Third Camp Marxism

Activists need better tools than Facebook

When tens of thousands of people in Belarus decided to protest in the streets, they first of all needed a way to communicate with each other. With internet being widely available, they chose to use the Telegram messaging app.

Telegram is not nearly as well known in Britain, where Skype (owned by Microsoft), Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger (both owned by Facebook) are more popular. But it should be – especially by those of us on the Left.

Brexit, the Tories, Labour: what sort of “State Aid”?

In the propaganda the government is putting out about their conflict with the EU over a Brexit Trade deal the Tories are making much of “State Aid” being a point of contention.

The EU’s State Aid rules are often a crux of Lexiter arguments for Brexit. They argue that State Aid rules will be used to stifle attempts to nationalise industries or intervene actively in the economy.

Universities return: fight for control!

The 2020-21 academic year is getting underway. Higher Education (HE) institutions that closed down and sent most of their students away in March, scrambling to move all teaching online, are preparing to welcome over two million people, mostly young, once more.

Universities and colleges like many workplaces are allowed – expected – to reopen so long as they are “Covid-secure”. All insist that they are now that – for students, staff, and the surrounding community. They cannot afford to do otherwise!

Schools: build health and safety committees

At the end of our first week back from school summer holidays a colleague of mine rang the parents of a Year 8 boy in her tutor group. The boy had done very well in school, and was clearly delighted to be back with his friends. So my colleague talked to the boy’s dad and told him how well the boy had been doing in class.

The boy’s dad burst into tears. Presumably a mix of relief, intense long-term worry, and happiness, all coming to the surface at once.

Covid-19: the end of the lull

In Britain as in other countries in Europe, detected SARS-Cov-2 infections have been rising slowly since early July, and now faster since points in August.

In France, the rise has been much faster. In Spain, it has already fed into a rise in Covid-19 deaths, though so far only to a rate about 5% of the April peak.

From mid-April through to early July, infection levels fell fairly steadily across Europe. The fall was not reversed, halted, or even visibly slowed by limited lockdown-easing measures across those months, notably the reopening of schools in many countries.

Scottish Labour - why did GMB abstain?

On the eve of the 12 September 2020 meeting of the Scottish Labour Party (SLP) Executive Committee, Gary Smith, Regional Secretary of the GMB union, announced that the GMB would be abstaining on the motion of ‘no confidence’ in SLP leader Richard Leonard.

“Richard Leonard’s Own Union Refuses To Back Him Ahead of Leadership Vote,” read the headlines in the Scottish press.

According to Smith: “At a time like this, our members would not thank us for getting bogged down in an internal Scottish Labour party issue, a party for which many of them no longer vote for.”

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