by Manali Chakrabarti
According to the World Bank, India’s nominal GDP crossed the $ 2 trillion mark in 20141, and is slated to grow at close to 8 per cent annually in 2016 and 20172. To put this in perspective: In 1991, the year the Indian economy was opened up and we embraced neoliberal policies, the Indian GDP was about $275 billion, which by the turn of the century had doubled to $481 billion. But the really rapid growth of the Indian economy has been in the last 15 years, which saw GDP increase by almost four-and-a-half times. One needs to remember that these include years which saw the greatest global recession since the 1930s. Thus, for the economy as a whole the promised ‘achche din’ seem to be happening and there are numbers to prove it. The policymakers who have been rooting for further opening up and freeing of the economy have been justifiably sporting a smug expression with this quantitative endorsement of their position.
However, one vexing question for them is that some people continue to claim that all this growth has not translated into alleviation of poverty–the ‘poor’ have been stubbornly Read the rest of this entry »
Below are some of our articles on the Key-English government. While English has a somewhat different ‘style’ from Key – he’s rather more dour – his and Key’s economic views were very much on the same page: a middle-of-the-road, easy-as-she-goes approach. Borrow and spend, slightly reduce income tax and slightly raise indirect tax (GST), slightly increase welfare benefits and keep the retirement age at 65. Sell some shares in the state’s own capitalist enterprises but keep a majority shareholding in these businesses in the hands of the state. In other words, on economic policy overall, they were probably a little to the left of Helen Clark.
One difference between the Key period and this year is that English now has a considerable budget surplus to play around – and, of course, 2017 is election year.
The analyses on Redline of the Key-English regime have held up particularly well – especially compared to the near-hysterical attempts of so many on the left to paint Key as some ardent neo-liberal who would take up where Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson left off!!!
by Susanne Kemp
This is a question the union (NZ Professional Firefighters Union) is trying to get the answer to.
In a NZPFU press statement on Friday (Feb 17) the union’s secretary, Derek Best, revealed, “Christchurch Fire Service Crews (career firefighters) were stood down and told to return to Stations while the catastrophic Christchurch fires continue to burn.”
Derek further stated, “Rural Fire Officials in charge of the incident stood down all career firefighters battling the blaze. The order to stand down was given at nightfall in day one; leaving career firefighters frustrated, bewildered and disappointed.
“The fire was left to burn out of control and the frustrated firefighters could see the flames from their Stations. Ninety minutes later, the alarm was and re-raised and Christchurch firefighters responded back to find the fire had gained significant momentum and was seriously threatening many properties.
“As a result of returning to the locality from which they had been stood down from, they Read the rest of this entry »
The following review of the book REBEL WOMEN in Australian working class history, eds Sandra Bloodworth and Tom O’Lincoln, appeared in issue #14 (Xmas 2000-March 2001) of the Christchurch-based magazine revolution, one of the predecessors of this blog.
by Linda Kearns
Women’s oppression, its relation to capitalism, and how to fight it have been matters of controversy both on the far left and between the far left and feminists.
Feminists have long criticised the far left for trying to subsume women’s oppression into class. But a cursory glance at feminist studies and recent feminist theory tends to indicate that the vast majority of women – working class women – receive short shrift from the ‘sisterhood’.
In fact, there has also been a certain amount of nicking going on, as feminist historians have joined the fad for disaggregating the working class. So where working class women are dealt with, it is gender rather than class which have been of interest. Moreover, gender has been seen as counterposed to, even oppressed by, men of the working class.
Even socialist women, women who consciously chose to identify as, and fight as, socialist women – and not as feminists – have been appropriated – or expropriated by feminists: Rosa Luxemburg and Alexandra Kollontai are two Marxists who spring to mind as victims of this fad.
Sandra Bloodworth notes, for instance, the way the Read the rest of this entry »