Tag: Austerity

Today, the media spotlight is on Philip Hammond as he tries to steer away from disaster and reassure the British public that the Conservative government might be worth keeping around. But the truth is that the Autumn Budget is boring and it was intended to be. What matters much more than the budget is the history in which we are living. (More…)

For the first time in my life time, there is a real choice at the ballot box. You can either vote for the destruction of public services, the death of the welfare state and the immiseration of the working class, or you can vote to put a stop to all of this. The right stands for misery and oppression. The left stands for hope and emancipation. (More…)

Like most elections these days, the French presidential election have been unpredictable. First, it looked like Sarkozy would make a comeback, then Fillon beat him to it only to be taken out by a corruption scandal. Meanwhile Hollande bowed out of the race, leaving Benoit Hamon and Jean-Luc Melenchon to fight over the left-wing vote. And then, there were two: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. (More…)

Understandably, a lot of people see Theresa May’s populist turn as a sharp turn to the extreme right. The Nasty Party is back! This is a new kind of poujadism, as you’ve read in Jacobin. Her last speech was just less threatening than in the original German, or so I’m told. (More…)

David Cameron has signalled that the long-awaited referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union could be held early as the summer of 2016. This is big news for Britain, its Europhiles and its Eurosceptics. Not only does it demonstrate that the Conservative Party is still looking to settle old scores. The Tory government is looking to play both cards at once. (More…)

It’s a landmark achievement. UKIP won 3.8 million votes, and secured one parliamentary seat, as well as control of Thanet Council. Nigel Farage lost his bid for South Thanet, as Mark Reckless lost his seat, leaving Tory defector Douglas Carswell to hold on in Clacton. This right-of-centre party has broken into the mainstream after two decades on the margins. (More…)

Few ruling parties have their legacies written and the successes and failures declared in less than a month’s time in power, but left-wing critics have decided there are new rules for SYRIZA, the radical left coalition elected in Greece at the end of January. (More…)

The most irritating phrase I have read about yesterday’s terrorist attack in Ottawa has been in Reuters. “The incident, shocking in Canada’s normally tranquil capital,” and so on. As a Canadian who is living abroad, my reaction was: “Sorry, but, what is so shocking about it? And how is Ottawa tranquil no more?” (More…)

From Brussels to Turin, the flyers read the same. The 2008 economic crisis continues on, slowly but surely transforming the European Union’s weakest member states into Third World countries in all but name, quasi-colonial holdings of their wealthier neighbors, and the banks bailing them out. (More…)

It’s being called an earthquake. It’s being heralded by right-wing parties as a revolutionary mandate. And, in typically American terms, it’s being read as a ‘protest’ vote, that will evaporate when it comes time to return to national politics. However, there’s no arguing that the European Union elections, which took place May 22nd-26th, profoundly shook Europe’s political elites. (More…)

The broad European response to the economic downturn of the last few years has been various programmes of economic austerity: reductions of national expenditure through intense budget cuts. History shows that this is a risky tactic. Policies like this played an important role in aiding the Nazis’ rise to power at the end of the Weimar Republic (More…)

At first, you don’t even notice the pattern. You wander the streets of this city, looking for subjects to photograph: a political poster here, a billboard there, and, down the block, an impressively tagged stretch of wall. But then you notice, like Oedipa Maas in Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, when she starts seeing muted post horns everywhere, that one message cries out, over and over: “Bored.” (More…)