Britain’s Labour Crisis – Defend Jeremy Corbyn, Bring Labour MPs under Membership Control

jeremy and refugees

Published: 4th July 2016.
Author: John McDonnell, British Labour Party Shadow Chancellor.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

A move to unseat Jeremy Corbyn, the left wing leader of the British Labour Party, has just been launched following a vote of no confidence in Jeremy by a majority of Labour members of parliament (172 votes to 40). Although the move is supposed to be based on criticism of Jeremy’s performance in the EU Referendum campaign, it has now emerged that it is part of a careful plan by his political enemies inside the Labour Party that was developed ten months ago after he was elected by a big majority of Labour members to be their leader. The timing of the plan is to remove Jeremy before the Labour Party Conference this Autumn which is expected to agree some significant changes, and forestall the possibility of many right-wing Labour MPs being deselected by their local constituency parties. 

Below we print the speech given last week on the crisis by Labour’s Shadow Chancellor (Finance Minister) in support of Jeremy:

Read moreBritain’s Labour Crisis – Defend Jeremy Corbyn, Bring Labour MPs under Membership Control

Some Reasons for and Consequences of Britain’s Departure from the EU

EU referendumPublished: 30 June 2016.
Author: Pat Byrne.

The unexpected vote of the British public by 52-48% to leave the European Union has rocked ruling elites worldwide. Not only are they worried that Britain leaving the EU will tip the UK into recession but could slow down the rest of the global economy. In the longer term, they also fear it could mark the beginning of the dissolution of the European Union itself. Moreover, they worry that this vote against the EU signals a growing rejection of international capitalist institutions and spells the doom of pro-corporate trade pacts like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, better known as TTIP.

Read moreSome Reasons for and Consequences of Britain’s Departure from the EU

Book Review of: ‘And the weak suffer what they must?’ by Yanis Varoufakis

9781568585642Published: 12 June, 2016.
Author: Chris Gray.

Margaret Thatcher made two errors regarding Europe. The first – a common one among British politicians and commentators – was to imagine that a single European market was possible without something resembling a single European state. Tariffs can be lowered and quotas abolished without affecting the sovereignty of national parliaments, but a single European market requires a lot more: it demands a single rulebook. This means that member-states lose all power to set particular quality standards, environmental controls tailor-made for specific habitats or protection for workers and pensioners from cross-border races to the bottom. A single market may not need a single currency, but it needs a single federal-like state to function properly. But, then again, if a single federal-like state is in place, then we might as well have a single currency too (p121).

Varoufakis?s book is subtitled Europe, austerity and the threat to global security. The analysis deserves scrutiny. The title is a clause from Thucydides? History of the Peloponnesian war, taken from the famous passage concerning the island of Melos, which had rebelled against Athenian rule and was about to suffer the consequences.1

Read moreBook Review of: ‘And the weak suffer what they must?’ by Yanis Varoufakis

Israel Moves Even More to the Right

NetanyahuPublished: 4 June 2016.
Author: Uri Avnery.

I recently mentioned the German word Gleichschaltung ? one of the most typical words in the Nazi vocabulary. “Gleich” means “the same”, and “Schaltung” means “wiring”. The long German word means that everything in the state is wired up the same way ? the Nazi way. This was an essential part of the Nazi transformation of Germany. But it did not happen in any dramatic way. The replacement of people was slow, almost imperceptible. In the end, all important positions in the country were manned by Nazi functionaries.

We are now witnessing something like this in Israel. We are already well into the middle of the process. Position after position is taken over by the far-far right, which is ruling Israel now. Slowly. Very, very slowly.

Read moreIsrael Moves Even More to the Right

UK Labour’s New Economics ? Unfortunately Not So New…

The New EconomicsPublished: 2 June 2016
Author: Michael Roberts

Over 1000 people packed into a London college to take part in a day of analysis of the state of the British economy. And hundreds had been turned away. This was a conference called by the new left-wing leadership of the opposition Labour party in Britain. The hardworking and dedicated activists within the Labour party that had backed Jeremy Corbyn, the new leftist leader, had turned out in droves to discuss with due intent what is wrong with capitalism in Britain and what to do about it. It was an unprecedented event: the leadership of the Labour party calling a meeting to discuss economics and economic policy and allowing party members to discuss.

