Showing posts from June, 2018

The Rank and File mobilize time to listen to the workers.

The nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants have been on a what is now turning out to be a long and windy road to getting their work rights. Long and windy to the detriment of the workers as the first of two 24-hour strikes gets called off by the union bosses under the guise of a newly negotiated deal. But highly advantageous for the union bureaucrats and the government that is all about budget responsibilities and running budget surpluses. Throughout this struggle the small minority of well-paid bureaucrats have been dominating negotiations with little regard for the needs of the health sector workers who pay them. The Union is the workers and the bureaucrats they pay are not working for them. The health sector has been neglected by subsequent capitalist governments. The backroom deals favoured by the bureaucrats are not in the interests of the workers who are the union. The bureaucrats must step aside and let the union exercise their labour rights and speak the only la

Solidarity With All Immigrants.

Just as you don’t have to be Palestinian to understand the brutality of Israeli policy in Gaza and the West Bank, or gay to feel the horror the cleansing in Chechnya, so you don’t have to be a parent to be outraged at what is happening on the US border. But it helps. In the past week the second of my daughters left home, albeit temporarily. She is 19 and going to live with family overseas, and still I cried. So it’s unfathomable to me, totally and utterly incalculable, the human suffering these parents torn from their children – some just babies - must be enduring. As a mum their pain is my pain. And that of tens of thousands of others, judging by the protests and solidarity actions which forced Trump to ‘retreat’. That much we can celebrate, that compassion and humanity has a voice that can make itself heard. But…. Yes Donald Trump has reversed this inhumane policy. He did so by signing an executive order – even though he earlier claimed this was not possible. But however the pol

Stop the False Compromise

Workers are gaining confidence since the election of the new Government.  Now is the time to push forward. There is a pervasive myth on the left that while we may want to see significant, systemic change to society, we have to constantly tone down the demands we make and the reforms we argue for, because doing so will win support from business and the media and neutralise the arguments that National and their outriders try to make. This argument has been disproven time and time again, and this article demonstrates precisely why. Simon Bridges is saying that Ardern and her Government "must pause radical reforms or risk economic consequences of falling business confidence". Now, which of the policies that the Government is proposing are "radical reforms"? Apparently, the main "radical reform" is the ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling  — a supposed environmental win which in reality is tiny and fairly meaningless, given th

May 68: The year that Paris erupted

It’s 50 years since Paris witnessed the incredible power of workers and students united, as millions took to the streets to challenge the reactionary French state, and shook the very class system to its core. We look at how events unfolded, and why the demands and action at their heart remain relevant today. On the 22nd of March 1968, 150 students, far left groups, poets and musicians occupied the administration building of Nanterre University outside Paris to protest /discuss class discrimination in French society and political bureaucracy that controlled university funding. The university was still under construction, and some 12,000 students were expected to study in what was effectively still a building site. Not only that, but there was strict segregation between male and female students – which didn’t go down well at a time of growing sexual emancipation. In response to the occupation, the administration called the police. After announcing their demands, students left without