'Ukraine’s precipitate economic decline in recent decades, since it separated itself from the Soviet Union, is charted in this issue of The Spokesman ... Even before those momentous changes, beginning in late 1991, greater influence in the Soviet periphery had long been an objective of Western strategy. Once Ukraine became independent, the chosen methods to achieve such influence combined sponsored developments of Ukrainian ‘civil society’, much of it courtesy of the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, with long-term economic, political and military interventions by the European Union and NATO. Instability and conflict in Ukraine may not trouble the Americans much, located as it is on Russia’s borders, but it should certainly concern Europeans who, among other considerations, will be asked to pick up much of the tab.'
Another featured article from the latest issue of The Spokesman comes from the 2011 edition of J. A. Hobson's Imperialism. Jeremy Corbyn penned the book's foreword, which we reprint here under the title 'Internationalist at Work'. As a separate point of interest, we also include this comparative image of the logo of publication The Week, circa 1960s, and Corbyn's recent campaign logo. Cut from the same cloth?
Internationalist at Work J. A. Hobson wrote his great
tome at a different age. His thoughts were dominated by the zenith of the
British Empire and the Boer War. The outcome of the war demonstrated Britain’s
then ability in sustaining global reach, since Elizabethan times, but also its
extreme vulnerability. At home the poor physique of working class soldiers led
to Haldane’s investigation into working class health and living conditions. The
difficulty in containing the rebellious Boers, and the huge opposition to the
war, encouraged further doubts about the whol…
In his autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, Muhammad Ali recounts how Bertrand Russell got in contact with him, and their ensuing correspondence:
*** For days I was talking to people from a whole new world. People who were not even interested in sports, especially prizefighting. One in particular I will never forget: a remarkable man, seventy years older than me but with a fresh outlook which seemed fairer than that of any white man I had ever met in America. My brother Rahaman had handed me the phone, saying, ‘Operator says a Mr. Bertrand Russell is calling Mr. Muhammad Ali.’ I took it and heard the crisp accent of an Englishman: ‘Is this Muhammad Ali?’ When I said it was, he asked if I had been quoted correctly. I acknowledged that I had been, but wondered out loud, ‘Why does everyone want to know what I think about Viet Nam? I’m no politician, no leader. I’m just an athlete.’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘this is a war more barbaric than others, and because a mystique is built up around a cham…
It is a long time since we last sent you any news of Mordechai for which we apologise. It has been a complicated and difficult period particularly with Mordechai not wanting the campaign for his freedom to continue. However, we thought now was the time for an update, because if you hadn't seen the relevant issues of the Morning Star, Scottish Herald or, just this week, The Guardian, you probably wouldn't be fully aware of what Mordechai had been suffering, once again, at the hands of the vindictive and malicious Israeli authorities.
For some while Mordechai has been threatened with a return to prison for speaking with foreigners; including friends, supporters and journalists. For breaking this restriction he was eventually sentenced to six months in prison. He appealed against this and at a hearing of the Supreme Court, some months ago, this sentence was reduced to three months. As an alternative Mordechai was offered to do a period of Community…