Solidarity 488, 5 December 2018

General election and a new vote

Author

Editorial

Labour is inching back towards the “Remain [in the EU] and Reform” stance it took in the June 2016 referendum, but only inching. The deep discredit of the Tories’ Brexit formula makes it urgent for Labour to switch back fully — and in the meantime for anti¬Brexit Labour people to organise to develop a pro¬Labour, anti-Brexit public profile.

Planning a Labour voice against Brexit

Author

Statement

The following statement has been endorsed by a number of labour movement activists including Andrew Coates, Sacha Ismail, Kelly Rogers, Julie Ward MEP, Catherine West MP, and Zoe Williams, and includes a proposal to be put to the conference of Another Europe Is Possible on 8 December.

“Democracy Brigades” in Brazil

Author

Luiza Xavier

Since the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro won the second round of Brazil’s presidential election on 28 October — he takes office in January — the resistance has been limited to small initiatives focused on self¬defence of LGBT individuals, or legal representation of activists. Large demonstrations such as those seen after Trump’s election in the US have not happened.

Our conference

Author

Arthur Bunting

Workers’ Liberty opened our annual conference on 24-25 November with a session on the case for building a revolutionary organisation on the lines developed by the Bolsheviks in the period up to and during the revolution they led in 1917.

There is no short-cut to mass support. We have to build up, as the Bolsheviks did, from the basic tasks of developing our press, recruiting people one by one, doing “singlejack” agitation, striving to make our activities more accessible and outwardfacing.

Free Bakhshi and Ghalian

Author

Gerry Bates

Esmail Bakhshi, the jailed union rep of the Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers in south-west Iran, and Sepideh Ghalian, an activist who has supported the workers, have been badly beaten in prison. After visiting them, their families have reported that both have been tortured and are in serious distress.

AEIP conference, issues and debates

Author

Sam Lloyd

After opening itself out so that people can join as members, rather than just being an office with initiatives which activists on the ground can support, Another Europe is Possible is calling a conference on 8 December in London. Members will be able to debate and vote on structures and strategy.

Cuts, calamity and councils

Peter Kenway is director of the New Policy Institute, and author of much research on local government. He talked with Martin Thomas.

Philip Alston’s recent report on “social calamity” in the UK focused on cuts in benefits. There have also been huge cuts in local government. What is their impact?

Brexit and fighting the far right

Stopping Brexit isn’t anti-fascism

Callum Cant takes issue over the 9 December counter¬demo

The Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) are obsessed with trade unions. When their march was blocked in October, their leadership couldn’t stop themselves from fantasising about beating up organised workers. For many of their supporters, the organisation’s high point was when a DFLA group launched a serious physical attack on RMT members in a pub in Whitehall. The essence of their politics is a hatred of the organised working class.

Morning Star denounces “experts”, glorifies Ignorance

Author

Jim Denham

“The age of experts is over” proclaimed the Morning Star’s front page headline, in huge capitals, on Monday 26 November. It turns out that the headline was a reference to something that shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon had said during an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show the previous day: Marr had argued that Labour’s demand for an election was highly unlikely to succeed, given that to do so would require the support of 100 Tory MPs, to which Burgon replied by pointing out that “experts” have got a lot of predictions wrong in recent political history.

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