The Housing Crisis Could Place Corbyn in Power

The Housing Crisis Could Place Corbyn in Power

(Photo of London in the 1970s, taken from Andy Worthington (http://www.andyworthington.co.uk), appeared on his website). By Joshua Tartakovsky, 10 August 2017 London is facing a housing crisis which the late tragic fire in the Grenfell Tower only served to highlight. For many English, owning one’s house has been a feasible and attainable dream, a part and parcel of a bourgeoisie life-existence. A must. But with the high cost of homes only rising, with foreign investors buying homes as a safe investment, and with salaries frozen while the pound is losing its value as the future of the UK post-Brexit remains enshrouded in mist, the dream of owning a home in a city as London is becoming less and less attainable. Young people, unless they started off with wealth, must now either rent for the rest of their lives, or pay for the mortgage in the many years to come. Hackney, which once used to be a haven for crime and London’s Hell Kitchen, is now out of reach for most but due to prices, not physical danger. The ratio of house price to median earning is now at 7.7, the highest ever.  This means, in plain English, that the price of housing is far higher than what people earn, and the gap is growing bigger and bigger. The Economist reports that in the past four decades house prices grew more in the UK than anywhere else in the G7 (Canada, Japan, US, Italy, Germany and France). This may mean that the housing crisis in the UK will eventually spread to other cities in Europe in the coming decade. One may...
Brexit: Let the fun begin

Brexit: Let the fun begin

  Photo by Karl Sharro By Joshua Tartakovsky, 3 July 2016 The people of UK voted for Brexit. What does it mean? First, it means that the so-called, imaginary or real, left is in disarray, a welcomed development in itself. The British left, besides the few courageous voices that supported a Lexit, preferred to engage in a cosmopolitan fantasy rather than confront its own demons at home. Rather than caring for its own impoverished blue-collar workers, it preferred to welcome unlimited migration from EU and the world at large despite the losses of jobs at home and lowered salaries. After all, how else would it present itself as progressive? Especially when supporting the EU does not require it to address social inequality at home. The English left preferred the illusion of an internationalist European Union, rather than reaffirming UK’s sovereignty. Who wants such a backward notion as autonomy and the right to make one’s own decisions?  Never mind that the people of Spain, Greece and Portugal are suffering from immense poverty and high unemployment due to the EU, an undemocratic body that cannot be reformed (as it has been said, the only way it can be reformed is if it is destroyed). Now it is in shock due to the fact that it supposedly discovered that the voters for Brexit are racists. Well, actually they are not. They simply want their sovereignty back. But who needs real socialism when one can entertain fantasies on how the EU is an internationalist project? Now Corbyn, a leader with no backbone who supported half-heartedly the EU neoliberal project is facing criticism from...
A Wedding Without A Groom: Putin’s Absence from Auschwitz

A Wedding Without A Groom: Putin’s Absence from Auschwitz

Fort Russ, January 18, 2015 By Joshua Tartakovsky In wedding and in funerals, one normally invites people who have some relation to the event, rather than strangers. In light of that, one must seek for a deeper explanation when attempting to understand the declaration of the Foreign Ministry of Poland not to extend a formal invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to the 70th year commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz, scheduled for January 27, 2015. One may argue that this is due to a political disagreement Poland may have with Russia, but then the event of Auschwitz should be sacred and beyond political disagreements or perhaps Polish politicians chose to use an immense tragedy for the sake of playing political games? Auschwitz was the place where Russian and Soviet prisoners of war were the first ones on which death by gas was attempted. Captured Russian soldiers were successfully gassed by the Nazis in Auschwitz I in August 1941, and after several more successful experiments of gassing 1500 Russian Prisoners of War in the coming months, the Nazis went on to implement the same mechanism of mass murder in Auschwitz II- Birkenau on Jews. A plaque in Auschwitz I explains how for Nazi Germany, not only were Russian soldiers an enemy, but the Russian and Soviet population at large. The Nazis exterminated Russians en masse for a reason. The plaque explains that: “the extermination policy of the Nazis also extended to the civilian population of the USSR. In order to implement the policy, Nazi Germany defined in advance the categories of the population subject to mandatory extermination by special...