Solidarity 500, 27 March 2019

Serbs, Kosova, and Stalinist lies

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 11:51

Jim Denham

One Liz Payne, of something called the British Peace Assembly, was given an entire page in the 23 March Morning Star in which to propagate a pack of lies about the war in Kosovo and NATO’s intervention twenty years ago.

Yes, a pack of lies — not just a biased or one-sided account: “In Yugoslavia, imperialism saw not only the opportunity of ridding Europe of any last vestiges of socialism, splitting the country into controllable and exploitable statelets and securing access to high quantities of mineral resources, including the valuable lignite deposits of Kosovo, but also of testing the

Schools: we’ll strike each month

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 11:28

Eleanor Buffery is a year 8 school student in Gloucester who organised the local youth strike for climate. She spoke to Maisie Sanders.

I found out about the strikes in the local and national news and I thought it was really important. I read more about it, talked to my friends and we decided to take action! I got in touch with Youth Strike for Climate nationally, set up a social media page and got started organising our own strike.

In my school we spent lots of time making posters and adverts. We spoke to the Head of Year, who helped spread the word by sending out an email to students

NUS left plans for 9-11 April

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 11:11

Maisie Sanders

Full details have been released of the cuts to democracy in the National Union of Students (NUS), which look set to block almost all remaining opportunities for ordinary students to control or influence what the union does.

NUS will be stripped back into a “lean campaigning machine” that scraps the majority of its committees to “ease the burden of participation” on members and lifts all the democracy from its conference to solve the problem of a lack of engagement. There will be fewer, shorter, less-political conferences. The five Liberation conferences (Women’s, LGBT+, Trans, Black, and

Green New Deal and workers’ control

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 11:03

Mike Zubrowski

Many environmental groups and much of the environmental and Labour left has talked enthusiastically about a Green New Deal, including for example Alan Simpson (Solidarity 499) and Clive Lewis. The idea is inspired by similar proposals in the USA. But neither there nor here is there a single unified proposal.

Instead, “Green New Deal” refers to the general idea of the USA government organising economic activity on the scale of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” of the 1930s. In the UK, to the extent that “Green New Deal” refers to a particular proposal, it’s the one from Alexandria Ocasio


Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 10:53

The response of the US left to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s recent comments about the influence in American politics of pro-Israel lobby groups have been debated by US leftists Barry Finger and David Finkel in these pages in recent weeks. I write this letter not to respond directly to either of their comments, but to bring to Solidarity readers’ notice two subsequent statements of Omar’s.

Those statements deserve attention and, I believe, praise from socialists concerned to articulate a broadly “third camp” perspective.

First, on 16 March, the anniversary of the start of the pro-democracy

For a Labour government which stops Brexit

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 10:44


As we write, it’s three days since the huge anti-Brexit protest on 23 March, the biggest demonstration in Britain since the 2003 march against the invasion of Iraq. It is the day after Parliament rebelled against the government (Monday 25th) to mandate, 329 to 302, “indicative” votes on different Brexit formulas. It’s the day before those “indicative” votes are held, on Wednesday 27th. And 17 days before Britain “automatically” crashes out of the EU with “no deal”, unless before 12 April Parliament approves the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the Tories with the EU.

The Tory government

Why we joined the anti-Brexit march

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 10:33

Alex Fernandes

In the run-up to the huge anti-Brexit protest on 23 March Young Labour member Alex Fernandes replied to NEC youth rep Lara McNeill’s article “I’m Labour’s NEC [National Executive] youth rep – and I won’t be at the People’s Vote march”.

In her latest article on LabourList, Lara McNeill recycles the right-wing lie that Remain sentiment belongs to the “liberal middle classes”. I’m sure that will come as news to the working-class residents of Merseyside, Manchester, Glasgow, London and other Remain-voting areas. I’m a member of Young Labour, and as such McNeill claims to speak for me, at least on

Inequality makes us mentally ill

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 10:17

Todd Hamer

One of the most ubiquitous products of advanced capitalism is mental illness. Despite our relative comfort, our god-like technology and our unprecedented freedom, something about the world we live in makes us miserable and anxious.

Depression, anxiety, addiction and psychotic disorders are on the rise at an alarming rate. The most comprehensive survey from the USA found that 46% of 18-75 year olds report a history of mental illness. World Health Organisation research puts the figure at 55%. Suicide is now the most common way to die for men aged 18-30. Depression is the leading cause of

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