Socialism the podcast: 2019 episodes

Socialism - the Marxist podcast from the Socialist Party

Socialism the podcast: 2019 episodes

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The podcast of the Socialist Party. A Marxist approach to the big issues we face in a world of capitalist crisis. Fighting for jobs, homes and public services for all.

From strikes and mass movements through to community campaigns, history and theory. We shine a light on the struggles of workers and young people, and discuss the strategy for a socialist fightback.

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53. Tories return: stand firm for socialist policies

13 December 2019

Boris Johnson has won a majority in the UK’s general election. Many workers and young people will understandably be feeling gloomy and angry. We say the fightback starts here.

How did this happen? What are the lessons? And what does the workers’ movement need to do now to stop Tory attacks?

This episode of Socialism responds to the Tories’ return: stand firm for socialist policies.

Further reading

52. France on strike

11 December 2019

Millions of workers have downed tools to fight hated President Emmanuel Macron’s attack on pensions.

The CGT union confederation reports that 1.5 million protested throughout the country during the 5 December strike, and over 800,000 on 10 December. In between, transport workers have kept communication routes in a state of near-paralysis.

Blocked from ending austerity and privatisation through the rigged electoral system which capitalism offers, ordinary people in France have taken matters into their own hands. First in the heroic movement of the ‘gilets jaunes’, the yellow vests. Now in what may be France’s biggest strike in a quarter of a century.

A factory explosion in Rouen, resisting the far right, the struggles of young people, and the state of the mass left movement ‘La France Insoumise’ are discussed as well.

Days before Britain’s general election could return any kind of new regime, this episode of Socialism looks at workers carrying on political struggle by other means: France on strike.

Further reading

51. How can Corbyn win?

29 November 2019

The Tories are trying to lie and bully their way back to power. How can Corbyn and the wider workers’ movement stop them?

With less than two weeks until polling day in the UK, both the Tories and Labour have now released their manifestos. Jeremy Corbyn’s programme includes big steps forward for working-class and young people in housing, pay, public services, workers’ rights and the environment. Boris Johnson’s programme includes next to nothing, and even lies about the extent of that.

There is widespread distrust in Johnson and the Tories. So to counter the threat to capitalist profits, and encouragement for trade union struggle, in Corbyn’s anti-austerity pledges, the capitalist establishment has gone into overdrive with smear attacks.

How can Corbyn and the wider workers’ movement overcome the bosses’ attempts to obscure the issues and demobilise support for pro-worker policies? And if the Tories do lie and bully their way back to power, is that really the end of the story?

Plus: we hear from a lecturer on the picket line during the ongoing national universities strike.

Further reading

50. Northern Ireland: Brexit, borders, sectarianism and struggle

22 November 2019

Northern Ireland faces renewed political conflict as a result of the bosses’ Brexit crisis, the collapse of the Stormont government, and underlying it all, huge anger at poverty and oppression. But there is one place where Catholics and Protestants, Nationalists and Unionists are united: the workplace, and so also the trade unions.

Councillor Donal O’Cofaigh is the first elected councillor for the Committee for a Workers’ International in Northern Ireland. We talk to him about Brexit, borders, sectarianism and struggle.

Plus the latest on the UK general election, and updates on workers’ struggle including the postal strike.

Further reading

49. Scotland and the election: independence and socialism

15 November 2019

How will the struggle for independence and against austerity affect the general election campaign in Scotland? And what lies in store for Scottish workers after 12 December?

Plus: High Court blow to postal strike: where next for the CWU?

Further reading

48. Building fighting, democratic unions: PCS and RMT

11 November 2019

How can the unions win for members and end austerity and Tory rule? We speak to PCS union general secretary candidate Marion Lloyd (in a personal capacity) and RMT union national executive committee candidate Jared Wood.

The trade unions are always areas of fundamental concern for Marxists. Now they are poised to play a pivotal role in Britain’s winter election – and the convulsions that will follow.

In 1974, a Tory government lost a general election on the question of “who governs Britain,” by posing its programme to attack workers – against a national strike by the miners’ union standing up for workers. In 2019, Tory prime minister Boris Johnson could face national strike action during his election campaign too.

And if Jeremy Corbyn wins, what happens then? He will come under huge pressure to water down his programme and leave the capitalist thieves and cutters in place. Should the unions simply cheerlead for Labour, or should they be ready to campaign and strike to force pro-worker policies through – whoever wins on 12 December?

Further reading

47. General election 2019: Tories out!

6 November 2019

SPECIAL: Tories out – Corbyn in with socialist policies! This election is harder to call than perhaps any in British history. But what we can say is that whatever the outcome, tempestuous class struggle will follow.

What is the best outcome for this general election? How can socialists help to achieve it? And what does the workers’ movement need to be ready for after the 12th of December?

Watch the full speeches

Further reading

46. Uprising in Chile

1 November 2019

A spontaneous rebellion of revolutionary proportions is unfolding in Chile – a country with a history of revolution and counter-revolution.

