Solidarity 427, 18 January 2017

Labour: vote against Article 50!

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Theresa May has at last (on 17 January) made one thing about her Brexit: she plans to pull Britain out of the European single market, because staying in requires freedom of movement for workers.

Labour should defend existing freedoms of movement — and vote for keeping economic barriers suppressed, too.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter, Michael Elms and Gemma Short

Tube workers’ union RMT has announced its members on stations will strike again from 6 February unless London Underground bosses meet its demands for an increased staffing level. The company’s latest proposal is to reinstate 250 of the jobs it cut under the “Fit for the Future” programme, but RMT has rejected the offer as insufficient.

Tube workers plan further strikes; Tories backing Southern’s war; Derby teaching assistants fight 25% pay cut; Picturehouse cinema strike solidarity; BA cabin crew strike again; teachers fight unfair scrutiny; Kings cleaners’ strike ballot.

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Help Labour in Copeland

Author: 

Dave Pannett

The resignation of MPs Jamie Reed (Copeland) and Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) will have not caused Corbyn supporters in the Labour Party any sorrow. Constant critics of the democratically-elected leader who have decided to leave their jobs for much better-paid positions at the Sellafield nuclear plant and the Victoria and Albert Museum will not get much of a send-off. However, it is now vital that the we mobilise to get Labour victories in both seats.

The poor situation for Labour in the polls, a strong UKIP showing, and in Stoke a history of the far right doing well in local elections means difficult fights ahead.

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Yes, a maximum wage!

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Jeremy Corbyn’s recent call for a maximum wage is a good move, even though he has now faded it out.

A maximum wage, or a punitive top income-tax rate, would be good, but would put only a very loose limit on inequality.

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From 2008 to fighting capitalism

Author: 

Caroline Jeffries

When the housing bubble burst and a full-blown financial crisis developed in 2008 I was ten years old. I lived in an upper-class neighbourhood, so very few people around me were greatly affected by the crisis. 2008, however, would come to bother me for years after the recession ended.

Becoming a socialist in post-2008 crash America.

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John Berger and seeing politically

Author: 

Hugh Daniels

Since the death of John Berger on 2 January the bourgeois press has squirmed over the task of commemorating a major public figure who was also a lifelong Marxist. Some have responded by simply attacking him.

As demonstrated in his seminal 1972 BBC TV series (and accompanying book) Ways of Seeing, John Berger shared the period’s wariness about the dangers of seductive ideologies. However he responded by encouraging us to locate contradictions and complexities within our experience of the world, rather than keeping our distance.

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Socialist ideas can beat Trump

Author: 

Editorial
Only a resurgent labour movement, fighting boldly and unequivocally for a different world-view, and a different world, of co-operation and solidarity, can turn the tables. Not a bland, moderate, liberal defence of the status quo.

Donald Trump, who becomes US president on 20 January, threatens to push the USA, and maybe more of the world, back decades on women’s rights, ethnic minority rights, migrant rights, and civil liberties. He threatens to batter and marginalise the long-beleaguered US trade-union movement.

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A discussion with Pakistani socialists

Author: 

Martin Thomas

In December, Farooq Tariq, a leader of the Awami Workers’ Party in Pakistan, visited London, and during his visit talked with activists from Workers’ Liberty. Martin Thomas reports.


We started by saying we appreciated the strong socialist line he had taken against Islamic-fundamentalist politics in his speeches during his visit, but questioning the uncritical praise for Fidel Castro in AWP statements after Castro’s death on 25 November. Farooq replied straightforwardly that it was an AWP decision to be uncritical of Castro and Cuba. For that decision, he gave two reasons.

On a visit to London In December, Farooq Tariq, a leader of the Awami Workers’ Party in Pakistan, talked with us.

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A trip to Israel and Palestine

Author: 

Omar Raii, NUS Executive, personal capacity

Last year I visited two countries — Israel and Palestine — about which I had discussed so much and yet seen so little. On a four-day trip organised by the Union of Jewish Students we visited different parts of Israel, including the Golan Heights, and made a short sojourn to Palestine, mainly Ramallah.

Israel has a lot of seemingly incongruous things coexisting: Arabs, Muslims and Christians, religious and secular Jews, LGBT people, hard-right nationalists and liberal vegans.

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