Solidarity 030, 14 May 2003

The case for revolutionary realism part 2

Published on: Fri, 12/12/2003 - 20:50

Back to part 1

The RMT and disaffiliation

The RMT rail union leadership proposes a set of rule changes that would open the way to the union supporting SA and SSP candidates, left Labour MPs and elements of Plaid Cymru.
It is not unreasonable to suspect that Bob Crow and friends are attempting to engineer a situation in which the Labour Party will disaffiliate the RMT. This will give them plenty of opportunities to play the brave socialist martyrs, a role normally carried out in real life by their members who have to live with the shoddy deals they stitch up.
Should the RMT be disaffiliated it

What next after the war?

Published on: Fri, 16/05/2003 - 22:43

By Sacha Ismail
War in the Gulf and mass opposition to it have inevitably raised big questions about the nature of our society. Why were Bush and Blair so intent on attacking Iraq? Are the US and UK governments really accountable to those they claim to represent? If two million people on the streets can't stop a war, what force can?
The fact that the leaders of the Stop the War Coalition, themselves socialists but snuggled up in a cosy alliance with Lib Dems and religious fundamentalists, were not interested in posing these questions should not deter anti-war activists from doing so. With the

Black and white: French women unite and fight!

Published on: Fri, 16/05/2003 - 22:41

In Vitry-sur-Seine, a rundown suburb of Paris, in October 2002 a 17-year-old woman Sohane Benziane was set on fire by an 18-year-old boy. His friends were spectators.
Sohane had had the temerity to spurn his amorous advances. Sohane died in hospital from her injuries.
Sohane's elder sister Kahine Benziane explained:
"My sister was burned because she was rebellious. She broke the rule of the cité which is to be submissive.
"For her killer, she represented a thing. It was like he was vandalising a car. Well, today, some more of us are rebelling. We are sick and tired of this oppression."

Iraqi workers demand control

Published on: Fri, 16/05/2003 - 22:27

Basra protest condemns imposed oil bosses
Solidarity with the peoples of Iraq!
No US/UK occupation

By Gerry Bates

On 9 May workers at the Basra refinery, Iraq's second-largest, staged a protest, demanding elections to choose their managers. The British army officer in charge of the refinery has replaced its old Ba'ath party top managers with ex-Ba'ath party middle managers.
The occupying management has clashed with the workers.
The chief executive of Iraq's South Refineries Co - British Army Major, Mark Tilley of the Royal Engineers -says: "I've got a refinery to run and I can't change the

Unite with Euro-strikers!

Published on: Fri, 16/05/2003 - 22:25

Will Blair swap the pound for the euro?

By Colin Foster

Will Tony Blair use his boost from the relatively quick US/UK military victory in Iraq to make a dash for the euro? Or will Gordon Brown's caution hold him back?
Is it really true that euro entry would undercut the Health Service? Or is that scaremongering given that in the core of the eurozone welfare provision is generally better than in Britain?
The huge strikes in France on Tuesday 13th, the rallies in Austria the same day, and the strikes in Austria the previous week, cut right across these speculations.
European capitalism is

FBU: get the braziers ready?

Published on: Fri, 16/05/2003 - 22:23

By Jill Mountford
"Get the Braziers Ready", urges the headline of a recent letter sent out to Fire Brigades Union members from their London regional office.
London and Merseyside are among some of the regions that have rejected Professor Frank Burchill's proposals on the long-running pay dispute. Yet, on the eve of the National Executive meeting in Sheffield (15 March), FBU activists around the country say it's too close to call as to whether Burchill's proposals will be voted down at the Executive.
At the last recall conference, in Brighton in mid-April, the FBU leadership recommended members

Where next for Northern Ireland?

Published on: Fri, 16/05/2003 - 22:22

By Colin Foster
The postponement of the Northern Ireland Assembly elections signifies that the London-Dublin "Good Friday" plan of 1998 to reshape Ireland, bit by bit, from above, is stalled for another long period, at least.
It has been overshadowed, however, by the disputed claims that the British state has had an agent acting as the Provisional IRA's chief of internal security. In that capacity, the man is said to have helped torture and kill other British agents and informers - as well, of course, as IRA people who just got unlucky.
For sure the British state has a long history of bloody

Peronist v. Peronist in election run-off

Published on: Fri, 16/05/2003 - 22:21

By Pablo Velasco

The presidential elections in Argentina offered little for the working class after years of economic collapse and austerity.

The first round on April 27 was won by Peronist ex-president Menem, whose neo-liberal "economic surgery without anaesthetic" was responsible for Argentina's collapse in 2001. He will now face another Peronist, Kirchner, in a run off on 18 May. The official candidate of the Radical Party, which has been the second-largest party for decades, got just 2.5% - suggesting it is on the brink of dissolution.
The left vote was low, with the United Left getting

What future for Short?

Published on: Fri, 16/05/2003 - 22:19

Clare Short has finally resigned from the Government - jumping before she was pushed, according to some reports. When two months ago on the eve of war she might have had a tremendous impact had she carried out her threat to resign, now, inevitably, there is an anti-climax.
The Clare Short who has now delivered a fierce attack on Blair is a lot weaker - indeed discredited and widely held in contempt. Two months ago she could have helped discredit a Prime Minister who is now a lot stronger as a result of the easy US-UK victory in Iraq.
Short was always too concerned with furthering her career to

Foundations for privatisation

Published on: Fri, 16/05/2003 - 22:18

By Mike Fenwick, Airedale Health UNISON (personal capacity)
Foundation hospitals mean some hospital trusts will be given a greater degree of local autonomy to run their own affairs, including setting their own wage rates, borrowing from the private sector and specialising and expanding as they see fit.
In the first place only hospitals considered to be high performers will be allowed to apply. This means a reintroduction of the Tory internal market into the NHS. Early implementers can concentrate on developing high volume services for simple operations and, such as hip replacements, and create

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