Solidarity 121, 8 November 2007

Solidarity 3/121 in pdf format

Download pdf here (see "attachment"). The front page calls for working-class unity against New Labour's call for "British jobs for British workers" and the Tories' anti-immigrant campaign; the back page, for solidarity with the left in Pakistan and for a no vote in the CWU postal workers' ballot. Inside: Defend Karen Reissman; Iran; world credit crisis; LRC conference; abortion rights; National Union of Students democracy campaign; Respect split; and much more.

October 1917

OCTOBER 1917 Who fears to praise Red Seventeen? Who quails at Lenin’s name? When liars jeer at Trotsky's fate Who adds his, “Theirs the blame”? Cain-Stalin’s slave, or bourgeois brave Will scorn the Old Cause thus, But honest men and women Will raise a voice with us. We praise the memory of the dead, Of Lenin's friends long gone Who led the workers in revolt: An army, not a throng. All, all are gone, but still lives on The cause of those who died And honest men and women Remember them with pride. They rose in war-burn'd, blood drenched days To help set workers free Their own lives fed the...

No to war, no to the Islamic Republic!

US Vice-President Dick Cheney is reported to have thought up a clever scheme to launch an attack on Iran. In this plan, Israel will bomb an Iranian nuclear installation, Iran will respond by launching missiles at Israel, and this will serve as the pretext for an American attack. We don’t know whether there is any substance to such rumours. On one level, military action against Iran sounds implausible: could anyone really be that crazy? The commissars of US imperialism are aggressive, for sure, but they operate within a partially rational framework of “national” i.e. US ruling-class interests....

Mr Galloway: Mixing business and politics

Gorgeous George by David Morley Given his colossal ego, z-list celebrity status and continuing admiration of Stalinist politics, it is hard to imagine a better candidate for biography than George Galloway. However, those who deduce from David Morley’s chosen title, “Gorgeous George”, that the book is irreverent or cutting will be greatly disappointed. Much of the biography is a narrative of Gorgeous George’s alleged financial improprieties. It reports the legal wranglings but draws no conclusions. It does not ask why a supposed “workers’ representative” would refuse to draw only a workers’...

Respect in Tower Hamlets

The first act of the four SWP-allied councillors who have split away from the main Respect opposition group in Tower Hamlets was not to launch a high-profile campaign aimed on any of the many issues which affecting workers in the borough — for instance the threatened transfer of council housing to an ALMO. After the SWP’s noises about breaking from the “ineffectiveness” and “communalism” of Respect in Tower Hamlets, surely this would have been an appropriate course. Instead it has been widely reported that the new group of Respect (Independent) councillors — Ahmed Hussain, Lutfa Begun, Oli...

When “militant” sloganeering meant promoting communal war

This series: The Northern Ireland crisis of 1968-9 and the left (Part 4) Part 1: Why Northern Ireland Broke Down Part 2: The Irish Workers' Group, IS and the "Trotskyist Tendency" Part 3: Why Northern Ireland Split on Communal, Not Class, Lines Part 4: When militant sloganeering meant promoting communal war Part 5: When socialists looked to "Catholic Power" ; and Part 5 Section 2 Part 6: SWP (IS) and Northern Ireland in 1968-9: Advocating civil war — until it starts! ; and Section 2 Part 7: The end of the old order in Northern Ireland ; Section 2 ; Section 3 Part 8: IS/SWP conference,...

Royal Mail: Vote No

Dave Warren is a member of the Postal Executive of the post and telecom union CWU. He opposed the deal with Royal Mail endorsed by a majority of the Executive on 22 October, and has been campaigning for a no vote in the ballot on the deal which runs between 9 and 27 November. He spoke to Solidarity. So far about 20 CWU branches have taken a position to oppose the deal. Flexibility is a very big issue for many members. If it were a straight pay deal, there would not be the same opposition. The pay deal is a 5.4% increase from October; ÂŁ175 to cover the period from April (where the pay deal was...

Support the left in Pakistan!

Why did Pakistan’s military ruler General Musharraf risk millions of dollars in military and other financial aid from the US and EU by declaring martial law on 3 November? He probably knew there was little chance of Pakistan’s major donor countries (the US and the UK) doing more than weakly threatening to cut that aid. In the short-term, to a large extent, the US and UK are inhibited by their reliance on Pakistan in the region — not least for logistical help with NATO operations in Afghanistan. A guarded promise from Musharaff (5 November) to go ahead with National Assembly elections in...

1917 + 90 — Leon Trotsky: All power to the soviets!

This is the 90th anniversary of the Russian workers’ revolution of November 1917. Since the fall in 1991 of the Stalinist regime which eventually overwhelmed the workers’ government and made a counter-revolution in the 1920s, more has been available to researchers in the west. Some new books have advanced our understanding of the revolution. None, however, can match the exciting exposition of the course of 1917, in Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution. Written in 1930, Trotsky’s book presents a fascinating study of the ebbs and flows of a complex class struggle. All students of the...

Heroines of revolution

The London socialist feminist reading group went to see Heroines of Revolution, a play by the New Factory of the Eccentric Actor. In a tiny community hall in Kentish Town, the play was performed moving around the room, with no separation between the audience and the actors. The play was a series of scenes from revolutionary history, with speeches and diary excerpts from well-known, and less well-known, women revolutionaries. It was a genuinely entertaining evening; I was moved aside at various points by Rosa Luxemburg and Vera Zasulich, and given the part (denoted by a badge) of a little known...

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