Solidarity 411, 8 July 2016

Fight for migrants' rights and workers' unity


Jill Mountford, Momentum Steering Committee, personal capacity

There are strong voices in the Labour Party, in the trade unions and even on the Labour left arguing that, after the Brexit vote, the labour movement should support further restrictions on freedom of movement and migrants’ rights.

Teachers and lecturers strike and protest on 5 July


Peggy Carter and Ben Tausz

Teachers struck on Tuesday 5 July in a well supported national strike for guaranteed terms and conditions across all schools, increased funding to schools, and the resumption of negotiations on teacher workload.

The strike saw large protests. The march in London was overwhelmingly young, and many young teachers told Solidarity sellers that they had joined the Labour Party in the past year.

We can do better than this


Esther Townsend

I was always interested in fairness and justice, and aware that these weren’t always so easy to come by.

I had family who were trade unionists and described themselves as socialists and I thought this “socialism” I read about in history books sounded like a great idea, but it was all a bit vague. I had no clue that there were still people out there organising and arguing for it. When I say that now I feel daft, but the left (and to some extent the labour movement) has been pretty invisible to most people for the last 30 or so years.

Fossil fuels and the rise of capitalism


Neil Laker

“The millowners told the workers to bow down to the steam idol or starve”

Fossil Capital by Andreas Malm explores the crisis posed by climate change by looking at the origins of capital’s dependence on fossil fuels. It is a significant contribution and a sound introduction to Marxist ecological thought. Above all the book demonstrates how capital accumulation and the global climate have a deep and inseparable relationship, and in particular that the history of the working class is an environmental one.

Corbyn: their criticism and ours


Colin Foster

Some of the Labour coup-makers say they have no disagreement with Jeremy Corbyn’s policies, and value his kindliness and his personal qualities. But, they say, with a sigh elaborately staged for the audience, somehow Corbyn doesn’t have what it takes to lead, to unite, to win an election. So they’ve resigned, and try to hold the Labour Party hostage in order to force Corbyn to quit.

Letter: Free movement for all!


Todd Hamer

Martin Thomas argues (Solidarity 409) that immigration bans are not always a means for the capitalist class to micromanage labour supply. He cites Australia in 1901 as an example of a capitalist government who reluctantly introduced immigration bans to appease racists.

Chakrabarti emphasises free speech


Ira Berkovic

The inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party, headed by lawyer and civil rights advocate Shami Chakrabarti, has concluded that, while Labour is not “overrun” with any form of racism, “an occasionally toxic atmosphere is in danger of shutting down free speech in the party”.

Chilcot and Labour democracy


Gerry Bates

Jeremy Corbyn was right in his response to the Chilcot report on the 2003 invasion of Iraq, published on 6 July.

The invasion was “an act of military aggression launched on a false pretext... [which] led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions of refugees. It devastated Iraq’s infrastructure and society. The occupation fostered a lethal sectarianism... that turned into a civil war...

“While the governing class got it so horrifically wrong — many of our people actually got it right.

The Tories and Brexit: where ignorant armies clash by night


Martin Thomas

At the end of June US secretary of state John Kerry said, with a bluntness unusual in a professional diplomat, that David Cameron “has no idea how he would do it [negotiate British exit from the EU]. And by the way nor do most of the people who voted to do it”.

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