Solidarity 486, 14 November 2018

Labour can stop Brexit

Submitted by cathy n on 14 November, 2018 - 7:57
Corbyn and Europe

On 9 November Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the German news magazine Der Spiegel that “we can’t stop Brexit”. But Labour can.

The Tories and the DUP are divided about May’s sketched-out soft-ish Brexit deal. If Labour MPs vote solidly against May’s deal, it probably can’t get through Parliament.

That reflects the fact that May’s proposals are unpopular — in surveys, 73% of the think the negations are going badly. The “hard” Brexit formulas favoured by the Tory right are unpopular. A “no deal” Brexit is more unpopular still.

NUS: open the books!

Submitted by cathy n on 14 November, 2018 - 7:39 Author: By Maisie Sanders
nus votes

What the NUS (National Union of Students) leaders say about its financial crisis makes no sense.

The leaders says that NUS needs to cut back on its democracy in order to survive. But the few financial figures available suggest that the financial crisis, such as it is, has nothing to do with high spending on democratic procedures, let alone on campaigning.

NUS has not yet submitted its accounts for the year ending June 2018. But we can get some picture from previous years’ accounts. Income from membership and expenditure on wages seem stable.

Left challenge to PCS leaders

Submitted by cathy n on 14 November, 2018 - 7:34 Author: By Mike Chester

The leadership faction in the PCS civil service union, “PCS Left Unity”, are in a civil war over whose turn it is to stand for Assistant General Secretary when it comes up for election in 2019 (nominations open 17 January, balloting 16 April to 9 May).

Rogue SP member and current lay President of the union Janice Godrich is challenging incumbent SP loyalist Chris Baugh for the nomination. LU holds its final meeting to decide its nomination later in November. Whether the loser will accept the result and not stand against the LU nominee remains to be seen.

Brazil: time to regroup

Submitted by cathy n on 14 November, 2018 - 7:18 Author: Interview: Andressa Alegre
Bolsanaro

Andressa Alegre is a Brazilian socialist. She talked with Solidarity from the city of Salvador in north-east Brazil.

I kind of expected that when Bolsonaro won, we would have a reaction similar to Trump’s victory in the USA. That wasn’t what happened.

In Salvador, we went to see the election results in the place where the left usually meets up for that. It was all very sad. People were crying. But there were no demonstrations or protests on the days following. None in other cities too, that I’ve heard of.

Putin’s Thiefdom

Submitted by cathy n on 14 November, 2018 - 7:08 Author: By Barrie Hardy

Russian president Vladimir Putin's personal fortune is estimated at $40 billion, making him one of the richest men in Europe.

He owns vast holdings in three Russian oil companies which are concealed behind a vast network of offshore companies. The level of corruption over which he presides accounts for an enormous amount of Russia's GDP - putting half of the economy in the hands of various shades of criminal enterprise.

Where they linger

Submitted by cathy n on 14 November, 2018 - 6:33 Author: Matt Kinsella

In Wayétu Moore’s debut novel She Would Be King, set in the 1840s, three characters find their lives intertwining with each other, and with the future of the newly created Liberia.

All are fleeing persecution: Gbessa, accused of witchcraft, is driven from the West African village of Lai; June Dey escapes from a Virginia tobacco plantation, headed for freedom in New York; and Norman Aragon, child of a Jamaican Maroon and a British colonist, longs to escape his father’s cruel experiments. The three seek sanctuary, and find themselves in Monrovia.

Peterloo: inside the movement

Submitted by cathy n on 14 November, 2018 - 6:09 Author: Ruaraidh Anderson
peterloo

Mike Leigh’s new film ‘Peterloo’ follows the democratic reform movement in Britain in the run up to the St. Peter’s Field massacre in 1819.

After a long build-up we are shown the attack itself, when the yeomanry (a local armed volunteer force) are ordered to march on the tens-of-thousands strong protest, killing 15, and then left to reflect during a sombre final scene: the burial of a murdered protestor.

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