Europe: bridging the emotional gap
1 November 2005
In search of a fresh argument for the left in Britain to become more European in its thinking and organising, I picked an extraordinary book off my bookshelf: 'Europe in Love; Love in Europe' by Louisa Passerini from the European University Institute in Florence.
1 October 2005
The success of the Brazilian Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), or Workers Party, acted as a beacon to the left worldwide. Now it has been revealed that it was governing on the basis of systematic corruption. Hilary Wainwright reports on how the quest for power perverted the PT and subverted democracy
The remaking of the left
1 September 2005
More than a decade after the fall of the Berlin wall, communist successor parties are winning support as they struggle to reinvent themselves
The UK/US Presidency of the EU
1 July 2005
You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to work out the meaning of the UK Presidency of the EU. Just read the Wall Street Journal of 16 October 2003, where Gordon Brown explains New Labour’s agenda for Europe: ‘economic reform should be embraced with even greater speed. The right response to global competitive pressure is […]
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?
World Social Forum on Trial
1 March 2005
With 155,000 participants from 33 different countries, the fifth World Social Forum held in a specially constructed site in Porto Alegre's Marinho Park was bigger than ever, and with a wider geographic spread. Yet the future of the WSF was on trial. Was it becoming its caricature: a kind of political Woodstock, Hugo Chavez pulling the crowds instead of Mick Jagger?
Time for a global warning movement
1 February 2005
Red Pepper editor Hilary Wainwright introduces this month's features on climate change and the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster
Coordination without centralisation
1 December 2004
The 2003 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre left the Brazilian organisers, both in Porto Alegre itself and in Sao Paulo, completely exhausted. 'We knew we couldn't go on like that, just organising bigger and bigger events. Something had to change,' said Ze Correio Leite, a member of the Brazilian secretariat. But a visit to their Sao Paulo offices as they prepare for the 2005 WSF finds Ze and his colleagues full of energy and enthusiasm. 'I so like working here; I'm learning so much. We do a bit of everything,' commented Marcello, computer expert cum member of the outreach team cum all round administrator. What had changed?
European Social Forum: debating the challenges for its future
1 December 2004
After three European Social Forums (ESF) we need to step back and ask: what next? The successes and achievements of the European Social Forum (ESF) process stem from the strong desire amongst almost every social justice initiative for a cross border, trans-European way of organising, debating and exchanging ideas. This felt need is being reinforced by accumulated skills at creating new agencies for social change.
Change the World by Transforming Power – Including State Power!
1 November 2004
I've been puzzling over John Holloway's book. I say puzzling because on the one hand, there is a lot I agreed with in his critique of the traditional left - Leninist and social democratic - in particular their fixation with seizing or taking state power. I agreed too with his emphasis on recognising our own creative power: both our power of refusal and our power of transformation; and his focus on the ways that we can change society ourselves through collective and co-operative action rather than look to the state or the party to achieve change on our behalf.
Labour’s hollow drum
1 October 2004
Hilary Wainwright introduces Red Pepper's special on the Labour Party
Paul Foot 1937-2004
1 September 2004
Paul Foot did not simply believe in socialism from below; he positively exuded the values that make it possible: anger against injustice, relentless exposure and mockery of the ruling class, a deep belief in the capacity of people to bring about change through their own collective action, warmth and generosity of spirit, and a detestation of both sectarianism and self-importance.
1 September 2004
The year is 1996, and 21-year-old Ilya Ponomarev, typical of Russia's new breed of young entrepreneurs, is making the most of the market opportunities opened up by perestroika. At 15 he had set up his own computer-programming company, achieving a $10m turnover in two years. At 24 he became the youngest ever vice-president of the giant Russian oil company Yukos.
Losses and gains of June elections
1 July 2004
Over the past two years the anti-war movement has successfully challenged the manufactured consensus of the powerful. To find out what is being done in their name, people have sought out and opened up numerous paths to the truth. Websites, for example, are giving voice to the opposition in Iraq, and to whistleblowers in the US, UK and UN. We are piecing together information that was previously in the public domain only as fragments.
Ten tumultuous years
1 May 2004
"Red Pepper, breaking a decade; New Labour, broken and decayed,' suggested a wit in the office. But now is not the moment for narrow triumphalism (beyond celebrating the larger font size and the monthly miracle performed in getting the magazine out at all).
Choose solidarity, not fear
1 April 2004
"A triumph of democracy over fear,' declared Spain's new prime minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero, after Spanish voters defied conservative predictions that the Madrid bombings would drive them to support the government.
The RMT shows the way
1 March 2004
To most Westminster pundits, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union's opening of its political fund to organisations other than Labour and the union's consequent expulsion by the party are a sideshow.
From Mumbai with hope
1 March 2004
"Can you ask them to go?" an anxious volunteer pleaded with Gautam Mody, trade union organiser turned honest spin doctor for January's fourth World Social Forum (WSF) in Mumbai. A group of politically motivated Buddhists were performing a dance outside the forum's media centre and taking up a lot of space.
Tony’s big con(versation)
1 January 2004
As Tony Blair's inflatable conversation bounces round the country, there are two sets of voices which definitely won't be heard: asylum seekers and people leafleting working-class estates, football matches, workplaces and colleges to answer the arguments of the British National Party (BNP). Those likely to succumb to the appeal on the BNP are probably not present, either.
Unity coalition to take on Labour in euro poll
1 December 2003
George Galloway has announced plans for an anti-war coalition to stand in next year's European elections. Galloway has also declared that he had no intention of seeking readmission to the Labour Party.
All eyes on Paris
1 November 2003
"The sheer volume of people gave me a sense of a growing European movement," says Unison shop steward Lee Turner of the first European Social Forum (ESF) last year. Participating in this new Europe-wide movement for social justice had brought him a powerful sense of a new common identity.
Sacking the Ministry of Truth
1 October 2003
"People here are concerned with the real issues," said the minister glowering at us, as if to say "not the issues you want to ask me about".
Blair’s Community Con
1 July 2003
Does Tony Blair ever wake up in a cold sweat, fearing that he might be found out? This month made me wonder about this more than usual. At the same time as the PM is effectively on political trial for not telling the truth to the cabinet, to parliament or to the people over WDM, the Labour Party announces that its bid for a third term will be based on community involvement and devolution. Something wrong here, Ed, as Private Eye's Lord Gnome might say.
When Labour is the alternative to New Labour
1 June 2003
Robin Cook and Clare Short may have got all the media attention but there have been other expressions of despair of far greater significance for the future of Labour and the left.
No more demockery
1 May 2003
We failed to stop the war but another world is still possible writes Hilary Wainwright
A global message from the people
5 December 1999
Thanks to the audacity of thousands of diverse activists, being 'anti-capitalist' is back on the mainstream agenda, writes Hilary Wainwright