Solidarity 426, 11 January 2017

Left must defend freedom of movement

Published on: Sat, 14/01/2017 - 19:22

After weeks of intense pressure from the Labour right (and from some supposed to be on Labour’s left), Jeremy Corbyn has retreated on freedom of movement. In a speech on 10 January he said: “Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle... Labour supports fair rules and reasonably managed migration as part of the post-Brexit relationship with the EU”.

But the same day he told the BBC that he was not proposing new restrictions on the rights of people to move to the UK and does not think immigration is “too high”. In his speech Corbyn hinted that Labour

Keep the guards on the trains!

Published on: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 13:54

Ollie Moore

Workers on Southern Rail are striking on 10-13 and 24-27 January, as they attempt to force Southern bosses to reverse the imposition of “Driver Only Operation” (DOO). Guards on Southern, who are members of the RMT union, also struck from 31 December to 2 January.

The 10-13 January strike had originally been scheduled for 9-14 January, but drivers’ union Aslef reduced it to three days, with their General Secretary Mick Whelan saying they had listened to “concerns” which suggested a six-day strike was “disproportionate”.

Rail strikes are set to spread, after RMT began balloting its members

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 13:50

Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter and Gemma Short

Workers at Picturehouse Cinema’s flagship “Picturehouse Central” location, near London’s Piccadilly Circus, will shortly begin balloting for new strikes, as part of a growing dispute which also involves workers at Picturehouse’s Brixton, Hackney, and Crouch End sites. The ballot, the timetable for which has yet to be announced, is for further strikes to demand the London Living Wage, decent sick pay, and other improvements to workers’ terms and conditions.

Workers at Picturehouse Central, Brixton, and Hackney recently concluded a ballot for joint strikes, which returned huge majorities on a

Learning from the three Ls

Published on: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 13:36

Hal Draper

It was once a tradition for revolutionary socialists to mark every January by remembering the life and work of Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. In this 1949 article, the US socialist Hal Draper discusses the relevance of the socialism of “3Ls” for the German working class, then under the yoke of imperialist occupation, and for the American working class facing a war-mongering ruling class.

We socialists are not hero worshippers. But we have our heroes. Socialists are not hero worshippers because the very essence of socialism — far deeper than demands for specific social reforms or

History minus the workers

Published on: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 13:25

John Cunningham

Normally I wouldn’t have bothered with Sebag Montefiore’s three-part documentary on Vienna (broadcast December 2016). His approach to his topics is somewhat predictable and conservative. But when I lived in Hungary for nine years I tasted some of the splendours of the architecture and the cultural inheritance of the Hapsburgs, not to mention its many contradictions and unpleasantries, in Budapest, Pécs and elsewhere.

I never visited Vienna. So, I looked forward to at least the visual aspects of Montefiore’s documentary. I wasn’t disappointed. Magnificent vistas followed one after the other:

The ANC and the South African left

Published on: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:59

Luke Hardy

The African National Congress (ANC), the party that has been in power since 1994 when majority rule was established in South Africa, is coming apart at the seams. This is in a context of radical student struggles, protests against austerity, and a growing rank-and-file movement in the unions and the ANC itself.

The ANC was the main party of protest against apartheid, but when it came to power, and despite its official stance of being a socialist party, it quickly dashed the hopes of millions of black and other non-white workers that it would attack poverty and inequality as well as the

Emergency cash for the NHS!

Published on: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:43


For many healthworkers, the NHS is facing its worst crisis in memory. Small wonder the British Red Cross, called in to provide support with discharging patients from hospitals safely, describes the situation as a humanitarian crisis. Yet Jeremy Hunt and Teresa May deny there is a problem.

The deaths at Worcestershire Royal Hospital A&E are tragic, but sadly no surprise to those who work in the NHS. Increased A&E waiting times are now so common enough we don’t care about the four hour target, but only whether we have enough physical space for the extra beds and trolleys. Everybody is terrified

Equality for autistic and neuro-divergent people!

Published on: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:27

Joe Booth and Janine Booth

Socialist activists are drafting a manifesto for the Labour Party of radical policies to advance equality for autistic and other neurodivergent people (those with an atypical “brain-wiring”, usually a condition such as dyspraxia or attention deficit disorder). Supported by John McDonnell, a steering group has drafted a proposed manifesto and, having launched it at Labour Party conference in September, is now inviting input from Labour Party and trade union bodies and interested individuals.

The manifesto is based on five political pillars:

• The social model of disability: identifying and

A police execution

Published on: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:19

Simon Nelson

The shooting of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub on the M62 near Huddersfield is another example of a police “hard stop” — similar to the killing of Mark Duggan by the Metropolitan Police.

The killing was the outcome of a “planned police operation.” Yaqub was shot three times through the windscreen of his car. Subsequently the police announced that a non-police issue firearm was found. No shots were fired at police, there was no suggestion that anyone stopped alongside Yaqub or attempted to attack the police. Several other arrests have been made across West Yorkshire as part of the operation.

A vigil

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