Democracy, monarchy, republicanism

Labour: stop Brexit, reverse cuts, scrap anti-strike laws, prepare for a snap election

On the streets and in the workplaces is where we must defeat the plans of Boris Johnson and his “special adviser” Dominic Cummings to force through a “no deal” Brexit by overriding Parliament. And that’s the best way to prepare for a likely snap election.

Cummings's latest plan (3 August) is to respond to Parliament voting no confidence in Johnson – which it may well do on 4 September – by delaying the subsequent general election to after Brexit has become accomplished fact on 31 October.

Fight the Tories' Brexit coup plot



If Boris Johnson prorogues (suspends) Parliament to force through his no-deal Brexit, then, says Tory maverick Rory Stewart, “I would work with colleagues simply to organise another parliament across the road.

“That sounds quite Civil-War-ist, but that is what happened in 2002 when Blair tried not to have a vote on the Iraq war”.

Tony Blair had tried to push along his support for the invasion of Iraq while Parliament was not sitting. The backbench Labour MP Graham Allen booked a hall to convene MPs “unofficially”. Blair backed down and recalled Parliament for a debate.

Block Johnson’s Brexit coup plan



In Bournemouth on 27 June, Boris Johnson threatened to suspend Parliament in order to force through his "no deal" Brexit.

He is likely to become Tory leader, and then Prime Minister, on 23-24 July. Manoeuvring to recoup the Farage vote for the Tories, he has promised to force through Brexit, "do or die", by 31 October.

“A crushing blow for human rights”


Todd Hamer

The Stansted 15 have spent their Christmas break awaiting sentence, having been found guilty under terrorist¬related legislation carrying a maximum life sentence.

On 28 March 2016, activists locked themselves onto the front wheel of a Boeing 767 that the Home Office had secretly chartered to forcibly deport 60 refugees and migrants to Nigeria and Ghana. They included a woman whose husband had threatened to kill her because of her sexuality and two people who have since been identified as victims of trafficking.

Soviets, workers' democracy, and workers' control


Paul Vernadsky

"Soviet" is the Russian word for council. In 1905 and in 1917 the Russian workers, in great social rebellions against the Tsarist regime, created "workers' councils" of delegates which not only coordinated struggles but, especially in 1917, took over functions of government.

The Russian workers' revolution of October 1917 had to create a new machinery of government. The old machinery of government had been broken up, and whatever fragments remained were mostly hostile. The Soviets took over the job of governing.

Celebrating wealth


Chryssa Reimer-Canellakis

The past week has seen my perfectly reasonable, cool, and otherwise rock ‘n’ roll friends descend into a royal wedding frenzy not seen since … well, ever, really.

Somehow, Meghan Markle being divorced, mixed-race and from “a broken home” seems to have made it hip to celebrate this royal wedding in a way that Kate and Wills never was.

Up the Republic!


Martin Thomas

The ballyhoo about the Royal Wedding on 20 May 2018 is not harmless.

The campaign group Republic reckons that the Royal Family costs "£345m a year. The royals' official grant alone has jumped 145% since 2012, from £31m to £76.1m. Add to that costs met by councils, revenue from the Duchies and unpaid tax and you can easily see how the royals cost us so much.

"That £345m... is enough... to pay for 15,000 new teachers or 15,500 new firefighters".

Abolish the monarchy!


Michael Johnson

After the election of a Tory majority government, it was heartening to hear Jack Straw on the Today Programme last week, taking up the cudgels for those benighted souls who need it most, like Prince Charles.

In the wake of the release of the so-called “black spider” memos from Charles to the Blair government, Straw told the BBC that it was “absolutely essential” that Prince Charles had been able to offer his views in private. If the public was entitled to know what Charles was saying, he added, it would “stop him saying anything at all to ministers”. 

Abolish the monarchy! Up the republic!

More than £10 million will come straight out of the public purse to fund the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, along with millions more from private sponsors.

That’s money for pompous pageantry to celebrate an accident of birth, and an institution that more civilised countries than ours abolished centuries ago.

Even when they’re being rammed down our throat by the media and political establishment, there’s a temptation to dismiss the monarchy as an irritating quirk, a relic, but ultimately one that has no real grip on or connection to actual politics.

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