In a highly significant event, delegates to the 15th National Congress of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have voted to remove the incumbent general secretary, Frans Baleni and replace him with a clear left wing candidate, David Sipunzi. The result, which came as shock to many, is a heavy blow to the class collaborationist right wing of COSATU, the main trade union federation. This shakeup will have wide ramifications not only in the trade union movement, but also in the Tripartite Alliance.

We live in a time when the whole establishment is not only corrupt and rotten to the core but is seen as such by a large section of the working class, both in Britain and throughout the rest of the world. Bankers and financiers are manipulating the markets for short-term gain; politicians are pocketing whatever they can whilst demanding that the poor accept pay cuts and declining services; rich and powerful individuals are exposed as having carried out acts of extreme depravity right under our eyes with nothing being done about it; bosses carry out illegal blacklisting aided by the state...the list goes on. However, if you were to ask the average person in the street to come up with something that defined, above everything else, corruption, bribery and general fiddling, many would answer with one word: FIFA.

Alongside the shock of a Tory majority, the other big story of the General Election results was that of Labour’s collapse in Scotland to the SNP. With the Nationalists very nearly sweeping the board with 56 out of 59 seats, it more than negated any small increase in votes Labour got in England and Wales.

Irish voters have decisively voted in favour of marriage equality, making Ireland the first country to do so through the ballot box. This was a victory of the future against the past, of the young against the old, of reason against ignorance, of the forward-looking urban areas against the old backward rural Ireland.

The coming to power of a new Tory government opens a new stormy chapter in Britain. This is not only the conclusion of the Marxists but also of the strategists of capital:

At least 100,000 protesters took to the streets on May 17th sporting crimson banners and flags of all nationalities. There would likely have been more had the Macedonian government not blocked buses of protesters streaming from all over the country to Skopje.

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