Solidarity 388, 6 January 2016

Doctors strike 12 January

Submitted by Matthew on 6 January, 2016 - 12:35 Author: A junior doctor

The announcement on 4 January that junior doctors will strike on Tuesday 12 January is good news.

There was never any doubt that NHS Employers would not be able to offer a contract which is acceptable to junior doctors. They have proved everyone right, and it appears that negotiations, while making some quite considerable progress have got no where near to solving the main issues.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 6 January, 2016 - 12:27 Author: Gemma Short, Peggy Carter, Tim Cooper and Ollie Moore

Cleaning and security workers on London’s Docklands Light Railway (DLR) won a big victory before Christmas, settling a long-running dispute over terms and conditions for a deal that represents a 75p/hour pay increase, backdated to April 2015.

The workers, employed by outsourced subcontractor Interserve, struck several times throughout 2015. An RMT statement called the deal “a massive breakthrough”, which “gives some much-needed Christmas cheer to a group of London transport workers who have fought long and hard for pay justice.”

What’s wrong with Star Wars?

Submitted by Matthew on 6 January, 2016 - 12:04 Author: Eric Lee

Socialists begin our understanding of culture with Marx’s oft-quoted comments about the ruling ideas of an age being the ideas of the ruling class.

Living under capitalism, we understand that just as we are critical of the structure of the society we live in, and the behaviour of its ruling class, so we are also critical of its cultural and intellectual production.

Without help from Murray

Submitted by Matthew on 6 January, 2016 - 11:37

The Unite union helped with resources for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for Labour leader, and by all accounts Unite’s leaders are influential with the team round Corbyn.

So a long article by Unite “chief of staff” Andrew Murray about Corbyn’s Labour, first published on the web in mid-October and widely circulated since, deserves analysis.

It’s an odd article, written in the style of a jaded but worldly-wise oracle addressing young devotees. And vague when it gets to the point.

Make Labour reinstate the NHS!

Submitted by Matthew on 6 January, 2016 - 11:28 Author: Editorial

This month student nurses and junior doctors are taking up the fight to save the National Health Service. At the end of the month, on 30 January, a “Health Campaigns Together” conference, backed by the Unite and Unison trade unions, meets in London.

The campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill drafted by Allyson Pollock has been boosted by the Corbyn surge in the Labour Party, with a regular page on the campaign’s website now reporting on support from local Labour Parties.

The Stalinist campaign against the Spanish revolution

Submitted by Matthew on 6 January, 2016 - 11:10 Author: Gerry Bates

Tear down the Glasgow waterfront statue of Stalinist sycophant Dolores Ibarruri (“La Pasionaria”) and replace it by one of the Gorbals-born International Brigader Alexander Marcowich! This is the conclusion of a new Workers’ Liberty pamphlet: Lions Led by Jackals — Stalinism in the International Brigades.

Spanish politics at a crossroads

Submitted by Matthew on 6 January, 2016 - 11:05

Spanish elections (held on Sunday 20 December) marked a defeat for the ruling right wing party. The Partido Popular only took 123 seats out of 230, 63 fewer than four years ago.

The Spanish social-democratic party, the PSOE, won 90 seats, Podemos 69, and Ciudadanos, a rightwing anti-corruption party, 40.