Solidarity 367, 10 June 2015

UK poverty worst in western Europe


Gerry Bates

A new study has found that poor people in Britain have it worse than anywhere else in western Europe.

The report, published by the High Pay Centre, finds that the poorest 20% of households have some of the smallest disposable incomes in the whole continent, and are much poorer than their equivalents in developed western European countries.

Saudi war crimes in Yemen


Dan Katz

The anti-democratic and sectarian bigots who run Saudi Arabia are engaged in a war on Yemen that — given its careless, arrogant, brutal attitude towards Yemen’s civilian population — amounts to a war crime.

The Saudis have been bombing Yemen since 25 March, the day the Saudi-backed President, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, fled the country.

Industrial news in brief

Following a one-day strike at Lewisham and Southwark College on 4 June, union members report a different atmosphere in the college.

The dispute has now broken out of the world of committee meetings and into the classrooms and corridors, canteens and staff rooms. Everybody now has to have a position on the strike, everybody has to think about taking a side.

For many staff and students, this is a further political education and a first direct experience of trade union struggle.

Greece: any deal must be opposed


Theodora Polenta

As we go to press, the Greek government and its EU lenders are still crossing swords over the terms on which Greece will get further bailout funds from its IMF-EU lenders.

The details of the reform wanted by the lenders and what the Greek government is saying it will concede are more-or-less clear. Whatever version of reform is agreed, the character of previous memorandums between Greece and its lenders, with strict commitments to deficit reduction etc., will remain intact.

Solidarity for all

On a recent trip to Athens, Solidarity visited a “solidarity health clinic” run by volunteers to provide healthcare for those unable to access it. We spoke to Constantine Kokossis who volunteers at the clinic in Omonia, central Athens.

Solidarity for All, a fund set up five years ago using the money from Syriza MPs, helped set up clinics like this one. This clinic has been working for three years, providing primary care to everyone in need.

No withdrawal from EU



As the second reading of the EU referendum bill went through Parliament on 9 June, the right-wing campaign to exit Europe began in earnest. Unfortunately it is likely to be mirrored on the left.

Lewisham academies victory stings Morgan


Charlotte Zalens

Education Secertary, Nicky Morgan, has vowed to “sweep away bureaucratic and legal loopholes exploited by those who put ideological objections above the best interests of children” in order to force through the rapid academisation of local authority schools.

Turkey: defeat for Erdoğan


Cagatay Cengiz

The parliamentary election in Turkey on 7 June was a victory for the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) that passed the 10% election threshold which was imposed after the 1980 coup.

According to preliminary results, the party more than doubled its votes from 2.8 million (6.5%) in the 2011 elections to slightly more than 6 million (13%) in the 2015 elections.

The AKP’s votes decreased from nearly 50% in 2011 to 40.9% in 2015, even though the party still came first. No party has the mandate to form the government alone.

Back Corbyn for Labour Leader!


Jeremy Corbyn

On Tuesday 9 June the week-long nomination period in the election for the next leader of the Labour Party opens.

After a month of pre-election election campaigning, four candidates declaring and all promising to make Labour a pale shadow of the Tory Party, Jeremy Corbyn has said he will try to get the required 35 nominations from Labour MPs.

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