Sunday, October 14, 2018

Humiliation for the SPD, who after refusing a Corbyn-style left-wing shift, crash to 9.5% in Bavarian elections

Labour's sister party in Germany (the SPD) have suffered an incredible humiliation after their vote crashed in the federal elections in the state of Bavaria. (EXIT POLL)

The SPD received only 9.5% of the vote and came in 4th place behind the Conservative (CSU), the Greens who got an excellent result (19%) and the AfD (11%).

In Bavaria, the Conservatives have historically dominated so its no shock the SPD came behind the CSU, however losing so badly to the Greens is not only a shock a humiliation.

Furthermore its a clear sign that if Socialist Parties take a "Blairite" path and resist a return to Left-Wing politics (like with Corbyn in the UK) then they face humiliation in elections.

In the previous elections in Bavaria (2013), the SPD got 20% of the vote. Back in 1998, they obtained 29%. During this time, the SPD has roughly taken what we call in the UK, a Blairite path.

Currently the national government of Germany is a coalition of Conservatives and the SPD with SPD having senior cabinet positions such as the Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister.

The decision to continue to be pat of the Government was heavily resisted by Left-factions within the SPD however as those factions are relatively weak (in comparison to e.g Momentum's influence in Labour), the SPD joined the Government.

SPD-Right have been critical of Jeremy Corbyn's and the Labour Party's shift since 2015 and always held the theory that European Socialist Parties can only do well in elections if they "take the centre ground."

Well this result and a number of other results across Germany show that their theory is wrong. For example in two weeks there are state elections in the German state of Hessen and the polls are predicting the SPD to obtain 8% less of the vote than they obtained in the previous election.

The SPD are losing support mostly to the Greens and to the AfD and while from a left-wing point of view, its wonderful to see the Greens doing so well, it is of course worrying to see the rise in the AfD.

The rise of the AfD is certainly causing worry in Germany however the positive is that this worry is being met with political action. Yesterday a huge demonstration in Berlin of over 100,000 took place and with the German youth in particular, the AfD will struggle to enter any coalition in a German state as it will be met with overwhelming resistance from the street.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The curious tale of Nadhim Zahawi and NHS Privatisation

Nadhim's connection with a company called Sthree tells a lot about why Privatisation is taking place.
Why is it that Tory MPs are so enthusiastic about NHS Privatisation? Considering that most experts on the NHS think privatisation is a total disaster, why would Conservative politicians have such a different view?

Well the curious tale of Nadhim Zahawi and his connections to NHS privatisation are a clue that helps to answer this question.

In 2011 there was a debate in the House of Commons about a piece of legislation called the "Health and Social care act." It was controversial as the bill included reforms that would mean private companies coming into health care and being able to make profit out of the NHS.

Many MPs had doubts but during the debate, Nadhim Zahawi made a passionate speech in support of the bill and even described it as a "brilliant piece of legislation."

After the passing of the bill a number of companies started to get contracts for various services within the NHS. One of these was a recruitment company by the name of "Sthree."

The Mirror reported in April 2014 that over a 10 month period, Sthree received contracts worth £2.6million. .

So to some up the process of privatisation here the following occured;
(a) Tory MPs suppored a bill which would bring in private companies into the NHS.
(b) The bill passed
(c) Companies, such as Sthree started to make profit from the NHS.

But what is so curious about Zahawi's connection to all of this.
Well Nadhim Zahawi just happens to be a director at Sthree and according to the Daily Mirror, he earns £2,917 a month for that job.

So in other words, his job as a politician lead to the company that he also works for making profit. Certainly if the BBC were to report on such a scandal in an African or Asian country, they would refer to this as corruption however as far as i am aware, the BBC have not used that term regarding this case.

Although it is not just Zahawi who works for or has connections with firms profiting out of NHS privatisation. A blog called "social investigations" found out that 63 Tory MPs and a few Labour and LibDems MPs also have such connections.

Judging intentions is always super hard and i am not saying that MPs support NHS privatisation purely because of their business interests. However i think we can all assume that those interests do have an influence and the only debate is how powerful is that influence.

Uber Drivers Take Strike Action

Uber Drivers had organised a 24-hour strike against the abuse they have been facing from the Uber Company.

The strike takes place on October 9th atz 1pm and will last until October 10th at 1pm.