Socialist Party

Right and left on Iraq

The right and Iraq

The USA and most other big-power governments (including China, which has huge oil interests in Iraq) have followed a Saudi call for “a national conciliation government” in Iraq.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia has confined itself to saying: “We warned long ago that the affair that the Americans and the Britons stirred up there [in Iraq] wouldn’t end well”.

The US has got a pledge from Maliki to form a new government by 1 July, but may resign itself to Maliki heading it.

US policy worsened Sunni-Shia divisions in Iraq; the Maliki government has worsened them further.

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PCS discusses Unite takeover

Two contrasting views of the proposed takeover of civil service union PCS by Unite by a PCS activist and a Unite community member.

PCS-Unite: no to merger!

A PCS activist

The annual conference of PCS, the largest civil service trade union, on 20-22 May will debate a motion submitted by the union’s Executive (NEC) on PCS merging into the big general union Unite.

Two contrasting views of the proposed takeover of the civil service union PCS by Unite by a PCS activist and a Unite community member.

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May elections

In the 22 May council elections, the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is making a big effort to stand 561 candidates. In the European elections on the same day, No2EU will field 46 candidates in seven regions. The Left Unity group is standing only 12 council candidates across the country.

TUSC is an electoral alliance mainly of the Socialist Party and the leadership of the RMT union. It also involves the Independent Socialist Network and the Socialist Workers’ Party. Its platform is pretty much limited to opposing cuts.

Left candidates in local elections.

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For a Trotskyist regroupment (1967)

This appeal for revolutionary socialist regroupment, based on unity in action and debate on differences, was one of the first public political statements of our tendency, in 1967.

This appeal for revolutionary socialist regroupment, based on unity in action and debate on differences, was one of the first public political statements of our tendency, in 1967.The RSL referred to would come to be better known as Militant, now the Socialist Party and Socialist Appeal. The SLL would become the Workers Revolutionary Party. IS would become the Socialist Workers Party.

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Teachers' dispute must escalate

Members of the National Union of Teachers will strike on Wednesday 26 March.

Talks with the Department of Education are ongoing, but the government has made it very clear that these talks will not deal with the issues at the heart of the teachers’ dispute. They will only discuss the implementation of policies, including the raising of the retirement age to 69, the end of final salary pensions, and the end of automatic annual pay progression.

Public campaigning, street stalls, rallies and meetings that the NUT has rightly been carrying out need to be backed up with a serious industrial strategy. This continues to be the only way to revive the dispute and give real hope to the tens of thousands of teachers who will strike on 26 March.

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The left in the miners' strike

This year is the thirtieth anniversary of the great miners' strike. A new book by Workers’ Liberty, out this week, tells the story of how working-class communities fought a Tory ruling-class government. But how did the left conduct itself?

The Labour Party, led then by the former "soft left" Neil Kinnock, refused to indict the government and brand its activities for the vicious class war they were.

This year is the thirtieth anniversary of the great miners' strike. A new book by Workers’ Liberty, out this week, tells the story of how working-class communities fought a Tory ruling-class government.

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Expulsions, exclusions, and “punishments”

Some union branches which previously nominated SWP members as left candidates in union elections have not done so this year.

The motive is to register a protest against the SWP’s 18 months or so of crass mishandling of charges of sexual harassment and then rape against a leading organiser.

Some of those refusing to nominate explain that in the actual vote between an SWPer and a right-winger, they will vote for the SWPer. The refusal to nominate is intended as a gesture of reprimand.

Socialist Party and ISO exclude dissidents.

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"No2EU" is a snare

In his New Year's message to members, RMT rail union general secretary Bob Crow declared: "On the political landscape RMT will be backing a slate of No2EU, yes to workers' rights candidates in May offering a positive alternative to the bankers-led EU and the narrow, right wing opportunism of UKIP. We will offer the working class a real political alternative".

"The only rational course", says Crow, "is to leave the EU and rebuild Britain with socialist policies".

The idea that workers' rights will be improved by re-raising barriers between Britain and continental Europe is a nationalist illusion.

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Revolutionary socialist wins Seattle City Council seat

Kshama Sawant, a revolutionary socialist, has been elected to the city council of Seattle, United States. Kshama’s platform included support low-paid workers’ fight for a $15/hour minimum wage, increased rent controls, and a tax on millionaires.

Her victory is all the more impressive for the fact that she beat a heavily-favoured Democratic incumbent, who had been a sitting councillors for 16 years and who had significantly greater financial resources.

Kshama Sawant, a revolutionary socialist, has won a seat on the City Council of Seattle, USA.

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