Frontline

Scotland: local elections, national issues

Author: 

Dale Street

In the Scottish council elections, the Tories did well, Labour did badly, and although the SNP won more seats than other parties, it failed to maintain the electoral momentum unleashed by the 2014 referendum.

The boundary reorganisation carried out after the 2012 council elections makes it difficult to compare the number of seats won in 2012 with seats won in 2017.

In the local elections, the issue of a second referendum on Scottish independence was central, overtly or covertly.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

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After 7 May: French left prepares for battle against Macron

Author: 

ALPS/ NPA/ LO

43% of those who voted for Macron in the second round of the French presidential election on 7 May 2017 said they did so only, or mainly, to stop Marine Le Pen of the Front National. Only 16% of his voters said they backed him because of his program.

The newsletter Arguments pour la Lutte Sociale headlined, on 5 May: "Beat Le Pen Sunday [7 May], beat Macron in June [legislative elections, 11th and 18th, impose unity of action and democratic debate".

Views on the second round, the legislative elections, and the coming battles.

Around the world: 

The Front National and fascism

Author: 

Martin Thomas

France’s Front National, which now has a real though outside chance of gaining the country’s powerful presidency, is not a fascist movement comparable to the Nazis or Mussolini’s Fascist Party when they were on the eve of power in the 1920s and 30s. Neither, however, is it a conventional hard-right party like UKIP or Germany’s AfD. The makeover the FN has given itself since 2011 is a makeover.

The FN still has a fascist core cadre and a fascist ideology and functions as the electoral-political wing of a broader fascist current.

Publications: 

Around the world: 

Student union rights under attack over BDS campaigns

Author: 

Ben Tausz

The Charity Commission is investigating a number of student unions for their policies on boycotting Israel and may take action against them, amid right-wing calls for such boycotts to be banned.

The Charity Commission is investigating student unions with policies on boycotting Israel amid right-wing calls for such boycotts to be banned.

Issues and Campaigns: 

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Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

Union newsletter wins prize

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Not many union branch newsletters typically carry articles studded with 22 reference footnotes, citing Karl Marx, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Terry Eagleton, and others, like the latest issue from the Queensland branch of the Maritime Union of Australia, which organises dockworkers and seafarers.

Articles like that one, on Work and Technology by Jeff Rickertt, are not unusual in the Queensland MUA Branch News, where they appear alongside a range of shorter articles about events, disputes, negotiations.

On 27 April the MUA Branch News won the Queensland Council of Unions' May Day award for "best union newsletter".

Fight for a Labour victory!

Left-wing activists, and those who are not yet activists, should throw themselves into campaigning for a Labour victory in the 8 June General Election.

Workers’ Liberty members, including those expelled from Labour by the party bureaucracy, will be out campaigning. If you’d like to work with us on that, get in touch. Whether or not you’re a Labour Party member, you should get active campaigning; if you haven’t joined, now is the time to do it.

Left-wing activists, and those who are not yet activists, should throw themselves into campaigning for a Labour victory in the 8 June General Election.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Tubeworker — 24/04/2017: Vote Labour!

Author: 

Tubeworker

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

Click here to download the PDF.

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

Publications: 

Build strike committees! Spread the action!

On Guard welcomes the news that ASLEF members on Southern have once again voted to reject a sell-out deal recommended by their leadership. Although the margin was narrower, it is worth noting that this is mainly due to higher turnout and that the number of 'No' votes only diminished by 2. Members at Southern appear to be resolute and not prepared to give in to their leaders' strategy of doing the employer's dirty work for them by demoralising and browbeating their own members into accepting a bad deal.

Trade Unions: 

Fight Brexit all the way

Author: 

Vicki Morris

On 29 March, Theresa May will trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, starting the clock on the UK leaving the EU. Unless the UK and all the EU states agree to a special extension on negotiations, the UK will quit the EU in or before March 2019.

There have been large demonstrations opposing Brexit since the referendum vote. Labour should be organising these, and intervening.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Workers' Liberty summer camp (West Yorkshire, 17-20 August 2017)

Come and join our now-legendary annual socialist summer getaway in beautiful Height Gate farm, above Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. This is the sixth year we've run the camp; it's always great fun.

This will be a long weekend of music, campfires, food, drink, socialist discussions, workshops, tree climbing, and arsing about in the great outdoors - organised by the socialist group Workers' Liberty, but open to all!

Members and friends of Workers' Liberty are organising a summer event at Height Gate farm, near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Marxism and autism

Author: 

Janine Booth

Can Marxism can help us to understand autistic experience in modern capitalism? How might Marxism inform our struggles for equality and liberation?

There are different approaches to understanding autism. Perhaps the dominant approach is a medical one: seeing autism as a disease or tragedy, and autistic people as being broken and needing fixing. Over recent years, a more progressive approach has developed. It stresses acceptance of autistic people rather than simply “awareness”, and demands rights, equality and support rather than abusive “treatments”.

For autistic people, modern capitalism is both developed and distressing. It brings huge advantages, but it also great distress.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Tubeworker — 29/03/2017: Defend The London Bridge 3!

Author: 

Tubeworker

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

Click here to download the PDF.

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

Publications: 

Picturehouse strikes spread to six cinemas

Author: 

A Picturehouse worker

On Saturday 18 March, workers at five Picturehouse cinemas struck in their ongoing dispute for the Living Wage and union recognition. It was the first strike by workers at the Duke of York cinema in Brighton. The strike was successful.

The Duke of York strike marks the first time our campaign has reached out of London. In addition to about 50 workers coming down from London to demonstrate outside of Duke of York’s, we were joined by lots of supporters from Brighton. The Duke′s workers came away feeling quite positive about it.

Cinema strikes continue to spread.

Derby Council climbdown leaves problems

Author: 

By Ralph Peters

On 15 to 17 March there was a dramatic reversal of the bullying and confrontational attitude that Derby’s Labour Council had until then shown to Unison in the 10 month long dispute with school support staff.

The sudden change followed several weeks in which increasing solidarity had been shown towards the school support staff. Local support for them in the community of Derby had always been strong and personal support of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell had been known for a long time. But in the local Labour Party there had been none.

Derby Council has offered the TAs a deal. But problems remain.

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

How the ruling class sees the anti-DOO strikes: let's prove them wrong!

This blog is intended as a contribution to discussion. Let us know what you think: Off The Rails will publish replies we receive.


By a rail worker

The Financial Times is, or aspires to be, one of the more serious newspapers of the boss class. Reading it can normally give you a reasonable sense of what at least a section of "the establishment" is thinking about a given issue. And a recent article on the strikes against Driver Only Operation makes for rather grim reading for our side.

Trade Unions: 

Second Scottish Referendum: why Corbyn was wrong

Author: 

Dale Street
Corbyn should back up Scottish Labour's opposition to a second referendum

Only a fortnight ago Kezia Dugdale summed up Scottish Labour’s opposition to a second referendum on Scottish independence:

“[At this weekend’s Scottish Labour annual conference] I set out Scottish Labour’s opposition to another independence referendum. Scotland is divided enough already, without yet another attempt to separate our country from the rest of the UK.

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