Solidarity 399, 6 April 2016

Start campaign now to save schools!

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 14:19

Patrick Murphy

The conference of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) on 25-29 March voted to ballot for discontinuous strikes in response to the Government's Education White Paper published on 17 March.

The first of what should be a series of strikes is to take place in the week beginning 4 July. The objective is to win a national system of pay and conditions for all state-funded schools regardless of status.

The Education White Paper says that all state schools will be forced to become academies, funding will be cut, and head teachers can decide at will who is a qualified teacher and who is not. Forced

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 14:10

Peggy Carter, Hugh Duncan and Ollie Moore

Workers at museums across Wales struck over the Easter weekend as part of a two-year dispute over weekend working.

The workers, part of the PCS union, plan to strike every weekend from 9 April-1 May, at Big Pit in Blaenavon, St Fagans and the National Museum in Cardiff, the National Wool Museum in Llandysul, the National Slate Museum in Llanberis, and the Swansea Waterfront Museum.

Management plan to abolish extra payments for weekend and bank holiday working. The campaign has been using the slogan "hands off our weekends" to emphasise that workers are fighting for the right to their own free

Teachers to strike for a national contract

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 13:54

Harry Davies

The conference of the National Union of Teachers over the Easter weekend was a strange beast: a mixture of genuine support for a sustained programme of strike action with a stifling lack of open debate.

The conference voted to ballot members for a timetable of strikes in response to the government's education White Paper. To give the union legal cover, and to draw in members already in academies, the strike demand will be for national terms and conditions for teachers (at present academies are not bound by the national Burgundy Book and Blue Book; even in non-academies there is no national

Lift Tony Greenstein's suspension

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 13:48

Ira Berkovic

Tony Greenstein, a socialist based in Brighton, was unilaterally suspended from holding office or representing the Labour Party on 18 March.

His suspension letter alleged a breach of Labour Party rules, citing "comments you are alleged to have made", which will be investigated internally. The letter does not state what the comments actually were.

A Daily Telegraph article has claimed that the comments mentioned were those made by Greenstein in a blog article, comparing Israeli school textbooks which denounce mixed Jewish-Arab relationships as akin to the Nazi Nuremberg Laws. 


Why socialist feminism?

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 13:27

Kate Harris

Workers Liberty Women's new pamphlet, Why Socialist Feminism?, is a short but dense whistle-stop tour through contemporary Marxist-feminist theory.

Rachael Clark's chapter on capitalism and women's oppression (which draws heavily on the work of Lise Vogel) offers a deft analysis of women's work and work for women under capitalism; as well as the ways in which socialist-feminists can understand capitalism as both a cause of women's oppression and exploitation and an opportunity for us to make gains and agitate for socialism. Clark's article on sex positive feminism very concisely tackles the

Junior doctors plan escalated strikes

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 13:15

By a junior doctor and a medical student

On 6-7 April junior doctors will take 48 hours of emergency-care-only action; and on 26-27 April there will be a full walk-out of junior doctors between 8am and 5pm.

So far hospitals have adapted very quickly to junior doctors strikes. They have prioritised elective work over discharges, and kept elective procedures going. The impact has mainly been via bed-blocking and increased pressure in A&E.

The full walk-out on 26-27 April will mean that consultants and Staff and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors have to cover Accident and Emergency Departments and hold the on-call ward bleeps which

Save the jobs. Nationalise steel!

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 13:02

Ralph Peters

At the end of March Tata Steel announced it was pulling out of all or part of its UK operations, threatening nearly 14,000 jobs and many thousands more in related industries.

It said its UK steel operations were losing money despite rising demand due to lower global steel prices. The biggest potential losses, unless buyers can be found for the plants, are in Scunthorpe (3,381 jobs) and Port Talbot (4,104 jobs). And right now the Tories are going to stand back and allow what might be the near destruction of steel making in the UK.

The answer to these closures is for the plants to be taken into

Vote UKIP, get Corbyn?

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 12:51

A London teacher

I have been on the far left for over thirty years, and I've seen and heard some pretty strange things.

I have watched women members of a revolutionary socialist group join the back of a segregated Muslim march against Israel. I've argued with left-wing British trade unionists who backed the jailing of independent trade unionists in the old USSR. I've seen socialists carry "We are Hizbollah" placards, and listened to leftists who refused to condemn 9/11.

These are sincere people, genuinely believing they are doing the right thing. Often they have given many years of their lives fighting for

"The EU referendum is about migration, basically"

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 12:44

Michael Chessum from Another Europe is Possible spoke to Solidarity.

Another Europe is Possible (AEIP) was set up to be the radical "In" campaign in the referendum, going public in October last year.

People initially involved were left NGOs, like Global Justice Now, a lot of Green Party support, and a lot of activists who'd been around in social movements in the past few years. We wanted to shift the whole debate to the left as well as persuade the left to go for "in".

It's been more difficult that we anticipated to get everyone on board. In the labour movement there is a reluctance to get

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