Solidarity 469, 9 May 2018

An alternative to Tory cuts

Published on: Tue, 29/05/2018 - 17:13


Solidarity spoke to Henry Fowler, who stood as a Labour council candidate in Wandsworth, south London

Q.Why did you stand as a Labour councillor? 
Labour may not run the country, but it does have control of a large amount of local authorities. I wanted to be a Labour councillor to offer an alternative to austerity and cuts, to defend local government.

Q. What did you hope to achieve?   
I wanted to be part of a group of left councillors that opposed cuts to our services, build council houses, and stop academisation of our schools. 

Q. What do you think left Labour councillors should do now

War clouds gather in Middle East

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2018 - 14:50

Colin Foster

Threats of war are piling up on all sides in the Middle East.

On 8 May US president Donald Trump is announcing his decision on whether the US will withdraw from the 2015 deal lifting many economic sanctions on Iran and restricting Iran’s nuclear program. He is expected to withdraw.

Trump’s new National Security Adviser, since 9 April, is John Bolton, a long-time advocate of the US bombing Iran.
On 14 May Trump will make the symbolic and provocative move of declaring the US Embassy to Israel officially sited in Jerusalem rather than Tel Aviv.

14 May is the 70th anniversary of the declaration of

FE workers strike

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2018 - 14:47

Charlotte Zalens

Workers at Further Education (FE) colleges in Hull, Sandwell, and across London will strike in May.

As previously reported in Solidarity, workers at Hull Colleges Group will strike on Wednesday 9, Thursday 17, and Friday 18 May. The Hull Colleges Group plans to cut 231 full-time equivalent posts across the three campuses.

The London colleges strike is part of a ″second wave″ of action over pay and jobs in FE organised by the UCU, which had previously included colleges in Sunderland as well. Workers at Tower Hamlets College, Hackney Community College, Epping Forest, Lambeth College, Lewisham

Bromley library workers win victory

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2018 - 14:45

Gemma Short

Library workers in Bromley have won a victory following their all-out indefinite strikes which began on 28 March.

Workers had been on strike after Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), who have run libraries since they were privatised in 2017, refused to meet the pay offer other local government workers will be getting.

A members meeting on 18 April agreed to accept proposals which included: a pay increase from this April, protection for pay and conditions beyond TUPE protections, filling of 17 vacant posts, implementation of the London Living Wage, and paid trade union facility time.

This is a

UCU rank and file meets

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2018 - 14:42

Dan Davison

On 29 April 2018, approximately 50 Higher Education activists from across the UK met as part of a newly formed Rank and File network within the University and College Union (UCU).

UCU Rank and File emerged from the USS pension strikes, which saw a surge in activity within the union at the grassroots level. While 64% of UCU members voted to accept an offer from Universities UK (UUK), many UCU members – myself included – saw the handling of this ballot as a capitulation by the union and particularly by general secretary Sally Hunt.

The Rank and File meeting therefore had a central objective of

Robbing the poor to pay the even-poorer

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2018 - 14:31

Gemma Short

Workers at TGI Fridays restaurants in Milton Keynes and Covent Garden, London, will strike on Friday 18 May, and then every Friday over the summer, over tips and minimum wage abuses which lose workers £250 a month.

The strike will be the first time TGI Fridays workers have ever struck in the UK, after the Unite members voted by 100% in favour of strikes.

TGI Fridays introduced a new tipping policy, at two days’ notice, which redirects tips received by waiting staff to kitchen staff. With low wages for kitchen staff causing a high turnover, TGI Fridays thought the ″solution″ to a problem of

Changing the culture of the left

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2018 - 13:55

Sean Matgamna

More debate on the Right of Return here.

Now Kumar deigns to argue rather than hurling stale abuse (Solidarity 465). Discussion is good.

The atmosphere on the ostensible left is heavily charged with heresy-hunting, trolling (which is only another name for gang mobbing and bulling), shouting-down, and drowning-out. There is little or no real political debate or dialogue.

That is what the internal life of the pseudo-Leninist sects has been for decades (the SWP, for instance, or, worse, the SP). It has now become the culture of Momentum.

Here malice does service for information, hostility is

A response to critics

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2018 - 13:52

Ashok Kumar

More debate on the Right of Return here.

In response to your reply to my Sky News appearance I had immediately said that I did not seek to send a response of my own. In answer to this you wrote a short text saying that I had failed to deal with the substance of your issue. Now I feel I should reply to answer your political questions.

First of the questions posed is: is the AWL racist? To which one might reply: what would a left-wing racism even look like? In the week in which we mark fifty years since Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood speech’ the AWL’s response on this question is an important

Will Haringey be Momentum’s first council?

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2018 - 13:50

Elizabeth Butterworth

On 4 May, there were two announcements significant to Haringey Labour.

One was that we won 42 seats in the council elections, with the Lib Dems winning 15. The other that the former Leader of Haringey Council, Claire Kober, had found a job in a major property development company, Pinnacle.

Pinnacle was one of the three companies that had bid for the now permanently shelved Haringey Development Vehicle, a project which would have put an estimated £2 billion of public assets into a jointly owned public-private venture.
Kober becoming an executive at a property development company is the kind of

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