Left groups and people

Eddie Dempsey and the misogynistic warlord

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 11:07

There is more to add to the crucial points Becky Crocker made about Eddie Dempsey in Solidarity 519.

The picture featured is Dempsey visiting Alexander Mozgovoy, an uber-nationalist, uber-misogynistic paramilitary leader in the pro-Russian militias during the war in eastern Ukraine. When Mozgovoy was killed a week after they met, Dempsey wrote a glowing obituary of his comrade, which I’ll quote below.

If you want to get a grip on Mozgovoy, this is what he declared about women in the territory he controlled as a warlord, and of course by implication more generally:

“If I see even just one girl

Graham Hellawell 1964-2019

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 08:50
Author

Dan Katz

Graham Hellawell has died, aged 55.

Supporters and members of Workers’ Liberty may well remember Graham from when he took an active and leading part in the Campaign for Free Education in the mid-1990s.

As President of Huddersfield University Students’ Union, Graham helped to set up CfE. For a while the Campaign was a very large force inside the National Union of Students battling against the Blairites’ attempts to ditch free education policy.

Graham was also active in Unison, in health campaigns and in the fight against racism and fascism. In the 2001 General Election he stood as a Socialist

“Two states” is the only road to equality

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 09:23
Author

John Strawson

John Strawson disputes the argument that the “two states” policy in Israel-Palestine — self-determination for both nations there — has become “unviable”. John Strawson is a professor of law at the University of East London, a former visiting lecturer at Birzeit University in the West Bank, and a former activist (in the 1970s) in the International Marxist Group. He develops his argument in polemic with Perry Anderson, who is now a professor at University of California Los Angeles, and who has been a leading figure in the New Left Review editorial team since 1962.

Perry Anderson announced a new

The message from Andrew Murray

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 09:18
Author

Ann Field

Ever the Stalinist nostalgic, in his new book The Fall and Rise of the British Left, Murray laments the passing away of “a largely vanished world of working-class power” and the fact that “none of the scenarios which gripped the left I grew up with in the twentieth century appear fully plausible any more.”

What is to fill the vacuum?

Murray’s answer is not: Slough off the dead weight of Stalinism, re-assert the centrality of independent working-class politics, and reforge a labour movement fit for the overthrow of capitalism.

Instead, and this is his explanation for Corbyn’s election as Labour

Free Louisa Hanoune

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 12:25

Louisa Hanoune, leader of the Workers’ Party in Algeria, linked to the “Lambertist” left group in France, has been sentenced to 15 years in jail.

On 25 September a military court sentenced her for “plotting against the state and undermining the army”.

Also sentenced to 15 years were Said Bouteflika, brother of former president Abdulaziz Bouteflika, now pushed aside by the military regime as it seeks to hold on to power, and two former state intelligence bosses, Mohamed Mediene and Bachir Tartag.

The prosecutors based their case on reports of a meeting of the four. They tried to discredit

Brexit, the white working class and liberal left

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 11:19

Six months ago now a debate was sparked by comments made by Eddie Dempsey, an activist for “full Brexit” and in the rail union RMT, at a “Full Brexit” rally on 26 March.

Dempsey said that “people that turn up for those Tommy Robinson demos or any other march like that – the one thing that unites those people, whatever other bigotry is going on, is their hatred of the liberal left and they are right to hate them” (emphasis added).

He further commented that “too many in the Labour Party have made a calculation that there’s a certain section at the top end of the working class, in alliance with

Labour Conference: debating a Green New Deal, Brexit and free movement

Published on: Wed, 25/09/2019 - 09:24
Author

Alan Gilbert, Chris Reynolds and Martin Thomas

The process of “compositing” (merging a large number of similar local Labour Party motions into a manageably small number of options for debate) at Labour Party conference on the Green New Deal was long drawn out and arduous.

Eventually, however, the delegates agreed to send forward three options. One motion, supported by the GMB union, included some radical bits but, crucially, no target for suppressing carbon emissions.

The second, backed by far more CLPs and with the Fire Brigades Union as the mover, was more radical. It specifically included a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030,

The left and the coup: side-stepping the issues

Published on: Thu, 05/09/2019 - 09:58
Author

Rhodri Evans

The Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star) claims that Boris Johnson’s shutdown of Parliament was really the fault of the anti-Brexiters in Parliament. Other left groups and papers which have backed Brexit have been less off-the-wall, but maybe more confusing.

Socialist Worker essentially calls on its readers to shout other slogans so loudly as to drown out all thoughts about Brexit.

It writes: “There was fury at Johnson [at the anti-coup protests]. Beyond that people came with a range of views.

“A substantial number had EU flags or anti-Brexit placards. But others were focused on fighting

Solidarity-US says “not dissolving”

Published on: Thu, 05/09/2019 - 09:15

You recently reported our convention’s motion to “to set up a committee to explore converting it from an organisation into an educational centre” as a kind of “dissolution”, and implied that we are “too small, weak, elderly, and divided to function as an organisation”.

This characterisation is speculative and inaccurate. There was no motion to dissolve Solidarity or fundamentally alter its organisational structure at the convention.

In the 2019 National Convention, Dan La Botz and other members organised a discussion around developing an educational centre for revolutionary socialism in the U

More on why ISO collapsed

Published on: Sun, 25/08/2019 - 10:21
Author

Martin Thomas

At Socialist Alternative's (S Alt's) "Socialism Sydney 2019" event I was able to talk with some people from S Alt about the collapse and disappearance, in March-April this year, of the International Socialist Organisation USA.

The ISO was the biggest group outside Australia with which S Alt had links. With maybe 900 members, the ISO was, and had been for a while, the most active revolutionary socialist group in the USA. Its political history could be traced back (with twists and shifts along the way) to the Workers' Party of Max Shachtman (from 1940).

Revolutionary socialist groups often

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