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Showing posts from April, 2010

A Special Relationship ... with Truth?

The Spokesman 108

Edited by Ken Coates

‘… If one studied official American military doctrine, one could be excused for failing to find any relationships, anywhere, but those of subordination. ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ is still the official credo of the American military-industrial complex, and there, it might be thought, is an end of it. But Britain is perhaps unique among the dominated in seeking actually to celebrate its subordination. That is why it was so refreshing to hear Clare Short testifying before the Chilcot Inquiry.

When Sir John asked her if she had any comments to make on the re-evaluation of her experiences, which she had described with some candour, she said that she thought that her old Department of International Development had not been adequately involved; that the machinery of Government ‘has broken down quite badly’; and that the role of the Attorney General must be adjudged unsafe following his various pronouncements on the legality of the war. But then she added a…

New book challenges privatization claims

Mar 31, 2010

One of the world’s leading authorities on the privatization of public services has published a new book dismantling the corporations’ sales pitch.

Professor Dexter Whitfield has assembled his wide-ranging work on privatization into a new, intensively researched and detailed book. Global Auction of Public Assets outlines how over the last three decades major international corporations have fought to turn public services that meet basic human needs into commodities to be traded.

Whitfield is the director of the European Services Strategy Unit, an agency committed to the provision of good quality public services by democratically accountable public bodies.

In 2008, Whitfield made an engaging presentation to CUPE New Brunswick’s P3 Summit. He set Canada’s work to keep services public in the context of the global push by corporations to turn public services into profit-making ventures.

His book traces the history of privatization and public private partnerships from the time of…

Inside the Left by Fenner Brockway

Morning Star, Monday 22 March 2010
Reviewed by John Green

Many today will not remember the legendary Labour MP Fenner Brockway, who died in 1988.

Hopefully, this reissue of the first volume of his autobiography by Spokesman Books will make him better known to a new generation.

Like Tony Benn, Brockway was one of those rare figures who started early on as a principled socialist and remained so to the end of his life.

His political career spanned the bulk of the 20th century and for most of that time he was at the centre of progressive politics nationally and internationally.

He was a founder member, among other organisations, of the Independent Labour Party (ILP), the Movement for Colonial Freedom - now Liberation - War on Want and CND.

He became an MP for the ILP at a very young age and, after its demise, for the Labour Party. Vehemently anti-war, he spent several years in various prisons as a conscientious objector during the first world war.

His description of the treatment he and other &qu…