The NHS is now on the chopping block. And it shows why reforming capitalism is an exercise in futility.

The Canary recently reported that Tory MPs defeated an amendment which would have committed the government to protect the NHS from privatisation in a new trade deal with the US.

This raises the obvious question of whether we’re about to see the end of the NHS’s founding principle of ‘free at the point of service’. But there’s also a more elementary question worth exploring – whether it’s even possible to maintain social reforms like universal healthcare when economic decision-making remains in private hands. With corporate power over political systems becoming more entrenched and the media serving as its mouthpiece, the answer to this question increasingly seems to be a resounding ‘no’.

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US trade deal looks likely to decimate NHS following defeat of Labour amendment

Tory MPs have defeated an attempt to protect the NHS from the effects of a UK-US trade deal. This provides definitive proof (as if any more were needed) that the Conservative Party under Boris Johnson’s leadership doesn’t care one iota about the NHS’s founding principle. And it’s not just ‘free-at-the-point-of-need’ that is at stake.

The US trade deal could affect the UK’s healthcare system in all manner of ways, and none of them for the better. Given the strong public support for the NHS, this highlights the Conservative Party’s degeneration into an increasingly far-right party under Johnson’s leadership and even raises questions about the validity of the UK’s claim to be a democracy.

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Murdoch family mobilizes behind Joe Biden. And it’s not the first time pseudo-progressives have courted the corporate media.

The Canary has previously reported on some of Joe Biden’s eyebrow-raising backers from the world of politics. The fact that his presidential campaign is receiving money from such quarters casts serious doubt on his already highly dubious progressive credentials. Now, emerging reports that he’s also receiving campaign contributions from family members of one of the world’s wealthiest corporate media barons could hammer the final nail into the coffin of his credibility.

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‘Cancel culture’ is a myth. So is the idea that the political right is under siege.

An open letter in a major US current affairs magazine has provoked a storm of debate about so-called ‘cancel culture’. The letter’s general thrust is that today’s public sphere has been severely damaged by a decline in open discourse due to a culture of political correctness. According to its proponents, this in turn poses a huge threat to ‘free speech’, or perhaps even to the foundations of open discourse itself.

There’s certainly something superficially attractive about this argument. After all, who could possibly be against free speech and open discourse? But in reality, the letter has a gaping blind spot. Because though it doesn’t name ‘the left’ or ‘left-wingers’ specifically, the message clearly implies that there is some kind equivalence between our conduct and that of the Trumpian faux-populist right. Ironically, this insinuation is not just completely outrageous but also is far more dangerous to public discourse than any of the letter’s own ominous and misplaced apprehensions.

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Trump’s latest comment about military spending shines a revealing light onto the right-wing mindset

US President Donald Trump’s latest speech was one of his usual rambling and semi-coherent rants. It was filled with the standard litany of misrepresentations, half-truths, and outright lies we’ve come to expect of him. But one comment stood out as particularly revealing.

Though certainly a falsehood, it wasn’t the kind of falsehood that is confined solely to the tangled mind of Trump or the ignorant worldview of his followers. Rather, it has formed one of the centerpieces of right-wing thought in the US since long before Trump entered the political arena. This shines a revealing light on the fundamental nature of the right-wing mindset that is deeply unsettling. And it raises profound questions for progressives about the obstacles that stand in the way of radical change and how we might work to overcome them.

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US sports team finally drops its racist name. But much more will be required to redress historical wrongs.

The US capital city’s American football team has officially dropped its historic name and logo following decades of criticism. The name has been widely condemned as a derogatory racial slur against Native Americans while its logo has come under fire for playing on racist stereotypes. This move should be welcomed and is indeed long overdue. But it represents just a small symbolic first step. Because there’s still a great deal of work ahead to mend the historic injustices committed against North America’s indigenous peoples.

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Trump’s latest move shows that the US government is degenerating into a glorified crime family

US President Donald Trump recently intervened in the case against his former campaign adviser Roger Stone. This represents just the latest example of Trump abusing his presidential powers to overrule a court decision. In fact, it forms part of a long established modus operandi in which Trump acts more like a cross between a tinpot dictator and an organised crime boss than the leader of a major nation.

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Bush-era neocons put their weight behind Biden. And that can mean only one thing.

Earlier this year, former vice president Joe Biden effectively won the Democratic Party primary contest. As The Canary has previously argued, his victory is nothing to celebrate given that his progressive credentials are paper thin. Throughout his political career, Biden has been a prolific supporter of war and cuts to social security. He’s also a friend of some of the most reactionary elements in the US congress.

Now, his campaign has started receiving funding from former officials of a previous Republican Party administration. And this shows decisively what has long been suspected by progressive political analysts and commentators – that the US essentially has two right-wing major parties.

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‘Police defunding’ might not make sense in a UK context, but we still need nuance

I recently wrote an opinion piece about Keir Starmer’s comments on ‘police defunding’. Its arguments have been met with considerable hostile reaction on social media. In particular, some readers have commented that my criticism of Starmer’s position is hypocritical given that The Canary has previously attacked the Conservative government for cuts in police spending and praised Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to increase police numbers by 10,000.

I appreciate constructive feedback from readers and recognise that this article had a blindspot insofar as it did not make a distinction between the very different nature of police spending in the US and the UK. Whereas police forces in the US are often highly militarised and overfunded in order to purchase weapons and other military-style paraphernalia, in the UK the police force is even now still largely unarmed. In a UK context, therefore, ‘police reform’ is a more accurate term.

In short, the article lacked nuance. However, so did Starmer’s comments. Although I agree that the literal objective of defunding the police may not be applicable to the UK, Starmer’s position still demonstrated a lack of understanding about what motivates people in the US calling for ‘police defunding’ and how these ideas might apply in a UK context.

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Perhaps it’s time those accusing the left of antisemitism look in the mirror

Labour leader Keir Starmer recently sacked shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey after she shared an interview on social media that he said contained an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”. Starmer claims he wants to send a strong message that under his leadership there will be ‘zero tolerance’ of antisemitism.

In reality, he’s just going along with the final chapter of a ludicrous, transparently manufactured, and politically-motivated smear campaign orchestrated by Zionist interests along with Tory and Labour right elements. Together, they had the shared goal of sabotaging Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of becoming prime minister and now want to raze any last remaining vestige of his term as Labour leader from frontline British politics.

As The Canary has previously argued, the underlying premise that criticising the violent actions of Israel’s state security forces is antisemitic – which is what happened in Long-Bailey’s case – is patent nonsense. But that’s not all. Because closer examination reveals that perhaps it’s those who tacitly accept this narrative who are buying into antisemitic insinuations.

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