Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tightening of Abortion Laws - Another Victory for the Right?

So, the Governor of South Dakota has signed a law that makes it a criminal offence for doctors to perform abortions. What makes this even scarier, is that victims of rape or incest will not be exempt from this law. The religious right in America has been trying to find away to criminalise abortionists ever since the historic Roe-versus-Wade ruling. This really is a quite worrying development as many other states are poised to make similar changes in the law. All the great victories the left have won over the years, from teaching evolution in schools to a woman's right to have an abortion, are slowly being picked apart by the right little by little. The only comfort I have is that we are unlikely to do the same as it just does not have the political resonance it has in the US.

However, this does not mean we can rest on our laurels. The right keep on perpetuating the myth that the world has been taken over by some left-wing conspiracy. I argue, however, that there is a very real sense of a right-wing domination of world politics. Governments around the world have increasingly handed over large parts of the state to private corporations to run. This in turn, obviously, leads to a smaller state and less interference in our lives by politicians. The problem is, that they are turning over our state to private companies who are unanswerable to the population at large.

Our own government in the UK has abandoned socialist ideals to be replaced by a more centre-right position. This had led the Tory party to move far off into the right and the Lib Dems to the left. We are now left with the choice between two centre-right parties and, soon enough, a third. This is the great victory of the right in our country, to shift the political tide to the centre-right. Oh, they may claim that the Labour party are the left in disguise (and sure, there are some concessions to the old wing of the party) but the truth is there if you dig a little deeper. The disparity between the richest and the poorest grows at an increasing pace and private companies are waiting for the starting pistol to enable them to buy up schools and hospitals with reckless abandon. We need to fight harder to ensure that the right do not keep winning these battles and further establish their domination of world politics. So let's debate with them, fight with them and expose them and then we can shift the political tide back in our favour.