Solidarity 150, 23 April 2009

Solidarity 3/150

Published on: Thu, 23/04/2009 - 00:37

Download as pdf (see "attachment").

After the Budget cuts: what will the unions do about politics?

Published on: Thu, 23/04/2009 - 00:11


We know what the Tories are going to do about politics in the wake of Alistair Darling’s Budget of 22 April, announcing huge cuts to come in public services.

They will build on those cuts. The Tories are already promising to beat down public-sector pay and to rip up the agreements on public-sector pensions.

We know what the Liberal-Democrats will do. For some years now they have favoured laws to enable the Government to ban all industrial action in “essential services”.

The Tories, if re-elected, may take up that Lib-Dem idea; New Labour, if re-elected, may take up further Tory ideas in

The "pro-imperialism" of the Alliance for Workers Liberty

Published on: Wed, 22/04/2009 - 23:55

Sean Matgamna

Continuing a series on misunderstandings, misrepresentations and lies about the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty.

Click here for the first article in the series
The AWL is pro-imperialist!

No, we’re not. If you look at the “imperialist” issues through all the time AWL and its predecessors have existed — back as far as the wars in Indochina of the 1960s and 70s — AWL has been more consistently and comprehensively anti-imperialist than any other organisation with its roots in post-Trotsky “orthodox” Trotskyism (including the SWP, which, despite its view that Stalinist Russia was state-capitalist,

May Day in France: the rising tide of class struggle

Published on: Wed, 22/04/2009 - 23:36

Ed Maltby

The public holiday on 1 May will see big demonstrations across France. Behind the mobilisation lies a picture of rising unemployment and growth of industrial militancy.

There are actually no current figures for unemployment in France... because the Unemployment Agency staff are on strike! Unemployment is expected to reach 10% this year, and 200,000 workers were laid off in the first two months of 2009. But this hides the fact that in inner-city areas youth unemployment has risen by 57%, and many temporary workers have had their hours cut to the point where they are living off 2-300 euros a

Stop the war on the Tamil people!

Published on: Wed, 22/04/2009 - 23:32

Bob Sutton

The war in Sri Lanka has reached a grim new intensity. The Sinhala (Sri Lanka’s ethnic majority) chauvinist Government has set about the final stages of what they call the elimination of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers), the group who have waged an armed struggle for Tamil independence for three decades.

What this amounts to is a near total war against the entire Tamil population.

In January 2008, President Mahinda Rajapackse unilaterally abrogated the Cease Fire Agreement brokered by the Norwegians in 2002. This winter, while the world’s attention was turned to Gaza, the

After the Gaza occupations

Published on: Wed, 22/04/2009 - 23:25

Sacha Ismail

On April 18, those involved in the wave of university occupations over Gaza, and other left-wing student activists, met at a “coordination” conference to discuss the way forward for the student left. About 90 took part, including members of Workers’ Liberty, Education Not for Sale, Workers Power and Weekly Worker (CPGB), with the SWP sending along a contingent to keep an eye on things. The clear majority was unaffiliated, with a large number of anarchists.

The event was broadly positive in that it allowed activist networking and — to a certain extent — political discussion, without launching

Such is power

Published on: Wed, 22/04/2009 - 23:12

Sam Holehouse

Review of "Il Divo"

Il Divo means “star" or “celebrity” in Italian. There is nothing, ostensibly, charismatic about former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, at least as he is played in the film of the same name. Yet other politicians flocked around him, women fawned over him, the establishment danced around him. Such is power. In the end he probably got away with massive fraud and corruption, facilitated by links to the Mafia… and perhaps worse.

The playing by Toni Servillo of Andreotti is completely hypnotic. The man comes across as an ultra-repressed, ruthless shit; at no time does he

Politics as farce: how do we change that?

Published on: Wed, 22/04/2009 - 23:09

Max Munday

Review of "In the Loop".

The plot of In The Loop rushes along like an unstoppable current, with the frantic bumbling and dodgy-dealing characters bobbing on it towards a seemingly inevitable decision to go to war in the Middle East.

The characters, who are either high ranking US state department officials or their British counterparts, are either immoral and get the things they want, or immoral, consistently embarrassed and hapless, and don’t get the things they want. The glimpses of opposition to the War (clearly Iraq) from the key characters are immediately undermined by their own careerism

"No2EU": Tensions in Scotland

Published on: Wed, 22/04/2009 - 23:07

Dale Street

In Scotland No2EU is backed not only by the Communist Party of Britain (CPB, the “Morning Star” faction of British Stalinism) but also by “Solidarity Scotland” (launched after its core membership split from the Scottish Socialist Party in 2006).

Despite a scattering of branches round Scotland, “Solidarity Scotland” is more a flag of convenience than a cohesive political movement. The two socialist organisations which still support it, on paper at least, are the Socialist Party (SP) and the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).

Unlike the SP, however, the SWP does not currently support No2EU. This

"No2EU": No to free movement of labour?

Published on: Wed, 22/04/2009 - 23:04

An RMT member

The expanded platform published on the website of the No2EU campaign for the 4 June Euro-elections denounces “the so-called ‘free movement’ of labour” in the EU and “the social dumping of exploited foreign workers in Britain”.

The campaign is supported by the Socialist Party, by Bob Crow and the leadership of the RMT rail union, and by Tommy Sheridan in Scotland, none of whom are racists. But how can the words in the platform be read as anything other than a “left” version of the chauvinist cry: “Kick out the Poles and other migrant workers”? As anything other than a recycling of the

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