Solidarity 504, 1 May 2019

A socialist “Green New Deal”: Take over the Big Eleven!

Author

Mike Zubrowski

After the Extinction Rebellion (XR) action on 15-25 April, climate activists need concrete demands that we can organise around and some of which can be won, if partially, even now.

That way we can build towards the eventual transformation of society, and we can buy ourselves more time, slowing the onslaught of climate change. We need, so to speak, a socialist “Green New Deal.”

The term “Green New Deal” refers to divergent, often vague, and generally inadequate sets of proposals. However, the basic proposal of a bold government program is a good one.

Left movement surge

Author

Alon-Lee Green, Standing Together

On 9 April, the Israeli left had the general elections. All together, the left parties have less than 20 seats, out of 120. This is the rock bottom of the Israeli left in its 70 years of history.

Around these left parties, the Knesset is filled with a massive majority of centre, right, and far-right parties. None of those are committed to progressing an Israeli-Palestinian peace, none of those are active in the fight for social justice, and none will try to cancel the discriminatory Nation State Law or to fight racism.

Protest for “Two States” on 11 May

Author

Martin Thomas

Asked by an interviewer on 23 April whether his “plan” for Israel-Palestine, due to be announced after 4 June, will culminate in “two states”, Trump aide Jared Kushner said, “If people focus on the old traditional talking points, we’re never going to make progress.”

The plan, says Kushner, will emphasise “economic benefits” for the Palestinians and “security” for Israel. His aides pass it on: don’t use the phrase “two-state solution.”

Laura Murray and complaints

Author

Keith Road

The appointment (on 25 April) of Laura Murray to Head of Complaints for the Labour Party has real problems, whatever merits she may have.

Murray has been defended by Jon Lansman, chair of Momentum: “I can’t think of anyone better for this role. She’s developed wide knowledge about it [antisemitism], deeply wants to root it out, has engaged and worked with Jewish communities”.

Undemocratic ban

Author

Maisie Sanders

At the National Union of Students (NUS) conference (9-11 April), University of Bath student Zeid Truscott was disqualified from standing for the National Executive Council (NEC) on grounds of antisemitism.

The biggest issues here are of elections being controlled by full-time officials, of the NUS’s general shutting-down of democracy, and of the culture of responding to anything by “banning” rather than argument.

Vote Labour in 2nd May local elections

Solidarity calls on readers to vote Labour in the local elections on 2 May, which cover one-third of the seats in almost all the metropolitan authorities in England (big cities outside London).

They cover almost all the “unitary authorities” (those which combine “county” and “district” powers): in some of those all seats are contested, in some only a third. Any they cover many district councils, and six mayoral elections.

Turning round transport

Author

Mike Zubrowski

Analysis by the Financial Times on 25 April shows how the UK transport sector is failing to move towards the UK’s already meagre climate targets.

According to provisional official statistics, transport accounted for 33% of UK emissions last year, the highest proportion of any sector.

Levels of car travel and purchase remain very high. Fewer than 1% of cars bought are electric (due to high cost). There has been no significant decrease in road vehicle emissions since 2003. Slight reductions in emissions by cars have been offset by increases from online deliveries.

Morning Star says “Don’t vote Labour”

Author

Jim Denham

One of the mysteries (albeit a minor one) of contemporary British politics, is how the Morning Star manages to maintain its image as a pretty much uncritical Corbyn fanzine whilst opposing Corbyn’s one and only clear policy on Europe – to avoid a no-deal Brexit at all costs.

Letters

One of the people who joined us on our 18 April protest at the Israeli Embassy against Netanyahu’s plan to annex Area C on the West Bank queried some of the text on our leaflet.

She didn’t dispute that the “right of return” to Israel of all six million descendants of the 1947-9 refugees is neither workable nor just (since it could not happen without the conquest and displacement of the Israeli Jews). But, she said, we should uphold the “right of return” *to the West Bank*.

For Labour, against Brexit

Author

Editorial

The “build unions, not borders”, “socialist Europe”, “free movement” anti-Brexit left is organising to make an impact in the Labour campaign for the Euro-election on 23 May.

A model is the Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory (SCLV) initiated in 1978-9 by Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. It produced literature arguing for a Labour vote against Thatcher’s Tories, and also criticising the 1974-9 Labour government and proposing socialist alternatives.

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