Solidarity 520, 9 October 2019

Hold Labour to socialist Green New Deal policies!

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 11:22
Author

Misha Zubrowski

Labour Party conference passed unprecedentedly bold environmental policy this year. It will amount to nothing if we do not fight for it.

The policy as passed was contradictory, or at least in tension, in parts, but included:

• a target of zero carbon emissions by 2030
• “a worker-led ‘just transition’... public ownership of energy, creating an integrated, democratic system; large-scale investment in renewables”
• “rapidly phasing out fossil fuels”
• “repeal all anti-union laws, facilitating worker-led activism over social and political issues, including climate change”
• “take transport into

Hong Kong youth defy “emergency” law

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 11:10
Author

Chen Ying, Ian Towson and Rhodri Evans

On Thursday 4 October, the Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to introduce a ban on wearing face masks.

The ban came just before a long weekend. Monday 7 October was Chung Yeung Festival, a public holiday. From Thursday evening, protesters staged incessant and widespread attacks on MTR stations, Chinese banks, and pro-China businesses, and conducted violent clashes with the police in many parts of the city.

One more protester, this time a 14 year old, was shot — in the leg, by a policeman who was cornered by a large crowd and was nearly set alight

Build for 25 October!

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 11:02
Author

Misha Zubrowski

The UK group most centrally involved in organising youth climate strikes, UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN), is calling a “day of action” on 25 October.

It seems, currently, that the format will be more walkouts, another “climate strike”. The next global climate strike is set for 29 November.

20 September was the most recent climate strike, in which workers joined youth, taking part in workplace actions. Actions were taken in many places, including by many of us, although as a rule initiated by workplace activists without much direct support from the union nationally. This is likely to remain

Prevent database revealed

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:56
Author

Zack Muddle

UK police have a secret database with details of thousands of people referred to “Prevent”, the government’s supposed “anti-radicalisation” programme, it was revealed on 6 October by the Guardian, via human rights group Liberty.

The National Police Prevent Case Management (PCM) database is accessible to all UK police forces and the home office, and contains personal details and reasons for “referral” of all those referred. People referred are not notified, and so have no (straightforward) rights to due process.

The stated aim of Prevent is to prevent “radicalisation” which is at risk of

The not-so-bad gallery: Johnson, Trump, Putin?

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:50
Author

Gerry Bates

The Morning Star is to Jeremy Corbyn and Seumas Milne what the picture in the attic was to Dorian Gray in the famous story.

And it is disgusting in the extreme. Take the issue for Monday 7 October. You can see from the front page that, like all of us, they loathe the tinpot Mussolini Boris Johnson.

Ah, but look. While everybody with sense is anxious that the sneaky Johnson may find some way to twist the will of Parliament and crash out of the EU in a hard Brexit, the doughty warriors of the MS give the front page to the scandal of Johnson giving his American friend small financial perks.

Odd

Barking: too passive

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:45
Author

Ben Tausz

Martin Thomas’ response to the “triggering” of Margaret Hodge for reselection (Solidarity 519) is too passive.

First, as democrats who believe every Labour MP should face reselection at every election, we should welcome and support every ballot-triggering — both for MPs we want to replace and those we want to keep.

Second, Thomas writes “Replacing Hodge either way [by imposition or democratic election] would signal a move to silence or marginalise protest against antisemitism in the Labour Party.” This is an abdication of our responsibility in the battle against left-antisemitism. In this

Defeat Johnson’s Trumpery!

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:41
Author

Editorial

Force Boris Johnson to send the “delay Brexit” letter to the EU. Bring down his government and get a general election.

Make Labour fight hard in that election for its policy of “new public vote with option to Remain”.

Push for a manifesto which integrates that with the left-wing policies adopted at Labour’s Brighton conference, and for a combative left-wing Labour campaign to convince voters, not the limp complaints about “not enough money for the police” to which the Leader’s Office has reduced Labour’s message in recent times.

We have a battle on our hands, and that is how the battle-lines

Brighton, Labour, and the left

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:33

An interview with Kelly Rogers, a committee member of Labour for a Socialist Europe (L4SE), Another Europe is Possible, and the Labour Campaign for Free Movement, about Labour Party conference.

Q. What picture did the motions booklet give before conference?

A. The bulk of anti-Brexit motions were sent to conference as a result of work by our coalition, comprising Another Europe is Possible, Labour for a Socialist Europe and Open Labour.

For a number of months in advance of conference we were phone-banking Labour Party members in our networks, convincing them to support our motion and

How debt crushes education

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:31
Author

Natalia Cassidy

For many Americans, choices about higher education come with stark consequences in terms of the levels of debt for students and their families will have to take on.

The UK student debt system appears relatively benign in comparison. The levels of repayment are significantly lower than in the USA, the debt repayment threshold much higher.

In the UK, methods of financing are, for the most part, centralised through the state, whereas in the USA a lot of student debt is to private lenders. University fees in the USA are largely unregulated, and have risen sharply, including at public universities.

Perspectives for the “tiny unions”

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:15
Author

Daniel Randall and Zack Muddle

A version of this article was discussed as a document at the Workers’ Liberty Industrial School held on 28 September. Workers’ Liberty organises such schools regularly for workplace activists to discuss political and strategic issues within the labour movement.

A relatively new feature on the landscape of the labour movement in Britain is the role of small trade unions, with a few thousand members at most, not affiliated to the TUC, organising mainly migrant and precarious workers, often in the so-called “gig economy”.

This document will refer to these unions as the “tiny unions”, and will

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