Marxists and “left governments”

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 10:21

Sacha Ismail

“We are not a government party; we are the party of irreconcilable opposition… Our tasks... we realise not through the medium of bourgeois governments... but exclusively through the education of the masses through agitation, through explaining to the workers what they should defend and what they should overthrow. Such a “defence” cannot give immediate miraculous results. But we do not even pretend to be miracle workers. As things stand, we are a revolutionary minority. Our work must be directed so that the workers on whom we have influence should correctly appraise events, not permit


Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 11:38

I would like to add a couple of comments to Barrie Hardy’s review “Sweden in the 1930s: a shithole country”.

Barrie mentions the strikes in Adalen in the 1930s. The Swedish director Bo Widerburg made an interesting film featuring these events: Adalen 31 (1969). I haven’t seen it for a long time but if you can find a DVD check it out. Widerburg also directed a film about Joe Hill in 1971.

Barrie mentions the Native American Party, noting that they were “appropriately dubbed the Know Nothings”.
No doubt they were as thick as planks but their name, as far as I am aware, doesn’t originate in their

Sweden in the 1930s: a “shithole country”

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 08:54

Barrie Hardy

“It’ll be a pleasure to leave this impoverished shithole of a country behind,” says the main character Harry Kvist in the Stockholm Trilogy of historical crime novels by Martin Holmen.

Sweden is now reckoned one of the top ten of countries in the world for quality of life, but eighty years ago much of the population lived in abject poverty.

Holmen’s three novels — Clinch, Out For The Count and Slugger — paint a grim picture of the life of the urban poor in 1930s Stockholm. Most of them suffer flea bites, their bedsheets doused in strong vinegar to keep the pests away.

Summer months bring

The kids are coming (don't say you weren't warned)

Published on: Thu, 21/02/2019 - 15:36

Alan Simpson

Occasionally, just occasionally, there are weeks full of silver linings. The one that saw Britain's first nationwide schools climate strikes was definitely one of them.

When Greta Thunberg began her lone climate protest outside the Swedish Parliament last August she was not to know that, within 6 months there would be 70,000 pupils a week, across 270 towns and cities worldwide, who would be joining her. Their message was simple: "Wake up! There's a climate emergency."

If you had followed the week's debates in Britain's Parliament you wouldn't have guessed.

Politicians had been given plenty

Far right on rise in Sweden

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 21:17

Will Sefton

The success of far-right populists across Europe continued in Sweden with a surge in support for the Sweden Democrats who took in 17.6 percent of the vote, coming third against the left and right blocs.

Both blocs have refused to form a coalition with them but with a motion of confidence due for Swedish Prime Minister and Swedish Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven, Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson believes Löfven will have to negotiate with him.

Akesson focused his election campaign firmly on migration and law and order. He is also in favour of holding a referendum to leave the EU.

Ryanair must change

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 10:41

Charlotte Zalens

Ryanair pilots in Ireland, Sweden and Belgium will strike for 24-hours on Friday 10 August.

The strike is part of an ongoing dispute as pilots are demanding a fair and transparent approach to transfers between different bases. On 25 July Ryanair escalated the dispute by threatening to sack 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew, or transfer them to Poland.

Pilots based in Ireland, and members of FORSA union, have already struck for four periods of 24 hours since 12 July. They may be joined by pilots based in Germany and the Netherlands after a poll by the Association of Dutch Pilots saw 99.5% of

The right to be cool

Published on: Mon, 03/07/2017 - 11:21

Simon Nelson

June 2017 was the hottest June for 176 years. Across Europe temperatures went up to 38°C, and groups of school children and workers defied instructions and wore skirts to school and work to try and keep cool.

In Nantes, France, a group of bus drivers asked their employer for permission to wear shorts. When this request was denied they decided to wear the only item that was authorised in hot weather — a skirt. One worker told the Guardian “Our bosses’ offices are air-conditioned, which isn’t the case with the majority of our vehicles. To spend more than seven hours in a vehicle in 50°C

UK school system bad for children

Published on: Fri, 09/12/2016 - 10:11

The Programme for International Student Assessments (PISA) rankings were published on 6 December. These put UK schools in the 20s among the 72 countries surveyed.

Socialists don′t put great store by the PISA ratings, which measure different nations academic achievements by testing 15 and 16 year olds in maths, science and reading. However, the UK’s poor results do demonstrate that, even by their own standards, the Tories model for education is failing.

Whilst not perfect, Finland provides a model that is more effective according to PISA and, more importantly, is less harmful to children. In

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Thu, 10/11/2016 - 14:19

On 8 November, the Dockworkers’ Union started industrial action, including a ban on overtime, at the Gothenburg terminal which handles 60% of Sweden’s container trade. It has also called for a blockade on traffic redirected from Gothenburg.

Problems in Gothenburg have increased over the last five years since APM, the container-terminal offshoot of the giant Maersk group, took over, and especially since, according to the union, about a year and a half ago, the company adopted “an anti-union stance”, presumably in response to the continued stagnation and sharper competition in global container

Denmark to seize refugees' property

Published on: Wed, 10/02/2016 - 11:55

Lisa Lindstrom

Refugees seeking asylum in Denmark will have their belongings confiscated by the police, in order to finance their own asylum process.

This is the result of the new “asylum package” bill, or the so-called “jewellery law”. The broad parliamentary agreement was proposed by the Danish right-wing liberal party Venstre, the right-wing parties in parliament including the Danish People’s Party and the Conservatives, and the Social Democrats.

The bill was put to a vote in the parliament, Folketing, on January 26 and will be in effect from February 5. The discussions on the Danish parliament’s new

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.