WW archiveIssue 559
13 January 2005
Millions, shocked and horrified by the damage done by the Asian tsunami, have dug deep these last few weeks. In Britain alone, people have so far donated well over £140 million. It would be very wrong for socialists and communists to sneer at this effort, says Tina Becker. In fact, it is encouraging to see how many are profoundly concerned for the plight of their fellow human beings. It gives a glimpse of the kind of solidarity that would happen in a socialist world. But communists also have a duty today to show that in reality most aid is channelled through government-sponsored charities and is very likely to reinforce the power structures that keep much of the world's population in dismal poverty
Gurharpal Singh, professor of inter-religious studies at Birmingham University, is author of a number of studies on the politics of the Sikh minority and the tensions between multiculturalism and political integration. He spoke to Mark Fischer You recently wrote about the controversy surrounding Gurpreet Bhatti's play Behzti and commented that Sikh protests against it were "orchestrated" to a certain extent (Weekly Worker January 6). Were there other elements to these demonstrations?
Mike Leigh (director), Vera Drake, general release
One hundred years ago the workers of Russia shook tsarism to its very foundations and announced to the world that revolution was once more back on the agenda. General strikes were central to these events. Marxist thinkers - crucially Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg - drew profound conclusions, which, argues Jack Conrad, have today lost none of their relevance