Apr 22 2020

STEVE HEDLEY APPEAL – Finsbury Park branch, RMT

Steve Hedley, an officer with the RMT in Britain has used frank and direct speech to describe what the Tory Prime Minister is and what he represents! This has resulted in an attack on him, led by The Sun newspaper, and his suspension by the Union’s executive which caved in to the demands of the Right wing press. As with the fake anti-semitism campaign against Corbyn if the Right makes any gain they will keep coming back for more. We stand in solidarity with Steve Hedley and the rank and file members of the RMT union in their demands for his immediate reinstatement!

 

 

STATEMENT FROM FINSBURY PARK BRANCH OF THE RMT IN SUPPORT OF STEVE HEDLEY  

 

“Finsbury Park branch RMT the biggest traffic branch in London and maybe the whole union have passed this motion unanimously with several officers and senior reps speaking in length in support

This branch notes the recent communication from our General Secretary Mick Cash informing us that the Senior Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley has been suspended by the union pending a formal investigation following a special meeting of the NEC. This branch notes that the decision to suspend Steve was taken without him being given the opportunity to address the NEC. Continue reading “STEVE HEDLEY APPEAL – Finsbury Park branch, RMT”

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Feb 12 2020

CONCERTED CLASS STRUGGLES IN FRANCE

This article on the ongoing class struggles in France was first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland)

 

CONCERTED CLASS STRUGGLES IN FRANCE

 

 

Following months of Yellow Vest protests last year against fuel tax rises during which President Macron had to partially retreat he then switched his attentions to the public sector, launching his long planned pension reforms. These planned cuts are no piecemeal tinkering around the edges. The so called ‘reforms’, ostensibly to make the French pension system more ‘fair’, are in reality designed to squeeze more profit from public sector workers in response to the global capitalist crisis. Continue reading “CONCERTED CLASS STRUGGLES IN FRANCE”

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Dec 19 2019

THE HEALTH WORKERS’ STRIKE WORKERS’ STRIKE, THE IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS AND STORMONT

This article about the healthworkers’ strike in Northern Ireland was first posted by Socialist  Democracy (Ireland)

THE HEALTHWORKERS’ STRIKE, THE IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS AND STORMONT

 

 

Around 25,000 health care workers including nurses, social care staff and support services are taking industrial action to defend a health service which is widely accepted to be on the verge of collapse and to demand an increase in the currently ‘unsafe’ levels of staffing, investment and a long overdue pay increase for hard pushed health workers. To give a taste of the degree of under-investment in local health care, over 94,000 people are waiting more than a year for a specialist’s appointment compared to 3,364 in England with a population around 28 times greater. Continue reading “THE HEALTH WORKERS’ STRIKE WORKERS’ STRIKE, THE IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS AND STORMONT”

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Dec 09 2019

THE RISE OF NATIONAL POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM IN THE RUN UP TO THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION

In the lead-up to the December 12th general election Allan Armstrong updates  his analysis of the drift to the Right populist and reactionary unionist politics in the UK and what this possibly means for the future of the Union.

This is followed by an article by  statement from  the Radical Independence Campaign in Scotland on the general election.

Finally we are posting an article by  Tony Greenstein, expelled Labour Party member from Brighton. He predicted the unexpected rise in support for Jeremy Corbyn in 2017, but thinks that Labour’s chances have declined in the run up to the December general election.

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  1. THE CONTINUED RISE OF RIGHT POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM 

IN THE LEAD-UP TO THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION

 

(A fuller explanation of what is meant by Right national populism can be found in the article:- https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/right-national-populism-16.3.19.pdf

Neither the UK nor Great Britain have ever been unitary states. All forms of unionism are based upon the unionist nature of the UK state, which has recognised England, Scotland, Ireland (later Northern Ireland)  and Wales as constituent units. This has led to the adoption of various forms of hybrid Britishness.

Three key terms used in this article  are:-

Conservative unionism – This acknowledges the unionist nature of the UK state through administrative devolution (or later acceptance of liberal unionist devolutionary measures  which it once opposed, but have become part of the status quo)

Liberal unionism – This also accepts the unionist nature of the UK state but promotes political devolution as a better method of holding the state together

Reactionary unionism – This upholds the UK state and openly celebrates  its most repressive aspects. e.g. the crown powers, the armed forces and judiciary. It is also prepared to mobilise extra-constitutional force to prevent national self-determination, greater measures of political devolution, and reverse political devolution and even some administrative devolutionary measures that have already been accepted.) Continue reading “THE RISE OF NATIONAL POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM IN THE RUN UP TO THE DECEMBER 12th GENERAL ELECTION”

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Aug 30 2019

It’s the constitution stupid – After the Boris ‘coup’ let’s fUK it!

Allan Armstrong gives his response to the latest constitutional crisis hitting the UK state

 

It’s the constitution stupid – After the Boris ‘coup’ let’s fUK it!

 

Contents

  1. A constitutional and legal coup under Crown-in-Westminster sovereignty
  2. The UK’s growing constitutional crisis, the retreat of neo-liberalism and liberal unionism and the growth of right populism and reactionary unionism
  3. The continued rise of right national populism and the hard right in the UK
  4. The May 23rd Euro-elections – Farage’s right populist victory paves the way for the hard right take-over of the Tory Party
  5. The asymmetric polarisation of UK politics
  6. From Maybynism to Borisbynism? – Labour’s role in helping to move official politics to the right
  7. Neo-liberal attempts to turn back the right populist challenge over Brexit
  8. The right and centre Remainers take politics to the streets
  9. The Lexiters’ (and Irexiters’) economism and abstract propagandism
  10. The emergence of left Remainers, Another Europe Is Possible, and their turn to the streets
  11. Conclusions

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  1. A constitutional and legal coup under Crown-in-Westminster sovereignty

The decision taken by Boris Johnson and his backers  to prorogue Westminster on the 28th August represents the culmination of a prolonged constitutional crisis, which began with the Scottish independence referendum between 2012-14, and has been accelerating in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in 2016. Today we have liberals (in all the mainstream British parties), and even some conservatives, bemoaning  the unconstitutional and illegal nature of the decision taken by the unelected prime minister, Johnson, along with privy councillor, Jacob Rees-Mogg (Tory MP representing the eighteenth century), and the unelected head of state, queen Elizabeth. However, the UK state, based on the sovereignty of the Crown in Westminster, with its armoury of anti-democratic Crown Powers, gives enormous power to the dominant section of the British ruling class. Proroguing parliament is both constitutional and legal. Continue reading “It’s the constitution stupid – After the Boris ‘coup’ let’s fUK it!”

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Jul 16 2019

BRIAN HIGGINS – A PERSONAL AND POLITICAL TRIBUTE

 

 

Communist, Republican, Trade Union Militant,

Scottish Internationalist, Glasgow Bear

 9th February 1941 – 2nd June 2019

 

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BRIAN HIGGINS

A PERSONAL AND POLITICAL TRIBUTE

Brian made a big impression upon whomever he met. Nigel Jeffrey, who encountered him on the picket line during the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike wrote, “Brian Higgins stands out because he was 6′ 6″ plus… He was a big lad as broad as he was tall… There must have been half a dozen police went for this Brian Higgins and snatched him… He was shoving them off left, right and centre.” [1] Continue reading “BRIAN HIGGINS – A PERSONAL AND POLITICAL TRIBUTE”

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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 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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Nov 23 2018

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 THE 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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