Solidarity 405, 18 May 2016

Tories threaten human rights

Author: 

Colin Foster

The Queen’s Speech — the government’s announcement of its plans for new laws — on 18 May is likely to include the Tories’ implementation of their Education White Paper and replacing the Human Rights Act.

The Queen’s Speech on 18 May included the Tories’ implementation of their Education White Paper and replacing the Human Rights Act.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Kelly Rogers, Dale Street, Darren Bedford, Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

On Saturday 14 May the BMA held a junior doctors′ conference, followed by a meeting of the junior doctors′ committee on the next day. It was hoped that these meetings would have heard the outcome of renewed negotiations held between the government and the BMA between 9-13 May. However a last minute agreement (brokered by Brendan Barber of all people!) to extend the talks for another week meant that junior doctors did not get a chance to give judgement on any proposed deal.

Junior doctors; BECTU votes for right-wing merger; school janitors step up strike; Topshop cleaners protest across country; strikes in Sheffield against job losses and pay cuts; Southern strikes continue.

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FBU conference votes to remain in EU

Author: 

Jack Horner

FBU conference in Blackpool last week witnessed sharp debate over the European Union, with delegates eventually voting for a remain vote after much wrangling.

FBU’s executive council proposed a statement to the conference calling for a vote to remain. This argued that the consequences of leaving would be detrimental to firefighters: the working time directive is built into firefighters’ national pay and conditions, while retained firefighters have won gains as part-time workers in the EU, such as pensions, sick leave, holiday pay and other leave.

FBU conference in Blackpool last week witnessed sharp debate over the European Union, with delegates eventually voting for a remain vote after much wrangling.

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Give power back to the members

Rhea Wolfson, who has replaced Ken Livingstone on the Centre-left Alliance slate for Labour’s National Executive (NEC), spoke to Solidarity.


I think the campaign is now going very well. It started off with an unexpected torrent of abuse from fascists, which was very difficult emotionally, for me and my family. But that has calmed down, and we have seen huge amounts of support from my union, which helped. But apart from that and an attempted smear of me as someone not interested in winning elections, it has gone well.

Rhea Wolfson, who has replaced Ken Livingstone on the Centre-left Alliance slate for Labour’s National Executive, spoke to us.

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James Connolly, Irish nationalism and the socialist republic

Author: 

Michael Johnson

Building on the ideas of John Leslie (of the Social Democratic Federation) in his 1897 pamphlet Erin’s Hope, Connolly claimed that the essence of the national question in Ireland was a battle over “fundamentally different ideas on the vital question of property in land”. Between, on the one hand, a supposed Irish “primitive communism” and, on the other, an “alien social system” of private ownership.

The fourth part of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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Removing barriers for autistic workers

Author: 

Cathy Nugent

Cathy Nugent reviews Autism Equality in the Workplace: Removing barriers and challenging discrimination by Janine Booth.
Available to buy online here.


This is not a book of advice for autistic people on how to adapt to work or how to socialise with colleagues. There are other books and resource that do that.

A review of Autism Equality in the Workplace: Removing barriers and challenging discrimination by Janine Booth.

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The attacks on disabled people are not over

Author: 

Paula Peters, Disabled People Against Cuts (personal capacity)

The government may have backed down over cuts to Personal Independence Payments [PIP, non-means tested benefit], but the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb, has already said more cuts are in the pipeline.

There are now attacks on the rights and living conditions of disabled people from almost every direction:

The government may have backed down over cuts to Personal Independence Payments, but more cuts are in the pipeline.

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What is German Bolshevism?

Author: 

Rosa Luxemburg

The revolution that has just begun can have but one outcome: the realisation of socialism!

The working class, in order to accomplish its purpose, must, first of all, secure entire political control of the state. But to the socialist, political power is only a means to an end. It is the instrument with which labour will achieve the complete, fundamental reconstruction of our entire industrial system.

A article by Rosa Luxemburg from The Class Struggle, New York, August 1919.

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Our New Book: Can socialism make sense?

Author: 

Paul Hampton

This is a review of the new book by Workers' Liberty Can socialism make sense?

A review of Can Socialism Make Sense? by Sean Matgamna.

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