Solidarity 434, 29 March 2017

India: Modi’s mask is lifted

Submitted by Matthew on 29 March, 2017 - 1:06 Author: Charlotte Zalens

India’s ruling party, the Hindu-nationalist BJP, has made significant gains in regional elections in every state other than Goa and won in Uttar Pradesh.

With 200 million people, Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state. In Uttar Pradesh the BJP did not identify ahead of the election who would lead the government there should they win and the campaign was led by Modi. After the election the BJP chose Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister. Adityanath has been linked to a number of anti-Muslim incidents.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 29 March, 2017 - 1:02 Author: Maria O’Toole, Paul Abbot and Gemma Short

The Durham teaching assistants and Derby school support staff disputes have been the most significant in local government over the last year. Similar pay cuts of approximately 25%; threats of, or in Derby’s case the actual, imposition of new contracts; Labour councils doing the dirty work for the Tories and spearheading these acts; but on the workers side a strong determination to resist.

Momentum conference found lacking

Submitted by Matthew on 29 March, 2017 - 12:46 Author: Keith Road

About 500 people attended Momentum’s “Building to win” event in Birmingham on 25 March. As expected there was no chance to have a debate about the way forward for Momentum, just 15 sessions ranging from “Nice people finish first” to “Community organising at the grassroots” and “Momentum Trade Union Solidarity”.

Re-elect Len McCluskey!

Submitted by Matthew on 29 March, 2017 - 12:42 Author: Ann Field

Ballot papers for Unite the Union’s General Secretary and national Executive Council elections have been sent out to the union’s 1.4 million members. Voting runs to 19 April, and the result will be out on 28 April.

West Midlands Unite full-timer Gerard Coyne is the right-wing challenger to Len McCluskey, the incumbent General Secretary seeking re-election for a third time. Ian Allinson is also standing as the candidate of rank-and-file democracy.

Challenging the “lost cause” myth

Submitted by Matthew on 29 March, 2017 - 12:36 Author: Bas Hardy

The American Civil War casts a long shadow over America history. Anyone doubting its pernicious legacy need only note that all of the states of the former Confederacy except Virginia voted for Trump. However it would be a mistake to believe that the white population of this region have alway acted en bloc as rabid racists.

Marxism and autism

Submitted by Matthew on 29 March, 2017 - 12:13 Author: Janine Booth

Can Marxism can help us to understand autistic experience in modern capitalism? How might Marxism inform our struggles for equality and liberation?

There are different approaches to understanding autism. Perhaps the dominant approach is a medical one: seeing autism as a disease or tragedy, and autistic people as being broken and needing fixing. Over recent years, a more progressive approach has developed. It stresses acceptance of autistic people rather than simply “awareness”, and demands rights, equality and support rather than abusive “treatments”.

Young people and mental health – a political issue

Submitted by Matthew on 29 March, 2017 - 11:28 Author: Joe Booth

Statistics show that help for young people with mental health issues is dramatically decreasing. A 2016 investigation by the Guardian and 38 Degrees showed that trusts around England were “drawing up plans for hospital closures and cutbacks” in an attempt to avoid a £20 billion shortfall by 2020. This means that young people aren’t getting the help they need or deserve.