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Socialism Today 119 - June 2008

Socialism Today 119 - June 2008

New Labour meltdown

Within a year of becoming prime minister, Gordon Brown has seen support for his government collapse. Under mounting pressure from public-sector workers against pay restraint, from working-class people hit by fuel and food price rises, and looming economic crisis, New Labour is getting battered in opinion polls and elections. And a repackaged Tory Party is making a comeback. HANNAH SELL looks at the situation in Britain today.

The Left party’s first national congress

THE LEFT party (Die Linke) in Germany, formed last year, carries the hopes of millions of people looking for an alternative to the establishment parties. Recent polls indicate it would get 15% if there were national elections, making it the third strongest party. In eastern Germany it tops the polls. LUCY REDLER reports on its first national congress, which took place in Cottbus, Brandenburg, on 24-25 May.

A crisis foretold

The whole capitalist economy, especially in the US and Britain, more and more resembles a casino. The financial sector now accounts for around 50% of corporate profits. The shadow banking sector accounts for over half of all credit. Retail banks are more and more embroiled in speculative activity through unregulated, ‘off balance-sheet’ activity. LYNN WALSH reviews a new book - The Trillion Dollar Meltdown by Charles R Morris - which details what lies behind the global credit crunch.

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Purge of the left under way

Northern Ireland
The Good Friday agreement ten years on

A referendum conspiracy

A Greek drama
An historic opportunity for the left in a situation of general strikes & political ferment

Italy's Rifondazione Comunista
Christine Thomas charts the rise & fall of a party many hoped would be the start of a new wave of workers' representation

Labours old & new
Labour 1970-79 & the roots of New Labour

The US & Cuba

Cover cartoon: Suzanne Muna