Frontline

The great SNP quiz

Author: 

Dale Street
YOUR chance to test YOUR knowledge of the SNP and all things SNP.

1) When Michelle Thomson MP (SNP whip resigned) twice bought properties in 2010 and sold them to her husband later the same day, by how much did their price increase between purchase and re-sale?
a) £50,000
b) £54,400
c) £60,000

2) When Michelle Thomson MP (SNP whip resigned) paid her business partner £95,000 for a property he had bought for £64,000 from a 77-year-old cancer-sufferer earlier the same day, how much did she receive as a “cashback” from her partner as part of the deal?
a) £25,000
b) £28,180.80
c) £30,000

Eurocentrism as a fig leaf, and the art of conjuring in politics

Author: 

Marieme Helie-Lucas

Facts:

On New Year’s Eve 2015, simultaneous coordinated sexual attacks took place against women in public space in about 10 cities, mostly in Germany, but also in Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland… Several hundred women, to this day, filed a case for sexual attack, robbery, and rape. These attacks were perpetrated by young men of migrant descent (be they immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees, or other) from North Africa and the Middle East.

Marieme Helie-Lucas, the Algerian sociologist and socialist-feminist, contributes to discussions on patriarchy, women's rights, and racism following the Cologne attacks.

Around the world: 

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Oppose Tusk-Cameron, oppose Brexit

Author: 

Vicki Morris

On 2 February EU president Donald Tusk published proposals to placate David Cameron. They will be ratified, or not, at an EU summit on 18-19 February.

Cameron wants to hold an in-out referendum quickly, possibly in June. The chief plan is for the UK (or any other EU state) to be able to cut EU migrants’ rights to in-work benefits (tax credits, child benefit, etc.) for four years.

East European states have objected to the proposal, since it discriminates mainly against their citizens travelling to the UK for work. They are right to do so.

Cameron wants to hold an in-out referendum quickly, possibly in June. The chief plan is for the UK (or any other EU state) to be able to cut EU migrants’ rights to in-work benefits (tax credits, child benefit, etc.) for four years.

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What's coming up at the Momentum national committee?

Author: 

Jill Mountford (London region Momentum NC delegate, pc), Ed Whitby (Northern region delegate, pc) and Sacha Ismail

The process of preparing for Momentum’s first national committee meeting has had negatives but also definite positives. Things seem to be taking a step forward. We need to make the most of the positives to push things forward further.

A sort of NC meeting was due in January, made up entirely of appointees. There was outcry, the meeting was delayed to 6 February, and a system of elections was put in place, with local groups electing delegates to regional meetings, which elected delegates to the NC.

The first national committee meeting of Momentum, the left-wing, pro-Corbyn Labour organisation, takes place on Saturday 6 February.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Bernie Sanders supporters rally... in London!

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign is used to rallies a bit bigger than just under a hundred people. The turnout for this one was not bad, though, because it took place not in the US but in London.

Left US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' brother Larry spoke at the rally his supporters organised in London on 2 February.

Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Tubeworker 29/01/16 - Strike For Your Future!

Author: 

Tubeworker

An updated version of Tubeworker, an industrial bulletin for London Underground workers, by London Underground workers.

An updated version of Tubeworker, an industrial bulletin for London Underground workers, by London Underground workers.

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Tubeworker 25/01/16 — Keep The Strikes On!

Author: 

Tubeworker

The new edition of Tubeworker, an industrial bulletin for London Underground workers, by London Underground workers.

This edition urges RMT members, reps, and activists to argue for their union to press ahead with planned strikes, and urges TSSA, Aslef, and Unite members to argue for the reinstatement of action. It also includes an article on Tory mayoral hopeful Zak Goldsmith's plan to ban Tube strikes, our regular "cleaners' column", plus your local and workplace stories.

The new edition of Tubeworker, an industrial bulletin for London Underground workers, by London Underground workers.

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Come to Fête de Lutte Ouvrière 2016 with Workers' Liberty!

Facebook event here

Every year, the French socialist group Lutte Ouvrière organises a massive festival in Presles-de-Courcelle, near Paris: the Fête.

Tens of thousands of lefties from all over France, Europe and the world come to enjoy music, amazing food and drink (seriously), performances, talks from writers and artists, socialist debates, interactive exhibitions in the “City of Science”, a medieval village, and more.

14-16 May, Presles, near Paris.

Rail workers: fight the pensions sell out!

Off The Rails readers may be aware of the legislation coming into force this April that ends the contracting-out of the Second State Pension, resulting in higher National Insurance contributions for both employees (a 1.4% increase) and employers (3.4%). The Tory government has also passed some legislation to help employers out with this - by allowing them to carry out annual raids on occupational pensions schemes, without even having to consult with scheme trustees.

Trade Unions: 

Charlie Hebdo: not run by racists

Author: 

Gemma Short
Almost anything can be misappropriated by the right. The left should not take its cue on what we can say, draw or do, from what the right might do with it.

