Solidarity 111, 3 May 2007

Daily Express cloaks bigotry in secularism

By Sacha Ismail

When it’s not busy attacking public sector workers’ miserable pensions as overly generous and telling us how easy life is for asylum-seekers, the favourite pastime of the foul Daily Express is bashing Britain’s Muslim population.

In November 2006, the Workers’ Liberty website covered a ludicrous front page story about one school in Rotherham deciding to serve halal chicken for Christmas dinner — which apparently amounted to "banning Christmas". Now the Express has trumped itself with a personal-best for anti-Muslim incitement.

United action to beat public-sector pay cut - Who will move first?

By Pat Murphy

All the main public-sector unions have now taken some sort of position in favour of united industrial action to force pay rises at least matching inflation and to break the two per cent limit decreed by Gordon Brown for both 2007-8 and 2008-9.

The question now is, who will take the initiative to turn this talk into action?

Strangers into citizens?

By Becky Crocker

There are an estimated 500,000 migrants living in the UK “without papers” Evidence of the intimidation and exploitation they face as a result of being denied the right to work is constantly coming to light. Despite the numbers involved Blair government remains committed to its policies of detaining and deporting so-called “illegals”. Meanwhile it is kicking “failed” asylum seekers out to so-called “safe” countries like Darfur and Iraq and constructing a new prison for detaining immigrants at Gatwick.

Fragmented Trotskyist tradition? Remember CLR James and Raya Dunayevskaya too.

By Chris Ford

In Workers Liberty 3/11 (April 2007) it is explained that in opposition to those Trotskyists who defended the USSR as a “workers’ state” there developed another Trotskyist current and for “a whole epoch of world history, they produced a powerful literature that has for that period no equal, nor any near relative or rival.” This current is narrowed to what is alleged to be its “most able representatives, Max Shachtman and his close friends.”

Polish workers lead Dublin wildcat strike

On 27 April a wildcat strike broke out in Musgrave warehouses in Dublin. The whole crew, around 80 people, both immigrant and natives, stopped their work after successive acts of discrimination by the management. Around 50% of the workforce in the warehouse are immigrants, officially employed by work agencies, and face continous discrimination – worse working conditions, lower pay and fewer rights.

Peter Tatchell and voting Labour

The news that long-standing gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will be the Green Party’s candidate in Oxford East at the next general election has generated some debate on the left.

Consensus politics won’t stop BNP

By Pete Radcliff

We do not know the 3 May local election results at the time of going to press. But the BNP will probably have had a substantial number of council election successes.
A fuller post-election analysis of the BNP results can be found here

Two million vote Trotskyist in France

In the first round of the French presidential election, on 22 April, postal worker Olivier Besancenot, standing for the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire, won 1.5 million votes (4.11%). That was 300,000 more votes for Besancenot than in the 2002 poll, which at the time was considered a surprisingly good score for a revolutionary candidate.

Besancenot had a slight decrease in percentage points, since turnout shot up to 85%. However, Arlette Laguiller, standing for Lutte Ouvrière for the sixth time, slipped back from 5.7% to just 1.3%, just under half a million votes.

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