by Roel van de Pol
Voters in the Netherlands elected a new House of Representatives on March 15. I think that what stands out about the election is, first of all, that the ruling coalition lost big time, especially the social democrats. VVD (the “conservative liberal” People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), and PvdA (the social-democratic Labor Party) together lost nearly half of their seats, but PvdA took most of the heat and is almost decimated. It’s a scenario similar to what happened to the social-democratic party PASOK in Greece. This indicates that people are fed up with how things are going. The government took office on a “social” platform, and they are now paying the price for piously imposing the EU austerity program.
by Anne Jaclard
Donald Trump’s second “Muslim ban” was to go into effect tomorrow, March 16, but it was just stayed by a federal judge in Hawaii, who considers that its Constitutional violations are substantially the same as the first ban’s legal defects. Hawaii is one of several states that are suing to invalidate the law. The federal court there acted first, and its stay has, at least temporarily, prevented the new law from going into effect throughout the U.S. Read More
Warning: don’t have an accident, get sick or grow old
by Ralph Keller
Saturday, March 4, saw the latest in a series of mass protest marches in London. While most of the recent protests were against Trump and Trumpism, Saturday’s march was an effort to defend the National Health Service (NHS). This is a public service, funded through taxation as well as National Insurance contributions from workers and employers, making health care free at the point of delivery and independent of the ability to pay.
The ‘official’ police figure of attendance was 250,000! The march set off from Russell Square and worked its way via Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square for the post-march rally. Mostly white and Asian people of all ages attended, but only a few black people, as was the case with other recent marches. Many people on the march were NHS workers and carried signs like ‘Our NHS is here to stay–resist Tory cuts and closures’, ‘Defend Migrant Workers, Save Our NHS–don’t let the racists divide us’ and ‘Fund the NHS, not private profit’. A good number of trade unions were also present, including UNISON (nurses) and BMA (doctors).
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