Nuclear weapons

Labour leader: the contest so far

At the moment at least, I am not supporting any of the candidates for Labour leader. In hustings, I think, activists should ask pointed questions, and ask members to judge the candidates by their responses. For example, no candidate has yet committed to work for wide democratic reforms in Labour’s still-largely-Blair-made structure. None has backed the Free Our Unions call for them to respect the 2019 Labour conference decision for repeal of all anti-union laws. None has said that they will seek to lead on-the-streets and industrial campaigning against Johnson. Rebecca Long-Bailey,Salford and...

Mock-workerism and the Scottish Labour Party

GMB Scottish Regional Secretary Gary Smith was accorded front page coverage in the 3 March 2019 “Herald on Sunday”. Billed as an “Exclusive”, the article in fact consisted of some extracts from an interview with Smith conducted by one of the pro-independence paper’s resident right-wing journalists, Paul Hutcheon. Hutcheon is still remembered for his notorious witch-hunting ‘articles’ about the Falkirk Labour selection contest and Grangemouth Ineos dispute of 2013 (although he has written no shortage of articles in a similar vein since then). Smith used the interview with Hutcheon as an...

Replacing nuclear by… gas?

Hitachi has shelved plans for a new nuclear plant at Wylfa, Wales, months after Toshiba scrapped plans in Moorside, Cumbria, and Horizon suspended work at Oldbury, Gloucestershire. These withdrawals by three private Japanese corporations leave gaps in the UK government’s already bad climate and energy strategy. Many old reactors are due to retire through the 2020s, and coal-fired power stations are due to be phased out by 2025. These new nuclear plants were due to fill the energy gap while contributing to the UK’s (insufficient) climate goals. Recent analysis from the Committee on Climate...

Trump to renew Iran deal

Donald Trump is set to maintain the 2015 “nuclear deal” with Iran when it comes up for renewal on 17 January. Under the deal Iran is obliged to restrict its nuclear programme in return for the easing of international sanctions. Trump had previously declared his intention to undo the nuclear deal, denouncing it as weakness in the face of the regime. Accordingly, he has had to hedge his renewal of the deal with much tough-sounding bluster and secondary sanctions. Trump and Republican politicians have suggested setting a deadline for “improvements” to the deal, including getting rid of the...

Trump, Iran and the nuclear options

Morad Shirin of the Iranian Revolutionary Marxist Tendency spoke to Solidarity . Under the Iran Nuclear Review Act, the White House has to certify the agreement every 90 days. He’s done it twice so far but he is saying he may not do it this time. As far as anybody else is concerned — because it’s not a bilateral agreement — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, between five permanent members of the Security Council, plus Germany, plus the EU, has been voted on by the Security Council, and is part of international law. The IAA says that Iran is complying with the technical side of the deal....

Against Trump, against Kim — solidarity with North Korean workers!

Tensions on the Korean peninsula are increasing, confronting millions of innocent people with the threat of nuclear war. The tensions spring from a combination of the ramping up of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, and US President Donald Trump’s “Wall Street” approach to international diplomacy. Andrew Gamble sums up Trump’s diplomatic style: “Trump’s experience was as a reality TV host… He approaches relations with other leaders with an eye on how it’s going to play with his base and how he can make himself look good. He uses bluff and does outrageous things partly in the belief that...

Yes, Labour should scrap Trident!

Comments Corbyn has made to Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis have caused some controversy. Following Corybn’s appearance at the festival a Q&A with Michael Eavis was published in a local paper. Corbyn told Eavis he believed he would Prime Minister in six months and that he would scrap Trident “as soon as possible”. Denials were issued shortly afterward and Corbyn said that Eavis was just paraphrasing. The Labour Party again reiterated their support for Trident renewal. Corbyn is well known for personally opposing nuclear weapons and has accepted that the refusal of the Labour Party...

The limits of Labour’s multilateralism

There has been some recent media attention on Jeremy Corbyn’s alleged past links to the IRA and the claim that he is a “pacifist” — meaning, he is opposed to any and every kind of military intervention, even around “humanitarian” issues. Corbyn does have a record of support for the Republican movement in Ireland (that is, not the IRA as such, but the nationalists fighting for a united Ireland), and he was long involved with the Stop the War Coalition, which did indeed oppose — sometimes, in Workers’ Liberty’s view, with terrible arguments — the major military interventions involving Britain...

Trump targets North Korea

On 4 April, the Syrian government used chemical weapons on civilians in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria. On the morning of 7 April, Donald Trump’s government responded with a cruise missile attack on the Syrian airbase which the US military believes was used to launch the chemical attack. Trump has also sent a navy battle group to the waters off the Korean coast. Trump’s actions carry a number of advantages for the US government beyond destroying the targets and intimidating Assad. By showing a willingness to use military force Trump ramps up pressure on North Korea and...

McCluskey moves ahead, but not left

In the election campaigning for the post of Unite the Union’s General Secretary, the McCluskey election machine continues to deliver the goods. With a while still to go before nominations close on 17 February, over 300 branches have nominated Len McCluskey, who has been general secretary since 2011 but has stood down early so he could run for a third term. A statement supporting McCluskey has been signed by 60 out of 64 Executive Council members and a similarly overwhelming majority on other top levels of the union. McCluskey’s election platform is a series of uncontroversial promises: better...

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