Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/567/6949
The company store
AS BARACK Obama spends $2 trillion in a bid to to revive capitalism, the Japanese Panasonic corporation has hit on a more modest 'stimulus package'.
Facing a £2.92 billion annual loss, Panasonic has told 10,000 staff to buy £1,000 of its products by the end of July. The company doesn't expect refusal rates to be high, probably because Panasonic recently announced plans to close 20% of its factories and axe 15,000 of its global workforce.
Meanwhile, the Japanese economy - the world's second largest - is experiencing its worst decline in 35 years.
THE WORLDWIDE capitalist crisis has overtaken terrorism as the greatest threat to the United States, according to America's intelligence agencies. To the surprise of some Senate members, the new director of national intelligence, Denis Blair, told Congress that the country's main strategic interests face a greater threat from political instability arising from a deep economic recession, than from al-Qa'ida.
HOWEVER, THE above assessment hasn't curbed the UK government's 'war on terror' spending plans. The latest figures show that £4.5 billion was spent by the Ministry of Defence on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 12 months - an annual increase of 50%. Inexplicably, as UK troops withdraw from Iraq, the cost has increased from £1.5 billion to £2 billion.
The cost of military operations in Afghanistan is likely to increase further as the government obliges the US administration by deploying more troops.
WHAT A joy to see our very own former PM Tony Blair - now peace envoy for the Middle East - winning a £1 million prestigious prize for "his exceptional leadership and steadfast determination in helping to engineer agreements and forge lasting solutions to areas in conflict."
This undoubtedly included his peace-making invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan which to this day makes him, along with fellow peacemaker George Bush, the most revered man in the Middle East.
Tony's prize was awarded by the Israel-based Dan David Foundation; in a country whose ruling class, like Tony Blair, is renowned for its peace efforts in the world!
SECOND HAND car dealers are not renowned as the backbone of the proletariat. However, recent events in Vladivostok might change that image. Faced with high import tariffs, recently imposed by prime minister Vladimir Putin, car dealers took to the streets, igniting large protest movements against the Russian government's handling of the current economic crisis.
With thousands joining in the protests, the Kremlin despatched a squad of special riot police to fly from Moscow to the pacific port of Vladivostok (a nine hour flight) to break up the demonstrations.
In The Socialist 18 February 2009:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news and analysis