Solidarity 377, 23 September 2015

After Greece's election, rebuild the social resistance

Published on: Wed, 23/09/2015 - 10:23
Author

Theodora Polenta

In Greece’s parliamentary election of 20 September, Syriza received 35.46%, almost the same in percentage terms as January’s 36.3%.

Syriza has maintained its coalition government with the right wing nationalists of Anel (Independent Greeks).

In absolute terms the party lost 320,000 votes. New Democracy won 28%, almost the same as January’s 27.8%, but it lost nearly 200,000 votes.

Many more people abstained this time round. In January 37% did not vote. This time it was 43.5%. Of those who went to the polling stations, 2.5% cast a blank vote. This shows the depth of disappointment among a wide

Has the UK’s failure to bomb Syria fuelled the refugee crisis?

Published on: Wed, 23/09/2015 - 10:18

The increasing numbers of refugees now making their way to Europe from Syria has led some to argue that this crisis makes a retrospective case for Britain bombing Syria.

The editor of Left Foot Forward, James Bloodworth, has argued that in an article in the International Business Times.

The situation in Syria has seen a multitude of rebel groups and militias, mostly made up of Sunni Arabs, go to war against the forces of Syria’s Assad regime, the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, and Iranian backed Shia forces. The Kurds and other non-Arab and non-Alawite minorities have also been fighting.

The

Army general threatens all means “fair or foul”

Published on: Tue, 22/09/2015 - 18:47
Author

Editorial

Just eight days into Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party leadership, and four and a half years before the next general election, a serving army general has already threatened a mutiny against a Corbyn Labour government.

“The Army just wouldn’t stand for it”, the un-named general told the Sunday Times on 20 September. “The general staff would not allow a prime minister to jeopardise the security of this country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul to prevent that. You can’t put a maverick in charge of a country’s security.

“There would be mass resignations at all levels

March against the Tories

Published on: Tue, 22/09/2015 - 18:44
Author

Editorial

The Daily Mail’s serialisation of Michael Ashcroft’s unauthorised “revenge biography” of David Cameron, with its revelations of “posh debauchery” by the future Prime Minister and his friends when at Oxford University, continuing into later life, were, depending on your point of view, amusing, or further proof of the vileness of the ruling class.

Unfortunately the “Chipping Snorton set” (as the Daily Mail put it) kept a much more serious story off the front pages of the papers. This was how Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge had been downgraded by the Care Quality Commission. It has gone from

Student strike to save maintenance grants

Published on: Tue, 22/09/2015 - 18:41
Author

Callum Cant

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) is calling on the UK student movement to start mobilising for a student strike in 2016.

When Osbourne announced the conversion of maintenance grants to loans in the emergency budget, elements of the student movement knew we were in for a big fight.

NCAFC had, as it is increasingly doing, taken the initiative and called a national demonstration for the 4 November before the budget even took place, after the NUS failed to do so. This forms the first part of the strategy for the autumn term.

But ever since winter conference 2014 NCAFC policy

Conference should start to open up

Published on: Tue, 22/09/2015 - 18:38
Author

Ralph Peters

The annual conference of the Labour Party takes place in Brighton from 27-30 September. It comes just two weeks after the dramatic victory of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership contest.

Over the last thirty years Labour’s annual conference has become unrecognisable as a working-class political conference. And the preparation and documents of this year’s event were mostly drafted before the Blairites were aware of any coming defeat.

In the official programme there are dozens of business-sponsored meetings, with (former) front bench spokespersons invited to speak. Included in the sponsors of

Why mental health matters

Published on: Tue, 22/09/2015 - 18:35
Author

Daisy Thomas

Jeremy Corbyn’s appointment of a Shadow Minister of Mental Health (Luciana Berger) gives us a timely reminder of how important mental health is, not only on a personal scale, but on a societal and global scale also.

One of the leading mental health issues is anxiety. Almost one person in every five is considered to be suffering from anxiety. Financial issues (including debt) are the leading contributors to the development and persistence of anxiety in day-to-day life.

Depression is also increasing in prevalence. The rate is estimated at about 2.6% of the population.

Almost 10% of the

Abbott ousted:celebrate and organise

Published on: Tue, 22/09/2015 - 18:30
Author

Riki Lane

In a swift and relatively clean execution by the Liberal Party parliamentary caucus, Tony Abbott has been ousted as Australian Prime Minister and replaced by Malcolm Turnbull.

The working class and the left have every reason to cheer at the fall of Abbott, who has led attacks on unions, the poor, refugees and asylum seekers, and stood in the way of gay marriage.

Abbot is a right wing conservative Catholic with a reactionary agenda, pro-coal, anti-renewables, climate change denier, anti-gay marriage, monarchist. He has long been a leader of the right wing, conservative wing of the Liberal

Analysing the Corbyn surge

Published on: Tue, 22/09/2015 - 18:24
Author

Mark Osborn

Sean Matgamna writes in Solidarity 367 that Corbyn’s victory was the second time since 2010 that the unions have asserted themselves inside the Labour Party. Sean says the first time was when the unions got Ed Miliband elected to Party leader after the 2010 election defeat.

If this is asserting themselves, it is assertion-lite. The striking parallel between the election of Miliband and Corbyn is that the unions waited until the candidates appeared and then declared a preference from the list of candidates they were presented with. They weren’t scurrying around to find a union candidate to

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