Dirty politics. It's the name of a book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. In it he claims that government ministers, including Judith Collins, passed on intelligence and other private communications about certain individuals to the controversial right-wing blogger Cameron Slater, known by his blog name Whaleoil. The book has highlighted a lot of the dirty and underhanded techniques used by this National-led government to undermine their critics though it has created some controversy in that the book has mostly reprinted e-mails that were hacked or otherwise obtained using dubious, possibly even illegal, methods.
With under a week to go until Scots head to the vote, the results of the independence referendum are too close to call. A recent surge in support for the pro-independence campaign has struck fear into the leaders of the NO camp. The maintenance of the union is now seriously under threat, providing yet another demonstration of the weakness and crisis within the British Establishment in this epoch of capitalist crisis.
On Tuesday, the Islamisc fundamentalist group ISIS captured Mosul, one of the key cities in Northern Iraq and then proceeded South towards Baghdad, capturing several important cities on the way. Hundreds of thousands have already fled fearing their lives under the rule of this reactionary group. This spectre of barbarism rising on the horizon, is the direct result of the cynical adventures of American imperialism.
Two days from the May 11 referendum in Donetsk and Luhansk, the Kiev authorities, unable to crush the uprising in the Donbas, are stepping up the war hysteria, curtailing democratic rights and incorporating fascist paramilitaries into the state apparatus. Meanwhile there are signs of growing working class activity in the areas under the control of the rebels.
In a rare moment of candour, recently, Ukraine's acting President Turchynov admitted that his forces were "helpless" to quell the unrest in Eastern Ukraine, as the pro-Russian insurgency is on the rise. Furthermore he admitted that the Ukrainian security forces were not reliable and “some of these units either aid or co-operate with terrorist groups.” Now the goal would be to prevent the pro-Russian insurgency from spreading in the Kharkiv and Odessa regions. This amounts to a declaration of defeat.
The epoch of world growth fueled by globalisation is over. Two giant free trade deals are being thrashed out which would place the United States at the centre of its own strategically drawn up domain, stretching from both sides of the pacific to Eastern Europe. But far from being a means to open up the world to a further intensification of trade and to liberate capitalism from its own fetters, these deals engineered by US imperialism in its own interests would carve up the world into two or more power blocs waging economic war with one another. It is protectionism masquerading as free trade.
This perspectives document is a Marxist analysis of New Zealand. Such an analysis provides Marxists with a guide to the developing situation of the country. This perspective document is not intended to be a blueprint of future events which is beyond the scope of scientific socialism and nor is it our intention to present it as such.
Ukrainian president Oleksandr Turchynov declared yesterday in a live televised address that a full-scale operation involving the army will be launched to regain control over Eastern Ukraine. Whether it is a bluff or a real threat, which the Ukrainian government has the will and means to enforce, is yet to be seen. But today, the same Turchynov has declared that the Kiev government is not against holding a referendum in Eastern Ukraine and set a date for May 25. Meanwhile, there is talk of Kiev asking for UN peacekeepers. This all shows the insoluble mess the Ukrainian authorities have got themselves into.
Donetsk regional admin building (City Hall) this morning, Soviet flag flying (PIC: Graham W Phillips)
The childhood shows the man,as morning shows the day. (John Milton)
As Ukraine slides deeper into chaos, the sound of war drums gets ever louder. On Saturday President Vladimir Putin secured his parliament's authority to send the Russian army, not just into Crimea but also into Ukraine itself.