Solidarity 135, 10 July 2008

Rank and file participation and political representation

At the union conferences held this summer, anger at the Brown administration gave the the left the opportunity to pose serious questions about working-class political representation. Everyone agreed that there is a gaping hole in the political landscape that the organised working class need to fill with socialist politics. However, the solutions that organised socialists are proposing fall short of what is necessary. This was made eminently clear by the left’s failure to make any change to the unions organisational and political links with the Labour Party.

Test marking fiasco: scrap SATs


Pat Yarker

In May, 11 and 14 year olds in England’s state schools faced the tedious annual round of public tests in English, Maths and Science. All results of those tests were supposed to be with schools this week. They won’t be.

What's in a minimum?

Recent research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that around £13,400 a year is required to maintain a minimum standard of living. The Treasury currently estimates the minimum acceptable income as no less then 60% of the median wage. The question is "what is a minimum standard of living?"

Around the unions: in brief

•RMT: The RMT has called a ballot of Charing Cross Group Tube workers for action in solidarity with Jerome Bowes, a member of station staff at Elephant and Castle unjustly sacked after an incident on New Year’s Eve.
Jerome was subject to verbal abuse after witnessing a fight between two passengers, and manhandled by a drunken passenger. When this passenger punched him, Jerome swung round in self defence and caught him, breaking a small bone in his own wrist. No managers were present, even at one of the busiest stations on one of the busiest nights of the year.

What is Marxism For?


Leon Trotsky

Marxism and Lenin's "State and Revolution"
“Why does everything come down to Trotsky — what Trotsky said, what he did…?” A comment not long ago from a renegade socialist, one of those free-spirited, “clever”, emancipated ex-Marxists who thought up the “Euston Manifesto”. The truth of course is that nothing at all “comes down” to Trotsky — or Marx, or Lenin, or Rosa Luxemburg, or anyone else.

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