Solidarity 417, 21 September 2016

Support the Ritzy cinema strike!


Michael Elms

Workers at the Ritzy Picturehouse in Brixton are set to take their first day of strike action on Saturday 24 September, as they embark on a new dispute with Picturehouse and the Cineworld empire of which the arthouse cinema chain is a part.

Industrial news in brief


Gemma Short, Darren Bedford, Charlotte Zalens, Dale Street, Peggy Carter and Ollie Moore

Hundreds of Derby teaching assistants and their supporters protested outside Parliament on Wednesday 14 September. The lobby of Parliament was part of a strike by teaching assistants in their fight to against the council changing their working week, resulting in a 25% loss of pay.

Strikes in August finally brought the council to the negotiating table, but their offers since have been so miserly that workers have rejected them by large majorities. The council has also attempted to make divisive offers that would benefit only a section of the workforce.

Scottish Labour’s fortunes


Ann Field

In the 2015 general election Labour lost 40 of the 41 seats it held in Scotland. In this May’s Holyrood elections it lost 14 of its 38 seats. Four months later, Labour remains in decline.

Racial hatred before and after Brexit


Camila Bassi

Britain’s EU referendum cannot simply be regarded at its face value as a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. It was a noxious campaign on immigration, which was preceded by years of political and media discourse that has mainstreamed anti-immigration sentiment.

The battle now shapes the future


Colin Foster

Peter Frase’s book Four Futures: Life After Capitalism is due to be published on 1 November. He will be explaining its ideas in a speaking tour in Britain from 24 September, and has already written about them on the website of Jacobin, the US socialist magazine he writes for.

He explains, at the end of that preview article, that his argument is dramatically over-simplified. The aim is to jolt us out of the always-common prejudice that society will go on much as it is now, with a nudge this way or that. It won’t.

Digitise? First: organise!


Martin Thomas

Hundreds of thousands of new people, many young people, have joined the Labour Party to repel the anti-Corbyn coup. From being a scattering of individuals across society, grumbling to their workmates, talking with their friends, they have begun to become a political force.

The Left’s Jewish Problem — Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-semitism


Dale Street

Dave Rich’s The Left’s Jewish Problem – Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-semitism is not quite what its subtitle suggests it is. But that does not make the book, published a fortnight ago, any the less worth reading.

The focus of the book is not Corbyn. At its core is an attempt to provide an explanation of “how and why antisemitism appears on the left, and an appeal to the left to understand, identify and expel antisemitism from its politics.”

Owen Smith slanders AWL with antisemitism charge


Ross Bradshaw, Yoni Higgsmith, Barry Finger, Eric Lee and Jason Schulman

During a recent televised debate Owen Smith linked the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty to left antisemitism. This claim has gained some currency, despite Workers’ Liberty’s thirty-year record of fighting left (and other forms of) antisemitism.

Socialist policies can beat the Tories



According to the YouGov polling company, Jeremy Corbyn has a negative rating of minus 29%. It is hardly surprising, given the media-boosted torrent of bad-mouthing of him by people who are supposed to be Labour politicians.

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