Solidarity 400, 13 April 2016

France takes to the streets

“A reawakening of political discussions”. That is how revolutionary socialists in France describe the events of the last month.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Gareth Davenport and Peggy Carter

The UK rail industry, supported by the Department for Transport, plans to move most or all passenger trains to Driver Only Operation (DOO) — meaning trains operate with only the driver on board, no guards or other staff. This method of working is already in place across London Underground and on some parts of the main line (National Rail).

Labour excludes another socialist

Author

Janine Booth

I joined Labour as a teenager in the 1980s and was expelled in 2003 for standing against Labour when the local Labour council was privatising housing and closing nurseries and other services.

I applied to rejoin last year. My CLP (Hackney South and Shoreditch) objected on the grounds that (a) I (allegedly) support TUSC and (b) I’m a member of Workers’ Liberty. I appealed, and had a hearing in late March in front of a panel of three members of the Regional Board. Thank you to David Osler for giving evidence in support of my application.

Momentum launches membership

Author

Jill Mountford

The third meeting of Momentum’s Steering Committee took place on 5 April. Things are taking shape around the membership structure and drive. This will not only firm up the supporter base for Momentum but will also generate a much needed income for staff wages and campaigning. As I write thousands of people have already signed up to become full members.

Women who changed the world

Author

Les Hearn

Women are notoriously under-represented in science, but the situation seems worse because such women scientists as there are tend to be misunderstood, misinterpreted, under-rated or ignored.

Railworkers and students mobilise against French "Labour Law"

Author

Charlotte Zalens and Marine Dageville

In France, public service workers (“fonctionnaires”, 21% of the country’s whole workforce) have since 1946 had work conditions protected by special laws, for example giving them some job security. Although the French rail industry (SNCF) is still publicly-owned, rail workers are not “fonctionnaires”. However, they too have a special legal regime.

France: fighting to win

Author

Martin Thomas and Michael Elms

The Paris demonstration on 9 April against the “Socialist” government’s new “Labour Law” was livelier, noisier, and more colourful than official trade union marches are in Britain.

The nine friends of Workers’ Liberty who went to Paris were near a truck from SUD, the most radical of France’s nine or so trade union confederations (equivalents of the TUC). Its slogans included: “Share more, work less”; “A society of sharing”; “Not amendable, not negotiable: trash the ‘Labour Law’”; and “General Strike!”

Get the Tories out!

Author

Editorial

Back in 2012, the Daily Telegraph, a Tory paper, reported research which had found that two-thirds of the then Tory/Lib-Dem Cabinet were millionaires. It reckoned the total wealth of 29 Cabinet members at £70 million, and David Cameron’s at £3.8 million.

Letter: Proud to be a Zionist

Author

Eric Lee

Jeremy Corbyn’s brother recently made headlines by tweeting that “#Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for #Palestine”. That the tweet took place in the context of a heated discussion about how the Labour Party is coping with increasing allegations of anti-Semitism is not the point.

Kick out the Blairites?

Author

Sacha Ismail

On the 9 April demonstration against library closures in Lambeth on 9 April, the Socialist Party had placards saying “Kick out the Blairites”. This is a classic example of a slogan being a dishonest, pseudo-militant self-advertising.

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