Solidarity 445, 26 July 2017

Unions must fight pension age increase!


Dave Pannett

If like me you’re between 39 and 47 years old then the recent government announcement that you will have to work 18 months longer before you can retire will have angered and depressed you. Yet again as the government has moved the goalposts for workers. An increase in the retirement age to 68 was due to apply to people born after April 1978. The government now says the new standard of 68 will be introduced in 2039, which will affect those born between April 1971 and April 1978.

Industrial news in brief


Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

July has seen a number of interesting and potentially important developments in the ongoing dispute between rail unions and the Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and the government over Driver Only Operation (DOO).

Labour: left making gains


Keith Road

Voting has opened in the Conference Arrangements Committee elections where left wing challengers Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes received four times as many nominations as their incumbents.

“1917 was progressive... yet reactionary”!


Paul Hampton

Steve Smith, professor of history at Oxford University has published what is likely to be one of the most widely read books on the Russian revolution this centenary year — Russia in Revolution: An Empire in Crisis, 1890 to 1928.

Support ex-Muslim LGBT peoples’ right to protest


Simon Nelson

The presence of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) on London Pride has caused a politically awful backlash by the left and others. Counterfire commented “Islamophobic placards have no place at Pride”. Socialist Worker state, “a small group of around ten racists also joined the parade with placards attacking Muslims.” This was followed by an official complaint against them by the East London Mosque.

I need to make your clothes, shine your boots and drive your motorcycle


Colin Applebaum

Even those outside the tech space would struggle to have missed the recent hype around automation and artificial intelligence (AI). Fuelled by rapid developments in technological innovation hyped in the last two years, although mostly developed over the last two decades, many cerebral types suggest we may be at the start of be some significant changes in capitalist production. They even gave it a grandiose name: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

Back workers’ rights to move freely



Jeremy Corbyn has restated a view expressed to ITV in May that Brexit means leaving the single market and an end to freedom of movement across the UK.

In his own words, he told BBC journalist Andrew Marr that, “There would be Europeans workers working in Britain and British workers working in Europe as there are at the moment. What there wouldn’t be is the wholesale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industry.”

A fair referendum for Kurdistan


Worker-Communist Party of Kurdistan

A referendum is going to be held on 25 September within the Kurdish region of Iraq and the Kurdish populated areas outside the administrative authority of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Letter: PYD democracy lacking


Dan Katz

Riki Lane writes about PYD rule in Rojava (Solidarity 444), “Overall this is essentially standard bourgeois democracy, but with a strong emphasis on bottom-up democratic development of a social economy.”

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