Labour’s prospects of winning the 2020 election

Now that Corbyn has been re-elected as leader, I ask myself what Labour’s chances are of winning the general election. Labour remains divided. There is Left Labour, say the Corbyn group, and the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), say the Blairites. Although there is some gray area somewhere in the middle, these two groups are antipodes. They disagree on the economy, austerity, social welfare policies, public services, the environment, defense, energy, immigrants and international politics. The PLP opposes Corbyn almost 1 to 5 – for every pro Corbyn MP, there are almost 5 who oppose him.

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"The barbed wire is around hope"

Temporarily putting aside—but certainly not overlooking—the very serious and real consequences of neoliberal policies on our lives and on our day to day existence, let’s focus on the very meaning of the politics through which successive capitulations by the Syriza government has wrought two disastrous effects...

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The IMF’s IEO Evaluation of the Greek Program: Going beyond a Mea Culpa?

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the IMF recently published its report on the response of the organization to the European crisis. The analysis focuses on the performance of the IMF in the context of the programs for Greece, Portugal and Ireland. It provides a valuable insight into the conflicts within the IMF itself, and especially between the executive board of the organization and its management and staff. At the hearth of this conflict was the decision making process, which led to the disregard of technical judgments and internal procedures in favor of choices of political nature that were adopted in European capitals. As such, the work of the IEO offers a more nuanced understanding of the role of the IMF in the crisis than previously available. Furthermore, it provides additional arguments to condemn the structure and outcomes of the programs that led to the bailout of private creditors while simultaneously burdening public finances with debts to the tune of billions of Euros.

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The European Challenge

For all of its success, Podemos has refused to deal seriously with the European Union and what it would take to truly transform Spain. In Spain, the popular challenge to austerity that began with the indignados movement — commonly abbreviated as 15-M, for May 15, the day the protests began in 2011 — has contributed to the rise of new political formations with broad support. Podemos, a party that emerged from 15-M, is now a major player in national politics.

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June 26 elections in the Spanish state: The bewilderment of a summer’s night

Without doubt, we were expecting a better night. The Spanish state elections of June 26, 2016 definitively marked the end of the first stage of the political cycle opened with the eruption of Podemos in the European elections of May 25, 2014, which in turn was a product, not in a mechanical way, of the blast of May 2011. The results for Podemos were unprecedented in retrospective terms, but have been clearly below expectations and possibilities. Why it was not possible to make the much desired sorpasso (overtaking) of the PSOE? The fiasco took us and others by surprise. This is not to draw lessons after the event explaining a failure that no one saw coming, but if at least try to understand why it happened.

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In search of an alternative for Spain

Spain’s June 26 parliamentary election has failed to resolve the political stalemate created by the election of December 2015, with no individual party able to muster a parliamentary majority or form a governing coalition. Political uncertainty is expected to continue in a context where the economy remains fragile, and is yet to fully recover from the impact of the financial crisis. Although overlooked amid the turmoil caused by the Brexit vote, it is important to understand the origins and characteristics of Spain’s current political deadlock, because it provides a window into the broader impact of austerity and deflation on Europe’s political and economic stability.

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How to rebuild the potential for hope: Rethinking radical left politics after the Greek experience

The experience of the participation of SYRIZA to government is something that has to be studied very carefully. As the first confrontation of a non-social-democratic left-wing party with the exercise of governmental power, it represents a case-study of the strategic deficits and limits of the Europeanist left and its inability to stand up to the pressures and blackmails by capital and international capitalist organisations. Our starting point is very simple: Greece was not doomed to see an entire sequence of struggles and collective aspirations end up in defeat and despair as a government led by a supposedly left-wing party implements the same aggressively neoliberal policies dictated by the Troika. In contrast, Greece still offers a way to rethink the possibility of a renewal of left-wing strategy provided that we actually attempt to think the possibility of ruptures.

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Why They Left

The Leave victory in the British referendum represents a moment of political confusion — a hiatus in the opposition between social classes. No class appears capable of directing events. The ruling class has no clear plans for the future, and seems temporarily stunned. The working class and the poor have expressed great anger at the state of affairs of both society and nation, but are also deeply divided, with contradictory ideas prevailing in their midst. The formless middle class is deeply frustrated at the turn of events and would like a firm hand at the tiller, but has no idea how to achieve this outcome. Such moments call for a decisive political force to alter the social balance.

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An open letter to the British Left: A Greek leftist on why British socialists shouldn’t shy away from rejecting the European Union

To a foreigner who has been living and working in the United Kingdom for the last sixteen years, the immediate post-referendum situation appears highly paradoxical. It seems as if the shock has been of such a magnitude that even the most celebrated British virtues — sense of humor, understatement and, above all, solid common sense — have faded away. On the losing side, which includes, of course, most of the media and the economic and political establishment, the impact is as devastating as it is unexpected. The markets are plunging all over the world and the City of London, the economy’s central nervous system, faces disaster. However — and this is where the paradox lies — the fact is that it’s not only the City that looks voiceless and agitated. So does the Left.

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A deal that takes Greece further down the path of folly

The Eurogroup meeting on 24 May finalised the surrender of the erstwhile radicals of SYRIZA to the Commission and the IMF. The deal takes Greece further down the path of its own demise. The tragedy is that the Greek political system has proven utterly incapable of taking the country down the path of reason. The country desperately needs a wholesale change of direction and a democratic upheaval, a shock from below, if it is to avoid historical decline.

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One year on, Syriza has sold its soul for power

Alexis Tsipras has embraced wholesale the austerity he once decried. A year on, the Syriza party is faithfully implementing the austerity policies that it once decried. It has been purged of its left wing and Tsipras has jettisoned his radicalism to stay in power at all costs. Greece is despondent.

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The path not taken

Alexis Tsipras claimed there was no realistic alternative to austerity for Greece. He was wrong.

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The new untouchables

The Monaghan Report on the scandalous death of Jimmy Mubenga during his expulsion from Britain highlighted the broader issue of the inhuman treatment of immigrants in Europe. We become more and more accustomed to their demonisation and dehumanisation; even worse, the recent "Go Home" vans campaign in Britain warns that immigrant-bashing might soon become something like official policy. A system in crisis needs scapegoats, and the immigrants come in handy here, being much sexier scapegoats than bankers. Could this be a prelude to a wider authoritarian turn? Just watch what is happening in Greece.

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