Solidarity 487, 23 November 2018

Labour Against Brexit

Author

Editorial

Theresa May’s Brexit mess shows that the whole Brexit business is a nonsense. Labour should say that.

Labour should campaign for an immediate putting-back of the Brexit date, an early general election, and an incoming Labour government to hold a “people’s vote” to abandon Brexit.

Whatever the hopes in June 2016 made a slight majority of a rigged electorate (excluding EU citizens settled here, who vote in local government elections, and 16-17 year olds) opt for Brexit, the reality is different.

Georgi Plekhanov

Author

John Cunningham

Before the year 2018 reaches its end, the 100th anniversary of the death of Georgi Plekhanov should be noted and remembered. He is sometimes referred to as the “father” of Russian Marxism, and for good reason.

Plekhanov was the most important figure in the early Russian Marxist movement, a major theorist and voice in the Second International; and, as a member of the editorial board of Iskra, a collaborator with Lenin in the first years of the twentieth century.

The lessons from Genoa, Climate Camp and Vestas

Author

Todd Hamer

The emergence of Extinction Rebellion is a good thing. After a long period where there has been very little mass environmental activism, it is good to see someone doing something.

However, if this new movement is going to develop into something worthwhile, it will need to confront the problems faced by similar movements that have gone before.

Letter: One king or another

Author

Daniel Randall

Like Dale Street, Solidarity 486, I rather wonder whether the “pro-independence fundamentalists” who have described David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King as a “clarion call for Scottish independence” can possibly have been watching the same film I saw.

Rejoicing in nonsense

Author

Jim Denham

“E-Useless: Corbyn Hits Out At ‘One Way’ Brexit – We can do better than this, Labour leader says” was the front page headline in the 19 November Morning Star.

Predictably, the pro-hard Brexit (sorry, “Lexit”) paper liked Corbyn’s interview on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday (18 November), in which he’d opined “We’ll vote against (May’s) deal because it doesn’t meet our tests.”

Bolsonaro's threat to Brazil

Author

Alessa Alegre

Shortly before he was elected president of Brazil on the second round (28 October), Jair Bolsonaro made clear the extent of his intolerance to political opposition, saying of his political opponents “either they go overseas, or they go to jail”.

He plans vastly to increase the powers of the militarised police, which will have a significant impact on working-class, predominantly black, communities.

Sickening jokes

On 13 November, the left Labour website The Clarion put out an appeal against the “culture of lying and harassment... poisoning the environment of the left” promoted by the anonymous “Red London” Facebook page.

New signatories to that statement in the last week include Sean Hoyle, national president of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), and other RMT activists: Marie Harrington, London Transport Women’s Officer; John Leach, London Transport Regional Organiser, etc.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

Train drivers on London Underground’s Central Line will strike again over 21-22 December, to demand the reinstatement of unjustly sacked colleague Paul Bailey.

Paul was sacked after passing a random drugs test. Although he registered for the presence of cannabinoid substances, due to taking hemp supplements, he was within the “cut off limit” of 50ng/ml. The RMT union says Paul’s sacking “undermines the integrity of London Underground’s entire drugs and alcohol testing regime”.

How to beat the threshold

Now that the Public and Commercial Services union is on course for another national ballot in March 2019, a key question is what we need to do to beat the 50% turnout threshold this time. One option might be a disaggregated ballot.

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