Students 2 : 0 Tories

    Protests work!

    Now fight for a decent future for all young people

    Young Socialists protesting against the A-levels fiasco at Downing Street 15 August 2020, photo Mark Best

    Theo Sharieff , Young Socialists national organiser

    Protests and anger by school students have forced the Tories into a humiliating double U-turn over A-level and GCSE grade moderation.

    The retreat arrived like the slow collapse of a set of dominoes – starting in Scotland, then Northern Ireland, Wales, and ending with England.

    Coronavirus has exposed the class divide in the education system. Students are told all their lives that exam results are down to individual performance and hard work alone.

    But the whole fiasco around A-levels and GCSE grades has proven the opposite. The moderating downwards of A-level grades disproportionately affected working-class students.

    The algorithm used to moderate these grades was largely based on the previous historic attainment of schools – hitting underfunded comprehensive school students far harder than students who attended elite and private schools.

    Despite this obvious class bias, students are drilled through incredibly high-pressured exam factories, and told that their individual performance will determine their life chances and future prospects for years to come.

    The U-turn we’ve won from the government is a massive victory, which can only be chalked up to the protests and action organised by young people.


    80th anniversary of Leon Trotsky’s assassination

    Leon Trotsky reading The Militant newspaper in 1931

    A revolutionary whose ideas and methods retain their validity

    On 21 August 1940, the revolutionary socialist, Leon Trotsky, was murdered by a Stalinist agent. Along with Lenin, Trotsky had been the foremost leader of the October 1917 socialist revolution in Russia.

    When the Stalin-led counterrevolution destroyed that revolution and crippled the international communist movement, Trotsky set about reconstructing the forces of genuine Marxism.

    That legacy has been taken up by the Socialist Party and is explained in a new book published by the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) – the socialist international organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated.

    Below, we publish extracts from the book’s introduction written by Tony Saunois, secretary of the CWI.

    This year marks the 80th anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky by Ramón Mercader, a secret police agent under Joseph Stalin’s dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

    Revolutionary mood in Lebanon following horrific explosion

    Only a united working class movement for socialism can solve the acute crisis

    Judy Beishon, Socialist Party executive committee

    In the face of daily furious protests on the streets, one by one Lebanon’s government ministers resigned, until the whole cabinet resigned on 10 August, knowing it had no authority to continue.

    It had only lasted seven months, after the previous government was also brought down by a massive protest movement.

    This current round of struggle is spurred on by an enormous additional reason to pursue the goal of fundamental change – the devastating explosion on 4 August that brought terrible loss of life, widespread injuries, and significant damage to around half of Beirut.

    It was reported that there was little celebration at the fall of the government, as Lebanon’s working people know that in itself it won’t change anything.