Solidarity 085, 8 December 2005

What the unions should fight for

Submitted by Anon on 10 December, 2005 - 1:30

The unions should fight for an alternative of democratic social provision.

They should fight for a workers’ government — a government based on and accountable to the labour movement. A workers’ government should take all the pension funds into public ownership — without compensation to the financiers — and put them under the democratic control of the workers who pay into them and the pensioners who depend on them. It should tax the rich and big business as much as is necessary to level up pension provision with a proper guaranteed minimum.

The history of pensions

Submitted by Anon on 10 December, 2005 - 1:28

Old age pensions have been won by labour-movement campaigning, or granted by conservative politicians trying to pre-empt rising labour movements.

The idea of a universal old-age pension, payable to all elderly people as of right, was first raised in the French Revolution of 1789–99, although the policy was never carried through.

The first comprehensive old-age pension was legislated in Germany, in 1889, by a conservative leader, Otto von Bismarck, who wanted to stall the rise of the then-illegal German socialist movement.

Left plans united protest

Submitted by Anon on 10 December, 2005 - 1:25

The Socialist Green Unity Coalition - an alliance including the Alliance for Green Socialism, the Alliance for Workers' Liberty, the Socialist Alliance, and the Socialist Party — has decided on a joint campaign about pensions, with leafletting, street stalls, petitioning, and public meetings.

This is the text of the basic leaflet for the campaign.

The Turner report says that pensions are too costly, and in the future you’ll have to work longer and pay more to get less.

NHS Trusts in cash crisis

Submitted by Anon on 10 December, 2005 - 1:23

By Stan Crooke

Along with many other health trusts around the country Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are currently running a deficit. In the Cambs Trust area it is some £40 million. The Trust has already identified £17 million worth of planned cuts in services: £9 million in hospital services, £3 million in prescriptions, £4 million in mental health, and £1 million in primary care. These cuts will be replicated right across the country.

Yes to “troops out now”, no to “cut and run”

Submitted by Anon on 10 December, 2005 - 1:13

Barry Finger replies to Sean Matgamna (Solidarity 3/84)

Barry's initial article in (Solidarity 3/82)can be seen from this link


True to his third camp core, Sean rightly places the Iraqi labor movement at the centre of his concerns.

Britain’s biggest left party, 1893-1945, and what became of it - The history of the ILP

Submitted by Anon on 10 December, 2005 - 1:03

The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was founded by Keir Hardie and others in 1893 and “ended” some time in the 1970s, when what was left of it joined the Labour Party. For the first 25 years of its existence, it played a central role in British working class politics. Thereafter it was slowly pushed to the margins of labour politics, as its various functions were taken over by other organisations — the Labour party, the Communist Party, Trotskyist groups and, in the 1960s, by the International Socialists (forerunner of the Socialist Workers Party).

Most feminist government ever?

Submitted by Anon on 10 December, 2005 - 1:01

According to Metro, Minister for Women Tessa Jowell has claimed it will never be possible to fully close the gender pay gap, despite the progress that she says “the most feminist government in our history” has made. Her “most feminist” claim is only plausible because no government has ever made much effort to empower women — New Labour’s agenda leaves a lot to be desired.

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