Mar 04 2019

IRISH NURSES AND THE FAILURE OF SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP

We are posting two articles from the Socialist Democracy (Ireland) blog addressing the nurses’ struggle for improved pay and a better health service in Ireland. The second goes into the underlying problems faced when unions embrace a partnerships with the state and employers in a time of economic crisis. 

 

1.SQUARING THE CIRCLE

Government, union bureaucracy put nurses back in their box

 

Nurses take action in Dublin

In antiquity Greek mathematicians came up with an insoluble problem called “squaring the circle”.  The term entered the English language as a metaphor for an impossible task.

Yet this is the task that INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha, alongside the executives of the nurses and midwives union and the psychiatric nurses union, with the support of ICTU, set out to achieve. Continue reading “IRISH NURSES AND THE FAILURE OF SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP”

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Feb 15 2019

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE IMMIGRATION BILL?

On January 29th members of the Right and the Left of the Labour Party were allowed by Jeremy Corbyn to allow Theresa May’s government to get the first stages of the Tory government’s new Immigration Bill through Westminster. This paves the way for a post-Brexit gastarbeiter-type system of controls over worker migration. We are reposting an article from Global Justice Now which explains the intention behind this bill.

 

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE IMMIGRATION BILL?

 

The Immigration Bill threatens  in the UK to the ‘hostile environment’ for migrants. The hostile environment, the brainchild of Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, seeks to make life unbearable for people without the ‘correct’ immigration papers, and turns teachers, doctors, landlords and employers into border guards. This has already had a devastating effect on thousands of people, but the Immigration Bill does nothing to fix the hostile environment and instead will expose millions more people to it. Continue reading “WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE IMMIGRATION BILL?”

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Feb 08 2019

A STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BRIAN HIGGINS, BLACKLISTED BUILDING WORKER

 

A STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BRIAN HIGGINS, BLACKLISTED BUILDING WORKER

Photo showing Brian Higgins on a picket at the furthest left – where else!

 

Brian Higgins, a militant in the building industry, first in UCATT and later in UNITE, has been taken into hospital. Brian has been the most blacklisted worker in the UK. For many years before he would have retired, he was unable to get work. This put immense pressure both on Brian and his family, particularly his ever-supportive wife, Helen. Following the public exposure of the blacklist in the building industry, Brian found strong evidence of collaboration between the employers and a UCATT official in his blacklisting. That official cited in a redacted document was Jerry Swain. Continue reading “A STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BRIAN HIGGINS, BLACKLISTED BUILDING WORKER”

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Feb 04 2019

THE ENIGMATIC GILETS-JAUNES

Mike McNair of the CPGB (Weekly Worker) has written a critical analysis of the Gilets-Jaunes protests in France. He suggests that the politics stemming from this movement could move both Right and Left.

 

THE ENIGMATIC GILETS-JAUNES

 

We have just seen the ninth weekend of gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests in France. Numbers were slightly up compared to previous occasions, with the government claiming 84,000 took to the streets across the country and 8,000 in Paris, while 80,000 police were deployed France-wide. Continue reading “THE ENIGMATIC GILETS-JAUNES”

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Jan 25 2019

REMEMBERING THE WOBBLIES

 

Eric Thomas Chester,  is author of The Wobblies in Their Heyday (a history of the Industrial Workers of the World during its most vibrant period, the World War I era ) and Yours for Industrial Freedom (an anthology that provides insight into the IWW as it really was based on letters introduced by the prosecution during the 1918 Chicago conspiracy trial). Here he  writes on the period of Wobbly actovity during and immediately after the First World War.

 

REMEMBERING THR WOBBLIES

Mass meeting of IWW members at Bisbee in Arizona in September 1918

 

A little more than a hundred years ago, in September 1918, more than a hundred leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World were convicted of conspiracy to obstruct World War I. The trial marked a critical turning point for the union and the Left in the United States. In marking this centenary, we remember the Industrial Workers of the World as a grass-roots, militant organisation with a radical vision of an alternative society. Continue reading “REMEMBERING THE WOBBLIES”

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Jan 22 2019

THE IRISH STATE, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE NEW ABORTION LAW

Socialist Democracy (Ireland) provides a further two articles outlining the continued resistance of the Right and Catholic Church to women’s rights in the aftermath of the historic victory over the Eight Amendment.

