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Protesters denounce Israeli government's right-wing shift

Activists protested outside the Israeli embassy in London on 15 June against the Israeli government's new shift to the right and for "two nations, two states"

Activists from Workers' Liberty, the Worker-communist Party of Kurdistan, and the Iranian Revolutionary Marxists' Tendency, protested outside the Israeli embassy in London on 15 June against the Israeli government's new shift to the right and for two states for the two nations in Israel-Palestine.

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UCL Student Union Trustee Board overrules BDS policy

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Workers' Liberty students

Last week, the Trustee Board of UCL’s student union UCLU overturned a policy, previously passed by the elected Union Council, in favour of joining the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. They ruled that the union could not take the campaigning actions voted for, saying that to do so would go beyond UCLU’s legal remit. This ruling extended even to mere political expression – the Board overturned clauses mandating the union to do such simple things as raise awareness of the repression of Palestinians.

Ruling outlaws all political expression of solidarity and must be opposed.

Orlando: we will not be silenced

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Gemma Short
On Sunday 12 June, 49 people were murdered in an LGBT club in Orlando, Florida, in the largest mass shooting in US history.

On Sunday 12 June, 49 people were murdered in an LGBT club in Orlando, Florida, in the largest mass shooting in US history.

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Appeal from Shahrokh Zamani Action Committee

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Shahrokh Zamani Action Committee
The Shahrokh Zamani Action Committee is calling on union branches to discuss a solidarity motion.

The Shahrokh Zamani Action Committee is calling on union branches to discuss the following motion:

This union branch notes that:

∙ The July 2015 nuclear deal between the Iranian regime and the US and European governments has opened up trade and diplomatic relations.

∙There are now many international organisations like the World Bank, IMF and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) advising the Iranian regime on modernising its methods of exploiting waged labour.

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Compass loses its bearings in Scotland

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Dale Street

Well, it probably seemed a good idea at the time.

On 31 May Neal Lawson – chairperson of the “influential left-wing think tank” Compass – penned an open letter to the SNP calling for a “progressive alliance” with the Labour Party.

The letter might best be described as obsequious (synonyms: servile, ingratiating, unctuous, toadying, oily, greasy, grovelling and oleaginous). Its tone evokes that of someone fallen on hard times trying to tap a loan:

Labour think tank calls for SNP-Labour alliance.

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Remain but with reform

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A young Labour activist

Jeremy Corbyn has delivered an impassioned appeal for a “truly social Europe”, in a comprehensive speech which laid out the Labour case to remain within the EU whilst also highlighting the “crucial” need for reform.

Speaking from London on Thursday 2 June, the Labour leader told how he shared the concerns of many Brexit supporters, but stressed that many of these— from pressure on public services to a deepening housing crisis— were the result of failures by the Conservative government, rather than our EU membership.

Workers' rights and the environment take centre stage in Corbyn’s EU speech.

The myth of Bolshevik "shock doctrine"

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Martin Thomas

Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine is a left-wing book, an indictment of neoliberalism. She argues that to impose neoliberal economic doctrine, governments impose political "shock" tactics - from military coup and mass murder in Chile to milder forms of atomising the population, in Britain under Thatcher - in order to break social connections and norms.

Old Tory myths about Leninist tactics being to foment economic chaos within capitalism, the better to foist our preconceived plans on a bewildered populace, have now been taken up by left-wingers.

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EU referendum stickers

Workers’ Liberty has produced a set of two special edition stickers for use during the EU referendum. As the campaign continues the scaremongering about migrants will only get worse, use our stickers to get some much-needed migrant solidarity, internationalist, socialist ideas out there.

Two stickers are available, orders can be placed for only one type or for a mixture of both stickers.

20 stickers £3.50
50 stickers £7
100 stickers £13
200 stickers £25

Workers' and migrants solidarity stickers for use in the EU referendum.

Australia votes on 2 July

Author: 

Martin Thomas

"I've got a disability and a low education, that means I've spent my whole life working for minimum wage. You're going to lift the tax-free threshold for rich people," said truck-driver Duncan Storrar, in a question to a Liberal government minister on Australian TV on 9 May.

"If you lift my tax-free threshold, that changes my life. That means that I get to say to my little girls, 'Daddy's not broke this weekend, we can go to the pictures'.

"Rich people don't even notice their tax-free threshold lift. Why don't I get it? Why do they get it?"

The Liberal government has called a "double dissolution" election.

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Thought police

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Chris Reynolds

Simon Cole is not a left-winger. He is a lifelong cop, and the chief cop working on the Government's much-criticised "Prevent" programme.

