Monday, 15 November 2010

Student action continues - Sussex University

Hundreds of students have begun an occupation at Sussex University in protest at education cuts. Around 200 students are occupying a lecture theatre in the Fulton building—and they are planning to stay.

Tom, one of the occupiers, told Socialist Worker, “We’re occupying one of the new lecture theatres at Sussex which is very symbolic. It opened this year at the same time as we were told there was no money for teaching staff.

“It’s come off the back of Wednesday’s protest in London, which 500 Sussex students went to. We called a demonstration for today and didn’t plan to occupy—but that was the mood among students.

“We’ve already had messages flooding in from around Britain supporting us. We hope students on other campuses will follow suit.”

Monday, 18 October 2010

Right to Work Pamphlet

Right to Work pamphlet - Defending the welfare state

Cameron’s Con-Dem government is set to launch the biggest attack on working people since the 1920s. A financial crisis caused by the greed of bankers is being used as an excuse to dismantle the welfare state.

Workers are being made to pay for a mess they didn’t create. The price they will pay is the destruction of public services, a drive to push down wages and the loss of well over a million jobs across the public and private sectors.

We are faced with the spectre of mass unemployment with the threat that a generation of young people will be lost to the dole queue.

But none of this is necessary. The cuts are being made while big business and the rich fail to pay billions in taxes and while billions more are squandered on illegal wars and a new generation of nuclear weapons.

This pamphlet argues that Cameron’s cuts are completely unnecessary. It seeks to arm activists with the arguments they need to use at work or college.

The money is there to pay for decent public services for all. We have to resist the Tory assault on our way of life and build a movement capable of opposing the cuts and fighting for a better world.

Order from:

Friday, 17 September 2010

Adventures in Labour Party History No 1

The Battle for SURABAYA 1945-6

One of the many excellent points made by writer John Newslinger in his book ‘The Blood Never Dried’ is the selective editing out of unpleasant British Labour Party history in successive ‘histories’ of the party. One notable episode that appears to be systematically omitted is the battle for Surabaya (commemorated yearly in Indonesia) and essentially involving the heavy shelling of the city and bloody street battles against nationalist forces by British, Indian and co-opted Japanese troops in 1946

Establishing a scholarly tradition for the likes of Niall Ferguson the following books fail to note the episode:

Labour in Power (1945-1951) Keneth Morgan (1984)
Never Again: Britain 1945-1951 (Peter Hennessey (1972)
Clement Attlee Trevor Burridge (1985)
Clem Attlee Francis Beckett (1997)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Tax baby Tax!

Why should a single low paid local government worker have their wages or pensions cut whilst single banker or speculator still has their fat 2010 bonus? Who buys all this rubbish that the 70 odd % of low paid women in the Local Government Pension Scheme have ‘gold plated’ pensions? Worth maybe £4,000 per year?

By all accounts things are back to normal in the board room with 7% pay rises for execs and huge bonuses on display. Why then should we accept the cuts of Tory and Orange book millionaires for a single second? These people have no mandate and no moral or political legitimacy. How dare Tory Oxbridge spods who cheerleaded the £20bn disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan lecture us about belt tightening?

People ask what is the rational alternative? Easy 1% on the higher rate on income tax, 1.5% on corporation tax, windfall tax on shareholders, cut pointless military spending, close tax havens, the list of better options is indeed long.

So tax baby tax!

Tax is the sound of human society functioning, of people looking after each other, of the most evil and money grubbing being reigned in. Tax is civilization. Forget the Chinese Emperors and William Pit the whatever, tax has transcended its origins. Progressive taxion is our last best hope for social peace.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Aylesbury says no to EDL

The EDL’s racist, swaggering, Islamophobic supporters hoped they could take over the town of Aylesbury last Saturday and intimidate Muslims and ordinary people. They failed.

They hoped Asians and black people and trade unionists would be too scared to demonstrate against them. They failed.

Around 200 anti-EDL demonstrators, gathered in the town’s Vale Park in a show of anti-racism and support for multiculturalism.

While the anti-racist protest took place, the EDL were contained in a pen by the police. The local press put their number at 800, although other reports said it was fewer. They had come from all over Britain, with only a handful of local people their ranks.

Some made an attempt to break out towards the town mosque, but they were beaten back.

Police arrested 12 EDL supporters, eight on suspicion of possessing offensive weapons, three for public order offences and one for being drunk and disorderly.

Andrew Grant, the chief executive of Aylesbury Vale District Council said afterwards that “a range of entertainment has been organised for Monday by the Town Centre Partnership to help welcome people back to the town". Indeed – the vast majority of local people will be glad the EDL have gone.

Congratulations to all those anti-racists who came out to protest on Saturday. The ground has been laid for a vibrant local anti racist campaign.