Solidarity 374, 2 September 2015

Continuing the Corbyn momentum

Published on: Wed, 02/09/2015 - 12:39

James McAsh

On 12 September we will find out if Jeremy Corbyn is the Labour Party leader, though any optimism is still cautious.

Whatever the result it is already clear that the Labour Party has changed. There has been a mass influx of 400,000 new members and supporters, of which 60% are thought to be “youth”. But at the same time the situation is precarious: we urgently need to come together to ensure that these hundreds of thousands of new members and supporters do not vanish as quickly as they appeared.

If Corbyn wins he will hopefully move quickly to politically reposition the Party on the left and

Fight for the right to strike

Published on: Wed, 02/09/2015 - 12:32

On 6 August the government confirmed that 3.8 million public sector workers will lose the right to have their trade union subscriptions automatically deducted from their pay packet.

Ending “check-off”, already applied to parts of the civil service, is a calculated move by the government to put unions in a financially precarious position. Whilst it may be better in the long run for unions to have their dues-collecting system far from the reach of government interference, the process of transferring workers to direct debit is long and unions may suffer a dip in income in that process.

This is

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 02/09/2015 - 12:21

Gemma Short, Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Anti-privatisation campaigners and Unite the union in the London borough of Bromley are calling for a referendum on the planned privatisation of the learning disabilities service, due to be privatised on 1 October.

Adult services staff, members of Unite, struck for 48 hours from 00.01 on Thursday 27 August. Their strike is part of ongoing strikes across council services facing privatisation.

Library staff will strike for five days starting from 00.01 on 1 September, as the council goes ahead with its plans to privatise 14 of the borough's libraries.

In a separate dispute in Bromley's already

We can make activists out of rally-goers

Published on: Wed, 02/09/2015 - 11:56

Pete Radcliff, Broxtowe Labour Party

I have travelled to a number of towns talking to party members and others about what is going on in their local Labour Parties, and what to do after the leadership election.

Even if Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t win, there will be tens of thousands of energetic new activists and the possibilities of many thousands more.

The biggest problem is the state of the constituencies. 152 constituency parties nominated Jeremy. Some were like my own in Broxtowe, where the majority of branch officers and all the constituency officers backed Corbyn, as did the members at the nomination meeting by a clear first

For Corbyn, for socialism!

Published on: Wed, 02/09/2015 - 11:48

Solidarity spoke to activists about the new possibilities for left and socialist politics, opened up by Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign.

Back to trade union roots

Martin Mayer, Unite NEC member and Chair of Unite United Left

With Jeremy Corbyn as leader, the Labour Party should no longer be ashamed of its trade union roots. We can expect to see a Labour leader standing side by side with trade unionists in opposition to the Tories new anti-union laws; and a future Labour government committed to the restoration of trade union rights and a proactive strategy to restore collective bargaining as the norm

Why I am appealing against my expulsion

Published on: Wed, 02/09/2015 - 11:29

Daniel Randall

I joined the Labour Party in 2006, and have been a member ever since. From 2004 to 2013, I was a member of, and active in, two Labour-affiliated trade unions (Unison and GMB). During this election campaign, I successfully proposed that my current union, the RMT, support the Labour candidate in my constituency (Tulip Siddiq in Hampstead and Kilburn).

Having not received my ballot papers for the current leadership election, I rang the Labour Party to enquire as to their whereabouts. I was told that I wouldn't be receiving them, as my "membership had been cancelled" - in other words, that I had

Overhaul the Labour left! End bans in the Party!

Published on: Wed, 02/09/2015 - 11:22


Tens of thousands of people have rallied to Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership campaign. Older Labour supporters whose left-wing views were not extinguished by Blairism, trade unionists who want a working class-centred politics, radicals who previously voted Green in frustration with Ed Miliband's Labour, far left activists, big numbers of unaffiliated young people and students and many others have got behind Corbyn.

To rally and organise a substantial number of these people after 12 September requires the Labour left to go beyond its existing valuable but small organisations and create a more

China: the crash and the workers

Published on: Wed, 02/09/2015 - 11:00

Colin Foster

The bill for the Chinese government’s gaudy response to the global crash of 2008 is now falling due.

Then, the government promoted the biggest surge of investment in roads, bridges, railways, and buildings ever seen in world history. China has built a high-speed rail network bigger than all the rest of the world’s high-speed rail put together in just the few years since 2007.

As with capitalist investment booms generally, the flipside was a rise of debt held in expectation of the returns from the investment once completed. Total debt in the Chinese economy­­­ has soared since 2008, and is now

Open the borders! Workers, unite and fight!

Published on: Wed, 02/09/2015 - 10:55

Vicki Morris

The latest shocking pictures of hundreds of people drowned off the Libyan coast trying to make their way to a better life in Europe, or suffocating to death crammed together in the back of a lorry on an Austrian motorway, are galvanising EU leaders.

But only to discuss “burden-sharing”. Or how to separate the wheat — refugees from the wars in the Middle East — from the chaff — economic migrants.

It is good that Germany has said Syrians can claim asylum in Germany regardless of where they first register within the EU. As many as 800,000 Syrians end up making their home in Germany.

But what is

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