Solidarity 023, 6 February 2003

Labour activists oppose the war

Recall Labour Party Conference!

By Maria Exall, CWU Executive, personal capacity
Hundreds of delegates left the Labour Party Spring Conference and joined the anti-war protest in Glasgow on 15 February. Delegates from CWU, GPMU, GMB, UNISON and other unions, as well as Constituency representatives took part in the 150,000 strong rally outside the Conference centre.

Admitting you're wrong is possible

Rouge, the paper of the French Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire, has just published a special supplement to celebrate their 2000th issue. It is unashamedly a celebration, not a rigorous accounting. Even there, though, the LCR, influenced by a Trotskyist tradition, feels a need to acknowledge major errors. The biggest? “That on Afghanistan in 1980, when we rejected a campaign for the withdrawal of Soviet troops for fear of playing into the hands of imperialism... This errancy... revealed more profound failings, and the difficulty of taking account of the changes in the world situation”.

War! What is it good for?

Pop music can be escapist — nothing wrong with that — but occasionally it transcends that to give voice to popular concerns and question jingoistic assumptions. Here is my “top ten” of anti-war songs, some well known and some hidden gems.

Renew the fight for democracy!

behind the news

Paddy Dollard

The attempt to reform the House of Lords has collapsed in chaos. A House of Commons vote-out resulted in the rejection of all five of the options on offer. The status quo will remain for the foreseeable future.

Tony Blair is said to find this not displeasing. For choice, Blair would have had a second chamber made up entirely of appointed members. An elected chamber? This prime minister does not trust the electorate!

Guns, germs and gastropods

  • Al-Q & Saddam: permissive coupling
  • Joined up government - asylum seekers
  • Doctors refute asylum infection claims
  • Send-A-Slug Success?

Al-Q & Saddam: permissive coupling

Policing live music

Robb Johnson takes a look at what the new Licensing Bill will mean for live music "at the margins"
The Licensing Bill will make live music illegal. Okay, that's probably just the sort of alarmist assertion the government are accusing the Musicians' Union of propagating in their opposition to the current proposed Licensing Bill.
But just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you!

Socialist Alliance amendments by 21 February

The motions booklet for the Socialist Alliance conference on 15 March has just been mailed out. It looks like the main issues for the conference will be the “new party” question; modes of election for the Alliance Executive; and Iraq.

On the “new party”, there are submissions for the Alliance to initiate a broad campaign for a new workers’ party, or alternatively to make itself “a new socialist party”, as well as more cautious proposals.

Israel-Palestine will be at centre of Scots socialist debate

The Scottish Socialist Party conference will take place on 22-23 February in Glasgow. Angela Paton reports

A mix of issues will be debated at the SSP's conference, from the contentious motions on Israel/Palestine to mundane and unnecessary reaffirmation of existing policy, from the downright bizarre to the sensible motions, reflecting the life of a proper political party. Here are the low/highlights:

Debate: My car is a necessity!

Mick Duncan's anti-car article, (Solidarity 3/22) says that car journeys under five miles are made by lazy people - people driving to the corner shop or going off to the gym.

I drive my toddler two miles to nursery. If I didn't, the journey would take me an hour. A very aggravating hour, as well - on a chock-full single-decker bus with no space for pushchairs and nobody willing to stand up so you don't fall over due to the antics of a bored-witless small person.

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