Frontline

Remember Jo Cox, fight against division, campaign to remain

Author: 

Simon Nelson
Far right sympathies of Jo Cox's murderer should give us all pause for thought.

The murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox in the West Yorkshire village of Birstall on 16th June has shocked the public, political activists and the labour movement internationally. Our condolences go to her family, friends and comrades.

That an MP, while holding an advice surgery, would be attacked and murdered by a local man — who seems to have links to fascist organisations and held extreme right wing beliefs — is thankfully highly unusual. However the motivation for this attack should give us pause for thought.

Convoy to Calais banned

Police have banned the 18 June Convoy to Calais from crossing the Channel to give aid to refugees.

The Convoy to Calais, which aimed to take aid to the refugees camped there, decided on 18 June 2016 to turn back and protest outside the French Embassy after cops banned it from crossing the Channel.

A demonstration at Dover shut the ferry terminal for two hours following a protest at the decision to block the vehicles from crossing. As British police halted the Convoy at border control, they were met with chants of ‘We’ve got aid, let us through, refugees are people too’.

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Labour conference to see push for democracy

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Rule changes due to come to this year's Labour Party conference (25-28 September, in Liverpool) include several proposals that could revive the democracy shut down by Tony Blair in the mid-1990s.

• the right for conference to refer back selected parts of a document, rather than having to vote for or against it as a whole

• the right for Constituency Labour Parties to submit both a rule-change proposal and a contemporary motion, rather than having to chose to do one or the other

The Labour Party conference (25-28 September, in Liverpool) will see a push for democratic reforms within the Party

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Sanders: Whither the “political revolution”?

Author: 

Traven Leyshon

This is an extraordinary time as we could be at a turning point in American political life.

Sanders is receiving mass support for the message of Occupy — the 99% versus the 1%. He has used his candidacy to popularize key radical demands: $15 and a union, an end to mass incarceration, universal healthcare, free public higher education, legalizing millions of immigrants, a carbon tax, and banning fracking, to name a few, even if articulating them within a social democratic framework; impacting millions who were unfamiliar with such ideas, or had dismissed them as impossible.

Sanders is receiving mass support for the message of Occupy — the 99% versus the 1%. He has used his candidacy to popularize key radical demands, impacting millions who were unfamiliar with such ideas, or who had dismissed them as impossible.

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Don’t blame migrants, blame the bosses!

Author: 

Editorial

Free movement across borders gives individual freedom, and makes cultures more diverse and richer. Migrants have rights; and migrants are a boon, not a burden.

To win democratic control against the rapacious profit-drive of the capitalist multinationals and the global financial markets requires joint action by many countries. Socialism cannot be built in one country alone. The working class, to win gains, must unite across borders. The lower the borders, the easier it is to unite.

To win democratic control against the rapacious profit-drive of the capitalist multinationals and the global financial markets requires joint action by many countries.

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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

Author: 

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

Author: 

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

Author: 

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

Author: 

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

Author: 

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"

Author: 

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

Author: 

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?

Author: 

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?

Author: 

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!

Author: 

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

Author: 

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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