For equality, against bigotry

Migrant labour, racism and class struggle in Singapore

With migrant workers making up the vast majority of recent Covid-19 cases in Singapore, there are renewed calls for the government to reduce Singapore's dependence on migrant labour. On the surface, this appears to be a progressive proposal, given that it is being made in response to the cramped and unsanitary nature of the migrant worker dormitories. In reality, however, these are xenophobic demands to reduce the number of foreigners and these demands have nothing to do with improving conditions in migrant worker dormitories. Many have compared migrant labour to a drug to which Singapore is...

Tim Roache and the cabal system

On Tuesday 28 April, Tim Roache, general secretary of the big GMB union, which organises in many different sectors, stepped down, just months after his re-election. He cited ill-health. On Wednesday, following the circulation of an anonymous letter to press outlets, GMB issued a statement: “GMB received an anonymous letter, last Wednesday, in which a number of allegations have been made about Tim’s conduct whilst he held the office of general secretary.” The news of the allegations against Roach has reignited discussion of conduct in the labour movement, echoing previous incidents including...

Hollow declarations: a reply to WPUK's letter

The article below replies to a letter by WPUK , which in turn is a response to an article by Workers' Liberty activist Natalia Cassidy, 'Anti-trans feminists blinkered on Tories' , and refers to a video by Workers' Liberty activist Zack Muddle, 'Fighting for trans rights in today's labour movement' . The article written by Natalia Cassidy entitled 'Anti-trans feminists blinkered on Tories' was not, in fact, written with Woman's Place UK (WPUK) as an organisation in mind. It was written after seeing swathes of people on social media responding in celebratory fashion at the statement made by Liz...

Anti-trans feminists blinkered on Tories

This article has been responded to by WPUK , which in turn has been replied to here . On 22 April, Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss addressed Parliament's Women and Equalities Select Committee, laying out her priorities. The Tory minister's comments and plans were met with much support from many from socialist feminist backgrounds on the basis that she thought single-sex spaces should be protected (a shorthand to communicate to the relevant audience that trans women will be excluded from accessing services and particular areas of public life). The feminists in question - who...

The stats of Covid-19

African-Americans are being hit harder by Covid-19 than others in the USA. In Chicago, African-Americans are half the Covid-19 cases and more than 70% of deaths, yet only 30% of the city. In Milwaukee, they are 81% of Covid-19 cases and 26% of the population. In Louisiana, 70% of deaths and 33% of the population. Almost always in epidemics, the worst-off suffer worse. They are likely to be in poorer health already; to live in more crowded housing; to have to continue to work in sometimes crowded workplaces, rather than working from home or taking time off. In Britain, home care workers -...

The Board of Deputies' proposals are not the way to fight antisemitism

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has asked candidates for the Labour leadership and deputy leadership to sign up to ten proposals for tackling antisemitism . For sure the party needs a new, much more aggressive approach on fighting antisemitism. But the Board of Deputies’ proposals are both inadequate and, in many respects, wrong and harmful. Labour needs: • Serious political education and discussion about antisemitism and fighting it, as part of but distinct within wider antiracist education, throughout the party. This must include discussing antisemitic reactionary anticapitalism, and...

New "sardine" movement in Italy

In the past few weeks, as if from nowhere, a new movement, calling itself “the sardines”, has filled the squares of Italy, originating from Emilia Romagna’s capital city, Bologna. 25,000 came out in Milan on Sunday 1 December, and there will be a mass national demo of all groups and organisational conference in Rome on 15 December. Drawing in thousands of the young, and often very young, the dynamic of the mobilisation is focused against the reactionary racist extremism of Matteo Salvini and his party, La Lega nationale. According to some of the comments of the liberal bourgeois media, this is...

The Morning Star's Mirvis mystery

Chief Rabbi Ephraim is certainly a small-c conservative on both political and theological matters. He congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming Prime Minister (though in fact religious leaders routinely offer congratulations and promises of prayer to all incoming prime ministers). Whether or not Mirvis is a Tory is not the issue. His attack on Labour over antisemitism addressed a real problem. Even the Morning Star , in a rambling and not entirely coherent editorial (27 November) noted that a 2018 poll conducted for the Jewish Chronicle “said more than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy...

A mess on antisemitism

On ITV’s This Morning , 3 December, Jeremy Corbyn finally apologised for antisemitism in the Labour Party, after a week in which he had resisted calls to do so following Orthodox chief rabbi’s Ephraim Mirvis’s statements. Politically, the delay signals uncertainty at best. Worse, in the 26 November interview with Andrew Neil where he first refused to apologise, Corbyn was asked repeatedly whether the phrase “Rothschild Zionists run Israel and world governments”, tweeted by a Labour council candidate in Liverpool, is antisemitic. (Apparently the tweeter remains a candidate, for now, after his...

XR condemns Hallam on Holocaust

Extinction Rebellion bigwig Roger Hallam has been widely condemned, including by much of XR, for comments belittling the significance of the Holocaust. Speaking to German newspaper Die Zeit . Hallam said: “The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history… [The Holocaust was] almost a normal event... just another fuckery in human history”. We don’t know Hallam’s motivation or underlying political prejudice here. But to put the Holocaust in the context of other mass killings in history does not require talking about it...

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