Fighting global capitalism

Diageo, Kilmarnock: Thousands march to defend jobs

On Sunday 26 July, up to 20,000 according to press reports, marched against the threatened closure of the Diageo bottling plant in Kilmarnock. It was a massive display of opposition to the company’s plans. Diageo is the world’s biggest drinks company, with a worldwide workforce of 22,000. Its brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan. Its profits over the last decade have averaged £2 billion a year. In the twelve months to July of this year, its pre-tax profits amounted to £2.093 billion. Diageo’s Chief Executive, Paul Walsh, was paid a total package of over £3.6...

Solidarity Swells Lindsey Pickets

Good local support boosted numbers at the demonstration called at Lindsey Oil Refinery this morning adding to the solid core of sacked workers at the site. Building from a slow start at 0630 the picket swelled to over 1500 by 0830. The picket line itself was very quiet, most of the sacked workers having already heard the news that Total had agreed to talks. Yesterdays dramatic burning of their letters informing them of the sack was matched today by a further defiant gesture as the picket moved off in an impromptu march along the road outside the refinery up towards the nearby motorway junction...

May Day 2009 – What we mean by solidarity

1 May is an important date in the history of the workers’ movement. This article is the collective account of how some of our activists in London spent their May Day. Willis cleaners The day kicked off with a picket at multinational insurance brokers the Willis Group in the City of London. In mid-2007 cleaners at Willis began to organise under the umbrella of Unite’s Justice for Cleaners campaign for the ‘living wage’. The living wage was won but the company immediately hit back by putting the cleaners on unworkable night shifts. When they refused to work the shifts, those involved in...

G20: Chris Knight and the Press

1 April: The London Evening Standard reports today that "more than 7,000 police and security staff [have] turned London into a fortress city for the G20 summit... The Met describes [it] as the biggest security operation it has ever mounted". Cycling through the City, I saw hardware shops, newsagents, and camera shops shuttered or boarded up for the day, though McDonalds and Starbucks were still open. Visibly many workers had responded to the media coverage about likely violence by taking the day off. There are two protests today - the Climate Camp at Bishopsgate, and a Stop The War protest at...

“No nation will put up with so barefaced an exploitation of the community by a small band of bonus-mongers”

“No nation will put up with so barefaced an exploitation of the community by a small band of dividend-mongers”, wrote Frederick Engels over a hundred years ago. He was explaining why he considered full state control of the capitalist economy theoretically plausible but practically unlikely. If “all the social functions of the capitalist are now performed by salaried employees”, then “the capitalist has no further social function than than of pocketing dividends, tearing off coupons, and gambling on the Stock Exchange”. Today the capitalist class has devised many other ways of siphoning off...

A DYING SOCIALIST TO HIS SON

A DYING SOCIALIST TO HIS SON Their sick old order burgeons, I decline, "Perspectives" narrowed to a blurred gray line, Part of nothing big, soon to prevail, Or, early, thrive: seed-sower, maybe, mail From a future possibility, perhaps. What's left? Will, refusing to collapse, Hate, sustained by the sight of needless pain: The homeless amidst great wealth, out in the rain, Huddled, like cattle by a grey stone wall; Cash-cultured ignorance — lives made small And narrow, where life might be broad and fine; Where "ours" in everything bows down to "mine"! Love, that sees with awe the calm brave...

THE END OF HISTORY?

THE END OF HISTORY? In our New Age, this Age of Gold, We've reached the end of History; All things on earth are bought and sold, All things, including you and me; The rich can keep the good green earth, Now socialism is cause for myrth. They'll not now blow your world apart, The bourgeois and the Stalinists Who have converged to praise the mart: No longer cramped in Stalin's fist, New converts see with heady zeal, This is the better way to steal! Wage-slavery is here to stay, Karl Marx and Trotsky got it wrong It's proved there is no other way Than plunder by the rich and strong: "Without it...

No return to Keynesian Capitalism

One of the results of the current financial and economic crisis is that the ideas of the economist John Maynard Keynes have been pulled of dusty library shelves and are now being peddled as a possible answer to the Credit Crunch. This is a massive turn around for keynesian economic theory, which for...

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