Recent articles

How can the UK help?

01 Jun 2024

News by Ian Sinclair

New report on getting 'the world back on a path to nuclear disarmament'

On 21 May, the Nuclear Education Trust, an independent charity that aims to inform and educate decision-makers, the public and media about nuclear weapons, launched its new report The Future for UK Defence, Diplomacy and Disarmament in the House of Lords.

Free Assange!

01 Jun 2024

News by PN staff

Court grants whistleblower further appeal

Julian Assange has won another chance to appeal against extradition to the US on espionage charges, but he is not out of danger.

The high court in London gave Assange his legal victory on 20 May, after finding that the US government had not given strong enough guarantees or ‘assurances’ that Assange would not be mistreated.

Assange’s lawyers accepted one assurance, that he will not be subjected to the death penalty if convicted in the US.

Israel refuses to take ‘yes’ for an answer

01 Jun 2024

News by Milan Rai

How the Gaza ceasefire negotiations broke down

Hamas stunned the world by agreeing to an Israeli-US-Qatari-Egyptian ceasefire proposal on 6 May. Israel then refused to accept the ceasefire deal it had previously agreed – and immediately launched military attacks on Rafah in the south of Gaza, where over a million Palestinians had fled for safety from other, more devastated parts of the territory.

Editorial: A khakhi election?

01 Jun 2024

Comment by Milan Rai

When it comes to not increasing military spending, a large section of the public is open to persuasion

This is the most militaristic election in a while. It’s started with a bang, with prime minister Rishi Sunak’s ‘national service’ proposal (see here) and it comes against the backdrop of eye-watering promises on military spending by both the main parties.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said on 11 April that a Labour government would increase military spending to 2.5 percent of national income ‘as soon as resources allow that to happen’.

At the time, he was matching the Conservatives.

Editorial: Defending democracy

01 Jun 2024

Comment by Milan Rai

Corporate and financial capture of the state, not peaceful protest, is the real threat to democracy argues Milan Rai

In this issue, we look at some proposals for cracking down on protest, from lord Walney, the government’s advisor on political violence and disruption, in his report Protecting our Democracy from Coercion (see here).

Walney doesn’t actually deal with the major forms of arm-twisting that interfere with democracy in Britain.

Vote for Gaza

01 Jun 2024

News by Milan Rai

Doesn’t support an immediate permanent ceasefire? Don’t vote for them

In the general election campaign, every candidate for the Westminster parliament must be told that if they do not call for an immediate, permanent, ceasefire in Gaza, they will not receive your vote.

Out of all the crises and pressing issues in the world, the slaughter in Gaza must be the most urgent question of the British general election.

People power in El Salvador

01 Jun 2024

Comment by Devere Allen

Looking back at the 15 June 1945 issue of PN, we discovered this little gem on p3

In May 1944, the little Central American country of El Salvador electrified all students of Latin American affairs when it staged a revolutionary strike by nonviolent means and won a great popular victory.

For five months, the press and people enjoyed freedom and were apparently on the road to democratic politics. But, as observers (myself included) pointed out at the time, nonviolent methods require deep understanding and firm experience for consistent victories and cannot be expected to succeed without set-backs.

Jamie Stern-Weiner (ed), Deluge: Gaza and Israel from Crisis to Cataclysm

01 Jun 2024


Its text finalised in early December 2023, Deluge brings together expert analysis and commentary from journalists, academics and campaigners, its 13 contributions divided into three sections.

In the first (‘Contexts’), two stand-out essays dismantle the myth that Hamas is to blame for the failure to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the facile notion that Gaza’s current plight is a consequence of its people’s failure to adopt nonviolence.

John P Clark, The Impossible Community: Realising Communitarian Anarchism (2nd ed)

01 Jun 2024

Review by Warren Draper

This academic yet accessible book addresses the myth that revolutionary, liberatory social transformation is no longer possible under capitalism, and also the notion that the tension between individualist and collectivist anarchism somehow makes anarchism itself impossible.

Clark demonstrates that contemporary capitalism has created an environment where, as Frederic Jameson famously said, it is ‘easier to imagine the end of the world, than the end of capitalism’.

Susan Williams, White Malice: The CIA and the Neocolonisation of Africa

01 Jun 2024

Review by Ian Sinclair

At over 650 pages, White Malice may look daunting but is actually written in such an engrossing journalistic style that it sometimes reads like a spy thriller.

Dr Susan Williams, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, focuses on US covert intervention in the Congo and Ghana in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

Hein de Haas, How Migration Really Works: A factful guide to the most divisive issue in politics

01 Jun 2024

Review by Andrea Needham

The day before the local elections in England, the UK government announced that it had started rounding up asylum-seekers and would ‘detain’ them pending their deportation to Rwanda later this year.

The prime minister’s press secretary denied that this was a cynical move to increase Conservative votes in the elections, claiming that: ‘For our part, there really is not a day to lose when people are dying in the Channel.’

Radical Music: 'One-two-shoot'

01 Jun 2024

Comment by Penny Stone

'There are songs that beat the drums of war'

There are songs that beat the drums of war and songs that wave the flag of peace, and in different ways these are all love songs, songs of grief and songs of hope. It’s all a propaganda of sorts, even songs written from the deepest place in our hearts.

In the cracks between

01 Jun 2024

Comment by Virginia Moffatt

The many worlds of Ursula le Guin

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I can pinpoint pretty precisely the moment I fell in love with Ursula Le Guin’s writing.

It was 29 November 1974, between 4.30 – 4.45pm, when the final instalment of her A Wizard of Earthsea aired on Jackanory.*

The book had seized hold of me all week, but the denouement, in which Ged, the wizard of the title, confronts and becomes one with the dark shadow he has unleashed on the world, was totally mesmerising.