Solidarity 515, 5 September 2019

PCS says: join coup protests

Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

PCS nationally has made a clear statement against Johnson’s coup, and is encouraging members to join protests.

Our National Executive Committee (NEC) meets this week [starting 2 Sep], and will discuss the unfolding situation in more detail. Our conference policy on Brexit is to remain neutral on the question itself, which the NEC can’t overturn, but obviously we will need to think about how we respond, particularly as it’s PCS members’ labour that will be relied upon to a large extent to “deliver Brexit”.

Hong Kong moves to student boycott

Author

Chen Ying

As Hong Kong citizens seek to recover from a horrific weekend of escalated police violence against tenacious protesters, 2 September marked the start of the academic year, with a two-week boycott of lectures declared by student unions in all major universities, widely supported by secondary students boycotting lessons in dozens of schools.

Organisers of the successful city-wide strike on 5 August are planning their next strike to link up with the students.

Heathrow and the toy-drone plan

Author

Mike Zubrowski

Heathrow Pause, an independent splinter from — and loudly distanced by — Extinction Rebellion, is planning an attempted shut-down of Heathrow airport using toy drones on 13 September.

They demand “that the Government places an immediate moratorium upon all aviation expansion”, as well as chiming in with XR’s three general demands.

Aeroplanes are extremely polluting, and every serious environmentalist supports a moratorium on aviation expansion and opposes Heathrow’s third runway.

Amazon fires threaten the Earth

Author

Mike Zubrowski

Fires are sweeping the Amazon rainforest. They are facilitated by global warming to date and also fuel future climatic catastrophe.

They have been driven by deforestation and sparked further deforestation. Brazil’s president Bolsonaro and politicians internationally have responded with empty words and little action.

August saw a spike in fires across the world’s largest rainforest. In 2019 so far Brazil’s space agency has recorded over 40,000.

A premier for all seasons

Author

Hugh Edwards

The former provincial lawyer, Giuseppe Conte is once again premier-designate of another Italian government. He has already set out his rhetorical stall for his second term of office.

Without a blush he describes himself as “The Premier of the New”, while a little over a year ago, as he assumed the same role in the Lega Nationale — 5 Star government, he presented himself as the “Minister of Change”.

The coup: not Johnson’s fault?

Author

Jim Denham

Johnson’s coup is all the fault of the anti-Brexit MPs, according to the Morning Star’s editorial on 29 August:

“It comes in circumstances that have been created by anti-Brexit MPs and the House of Commons. They have had three years to agree a way to honour the people’s vote to leave the EU. Moreover, the vast majority of those MPs were elected on pledges to do just that.

Letters

I was catching up on a backlog of reading material, and I was genuinely shocked to read in Sean Matgamna’s piece The Willsman Affair (Solidarity 509) that the Morning Star daily newspaper “actively foments antisemitism”.

This is a completely disgraceful comment and, as any reader or the Star will know fine well, is completely untrue. Sean should ether provide some examples of “antisemitism” in the Star, “actively fomented” or otherwise, or withdraw that comment completely.

Make Labour fight Brexit

Author

Editorial

So far, so good! — as we go to press, on Wednesday 4 September. Britain’s poundshop Mussolini, the lying public-school bully-boy prime minister Boris Johnson, has been decisively beaten in two House of Commons votes.

There will be almost surely a request to the European Union for an extension of the leaving date to 31 January 2020. Johnson does not have enough support in the House of Commons to carry out his threat to get round the decision by calling an instant general election.

Going on the streets has changed things

Author

Paul Mason, Laura Parker and Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP

A lot of people have been mesmerised by the speed and decisiveness of the Johnson regime — and of course there’s a legitimate worry that by resisting his moves we’re playing into his hands in an election.

But what that misses is the total blindness of elite technocrats like Cummings and Johnson to mass action.

Battle for democracy

Author

Colin Foster

Parliament does not decide when it does or doesn’t sit. The Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, does that.

Parliament does not decide what Bills can or cannot be debated. The government largely does that, with some small rights of input from the official Opposition.

Only in situations where the government does not have a majority, and where the governing party is in the process of splitting, like now, does that open up more.

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