Unions & politics

Turkey: the poverty of “anti-imperialism”

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 10:48
Author

Jim Denham

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson leading figures from 13 UK unions have urged the UK government to condemn outright the Turkish aggression against the Kurds, triggered by Trump’s precipitate decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria.

They describe Trump’s move as “a green-light to a Turkish military invasion of North and East Syria, which, as we have already seen in Afrin, will undoubtedly lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Kurds as well as a resurgence of ISIS.

“We therefore call on the UK government to immediately condemn Turkey’s threats of invasion and to work with

Building for a new pay ballot

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 07:49
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

We are building towards a renewed dispute over pay and pensions for directly-employed civil servants in 2020.

Our 2019 conference voted for that, and some recent developments have given additional impetus. The government has told the union nationally that the civil service pension scheme is overfunded, meaning there’s more money coming in than going out.

This means it could absorb a 2% reduction in employee contributions, effectively a 2% pay rise. But the government has said they can’t do this, as they need the spare cash to pay for the fallout from the Fire Brigades Union’s victory in their

Hold Labour to socialist Green New Deal policies!

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 11:22
Author

Misha Zubrowski

Labour Party conference passed unprecedentedly bold environmental policy this year. It will amount to nothing if we do not fight for it.

The policy as passed was contradictory, or at least in tension, in parts, but included:

• a target of zero carbon emissions by 2030
• “a worker-led ‘just transition’... public ownership of energy, creating an integrated, democratic system; large-scale investment in renewables”
• “rapidly phasing out fossil fuels”
• “repeal all anti-union laws, facilitating worker-led activism over social and political issues, including climate change”
• “take transport into

Brighton, Labour, and the left

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:33

An interview with Kelly Rogers, a committee member of Labour for a Socialist Europe (L4SE), Another Europe is Possible, and the Labour Campaign for Free Movement, about Labour Party conference.

Q. What picture did the motions booklet give before conference?

A. The bulk of anti-Brexit motions were sent to conference as a result of work by our coalition, comprising Another Europe is Possible, Labour for a Socialist Europe and Open Labour.

For a number of months in advance of conference we were phone-banking Labour Party members in our networks, convincing them to support our motion and

A Labour government without voting Labour?

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 09:06

The leadership of the civil service union PCS, the NEC [National Executive Committee] has decided that in the looming general election the union should call on members in England and Wales to vote Labour, on the grounds that a Labour government under the leadership and policies of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell is in the interests of PCS members.

In a different tack worthy of separate membership discussion, the NEC has also decided that in Scotland it should instead urge members “to vote to Get the Tories Out” while emphasising the necessity of a Corbyn-led UK government.

The decision to

Calling Andy Burnham to account

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 12:01
Author

Nick Weightman

Thousands of young people gathered in Manchester’s St Peter’s Square on Friday 20 September. The protest was rather a warning to politicians who thought they could come along, mouth nice platitudes and pat young people on the head.

Lillia, a 10-year old climate activist (with her own blog), took Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to task when he said he was “doing his best” and made a big deal of a new free 16-18 year old bus pass and his opposition to fracking.

Lillia skewered his “lies, when you don’t count the airport in emission figures” [Manchester Airport is owned by GM local

Brexit, the white working class and liberal left

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 11:19

Six months ago now a debate was sparked by comments made by Eddie Dempsey, an activist for “full Brexit” and in the rail union RMT, at a “Full Brexit” rally on 26 March.

Dempsey said that “people that turn up for those Tommy Robinson demos or any other march like that – the one thing that unites those people, whatever other bigotry is going on, is their hatred of the liberal left and they are right to hate them” (emphasis added).

He further commented that “too many in the Labour Party have made a calculation that there’s a certain section at the top end of the working class, in alliance with

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