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.
Tooting result confirms Labour's advance under Corbyn
Since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour Leader the electoral tests that have taken place have established a clear pattern of rising support for Labour in England. The 5 May local elections and three parliamentary by-elections have all recorded significant Labour advances, including most recently in Tooting on 16 June.
The article below, by Michael Burke, explaining why migration raises living standards, was initially published by Socialist Economic Bulletin.
By Michael Burke
The EU referendum campaign began as farcical attempt to set aside divisions in the Tory Party but it has turned into a debacle for Cameron. Overall anti-immigration rhetoric and racism have dominated.
An official report by the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland has found evidence of extensive collusion between British state security forces and the gang which murdered six men in a bar in Loughisland in 1994 while they were watching a soccer match on TV.
The following article by Fiona Edwards and Aaron Kiely, reporting on the recent left advance in the National Union of Students, was originally published by Student Broad Left.
Last week’s NUS National Conference was historic. Malia Boauttia was elected NUS President – the first Black woman and the first Muslim to win this position in NUS’ 94 year history. It was also the first time since 1969 that an incumbent President lost their re-election.
PlusNovember 28 - Scotland and Wales marchesDecember 12 – Paris demonstration
Maximise Labour’s vote in Oldham – by opposing austerity and racism
The first parliamentary by-election since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour Leader takes place on 3 December. The seat of Oldham West and Royton became vacant following the death of the staunch left-wing Labour MP Michael Meacher. It is important for Labour’s new leadership that this electoral contest is won decisively.
Jeremy Corbyn once again put Cameron on the back foot at PMQs last week, pressing him yet again on his plans on tax credits since the defeat in the Lords. Corbyn’s remark – ‘this is not a constitutional crisis, but a crisis for hardworking families’ – is a memorable put down for a Prime Minister who has attempted repeatedly to shift the debate away from the impact of the cut in tax credits to the alleged scandal of its rejection by the Lords.
But despite these successes, the right have not let up on their anti-Corbyn offensive.
British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Teresa Villiers used a recent report to lay a series of unsubstantiated allegations against Sinn Féin. The purpose of the report was to act as a smokescreen providing cover for a Unionist walk-out from the Assembly. But the report itself was actually written by MI5, one of the many arms of the British state that were parties to the military conflict. In one case alone MI5 is itself under official investigation for its involvement in up to 40 murders.
In the article below Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams places the latest report and the most recent allegations in the context of Britain’s long and bloody interference in Ireland. It is republished from Léargas.
Support grows for Corbyn's agenda
Jeremy Corbyn's leadership continues to gain support, as his new direction for Labour has created political problems for the Tories, compounded by the latter's small parliamentary majority.
The following article by Gavin Rae, on the elections to Poland's parliament, was originally published by transform!
The recent parliamentary elections in Poland were historic, although unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. For the first time since 1989 a political party in Poland has won an overall majority in parliament, with the conservative nationalist Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – PiS) winning over 37 per cent of the vote. Also for the first time in history, the left will have no representatives in parliament, meaning that Poland is presently the only country inside the European Union where there are no left MPs.
`Defending the Agreement – equality not austerity’
7pm Tuesday 3 NovemberGrimond Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons, SW1A OAA
With Paul Maskey MP and Mickey Brady MP
The approach of winter and the building of razor wire fences in Europe underlines the need to deepen the solidarity movement with refugees under the banner ‘Refugees Welcome Here.’ The attempts by far right groups like Pegida to use the suffering of refugees to whip up racism has also given an urgency to the need to step up the opposition to racism and fascism.
The appointment of Seumas Milne as Labour’s director of strategy and communication is the second key appointment of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership to come under particularly frenzied attack from the Tory media – the first being the appointment of John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor. The reason is that each decisively indicated the fundamental orientation of the Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party and that it had no intention of backing down in the face of the hostility of the right.
Corbyn inflicts first defeat on Tories
On 26 October a Labour motion in the House of Lords dealt a blow to the government’s proposed tax credit cuts. By 289 votes to 272 it voted the cuts should be delayed and those affected compensated in full. As a result Tory Chancellor George Osborne has been forced to rethink the proposed cuts and has indicated he will announce changes to the plans in the Autumn Statement on 25 November.
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