Austerity isn’t over – but it needs to be

Labour is right to say that Theresa May’s claim that austerity is over is a con, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

THIS week’s figures from the International Monetary Fund were further damning evidence that the Tories’ eight years of austerity have failed and that Britain needs a fundamental change in our entire economic model.

Specifically, the IMF’s latest Fiscal Monitor report has shown that the UK’s public finances are close to the worst of major developed countries, showing that even on its own terms — even before taking into account the human misery it has caused for millions and the continuing spending cuts that are pushing our public services more and more into crisis — that austerity has been an abject failure.
Read the full article “Austerity isn’t over – but it needs to be”

Is Boris Johnson the UK’s next prime minister?

The last week’s news in Britain was dominated by the Conservative Party annual conference. Theresa May, the weakest PM in my memory, managed to stumble through the conference and, if anything, slightly strengthened her position.

There is constant speculation that she may be forced to resign in a few weeks or months and no-one expects her to lead the Tories into the next general election. Her insecure position has been caused by the long, dragged out agonising over what terms will be required for us to leave the European Union.
Read the full article “Is Boris Johnson the UK’s next prime minister?”

Climate change threatens extinction but politicians only care about next election

Our top-level politicians should make tackling climate change their utmost priority before it’s too late. But they’re distantly removed from the lives of citizens, and care only about winning the next election.

UN chief Antonio Guterres recently warned that we face “a direct existential threat” if we do not rapidly switch from fossil fuels by 2020. The failure to do so will mean “runaway climate change,” and he has deplored the lack of global leadership by politicians to address the issue.
Read the full article “Climate change threatens extinction but politicians only care about next election”

Jeremy and John’s Labour can deliver the radical economic change we need

Ten years on from the financial crash, Labour showed at its conference this week that it understands the scale of change needed, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

We recently marked the 10th anniversary of the financial crash and as Labour conference met this week, keynote speeches from leader Jeremy Corbyn, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy Rebecca Long-Bailey MP showed that – unlike the Tories – Labour understands both the reasons for this crisis plus the radical approach and policies needed to improve people’s life and stop this happening again.
Read the full article “Jeremy and John’s Labour can deliver the radical economic change we need”

US has to come to terms with its place in the world, just as Britain did when its empire collapsed

Trump’s threats of war, sanctions and promises to make America great again could be dismissed as the ranting of an eccentric politician. But this isn’t all about Trump. What he advocates is representative of much of the US elite.

The president and his generation of Americans grew up in a world where the USA was the greatest superpower in human history. It was not just their vast arsenal of nuclear weapons and their war machine but, in 1945, around 50 percent of the entire world’s economy was in the United States of America, with Britain and the USSR hobbling along with around 10 percent each.
Read the full article “US has to come to terms with its place in the world, just as Britain did when its empire collapsed”

Chaos in White House is not just about Trump, but flawed US political system

In eight weeks’ time Americans go to the polls for the midterm elections. America’s had some corrupt presidents and quite a few incompetents, but there’s never been anything like the chaos in the White House today.
Former President Obama has delivered an aggressive attack on Trump and appealed to the voters to ‘restore a healthy democracy,’ saying Trump is an unprecedented threat to the country’s future “appealing to tribe, appealing to fear, pitting one group against another, telling people that order and security would be restored if it weren’t for those who don’t look like us, or sound like us or pray like we do.” I have never heard a former president deliver such a scathing attack on his successor.
Read the full article “Chaos in White House is not just about Trump, but flawed US political system”

Decade after 2008 crisis, no changes made, richest get richer, inequality growing

This month marks 10 years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers created the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, but governments have failed to make changes necessary to prevent a similar collapse.

Back in the 1930s, the US government responded to the Great Depression by introducing new laws that made it illegal for the local high street banks, in which we all deposit our own money, to make risky gambling decisions.
Read the full article “Decade after 2008 crisis, no changes made, richest get richer, inequality growing”

We must stand for democracy and social progress in Brazil

The labour movement and all progressives must do more to expose the gutting of democracy and workers’ rights in Brazil, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

TWO years ago this week, President Dilma Rousseff was removed through a “parliamentary coup” in Brazil. The most extraordinary thing about it was that just 55 senators overturned the will of 54 million Brazilians at the ballot box who had re-elected her.

For those of us who expressed solidarity with activists against the US-backed dictatorship in Brazil from 1964-1985, and stood with the Chilean people against General Augusto Pinochet following the 1973 coup, alarm bells immediately rung at this right-wing attempt at regime change.
Read the full article “We must stand for democracy and social progress in Brazil”

Cuts have consequences – whatever the Tories say

The rising level of foodbank use and child poverty are a national disgrace, writes Ken Livingstone.

Recent weeks have seen the release of a number of reports and statistics that show the shocking extent of human suffering that Tory austerity is causing in Britain, but as we have come to expect in recent years they – and Labour’s policy alternatives to deal with spiralling levels of poverty and inequality – have received little media attention.
Read the full article “Cuts have consequences – whatever the Tories say”

The triumph of freedom and humanity over oppression

100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela KEN LIVINGSTONE writes on the fight to commemorate the revolutionary leader a short distance away from the British institutions that once ruled the African colonies.

THIS week would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday, and here in London Nelson Mandela’s statue in Parliament Square stands as just one small testimony of the triumph of freedom and humanity over oppression that he led.

The unveiling of the statue, sculpted by the late Ian Walters, was one of my proudest moments as Mayor of London, and came after seven years of campaigning from myself, Lord Richard Attenborough, Wendy Woods (widow of anti-apartheid campaigner Donald Woods) and thousands of ordinary Londoners who supported the idea.
Read the full article “The triumph of freedom and humanity over oppression”