Editor's Choice

Remembering 1945

75 years ago, on 26 July 1945, Britain’s first-ever majority Labour government took office. David Booth remembers.

My father, Albert, was born in 1897 in Hoxton, east London. His father had never been to school. He worked at the Army and Navy stores making ladies’ shoes. There were six children, two of whom died in infancy – average for the time – the youngest taking their mother with her. So Grandad worked shorter daytime hours and, after the kids were in bed, sorted mail at Mount Pleasant sorting office all night.

Poland: "Expect a fightback"

Andrzej Duda of the radical right Law and Justice party has been re-elected as Poland’s president, defeating the liberal conservative opposition’s candidate Rafał Trzaskowski 51%-49% in the second round.

Ana Oppenheim spoke to Sacha Ismail about the election and struggles in Poland. Ana is a Polish-born socialist who lives in the UK. She is a member of the Labour Party and the Polish left party Razem, an activist in the Labour Campaign for Free Movement and has just been elected to Momentum’s national coordinating group.

A socialist epidemiologist on the pandemic

George Davey Smith, who is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Bristol University, talked with Martin Thomas from Solidarity about the pandemic.

So far, and short of a vaccine, we seem to have only ancient measures to control the spread of the pandemic: physical distancing on different levels, and hygiene. Have we learned anything about variants of those measures which may be both effective and sustainable long-term?

Brazil in the pandemic

Brazil is one of the epicentres of the pandemic, surpassing 1.4 million cases and 60 thousand deaths. The pandemic has not plateaued in Brazil, yet the worst affected areas, in terms of numbers of cases, Rio and SĂŁo Paulo, have started reopening commerce, bars and restaurants.

The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, maintains his position against social distancing measures (which are left to be done by local governments on a much smaller budget), and has recently vetoed policy passed in congress making the use of face-coverings compulsory in shops, schools and churches.

The New Jim Crow

Police violence in the USA is only a shore of a whole continent of racial oppression and marginalisation, so Michelle Alexander argues in her 2010 book, now a “classic”, The New Jim Crow.

Alexander is a civil rights lawyer by trade. Chunks of the book are lawyerly, dissecting a string of Supreme Court rulings. She says herself that she wouldn’t have got to a “fancy law school” without affirmative action rules.

Workers' Liberty: who we are

Who are we? What are Workers' Liberty and Solidarity? We are a political strand in the flux of the broadly-Corbynite left, a flux which may be reshaping the left for a long period to come.

We are the socialist, class-struggle, consistently-democratic, internationalist strand in the left. That is why we meet such hostility from the NGO-politics, Stalinistic or semi-Stalinist, bureaucratic, nationalistic, and "kitsch anti-imperialist" bloc. That small but vocal bloc represents the deadweight inflicted on the left in the Blair-Brown-Cameron decades, but with feet.

A shorter working week with no pay cut!

Janet Burstall argues the case from an Australian perspective. The same basic ideas are applicable in Britain and elsewhere.

The most optimistic assessment by the Reserve Bank is that it will take a “few years” to reverse “much” (i.e. not all) of the increase in unemployment from the Covid-19 lockdown. The wages vs jobs trade-off debate is back with a vengeance.

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