Solidarity 114, 28 June 2007

Solidarity 3/114 is out

Published on: Thu, 28/06/2007 - 01:13

Download the pages, as pdfs, here (click on "read more"), or read it on this website by clicking here.

Pull-out: Women's Fightback number 3
Page 1: The postal workers' battle: public service or maximum profit?
Page 2: Support the postal workers; The case for a single equality law; Opt out from rights
Page 3: Hamas victory is a tragedy for the Palestinians; Separate religion and the state!
Page 4: Unison conference; Bakerloo line lone working; Salford refuse strike; Blood service; New witch-hunts in Unison; NUT agrees a ballot
Page 5: Unite on public sector pay; Unison "contracts out" Palestine

Questions and answers on Iraq — why AWL is mistaken

Published on: Fri, 20/07/2007 - 14:47

By Daniel Randall

Throughout the course of the debate leading up to AWL's 2007 AGM, and the debate at the AGM itself, it became obvious that many AWL members did not have a clear understanding of what those of us who held a minority position on Iraq were really advocating.

For Iraq — Troops Out Now? The Debate in AWL, click here
This document, therefore, has been written to address some of the basic issues around the question and is intended as part of a wider series of articles that will take up in greater depth the reasons why we believe our organisation’s position on Iraq needs to change.

“To Teach the Claims of Labour” — The Life of Tom Mann, Pioneer Socialist, part 2.

Published on: Wed, 18/07/2007 - 00:27

Cathy Nugent continues a series on the life and times of Tom Mann

When Tom Mann joined the Social Democratic Federation in May 1885 he was nearly thirty years old. That would have been an advanced age to be converted to socialism by the standards of later, more revolutionary times. But then these were not yet revolutionary times, and socialist ideas had been quite thin on the ground in Britain up to the beginning of the 1880s.

  • For part 1 click here

    Events, experiences, personalities and social changes combined to create a “modern” socialist movement in Britain.

    • At the end of the 1870s an

  • The Mind of Political Islam and the New Al Qaeda Threat of Mass Murder:

    Published on: Tue, 17/07/2007 - 00:59

    By John O'Mahony
    The Al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahri has (July 10th) threatened Prime Minister Gordon Brown with mass murder in Britain, in retaliation for the award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie. The knighthood, al-Zawahri said, was an "insult" to Muslims. This once more expresses, and in its most brutish and blood-thirsty form, the paradoid intolerance that governs political Islam.

    We analysed the "moderate" version of this mindset, in this comment on the outcry that immediately greeted the award of the knighthood.

    Salman Rushdie is to be pitied for the state of mind revealed in his

    What is Wrong with “One Solution, Revolution!”?

    Published on: Mon, 16/07/2007 - 11:52

    by Albert Glotzer
    Many of the core activists of today’s left had their thinking shaped by the dramatic struggles of 1979-84, or of the late 1960s and early 70s — times when capitalism seemed to be in intractable crisis, and mass working-class action to change society was a prospect near at hand.

    Adjusting to the huge expansion of capitalism since the 1980s, and the ebb of labour movements (a temporary ebb, but a long temporary ebb) is difficult.

    Many leftists patch over the problem by pretending that “revolution” is still at hand, a pretence they can sustain only by accrediting the successes

    The postal workers’ battle: Public service or maximum profit?

    Published on: Thu, 12/07/2007 - 11:06

    By Pete Keenlyside (CWU Executive, personal capacity)

    As a member of the executive of the Communication Workers Union I want to appeal to the broad labour and trade union movement to rally to the postal workers in our dispute with Royal Mail.

    People should be under no illusions. This is a very serious dispute indeed. Unattributed quotes have appeared in the newspapers, apparently originating from Royal Mail management, making parallels between postal workers and the miners and car workers. We all know what has happened to the British car industry and the British mining industry. What postal

    Women: the case for a single equality law

    Published on: Thu, 12/07/2007 - 00:47

    By Maria Exall

    The media reported that the Government is planning to change the law to help women gain equal access to membership benefits of golf clubs. You could have been forgiven for thinking that the Green Paper on reforming equality laws was a trivial matter. In fact it is the beginning of the long awaited consultation on a Single Equality Act which could consolidate, upgrade and extend the current mishmash of equality laws in the UK, and make law which truly help us get greater equality in the workplace and in wider society. Such a law has been the aim of trade union and equality

    Marxists and the green challenge

    Published on: Tue, 10/07/2007 - 12:23

    Paul Hampton reviews 2006, Marxism and Ecological Economics by Paul Burkett (Amsterdam: Brill)

    The conventional wisdom among Greens is that, so far as environmental struggles go, the organised labour movement is only occasionally an ally and often an opponent. Most ecologists dismiss Marxism as having little to offer today’s environmental concerns such as climate change.

    Paul Burkett is probably the foremost Marxist writing on the environment in recent years who, together with John Bellamy Foster, puts Marxism at the centre of ecological discussions. Burkett’s chief merit is to have nailed a

    The French Communist Party - Rise of the Stalinist behemoth

    Published on: Mon, 09/07/2007 - 11:55

    By David Broder

    At a recent conference in France I spoke to a young man who was a member of the Parti Communiste Français (PCF, French Communist Party). When I asked him why any young activist would join an ossified party now in terminal decline, he replied that “I intervene in the PCF because I am a Luxemburgist. I can see the difference between the leadership of an organisation and its membership.”

    A strange time to see it. But the PCF was indeed a mass Communist Party, largely composed of genuine working-class militants, whose political and trade union experience was skewed by an ideology

    The Palestine Civil War

    Published on: Sun, 08/07/2007 - 11:04

    Editorial, Solidarity 3/114
    The rulers of Israel are frequently accused, and justly so according to the evidence, of wanting a “settlement” with the Palestinians in which a “Palestinian state” is really a series of “Palestinistans”, what in South Africa were called bantustans.

    Now the Palestinians are doing it for themselves. After a short civil war, “Palestine” has been split into two, Gaza ruled by Hamas and the West Bank (or, rather, pockets within the West Bank) ruled by Fatah. Thus the seemingly endless tragedy of the Palestinian people has taken a new turn.

    On one level the civil war

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