Solidarity 478, 12 September 2018

A racist endeavour?

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 22:06

Michael Elms

One of the eleven examples of antisemitism in the IHRA is this: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour.”

With the IHRA adoption by Labour, some on the Labour left, has asserted their “right” to call Israel a “racist endeavour”.

Shortly after the Labour NEC vote a posters carrying the slogan “Israel is a racist endeavour” popped up around London.

At first appearance it seems not an unreasonable slogan: Israel’s government is doing a lot of racist things, passing racist laws and occupying

Yes "smash Israel" is antisemitic

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 22:01

Gerry Bates

The Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has decided to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in full.

This is a step forward for Labour but only after weeks of indecision, confusion and lack of leadership in a row which may have caused a great deal of damage.

In adopting the IHRA definition, the NEC added a qualifying statement stressing that freedom of speech should be allowed in relation to criticism of the Israeli government. But the IHRA should not be an impediment to free speech unless it is used cynically or

Guards vote to continue strikes

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 21:57

Ollie Moore

Guards on South Western Railway have voted by 88% to continue their industrial action, aimed at preventing the imposition of “Driver Only Operation”.

Unions are required to regularly re-ballot in ongoing industrial disputes; the majority represents an increased mandate for strikes. 

South Western is one of several companies attempting to remove safety-critical guards from its services. Workers struck most recently on 8 September, alongside guards on Northern. 

Guards on Southern, Mersey Rail, and Greater Anglia have also taken action recently, as part of a national RMT campaign to defend the

Tube drivers in strike vote

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 21:55

Ollie Moore

Members of drivers’ union Aslef on London Underground are balloting for industrial action to win safer cabs. 

Unions say a recent incident on the Northern Line, in which passengers broke into the cab of a female driver and attacked her, vindicate long-running union complaints about the lack of security of drivers’ cab doors. Aslef’s ballot began on 4 September. RMT says it is also considering balloting its driver members. 

Unions are demanding a safe locking system for drivers’ cabs. London Underground has claimed this would be too expensive to install, with unions countering that they shouldn

Home care workers fight £2m cuts

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 21:53

Gemma Short

Home care enablement workers in Birmingham have struck for over 17 days since January in a long running fight over unworkable shift patterns and a pay cut as the council imposes £2m of cuts in social care.

Workers struck for nine days in August. They will strike again for five days from Wednesday 12 September, five days from 24 September and a final five from 5 October. When the strike started in January, workers were trying to save 40% of jobs. Unfortunately the council has managed to impose those job cuts, but are seeking to make even more cuts.

New cuts would see 55 jobs go and all workers

TUC votes for gender self-ID

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 21:51

Rosalind Robson

TUC Conference has unanimously backed a motion from the TUC LGBT+ committee which supports “the introduction of a social rather than medical model of gender recognition that will help challenge repressive gender stereotypes in the workplace and in society.”

The motion was a response to the government's current consultation on changes to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, which will run until the start of October.

The unanimous decision is especially welcome given the scaremongering surrounding the issue of gender self-declaration that has taken place in the trade union movement, although

What’s in the democracy review?

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 21:49

Keith Road

Labour’s National Executive Committee meeting on 18 September will be the last place the democracy review is discussed and amended before it is put before the 2018 conference.

It is unclear exactly how the varying proposals will be voted on, or how they may interact or conflict with rule changes which are due for debate at this conference.

Hopefully the NEC will provide clarity on this point but delegates will probably not see the review until the eve of conference. To help support the democratic process, the review should be published as soon as possible following the NEC meeting, and at the

The development of antisemitism in Hungary

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 21:43

John Cunningham

For part two click here

Bibó was not a Marxist but a member of the National Peasant Party (NPP) — a party of radical reformists who adhered to a political position which was loosely described as “the third road” (or “third way”): neither Communist (i.e. Stalinist) or capitalist.

It was, in effect, left-reformist and probably closer to the politics of Bennism (but with an agrarian orientation) than anything else to which it could be compared in the UK today.

That political stream had a short existence from 1939 to 1948. In the Hungarian elections of 1945 the NPP won 42 seats in the National

Brexit and the labour movement

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 21:39

We oppose Brexit. We oppose it in the name of the rights of the three million EU migrants currently in Britain, our workmates, our neighbours, our friends, our fellow trade-unionists. To defend their right to reunite their families. To sustain the right of others across Europe to come to work and live in Britain, and the right of British-born people to go to work and live in Europe.

We want more open borders, less fences and barbed-wire and barriers between countries. The technologies and productive capacities of today indict the division of continents into walled-off nation-states.


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