"Prevent" is supposed to stop young people being drawn to ideologies like Al Qaeda's, but its bureaucratic workings make it ineffective or even counterproductive.

Even Cole, though, says that the Government's planned new "anti-extremism" law risks legislating "a kind of thought-police control of what people can and can not say".

Another police chief has criticised the Government's planned "anti-extremism" legislation.

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Post-capitalism? Or ultra-capitalism?

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Colin Foster

Sell tat online in the morning, write software in the afternoon, drive for Uber in the evening?

The term "gig economy" was coined only in 2009, but now some are hailing it as the wave of a thrilling, versatile, flexible future.

US economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger have found that the percentage in "alternative work arrangements" - contractors, on-call workers, agency temps - rose from 10.1% to 15.8% in 2015, in the USA.

Their figures may underestimate, since they include only those whose main work is "alternative".

The "gig economy" is more ultra-capitalism than post-capitalism

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Two cheers for neo-liberalism?

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Martin Thomas
IMF economists have criticised extreme neo-liberalism, but in the name of moderate neo-liberalism.

Jonathan Ostry, an IMF economist with a long record of arguing that extreme income inequality harms capitalist growth, has published a new article on the theme with two IMF colleagues, Prakash Loungani and Davide Furceri.

Capitalist crises generally come through sudden shutdowns of investment and luxury spending by the rich which then snowball through the economy. The poor are less apt to go in for sudden bouts of holding on to our cash. The greater the proportion of spending controlled by the rich, the more unstable.

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No united front with Tories on EU!

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Rhodri Evans
The labour movement should campaign with independent politics on the EU.

After the grim result of Labour's tagging-along with the Tories in the Scottish referendum campaign, the Labour Party decided - without much open controversy - to campaign independently for a vote for Britain to remain in the EU.

Yet on 30 May, the newly-elected Labour mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, flouted that policy to join with David Cameron - who only weeks ago was smearing Khan as "terrorist-linked" - to launch a "pledge card" for the cross-party "Britain Stronger in Europe" campaign.

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Brexiters step up migrant-hating message

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Chris Reynolds
Push back the scaremongers and the migrant-haters! Vote remain, fight for democracy, social levelling-up, and solidarity across Europe.

The "Vote Leave" campaign has become an ugly spate of migrant-bating. "Twelve million Turks say they'll come to the UK", screamed the Daily Express on 22 May.

Around the same time Vote Leave launched a poster saying simply "Turkey (population 76 million) is joining the EU". Not 12 million now, but 76 million!

Tory cabinet minister Michael Gove was more restrained: he predicted 5.2 million extra immigrants.

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Brexiters' sudden love for NHS is sham

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Chris Reynolds
The love for the NHS from the Tories and Ukip people who run "Vote Leave" is something we didn't hear from them before the referendum, and probably won't hear again.

To give some "left cover" to its basic migrant-bashing message, "Vote Leave" is claiming that quitting the EU would boost the NHS because "£350 million a week" currently paid in EU contributions could go to the NHS instead.

But net British contributions to the EU are only about 40% of the figure which "Vote Leave" quotes.

That is less than 1% of total British government spending.

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Brexit would mean free rein for capital

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Martin Thomas

88% of six hundred economists surveyed for the Observer newspaper (29 May) reckon that Brexit would reduce economic growth in Britain.

Economists often get things wrong, and the gist of the economists' opinion is that Brexit would disrupt the regular flows of the global capitalist economy, thus pushing down trade and investment into Britain.

Most enlightening is what the pro-Brexit minority of economists say. The "Economists for Brexit" group led by veteran Thatcherite Patrick Minford has produced a report.

Pro-Brexit economists explain their vision: a Britain where the rapacity of the capitalist free market is unrestrained.

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TUC Disabled Workers' Conference: planning the fightback

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Janine Booth, Co-Chair TUC Disabled Workers' Conference

Nearly 200 delegates from dozens of trade unions gathered in London on 19 and 20 May to discuss issues affecting disabled workers and plan the fightback against discrimination and austerity cuts.

John McDonnell promises comprehensive solidarity against cuts and discrimination.

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Can socialism make sense?

A new book from Workers’ Liberty which makes the case for socialism.

A new book from Workers’ Liberty which makes the case for socialism. In a time when socialism is the most searched word on the Merriam-Webster dictionary website, more and more people call themselves socialists, and a self-confessed socialist is leader of the Labour Party, this book explores what socialism means, whether it can rise again, how, and why.

It answers questions such as: What about Stalin? Are revolutions democratic? How can we have a planned economy? and is socialism still relevant?

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