Once again outrage has been sparked by a cartoon in a special issue of French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

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Responding to Cologne attacks

Author: 

Cathy Nugent
The answer to sexist attitudes is to challenge them and, fight them wherever you are. To fail to do that is to make yourself a neutral bystander in the struggle of women to be out of the domestic sphere, to have an education, to work, to be independent and safe.

“We have to stand against sexual violence and sexual abuse against women, no matter who is the perpetrator”.

That message, from the demonstration on the steps of Cologne Cathedral on Saturday 9 January (Observer, 10 January), is the exactly the right response to the assaults made on women in the city (elsewhere) on New Year’s Eve, by all accounts, by male migrants from north Africa.

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Be bold, change opinion

Author: 

Gemma Short

As Clive Lewis says (in Solidarity 388) there are many definitions of socialism. That makes it all the more important for socialists to debate ideas.

Lewis says a shift from austerity and neoliberal capitalism to (or a return to) welfare-state capitalism would be a gain for the working class. Indeed, taxing the rich, free education, a NHS, well-funded schools, social housing, higher wages, public services would be real and important improvements, for the working class as opposed to the Tories dark, dystopian future.

Ideas can be changed, but won′t change without agitators who argue for a different world and a different way of looking at the world.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Junior doctors strike

Author: 

Gemma Short
Three junior doctors spoke to us on their picket lines on 12 January.

Vishnu Parameshwaran is a BMA Junior Doctors' rep at Bart's Health Trust

I have been a rep for a year now - I've always been interested in trade unions and workers' rights. Up to now, most of the work of the BMA has been on local issues - making sure that doctors get their contracts on time; monitoring the hours that doctors are working, and so on.

We are doctors and our main concern is patients, and that is why we are taking this action today. The new contracts will lead to unsustainable staffing arrangements in the NHS - and that will hurt patients.

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Trade Unions: 

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Nursing students defend bursaries

An interview with Danielle, a student nurse at Kings College London, about the campaign to stop the government scrapping bursaries for nursing students

Danielle, a student nurse at Kings College London, spoke to Solidarity about the campaign to stop the government scrapping bursaries for nursing students.


How did the campaign get started?

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Do some Labour Research!

Author: 

Ann Field

A three-page advert in “Labour Research” (monthly magazine of the Labour Research Department) costs £4,000. But the current issue of the magazine gives the SNP three pages of advertising for nothing.

Uncritically and inaccurately, an article entitled “Scotland and Employment Relations: Scotland - Showing the Way?” covers the SNP’s position on the Tories’ Trade Union Bill and the SNP’s attitude towards trade unions.

Labour Research misses the point on SNP's policy on the Trade Union Bill

Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

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Strikes are on: build, and push for more!

Aslef, RMT, and Unite have named strikes for 26-27 January, 15-16 February, and 17-18 February. Each strike is for 24 hours, commencing on the evening of the first day and continuing until the following evening. TSSA's leadership is meeting tomorrow and may join the action.

These strikes are part of the ongoing dispute over pay, terms and conditions, and the "Night Tube" settlement. The company's offer, tabled in November, is pretty shoddy, for reasons we set out at the time.

Tubeworker topics: 

Motion of the Month: Oppose the Trade Union Bill, fight for trade union rights

Every month, Workers' Liberty will be promoting a motion on a current issue for socialists to propose to their Labour Party branches and Constituency Parties.

January's Motion of the Month is taken from the Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory:

This motion was passed at Forest Hill ward Labour Party to go forward to Lewisham West and Penge CLP in February. Please put a version of it in your ward / CLP.

***

STAND UP FOR WORKERS’ RIGHTS

Oppose the Trade Union Bill, demand workers’ rights - pass this in your Labour Party branch!

Solidarity subscription special offer!

Author: 

Gemma Short

Solidarity has had a make-over! We have come back for the new year with a new look but with the same high quality socialist and trade union news, reviews and debates. Why not make a new year's resolution to subscribe to Solidarity?

Special offer until 10 February!
Until 10 February you can subscribe to Solidarity at a reduced rate: £36 for 44 issues, £18 for 22 issues, unwaged rates: £18 for 44 issues, £9 for 22 issues.

Subscribe to Solidarity before 10 February at a reduced rate

Tunnock’s Teacakes – Traitors to Scotland?

Author: 

Dale Street
Scottish nationalists are boycotting the biscuit manufacturer for sucking up to England in order to sell more biscuits!

Tunnock’s teacakes are the latest victims of the super-patriotic wing of Scottish nationalism: Along with all other Tunnock’s products (caramel wafers, caramel logs and snowballs), they should now be boycotted by all true Scots.

The trigger for the call for a boycott is an advertising campaign on London Underground which Tunnock’s launched in the New Year. According to the Facebook page “Boycott the Companies That Scared Scotland” (21,360 likes):

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