Britain

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will stop research on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and is expected to lay-off 300 research and development staff in Massachusetts and Connecticut, in a move that could severely hamper progress towards effective treatments for these illnesses – proving that critical medical research cannot be left in the hands of capitalist profiteers. Corporations like Pfizer should be expropriated and their assets, data and equipment placed under democratic control, to be used for the betterment of mankind.

One phone call from Arlene Foster to the British Prime Minister Theresa May was enough to halt a deal between the European Union and British government, already agreed on Monday 4 December. Arlene Foster is the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland: a right-wing party with its roots in the anti-Catholicism of its former leader Ian Paisley. It is also pro-life, anti-gay and deeply reactionary.

On Monday 4 December, it was finally announced that a deal on phase one of the Brexit negotiations was about to be struck. The Financial Times lauded the Brexiteers' “surprising realism” in a negotiation described by one former head of the Treasury as more like a “drive-by shooting” than a negotiation.

Investment banking giant Morgan Stanley recently published a report that warned its clients about the possibility of a general election in 2018 and - in turn - of a Corbyn-led Labour victory. Such an outcome, the bankers described, would be a “worse threat to business than Brexit”.

British capitalism is clearly in a parlous state. The miserable spurt of growth of a few years ago has completely run out of steam, leaving the UK in a disastrous position. All the economic forecasts from the top institutions for the coming period have been downgraded from those of a year ago.

Richard Leonard, the left candidate for Scottish Labour leader, has won a close fought race to succeed Kezia Dugdale. His victory represents the most significant gain for the Left in its struggle to win control of the overall party since Corbyn’s victory itself.

The lack of any major announcements in this year’s budget, delivered on 22 November by the chancellor, Philip Hammond, reflects the insoluble web of contradictions that now entangles the Tory government.

The revelations of harassment in Westminster reflect the rottenness of the establishment and the crisis facing this Tory government.

“I have never seen a class so deeply demoralised, so incurably debased by selfishness, so corroded within, so incapable of progress, as the English bourgeoisie,” commented Frederick Engels more than 150 years ago. Such an appraisal could have been written today. The establishment is in crisis and so is the Tory government. They are being paralysed by one revelation and scandal after another. There appears to be no let up. Meanwhile, the stalemate over the Brexit negotiations is forcing them to peer over a very-unnerving precipice.

Anyone struggling to make ends meet, trying to survive from one payday to the next, will be amazed to discover the we are now at the “peak of the second Gilded Age”. These words are those of Josef Stadler, the Global Head of the Ultra High Net Worth division at UBS, commenting on a report on the way that the wealth of the rich has risen over the last period.

Rob Sewell looks at the damning condemnations against the capitalist system being uttered by none other than the capitalists themselves. By examining the ominous warnings of the Financial Times - a key bourgeois mouthpiece - Rob explains that even the capitalists see the writing on the wall...

Just when Theresa May and the Tories would have been hoping for some respite after a dismal conference period, the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) has sent a shockwave through British political and business circles. In its annual “Forecast Evaluation Report” (FER), published this month, the OBR downgraded the UK’s economic outlook, having revealed that both GDP and productivity growth had consistently fallen short of OBR predictions over the last two years.

Tal como analiza Josh Holroyd, el futuro para el Reino Unido y la UE bajo el capitalismo es: estancamiento, depresión y austeridad. El caos del Brexit es un precursor de nuevas crisis en Europa mientras el sistema continúa desmoronándose.

Theresa May, having ridden high in the nine months following her coronation as Tory leader and prime minister back in 2016, has now met with a dastardly fall. Since the June general election result - which robbed her of her parliamentary majority - everything seems to have gone belly up.

The Brexit negotiations appear to have ground to a halt. “There was nothing, zero, no progress,” said one official last week. Not surprisingly, there is now a deep sense of frustration, not to mention deep anxiety, about where things are heading. Philip Hammond, the current chancellor, has even warned that a “no deal” scenario would ground all aircraft on day one, clog up all the ports and impose a “hard” border in the North of Ireland.

 As Josh Holroyd discusses, the future for both the UK and EU under capitalism is one of stagnation, slump, and austerity. The chaos of Brexit is a precursor to further crises in Europe as the system continues to unravel.

Socialist Appeal (British section of the International Marxist Tendency) will hold its October Revolution festival in one week. Don't miss out on this incredible celebration of Marxist ideas on the centenary of the Russian Revolution.

Daniel Morley discusses the bold measures needed to ensure that the policies outlined in Corbyn's recent speech to Labour conference are realised in practice.