Solidarity 437, 3 May 2017

Student union rights under attack over BDS campaigns


Ben Tausz

The Charity Commission is investigating a number of student unions for their policies on boycotting Israel and may take action against them, amid right-wing calls for such boycotts to be banned.

Why students and youth should vote Labour


Rosalind Robson

If the opinion polls are correct, Labour is solidly ahead of the Tories among potential voters under 40 years old. Among women under 40, 42 per cent favour Labour, against 27 per cent for the Tories. Unfortunately, these same people are less likely to vote. What’s going on?

Industrial news in brief


Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

RMT members on Northern rail struck again on 28 April. The strike was every bit as solid as the previous two days’ action, reducing the company’s service to 40% of its usual level, with scab labour being provided by managers.

The union is yet to announce its next move. It will need to think carefully about what to do next, taking into account the various different situations at different Train Operating Companies around the country.

The Front National and fascism


Martin Thomas

France’s Front National, which now has a real though outside chance of gaining the country’s powerful presidency, is not a fascist movement comparable to the Nazis or Mussolini’s Fascist Party when they were on the eve of power in the 1920s and 30s. Neither, however, is it a conventional hard-right party like UKIP or Germany’s AfD. The makeover the FN has given itself since 2011 is a makeover.

How to think beyond and survive the exam season


Daisy Thomas

A report on 2 May from the Health and Education Committee of MPs found that government cuts are pushing many schools to scrap or limit mental health help in schools. Daisy Thomas explains why that help is important.

Politics, hope and organising for change

The surge in membership of the Labour Party after Corbyn’s election shows that many, particularly young people are attracted to socialist politics going far beyond that of any Labour leader of the past 25 years. Only the most sectarian on the left, at least in England and Wales, reject voting Labour now. This represents a big political shift.

Tories seek mandate to increase cuts, inequality, poverty


Martin Thomas

“Mrs May”, writes the Tory-leaning columnist of the Financial Times, Janan Ganesh, “could not survive an election campaign saying so little so often if people paid attention”. Since so many don’t, “the repetition of slogans in lieu of answers carries no cost”. Fraser Nelson, another Tory, comments in the Spectator: “She seems to think that, if you refuse to give the press anything, the public won’t care. Worse, she seems to be right – for now, at least”. May’s purpose, so Nelson writes, is not to “seek a mandate”, but to evade one.

Make the rich pay!



Wages are the clearest measure of how well or badly workers are doing in capitalist society. Between 1979 and 2008 the share of national output (GDP) going on wages fell from 65% to around 54%. This represents a huge shift of wealth in favour of the profit system and the capitalist class who benefit from it.

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