Solidarity 433, 22 March 2017

Industrial news in brief


Justine Canady, UCLU Women’s Officer-elect (personal capacity), Simon Nelson and Luke Hardy

UCL Student Union’s senior management have agreed cuts in the region of 90k to the cleaning budget. Secura Clean, the company contracted to carry out UCLU cleaning, have promised there will be no redundancies. However, hours will be drastically cut, meaning that some cleaners possibly losing one-third of their hours.

DOO strikes spread

On Monday 13 March, RMT guards and drivers on Southern Railways struck and were joined for the first time by RMT guards and drivers on Northern and Merseyrail. RMT continues its fight against the extension of driver-only operation on Southern, while the leadership of drivers’ union Aslef seems desperate to surrender.

The inspirational art of Buffy


Carrie Evans

On 10 March 1997 something was created that changed my world forever. This is not using hyperbole to illustrate a point. Buffy the Vampire Slayer shaped my world. Unfortunately for me (or fortunately depending on context) I’m not the only person who feels this way. Which is why Buffy has launched a thousand think-pieces.

SNP nationalism no answer to Brexit nationalism


Dale Street

On 13 March, a school in the constituency of SNP Education Secretary John Swinney sent a letter to pupils’ parents asking them to help teach maths in the school, due to a shortage of maths teachers. Later in that week a new report revealed that child poverty, income inequality and the number of people living in relative poverty in Scotland were all increasing.

Meet the Lords? Abolish the Lords!


Simon Nelson

Meet the Lords was the BBC’s three-part series on the inner workings of the House of Lords. At its most critical it showed how few peers bother doing anything, although a large proportion still claim their full allowance. For the most part the programme was a tribute to the work of the £300-a-day “unsalaried” parliamentarians with no democratic mandate.

Greece: Towards a fourth memorandum?


Theodora Polenta

The latest poll in Greece shows Syriza has the support of just 15% of the electorate. Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos has boasted that a third of the austerity measures Greece had to impose as part of the current programme have been “totally completed”, another third are “totally agreed”, while the rest are subject to “political negotiation”.

Rich and poor: the gap widens



“If nothing is done to change [the] outlook, the current parliament [2015-20] will go down as being the worst on record for income growth in the bottom half of the income distribution. It will also represent the biggest rise in inequality since the end of the 1980s”. So concludes an analysis on 16 March, by Adam Corlett of the Resolution Foundation, of the latest official figures on low incomes, published the same day.

Excluded from Labour for being a socialist!


Keith Road

A Socialist Appeal member, expelled from the Labour Party, recently went court to contest the expulsion. Unsurprisingly the Party had their side upheld and he will not be reinstated, at least not through court procedures.

Abortion: denying women fundamental rights


Honor Wilkinson-Bell and Beckie Walker, Darlington Young Labour (personal capacity)

As young females, we both feel strongly about the liberation of women. We believe it is abhorrent that women across the world are still denied their fundamental rights, especially in the 21st century.

One significant example is how the issue of abortion, which is still stigmatised in the US, arguably even more so in the Trump era. Despite the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, attacks on women’s right to choose, have continued for years. Violent attacks have taken place in clinics and there have been campaigns to overturn and restrict Roe v. Wade.

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