Solidarity 536, 26 February 2020

Defend and extend free movement!

Published on: Thu, 27/02/2020 - 22:21


Under both the “skilled” and “unskilled” routes in the Tories' new policy, workers will be reliant on employer sponsorship for their right to stay – shifting the worker-boss balance of power even further towards the boss.

How Sanders wins

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 12:28

Eric Lee

For all our articles on Sanders by Eric Lee, going back to October 2019, see here.

For some time now I’ve been arguing that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the front-runner in the race to be the Democratic candidate to face off against Donald Trump in November.

A few months ago, and even a few weeks ago, that was a debatable proposition. Today, it is a view shared by nearly everyone paying careful attention to the Democratic primary.

The main competitors to Sanders are falling away one by one, their weaknesses on clear display to all. Biden, once seen as the front-runner, has no base of

Morning Star depicts trans people as predators

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 12:24

Katy Dollar

The Morning Star (linked to the Communist Party of Britain) has been forced to apologise for printing a transphobic cartoon by Stella Perrett, published in the print edition of Tuesday 18 February.

The cartoon depicting a slavering, slithering crocodile ogling terrified and defenceless newts and invading their “safe space” with the excuse that the crocodile is “transitioning to a newt”. The cartoon is grossly offensive, showing trans people as predatory and deceitful and cis women as weak and in need of protection.

As the cartoon circulated online, trade union LGBT+ groups began to organise

Letters: HS2 debate; Labour Party suspensions

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 12:18

While there is much to agree with in Simon Nelson’s article (Solidarity 534) I believe that Simon is wrong in opposing HS2.

If the line was just about allowing Northerners to get to London in a shorter time, maybe he would have a point. However probably the main reason for constructing HS2 is the limited capacity of the existing network.

There is a limit on how many more longer or more frequent services can be carried on the current network. HS2 (should we call it Congestion Line 1?) will take away large numbers of express trains from the current overcrowded lines, allowing more commuter and

Parts of "left" link with right on antisemitism

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 12:13

Mohan Sen

On 24 February anti-far right campaign Hope Not Hate and the Jewish charity Community Security Trust published a report on London-based antisemitic conspiracy group Keep Talking.

Since HnH and the CST secretly infiltrated Keep Talking in early 2017, it has hosted “an array of both left-wing and right-wing speakers, who have discussed a wide variety of conspiracy theories”. Particular focuses have included 9/11, terror attacks in London, historical assassinations, the murder of Jo Cox, the Skripal affair and Syria.

In addition “antisemitic conspiracy theories are at the core of the group.

What should be done about floods?

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 12:09

Misha Zubrowski

As I write on 25 February, yet more “severe flood warnings” are being issued — currently in Shrewsbury and Ironbridge — indicating “danger to life” with suggestions that floods could reach “highest ever” levels for that area.

This follows a fortnight of deluges sweeping much of the UK, with exceptional rainfall bought by Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara.

What is causing these floods? Climate change? Bad “land management”? Austerity? Or a mix?

These storms come only three months after similar — record breaking — floods in the Midlands and Yorkshire; and nine months after the Peak Districts and

Labour leader: a blurred election

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 12:03

Mohan Sen

Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has something of Jeremy Corbyn 2015 about it (and then some). Unfortunately for Rebecca Long-Bailey, the same cannot be said of her Labour leadership campaign.

She has had some large-ish (stress ish) rallies, but many have been flops. In general her campaign is lacklustre. Politically poor videos seem to be taking the place of public mobilisations.

We have gone from the situation of 2015, where a scattering of left-wingers quickly cohered into a dynamic, enthusiastic, organised campaign, to one where the left is transformed back into a (now bigger)

Murray goes, but who instead?

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 12:00

Gerry Bates

Andrew Murray, former Communist Party leader and prominent Stalinist, has resigned from his job in the Labour Party Leader’s Office.

His associate Karie Murphy has already been lined up to go to the House of Lords. What will happen to their associate Seamus Milne we don’t yet know.

Good riddance. The 3Ms axis played a big part in:

• Labour’s fumbling and evasive policy on Brexit. Murray and Milne were keen Brexiters well before 2016, and retreated only step-by-step before the overwhelming rank-and-file Labour push against Brexit.
• Labour’s antisemitism fiasco: Murray and Milne are long-time

Assange: don't extradite, don't glorify

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 11:55

Sacha Ismail

We should oppose the extradition to the USA of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, whose court battle against extradition has just started.

Those on the left who hail him as a political hero are wrong. But we should still oppose extradition.

Assange’s politics are a confused and noxious mix of “libertarian”, left-wing and right-wing. Moreover, credible charges of sexual assaults have been made against him in Sweden.

After a Swedish court blocked extradition in May 2019, the Swedish authorities announced in November 2019 that they had dropped their investigation.

But now, if extradited to the

University strikes going into third week

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 11:10

Chris Reynolds and Sacha Marten

The strikes by university workers in the UCU union over their “four fights” go into their third week on 2-5 March, and their fourth on 9-13 March.

The “four fights” are pay, equality, workload, and decasualisation. While vice-chancellors and celebrity professors enjoy high pay, junior university workers often have casual and insecure conditions, and low pay.

The Cambridge branch of the UCU, for example, points out that the university vice-chancellor is on £492,000 a year, while a library assistant is on £20,130, an IT technician on £23,067, and a research assistant on £26,715.

A reader reports

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