Solidarity 404, 11 May 2016

Forced Academies U-turn: only half a victory

Submitted by Matthew on 11 May, 2016 - 3:59 Author: Patrick Murphy

Nicky Morgan's announcement that she was withdrawing proposals to legislate to force all schools to become academies was both a real success and a major danger to the campaign against forced academies.

On 6 May, Nicky Morgan announced that, as a result of listening to MPs, teachers, school leaders and parents, she has decided that, while reaffirming our continued determination to see all schools become academies in the next 6 years, that it is not necessary to bring legislation to bring about blanket conversion of all schools to achieve this goal.

Add new comment

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 11 May, 2016 - 3:48 Author: Gemma Short, Ruth Cashman, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

UCU at the University of Nottingham is balloting for industrial action against threatened compulsory redundancies in the Faculty of Arts.

The University that claims to be Britain's global university wants to reduce its offer in archaeology, and theology and religious studies, and close language courses including Dutch. 11.5 FTE posts are at risk. The student body is up in arms over the threat. They have organised several protests, a petition and a Facebook group: Resist Restructuring Nottingham.

Add new comment

Nominate Rhea Wolfson

Submitted by Matthew on 11 May, 2016 - 3:32

Alongside Ann Black, Christine Shawcroft, Claudia Webbe, Darren Williams, and Peter Willsman, the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance is now supporting Rhea Wolfson for the constituency section of Labour's National Executive Committee.

Rhea is former President of Oxford University Jewish Society; former Secretary of London Young Labour; current Women's Officer for Scottish Young Labour; current Co-op Party rep on UK Young Labour National Committee; and a full-time branch secretary for GMB Scotland. Please urge your CLP to nominate Rhea by 24 June.

Add new comment

Due process for Jackie Walker!

Submitted by Matthew on 11 May, 2016 - 3:30

Momentum condemns the suspension of Jackie Walker, Vice Chair of our Steering Committee, from the Labour Party on 4 May.

Jackie, a black activist of Jewish heritage and lifelong anti-racist campaigner and trainer, was suspended by the party for alleged antisemitism following an article that appeared in the Jewish Chronicle, which quotes statements she made on Facebook discussing her family history.

Add new comment

Brazil: the plans of the right MatthewWed, 11/05/2016 - 15:24

On 10 May the acting speaker of the lower house of Brazil's parliament, appointed after the previous speaker was forced out on charges of corruption and money-laundering, declared the 17 April impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff invalid. The chief of the upper house, the Senate, however, declared that a Senate vote to confirm the impeachment and force out Rousseff would go ahead.

On 4 May, Alfredo Saad Filho, a Brazilian Marxist economist working in London, spoke to Solidarity about the political turmoil in Brazil.

Add new comment

James Connolly: Home Rule and the Gaelic Revival

Submitted by Matthew on 11 May, 2016 - 3:15 Author: Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson continues a series on the life and politics of James Connolly.


Connolly's period in Dublin coincided with the period of the Gaelic Revival, and the rediscovery (and re-invention) of Ireland's historical, literary and cultural past. It also led to a deepening of Connolly's understanding of Irish history and the Irish national question, establishing some themes which, in various form, would be present throughout his political life.

Add new comment

How to wipe out left-anti-Semitism

Submitted by Matthew on 11 May, 2016 - 3:06 Author: Sean Matgamna

Jackie Walker, a woman of mixed African-Jewish background, and vice-chair of the Labour Party's left-wing group, Momentum, has been suspended by the Labour Party on grounds of anti-semitism. The charge of anti-semitism is based on a fragment of a Facebook conversation from some months ago. Her anti-semitism consisted in the statement that Africa too had experienced a Holocaust.

Comments

Submitted by John D on Thu, 28/07/2016 - 12:21

There was a short exchange of views here on the Tolpuddle Festival thuggish expulsion of a pro-Israel stall. This year, hooligan thuggery will not be required. Good manners and comradely solidarity will be evident.

