National Sections of the L5I:

Economy

China and International Perspectives

The purpose of this paper is to provide information and explanation to support the section on China in the international perspectives draft. Much of the discussion about China and its impact on the global economy necessarily involves reference to various series of statistics and these raise important questions about methodology and reliability of those statistics. For the sake of presentation, I have tried to clarify issues surrounding the use of statistics in an appendix but this should not be taken to mean that they are peripheral to the main subject matter. Read more...

Ireland: No to privatisation of Aer Lingus! End Partnership talks

The sale of Aer Lingus via flotation on the stock market was given the green light by Irish Transport Minister, Martin Cullen, on Wednesday, 5th April. All but a quarter of the national airline will shortly be up for grabs to the highest bidder. Read more...

The contradictions of China

At first I thought the difficulty we had trying to get into the carriage on the Shanghai metro was just more evidence of what a cosmopolitan, 21st century “world-city” Shanghai had become, rather like the traffic jams we had already fought our way through. It was only after we finally got in that the real picture became clear. Read more...

EU referendum - Apres le Non

The resounding Non! to the European Constitution was a body blow to Franco-German plans to create a European imperialist superpower. It was a victory for the French and European proletariat which led to immediate disarray among the EU’s leaders and created the prospect of major transformations in working class politics. Michael Pröbsting examines the forces shaping European politics and the emergence of a new reformism that threatens to squander the gains that have been made. Read more...

Making poverty sustainable: the G8, NGOs and debt relief

They came, they marched, they went home enthused and expectant. The 250,000 who packed the streets of Edinburgh city centre on 2 July had been led to believe by the Make Poverty History (MPH) campaign that the eight leaders of the richest and most powerful nations on earth had it within them to take a great leap forward in eradicating poverty in Africa.
Everyone it seemed was on board. A message from Pope Benedict XVI urged the rich countries to “reduce” the debt burden on the poor. International development minister Hilary Benn blessed the march with his presence. Chancellor Gordon Brown, speaking at a Christian Aid and Church of Scotland rally following the march, said that those taking part in the march and Live 8 concerts around the world were participating in “a great moral crusade".
Even prime minister Tony Blair, host to the G8 summit that began four days later, had made it clear that debt relief for Africa and climate change were at the top of his agenda, “the most serious problems facing the world today". Read more...

Globalisation

Has globalisation changed the profit system fundamentally, or is it just a variant of 20th century capitalism? Read more...

French workers say no to neo-liberal EU constitution

In a historical referendum on May 29 the French masses voted in large numbers and rejected the EU constitutional treaty designed to carve in stone the neoliberal policies at the core of the EU project.

The 55 per cent rejection of the proposed constitution was also a clear rejection of the neo-liberal polices that president Jacques Chirac and his Prime Minister Pierre Raffarin were implementing in France. Read more...

The Tobin Tax: a reformist utopia

Heikki Patomäki. Democratising Globalisation: The Leverage of the Tobin Tax , Zed Books 2001
Reviewed by Rachel Hardcastle
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