Solidarity 424, 30 November 2016

Al Jazeera’s phoney scandal

Published on: Wed, 18/01/2017 - 11:38
Author

Keith Road

The “scandal” over the activitiesof pro-Israel groups in the UK and their links with the Israeli embassy uncovered by Al Jazeera is largely manufactured.

Al Jazeera’s story got blanket news coverage after the main protagonist in their undercover footage, Shai Masot, a minor Israeli Embassy official, resigned. Masot was caught on camera saying he would like to see Junior Foreign Minister Alan Duncan removed.

The documentaries run to the best part of two hours, with a lot of repetition. You do not need to spend that time watching. It is hardly shocking that Israeli diplomats and embassy staff

Al Jazeera’s phoney scandal

Published on: Wed, 18/01/2017 - 11:38
Author

Keith Road

The “scandal” over the activities of pro-Israel groups in the UK and their links with the Israeli embassy uncovered by Al Jazeera (in ‘The Lobby’, a series of documentaries) is largely manufactured.

Al Jazeera’s story got blanket news coverage after the main protagonist in their undercover footage, Shai Masot, a minor Israeli Embassy official, resigned. Masot was caught on camera saying he would like to see Junior Foreign Minister Alan Duncan removed.

The documentaries run to the best part of two hours, with a lot of repetition. You do not need to spend that time watching. It is hardly

Brexit will mean record wage squeeze

Published on: Wed, 30/11/2016 - 14:11
Author

Gerry Bates

Workers in Britain face the longest squeeze on their pay since reliable statistics started, according to the government’s own Office for Budget Responsibility. The OBR projects that by 2021 mean average earnings — pay adjusted for inflation — will not have recovered to their 2008 level.

Average real earnings fell by 9% between 2008 and 2013. The IFS believe the situation is getting worse because of Brexit. The Financial Times reports the same picture, “Before the Brexit vote [the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)] had been expecting slow earnings growth over the next few years, with

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 30/11/2016 - 14:06
Author

Ollie Moore, Gemma Short, Gerry Bates and Adam Marshall

Guards on Southern Rail struck again from 22-23 November, with further strikes planned for 6-8 December, 22-24 December, and 31 December-2 January. Despite widespread calls to do so, government ministers are refusing to meet with the guards′ union, RMT, directly.

Instead, the government has handed Southern bosses a £20 million payment in an attempt to improve their service. For Southern to meet the union’s demand for a second, safety-critical member of staff on board each train would involve filling 20 guard vacancies (which it promised to do in January, and then reneged), with a total cost

Activists rally against purge

Published on: Wed, 30/11/2016 - 13:47
Author

Will Sefton

The first national meeting of Stop the Labour Purge, on 26 November, had almost 70 people there, with a considerable number of branch and CLP officers as well as individuals unfairly expelled and suspended.

Aslef (train drivers’ union) president Tosh McDonald lambasted the affiliated unions for not doing enough to challenge the Labour leadership in the past. Even after the election of Corbyn, he said, the Party has still tried to stop its members challenging decisions and fighting for socialist politics in the party. He and his wife have found themelves threatened with disciplinary action

Digital, but not so democratic

Published on: Wed, 30/11/2016 - 13:34
Author

Simon Nelson

Momentum MxV is an “innovative new digital democracy platform.” So said an email on 24
November, signed just “Momentum”, to Momentum members.

MxV claims to be a “space to submit proposals for Momentum’s conference, discuss the proposals and decide which ones you support”. About 125 proposals had been submitted as of 28 November, attracting between 176 and two “support” clicks each. Without the knowledge of the National Committee, due to meet on Saturday 3rd, it appears that those around the national office of Momentum who are pushing the model of “clicktivism” have tried to create a “fait

Syriza: dark at the end of the tunnel

Published on: Wed, 30/11/2016 - 12:58
Author

Theodora Polenta

Participants in the Second Congress of Greece’s once-left party, Syriza, on 13-16 October, were reduced in the role of applauders of the Syriza-Anel government’s memorandum doctrines.

Reminiscent of the Tory Prime Minister Samaras, who defended the implementation of the second [2012] Memorandum by saying that “there is light at the end of the tunnel”, Alexis Tsipras claimed the third memorandum could bring a new dawn. “We continue to implement a fair deal and we expect from the institutions and our partners to meet their obligations ... The deepest darkness is before dawn,” he said. There was

Take Back Control

Published on: Wed, 30/11/2016 - 12:45
Author

Attila the Stockbroker

Janine Booth’s pick of news-related poetry is this by Attila the Stockbroker.


You tell me how you’ve suffered since the closure.
I see the pain and sadness in your eyes.
I feel your anger at our country’s leaders
Who offer only platitudes and lies.
At gigs I hear so many of these stories.
All different, but the message is the same.
You’re sick to death of scheming politicians.
No longer going to play their poxy game.

The referendum was your chance. You took it.
They told you we’d be taking back control.
Control of jobs and factories and borders:
A revolution wrapped up in a poll.
The EU is a

Changing through struggle

Published on: Wed, 30/11/2016 - 12:40
Author

Bruce Robinson

Sun-Hee works as a cashier in a large supermarket in a South Korean town. She is just about managing, working unpaid overtime she hopes will earn her the permanent position she has been promised which would enable her to satisfy some of her children’s wants. Shy and passive, she watches as a colleague, Hye-mi, is humiliated by being forced to apologise on her knees to a customer.

Then all the non-permanent staff are sacked by text message as the company wants to outsource their jobs because, as one manager says, everybody’s doing it. The women meet secretly and set up a union. Sun-Hee

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