Category Archives: International

Millions of French march against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform

Contributed 

Half a million French workers hit the streets of Paris in the second day of protests over the plan by a government to lift the retirement age. The first day of action was on 19 January, when the number involved around the country was at least 2 million. This time there were more. It was the biggest turnout France has seen in decades.

The video below reports on 19 January gives some background to the dispute.

Millions join national strike in France against Macron’s pension reform.
Video from The Real News Network

Transport, schools, hospitals, and other industries were heavily disrupted by strikes on the second day of action. The oil industry is at a standstill, and Many government departments have been affected. High school and university students have joined in. students at the prestigious Sciences-Po university occupyed its main building overnight.

Thousands take to the streets in Paris
Video from FRANCE 24 English

The first marches had started in the morning in other parts of the country, with several prominent opposition politicians taking part.

Mr Macron is certain to lose,” said Jean-Luc Melenchon, a former presidential candidate and leader of La France Insoumise, as he marched in the southern port city of Marseille.

The Macron government is in trouble. Opinion polls say that a growing majority of the French population is behind the strikes and protests. This is not a good political position to be in. The support of the conservative opposition was there only weeks ago. But now , there are widening divisions in  the Marcon camp, with several parliamentarians making a public stand. There are even those within the conservative camp having second thoughts about continuing to give their support.

Strikes and protests are set to continue if Macron does not retreat.

France’s early retirement age is not something that was handed on a platter. It was fought for in epic battles against employers and government and written into the French consciousness. The gains will not be easily surrendered.

Previous government attempts to do this have failed. Macron is not likely to be more successful, and failure will be a political disaster for him.

 

Italy finds it now has a fascist led government

By Jim Hayes

The woman who once publicly declared herself a great fan of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini is to become the new Prime Minister of Italy. Giorgia Meloni heads a political party called the Brothers of Italy. Don’t be misled by media portrayal, especially form the Murdoch stable, as something other than fascist. Continue reading Italy finds it now has a fascist led government

British political crisis is about more than Boris Johnson

By Jim Hayes

Britain’s Prime Minister has resigned at last. The writing has been on the wall for Boris Johnson for some time. He leaves behind a history of corrupt behaviour, offering favours to his mates. His repeated disregard for even making a pretence of basic decency over sexual conduct, through habitual lying, and in his callous way of treating those close to him are legendary. His inaction over the Covid pandemic meant Britain suffered more than most other nations. And his own disregard for protective measures, as revealed by the Partygate scandal revealed, was not a good look. Continue reading British political crisis is about more than Boris Johnson

NATO steps up its ideological and strategic war

By Jim Hayes

NATO has stepped up its war on China at this week’s meeting in Madrid. There may not be a plan to invade with guns blazing but there has been a definite ideological tilt towards and aggressive posture. There is talk about challenges and threats. Yet no one has been able to show China poses a military threat. This is the face of the new cold war. Continue reading NATO steps up its ideological and strategic war

Abortion ruling by US Supreme Court makes a mockery of democracy

The following by David Smith (The Guardian 26 June 2022), suggests that the decision of the judges of the United States Supreme Court to take away abortion rights is about much more and undermines the notion of what are regarded as democratic intuitions of government. Many Americans feel that these institutions are themselves a problem. David Smith does not deal with this. But it remains that the judges made their decision only hours after ruling favour of the gun lobby, and they have set the ground for the removal of other basic rights. Consequently, the nation faces the prospect of political polarisation and rising unrest.

Continue reading Abortion ruling by US Supreme Court makes a mockery of democracy

French National Assembly election throws the country into political turmoil

By Joe Montero

Results of the second round of the French parliamentary elections this past weekend will have an enormous impact on France. Being the second most powerful economy in Europe what happens there has an impact across the continent, and this is going to be felt around the world. Continue reading French National Assembly election throws the country into political turmoil

New York Times documents failure of U.S. in Ukrainemes shifts prowar narrative

According to John V Walsh (La Progressive 20 May22022), until recently a professor of of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts, The New York Times is the leading propagandist for the United State’s role in the events unfolding in Ukraine. Its sudden shift on this proxy war signals recognition that it is going bad, that it is time to rethink and avoid getting stuck in the quagmire. Meanwhile, the United States military leader is talking to his Russian counterpart. Read on.

Continue reading New York Times documents failure of U.S. in Ukrainemes shifts prowar narrative

France’s presidential election and the fall of traditional politics

By Jim Hayes

Following France’s presidential election has been instructive. Like in Australia, it is obvious that a large part of the population has lost faith in its politicians. This became marked 2017 with the rise of Emmanuel Macron and his new party La République En Marche (LREM). Macron won the presidential race then and he rest is now history. Continue reading France’s presidential election and the fall of traditional politics