Solidarity 383, 4 November 2015

Why we support union reaffiliation to Labour

The reaffiliation of unions like the railworkers’ RMT and the firefighters’ FBU to Labour, and new affiliations from never-affiliated unions, could help Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, and the left in our effort to politically and organisationally transform Labour.

Reaffiliation could counter the immense rightwards pressure still weighing on Labour from the MPs, from the party machine, and from the media and the whole society around us.

Argument: “There’s no need to rush into reaffiliation.”

Fight education cuts!


Kelly Rogers

Students and staff at colleges are fighting cuts, out-sourcing and privatisation.

The 2010 tuition fee hike to £9,000 has meant students graduating this year have debts of £40,000 and upwards. Astronomical international fees mean that non-UK students will be saddled with more than £100,000. Another fee hike is expected in the next few years.

Solidarity with refugees Open the borders!


Vicki Morris

Refugee flows into Europe from the Middle East and Africa were expected to decline as autumn sets in and sea crossings become more dangerous, but the numbers of people fleeing poverty and war, particularly in Syria, remain very high and are even growing.

Industrial news in brief


Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter and Ollie Moore

SOAS Unison branch secretary Sandy Nicholl has been suspended from his job, leading to staff and student protests for his reinstatement. Sandy spoke to Solidarity:

Best fight on the EU terrain


Elliott Robinson

The British SWP advocates a vote to leave in the forthcoming European Union (EU) referendum with ever-increasing incoherence. Alex Callinicos’ article, “The internationalist case against the European Union” in the latest International Socialism journal (IS 148, 5 October 2015) attempts to give their stance some theoretical weight. In fact the position is neither internationalist, nor a rational case.

FBU to debate Labour reaffiliation


Jack Horner

The Corbyn surge could receive an important boost in the next month with the announcement that the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will consider reaffiliation to the Labour Party.

A living wage for all



On 25 November chancellor George Osborne will declare his modifications (in response to the House of Lords vote on 26 October) of his tax credit cuts plans. He will do it together with his general annual Spending Review, in which he will announce cuts in other areas.

Scottish Labour Conference: Scrap Trident!

The Scottish Labour Party conference on 31 October-1 November voted overwhelmingly (70/30) against Trident renewal.

Support for Trident renewal was spearheaded by the Community and GMB leaderships. Both argued that nuclear weapons were good for the nation’s defence, and good for jobs. According to Community strategy and policy director John Park: “We are supportive of the nuclear deterrent and of the conventional defence industry.”

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