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.
On 18 September Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, warned that the global financial crisis is entering a third phase of turmoil. Speaking to the Portadown Chamber of Commerce, he particularly highlighted the risks to the global economy from China, where an economic downturn and sudden currency devaluations have accompanied dramatic falls in the stock market. Together with the mounting crisis in many other large ‘emerging market’ economies, these developments have sent shockwaves through the world’s financial markets. David Yaffe reports.
Haldane is keen to point out that these developments in the global economy should not be seen as independent events, as lightning bolts from the blue, but are part of a connected sequence of events that have affected the global economy over the past decade. He argues that: ‘Recent events form the latest leg of what might be called a three-part crisis trilogy. Part one of that trilogy was the “Anglo-Saxon” crisis of 2008/09. Part two was the “euro-area” crisis of 2011/12. And we may now be entering the early stages of part three of the trilogy, the “emerging market” crisis of 2015 onwards.’1