April 2005


One more chance for the ‘Progressive Consensus’?

8 May 2005 The election results show the left's re-emergence as an electoral force, but the electoral system still gives 'middle England' disproportionate power. Jeremy Gilbert argues that we must seize this opportunity to argue for proportional representation

Defeating the BNP in Yorkshire

5 May 2005 Peter Lazenby reports from Calderdale, where anti-fascists have overcome a BNP intimidation campaign to organise an effective challenge to the rise of the far right

Tesco targeted by EuroMayday flash mob

1 May 2005 They were dancing in the isles at Tesco in Hackney on May Day, but it wasn't over half-price donuts. Up to 200 activists temporarily occupied the store as part of the EuroMayday 'precarity' actions, highlighting insecure working conditions and what protesters say is 'the tyranny of 24/7 constantly on-call work regimes'.

Vote early and often

1 May 2005 Dear Subcomandauntie, I'm campaigning for a principled anti-war candidate in a marginal seat against a prominent pro-war Blairite. The contest is going to be very, very close, with just a handful of votes likely to decide the winner. However, the enemy is definitely cheating the postal vote system and fighting a very dirty campaign, and we are probably going to lose. Depressed at the thought of these "dogs of war" getting back in, I now have to engage in a little postal vote fraud myself to even up the score, but, predictably, I'm having a last-minute moral dilemma. Auntie, what should I do? Not George Galloway

Don’t build dams everywhere!

1 May 2005 With the effects of dam construction going well beyond the dislocation of people, China is waking up to its hydro legacy.

French Hijab ban: one year on

1 May 2005 Naima Bouteldja on why French Muslim school children are not celebrating the first anniversary of the 'headscarf ban'.

The Left and Power – the Italian way

1 May 2005 From the dramatic events surrounding the killing of an Italian secret agent to a sweeping electoral victory against Berlusconi, Hilary Wainwright provides a snapshot of a dramatic time in Italian politics. But as Rifondazione Comunista extends its influence in regional government, she asks: can the left transform the state by sharing power?

Covering Iraq: an interview with Patrick Cockburn

1 May 2005 The aptly named Frontline club in London is a favourite haunt of war-weary foreign correspondents. Its walls are festooned with all manner of memorabilia: from Baghdad and Kabul license plates, to Osama Bin Laden t-shirts and the front page of the 12 September 2001 edition of the New York Times. Omar Waraich went there to discuss the challenges of reporting from Iraq with veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn.

Rockin’ the vote: Billy Bragg for Blair?

30 April 2005 'Culture,' Norman Mailer once said, 'is worth huge, huge risks.' Billy Bragg seems prepared to take those risks, and his rhymes of resistance and years of political campaigning have established him as the doyen of British protest music. But now that the rock star and songwriter is lending his talents to a string of pro-war New Labour candidates in their election bids, he has fallen foul of several of his fans and fellow campaigners. I also reached out in search of explanation. Fearing there would be no straight answer, I wanted to hear the crooked answer.