Solidarity 502, 10 April 2019

Schools: the most vulnerable lose out

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 12:36

Ralph Higgins

By the government’s own reckoning, over 2,000 pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are not getting access to necessary resources and equipment because of funding cuts.

Since 2015 £5.4 billion has been cut from school budgets in England. The most vulnerable have been hit hardest.

A recent report by IPPR North found that SEND [Special Educational Needs and Disability] funding has been cut by 17% across England since 2015. The number of SEND and disability tribunal hearings has doubled in the past two years, with the decision favouring parents in 89 per cent of their cases.


Brexit: new public vote should decide

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 11:38


No deal Brexit? Theresa May’s Brexit formula, three times rejected by Parliament but somehow squeezed through on a fourth attempt?

May’s Brexit formula, tweaked to promise a permanent customs union with the EU, and — to Labour’s shame! - pushed through with Labour front-bench support?

A long Brexit delay — ending with pretty much the same options?

Any of those options, but conditional on a new referendum to accept the favoured option or go for Remain?

The Tory back benches rebelling, forcing May out of office, precipitating an early general election?

As Solidarity goes to press on 9 April, all

Behind Labour’s Brexit and antisemitism problems

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 11:34

Dan Katz

Jeremy Corbyn’s victory as Labour leader in 2015 promised the possibility of a left Labour Party which would in government renationalise rail, gas and electricity, restore union rights and tax the rich. In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis and years of Tory austerity, that looked attractive to many tens of thousands of people who had never been active on the left before. Labour’s membership surged and the membership was optimistic. The Party’s right wing was on the back foot.

Now all that is in jeopardy. The opportunity to re-shape Labour politically and open-up its structures democratically is

To fix climate change, fight capitalism!

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 11:30

Mike Zubrowski

George Monbiot (The Guardian, Wednesday 3 April) makes the case for large scale reforesting and re-wilding as the “Natural Climate Solutions” to the problem of how to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

He recognises that this removal can be no “substitute for the rapid and comprehensive decarbonisation of our economies.” But his approach to bringing about this large scale re-wilding falls short is what of needed, and fails to link it to these wider needed transitions.

A lot of what Monbiot says is true. Even if we reduced carbon emissions to zero today, this would leave global

"Inability to recognise antisemitism"

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 11:23

Look at the sheer weight of the examples of antisemitic attitudes, Facebook posts, and behaviour across so many different levels of the party and so many different parts of the country.

There are hundreds and hundreds of examples. Anyone who says there is no evidence either hasn't looked or is deliberately closing their eyes.

We've also seen that the party structure, the party machine and the party leadership, have not dealt with these cases properly - firstly, not really recognising that there was a problem, and more recently we've seen evidence of the obstruction of disciplinary processes.


Full Brexit: "Transforming Britain"

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 11:14

George Hoare, Peter Ramsay, Lee Jones, Anshu Srivastava and Danny Nicol

George Hoare, Peter Ramsay, Lee Jones, Anshu Srivastava and Danny Nicol respond to criticisms of the London Full Brexit event from some on the left. We reply to this article here.

Full Brexit co-organised the Transforming Britain After Brexit tour because we wanted to open up a space for discussion, within and beyond the Left, over Brexit and the nature of the European Union. In March we held events in Coventry, Manchester, Liverpool, and London, with an event in Durham to come next month and hopefully more dates in cities across the UK after that.

We believe that the EU is undemocratic in its

A bridge to the far right

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 11:03

Steve Michaels and Sacha Ismail

This is a reply to a Full Brexit article.

The “Full Brexit” project describes itself as a network of “activists, academics, journalists and policy experts, all on the broad political left” dedicated to “seizing the historic opportunity Brexit offers for restoring popular sovereignty, repairing democracy, and renewing our economy”.

Its list of founding signatures includes Paul Embery (of the Arron Banks-funded Trade Unionists Against the EU group who recently spoke at Nigel Farage’s Brexit rally) and Maurice Glasman (of Blue Labour, slogan “Faith, Family and Flag”).

On 25 March, these policy

Stalinists for WTO rules?

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 10:57

Jim Denham

On Saturday 6 April, I sat in a room full of activists from the giant union Unite, and heard the union’s assistant general secretary Steve Turner talking about Brexit. He was clear on one thing: a no deal Brexit on WTO terms would be a disaster for jobs in manufacturing. Turner emphasised the chaos that no-deal would cause to the automotive sector, which is dependent upon frictionless trade across Europe.

No one in the room seemed to disagree. Surprising. Quite a few of them were supporters of the Morning Star, which that same day carried a centre-page article by Alex Gordon arguing that a

The Bolsheviks: mistakes and limits

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 10:51

Martin Thomas

Barry Finger's review (Solidarity 497) of In Defence of Bolshevism quotes approvingly Max Shachtman's statement, in Shachtman's 1943 article on "The Mistakes of the Bolsheviks", that "we must... defend Bolshevism".

In its last sentence, though, it declares: "The Bolsheviks themselves – Lenin, Trotsky, Bukharin — nevertheless 'took the theoretical lead', in Hal Draper's words, 'in gutting socialism of its organic enrootment in the mass of the people' paving the 'juridical' framework for the counter-revolution in class power."

This has some truth to this, but only within limits, and it is

Migrants: here to stay, here to vote

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 10:41

Rosalind Robson

As we go to press on 9 April, Labour is continuing talks with the government on a Brexit formula.

As the customs union which Labour is asking for will not fly with many Tories, the talks may break down. But they are proceeding on the basis of Tory-Labour agreement on ending free movement between the EU and the UK.

This is a disastrous move on Labour′s part. Despite Jeremy Corbyn's support as a backbencher for campaigns defending refugees and migrants, since November 2016 Labour has accepted the end of EU freedom of movement. As on other aspects of the Brexit process Labour has failed to be

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