Solidarity 042, 3 December 2003

The writing on the wall

  • Nausea #1
  • Big Con
  • Nausea #2
  • Ask a stupid question
  • Checkout all-out!



Nausea #1

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian fell for the listening Tony Blair pen-and-notebook-in-hand act. Writing about the first Big Conversation in Newport on Friday 28 November he said: "It is a scene from a daydream. You're having a cup of tea, sounding off about the way the country should be run, when there, suddenly sitting right next to you, is none other than the prime minister."

Culture and Reviews: 

Publications: 

Marx and Trotsky T-shirts

An ideal Xmas gift

Marx: with quote 'The emancipation of the working class must be the act of the workers themselves.'
In khaki, grey, aqua

Trotsky: with 'Third Camp' quote
In aqua and white

Sizes: medium, large and extra large

£11 including post and packing, from AWL, PO Box 823, London, SE15 4NA.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Behind the news: Deadlock in Belfast

In the Northern Irish elections, Sinn Fein has emerged as the biggest party on the Catholic-Nationalist side and their political polar opposites, Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party, as the biggest party on the Protestant-Unionist side.

The Good Friday Agreement stipulates majority consent in each of the two communities as a condition without which no Northern Irish government can be set up. The Democratic Unionist Party opposed the Good Friday Agreement and now demands that it be "renegotiated". What seems to follow is that restoration of Belfast government - which has been suspended for more than a year - is now an impossibility.

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Press gang: A Little Less Conversation

By Lucy Clement

The writer Somerset Maugham once described in rather disparaging terms how the Americans managed to converse without thinking. It was no doubt unfair at the time, and remains unfair to most Americans, at least those outside the current administration. But Maugham's description of a conversation consisting of "pithy and hackneyed phrases" which leave the mind "free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication" gives a rather good summary of Tony Blair's all-new scaled-up focus group initiative: The Big Conversation.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Workers of the world: Round up

By Pablo Velasco

  • Israel: attacks on unions
  • Korean unions defend migrant workers
  • Salonika seven free, for now



Israel: attacks on unions

The Israeli government is preparing to dock the wages of workers taking industrial action, and introduce anti-union laws.

Trade Unions: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Workers and students unite

Between 17-21 November protests against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations took place in Miami, with thousands traveling to the city to join local activists in demonstrating against the agreement and the consequences of free trade.

Environmentalists, anarchists, animal liberationists, trade unionists and students were among those making up the many demonstrations and teach-ins that took place.

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Haiti: Workers abused at uniform-making factory

By Labour Behind the Label

"They lock the gates on us and sometimes put security guards out in front with rifles to prevent us from leaving," said Jacqueline, as she described the method her employer uses to force workers to work over 10 hours a day without compensation. "The supervisors would yell and curse at us to finish our quota. My daily quota is sewing 90 dozen zippers on pants for 80 gourds [$2 US]."

Around the world: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Revolution without politics: Georgian overthrow after US switches sides

By Stan Crooke

Three weeks of popular protest in the Caucasian republic of Georgia culminated in the resignation of its president, Eduard Shevardnadze, on 23 November.

Shevardnadze was a Communist Party bureaucrat turned "democrat". He had joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1948 and rose steadily through its ranks. By 1972 he had become head of the CPSU in Georgia.

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Stop the repression in Argentina!

Argentine police attacked the workers and their supporters on 25 November in scenes reminiscent of the military dictatorship. The assault took place in Neuquén, where members of the Unemployed Workers Movement (MTD) and the local neighbourhood assembly in San Lorenzo barrio were trying to meet.

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Pages