Solidarity 523, 30 October 2019

Back Labour, fight for Remain!

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 11:11


In backing the dissolution of Parliament and an election, Jeremy Corbyn promised: “We will now launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen.”

Every socialist, every labour movement activist, everyone who cares about equality and human rights, should throw themselves into the fight to kick out Boris Johnson and win a Labour government. We should simultaneously organise to hold Corbyn and the Labour leadership to that pitch.

How? In 2017, Labour’s message – taxing the rich to reverse a substantial number of cuts – contrasted clearly to the Tories’. It

Can Sanders win?

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 11:07

Eric Lee

According to most polls, Americans have had enough of Donald Trump. A majority wants him impeached. And most voters say they will vote against Trump in November 2020.

Despite those polls, many are terrified that Trump might somehow win re-election. For them, the candidate who deserves our support is the one most likely to beat him. Little else matters.

According to a summary of all recent polls on the RealClearPolitics website, Trump would lose badly to any of the top three Democratic candidates were elections held today. Biden would beat him, Warren would too and so would Sanders.

And yet

No “safety” for Kurds in Syria

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 11:03

Pete Boggs

As far as the foreign powers involved are concerned, the ceasefire in northern Syria has shakily held up for the most part. For people on the ground, it is a very different story.

In the talks between Russia and Turkey last week, Putin agreed to preside over the withdrawal of the Syrian Democratic Forces from northern Syria, allowing Erdoğan to establish a Turkish “safe zone” between Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad.

This was agreed in Sochi without any representatives of the Kurdish forces present, demonstrating clearly how Russia sees its role in the region, and the nature of the “protection” they

Official report damns fracking

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 11:00

Misha Zubrowski

On 23 October, the National Audit Office (NAO) has released a damning report into the future of fracking in the UK, showing that even in the terms it has been justified by, it will fall short.

NAO is an independent Parliamentary body which scrutinises spending and policy of other government departments and bodies.

Fracking, short for Hydraulic Fracturing, refers to particular methods of extracting natural gas.

High pressure fracking fluid — a mixture of chemicals dissolved in water — is pumped through a well and into rock to fracture it. This is generally done to shale, and it creates and

Species under threat

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:58

Steve Allen

David Attenborough returned to our screens on Sunday 27 October with his latest documentary Seven Worlds, One Planet.

The series devotes an episode to each continent and the wildlife they support. In the introduction, Attenborough states that climate change is the most significant event to affect the planet since continental drift began 200 million years ago.

Most of the stories relate to how climate change is affecting the featured animals.

Episode one focuses on Antarctica, 98% of which is covered in ice and largely uninhabitable for humans. We see stunning footage of St Andrew’s Bay on

Interview with an invertebrate

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:53

Jim Denham

What to call those Labour MPs who backed Johnson’s Brexit bill? I tend to the view that the word “scab” should be restricted to industrial strike-breaking.

“Traitor” should probably be avoided in the present incendiary political atmosphere. So how about “invertebrate”?

We surely shouldn’t expect one such invertebrate receiving an entirely uncritical interview in what claims to be Britain’s only socialist daily paper.

Yet the Morning Star’s Lamiat Sabin (23 Oct) made Melanie Onn MP seem almost heroic: “But, where she differs from many of her parliamentary colleagues, Onn is prepared to put her


Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:49

Last week, you reported on the Morning Star coming out clearly in support of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

Events have also pushed Socialist Worker to clarify its stance, in fact to show how bad it is.

For some time now SW’s basic line has been: “Shout about something else loudly enough to drown all thoughts about Brexit”.

SW of 22 October, however, explicitly applauded the victory of the nationalist-minded big union bureaucracies against the left-wing rank and file at Labour conference (Brighton, 22-25 September).

It complained that leading Labour MPs’ speeches on 19 October “flew in the face

Chile: 29 years on from Pinochet

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:45

Fermin Pavez

In Chile, heavily armed troops and police are out on streets again, exerting brutal repression against those demonstrating peacefully against one of the more brutal neoliberal policies, similar to those of Margaret Thatcher.

Chile is the richest country in Latin America, but equally suffers from one of the worst income distributions in the region or beyond.

However, carrying out these brutal economic measures forcing the population into a continuing impoverishment, has been only possible under the current Political Constitution, drafted – in a hurry, in 1980 – by two individuals, ideological

The gains and snares of unity

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:43

A reader reports from Hungary

The results of the 13 October municipal elections in Hungary have seen the first victory for the opposition since 2010.

The candidates fielded against Fidesz won the capital, many districts of the capital (each district also has its own mayor), and 50 out of the 100 most populous cities. They’ve mostly lost in the countryside.

The reason for this success was the co-operation between opposition parties. In multiple cities, they all joined together to back a single candidate, thus avoiding splitting the vote.

In Budapest, the opposition backed Gergely Karácsony

Far right and soft left advance in Germany

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:37

Dale Street

The 27 October election in the German federal state of Thuringia saw Die Linke (a merger of the post-Stalinist PDS and a breakaway from the SPD) emerge as the biggest party, with 31% of the votes.

The far right AfD came second with just over 23%, and the CDU (German Tories) third with just under 22%. The SPD (roughly the German Labour Party) came a poor fourth with just 8% of the vote.

The FDP (German Liberal Democrats) managed to just scrape past the 5% hurdle, which parties must achieve to win any seats. It passed the hurdle by just five votes.

Compared with the last federal state election,

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.