Solidarity 390, 20 January 2016

Support the Tube strikes

Author: 

Ollie Moore

London Underground workers in the RMT, TSSA, and Aslef unions will strike for 24 hours, starting on the evening of 26 January.

London Underground workers in the RMT, TSSA, and Aslef unions will strike for 24 hours, starting on the evening of 26 January.

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Support junior doctors! Fight to save the NHS!

On 19 January, the British Medical Association (BMA), acting for junior doctors, suspended a strike planned for 26 January, as the government reopened negotiations on the new contracts. The first strike by junior doctors on 12 January was supported by other trade unionists and the general public.

On 19 January, the British Medical Association, acting for junior doctors, suspended a strike planned for 26 January, as the government reopened negotiations on the new contracts. The first strike by junior doctors on 12 January was supported by other trade unionists and the general public.

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A socialist President in the White House?

Author: 

Eric Lee

Sixty years ago, the Socialist Party ran its last presidential campaign in the United States.

In its heyday, the party could capture upwards of a million votes, achieving this result in 1912, 1920 and again in 1932. The best result was the first one, when Eugene V. Debs led the party to six per cent of the national vote. But less than a quarter century after Norman Thomas won nearly 900,000 votes at the height of the Great Depression, the total number of votes the Socialist could muster nationwide was a mere 2,044.

If America wakes up on 10 February to learn that Bernie Sanders has won both Iowa and New Hampshire, it will represent a political earthquake. Sixty years after the disappearance of the Socialists from the main stage of American politics, they have made a triumphant return. A former YPSL member from Chicago, still talking about the same democratic socialism he learned in the party of Debs and Thomas, may be on his way to becoming the forty-fifth president of the United States.

Around the world: 

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The people who gambled with our future

Author: 

Ira Berkovic

In a scene fairly early on in the The Big Short two financial traders visit a Florida housing estate where, they’ve discovered, most of the homeowners are well behind with mortgage repayments.

The Big Short adapts Michael Lewis’s non-fiction account of the subprime mortgage crash into a self-consciously fictionalised comedy-drama which still contains a few lessons in recent economic history.

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Homeopathy: the one NHS cut we should support

Author: 

Les Hearn

Homoeopathic medicines do nothing that a placebo does not do. This is because they contain no active ingredient... like a placebo. But the NHS spends our money on them.

Homoeopathic medicines do nothing that a placebo does not do. This is because they contain no active ingredient... like a placebo. But the NHS spends our money on them.

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Ellen Meiskins Wood (1942-2016): a Marxist who put class centre

Author: 

Andrew Coates

Ellen Meiksins Wood, who has died aged 73, was a noted intellectual figure on the international left who influenced several generations of thinkers and activists.

Born in New York as Ellen Meiksins one year after her parents, Latvian Jews active in the Bund, arrived as political refugees, Wood studied in California before establishing herself as an academic in Canada, based at York University in Toronto.

Her writings were thought-provoking and luminous.

Ellen Meiksins Wood, who has died aged 73, influenced several generations of left academics and activists. She was a Marxist who combined creative and original thinking with a powerful defence of the centrality of class and class struggle to socialist politics.

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Europe: open the borders!

Author: 

Editorial

David Cameron wants to cut access to benefits for workers coming from the European Union to the UK. The campaigners for British exit from the EU, the Tory right and UKIP, would like to stop those benefits altogether. David Cameron wants to cut back some of the worker protections which have come into the UK from processes of “levelling-up” across the EU, like the Working Time Directive, the Agency Workers’ Directive, and TUPE, (the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations. The EU-exit campaigners would like to abolish those protections altogether.

If the Tory right and UKIP succeed in getting Britain out of the EU, they will not touch the freedom of capital and trade to move across borders. If they did, it would bring no progress: shut-off national economies stifle, rather than thrive. But they won’t. Their sole aim is to remove EU pressure to “level up” modest social protections for workers, and to raise barriers even higher against migrant workers.

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Charlie Hebdo: not run by racists

Author: 

Gemma Short

Once again outrage has been sparked by a cartoon in a special issue of French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

Almost anything can be misappropriated by the right. The left should not take its cue on what we can say, draw or do, from what the right might do with it.

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Oppose Prevent, but don't ally with Cage

Author: 

Omar Raii

The Daily Mail has condemned the National Union of Students over its links with the organisation Cage (formerly Cageprisoners), run by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg.

We do not have to defend groups like Cage in order to defend Muslim students or overlook the views of Islamists in a battle against a greater enemy.

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