Transport should be run as a public service for everyone’s benefit

Labour is right to stand for bringing our railways back into public ownership so they are run in the interests of passengers, not private profit, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

LABOUR rightly termed this week’s rail fare increases an affront to everyone who has had to endure years of chaos on Britain’s railways.

To coincide with the 3.2 per cent train fares hike, Labour analysis compared the costs on over 180 train routes between when the Conservatives came to power and the new prices, showing that the average commuter will now be paying an astonishing £2,980 for their season ticket, £786 more than in 2010.
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Tommy Robinson and the impact of the super-rich on UK politics

Over the last few years Tommy Robinson has gone from being a marginal character in the far right to a prominent figure with over one million Facebook followers. He’s also supported with lavish donations in the UK and overseas.

It’s hard to think of anyone else that has so rapidly gone from being a convicted football thug to a worldwide known political figure. Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, set up the extreme right Islamophobic English Defence League back in 2009.
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How the protests of 1968 challenged the established politics of the day

As we approach the end of a year of events marking 50 years since 1968, KEN LIVINGSTONE reflects on the lessons for the struggle for socialism today.

It is impossible to understand the significance of 1968 without knowing about the decades before. I was born in 1945 just as Labour came to power and gave my generation the best life in British history, with the welfare state, NHS, housebuilding and full employment.
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‘Winter is coming’: Subservience to bankers and failure to reform is leading us into another crash

It is obscene that governments are failing to make changes needed to avoid another global financial crash despite many economists warning that one is coming, writes Ken Livingstone.

Back in October, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank had their annual meeting in Indonesia, where Indonesian President Widodo told the plenary session: “With all the problems that the global economy currently faces, it’s appropriate to say that winter is coming.”

He was followed by the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, who pointed out that global debt (public and private) had increased by sixty percent since 2007 and now equalled $182 trillion.
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The Tories are breaking Britain

Their cuts are destroying the fabric of our society but the Tories have no solutions to increasing poverty and insecurity, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

OVER the last five years more than 500,000 workers in Britain have fallen into working poverty, it was revealed this week in the UK Poverty 2018 report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

It also showed that the number of people with a job but living below the breadline has risen faster than employment, further destroying the Tory myth that their policies make work pay.
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International solidarity is urgently needed for Brazil

Now is the time to stand with the millions of Brazilians resisting attacks on democracy and equality, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

EXTREME right-winger Jair Bolsonaro’s impending inauguration as president of Brazil from January 1 has sent shockwaves around the world.

This is a man who has said that refugees are “the scum of the Earth” and is prepared to say: “If I see two men kissing each other in the street I’ll whack them.” Talking about his five kids, he said “four of them are men but on the fifth I had a moment of weakness and it came out a woman,” further claiming: “I would be incapable of loving a homosexual son… I’d rather my son died in an accident than showed up with some bloke with a moustache.”

In May 1999 he said “I’m in favour of torture,” and in 1993 he said: “Yes, I’m in favour of a dictatorship.
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AI & robots: Virtue for humankind or useful capitalist tool?

Unless the politics of the governments around the world change, robots and AI will become the next blow to the living standards of ordinary people.
There are an increasing number of stories in the media about robots becoming a big part of our future and the need to have democratic openness overseeing the rise of internet companies. But I was stunned to read an article by Rohan Silva in the Evening Standard about the breathtaking advances in the use of robots around the world.
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Brazil’s shift from progressive socialism to the far-right: Why did this happen?

For Brazil, the world’s fourth largest democracy, to have elected the extreme right-wing Jair Bolsonaro is stunning.

Just a decade ago Brazil’s president Lula da Silva was one of the most progressive and strongly socialist leaders in the recent history of Latin America.

Clearly a lot has gone wrong in Brazil and people feel angry but it is still amazing that people are prepared to elect someone who says that refugees are “the scum of the earth” and is prepared to say “if I see two men kissing each other in the street I’ll whack them.” Even more bizarre was his statement in May 1999 that “I’m in favour of torture.” He also talked about his five kids, saying “four of them are men but on the fifth I had a moment of weakness and it came out a woman” further claiming “I would be incapable of loving a homosexual son… I’d rather my son died in an accident than showed up with some bloke with a moustache.”

As a member of Congress and a long-standing defender of the military dictatorship he said in 1993, “Yes, I’m in favour of a dictatorship.
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Most electrifying and poisonous midterms may put Trump’s career on the line

We are just a week away from what may be the most significant US mid-term election in living memory. Normally, America’s midterms attract little attention, with voter turnout significantly less than during presidential elections.

The pattern since the end of the Second World War has been that the president’s party invariably loses some seats in Congress at every midterm election and sometimes sees his opponents winning a majority.

Both the Republicans and Democrats are putting more energy into these midterm elections than any I have ever seen before.
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Stop double standards, sanction Saudis for Yemen war, kidnappings and killings

When we remember how rapidly the US imposed sanctions on Russia over Crimea and the Skripal poisonings, it’s bizarre to watch US President Trump’s reaction to the killing of journalist Khashoggi by the Saudis.
After more than two weeks of lies and deception, Saudi Arabia has finally admitted journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed, but it is clearly another lie when they claim that this 59-year old man died because he got involved in a fist fight with 15 Saudi security staff and officials.
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