Housing

Covid-19: fight for workers' control

Published on: Tue, 31/03/2020 - 07:17

1. Requisition (in other words, take into emergency public ownership)
• private hospitals, as Ireland and Spain have done
• the pharmaceutical and medical-supplies industries, so that production can be ramped up in a coordinated way to meet the crisis
• high finance, so that the epidemic is not compounded by a snowballing economic slump resulting from an implosion of credit
• and other sectors where coordinated mobilisation is necessary.

2. Fight for workers’ control
The workers ourselves, taking expert advice, should have a decisive voice in identifying and running what is essential, and how

Pause Brexit now!

Published on: Wed, 25/03/2020 - 08:04

From Labour for a Socialist Europe

Whatever our differing views on Brexit, the whole Labour Party and labour movement should call and campaign for the Brexit transition period due to end on 31 December to be extended significantly – at least an extra year, maybe the full two years permitted under existing rules.

Even before the Covid-19 crisis, the possibility of the UK striking a deal with the EU in time looked tenuous. The Tory government has been threatening to walk away and prepare for a No Deal Brexit if the essentials of a deal are not in place by June!

Now the next round of UK-EU talks

Covid-19: public health, and workers' rights too!

Published on: Tue, 24/03/2020 - 21:27
Author

Editorial

1. Requisition (in other words, take into emergency public ownership):

• private hospitals, so that all their resources are directly available to the NHS
• the pharmaceutical and medical-supplies industries, so that production can be ramped up in a coordinated way to meet the crisis
• manufacturing facilities which can be adapted to produce ventilators and other medical equipment
• hotels and empty houses, to use them for the NHS, for the homeless, and for domestic violence victims
• transport and logistics, so that essential deliveries and travel can be coordinated and planned
• the big

The world's housing crisis

Published on: Wed, 04/03/2020 - 09:02
Author

Steve Allen

A new film, Push, documents the work of a UN Special Rapporteur as she travels the globe to understand the housing crisis.

On the face of it, it could be an inspiring call to arms. Unfortunately, it provides few solutions beyond governments working together to tackle global finance.

The film title is a nod to the process of gentrification, whereby residents are “pushed” out of their homes to make way for typically more expensive developments. Housing has become a financial asset to be traded at the whims of private equity firms. Meanwhile tenants face ever increasing rents and stagnating wages

Letters

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 11:50

In an otherwise excellent piece in Solidarity 534, ("Blaming 'the intellectuals'), Len Glover is much too kind to Ian ("white working class") Lavery, saying that he "has, in many respects, a worthy record and before becoming an MP was President of the National Union of Mineworkers."

Indeed he was; but the Certification Officer reported the following on the National Union of Mineworkers [NUM] (Northumberland Area) (below: "the Union"), of which Ian Lavery was General Secretary.

This organisation reported 240 members each year from 2002 to 2012, and 10 members in 2013 and later years.

"The Union

The potentialities of Acorn

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 10:51
Author

Dan Rawnsley

Since the general election, the "community union" Acorn has been growing.

On 22 December the Guardian reported on Acorn’s “glut of applications” after the 13 December exit poll. Acorn UK national organiser Nick Ballard was quoted saying “We’ve had hundreds of new members join.”

Acorn has branches in Bristol, Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, and Brighton, and is best known as a renters’ union. The organisation has been able to turn out pickets of a hundred people to block evictions and has pressured Santander, TSB and NatWest to get rid of rent increase and “no DSS” clauses in buy-to-let

Labour leader: the contest so far

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 11:13
Author

Mohan Sen

At the moment at least, I am not supporting any of the candidates for Labour leader. In hustings, I think, activists should ask pointed questions, and ask members to judge the candidates by their responses.

For example, no candidate has yet committed to work for wide democratic reforms in Labour’s still-largely-Blair-made structure. None has backed the Free Our Unions call for them to respect the 2019 Labour conference decision for repeal of all anti-union laws. None has said that they will seek to lead on-the-streets and industrial campaigning against Johnson.

Rebecca Long-Bailey,Salford and

Tories: prepare the fightback!

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 11:42
Author

Editorial

Boris Johnson has talked of ending austerity, bolstering public services and appealing to the working class, but on all the evidence so far that is a threadbare velvet glove on an iron hand.

NHS spending is set to increase, but by nothing anywhere near what is needed to fill the shortfall from its 2010-20 cuts. The tide of privatisation will continue to roll forward.

The NHS is probably the best protected part of the public sector. The Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that by 2024, non-NHS spending will be 14% lower than in 2010.

The provisional local government funding settlement

Housing should be a right!

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 09:24

More than half of the 1,900 ultra-luxury apartments built in London in 2017 failed to sell, so overcrowded London has dozens of “posh ghost towers”.

Meanwhile, some 320,000 people are homeless across Britain (on the streets or in temporary accommodation). On-the-streets homelessness has doubled since 2010. Millions more are stuck sharing with parents or friends because they can find nowhere affordable.

Other millions are in insecure, often expensive, often squalid privately-rented accommodation. The private rented sector has increased from 2.6 million households in 2007 to 4.7 million on the

Home Office plans to trick the worst-off

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 11:13
Author

Misha Zubrowski

The Home Office is holding “immigration surgeries” at charities and places of worship.

They tell homeless migrants that attending will help them get financial support, and may help them regularise their immigration status. They are assured the sessions are not part of “an enforcement approach” to immigration status.

Lies – as was revealed on October 15.

The surgeries are run by the Home Office’s immigration enforcement unit. Officials may decide that attendees have no right to be in the UK, asking these individuals — who came seeking and promised support — to their agree to “voluntary removal”

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