 

1. NEW IRISH ABORTION LAW

A 350 million euro hospital for the nuns, 14 years jail time for those who exercise the right to choose

The Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill passed through the Irish Dail just before midnight on 5th December. The debate involved an ill-tempered confrontation between left and right, but this debate was on marginal issues rather than on the substance of the bill. A transparent wrecking attempt by the right around data collection and conscientious objection rights for anti-abortion medical personnel failed and the government proposals were passed with minimal changes. Continue reading “THE IRISH STATE, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE NEW ABORTION LAW”

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Nov 23 2018

RENEGING ON REPEAL: A NEW THREAT TO ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND

This article, first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland) on the situation in Ireland following  the earlier successful repeal of the 8th amendment highlights the need to organise independently of the state. 

 

 

RENEGING ON REPEAL: A NEW THREAT TO ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND

After a period of quiet relief following the repeal referendum the struggle around abortion rights is returning to the political agenda. The effect of the referendum was simply to remove abortion from the constitution and make it an issue for legislation.

It is now becoming evident that government proposals will be quite restrictive and that the battle will resume in the Dail when legislation is brought forward shortly. There is another issue that will not go to the Dail but is being settled in quiet negotiation between Fine Gael health minister Simon Harris and the Catholic Church about the transfer of ownership of the new maternity hospital to a private company controlled by the church. The nuns have made it clear that their ethos will prevail within the new company. Aside from the massive privatisation giveaway new legislative proposals that include a conditional freedom of conscience for medical practitioners means that abortion rights for the majority of women could be easily blocked. Continue reading “RENEGING ON REPEAL: A NEW THREAT TO ABORTION RIGHTS IN IRELAND”

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Oct 04 2018

ALL UNDER ONE BANNER DEMO – EDINBURGH, OCTOBER 6th

ALL UNDER ONE BANNER

Saturday 6 October Assemble 12.30pm,
Johnstone Terrace
Edinburgh

 

RIC Edinburgh has agreed to organise a contingent on the march to
emphasise RIC’s Scottish republicanism, internationalism and diversity.

We have new banners for the event including –

Another Scotland Is Possible, Another Europe Is Possible, Another World Is Possible
For an Independent Scotland – Freedom Come All Ye – For Scottish Internationalism
For a Democratic, Secular, Inclusive, Sustainable, Social Scottish Republic

We will have Catalan flags and Palestine flags and welcome others too.

Trade Unionists for Independence are marching with us

Other socialist, green and radical groups are invited to join us.

 

________

 

also see:-

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2018/09/11/edinburgh-october-6th-a-rallying-call-for-the-left/

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Sep 14 2018

FRENCH POSTAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL STRIKE FUND

French workers remain one of the best organised groups in Europe. This is why Macron has launched attacks on the rail workers (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2018/04/14/french-public-sector-workers-under-attack/) and the postal workers. The organised French working class offers the best alternative to the neo-liberalism of Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche and the rampant national chauvinist, racist Right populism of Marine Le Pen’s Fronte National. The post workers have been on strike since March. We are publishing this appeal.

 

FRENCH POSTAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL STRIKE FUND

French Postal Workers are locked in a fight to the death against the Macron government, defending wages, conditions and the right to organise as trade unionists. We urge trade unionists to support the fight by contributing to the information strike fund at the link below. Continue reading “FRENCH POSTAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL STRIKE FUND”

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Sep 11 2018

EDINBURGH OCTOBER 6th – A RALLYING CALL FOR THE LEFT

Allan Armstrong puts the case for building a Scottish-wide Left contingent on the ‘All Under One Banner’ march in Edinburgh on October 6th

 

EDINBURGH OCTOBER 6th – A RALLYING CALL FOR THE LEFT

 

35,000 in Glasgow, 10,000 in Inverness, 13,000 in Dumfries and 16,000 in Dundee – ‘All Under One Banner ‘ clearly represents something significant in Scottish politics. However it requires an examination of a wider politics going back to 2014 to appreciate the nature of this phenomenon.

A thwarted democratic revolution

If we look at the Indy Ref1 campaign we can see that it represented a democratic revolution, with 85% actually voting, following a registration drive which drew in 97% of the potential electorate. This was something unprecedented in UK politics. Continue reading “EDINBURGH OCTOBER 6th – A RALLYING CALL FOR THE LEFT”

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