Red Reading - Spectrezine's reviews of the latest the radical press

EU-Civil Liberties
EU Commissioner Frattini 'is advocating that it will be illegal to say anything which "causes a danger" that a terrorist crime may be committed "whether or not directly advocating terrorist offences". This is an extremely broad definition of provocation. And an extremely worrying one, too. Because of this ill-advised proposal, it is entirely conceivable that those audacious enough to suggest that terrorist crimes are not without cause, will find themselves being prosecuted.' Read the rest of David Cronin's 'A question of provocation'

When the EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into force in 2000, the then EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy touted its significance for the future of Europe’s trade strategy. It has since served as a model for further Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) between the EU and Latin American countries and regions. Seven years on, though, the impact of the EU-Mexico FTA is clear. Instead of the promised economic and social benefits, the treaty has left the Mexican state unable to implement policies to promote local small and medium size companies. Mexico’s finance sector is now at the mercy of EU capital, while across various economic sectors the FTA has worked to the benefit of European transnational corporations and to the detriment of Mexican industries. Where reciprocal trade and investment agreements are made between highly unequal economic actors, these damage national and local economic development and benefit only a handful of transnational corporations. The Mexican example should serve as a warning to other countries in the global South, argue Rodolfo Aguirre Reveles and Manuel Perez Rocha in "The EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement Seven Years On: A warning to the global South"

Has the use of Uranium weapons in the Gulf resulted in the contamination of Europe? Read an assessment of evidence from the measurements of the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK for some clues on the answer.

Australian election: Huge defeat for right, but much more needs to be done

"Although Howard has been defeated on a class issue, the Australian Labor Party today is more right-wing, its connections with the working class weaker, than ever before. (Labor Party leader) Rudd (accurately) describes himself as 'an economic conservative'. He has promised to 'take a meat axe' to the public service, is committed to the US alliance, keeping troops in Afghanistan, and endorses Australian imperialism in south-east Asia and the Pacific. Unions are still affiliated with the ALP, but the influence of union officials in the Party has declined and its working-class membership is residual."
"Australian workers will lose out if they rely on the good will of the Rudd Government. Events during the election campaign indicated that preparedness to act in their own interests can achieve results. Nurses in Victoria took militant, illegal and successful action that shut down many hospital beds, against the State Labor Government over wages and conditions. Three days before the election, ten thousand Victorian teachers struck over their claims."
Read the rest of "The End of a Racist Union Basher: The 2007 Election in Australia" by Rick Kuhn in Monthly Review, and from Countercurrents "Australia Thrashes Bush-ite Coalition: But What Next?" by Gideon Polya

Links - an international journal of socialist renewal

Links seeks to promote the international exchange of information, experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists coming from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies. It aims to promote the renewal of the socialist movement in the wake of the collapse of the bureaucratic model of "actually existing socialism" in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The latest edition includes articles on worker-management in Latin America, reflections on the 90th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution by Cuban revolutionary
Armando Hart Dávalos, and "Vietnam: On the road towards the renewal of socialism" by Tran Dac Loi