General Elections

Johnson's Brexit: Thatcher reloaded

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:38

On 3 December Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab squirmed when asked why he’d advocated that the NHS should follow the model of Germany, where “two thirds of German hospitals are run privately or not-for-profit”.

It was “a snippet from a pamphlet written a long time ago [it was 2011!], but I can tell you categorically I’ve never advocated privatisation of the NHS.”

He was, he protested, only one of five authors. The other four are all core members of the Johnson team: Trade Secretary Liz Truss, business minister Kwasi Kwarteng, Home Secretary Priti Patel, and junior minister Chris Skidmore.

In

After 12 December, what?

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:36

If Labour wins a majority government, some activists will think or semi-think “job done”.

There will be a feeling we have navigated deadly rapids to a place of a safety. But in fact the struggle will likely intensify, and become harder.

Labour’s manifesto only moderate higher taxes on the best-off, and nationalisation with compensation of selected sectors, not a democratic seizure of the productive wealth currently held by the plutocrats. But we should not assume Labour’s manifesto will be implemented easily.

There will be many Labour MPs and leading party figures hesitant about or hostile to

No backlash in PCS

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 15:44
Author

John Moloney

Our intervention in this election is unprecedented in the history of PCS. In previous elections, the union has run a neutral campaign called “make your vote count”.

Some in the union were worried that our stance would provoke a negative response from members, and maybe even resignations from people who wanted the union to remain strictly apolitical, but this hasn’t materialised.

The previous line proceeded from the premise that all parties were objectively the same, and our job was simply to provide members with information about their various policies, especially those affecting the civil

What if a hung parliament?

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:56
Author

Editorial

On 25 November Jeremy Corbyn reiterated his opposition to a coalition with the Lib Dems if the Tories lose the election but Labour does not win a majority.

He did not respond to a question about coalitions versus forming a minority government. Mostly Labour’s leaders have rightly said they oppose a coalition and that, if Labour comes out from 12 December ahead of the Tories but short of a majority, they will go for a minority government. The Lib Dems have gone even further and said they will not vote to make Corbyn prime minister, let alone join a coalition.

However, on 19 November the

Lib Dems: turbo-charged neoliberalism

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:37

Quite a few of the Lib Dems’ manifesto pledges read as quite leftish. Their opposition to Brexit is clear, though revoking Article 50 without a new referendum is misguided. On migrants’ rights and free movement, they stand in many respects to the left of Labour.

Even on public services, they are promising something like £50 billion above the Tories’ spending plans, and in a few areas have outflanked Labour – for instance childcare, where they are pledging more free hours from earlier and specifying it will be almost all year round.

In general, though, what marks out the Lib Dems’ plans is not

Tories pledge new anti-union law

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:37

The Tories, in their manifesto, signal their intention to launch a new assault on trade unions, with a pledge to ban transport workers from all-out strikes by requiring the operation of a “minimum service” during action.

Otherwise the Tory manifesto is very content-light. Despite all the stuff about the Tories junking austerity and spending big on public services, the manifesto pledges barely any new money – about £3 billion, as against tens of billions from Labour and the Lib Dems.

On social care, for instance, it offers virtually nothing beyond an appeal for cross-party consensus.

It pledges

Push out the Tories, sort out Labour

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:37
Author

Sacha Ismail

To respond to Orthodox chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’ attack on Labour over antisemitism by pointing out that it is exaggerated only gets you so far.

The reality is that since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader, Seamus Milne took over the Leader’s Office, and some thousands of “returners” from the 1980s became newly vocal, a culture of antisemitism has flourished on the margins of the party and, in somewhat less virulent forms, deeper inside it too.

A significant strand in Labour antisemitism is connected to a particular view of Israel and “Zionism”. While the party’s formal policy on Israel

Sanders campaign: Impeachment? What impeachment?

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:37
Author

Eric Lee

Something strange is going on with the Democratic presidential candidates and the impeachment of Donald Trump. All the candidates support Trump’s impeachment. But none of them want to talk about it.

At a recent event in Las Vegas, Bernie Sanders said that Trump “will be impeached, and he should be impeached.” But he quickly added that his own campaign is about “more than just defeating” the Republican president.

When California Senator Kamala Harris was asked recently if she was following the impeachment hearings, she replied “not so much”. “I’ve been in Iowa,” she explained. As Politico put

Labour’s climate policy: the fine print

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:16
Author

Misha Zubrowski

The environmental section of Labour’s manifesto is more ambitious than previous policy announcements, but less so than sections of the policy passed at this year’s Labour conference.

It has received much hype but less attention to detail. This article unpicks some of the finer points.

The rhetoric, at least to start, seems refreshingly left-wing, it suggesting a direct working-class approach. “Just 100 companies globally are responsible for the majority of carbon emissions”, they recognise. They thus commit to “work in partnership with the workforce and their trade unions in every sector of

Building after 29 November climate strike

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:16
Author

Misha Zubrowski

Millions of young people, in the UK and around the world, will take part in the 29 November global climate strike. In many workplaces workers will take actions, whether a lunchtime photo-shoot or delegations of workers joining city-wide climate protests. In the UK, particularly important this time are the UCU strikes, which coincide. We must build on the 29th for wider climate activism.

Youth climate strikers should deepen our collective and democratic organisation on town-, city-, and region-wide bases. Youth strikers must work with workplace activists to build a clear programme of

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