Solidarity 507, 22 May 2019

Green politics and lifestyle change

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 21:07

Mike Zubrowski

The Committee on Climate Change report, which I wrote about in Solidarity 506, tags 53% of the carbonemissions reductions as “requiring some change from consumers”. What are the changes in individual lifestyle which may be needed to get rapid cuts in carbon emissions?

The CCC’s 53% includes, for example, “purchasing an electric car or installing a heat pump.” Such changes are not genuinely lifestyle changes, they simply involve introducing new technology to perform equivalent tasks, leaving daily habits unchanged. Such transitions should not be left to individuals either to be coerced by

Labour: lead fight against Brexit!

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 13:18

Sean Matgamna

Comrade Corbyn!

Your wishy-washy politics on Brexit are usually explained as electoral manoeuvring in an attempt to attract both anti-Brexit internationalists and pro-Brexiters to the Labour Party. It is likely to satisfy neither. “Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth”, as somebody said a long time ago. But even should your calculation here prove to be accurate, your approach is wrong in principle.

The relationship to the European Union is Britain’s most important political issue in decades. To approach it in terms of manoeuvring for votes is

US and Iran in stand-off

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 13:15

Morad Shirin

The US is applying pressure to get the Iranian regime to give more concessions.

As long as something doesn’t go wrong, that is precisely what will happen: the regime will give ground after making a show of being defiant. Things are more complicated than before because the US has people like John Bolton, the National Security Adviser, in charge of this policy.

Generally speaking, the US government is not intending to go to war. But obviously the more their military presence in the Gulf increases, the more miscalculations become likely. In any event, the worst scenario would be small

Salvini, leader of the Euro-right

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 13:05

Hugh Edwards

With rosary beads in hand, and flanked by eleven of the leaders of Europe’s most reactionary and racist political parties, Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s La Lega and Minister of the Interior in the country’s coalition government, rounded off his last Euro-election campaign rally in Milan’s Piazza Duomo.

He wound up, as he had begun his campaign, with a war cry against immigrants. “With the support of my government I have replied to the appeal of the pontiff with deeds not words to reduce the deaths in the Mediterranean… A historic moment of liberation of the continent from the abusive

Organise for 4 June anti-Trump demo

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 13:02

Maisie Sanders

Young supporters of Labour for a Socialist Europe went to Young Labour’s Political School in Birmingham on 11 May and spoke to lots of attendees about Brexit. We also hosted an evening social with Spoons Workers Against Brexit.

There was no mention of Brexit on the agenda or in Jeremy Corbyn’s opening speech, but we had a good reception with Labour for a Socialist Europe material and the Young Labour Left against Brexit statement.

Lots said the school was their first Labour event. As a follow up, Young Labour activists are discussing getting together a youth presence at the demonstration

Labour must face up to new antisemitism storm

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 12:57

Martin Thomas

According to the 16 May issue of the satirical magazine Private Eye, “former Labour staffers have… collected 100,000 emails, including tens of thousands showing how the party ignored complaints that supporters were promoting antisemitism”.

They plan to submit the material to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, and probably also to make it public. The story has been boosted by the pro-Tory Daily Mail. The main movers evidently have axes to grind. But that doesn’t mean that their grindstones are invented, and surely not that all of them are invented.

As shadow chancellor John McDonnell

Socialism or extinction!

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 12:49

Mike Zubrowski

One million species are threatened with extinction, 23% of all land has suffered degradation, hundreds of millions of people are at greater risk of floods and hurricanes due to loss of coastal habitats, and a huge proportion of global food production is at risk due to pollinator loss.

“The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever [is] eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.” A report released on 6 May by IPBES, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on

“Pro-EU fanatics” blamed for Tory-Labour rift

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 12:44

Jim Denham

In the 18 May Morning Star, CPB (Communist Party of Britain) secretary Rob Griffiths indicts those he calls “Labour’s pro-EU fanatics”: “They have succeeded in scuppering the talks with the Tory government by demanding that a permanent customs union and a second referendum form part of any new Brexit package”.

Leave aside that a permanent customs union is agreed Labour policy, endorsed personally by Jeremy Corbyn time and time again, and a second public vote is conference policy. What I’m struck by is that phrase: “They have succeeded in scuppering the talks with the Tory government.” Does


Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 12:37

Left on PCS election

The victory in the PCS civil service union’s Assistant General Secretary (AGS) election for John Moloney, candidate of the Independent Left and a supporter of Workers’ Liberty, has met diverse responses from the left press.

Socialist Worker, which backed Lynn Henderson, was the first to respond. It emphasised the low turnout (it was low, but higher than last time) and claimed that “Moloney… is against the union’s national campaign for a 10 per cent pay rise”. Not true: John Moloney emphasised pay equality, but not at the expense of a general rise.

The Socialist Party,

Renew call for Labour special conference

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 12:26


According to all polls as we go to press on 21 May, the Brexit Party, the personal vehicle of the ex-Tory, ex-Ukip-leader, friend-of-Trump, right-winger Nigel Farage is set to come top in the European Parliament elections on 23 May. The Tories will do very badly. Labour will get a mediocre result, and according to one poll may even get fewer votes than the Lib-Dems.

Labour for a Socialist Europe has distributed around 47,000 pro-Labour, anti-Brexit leaflets for the campaign to constituency Labour Parties and to individuals, and reports a good response on street stalls and on doorsteps. The

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