Solidarity 404, 11 May 2016

Forced Academies U-turn: only half a victory


Patrick Murphy

Nicky Morgan's announcement that she was withdrawing proposals to legislate to force all schools to become academies was both a real success and a major danger to the campaign against forced academies.

On 6 May, Nicky Morgan announced that, as a result of listening to MPs, teachers, school leaders and parents, she has decided that, while reaffirming our continued determination to see all schools become academies in the next 6 years, that it is not necessary to bring legislation to bring about blanket conversion of all schools to achieve this goal.

Industrial news in brief


Gemma Short, Ruth Cashman, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

UCU at the University of Nottingham is balloting for industrial action against threatened compulsory redundancies in the Faculty of Arts.

The University that claims to be Britain's global university wants to reduce its offer in archaeology, and theology and religious studies, and close language courses including Dutch. 11.5 FTE posts are at risk. The student body is up in arms over the threat. They have organised several protests, a petition and a Facebook group: Resist Restructuring Nottingham.

Nominate Rhea Wolfson

Alongside Ann Black, Christine Shawcroft, Claudia Webbe, Darren Williams, and Peter Willsman, the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance is now supporting Rhea Wolfson for the constituency section of Labour's National Executive Committee.

Rhea is former President of Oxford University Jewish Society; former Secretary of London Young Labour; current Women's Officer for Scottish Young Labour; current Co-op Party rep on UK Young Labour National Committee; and a full-time branch secretary for GMB Scotland. Please urge your CLP to nominate Rhea by 24 June.

Due process for Jackie Walker!

Momentum condemns the suspension of Jackie Walker, Vice Chair of our Steering Committee, from the Labour Party on 4 May.

Jackie, a black activist of Jewish heritage and lifelong anti-racist campaigner and trainer, was suspended by the party for alleged antisemitism following an article that appeared in the Jewish Chronicle, which quotes statements she made on Facebook discussing her family history.

Brazil: the plans of the right

On 10 May the acting speaker of the lower house of Brazil's parliament, appointed after the previous speaker was forced out on charges of corruption and money-laundering, declared the 17 April impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff invalid. The chief of the upper house, the Senate, however, declared that a Senate vote to confirm the impeachment and force out Rousseff would go ahead.

On 4 May, Alfredo Saad Filho, a Brazilian Marxist economist working in London, spoke to Solidarity about the political turmoil in Brazil.

James Connolly: Home Rule and the Gaelic Revival


Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson continues a series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

Connolly's period in Dublin coincided with the period of the Gaelic Revival, and the rediscovery (and re-invention) of Ireland's historical, literary and cultural past. It also led to a deepening of Connolly's understanding of Irish history and the Irish national question, establishing some themes which, in various form, would be present throughout his political life.

How to wipe out left-anti-Semitism


Sean Matgamna

Jackie Walker, a woman of mixed African-Jewish background, and vice-chair of the Labour Party's left-wing group, Momentum, has been suspended by the Labour Party on grounds of anti-semitism. The charge of anti-semitism is based on a fragment of a Facebook conversation from some months ago. Her anti-semitism consisted in the statement that Africa too had experienced a Holocaust.

It is time to stand up for socialism!



All in all, Labour didn't do too badly in the 5 May elections.

Everything was weighted against them. The media had its own anti-Labour agenda and tried to force events into its own pre-set patterns. It spent much of its time discussing Jeremy Corbyn and who liked him and didn't like him.

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