Solidarity 454, 15 November 2017

Capitalists demand planning

Author

Editorial

As well as from the left, demanding freedom of movement and social levelling-up, the Tory government is also under pressure from big business over Brexit. Few bosses have come out for stopping Brexit. The big majority, though, are demanding a definite timetable and a long transition period during which Britain sticks to EU rules. Their reasons are interesting in relation to long-running arguments between socialists and advocates of capitalism over economic planning.

After South Africa, our turn: scrap student fees!

Author

Chris Reynolds

After Germany in 2014, South Africa looks like becoming the next country to scrap university tuition fees. And more and more people are determined to add England and Wales to the list.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Gemma Short and Peggy Carter

Members of train drivers’ union Aslef working for GTR Southern voted to accept the deal recommended by their leadership to settle their long-running dispute over Driver Only Operation.

How “slow burn” worked for the CWU

Author

Gregor Gall

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) in the Royal Mail ballot has set the gold standard for all other major unions in the UK. It was the first nationwide strike ballot since the Trade Union Act 2016, which came fully into force in March 2017, and dictates that lawful strike action now requires a 50% turnout to vote.

Poet poisoned by Pinochet

Author

John Cunningham

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda may have been murdered by the Pinochet dictatorship. Recent autopsies suggest that the death of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in 1973 was possibly caused by poisoning. This should surprise no one even moderately acquainted with the dictatorship of General Pinochet.

Free speech on campus, and argue the issues!

Author

Reuben Mathews

This article appears as an opinion piece in Solidarity 454

When we “no platform” and un-invite radical feminists from our universities — in the guise of safer spaces — who are we protecting, and who are we serving?

Catalonia: rights and unity

Editorial from Solidarity 454

On Saturday 11 November, 750,000 people (on the city police’s count) demonstrated in Barcelona to demand the release of Catalan government ministers and pro-independence association activists jailed by the Madrid regime to await trial on charges such as sedition. A general strike called by a pro-independence union confederation, Intersindical-CSC, under the slogan “Defend Our Rights”, on Wednesday 8 November, also had impact.

Letters

Paul Vernadsky in his review of my book, The Experiment: Georgia’s Forgotten Revolution 1918-21 (Solidarity 453), is right to highlight the importance of this period for today. And he comes to the heart of our disagreement at the very end of his essay when he refers to the idea that “an impoverished, backward society cannot skip historical stages”. He calls this “Menshevik dogma”. No, Paul, that’s not “Menshevik dogma”. That’s Marxism.

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