+ Venezuela’s symbolic withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund and taking more control in the country’s oil industry. (The country is no longer in debt to the IMF, and there is a Bank of the South planned to rival the imperialists by offering a better deal to developing nations.)
– Repression in Turkey, as marchers commemorated the bloody May Day of 1977, they were set upon by the police. May Day comes after the much larger protests by secularists against the ruling party’s presidential candidate, a former Islamist. Elections will now be held at the end of June.
+ The PCS strike on May Day saw between 110,000 and 200,000 public sector workers strike against the pay frees, job losses, and privatisation. (That the government claims their figure of 55% walking out did not cause disruption is typical. Note Sir Gus O’Donnell’s letter did not convince a majority of workers that strike action was “unnecessary”.)
– News that the richest people in Britain increased their wealth by 20% last year; the IMF classing the UK as a tax haven for its generosity to the super-rich, who pay no tax on income “earned” overseas. Proof, if it were needed, that Brown’s economic policies are redistributive: not trickle down, but whoosh up.