Solidarity 227, 1 December 2011

Egypt: protests continue as elections begin

Submitted by Matthew on 1 December, 2011 - 2:00

By Clive Bradley

Voting has started — in a process which will take four months — in Egyptian elections, the first since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February.

Polling stations in some areas had to stay open late to accommodate the huge numbers of Egyptians wanting to cast their vote.

This is despite a call for a boycott from some of the protestors who have reoccupied Cairo’s Tahrir Square and the centres of other cities. Does this reveal a gulf between the protestors and the mass of Egyptians?

Riots backlash shows racism and class hatred

Submitted by Matthew on 1 December, 2011 - 1:53

A YouGov poll for the Sun showed 33% apparently favouring the use of live ammunition against rioters in defence of their property rights.

In the same poll, three-quarters said troops should be called in, curfews were backed by 82 per cent, using tear gas got 78 per cent and Tasers 72 per cent.

The longer-term response to the rioting has also seen a number of authoritarian measures introduced, with a large number of draconian sentences handed down to those whose involvement in the trouble in many cases involved only minor infractions of the law.

Unilever workers take pensions fight to private sector

Submitted by Matthew on 1 December, 2011 - 1:50

A strike by thousands of workers at Unilever (which manufactures well-known food products including Marmite and other household goods) could be the first major set-piece pensions battle in the private sector, after Unite, GMB and USDAW all returned massive majorities for strike action.

Cameron “answers” his critics

Submitted by Matthew on 1 December, 2011 - 12:50

David Cameron seems to think that child poverty is something one might act against only in order to keep Polly Toynbee happy.

In the Guardian magazine on 26 November, he answered questions from selected celebrities, and was asked about child poverty by Polly Toynbee. His response concluded: “There are many things I can do in life, but making Polly happy is not one of them…”, mocking her for making a fuss about the issue.

Varieties of dialectics

Submitted by Matthew on 1 December, 2011 - 12:43

By Martin Thomas

In one of the crazy autobiographical fragments he wrote in his last years, the famous French Stalinist philosopher Louis Althusser claimed that his father, a bank manager, ran his branch on the following lines:

“It was his custom not to say anything, or to make absolutely unintelligible remarks. His subordinates dared not admit they had understood nothing, but went off and usually managed very well on their own, though they still wondered if they might not be mistaken and this kept them on their toes”.

Anarchism without trade unions: fresh wave or utopianism?

Submitted by Matthew on 1 December, 2011 - 12:34

By Ira Berkovic

Yves Coleman’s article in Solidarity 224 Five things Trotskyists Should Know About Today’s Young ‘Anarchists’ is a little difficult to get to grips with, much like the politics of the people — “today’s young ‘anarchists’” — whose corner Yves has chosen to fight. The mirroring of content and form is a neat trick, but it doesn’t make a fruitful exchange particularly easy.

Euro is botched, but the root of the crisis is in global capital

Submitted by Matthew on 1 December, 2011 - 12:20

The euro, as the new Research on Money and Finance (RMF) report shows, was mismanaged from the start because of political constraints.

“The euro is not simply a common currency devised to facilitate trade and financial flows among member countries... it is an international reserve currency... a form of world money”.

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