtown area echoed to the chants of "Free All Political Prisoners- Free Lex Wotton NOW!", "No Justice, No Peace, Abolish the Police" and "White Australia- Black History!" as about 30 people joined an info-picket, which then marched on the Australian Consulate.

Socialist Aotearoa's Joe Carolan promised that Lex's cause would be adopted by anti racists in Aotearoa, and that Kevin Rudd and Australian Labour party officials could expect a hostile greeting every time they turned up to Auckland from now on-

"Sorry Day was not enough from Rudd and the Labour government. The military occupation of Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territories continues, and now we see all white jury Klan Jus…

Obama and Change in the USA

Millions of people are celebrating across the world after Barack Obama was elected as the first black president of the United States – a momentous achievement in a country with a long history of entrenched and vicious racism.Not since the 1930s have expectations around a US president been so high. The excitement around Obama’s campaign has shown how desperate people are for a different kind of politics after eight years of George Bush and the neoconservatives.Obama’s campaign tapped into the demands of millions of ordinary Americans for serious political change in the US. It was marked by huge numbers of people mobilising and engaging with politics, many for the first time.The crucial factor that sealed his victory was the global economic crisis. And now that Obama has won, people will want him to deliver the “change” that he promised.Over a million homes in the US are currently in foreclosure, and the figure is rising. People will want this trend reversed and these home repossession…

Socialists in the USA- What next for the struggle in the Obama era?

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November 5, 2008Millions of people have been waiting for Election Day 2008, when the Bush regime would finally fall. The book is about to shut--or slam, more like it--on eight terrible years of Republican rule in the White House.As people on the left celebrate the end of a rotten regime, it’s also time to ask: What kind of change will an Obama administration bring? American Socialist website SocialistWorker.org brings together a roundtable of activists and writers on the left to discuss what new openings they see with an Obama administration in power--and what challenges still lie ahead for social justice movements. Howard ZinnHistorian and veteran activist Howard Zinn is the author of the classic bookA People's History of the United States.I CONFESS I am excited by the thought of Obama becoming president, even though I am painfully aware of his limitations--his smooth, articulate intelligence covering up a quite traditional approach to domestic and foreign policy, aided and abette…