Solidarity 444, 12 July 2017

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 12/07/2017 - 12:39

Simon Marks, Ken Worthington, Ollie Moore, Simon Nelson and Gemma Short

A primary school in Sheffield is to become the first to get rid of all its teaching assistants. As part of a cost-cutting restructure, unions claim the school is planning on sacking its nine teaching assistants.

The school also plans to introduce a post of ″fellow″ — unqualified teacher. Both Unison and the National Union of Teachers say they do not know of any other schools that have got rid of all of their teaching assistants. Both oppose the plans and are consulting with staff. In addition to cuts already made, schools are floundering while the plan for the new schools funding formula is

Left wins conference delegates

Published on: Wed, 12/07/2017 - 12:24

Keith Road and Sacha Ismail

Good news for the Labour left and socialists in the Labour Party. Many members who joined in 2015 and 2016 have now become eligible to stand as delegates to Labour’s annual conference (24-27 September) and there has been a significant increase in the number of delegate registrations. Many Constituency Labour Parties are now sending as many delegates as they are entitled to, rather than just one delegate, or none, as so many did during the Blair/ Brown/ Miliband years.

Nominations coming in for membership of the Conference Arrangements Committee and National Constitutional Council have gone

Turkish workers against the military

Published on: Wed, 12/07/2017 - 12:18

This is the second in a three part series – read part one: From dictatorship to liberal capitalism

There were many large student demonstrations against the Democratic Party (DP) government in its last days of DP rule (after 1950). This was the background for the 27 May 1960 military coup in which ex-Prime Minister Menderes and two of his prominent ministers were summarily tried and hanged.

Both the Turkish industrial bourgeoisie and imperialism welcomed this coup, because, whatever the intentions of the lower ranking officers who led it, it was ultimately to their benefit. These officers

The Left in Disarray: Introduction

Published on: Wed, 12/07/2017 - 11:51

Sean Matgamna

The introduction to the book The Left in Disarray, published June 2017.

“Tell the truth and shame the devil”

“To face reality squarely; not to seek the line of least resistance; to call things by their right names; to speak the truth, no matter how bitter it may be; not to fear obstacles; to be true in little things as in big ones; to base one’s programme on the logic of the class struggle; to be bold when the hour for action arrives — these are the rules.” Leon Trotsky

The story in the Bible about the Tower of Babel is well known. Humankind starts to build a high tower so it can climb up

Make May resign!

Published on: Wed, 12/07/2017 - 11:30


According to the media over the 8-9 July weekend, the argument among Tory MPs is whether to replace Theresa May now by David Davis, or to wait to replace her until the autumn. Even Tory party chair Grant Shapps has no confidence in May: “Theresa May will need to operate a completely different model to remain in power”. Getting May out will be a first step in bringing down the Tory government. Only a first step.

Tory writers proverbially boost their party as “the most formidable fighting machine in political history”. There is half-truth to it: under Davis or some other new leader, the Tories

Letter: Stalinism in the Turkish workers’ movement

Published on: Wed, 12/07/2017 - 11:04

John Cunningham

May I, as a non-expert on Turkish matters, add a few outsider’s comments to the excellent article by Marksist Tutum, From dictatorship to liberal capitalism, in Solidarity 443, 20 June 2017.

First, although I totally accept the critique of the Kemalist regime outlined in the article, it is probably worth stressing two aspects of Kemalist policy which were surely progressive: the secularism adopted by Turkey as state policy was, as far as I aware, unique in the region; likewise the policies adopted towards women despite, I am sure, numerous caveats and criticisms, were a major step forward,

A discussion on Rojava politics

Published on: Wed, 12/07/2017 - 10:50

Riki Lane

Like many leftists (and liberals) around the world, I drew great inspiration from the struggle against Daesh in Kobane, Northern Syria, by Kurdish forces of the YPG/YPJ associated with the PYD. Iconic images of women fighters defeating Islamist fundamentalists carried a strong message of the power of collective organisation by working people. Many leftists, including Australia’s Socialist Alliance (SA), laud them as a beacon of hope. However, I am still critical of the claims that the PYD/PKK etc. represent a genuine working class alternative.

Led by SA members, Australian for Kurdistan held

Grenfell’s forgotten victims

Published on: Wed, 12/07/2017 - 10:37

Gemma Short and Hugh Daniels

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire who were in the UK illegally have been told they will only get 12 months limited leave to remain by the Home Office. In a year’s time people could be forcibly deported. This, despite an appeal from the police just two weeks ago for people to come forward with information about those who were living in the tower, and for survivors to come forward to receive support, where the police claimed that immigration status would not be a problem.

It is now very likely that people with concerns over their immigration status will not come forward. Labour Shadow Home

Stop these Stalinist threats

Published on: Wed, 12/07/2017 - 09:24

This picture was taken at Durham Miners’ Gala on 8 July. In the picture, (originally posted on Facebook) the person on the left is George Waterhouse, RMT activist and prominent member of the Communist Party of Britain. The person on the right is Alex Halligan, a prominent Salford Labour Party activist.

The badge that Halligan is proudly displaying says “Good night Trotskyite”, and shows someone, presumably a Trotskyist, being icepicked — a reference to the murder of Trotsky by Stalin’s assassin Ramón Mercader. “Good night Trotskyite” is a “play” on “Good night white pride”, a slogan used by

Iraq takes back Mosul

Published on: Wed, 12/07/2017 - 09:19

Simon Nelson

After 10 months of fighting the Iraqi government has officially declared victory against Daesh in Mosul.

The defeat of Daesh should be welcomed, but there are serious questions about the military advance in Mosul, how civilians will now be treated, and how the city will be rebuilt. Amnesty International has called for an immediate investigation into the loss of civilian life to Daesh, the army and militias. The group have produced a report detailing 45 attacks that killed 426 civilians. Despite Daesh using human shields, neither the Iraqi army nor the coalition bombing campaign considered

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