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John Clarke

  • The war on the poor in the age of austerity

    Even in a rich country like Canada, the neoliberal decades have seen a huge intensification of the rate of exploitation. Industrial jobs have been moved offshore, unions have been weakened, low wage precarious work has proliferated and the social infrastructure has been battered. A key component of the attack on social programs and public services has been the reduction of income support for unemployed, sick and disabled people.

  • If housing is a right we should take it

    Housing that sits empty so that speculators can enrich themselves, while pushing up housing prices, is an ugly Achilles Heel of the neoliberal city that we would be targeting in a direct and compelling way. With this approach we could create a crisis for big property owners and their political enablers out of which concessions on housing could be won that were significant enough to address the unfolding disaster of homelessness in Toronto.

  • Canada joins campaign to stifle criticism of Israel

    As Israel seeks to crush Palestinian resistance, complete the colonial project and become an impregnable fortress of Western interests in the Middle East, a frank and clear anti-Zionism is at a premium. When Palestinians join the Great March of Return to the Gaza fence, it is not enough to accuse the IDF of using excessive force. We must fight for a free, democratic and secular Palestine.

  • Conservative ‘blue wave’ sweeps across Canada

    It is clear that the blue wave can’t be turned back by the neoliberal centre, whether that is represented by liberals or right wing social democrats who refuse to break with the austerity consensus. It is equally clear that mass social action is urgently required to disrupt and seriously challenge the hard right governments installed across Canada.

  • ‘Progressive’ Trudeau government attacks Venezuela

    Anyone who still entertains any illusions in the ‘progressive’ nature of the Trudeau government would have been shocked to witness Chrystia Freeland assembling a collection of regional representatives of the Washington Consensus in Ottawa to further the coup plot against Venezuela.

  • A tale of two austerities

    Theresa May’s recent claim that austerity is over is exposed as a lie as communities in the UK experience the horrible effects of the roll out of Universal Credit. In Ontario, austerity is a work in progress. What must be understood is that this attack doesn’t only impact the poorest people. It is a ruthless strategy to increase the supply of super exploited workers and, in doing so, depress wages generally.

  • Doug Ford’s new ‘poor laws’ replace basic income

    The decision of the new Tory Government in Ontario to terminate the basic income pilot project confirms that the right is as divided as the left on this issue of social policy. The Doug Ford Tories form part of an international right wing opposition to BI that does not share the view of those within the neoliberal order that this form of income support could serve the needs of capitalist exploitation.

  • Basic income: Progressive dreams meet neoliberal realities

    The model of BI that governments are working on in their social policy laboratories will not ‘end the tyranny of the labour market’ but render it more dreadful. The agenda of austerity and privatization requires a system of income support that renders people as powerless and desperate as possible in the face of exploitation and that won’t change if it is relabelled as ‘Basic Income.’

  • Looking the basic income gift horse in the mouth

    We are in a period when capitalism and the governments that represent its interests are increasing the rate of exploitation and reducing the level of social provision. That is not about to change and any redesign of income support systems we confront will be all about furthering, not limiting, levels of social inequality.

  • The austerity agenda in sheep’s clothing

    In 2016, the possibility opens up that the pace and scale of austerity will make the balancing act that such regimes rely on impossible to sustain. In such a situation, we could break the grip of the fake consensus, increase the scale of the fight against austerity and poverty and win some significant victories.

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