The largest demonstration in Chile’s history floods the streets of the capital. Protesters in the north march on army barracks – and soldiers withdraw rather than challenge them. The hated neoliberal government of Sebastián Piñera is suspended in mid-air by a mass movement.

A revolutionary wave is washing over the entire continent. The tasks for socialists and the workers’ movement are urgent. This episode of Socialism looks at Latin America in revolt: the uprising in Chile.

Plus: Britain finally announces a general election! Can Corbyn win?

Further reading

45. How renters can beat gentrifiers

27 October 2019

In 2016, tenants on the Butterfields estate in east London beat the landlords and banks. How can working-class people fight the housing crisis?

Further reading

44. Kurdish national liberation

18 October 2019

The Kurdish people in the Middle East are facing a catastrophic onslaught. How did it come to this? What is the way out of this life-and-death struggle for the Kurds? And how can the Kurdish people win national liberation?

Further reading

43. Tony Mulhearn, Militant and the city that beat Thatcher

11 October 2019

How did Liverpool defeat the Iron Lady? A political tribute to Tony Mulhearn, a giant of the workers’ movement. As part of the Militant Tendency and Socialist Party, Tony helped lead the working-class struggle that defeated Margaret Thatcher, and spent his life fighting for Trotskyist ideas. What can we learn from those heroic struggles in fighting for socialism today?

Further reading

42. The state: a warning to Corbynism

4 October 2019

In the midst of a historic crisis, the state is preparing the ground to sabotage a potential left government. The Supreme Court has delivered a blow to Johnson. But were the Labour leaders right to praise the judiciary as an impartial upholder of democracy? We speak to Socialist Party deputy general secretary Hannah Sell.

Further reading

41. Sri Lanka: socialists fight back

27 September 2019

Sri Lanka is heading into presidential elections in the midst of a government deadlock – and the aftershocks of the horrific terror attack on 21 April. We speak to Siritunga Jayasuriya, secretary of Sri Lanka’s United Socialist Party, about what the situation is like on the ground – and what political problems socialists will address in the November elections.

Further reading

40. Race for the White House 2020

20 September 2019

The race to be next president of the United States is hotting up. What’s behind the crises in the Republicans? And can the Democrats be a route for change? We speak to Tony Saunois, secretary of the Committee for a Workers’ International. Plus – report from the 20 September climate strike in London.

Further reading

39. Fighting for women in Britain today

13 September 2019

The majority of austerity is suffered by women. Meanwhile, rape convictions are down, and domestic violence murders are up. We hear about the struggle to defend women from the cuts, in the home, and at work – and how socialists think we can win the fight for women’s liberation.

Further reading

38. Government meltdown: what now?

6 September 2019

The Tory party – and whole Westminster system – is in historic crisis. How can the labour and trade union movement navigate the Brexit impasse, oust the government, and end austerity?

Further reading

37. Hong Kong’s revolutionary upheaval

30 August 2019

Millions of people have exploded onto the streets of Hong Kong. The state has responded with outrageous violence.

Where did this movement come from? Could this be the beginning of a revolution? And how can the workers and youth of Hong Kong and China overcome dictatorship and win real improvements to their lives?

Further reading

36. Northern Ireland, August 1969: the Troubles erupt

23 August 2019

50 years ago, workers’ action could have stopped the Troubles. Then the British state sent the troops into Northern Ireland. What are the lessons for today?

Further reading

35. Peterloo

16 August 2019

16 August 2019 is the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre. Armed forces charged a peaceful mass protest in Manchester demanding political representation in the fight for bread, jobs and living pay. This bloody response to workers’ political organisation in 1819 laid bare the truth that the state is not a neutral body representing the best interests of all classes. It has many lessons for today about the roots of capitalism in Britain – and the lengths the capitalist state will go to when faced with a political crisis.

Further reading

34. Boris, Brexit and British capitalism

9 August 2019

Unpredictable, volatile and unstable: three words which sum up the situation facing new Tory prime minister Boris Johnson. This right-wing populist is quick to make promises. But he’s presiding over the same slow-motion car crash of British capitalism and the Conservative Party that destroyed Theresa May. With a snap election ever more inevitable, this episode we ask: what are the prospects for the new PM, and for capitalism in Britain?

Further reading

33. Earth strike?

5 July 2019

Figures associated with the youth climate strikes have raised the idea of students and workers taking part in an “Earth strike” in September. The fact that young people are looking towards the organised working class is a very positive development. But what would this entail? This episode, we ask Paula Mitchell of the Socialist Party’s executive committee how we can build workers’ action in support of the climate movement.

Further reading

32. Fighting closure at Ford Bridgend

28 June 2019

Bosses at the Ford Motor Company are trying to close the engine factory at Bridgend in South Wales. Hundreds of workers could lose their well-paid, skilled jobs, and thousands more workers in the supply chain could be affected. The closure threat follows a series of high-profile crises in industry and retail, and Ford’s own record of whittling down its workforce in Britain. What kind of action is necessary to save the jobs. And how could socialist policies tackle the cause of this raft of closures? We ask Rob Williams, chair of the National Shop Stewards Network, speaking in a personal capacity.

