Solidarity 512, 3 July 2019

Block Johnson’s Brexit coup plan

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 13:08


In Bournemouth on 27 June, Boris Johnson threatened to suspend Parliament in order to force through his "no deal" Brexit.

He is likely to become Tory leader, and then Prime Minister, on 23-24 July. Manoeuvring to recoup the Farage vote for the Tories, he has promised to force through Brexit, "do or die", by 31 October.

How? Asked directly whether he would "prorogue" Parliament - send MPs home so that they can't stop him pushing through "no-deal" Brexit as the default follow-on from the 1 February 2017 parliamentary vote to trigger "Article 50" - Johnson kept his options open:

"Rather than

The record of Chris Williamson

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 13:04

Keith Road

The issue with the suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson is not, as some in the Labour Party think, one off-beam remark in a Sheffield Momentum meeting, or a few incautious tweets.

Detailed web postings by RS21 member Dave Renton and socialist blogger “Bob from Brockley” have shown that Williamson has used his position as a prominent Corbyn-supporting MP to give the ideas of a segment of the far right a channel into the labour movement.

Williamson’s support for Vanessa Beeley, who makes an industry of supporting Syrian dictator Assad and his allies, came to prominence in August 2018 after he

Sudan: 30 June lifts spirits

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 13:02

Simon Nelson

Thousands of people marched through Khartoum on 30 June.

While the police and the militias responded with attempt at repression, they were not able to quell the protests. Activists count 30 June as a major success. The symbolism of marching on the anniversary of the Bashir coup was also important for the demonstrators.

This “million man march” also saw demonstrations across the country in Rabak, Halfa, Jabra, Arkaweet-Albalabel, Atbara, Nuri, Alshajara, Alsahafa, Aliskan, El-Obied, Kauda, Kasala, Alruseiris, Dongola, Wad madani, Burri, Kareema, Souq alarabi, Khartoum, Umdurman-wad nubawi and

Free Carola Rakete!

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:58

Hugh Edwards

At 7 p.m. on 28 June, Italian custom officers informed Carola Rakete, the 31 year old captain of the volunteer rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, that she faced charges of aiding and abetting illegal trafficking of refugees and illegal entry intoFree Italian waters.

They demanded that she immediately leave her vessel — blocked by the Italian coastguards outside the port of Lampedusa — and report there to be interrogated and charged.

She replied: “I will not leave my ship. I am exhausted , not having slept for days. But my priority is the fate of the 42 refugees on board, many of whom now ill and some

Marxism and Irish politics

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:54

Micheál MacEoin

In November 2018, the longtime Irish-based Trotskyist Rayner Lysaght debated with Sean Matgamna, a founding member of Workers’ Liberty, on Marxist perspectives on Irish history and the Irish revolution.

Such debates, between divergent theoretical traditions, are rare. They are even more rare in Britain on the particular topic of the Irish Question, despite the prospect of a post-Brexit hard border in Ireland.

Much debate centred around the applicability of Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution to Ireland. Lysaght argued that Ireland is still an “unfinished capitalist entity”, its

Putin, liberalism, and the left

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:50

Colin Foster

In September 1847, before they had even written the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels declared:

“If a certain section of German socialists has continually blustered against the liberal bourgeoisie, and has done so, in a manner which has benefited nobody but the German governments... then the Communists have nothing in common with [them]”.

Marx and Engels rarely quoted their own earlier writings. They considered that article so important that they cited it again in 1865. Breaking off collaboration with a socialist newspaper in Germany (launched in the tradition of Ferdinand

Rearguard fight by Labour’s Brexiters

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:43

Jim Denham

The wretched Skwawkbox blog, as ever representing the most craven and regressive forces within the apolitical Corbyn fan club, is presently promoting an open letter to Tom Watson, penned by one Chelley Ryan:

“One of the likely reasons we have lost support over Brexit, is because many MPs like yourself, refuse to put the case for our sensible compromise position” bleats Chelley.

Skwawkbox’s editor, the businessman Steve Walker, can scarcely contain his enthusiasm:

“An open letter to Tom Watson about his behaviour regarding Brexit – condemning it, detailing the damage it is causing and


Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:38

Difference and impairment

I can still remember my PE teacher at school yelling at me: “What’s the matter with you? Are you disabled?”

He was angry because I was clumsy and awkward. The tiny experience perhaps helps me understand why autistic and other neurodivergent people resent being called “disabled” or even “impaired”.

These days I’m impaired by arthritis, and because ageing has slowed down my brain processes: I am much slower, and fumble much more, with mathematical working today, at 70, than I did when I was 17. Luckily for me, these are impairments which carry little stigma, and I live

Pitfalls of knee-jerk “blame Israel”

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:30

Morad Shirin (Solidarity 511) has casually speculated that Israel (or, perhaps, another regional power allied to the USA, but no other state is thought worthy of mention) is probably responsible for the attacks on the Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers.

No evidence is offered, but rather a Galloway-style deduction based on which state would benefit from the most obvious suspect being punished. It isn’t often, thankfully, that this type of argument is promoted in the pages of Solidarity.

“We have to ask: ‘Which state is going to benefit from delaying, or maybe even preventing, a deal?’ That

Climate campaigning, large and small

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:27

Mike Zubrowski

A record breaking – and dangerous – heatwave swept much of Europe in the closing days of June, affecting the UK too, with a lighter touch.

For once, complaints of it being “too hot” seemed more than an excuse to grumble. But these unnatural temperatures are the benign end of repercussions of the global climatic instability caused by rising greenhouse gas levels.

In the same period, a study was published demonstrating higher-than-predicted increase in sea temperature. One knock-on effect is reduction of the ocean’s capacity to absorb gasses, including greenhouse gasses, reducing the “budget”

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