Solidarity 497, 27 February 2019

Issue 497 audio

Published on: Thu, 28/02/2019 - 11:59

Listen to Solidarity 497 here:

Labour goes for new public vote

Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 12:49


On Monday 25 February, the Labour Party leadership came out for a new public vote on Brexit. Shadow Brexit minister Keir Starmer and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry have said they would vote Remain in that referendum.

This is a great victory for the anti-Brexit left. We should clinch it: • By mobilising on the streets to add pressure on Parliament. Labour should sponsor a big bloc on the 23 March “People’s Vote” demonstration. Labour for a Socialist Europe, the anti-Brexit left group in Labour, has already started organising for that. • By making it clear that Labour will vote

Netanyahu woos far right

Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 12:46

Willie Sneyd

Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu has persuaded two far-right racist parties to merge in return for offering them government posts if he wins the Israeli general election due on 4 April.

One of the two parties is Jewish Power, a scarcely-concealed continuation of the Kahane movement which has been banned in Israel since 1988 as terrorist and racist. It advocates expelling Palestinians and Israeli Arabs who refuse to swear “loyalty”, and an expanded Jewish state taking in the whole West Bank.

Netanyahu’s move is designed to get the far right into the Knesset (parliament) by bringing

Hatton’s no glory days

Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 12:41

Gerry Bates

Derek Hatton used to be famous. In the mid-1980s he was the chief figure in Liverpool’s Labour council, embattled against the Tories. Formally deputy leader of the council, he was able to be the main public figure because he was promoted by the Militant group (forerunner of the Socialist Party), which then had decisive influence in the Liverpool labour movement.

His record was shameful. After a series of show mobilisations, the Liverpool council dialled down their campaign. At a crucial point in the miners’ strike, the council left the miners in the lurch. Hatton did a deal with the Tories to

Essex University Jewish Society ban blocked

Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 12:31

More than 200 students at Essex University voted against the formation of a Jewish Society. It’s the first organised attempt to stop or ban a Jewish Society on a British campus for decades.

There has been no explanation from any group of “activists” or students as to why there was a vote against the society. The university responded to outcry about the vote by short-cutting the usual procedure under which all new societies have to be approved by student ballot. To that date, some 64% of votes had been in favour of allowing the new society.

The whole procedure of student societies requiring a

A crisis: but who will fix it?

Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 12:29

Mike Zubrowski

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a broadly “Blairite” think-tank, has published a report, This is a crisis. It considers not just global warming, but other severe and rapid environmental changes.

Climate change will affect poorer and more oppressed people most, on a national and international scale. It has been driven by the richest. The report advocates “just” and “sustainable” societies, and preparation for the impacts of climate change. Often reducing emissions also means improved quality of life, for example reduced consumption of red meat or increased public transport.


Macron, Salvini, and the left

Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 12:09

Joan Trevor

On 7 February, France recalled its ambassador from Italy, the first time this had happened since Italy’s fascist leader Benito Mussolini declared war in 1940. The recall was the latest act in a growing row between French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s coalition government, formed of the populist Five Star Movement and the far-right National League.

Macron had criticised the coalition for promoting the “leprosy” of nationalism, and Italy’s new policy of turning away migrant boats from its shores. The Italian government accuses Macron of hypocrisy for returning migrants in France to

Venezuela: four dead in border clashes

Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 11:50

Eduardo Tovar

Juan Guaidó declared himself president of Venezuela on 23 January, disputing the position with the incumbent president Nicolas Maduro. A month later, Guaidó continues to ask other states to consider “all options” for removing Maduro.

Events on 23 February ramped up the risk of invasion, by the USA or a consortium of states. On the 23rd, eight lorries carrying aid attempted to cross the border from Colombia. Three lorries reportedly made it into Venezuela, only for two to catch fire. Colombian officials say this was deliberate incineration. Venezuelan troops have blockaded the borders with


Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 11:37

Janine′s article on “Neurodiversity, capitalism, and socialism” in Solidarity 494 was interesting and informative. I agree with most of what she advocates. However, I′d like to query her implication that “text-heavy” newspapers are no longer very important, and that alternative media (videos, meetings) can replace them.

Those other media can′t replace in-depth reading. Videos can and should play a useful supplementary role, and meetings are of course vital. Text allows for in-depth studying of topics in a way that is often much more difficult or impossible in other formats. Text-based

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