USA/Canada

Covid-19: Bernie Sanders' six point plan

Published on: Tue, 07/04/2020 - 10:29
Author

Eric Lee

Bernie Sanders has drafted a six point plan for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the looming economic crisis – and the strange thing is that he doesn’t mention the presidential election nor the name of America’s current president, Donald Trump.

While Joe Biden tries to make his voice heard from his basement studio in Delaware, Sanders remains an active member of the US Senate, fighting to get things done without waiting for the Democratic party primary season to end – and without waiting for Trump to be replaced in office either.

“Congress must pass, in the very near future, the

Requisition and workers' control to get tests and PPE

Published on: Tue, 07/04/2020 - 09:07
Author

Martin Thomas

In the Thursday 8pm “clapping for the NHS” on 2 April 2020, many people chanted “Test! Test! Test! PPE!”

Health workers are pressing the government on its failure to meet its promises to expand testing hugely, to make PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] available to all, and to agree adequate PPE guidelines for health workers.

So, even, are NHS bosses. NHS Providers, a confederation of NHS hospital, mental health, community, and ambulance trusts, said on 3 April: “There are still trusts that are unable to begin testing, and lack of swabs, reagents and test kits is a continuing concern”.

The

Work or full pay!

Published on: Tue, 07/04/2020 - 07:41

As of 1 April, 950,000 new people had applied for Universal Credit in just two weeks. Usually new applications run at about 100,000 a week. Hundreds of thousands, or millions, of people have lost their jobs because they were on casual contracts, and because they worked for businesses which have laid them off or simply shut down.

Many small employers have laid off workers, but also big ones, like universities.

Many who are self-employed — really self-employed, or formally self-employed while really being wage-workers — are not able to use the government’s scheme for aid to the self-employed,

Democrats in disarray as Trump’s popularity soars

Published on: Sun, 29/03/2020 - 14:32
Author

Eric Lee

The coronavirus pandemic has created a new reality in the United States, as it has all over the world. And coming as it has during a presidential election, it has completely upended the political map.

Just a month ago, Bernie Sanders was the leading Democratic candidate and polls showed him defeating Donald Trump in November. Joe Biden’s campaign was sputtering along, as he polled poorly in early primary and caucus states.

But on 29 February, Biden won the South Carolina primary as expected. Biden’s campaign roared back to life. Three days later, on “Super Tuesday”, though Bernie Sanders won

Does America need a socialist party?

Published on: Tue, 24/03/2020 - 21:38
Author

Eric Lee

In the aftermath of the disappointing results for the Sanders campaign in the primaries following Nevada, supporters of the self-described “democratic socialist” Senator from Vermont have been discussing what happens next.

If Sanders chooses to leave the race, he has already announced – many months ago – that he will endorse and campaign for any candidate chosen by the Democratic Party. Most of his supporters will follow Sanders’ lead, as they did in 2016 when he endorsed Clinton. Sanders has made clear that the top priority must be to defeat Trump, and if that means campaigning for the tired

Sanders' socialist plan for the pandemic

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2020 - 11:01
Author

Eric Lee

The mainstream media has already written off Bernie Sanders and crowned Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate to challenge Donald Trump (despite the primaries being far from over). But that hasn’t silenced the Vermont senator.

Sanders has long seen himself as more than just a conventional politician and acts as the voice for a movement. This last week, he laid out a socialist programme for the pandemic.

Sanders began with a recognition of the severity of the crisis, saying that “the crisis we face from coronavirus is on the scale of a major war, and we must act accordingly. Nobody knows how

Sanders, Biden, and the movement

Published on: Tue, 17/03/2020 - 15:19
Author

Daniel Randall

The movement around Bernie Sanders' bid for the US presidency represents an opportunity to advance socialist politics in that country in a way not seen for a generation or more. The ongoing detoxification of the word and idea of “socialism” in American political life, to the extent that one 2019 poll showed that 61% of Americans aged between 18-24 preferred “socialism” to “capitalism” [bit.ly/genZs], is both a consequence of, and a catalyst for, the Sanders phenomenon.

The immense damage done to the ideological mystique of free-market, neoliberal capitalism by the 2008 crash has, on the whole

Political revolution in the age of pandemics

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 11:12
Author

Eric Lee

The decision by the AFL-CIO to cancel the planned candidates’ forum in Florida this week is bad news for Bernie Sanders.

This would have been the perfect opportunity for Sanders to challenge his sole remaining rival for the Democratic nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden, on the issues which divide them. On all those issues – social security, Medicare for all, trade deals like NAFTA and TPP – Sanders’ views are much closer to those of the unions. Biden’s neo-liberal agenda would have been exposed.

This is now something we are going to have to get used to as more and more events are

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