Solidarity 326, 4 June 2014

El-Sisi win strengthens counter-revolution in Egypt

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 12:14

Abdel Fatah El-Sisi has won the Egyptian presidential elections and will become the next head of state.

El-Sisi, the senior general in the Egyptian armed forces and former Defence Secretary, won over 90% of the vote in an election involved mass intimidation by police and crack-downs on opposition activists and protesters. The election was the first to take place since the military coup against the Muslim Brotherhood government in July 2013.

Abdel Fatah El-Sisi was the leading commander of the Egyptian army when it deposed former president Mohamed Morsi. Much of the military and state

Support the Lambeth College strike

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 12:05

Teaching staff at Lambeth College began an all-out strike on 3 June 2014.

The workers are fighting new contracts which attack pay and conditions and which would affect all new workers and create a two-tier workforce at the college. These are contracts that college bosses are looking to impose across the further education sector.

Picket lines will be at all three college sites, and both of the college unions are encouraging solidarity visits from local students and workers.

UCU members backed the indefinite strike action by an 89% yes vote on a 72% turnout, in a second ballot called after the

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 11:53

Doncaster Care UK workers struck for 14 days in May in a fight against a 50% cuts in wages and massive reductions in sick pay.

A strike committee has now been formed for the 80 out of 120 rank-and-file Unison members who have refused to accept these conditions

Gina Beaumont, a member of the committee, told Solidarity how the workers have learned to run the dispute as they have gone along; have for example made decisions about mobilising strikers to demonstrate at Care UK offices across the country from Newcastle to London, while keeping a picket in Doncaster; about gathering support from

A visit to Putin's camp

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 11:40

Workers’ Liberty members attended the “Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine” meeting on 4 June, organised by the SOAS Marxist Society (Socialist Appeal).

On the panel were Russian leftist Boris Kagarlitsky, Sergei Kirichuk from the Stalinist Borotba via Skype, Richard Brenner from Workers’ Power, Lindsey German from Counterfire, Andrew Murray from the Communist Party of Britain, and Alan Woods from Socialist Appeal. It was chaired by Joy McCready, a member of Left Unity.

All the panel, whether so-called “Trotskyist” or die-hard Stalinists like Murray, shared variations of

Working-class history at Ideas for Freedom

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 11:29

The AWL believes that socialist organisations must be the “memory of the working class”. A big part of our job is to preserve, rediscover, discuss and spread the lessons and inspiration of past struggles, victorious and defeated.

Our annual event, Ideas for Freedom (3-6 July), will include many discussions on working-class history, with a focus on the First World War and the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike.

IFF will open on the evening of Thursday 3 July with a Radical Walking Tour of East London, looking at how working-class, socialist and women’s liberation activists organised in the East End in the

Kool-Aid or truth?

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 11:17

Since 23 May, debate has raged among economists about an attempt by journalists on the Financial Times to refute the claim by Thomas Piketty, in his best-seller Capital in the 21st Century, that wealth inequality is rising and likely to continue to rise in the USA and Europe.

Most economists, even quite conservative ones, reckon that Piketty has come best out of the row.

There are other elements to the dispute, but the core argument is about wealth distribution in Britain, specifically, in recent decades. The background is that official figures for wealth are patchy and inconsistent.


Traditional values

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 11:08

Like millions of British television viewers, I have had many weekday evenings ruined by Kirstie Allsopp, self-satisfied co-presenter of the achingly tedious property programme “Location, Location, Location”.

Allsopp has recently taken to the Telegraph to advise young women on how to plan their careers. She advises women against going to university as a waste of valuable time — they should instead go to work straight after school, meaning they can meet a “nice boyfriend” and “have a baby by the time you’re 27.”

Far be it from me to suggest that Allsopp’s Victorian perspectives on the value of

Anger is not enough

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 11:06

In the left’s comment on UKIP “surge” there is much about the anger and disenchantment with mainstream politics.

It is true that there is an understandable revulsion against the politicians and parties whose policies and ideology accelerated the effects of the greatest economic crisis since the 1930s.

Tom Walker talks about that anger in his article for Left Unity.

Walker sees UKIP’s support as primarily a repository for anger with the mainstream that is channelled against migrants, minorities and Europe by UKIP. He argues that a strong “populist” party of the left could channel that anger to

One million out on 10 July?

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 11:00

Over one million workers could join a strike on 10 July against the public sector pay freeze.

A set-piece confrontation between public sector trade unions and the government could help reignite wider resistance to the Coalition, and galvanise workers’ confidence.

The National Union of Teachers already has a legal ballot mandate and says it will join a 10 July strike. The Fire Brigades Union is another possible participant.

The date 10 July originates with the Unison in local government. Their ballot started on 23 May and closes on 23 June. Unite and GMB in local government and schools are

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