Wednesday, January 24, 2024

A dangerous escalation

In the 19th century the imperialists used “gun-boat diplomacy” to carve up Africa the rest of the world into various European spheres of influence. It worked because only the colonial powers could manufacture the weapons of mass destruction needed to enslave the people of what is we now call the Global South. They thought their realms, like the British Empire on which “the sun never set” would last forever. They called it “civilisation” and “the White Man’s burden” when they brutally crushed all resistance to the forces used to build colonial empires that spanned the globe. But they couldn’t crush the spirit of freedom amongst the oppressed masses who swept away the colonial system after the second world war.
The masses of the Third World who took up the gun in the national liberation wars in Algeria and Zimbabwe showed that it was people, not arms, that decide the outcome of struggles while the Korean and Vietnamese people taught the American imperialists a lesson they still have yet to learn.
If the Anglo-American attacks on Yemen were meant to build a new NATO bloc in the Middle East to protect Israel and intimidate the Arabs it has clearly failed. Most of America’s allies have refused to join this new “coalition of the willing” which only consists of Britain, the United States, Canada and some tiny islands in the Pacific that no-one’s ever heard of.
If the US-led attacks were meant to force the Houthi government to abandon its blockade of Israeli shipping they have clearly failed. The Red Sea remains the “Arab Sea” and the Houthis are now adding British and American vessels to their list.
The Yemenis say they will end their blockade once the fighting in Gaza stops.  All the Americans have to do to make that happens is to tell their puppets in Tel Aviv to cease-fire and end the carnage.

One up for the RMT

The RMT transport union ended its dispute with Transport for London (TfL) following an improved pay offer from City Hall that has added an extra £30 million to the pay budget to meet union demands on pay, grading structures and travel facilities. 
Last month RMT rejected  a below inflation pay offer of five per cent from the London Underground. This, they said was “unacceptable when TfL has created a bonus pot of £13 million for senior managers and the commissioner took an 11 per cent pay rise in 2023 taking his salary up to £395,000”.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Following further positive discussions today, the negotiations on a pay deal for our London Underground members can now take place on an improved basis and mandate with significant further funding for a settlement being made available. This significantly improved funding position means the scheduled strike action will be suspended with immediate effect and we look forward to getting into urgent negotiations with TfL in order to develop a suitable agreement and resolution to the dispute”.
Though Management initially refused to budge the solid response by the membership to past strike calls and the union’s determination to continue prolonged industrial action forced them to respond realistically to the union’s demand for higher pay and the restoration of full staff travel facilities for all Tube workers.This is what collective bargaining is all about and this is why it has to be defended.


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