Solidarity 426, 11 January 2017

Left must defend freedom of movement

After weeks of intense pressure from the Labour right (and from some supposed to be on Labour’s left), Jeremy Corbyn has retreated on freedom of movement. In a speech on 10 January he said: “Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle... Labour supports fair rules and reasonably managed migration as part of the post-Brexit relationship with the EU”.

Keep the guards on the trains!


Ollie Moore

Workers on Southern Rail are striking on 10-13 and 24-27 January, as they attempt to force Southern bosses to reverse the imposition of “Driver Only Operation” (DOO). Guards on Southern, who are members of the RMT union, also struck from 31 December to 2 January.

The 10-13 January strike had originally been scheduled for 9-14 January, but drivers’ union Aslef reduced it to three days, with their General Secretary Mick Whelan saying they had listened to “concerns” which suggested a six-day strike was “disproportionate”.

Industrial news in brief


Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter and Gemma Short

Workers at Picturehouse Cinema’s flagship “Picturehouse Central” location, near London’s Piccadilly Circus, will shortly begin balloting for new strikes, as part of a growing dispute which also involves workers at Picturehouse’s Brixton, Hackney, and Crouch End sites. The ballot, the timetable for which has yet to be announced, is for further strikes to demand the London Living Wage, decent sick pay, and other improvements to workers’ terms and conditions.

Learning from the three Ls


Hal Draper

It was once a tradition for revolutionary socialists to mark every January by remembering the life and work of Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. In this 1949 article, the US socialist Hal Draper discusses the relevance of the socialism of “3Ls” for the German working class, then under the yoke of imperialist occupation, and for the American working class facing a war-mongering ruling class.

History minus the workers


John Cunningham

Normally I wouldn’t have bothered with Sebag Montefiore’s three-part documentary on Vienna (broadcast December 2016). His approach to his topics is somewhat predictable and conservative. But when I lived in Hungary for nine years I tasted some of the splendours of the architecture and the cultural inheritance of the Hapsburgs, not to mention its many contradictions and unpleasantries, in Budapest, Pécs and elsewhere.

The ANC and the South African left


Luke Hardy

The African National Congress (ANC), the party that has been in power since 1994 when majority rule was established in South Africa, is coming apart at the seams. This is in a context of radical student struggles, protests against austerity, and a growing rank-and-file movement in the unions and the ANC itself.

Emergency cash for the NHS!



For many healthworkers, the NHS is facing its worst crisis in memory. Small wonder the British Red Cross, called in to provide support with discharging patients from hospitals safely, describes the situation as a humanitarian crisis. Yet Jeremy Hunt and Teresa May deny there is a problem.

Equality for autistic and neuro-divergent people!


Joe Booth and Janine Booth

Socialist activists are drafting a manifesto for the Labour Party of radical policies to advance equality for autistic and other neurodivergent people (those with an atypical “brain-wiring”, usually a condition such as dyspraxia or attention deficit disorder). Supported by John McDonnell, a steering group has drafted a proposed manifesto and, having launched it at Labour Party conference in September, is now inviting input from Labour Party and trade union bodies and interested individuals.

The manifesto is based on five political pillars:

A police execution


Simon Nelson

The shooting of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub on the M62 near Huddersfield is another example of a police “hard stop” — similar to the killing of Mark Duggan by the Metropolitan Police.

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