Solidarity 457, 13 December 2017

Against Trump, fight for a real two-states deal for Palestine

Published on: Wed, 13/12/2017 - 12:49

Rosalind Robson

Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and by strong implication the whole of Jerusalem including the eastern, occupied and Palestinian, part of the city has been rightly condemned.

It is largely a symbolic move. Russia recognised (West) Jerusalem as Israel's capital in April 2017, but no other country, surely no EU country, is likely to follow the example of Putin and Trump.

This was, however, a very powerful symbolic move, a staggering act of vandalism against the prospect of peace talks in which the status of Jerusalem will be decided as part of a long-term settlement

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 13/12/2017 - 12:24

Will Sefton, Gemma Short and Patrick Murphy

The local government employers have proposed a two year pay offer for council and school support staff workers of 2% in 2018 and a further 2% in 2019.

Unison, GMB and Unite, as the largest unions representing local government workers, will now put the offer to their respective committees for consideration.

Initial statements from the three unions suggest they at least partially welcome a wage rise that is above the 1% pay cap, but it is well below the level needed to restore anywhere like the 20% cut that workers have faced since 2010.

The last national strike action taken in local government

Left gains at regional conferences

Published on: Wed, 13/12/2017 - 12:18

Micheál MacEoin

Labour Party Regional Conferences were held in November in both London and in Blackpool in the North West and, from thereports, represent a step forward for the left of the party.

Regional Labour Parties remain powerful, with regional directors empowered to oversee selections and regulate other democratic functions of Local Campaign Forums (LCFs) and CLPs. That is why it is important that the bodies elected to hold regional bureaucracies accountable, the Regional Boards, are comprised of left-wing and democratic-minded board members.

At the North West Regional Conference, candidates supported

Debating the second round of the French Presidential election

Published on: Wed, 13/12/2017 - 12:07

At the 2017 AWL conference there was a debate on two opposing resolutions on the second round of the 2017 French Presidential elections.

We present the speeches made in the debate by Martin Thomas and Daniel Randall. Both resolutions can be found here

Against passivity and indifference, for active politics

By Martin Thomas

We have three points of agreement in this debate.

First, that, unlike in the majority of bourgeois run-offs, there was a real difference in France on 7 May.

For the fascist Marine Le Pen even though as yet she lacks the base of a developed fascist party to be elected to

Norwegian, Swiss, or workers' road

Published on: Wed, 13/12/2017 - 12:00

Editorial from Solidarity 457

The Tories' deal with the EU to open talks on future trade links suggests that they are headed on the Norwegian or Swiss road.

In February 2014 Switzerland voted in a referendum, by a narrow majority based outside the big cities, to mandate a constitutional amendment imposing quotas on immigration. Switzerland is currently in the Schengen passport-free area, and has a much higher rate of immigration than Britain.

By December 2016 the Swiss government had fixed a fudge. Swiss employers are now obliged to offer jobs first to job-seekers registered at Swiss job

How members can take control of the Labour Party

Published on: Wed, 13/12/2017 - 11:39

Keith Road and Martin Thomas

The Labour Party is doing yet another democracy review.

This time, however, the review comes under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, and its coordinator is Katy Clark, formerly a left-wing Labour MP and someone we on Solidarity have known as a solid socialist back to her student days in Aberdeen and Edinburgh in the late 1980s and early 90s.

The deadline for Phase 1 submissions is 12 January, and they are to cover BAME (black and minority-ethnic) Labour, Young Labour, and Labour Women's Conference.

Phase 2 (submissions by 23 March) covers more diffuse topics, such as

Socialist feminism without the socialism

Published on: Wed, 13/12/2017 - 11:18

Cathy Nugent

The setting up of a socialist feminist network/website should have been worth investigating.

But a look at its contents indicates that the network/website has been set up purely to voice concerns over forthcoming possible amendments to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), specifically that transgender people will be able to register a change of gender by self-declaration.

The site includes a Q&A on the GRA and promotion of a new campaign Women's Place UK. That campaign's statement says that while it supports transgender rights it believes self-declaration may undermine the integrity of women

Yemen: end this war!

Published on: Wed, 13/12/2017 - 11:07

Dan Katz

Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen, which began in 2015 in an effort to prop up the regime of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi against internal rebellion, is a disaster for Yemen's people.

The Saudis put together a coalition of Gulf States, and with US and UK support began a brutal, pulverising war on Yemen.
There have been over 13,000 victims of Saudi bombing, but many more have died as a consequence of the coalition's strategy. Hospitals, schools, factories and basic infrastructure have also been destroyed, and there is a major humanitarian crisis in the country. The Saudi have damaged the airport

Catalonia goes to the polls

Published on: Wed, 13/12/2017 - 10:59

Tony Holmes

The constitutional crisis in Catalonia continues to simmer as the region awaits elections on 21 December.

A number of Catalan politicians and activists, including members of the recently dismissed government, have been denied bail and remain jailed on charges of sedition. Some are in exile in Belgium.

The Spanish government has been directly administering Catalonia now since late October. While there have been large-scale demonstrations against the suspension of regional autonomy and political arrests, the civil disobedience among local government and regional police that some predicted has

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