Solidarity 465, 28 March 2018

Antisemitism is an issue

Published on: Thu, 29/03/2018 - 18:06


It is strange to see things for which Solidarity and Workers’ Liberty have long been despised and abused, among much of the left, the kitsch left, now being brandished as weapons against the Corbyn Labour Party by our political enemies.

Certainly “left-wing” antisemitism, expressed as “anti-Zionism”, is a malignant and powerful force on the left. Especially among the would-be revolutionary left, who on many other things say what we say.

The core of the antisemitic infection is denial that Israel has a right to exist — insistence that it is a historically illegitimate state which should be done

Victory for Daily Mail cleaners

Published on: Wed, 28/03/2018 - 20:02

Charlotte Zalens

Cleaners who clean the offices of the Daily Mail newspaper have won the London Living Wage.

The cleaners, who are employed by contractor Mitie, were being balloted for strikes by the United Voices of the World union and had been threatened by Mitie′s management that they would be sacked if they struck. Over 100,000 people signed an online petition written by the cleaners supporting their demand for the Living Wage.

Cleaners have won a 25% pay rise from the national living (minimum) wage of £7.50 an hour.

Rail strikes continue

Published on: Wed, 28/03/2018 - 19:56

Ollie Moore

Guards on Northern Rail struck on 26 March, as the RMT union began the latest round of action aimed at halting the imposition of “Driver Only Operation”.

Official Northern figures said they were able to run 50% of its timetabled service, but union sources say the company’s estimates are inflated.

RMT members on South Western Railway are also due to take action in the coming weeks, with a ban on rest day working planned for the Easter weekend. 

On Greater Anglia, RMT secured an 80% majority for strikes on an 80% turnout in a recent re-ballot, renewing the mandate for further strikes. On

NEC slate debates

Published on: Wed, 28/03/2018 - 18:58

Will Sefton

The decision of the Labour Representation Committee, Grassroots Black Left and Red Labour to challenge the official Centre Left Grassroots Alliance slate for Labour’s National Executive is a tactical mistake.

We agree with these comrades that the method selection for the CLGA slate has been opaque for some time. It is unclear how groups are able to be involved and level of control they then have over the agreed candidates once in office.
The decision of Momentum to unilaterally declare their full slate and push that through the CLGA is also unwelcome. However, with only a short time left to

Starting to re-imagine local government

Published on: Wed, 28/03/2018 - 18:55

Ruth Willis

On Saturday 24 March around 100 Labour Party activists attended “Re-imagining Local Government: London for the many and not the few”.

This event came out of discussions between London Momentum members and left activists. We wanted to create a forum for the left to think about what it would do if it won seats in the May elections.

An ill prepared left, devoid of strategy and ideas could be subsumed in the right-wing swamp that currently makes up the majority of councils. Local government policy is dominated by a managerial ethos in which officers dictate many of the decisions and councillors

Labour set to gain in council elections

Published on: Wed, 28/03/2018 - 18:53

Keith Road

The local government election campaign has now started. On 3 May there will be elections in 150 councils, with 45 of these being all out. Corbyn’s Labour is expected to do well, particularly in big cities.

After May there will be more left-wing, Corbyn supporting councillors. There continue to be many stitch ups in Labour and plenty of right-wingers managed to be reselected however, including notable cases like Haringey, there has been an upsurge in newer and returned activists being selected. They will at least want to shake up the way that Labour has run local government since 2010.


The return of racist science

Published on: Wed, 28/03/2018 - 18:44

Les Hearn

A recent article by Gavin Evans in the Guardian has drawn attention to a resurgence in the idea that race and intelligence are linked.1 These terms, though commonly used, are quite difficult to define…and for good reason. (see separate boxes)
In the 19th century, despite the religious tradition that “God… hath made of one blood all nations of men,” it was axiomatic that there were different races with different abilities. Since European powers were dominant, “Caucasoid” (white) peoples were held superior. Other races were divided into Mongoloid (yellow), Malay (brown), American (red), and

“A refusal to settle down”

Published on: Wed, 28/03/2018 - 18:41

Fraction L'Etincelle

Klara Feigenbaum, a Trotskyist activist of Romanian origin, known as Irène, died at the age of 97 in March 2017, a year ago.

Alongside her then-partner David Korner, alias Barta, she founded the “Groupe Communiste”, which in 1944 took the name “Union Communiste” (UC), and which led the 1947 Renault strike alongside the militant worker Pierre Bois, at a time when the CGT and the PCF (which was then in the government) were opposed to all strikes. It was from this group that would later spring Voix ouvrière (although Irène was only active in it for the first few years) and then Lutte ouvrière and

21 lies the "Holocaust-mitigator" left tells itself on Israel/Palestine

Published on: Wed, 28/03/2018 - 18:16

Sean Matgamna

A central fact of our political situation is that the left, especially the ostensible revolutionary left, is a major source of antisemitism — they say “anti-Zionism” — in the country and in the labour movement, including the Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbyn has admitted that there are pockets of antisemitism in the Labour Party. On the self-described revolutionary left you will find only pockets of opposition to the “anti-Zionism” which becomes antisemitism — AWL for example.

The root of “left-wing” antisemitism is the belief that Israel should not exist, that it is a historically non-legitimate

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