(From the JC) . . .

Last year the Bournemouth Action for Israel (BAFI) group was asked to leave the Tolpuddle Festival after volunteers were verbally abused, compared to the BNP and their stall defaced by pro-Palestinians.

Despite the unsettling experience, BAFI decided to apply for a stall at the summer event in Dorset once again this year – only to be turned down.

In a letter to BAFI co-chair Dr Melvyn Melkman, festival organiser Nigel Costley said: “On this occasion they have decided not to accept your application for a stall.” No explanation was given and when Dr Melkman wrote to the TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, he received a response which supported that decision.

However, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was once again allowed to hold a stall at the event, despite the fact that its supporters were involved in the trouble last year. Last year the Bournemouth Action for Israel (BAFI) group was asked to leave the Tolpuddle Festival after volunteers were verbally abused, compared to the BNP and their stall defaced by pro-Palestinians.
Despite the unsettling experience, BAFI decided to apply for a stall at the summer event in Dorset once again this year – only to be turned down.
In a letter to BAFI co-chair Dr Melvyn Melkman, festival organiser Nigel Costley said: “On this occasion they have decided not to accept your application for a stall.”
No explanation was given and when Dr Melkman wrote to the TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, he received a response which supported that decision.
However, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was once again allowed to hold a stall at the event, despite the fact that its supporters were involved in the trouble last year.
Dr Melkman said: “By allowing the pro-Palestinian group to have a stall and not ourselves, the TUC is exhibiting significant discrimination and double standards with its pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel bias.
“It is not allowing freedom of speech and promoting open debate. It is preventing the Labour movement from hearing Israel’s point of view whilst allowing the pro-Palestinian group at Tolpuddle to denigrate and delegitimise Israel with misleading propaganda.”
A TUC spokesperson said: “The TUC South West regional executive reserves the right to turn down stall applications. As a volunteer-run event it is not always possible to accommodate every application and priority is given to organisations with longstanding associations with the trade union movement."
The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival celebrates agricultural workers who set up the first trade union in 1834. Held earlier this month, it is dubbed by organisers as a “a weekend of family entertainment, stalls, political debate, comedy, music and a grand procession”.
The reasons that organisers gave last year for asking BAFI to leave was that they could not guarantee their safety. However, in a statement later released to the press Mr Costley, said that “stewards had enough to do without trying to manage a debate on the Middle East”.
Dr Melkman said: “By allowing the pro-Palestinian group to have a stall and not ourselves, the TUC is exhibiting significant discrimination and double standards with its pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel bias.
“It is not allowing freedom of speech and promoting open debate. It is preventing the Labour movement from hearing Israel’s point of view whilst allowing the pro-Palestinian group at Tolpuddle to denigrate and delegitimise Israel with misleading propaganda.”

A TUC spokesperson said: “The TUC South West regional executive reserves the right to turn down stall applications. As a volunteer-run event it is not always possible to accommodate every application and priority is given to organisations with longstanding associations with the trade union movement."

The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival celebrates agricultural workers who set up the first trade union in 1834. Held earlier this month, it is dubbed by organisers as a “a weekend of family entertainment, stalls, political debate, comedy, music and a grand procession”.

The reasons that organisers gave last year for asking BAFI to leave was that they could not guarantee their safety. However, in a statement later released to the press Mr Costley, said that “stewards had enough to do without trying to manage a debate on the Middle East”.

John

Submitted by John D on Thu, 28/07/2016 - 15:16

Ooops! Sorry.

Add new comment

It is time to stand up for socialism!

Submitted by Matthew on 11 May, 2016 - 2:51 Author: Editorial

All in all, Labour didn't do too badly in the 5 May elections.

Everything was weighted against them. The media had its own anti-Labour agenda and tried to force events into its own pre-set patterns. It spent much of its time discussing Jeremy Corbyn and who liked him and didn't like him.

Add new comment

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.