Tories escalate attacks on our rights with ‘anti-boycott Bill’

We need to defend our right to boycott from the Tory attacks, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

SOME of the proudest moments in the British labour movement’s history have been acts of international solidarity.

Whether it be NHS staff in Portsmouth refusing to handle supplies from apartheid South Africa or workers at Rolls-Royce’s East Kilbride factory putting a stop to work on engines used by the Pinochet regime in Chile (as featured in Felipe Bustos Sierra’s fantastic documentary film, Nae Pasaran), those who took part not only had a sense of obligation to stand up for just causes but an understanding that all those fighting for a better world have a shared interest in sticking together and supporting each other in whatever ways we can.
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Now is the time to finally end Britain and the US’s illegal sanctions on Venezuela

Under pressure, the US is seeking to re-engage with Venezuela, totally undermining Juan Guaido and the regime-change agenda pursued under Trump in its sudden desperation for oil, reports KEN LIVINGSTONE

DESPERATE times breed desperate measures. In a shock development, parts of the international corporate media are reporting that the US has approached the Venezuelan government with a view to buying oil to shore up its domestic market and avert an energy crisis.
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Tory laissez-faire approach means more poverty and misery

The government is not even pretending to have an answer to the dire situation most of us face. Workers can’t wait for it to tackle the deepening cost-of-living crisis – we have to take action ourselves, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

REPORTS this week — a fortnight before the Chancellor is due to give his Spring Statement — confirmed that households in Britain are set to suffer the worst overall decline in living standards for nearly 50 years.
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Tories will always put corporate greed before public need

Don’t let Boris Johnson off the hook over sick pay, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

HAVING seen how he ran his campaigns for the London mayoralty, it became clear to me some time ago that Boris Johnson’s strategy to gain and maintain power was simple: create a circus headlined by himself to distract from an absence of anything offered by him that will meaningfully improve the lives of those he supposedly serves.

The bumbling persona, the willingness to flip from presenting himself as a modern metropolitan liberal to a reactionary right-wing culture warrior, the gimmicky policy announcements: all of them exist to ensure the topic of conversation is anything other than his actual record on the issues that impact millions.
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Bolivia – putting people and planet before private profit

We must keep up solidarity with Bolivia, as the right-wing campaign of destabilisation has not abated, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

AS HAS been widely covered in the Morning Star, October 2021 marked a year after Bolivia’s Movement for Socialism party (MAS) gained a decisive victory in the 2020 presidential election, ending the illegitimate regime of Jeanine Anez, but there are now sustained and serious concerns about right-wing anti-democratic destabilisation in the country.
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No to Blair’s knighthood!

There is clearly a wider push from the British Establishment to rehabilitate the warmongering former PM and his political project, says KEN LIVINGSTONE

THE news of Tony Blair’s knighthood felt like a classic case of “shocking but not surprising.” It is indeed shocking that a man who led Britain into a war unleashing nearly 20 years of death and destruction across the Middle East has not only faced little in the way of consequences, but has been honoured with Establishment pageantry.
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Now is the time to renationalise rail

When studies show we have one of the most expensive and inefficient railways in Europe, a new fare hike is the last straw: we need public ownership, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

This year is set to see yet another rise in Britain’s rail fares, with an increase of 3.8 per cent being introduced in March.

At this point these hikes in prices have begun to feel as much of a new year tradition as the London fireworks display or Jools Holland’s annual hootenanny, but we should never lose sight of just what a rip-off rail privatisation has been — or just how many opportunities governments have given it to fail us time after time.
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Stand with the heroic example of the Honduran people

Amid a difficult time for British progressives, the left’s victory in Honduras shows why we say ‘Don’t mourn, organise!’ writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

Twelve years ago, in 2009, I was part of the organising team of a meeting called by the Emergency Committee Against the Coup in Honduras alongside trade unionists, MPs and representatives of Latin American embassies and community groups.

That summer the Honduran army had forced elected president Manuel Zelaya from office — an outrageous but perhaps unsurprising move when you consider the political direction he sought to take the country in and the long history of attempts to undermine governments in the region that pursued progressive domestic agendas and independent foreign policy approaches.
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US Hands Off Latin America!

AS I write this column, news is coming through of a stunning presidential election victory in Honduras for progressive candidate Xiomara Castro.

Overcoming fierce opposition from those with wealth and power is always an impressive feat, but this is a particularly remarkable achievement for the Honduran left in the context of the conditions they have been forced to operate in.

Following the military coup against elected President Manuel Zelaya in 2009, trade unionists and social movements faced over a decade of repression from an illegitimate regime — shamefully assisted by spyware they bought from the British government.
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Governing London from the left

They called us the ‘loony left’ but we showed the world what was possible once socialists take power even over one city, from free transport and free festivals to recognising same-sex partnerships — we need that ambition once again, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE

It is hard to believe that last year marked 20 years since I became mayor of London and that this year marks 40 years since the Labour left gained the leadership of the Greater London Council (GLC).
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