Italian workers strike to force action on the coronavirus pandemic

Italian workers have gone on strike to shut down the country as the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic surpasses 7,500 – mostly in Lombardy, the main industrial region in the north-west of the country. Despite the government’s well-publicised lockdown, it has been business as usual for many sectors of the economy. Last week, the […]

Chernobyl

Chernobyl, written by Craig Mazin, dir. Johan Renck. A co-production of HBO and Sky UK. This outstanding TV miniseries covers the accident that occurred in the early hours of 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, then part of the USSR. From the confusion in the control room straight after the […]

Britain’s Brexit Crisis

Don’t be fooled by Boris Johnson’s jovial act. Britain’s new prime minister is a nasty hard-right Tory whose elevation has been welcomed by Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. The change over from Theresa May’s to Johnson’s government is radical. In British politics, a Cabinet reshuffle in 1962 has gone down in history as the “the […]

The Left and Brexit

In June 2016 I wrote two short pieces for a New Zealand audience that were published on the ISO website. One of these was written just before, and the other just after, the British referendum on whether to remain or leave the European Union. In the first piece I put the argument for voting remain. […]

Rebel Lives: Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin was a German-Jewish writer who was born in Berlin in 1892 to a wealthy family with a background in banking and antiques trading. In 1912 he enrolled at university where he studied philosophy and developed a lifelong interest in Romantic literature and poetry. It was also at university that Benjamin first encountered the […]

Paris, 1968: 50 years since the barricades

May 1968 is the date of the largest general strike in French history. Over the course of this month, 11 million workers joined a protest which was explicitly anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and revolutionary. As a result of the strike national production came to a grinding halt, conservative president Charles de Gaulle fled the country and a […]

Rebel Lives: Clara Zetkin

A federal election in Germany was held on 31 July 1932 in the depths of the Great Depression and a political crisis. The Nazis obtained the largest share of the vote and 230 seats in the 608-seat Reichstag. On 30 August the oldest member had the honour of opening the session of the newly-elected parliament. […]

For the many, not the few: Labour in Britain shows we deserve better here

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has delivered a stunning blow against the Tories and British Labour’s rightwing Blairites. Theresa May might not survive as Tory leader. With most of the British general election results declared the upshot is a hung parliament. The general election has dramatically shown the power of simple leftwing policies “For the Many, […]

Debating the Brexit

by Martin Gregory   Around the world socialists are digesting the outcome of the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union. British socialists, and their international co-thinkers, were divided on the referendum question both between and within their organisations. The debate continues here. Martin replies to Tom Bramble’s analysis in Red Flag.   Tom […]

After the Brexit: Fighting Racism

Kevin Hodder sent these notes from London:   I awoke in London to a shock. Travelling from New Zealand and only briefly abroad, I only had a relatively tenuous grasp on the debates going on in the UK around the “Brexit” vote.   The details of these debates are not for me to cover. Irrespective […]