Solidarity 527, 4 December 2019

Notice on next three issues: 528, 529, 530

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:43

Solidarity 528, printed on 10-11 December, will be a special pamphlet issue, about the lessons of Cable Street 1936 for the fight against the far right now. Our next regular tabloid issue will be Solidarity 529, printed on 17-18 December, with responses to the general election results. Solidarity 530 will be printed on 7-8 January.

Johnson's Brexit: Thatcher reloaded

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:38

On 3 December Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab squirmed when asked why he’d advocated that the NHS should follow the model of Germany, where “two thirds of German hospitals are run privately or not-for-profit”.

It was “a snippet from a pamphlet written a long time ago [it was 2011!], but I can tell you categorically I’ve never advocated privatisation of the NHS.”

He was, he protested, only one of five authors. The other four are all core members of the Johnson team: Trade Secretary Liz Truss, business minister Kwasi Kwarteng, Home Secretary Priti Patel, and junior minister Chris Skidmore.


After 12 December, what?

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:36

If Labour wins a majority government, some activists will think or semi-think “job done”.

There will be a feeling we have navigated deadly rapids to a place of a safety. But in fact the struggle will likely intensify, and become harder.

Labour’s manifesto only moderate higher taxes on the best-off, and nationalisation with compensation of selected sectors, not a democratic seizure of the productive wealth currently held by the plutocrats. But we should not assume Labour’s manifesto will be implemented easily.

There will be many Labour MPs and leading party figures hesitant about or hostile to

Sanders, Debs and the lessons of 1920

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:33

Eric Lee

Earlier this year, a photograph made the rounds on the Internet. It showed Bernie Sanders meeting a young supporter in Iowa. Bernie is smiling and pointing to the young man’s t-shirt. On the t-shirt, it says “Listen here, Bud, America deserved 9/11.”

The photo was a fake. In the real image, the photo on the young man’s shirt which brings a smile to the Senator’s face is one of Eugene V. Debs. And that makes a lot more sense.

Bernie Sanders has long admired Debs, who was the Socialist Party’s candidate for President in a number of elections more than a century ago. And many have drawn parallels

New "sardine" movement in Italy

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:29

Hugh Edwards

In the past few weeks, as if from nowhere, a new movement, calling itself “the sardines”, has filled the squares of Italy, originating from Emilia Romagna’s capital city, Bologna.

25,000 came out in Milan on Sunday 1 December, and there will be a mass national demo of all groups and organisational conference in Rome on 15 December.

Drawing in thousands of the young, and often very young, the dynamic of the mobilisation is focused against the reactionary racist extremism of Matteo Salvini and his party, La Lega nationale.

According to some of the comments of the liberal bourgeois media, this is

Link-ups on 29 November climate strike

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:26

Misha Zubrowski

Climate strikes on 29 November saw large number of school students and older people turn out, all across the country.

In many places there were smaller turn-outs than previous strikes: partly because of the election; partly because — unlike the 20 September — there was no central emphasis on trade unionists and workers joining; and maybe partly because of a slight loss of steam. There were still fairly good and energetic turnouts, even if smaller, in most places that I got reports from.

It coincided with the UCU strikes. Some places seized the opportunity presented by that, others failed to.

More needed than carbon trading

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:21

Misha Zubrowski

The opening of COP25, this year’s major international climate conference, in Madrid (2-13 December), has been marked by strong words by UN secretary general António Guterres. However, action to live up to these words is unlikely to be forthcoming from the conference.

Guterres said “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon… It is in sight and hurtling toward us”. He noted that the world has the scientific knowledge and the technical means to limit global warming, but “what is lacking is political will”.

“Political will to put a price on carbon. Political will to stop subsidies on

The Morning Star's Mirvis mystery

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:15

Jim Denham

Chief Rabbi Ephraim is certainly a small-c conservative on both political and theological matters. He congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming Prime Minister (though in fact religious leaders routinely offer congratulations and promises of prayer to all incoming prime ministers).

Whether or not Mirvis is a Tory is not the issue. His attack on Labour over antisemitism addressed a real problem.

Even the Morning Star, in a rambling and not entirely coherent editorial (27 November) noted that a 2018 poll conducted for the Jewish Chronicle “said more than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy

Sponsor our Sheffield-Manchester ride!

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:12

Hannah Thompson and Dan Rawnsley from Sheffield will be doing a sponsored bike ride to raise funds for Workers’ Liberty on 15 February 2020.

The ride will be from Sheffield to Manchester, a slightly shorter distance but, because of the hills, a much harder ride than the one from London to Cambridge which raised £1250 in October.

We’ve set £1917 as a provisional target for total sponsorships this time, and it has raised £140 in the first few hours of the website going live. Add your contribution here.

Our fund-drive total so far stands at £15,750.93. We need another £9,249.07 to reach our £25

Letters: Labour and trans rights, for and against homeopathy

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:00

Labour must break from triangulation on trans rights

The Labour manifesto’s wording on trans rights is a result of triangulation on the part of the Clause V meeting that drew it up.

On the one hand, the manifesto calls for a commitment for the reform of the GRA in order to demedicalise the process of application for a Gender Recognition Certificate and the amendment of birth certificates to correspond with gender identity. This is a policy supported by a broad base of Labour Party members and strongly amongst young activists in the party. On the flip-side, the manifesto also calls for a

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