Further reading

31. Grenfell and Barking: safe homes for all now

14 June 2019

Two years after the preventable disaster at Grenfell Tower, justice and safety are still not secure. A fire in flats in Barking, east London, underlined the ongoing threat caused by the profit drive in the housing sector. How can working-class residents fight back? We speak to Paul Kershaw, chair of the Unite union housing workers’ branch, and Pete Mason, chair of the Barking Reach Residents’ Association.

Further reading

30. Europe’s political polarisation

7 June 2019

Across the continent of Europe, the 2019 EU elections showed growing polarisation and turmoil. Why is that? We speak to Bob Labi of the Committee for a Workers’ International.

Further reading

29. Euro election turmoil

31 May 2019

What do Britain’s highly polarised 2019 EU election results really represent? And what is the way forward for working class and young people to oust the Tories and end austerity? We speak to Socialist Party deputy general secretary Hannah Sell.

Further reading

28. Terrorist atrocity in Sri Lanka

24 April 2019

Isai Priya, from Tamil Solidarity, joins us in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka to discuss the outrages and the social and political situation in the country.

Further reading

27. The National Question, Ireland and Brexit

18 April 2019

Niall Mulholland, from the Committee for a Workers’ International, discusses a socialist approach to the national question and how that applies to Northern Ireland today.

Further reading

26. Terrorism

10 April 2019

Judy Beishon from the Socialist Party’s executive committee joins us to discuss the causes of terrorism, how it manifests today and why a socialist programme is the only way to stop it.

Further reading

25. What way out of the Brexit impasse?

5 April 2019

Paula Mitchell from the Socialist Party’s executive committee examines the latest Brexit news and puts forward what Corbyn should be doing and saying to lead a way out of the deadlock in the interests of the working class.

Further reading

24. Glasgow equal pay victory

28 March 2019

We’re joined by Philip Stott from our Scottish sister party to explain the lessons from the victory of workers in Glasgow City Council following their strike action in October.

Further reading

23. Climate strikes and school student unions

20 March 2019

Socialist Students national organiser Theo Sharieff joins us to discuss ideas on the way forward for the climate strikes movement, including the possibility of establishing school students unions.

Further reading

SPECIAL. Vote Sue Atkins in Southampton Coxford

13 March 2019

We catch up with Sue Atkins, the Socialist Party candidate in the Southampton Coxford council byelection. Sue is standing on a platform of trade union action to reverse all council cuts and privatisation, and using the council’s reserves and borrowing pwoers to set no-cuts budgets in the city. Southampton has a recent tradition of rebel councillors beating cuts.

Further reading

22. Honda and socialist nationalisation

12 March 2019

Rob Williams, the Socialist Party’s industrial organiser, discusses the threat to the Honda car plant in Swindon and the Socialist Party’s demand for nationalisation.

Further reading

21. A turning point for Corbyn’s Labour leadership?

7 March 2019

We talk to Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary, about the latest developments in the Labour Party, including the Independent Group split and the suspension of Chris Williamson.

Further reading

20. Is climate change a political issue?

25 February 2019

Chris Baugh, Socialist Party member and assistant general secretary of the PCS civil servants’ union (personal capacity), speaks to us about what type of change is necessary to truly combat climate change.

Further reading

19. #SchoolStrike4Climate

18 February 2019

Socialist Students national organiser Theo Sharieff and London Socialist Party youth and student organiser Helen Pattison join us to discuss the recent student climate strikes.

Further reading

18. Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

12 February 2019

Ben Robinson from Socialist Books discusses the latest republication of this classic Friedrich Engels summary of some of the central ideas of Marxism – and why it’s so relevant today.

Further reading

17. What’s happening in Venezuela?

4 February 2019

CWI secretary Tony Saunois gives analysis of the attempt to remove Maduro from power in Venezuela, and the lessons for left governments and parties internationally.

Further reading

16. Are no-cuts council budgets possible?

28 January 2019

We speak to Clive Heemskerk from the Socialist Party executive committee about a strategy for struggle against local government cuts.

Further reading

15 BONUS. Dave Nellist interview

21 January 2019

Socialist Party member Dave Nellist, former Labour MP, gives a radio interview on Brexit, Corbyn’s position and a socialist approach to the EU.

Further reading

15. May’s government in crisis

21 January 2019

Socialist Party executive committee member Judy Beishon analyses the latest Brexit developments after the historic defeat of May’s deal and the first attempt at a no-confidence vote in parliament.

Further reading

14. GRA Reform

15 January 2019

Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, the Socialist Party’s national organiser, discusses the proposed reform of the Gender Recognition Act, and a socialist programme for united struggle for Trans rights.

Further reading

13. 2019

7 January 2019

Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe gives an analysis of the political processes and trends we can expect to see continued and escalated in 2019 – from economic crisis, to Brexit chaos, to shifting world relations.

Further reading

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