Solidarity 482, 17 October 2018

Labour should scrap Universal Credit

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 10:26

Luke Hardy

For other articles in the debate in Solidarity and in Workers' Liberty on Universal Credit, see here. The article below is the first article in the debate.

The intervention by Gordon Brown, together with the campaign being run by the Daily Mirror to stop Universal Credit, exposes how weak Labour’s policy is on this area and benefits in general. Labour's policy on Universal Credit is “pause and fix”, which means: opposing the latest cut to tax credits that is being rolled into universal credit; reducing the waiting period and making it easier to opt for the housing element to be paid direct to

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 10:18

Charlotte Zalens, Ollie Moore, Peggy Carter and David Pendleton

Further Education (FE) college workers are holding a national week of action from 15-19 October. The week of action over FE funding involves the FE lecturers′ union the UCU, plus other unions including Unison, Unite, GMB, NEU, NUS, TUC, and ASCL.

The week will also involve a march, rally and lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 17 October (as Solidarity went to press). FE funding has been cut by around 30% since 2009. This has resulted in fewer teaching hours, a drastic reduction in adult education courses, and a real-terms pay cut of 25% for staff — college teachers now earn £7000 less on

Harassment on the Tube

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 10:08

Janine Booth

With a recent reported rise in sexual assault and harassment on public transport, we publish an abridged version of a speech made by Janine Booth at an event organised by Islington Labour Party women’s forum.

I have worked on London Underground for twenty-one-and-a-half years. Throughout that time, sexual assault and harassment against women passengers and staff have been a constant presence. And now we have Night Tube. It’s a great job, and mostly passengers are great – mostly they’ve had a night out, had a great time, maybe had one too many, and we help them get home. However, a minority of

Lily Parr, a footballing great

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 09:23

Ruaridh Anderson

Lily Parr (26 April 1905 – 24 May 1978) is a working class LGBT icon and was one of the greatest footballers of all time.

The upheaval of the social order during and after the First World War is well documented, but less known is its profound effect on football. There was a major surge of participation and interest in women’s football when large numbers of working-class women entered the workplace, including munitions factories in which Parr worked during the war.

In those factories in places such as Coventry, women lived in on-site houses and football teams emerged, organised on a factory

Brexiteers don't care about Ireland

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 09:18

Jim Denham

“It’s entirely up to the EU if it wants to undermine the goodwill in Ireland embodied in the Good Friday Agreement by setting up a hard border.

“The British and Irish governments do not want this. They have no need to create it. With a little more than irony, Brussels dominates Dublin and now wants to dominate Belfast. Its imposition of a hard border would be a new form of colonialism in itself.”

Where do these extraordinary words come from? The Daily Mail? The Telegraph? Boris Johnson? Arlene Foster? No: one Doug Nicholls, writing in the Morning Star (October 10 2018). Mr Nicholls is not,

Fighting capital or just a greedy few?

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 09:11

Dale Street

Published at the close of September, Matt Bolton and Frederick Harry Pitts’ Corbynism — A Critical Approach is not always an easy read. Bolton and Pitts go well beyond the argument that Corbyn does not understand antisemitism, does not really like the European Union, is a bit of a populist, and has a history (and present) of hanging out with some dubious characters. Rather, their book attempts to “elucidate the essential characteristics of Corbynism as a political orientation (and) outline and critique the general worldview which motivates such a platform”.

It seeks to do so on the basis of

No party like the Bolshevik party

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 09:06

Paul Cooper

In Defence of Bolshevism, the new book from Workers' Liberty, had its launch at a lively meeting in central London on 12 October. Edited by Sean Matgamna, the collection of texts by American Trotskyist Max Shachtman represents one of the greatest polemics in the Marxist tradition. It is the defence of a revolutionary socialist consciousness being developed in the working class as the irreplaceable pre-condition for the self- emancipation of the working class.

Crucially, it describes the only type of party fit for the purpose of seeding, nurturing and growing this consciousness in the

And why not a united Ireland?

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 09:03


The Border in Ireland has never made democratic sense. It was drawn to maximise the "little Orange empire" for the Protestant-Unionists of the north east in the 1921 partition of Ireland. It has been a running sore for almost a century.

To this day, along almost all its length, the majority of the population on the Northern side of the Border is "Catholic", Irish-Irish rather than British-Irish in its identity. The Border makes no political or human sense now. For a long time there have been no border checks.

Over 30,000 people cross the border each day to travel to work, and tens of

Due process, not personalities

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 08:53

Keith Road

The rancour that has been produced by the upcoming nominations for the expanded National Constitutional Committee has reopened the row between the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) and Momentum.

The Centre Left Grassroots Alliance, which included both organisations in its negotiations, was unable to reach an agreed slate. Depending on who you believe, CLPD then released the details of their preferred slate, as agreed or without agreement.

There is now an ongoing back and forth as to why Momentum were unable to agree to the slate which now has the backing of the Labour Representation

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