Labour?s finance leader, John McDonnell opened the conference by saying the aim of the various sessions was to see how Labour could ?transform capitalism? into delivering a ?fairer, democratic sustainable prosperity shared by all?. We needed to ?rewrite the rules? of capitalism to make it work for all. He argued the British capital was failing to invest for growth and jobs. We needed to break with the ?free market? ideology of the neo-liberal agenda and ?reshape the narrative? with ?new economics?.

Read moreUK Labour’s New Economics ? Unfortunately Not So New…

Unions Agree to Organise a New Independent Socialist Workers Federation in South Africa

360Published: 23 May 2016.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

On May Day 2016 unions representing more than a million workers met and decided to take all necessary steps to create a new independent militant workers federation in South Africa. This move logically follows on from the expulsion by the pro-ANC Government Congress of South African Trade Unions of the radical National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa which The Socialist Network  reported on 18 months ago. Below we print the stirring and forward-looking statement of this historic gathering…

“History was made in South Africa on 30 April 2016 when 1406 representatives of 29 separate  trade unions and one existing federation, NACTU, with 22 affiliates, supported by a range of civil society and community organisations, came together to commit themselves to building a new, worker-controlled, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, independent, financially self-sufficient, internationalist, socialist-orientated and militant union federation.

Read moreUnions Agree to Organise a New Independent Socialist Workers Federation in South Africa

THE BASIS OF A SOCIALIST MANIFESTO Chapter 2 The Ruling Class

The Transition To SocialismPublished: 21 May 2016.
Author: Jonathan Clyne (TSN Policy Coordinator).
Intro by: TSN Editor.

Below is Chapter 2 of the first draft of a new book written by Jonathan Clyne entitled ?The Transition to Socialism?. This will form the basis of a discussion at the next meeting of The Socialist Network’s international coordinating committee as part of a process of creating a new Socialist Manifesto.

For this discussion around the book we wish to encourage the widest participation and feedback from members of the Network and the socialist movement in general.

Read moreTHE BASIS OF A SOCIALIST MANIFESTO Chapter 2 The Ruling Class

THE BASIS OF A SOCIALIST MANIFESTO … Intro & Chapter 1: Capitalist Economy

The Transition To SocialismPublished: 5 May 2016.
Author: Jonathan Clyne (TSN Policy Coordinator).
Intro by: TSN Editor.

One of the key tasks agreed at the founding meeting of The Socialist Network in Istanbul in August 2012 was the need to discuss and develop a Socialist Manifesto. It is hoped that 2016 will be the year when we are able to deliver on this commitment.

An important contribution towards such a Manifesto is the first draft of a book currently being written by Jonathan Clyne entitled ?The Transition to Socialism?. The early Chapters of the book have recently been the basis for a series of discussions on the TSN?s international Coordinating Committee. As a result of the discussions Jonathan has reorganised the book and updated its content.

Below is then updated Introduction and a new first chapter entitled Capitalist Economy. The  chapters that follow are being prepared for publication shortly on our website. For this discussion around the book we wish to encourage the widest participation and feedback from members of the Network and the socialist movement in general.

Read moreTHE BASIS OF A SOCIALIST MANIFESTO … Intro & Chapter 1: Capitalist Economy

British people keener on socialism than capitalism

socialism-768x348Published:19 Feb 2016.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

There is now growing international support for the general idea of socialism among populations in the richer countries. Evidence for this has been widely talked about in the United States with Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tapping into the new mood. The same process has been taking place in Britain as this recent report from the leading polling agency YouGov demonstrates.

British people are more likely to view socialism favourably than capitalism

Read moreBritish people keener on socialism than capitalism

After Jeremy Corbyn’s Victory, Which Way Forward for the British Labour Left?

LRC 2016Published: 26 February 2016.
Authors: Mick Brooks & LRC.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

Last weekend the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), a key left-wing group in the British Labour Party, held a Special Conference to discuss how best to respond to the huge change that has hit the Labour Party with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as its leader. More specifically, the Conference was called to decide on a new political and organisational strategy to continue the transformation of the Labour Party as well as how to relate to the emergence of the Labour left-wing pressure group Momentum. For the consideration of the Conference the leadership of the LRC issued a strategy statement the political part we reproduce below. But first we carry the speech by Mick Brooks who introduced the leadership statement to the Conference.

?Comrades,
In the view of the National Committee of the LRC, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party is a political earthquake.

Read moreAfter Jeremy Corbyn’s Victory, Which Way Forward for the British Labour Left?