Lead story

Ukrainian fascists beaten back

by our European Affairs correspondent

Fierce fighting continues in eastern Ukraine as anti-fascist partisan forces battle to stave off yet another offensive by the puppet regime in Kiev. Ukrainian artillery is pounding civilian areas in Donetsk and other towns in the two people’s republics of Novorossiya for the past week. But Ukrainian attacks to regain control of Donetsk airport have been rebuffed.

On other parts of the front resistance forces have taken strategic villages near the fascist- held port of Mariupol and in Fascist MP Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the neo-nazi Right Sector party was wounded in the fighting on the outskirts of the airport on Wednesday. The commander of the Ukrainian Army’s 93rd brigade was taken prisoner, along with some of his men, by Commander Arseny “Motorola” Pavlov, the leader of the Sparta Battalion partisans.

As usual the Kiev regime is blaming the Russians for their setbacks accusing the Kremlin of sending thousands of Russian troops and armour to Donetsk to beef up its defences while accusing “home-grown traitors” and “pro-Russian elements” of being behind a wave a mysterious bombings of fascist and government buildings in Kharkov, Odessa and Mariupol in the large Ukrainian-Russian belt of the south and east of the country..

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40 per cent of families struggling

FAMILIES with children are now at greater risk than any other group of having an inadequate income, with more than one in three having less than they require for a socially acceptable standard of living.

According to new research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, at least 8.1 million parents and children are living on incomes below what is needed to cover a minimum household budget, up by more than a third from 5.9 million in 2008/09.

Using the latest available data on household incomes, the report reveals the widening gap in income inadequacy since the recession and its aftermath.

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The limits of free speech

THERE have been a lot of people, the “great and the good” standing up to defend free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings earlier this month. But once the world spotlight was turned on this French satirical publication some of us lefties noticed that the cartoons in Charlie Hebdo were appallingly racist. Arguments have raged on social media websites with bourgeois intellectuals claiming that Charlie Hebdo was not racist, it was satirical, part of French intellectual culture that we did not understand and was actually making fun of the racists, they told us. We were accused of insulting the dead and attacking free speech.

No one should be killed for drawing cartoons. But that does not mean we cannot say a bad cartoon is a bad cartoon. That is our free speech.

We have also been accused of denying free speech by taking part in a picket of Channel Four at their proposals to make a sitcom about the great Irish Famine of the 1840s — equivalent to Ireland’s holocaust.

A couple of decades ago in Britain we had a culture of jokes about stereotypes: mean Scotsmen, stupid Irish people, mothers- in-law, women drivers, impossibly camp gay people. It was all supposed to be harmless. But it did make life uncomfortable if not utterly miserable for the butts of these jokes. It made life a misery for black, Irish, Asian children in school playgrounds. Gay teenagers were terrified to admit their homosexuality. Some committed suicide because they feared the ridicule.

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