Solidarity 501, 3 April 2019

Don’t seek a deal with the Tories

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 12:54
Author

Editorial

As we go to press on 2 April, the Tory government has just finished a special Cabinet meeting. Theresa May outlined a plan B: To approach Jeremy Corbyn to seek a joint Brexit proposal to put to Parliament.

This would include the existing Withdrawal Agreement. It might (she implied) also involve changes to the document on future relations after the end in December 2020 of the “transition period” during which Britain remains in EU rules though outside the EU. And a plan C: To get agreement with Jeremy Corbyn on a list of Brexit options to put to MPs, with a joint commitment from both Tory and

Russian troops come to Venezuela

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 12:38
Author

Eduardo Tovar

Over nine weeks have passed since Juan Guaidó, backed by the National Assembly, declared himself interim President of Venezuela on 24 January 2019, challenging the incumbent President Nicolás Maduro.

Guaidó continues to enjoy support from the US, Colombia, Brazil, and other states, but admits that a change in government cannot occur without the backing of the Venezuelan armed forces.

In his own corner, Maduro continues to be backed by Russia and China. On 29 March, Russian military personnel and matériel arrived by plane in Venezuela. The Kremlin claims that this deployment is legal and that

A new Israeli assault on Gaza

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 12:30
Author

Ira Berkovic and Colin Foster

Israel has again bombed Gaza, the small area of densely-populated land inhabited by Palestinians on which Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade.

The blockade of Gaza has led to profound social immiseration in the territory, with many referring to it as an “open-air prison”. According to official statistics in Gaza, five people were wounded by Israel’s strikes. Since the bombing, which took place on 25 March, at least one Palestinian has been killed by Israeli soldiers, and several others wounded, in protests on the Gaza border.

Gaza is governed by Hamas, an ultra-conservative Islamist

London Young Labour in decline

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 12:26
Author

Maisie Sanders

London Young Labour’s AGM on 31 March was billed by its organisers as “a packed day of elections and debates that will set the political direction of the organisation for the year”. But the only debate that took place was on the single motion to be heard: a statement in support of the Labour leadership’s Brexit strategy, out of date since the indicative votes took place in Parliament last week.

Since the Morning Star-oriented left won control of the committee last year, London Young Labour has run no outward facing campaigns. The committee itself has only met three times and generally not

Defend NUS democracy!

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 12:24
Author

Maisie Sanders

This year’s National Union of Students (NUS) Conference in Glasgow (9-11 April), will be very different to previous years′. Elections will take place on the first day before motions debates begin, no official fringe meetings will take place due to "lack of funds for staff", and delegates will vote on a reform motion coming from the right-wing led by President Shakira Martin, which proposes scrapping all remaining structures which enable rank and file control of NUS.

The Student Left Network (SLN) has been opposing these reforms since they were first announced. The soft left in NUS are also

Erdoğan setback in polls

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 12:08
Author

Pete Boggs

Recep Erdoğan’s ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) has suffered a number of significant blows in Turkey’s local government elections, which were largely seen as a referendum on his rule.

The two major cities in Turkey both fell out of the AKP’s hands, with their concession of defeat in Ankara to the CHP (Republican People’s Party), and what seems at the time of writing to be a slim victory for the CHP in Istanbul as well. Istanbul had been held by Erdoğan’s forces since 1994, when Erdoğan was elected mayor as the now defunct Welfare Party candidate.

In the last year, inflation has

Trump, Banks, and Putin

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 11:48
Author

Jim Denham

When the Mueller report found no evidence of “collusion” between Trump’s team and Putin, most decent people (and not just “liberals”) were disappointed, while pointing out that Trump had not been “exonerated” (as he claimed) of obstructing justice. Yet the Morning Star (in its editorial of March 26) positively crowed with delight and echoed Trump’s own propaganda:

“After a two-year inquiry, Mueller can find no evidence of collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign team and Putin’s Russia

“For many liberals, it has become an article of faith that the Kremlin and its oligarchs must have

Letter: Trying to win Unionists is futile

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 11:36
Author

Rayner Lysaght

I have been reading the record of my last October pre-debate discussion with Sean Matgamna. Your record tallies with my memory of it. However, I would like to clarify some points, especially as our second debate has had to be cancelled.

As can be seen from the dates, this document reports two discussions made before the original debate on “Socialism, Ireland, Permanent Revolution and the Provo Campaign”. The cancelled debate was to be a second round of the actual polemic. Inevitably, mistakes were made. Having been interviewed over the telephone, I should have mentioned that the great mistake

Sifting the Brexit chaos

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 11:29
Author

Matt Cooper

It still conceivable that May’s deal will pass, perhaps with changes to the accompanying political statement. If the EU leaders summit on 10 April refuses a further extension, this might push the deal over the line. Up to 20 Labour MPs might support the deal (in addition to the five who already have) if they believed their votes would be decisive.

But such an outcome would require ten hard-line Brexiteer Tory MPs to switch to supporting May. There is no hint of that; nor of the DUP swinging behind the deal. In the indicative votes the DUP would back only “no deal”. Despite the strength of the

Crisis in the CWI

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 11:00
Author

Micheál MacEoin

A crisis in the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), the international network associated with the Socialist Party of England and Wales (SP), has broken into the open. Several members’ bulletins have been “leaked” and a document from a majority of the International Secretariat (IS) of the CWI, led by SP general secretary Peter Taaffe, declaring a faction.

An obscure incident in the Irish group (obscure to this writer) appears to have levered much wider political tensions to the surface. Disagreements cover women’s liberation, LGBT rights, trade unions, the national question, and

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