Of kings and Kims

Given the media's love of pomp and circumstance - and hereditary monarchy - there is no little hypocrisy in its mocking of North Korea, argues Eddie Ford

Following the death of he 69-year-old Kim Jong-il on December 17 2011, the western press has taken great delight in mocking the Stalinist theatrics surrounding the Dear Leader’s funeral and the official anointment of his son, the 28-year-old Kim Jong-un, as the Great Successor: ie, replacement tyrant. He is the grandson of the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung - the “eternal president” - who died in 1994 and whose Complete works currently stand at 99 volumes; not to mention the eight-volume autobiography, With the century, and the revolutionary opera, The flower girl.

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Letters

Nationalism; Not so easy; Gulag bait; Wet dreams; Cover-up; Cheesy; Ologies; HM puzzle; So modest; Too kind

Sovereign busworkers fight back

Gerry Downing, secretary of Grass Roots Left, calls for the rank and file to act against union sell-outs

A load of old balls

Racism persists in society - but, as recent scandals show, serious analysis has been replaced by moral hysteria, argues James Turley

Optimistic

Robbie Rix looks forward to the year ahead

Glasman's new old pantomime

Blogger Steve Hanson critiques Maurice Glasman's take on Labour, race and class

Preparing for the second wave

December saw huge protests in Moscow and St Petersburg against the rigging of the elections to the duma. Mark Fischer asked Russian socialist Boris Kagarlitsky about their significance

Politics of fear and despair

Paul B Smith calls on the left to face up to the challenge of class-consciousness. This is the first part of a three-part article

No surrender on article 18

Toby Abse reports on the intransigent defence of Italy's Workers' Statute coming from an unexpected source

Weekly Worker 896 is also available in PDF format