Solidarity 283, 24 April 2013

IMF indicts Osborne

Published on: Wed, 24/04/2013 - 07:54

Economic figures published on Thursday 25 April will show whether the UK is technically “in recession” again.

Even if the figures escape the formal definition of a “triple dip” since 2008, jobs, services, benefits, and wages are definitely in a slump, and set to continue that way for years.

The coalition government claims this is an inevitable price for the supposed (but imaginary) “overspending” by the last Labour government on public services. Conservative and mainstream voices are questioning Osborne’s “inevitability”.

On 16 April the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a new

Danish teachers locked out

Published on: Wed, 24/04/2013 - 07:48

Since April 1, almost 70,000 Danish state school teachers have been locked-out by their employers. The lockout is the latest in a series of austerity measures initiated by the so-called centre-left government, led by social-democratic Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

After its first year, which included some policy changes such as increased rights for migrants and LGBT people, enthusiasm for the new government has drastically waned and given place to resignation and repulsion as well as resistance.

After turning against the trade unions in June 2012 for failing to accept a longer

PCS elections: vote Independent Left!

Published on: Wed, 24/04/2013 - 07:42

Members of the Independent Left network within the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) are standing in the upcoming National Executive Committee elections alongside members of the Independent Socialists.

They are standing on a platform of transforming the PCS to make it a rank-and-file-led union with radical, imaginative industrial strategies.

For more information on the platform and the candidates, see here.

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 24/04/2013 - 07:36

On Monday 22 April, 80 local residents and trade unionists attended a Fire Brigades Union (FBU) meeting to protest against the closure of Downham fire station in Lewisham, south east London.

The local campaign is being driven by the FBU, led by local rep Kelly Macmillan.

The meeting was addressed by local Labour MP Heidi Alexander and London Assembly members Darren Johnson (Green Party) and Len Duvall (Labour).

The Tories are aiming to make £45 million in cuts to the fire service in London. They want to shut 12 of the 112 London fire stations, cut 520 firefighters, and 18 engines.

The cuts

Ford workers ballot for strikes

Published on: Wed, 24/04/2013 - 07:24

Workers at the Ford stamping and tooling plant in Dagenham have begun voting in a ballot for strikes over the closure of the plant.

652 workers will take part in the ballot, which closes on 30 April. The closure of the plant, along with another factory in Southampton, was announced in October 2012. The ballot follows protests at both the Southampton and Dagenham plants, organised by Unite, on 18 April. The closures threaten 1,500 jobs directly, and more in Ford’s supply chain.

A Unite statement said: “The workers at the stamping and tooling facility are furious over the way they are being

The pogroms did not end in 1945

Published on: Wed, 24/04/2013 - 07:19

Anti-Jewish pogroms continued in Europe after the defeat of the Nazis, as this report from the US “orthodox” Trotskyist paper, The Militant, of 11 August 1947, shows. The “orthodox” Trotskyists tended to argue that the Jews were soon doomed, whatever happened, short of socialist revolution: see the “Third Camp” heterodox Trotskyists’ debate with them on that.

Palestine last week witnessed a reign of terror against the civilian Jewish population that matched the goriest pogroms staged by the Nazis.

Almost simultaneously those anti-semitic abominations leaped over to the “tight little island”

The ghetto fighters of Warsaw

Published on: Wed, 24/04/2013 - 07:15

Seventy years ago, in April 1943, the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto rose up against the Nazis.

On 28 September 1939 Hitler’s troops had captured Warsaw and taken control of Poland. Three million Jews lived in Poland as a whole: 350-400,000, a third of Warsaw’s population, were Jews.

The Nazis herded the Jews into medieval style ghettoes —smaller and smaller areas in 45 separate ghetto towns across Poland — where Jews worked for German war industries. The first was set up in Lodz in April 1940.

Immediately the Jewish quarter of Warsaw was put in “quarantine” and 80,000 non-Jews living in the

Greece: solidarity with migrant workers

Published on: Wed, 24/04/2013 - 07:07

Nea Manolada, 160 miles west of Athens, is an area where thousands of migrant workers are employed in agriculture.

On Wednesday 17 April, about 200 strawberry pickers, migrant workers from Bangladesh, went to the company offices to ask for more than six months’ wages they had not received.

Three foremen employed by the landowner, a big capitalist strawberry exporter, met the workers and stonewalled their demands. The workers protested.

Two foremen went to their car and took out their shotguns. A third took a revolver and began firing into the air. The first two then began to shoot to kill,

Thatcher saved their Britain, their privileges

Published on: Wed, 24/04/2013 - 07:02

Andrew Gamble is professor of politics at Cambridge University, and author of the major left-wing analysis of Thatcherism, The Free Economy and the Strong State.

He spoke to Martin Thomas from Solidarity about Thatcher and her legacy.

MT: In your book on Thatcherism, The Free Economy and the Strong State, you write that Thatcherism was “a political project developed by the Conservative leadership... to re-establish the conditions for the Conservative Party to resume its leading role in British politics”; and then again of Thatcherism as “a project aimed at the replacement of the discredited

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