The purpose of this blog is to provide analytical commentary on formal and informal labour organisations and their attempts to resist ever more brutal forms of exploitation in today’s neo-liberal, global capitalism.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Killing TTIP - The struggle against corporate power!

While Obama is visiting Europe to drum up support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the 13th round of negotiations of the treaty is currently taking place in the US. As John Hilary, the Executive Director of War on Want and one of the key initiators of the Stop-TTIP campaign in Europe, declared, TTIP is not only important in itself covering the EU and US. It is also significant, because it is regarded as a blueprint for all future trade deals. In this blog post, I will report on the key themes of his public lecture at Nottingham University, delivered on 26 April.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Towards principles of an alternative fair trade regime

Multilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), praised as engines of development by their supporters, have experienced a revival recently in a number of multilateral negotiations including the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). In this blog post, I will critically discuss the record of FTAs and suggest potential key principles of an alternative trade regime from a workers’ perspective, including one set of principles around national sovereignty and another against the increasing structural power of transnational capital. I will, thereby, draw on my freely downloadable paper ‘From ‘free trade’ to ‘fair trade’: proposals for joint labour demands towards an alternative trade regime’, published by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung in Johannesburg/South Africa.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

In or Out? The UK and EU membership: Asking the wrong questions.

The British public is gripped by the campaigns around the EU referendum and the question of whether to stay in the EU or leave European integration behind. In this blog post, I will argue from a left perspective that this debate asks the wrong questions. EU membership is made into a big issue, while the real problems in British society are not addressed.

Friday, 26 February 2016

The Corbyn Factor: What does it mean in practice?

When discussing the revitalisation of the Labour Party, many people refer to the Corbyn Factor. And indeed, the rise of the left-wing, rebellious back bencher Jeremy Corbyn to become the leader of the Labour Party, elected by a clear majority of party members and sympathisers only a few months after the party’s defeat in general elections in May 2015, has been an astonishing development (see Corbyn’s Campaign). In this blog post I will assess the dynamics of this development in practice by comparing two local Labour Party meetings in the area of Nottingham, one in Beeston North in September 2014 and one in West Bridgford in February 2016.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Corbyn’s Campaign: The story of a remarkable summer.

Only a few months after the Labour Party’s defeat in national elections in May 2015, the socialist, left-wing Jeremy Corbyn was elected as the party’s new leader carried by a wave of enthusiasm in- and outside the party. The book Corbyn’s Campaign (Spokesman, 2016) provides interesting insights in crucial aspects of this campaign and reflects on the possibilities for a socialist renewal in Britain today. In this blog post, I will report on the book launch with three of the authors, Tom Unterrainer, Adele Williams and Tony Simpson, which took place at the Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham on 27 January 2016.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Fighting for Public Water in Europe: The ECI Water is a Human Right.

Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), has written regular updates (see 1, 2 and 3) on where the European Citizens' Initiative  (ECI) Right2Water fits in the broader struggles of the European Water Movement and how it links with the struggle for Another Europe. In this latest guest post, he gives an update following the European Parliament vote on the ECI report.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Argentine elections 2015: a shift to the right and the need for a popular response.

The electoral victory of Mauricio Macri in the recent Presidential elections in Argentina (22 November 2015) signifies a dramatic change in Argentine and Latin American politics. Despite Mauricio Macri's campaign promise to ‘keep the good policies’ of the former center-left government, the reality of the first month in office is strikingly different. In this guest post, Bruno Dobrusin analyses these changes as well as the reasons for, and broader implications of, the turn to the right in Argentina.