Brexit

Squaring anti-racist instinct with pro-Brexit policy

To be fair to the Morning Star, the fact that it had no coverage of the Wednesday 24 November tragedy in the Channel until its Friday edition (26 November), a day later than the rest of the media, was probably due to its limited resources and inability to extend deadlines. When it did come, the Morning Star’s coverage was mainly pretty good: a front page headline “Give Safe Routes To Refugees” and a lead story quoting refugee rights groups blaming racist border fortification policies by both the British and French governments. The editorial on Friday 26 November was headed “Britain’s inhumane...

We can wind back Brexit!

Brexit is already contributing heavily to economic chaos. That contribution may get bigger. In UK-EU negotiations over trade arrangements between Britain and Northern Ireland, the EU has now offered sweeping removal of checks on animal and plant products entering NI. The UK’s negotiator David Frost has told them to get lost. The Tories are letting talk circulate that they will kick over the table and unilaterally suspend the Northern Ireland protocol, the deal they themselves signed less than two years ago to avoid a hard border within Ireland. EU states including France, Germany, Spain and...

Disorder at the border: Lexiters backing Johnson

During the EU referendum, the “leave” side almost entirely ignored the implications for Northern Ireland, and when concerns were raised, dismissed them as part of “project fear.” When it became clear that Brexit would have a seriously destabilising effect on Northern Ireland, Johnson and the hard-line Brexiteers (including the DUP) opposed the May government’s “backstop” which, for all its faults, was an attempt to mitigate the problem and avoid a hard border. Now, together with his Brexit tsar, the malevolent clown David Frost, Johnson is deliberately using Northern Ireland and agitation...

Trade union struggle and political struggle - an interview with John McDonnell

John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington and former Shadow Chancellor, spoke to Sacha Ismail. After Labour Party conference, what do you think will happen with Starmer’s leadership? Do you think he’ll be around for a long time? It’s impossible to tell at the moment. At the conference he used the traditional Blairite, Mandelson playbook. Attack your own party to demonstrate you’re a strong leader; do a big personal speech to try to demonstrate you’re a normal human being; make banal statements instead of policy commitments. It didn’t work: the bounce in the polls didn’t happen. The...

High wages? Start with strong unions

The Tories want to present anti-migrant policies and the labour shortages caused by those by policies, by Brexit and by poor wages and conditions in key industries like road haulage and social care as a boon for workers. That was the pitch of Boris Johnson’s speech to Conservative Party conference, promising a “high-wage, high-skill, high-productivity economy” in place of “the same old broken model with low wages, low growth, low skills, and low productivity, all of it enabled and assisted by uncontrolled immigration.” The Tories are being aided in this misdirection by the lack of serious...

Leftists who agree with Johnson?

Johnson has hit on the idea of posing as the friend of workers and the champion of higher wages. For weeks ministers have been insisting that shortages had nothing to do with Brexit, but now Johnson claims that it was all part of the Brexit “plan” to push higher pay by restricting the supply of labour: he claims his government wants to make Britain a high-wage economy by ending supposedly “uncontrolled” immigration. . With typical opportunism, Johnson has seized upon a few limited and short-term wage rises to suggest that Brexit and tighter immigration controls benefit British workers. It is...

Fuel, wages and Brexit - put people before profit

The fuel shortages, queues at petrol stations and huge surrounding traffic jams which have choked up many cities and towns are an indictment of many aspects of our social arrangements: • Low-wages and terrible conditions for HGV drivers. • The ending of free movement between Britain and the European Union with Brexit, and the wider drive against migrants. • The whole framework of vital industries, including transport and energy, being run for private profit. The Socialist of 29 September carries an interview with a Socialist Party member who until recently worked as a driver. He vividly...

A bad boy of Brexit returns

A once-familiar name returned to the pages of the Morning Star last week, banging a familiar and well-worn drum: Brian Denny, Europhobe and Little Englander par excellence. For the EU referendum of June 2016, CAEF signed up with Leave.EU, the group run by Nigel Farage and his sidekick Arron Banks, responsible for some of the most racist propaganda during that campaign (e.g. the notorious “Breaking Point” poster and the claim that a millions Turks were about to arrive in Britain). Banks sent money to TUAEU and in his book Bad Boys of Brexit, published in October 2016, described how he worked...

A balance sheet of "Corbynism"

Just over a year after Jeremy Corbyn was elected, in September 2016, the new Labour Leader addressed the Burston Strike Rally in Norfolk.

Increase pay, training, and open borders

The Confederation of British Industry is concerned about labour shortages, especially in areas that could impact on food supply. They want the government to make it easier for migrant workers to come to those jobs in the UK. The government’s response is that they should hire British workers. But, even leaving aside the nationalism here, the work talked about most in the press is HGV drivers. The other jobs the CBI identifies labour shortages in are butchers, construction workers, engineers and IT specialists. None of those jobs can be done by someone immediately. Some jobs listed as having...

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