Solidarity 388, 6 January 2016

Doctors strike 12 January

Published on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 12:35

A junior doctor

The announcement on 4 January that junior doctors will strike on Tuesday 12 January is good news.

There was never any doubt that NHS Employers would not be able to offer a contract which is acceptable to junior doctors. They have proved everyone right, and it appears that negotiations, while making some quite considerable progress have got no where near to solving the main issues.

Speaking on behalf of the British Medical Association′s (BMA) junior doctors committee, Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis said ″over the last few weeks, in the course of negotiations with Government we have encountered only

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 12:27

Gemma Short, Peggy Carter, Tim Cooper and Ollie Moore

Cleaning and security workers on London’s Docklands Light Railway (DLR) won a big victory before Christmas, settling a long-running dispute over terms and conditions for a deal that represents a 75p/hour pay increase, backdated to April 2015.

The workers, employed by outsourced subcontractor Interserve, struck several times throughout 2015. An RMT statement called the deal “a massive breakthrough”, which “gives some much-needed Christmas cheer to a group of London transport workers who have fought long and hard for pay justice.”

The statement continued, “this pay victory proves that low paid

Turning Labour outwards

Published on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 12:10

Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, spoke to Solidarity.

Do you agree with the Shadow Chancellor that it would be desirable to overthrow capitalism?

I am a democratic socialist. But there are as many definitions of socialism as there are of capitalism. I think the neo-liberal version of capitalism is a world away from the post-war capitalism that we had in the 50s and 60s. Do I want to see an end to neoliberalism and this version of capitalism? Yes.
Do I think that there is a role for capitalism in the future? Well, I happen to be a pragmatist. I don’t think there is an appetite in our

What’s wrong with Star Wars?

Published on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 12:04

Eric Lee

Socialists begin our understanding of culture with Marx’s oft-quoted comments about the ruling ideas of an age being the ideas of the ruling class.

Living under capitalism, we understand that just as we are critical of the structure of the society we live in, and the behaviour of its ruling class, so we are also critical of its cultural and intellectual production.

There are few cultural products that have been shared as widely as the Star Wars films. Seven films made over the course of nearly four decades have been seen by millions, possibly hundreds of millions, of people. As socialists, we

Savage, bloody and pointless

Published on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 11:51

Janine Booth

The First World War was into its second year when Britain attacked the Dardenelles strait, a narrow passage of sea in the eastern Mediterranean overlooked by the Gallipoli peninsula.

The area, part of modern-day Turkey, was then part of the Ottoman empire, which after 600 years was falling apart, known as the “sick man of Europe”. The rising power of Germany and the existing empires of Britain, Tsarist Russia and Austria-Hungary wanted to grab what they could from the Ottoman rubble. Their rivalries and manoeuvring intensified. A secret deal in 1908 agreed that Russia could have Constantinople

Without help from Murray

Published on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 11:37

The Unite union helped with resources for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for Labour leader, and by all accounts Unite’s leaders are influential with the team round Corbyn.

So a long article by Unite “chief of staff” Andrew Murray about Corbyn’s Labour, first published on the web in mid-October and widely circulated since, deserves analysis.

It’s an odd article, written in the style of a jaded but worldly-wise oracle addressing young devotees. And vague when it gets to the point.

It castigates Blair-Brown “New Labour” at length, chides Ed Miliband’s weakness, and observes that battles inside the

Make Labour reinstate the NHS!

Published on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 11:28


This month student nurses and junior doctors are taking up the fight to save the National Health Service. At the end of the month, on 30 January, a “Health Campaigns Together” conference, backed by the Unite and Unison trade unions, meets in London.

The campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill drafted by Allyson Pollock has been boosted by the Corbyn surge in the Labour Party, with a regular page on the campaign’s website now reporting on support from local Labour Parties.

One issue is funds. The Tories say they aren’t cutting the NHS, but they are. They cover up by claiming that the missing

The Stalinist campaign against the Spanish revolution

Published on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 11:10

Gerry Bates

Tear down the Glasgow waterfront statue of Stalinist sycophant Dolores Ibarruri (“La Pasionaria”) and replace it by one of the Gorbals-born International Brigader Alexander Marcowich! This is the conclusion of a new Workers’ Liberty pamphlet: Lions Led by Jackals — Stalinism in the International Brigades.

The pamphlet draws on the wealth of material — much of it previously unused — in the Communist International’s archives of the International Brigades, published online by the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History in early 2015.

An abyss separates the political reality of the

Spanish politics at a crossroads

Published on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 11:05

Spanish elections (held on Sunday 20 December) marked a defeat for the ruling right wing party. The Partido Popular only took 123 seats out of 230, 63 fewer than four years ago.

The Spanish social-democratic party, the PSOE, won 90 seats, Podemos 69, and Ciudadanos, a rightwing anti-corruption party, 40.

We republish (from the website of the French Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste) an interview with Alex Merlo, parliamentary attaché for the Member of the European Parliament Miguel Urbán Crespo, members of Podemos, and of Anticapitalistas, the Spanish section of the Fourth International.

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