Notes from the front 25-08-16
Austerity is hitting Black people hardest and racism is on the rise
A new report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission ‘Healing A Divided Britain’ reveals new evidence indicating continuing high levels of racism and oppression of Black people across widespread aspects of life, from work and education to housing and treatment within the criminal justice system.
Notes from the front of 22-08-16
Get out the vote for Corbyn!
From today ballot papers will be arriving in inboxes and in the post in the Labour leadership contest. It is vital to mobilise support for Jeremy Corbyn not just by voting but also in rallies and meetings, social media and phone banking. All polling data and the overwhelming number of CLPs who were allowed to vote made nominations in support of Jeremy Corbyn. The main danger now is complacency by his supporters. The Labour right are still trying to get as many people as possible excluded from the ballot on the flimsiest of excuses.
Labour Party leadership ballot papers start being sent out this week.
To assist the Jeremy for Labour campaign with phone-banking sign up here.
By Jane West
On Thursday 23 June the electorate in Britain voted narrowly – by fewer than 1.3m votes, that is less than 2 per cent of the population – for a lie. They voted for the lie that if Britain came out of the EU it could maintain all the benefits of EU membership – free trade in Europe, the leading role of London, all the protections that came with EU legislation for human rights, the environment, for working conditions etc – without the downsides. These downsides were presented as ‘uncontrolled immigration’, loss of ‘sovereignty’ and a subsidy to the EU that could otherwise be spent on the NHS.
7pm Thursday 24th October
Second City Suite, at the bottom of Hurst Street – 100 Sherlock St, Birmingham, West Midlands B5 6LT
Speakers include:Len McCluskey, general secretary UNITEPaul Nowak, assistant general secretary TUCSalma Yaqoob
The following interview with President Nicolás Maduro, outlines his involvement in Venezuela's revolutionary process.
It touches on his involvement in student politics, the significance of the 1989 Caracazo massacre, meeting Chávez in prison in 1993 and his involvement in the national leadership of the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement.After Chávez was first elected President in 1998, Maduro headed up the Chávista parliamentary group, later taking on the role of Foreign Minister and then Vice President.
By Nicky Dempsey
The broad movement against austerity is warming up. A host of unions have either organised national strike action or are about to strike in the near future. These include firefighters, post workers, teachers, lecturers and others. The continued fall in living standards takes place while the government and its supporters complacently talk about recovery. As a result workers are increasingly angry and confident that they can win concessions.
By Tom O’Donnell
Sinn Féin is hosting a conference in London on October 19 on the theme of Irish unity. It is a tremendous opportunity to hear and learn from the party leadership as it engages with a wide array of forces in the continued struggle against austerity, in defence of the Good Friday Agreement and for a united Ireland.
By Tom Castle
The massacre of shoppers at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi has been followed by a series of bloody attacks against both the immigrant Somali community in Kenya and targeted assassination of Muslim clerics by the security forces in Kenya. In the international sphere the US has also launched a number of raids against alleged architects of a series of terrorist attacks.
The Egyptian army’s July coup was met with widespread confusion on the left. Within Egypt and internationally some socialists actually supported the coup, others were explicitly neutral in the struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood government and the army.
The article by John Riddell that appears below considers these issues from the point of view of the experience of the international communist movement from 1917 to the 1930s, drawing out why these positions are dangerously wrong.
By Paul Roberts and Jane West
As expected Labour conference fired the starting gun for the 2015 election. What was not so anticipated was the Miliband leadership’s announcement of a series of popular policies that are widely perceived as constituting a shift to the left.
The strategy rolled out was for Labour to position itself as the party that defends the living standards of ordinary people. This was a shift in strategy and a welcome one. It is based on a correct understanding that the mass of the population is now more animated by contracting real incomes – the ‘cost of living crisis’ – than the ideology of ‘deficit reduction’.
By Nicky Dempsey and Jane West
It is little more than a year and a half until the next general election and already the main issues in each party’s campaign are being delineated.
Labour is still virtually certain to be the largest party after the next election as the long-term decline in the Tory vote will be further depressed by five years of austerity. Electorally the main question is whether Labour wins a majority – and of what size – or whether it is forced into coalition with the Lib Dems.
Talk of economic recovery and even boom is entirely misplaced, but it may have a very positive effect on the movement against austerity.
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