Solidarity 451, 18 October 2017

Catalonia: no to Madrid clampdown!

Submitted by Matthew on 18 October, 2017 - 1:25 Author: Tony Holmes
Catalan Firefighters

The Spanish government in Madrid says that it will suspend regional autonomy and impose direct rule on Catalonia from Thursday 19 October unless president Carles Puigdemont abandons his push for independence for the territory.

A Madrid clampdown would, soon if not immediately, lead to violent clashes such as happened when the Spanish government tried to stop Catalonia’s 1 October referendum. The Catalan police might well side with the Catalan government against Spanish government forces.

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:13

On Wednesday the 11, October Jeremy Hunt told the House of Commons that the 1% pay cap will be lifted for NHS staff. After the government buckled under pressure and lifted the public sector pay cap for police and prison officers, the government had shown it was weak and it was only a matter of time before it was forced into lifting the cap for other workers.

Left debates at Young Labour Matthew Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:08

Around 200 delegates attended the 2017 Young Labour Policy Conference at Warwick University over the weekend of 15-15 October. In a marked change from previous years the mood of the conference was left-wing. The conference voted for free education, shrugging off the attempts of the much-reduced Blairite faction to garner support for their graduate tax policy. Likewise, the conference voted to leave NATO — a clear break from the foreign policy of recent years.

Open up the democracy review Matthew Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:00

The left-wing former MP Katy Clark will be leading on the Labour Party democracy review but the terms of the review are not yet clear. Rule change motions that were remitted by conference will all be left on the table. Similar promises of a democratic review were made in 2010 ,with bad results. However with the Corbyn leadership firmly at the helm, there is hope for more thoroughgoing and democratic reform.

1980s ozone layer to return by... 2050

Submitted by Matthew on 18 October, 2017 - 12:35 Author: Les Hearn

Good news! The ozone hole is shrinking at last, a rare success for collective action in response to scientific evidence.1 Unfortunately, it will take until 2050 to return to its 1980 levels.

This is because the chemicals largely responsible for its depletion are very stable and those already released will persist in the atmosphere until then, even if no more emissions take place. It’s 30 years since the signing of the Montreal Protocol which aimed to tackle the problem of the accelerating destruction of the ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Vote Richard Leonard for Scottish Labour Leader

Submitted by Matthew on 18 October, 2017 - 12:17 Author: Dale Street

Supporting nominations from Constituency Labour Parties in the Scottish Labour Party leadership contest closed on 13 October. Richard Leonard had 42, compared with 16 for Anas Sarwar. The right-wing Community trade union backed Sarwar. All other unions which submitted a supporting nomination backed Leonard.

The October revolution: taking power and holding on Matthew Wed, 10/18/2017 - 11:51

In the early hours of 24 October the soviet seizure of power began. This was not a response to the government’s ill-conceived decision to launch punitive action against the Bolsheviks. The blueprint had already been drawn up by the Military Revolutionary Committee; insurrectionary forces were to seize the Marinskii Palace and disperse the pre-parliament. Then the Winter Palace was to be surrounded, ministers arrested and the Provisional Government overthrown.

The Revolution Betrayed Matthew Wed, 10/18/2017 - 11:38

The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 opened up a new epoch for humanity. What no other social upheaval before it had ever dared to hope for, the Russian Revolution proclaimed boldly and confidently. Not the great French revolution, not even the Paris Commune of 1871, not even the rehearsal of the Russian Revolution in 1905, dreamed that it was the immediate forerunner of international socialism.