It is now 50 years since the massacre of around one million communists, trade unionists and sympathisers in Indonesia in 1965. The killings were carried out by the Indonesian army, and other forces of reaction, with the direct support of British and US imperialism. The powerful Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) was entirely destroyed, paving the way for the savage military regime of General Suharto to facilitate the subjugation of the country to imperialist capital. The story of these events has been largely buried by those who have profited from them. Exposing the Indonesian massacres, and the extent of British and US involvement, is essential for new movements to understand the lengths that the imperialists are willing to go to destroy any opposition. Toby Harbertson reports.
The Conservative government’s July Budget was a naked act of class war. Its intention to slash spending on benefits by £12bn a year will bring destitution to large sections of the working class. It showed that capitalism is no longer able or prepared to provide an adequate system of state welfare for the working class. It was also an arrogant demonstration of power: the ruling class is confident that it is free to drive the working class into the ground without facing meaningful opposition. Labour leadership candidates Liz Kendall, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper agree that the benefit system is too generous to the working class. Acting leader Harriet Harman concurred and announced that the Labour Party would not oppose the welfare bill implementing the Budget’s benefit cuts. Three quarters of Labour MPs duly followed her lead including Kendall, Burnham and Cooper. Only 48, including the fourth leadership candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, voted against. Robert Clough reports.
Following the massacre of 38 people – 30 of them British – in the Tunisian city of Sousse on 26 June, Prime Minister David Cameron seized the opportunity to announce plans to expand air-strikes against the Islamic State (IS) into Syria as well as Iraq. This would overturn a 2013 parliamentary vote against British strikes on Syria. Days later, Chancellor George Osborne announced in the Budget that British military spending would increase every year for the next five years. With Labour expected to support the government in a new vote to extend strikes to Syria, it is likely that soon British planes will be bombing yet another country in the Middle East. The lack of any coherent strategy is clear. Bombing IS in Syria will not stop terrorist attacks elsewhere. Continuing to support forces fighting the Syrian government will only strengthen IS. The only sure result of imperialist strategy is continued war in the region for decades, and a continued justification for a huge military budget.