Editor's Choice

Overdoing doom saps activism

The first 20 years of this millennium, 2000-2019, has seen a sharp increase in major recorded natural disasters, a report by a UN agency on 12 October has found. 7,348 recorded events killed 1.23 million people, affected 4.2 billion (many multiple times), and caused roughly US$2.97 trillion of global economic losses. In the 20 years previous, 4,212 recorded natural disasters killed roughly 1.19 million people, affected 3.25 billion, and caused approximately US$1.63 trillion loss.

It depends who's saying it

The Morning Star (and the Daily Worker before it) for years survived thanks to a subsidy from the Russian leadership: Moscow paid it £3,000 a month in the 1960s (equivalent of £60,000-plus today), and in the 1970s and 1980s purchased 12,000 copies a day. When the order was cancelled in 1992, the paper was saved by the leaders of several British trade unions pumping money in.

Responses to the pandemic: equality or insanity?

Agitation for increased funding for mental health services continues, with various research papers highlighting or predicting high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mental health services are in desperate need of resources.

It remains unclear whether this coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions, specifically, really have made a difference to the mental illness pandemic that was already blighting the lives of billions globally long before Covid-19 came into being.

The Labour War

As trade union struggles re-emerge, we need to bring forward the idea of solidarity too. One of the greatest historical lessons in solidarity in the English-speaking world was the 1913-14 “Labour War” in Dublin.

The story is told in the RTE series Strumpet City, part 1 here.

Remembering 1945

75 years ago, on 26 July 1945, Britain’s first-ever majority Labour government took office. David Booth remembers.

My father, Albert, was born in 1897 in Hoxton, east London. His father had never been to school. He worked at the Army and Navy stores making ladies’ shoes. There were six children, two of whom died in infancy – average for the time – the youngest taking their mother with her. So Grandad worked shorter daytime hours and, after the kids were in bed, sorted mail at Mount Pleasant sorting office all night.

Poland: "Expect a fightback"

Andrzej Duda of the radical right Law and Justice party has been re-elected as Poland’s president, defeating the liberal conservative opposition’s candidate Rafał Trzaskowski 51%-49% in the second round.

Ana Oppenheim spoke to Sacha Ismail about the election and struggles in Poland. Ana is a Polish-born socialist who lives in the UK. She is a member of the Labour Party and the Polish left party Razem, an activist in the Labour Campaign for Free Movement and has just been elected to Momentum’s national coordinating group.

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