The Socialist

The Socialist 2 November 2016

Fight for decent jobs for all

The Socialist issue 923

Corbyn movement must seize initiative - or face defeat


Fight for decent jobs for all

Fight the 'burning' of our museums and libraries!

Battle of Orgreave: Establishment cover up continues

One third of 2010's new teachers have already quit

We are all Daniel Blake: no more deaths from benefit cuts

LGBT people need militancy, not false 'allies' like David Cameron

What we saw


Solidarity with refugees

Demolition of Calais 'Jungle' camp - eyewitness report

My time in a detention centre


Mass student strike rocks Spanish state

Glasgow School of Arts students "let us learn" revolt


EU-Canada trade deal battle points to Corbyn's Brexit opportunity


Heathrow expansion exposes Tory divisions


Will workers on company boards make bosses accountable?


Sheffield bin workers' action strengthens in numbers and mood

Solid Southern strike continues against Britain's 'worst' train company

Newsquest strike: "It's impossible to do our jobs"

Outsourced ambulance workers strike in Tooting


Glenfield heart unit closure: Over 1,000 march

Massive demo against A&E closure

Campaigners call on Greenwich council to oppose the Housing Act

Haringey care services face ruthless cuts and privatisation

Teaching assistants stage vigil and rally

"Our problems cannot be solved by capitalist politics"

 
 
 
 
 

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Solidarity with refugees

'The Jungle' camp in Calais, photo Paul Mattsson

'The Jungle' camp in Calais, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Paula Mitchell, Socialist Party executive committee

Many people in Britain watched in horror as French authorities cleared the refugee camp in Calais, leaving hundreds, including many children, sleeping rough and herded by riot police as the camp was destroyed around them.

The refugee crisis in Europe is one of many examples of the brutal, cruel character of Theresa May's Tory government and the profit-driven capitalist system they represent.

Western governments wage wars, drop bombs and supply arms to merciless conflicts around the world, such as Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Yet when people flee, these same governments turn their backs and leave people to rot.

The hypocrisy won't be lost on many people, that this comes at the same time as western intervention in Mosul in Iraq could displace a million residents, and as the Tories - scandalously aided by over 100 Blairite Labour MPs - blocked a parlimentary vote to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia that are used in Yemen.

This couldn't contrast more with the outpouring of human sympathy last year after the body of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach, when an estimated third of the population did something in support of refugees - donating money and goods, signing petitions, and going on demonstrations.

A million

In 2015 a million people tried to cross the Mediterranean, but only 14,000 were granted asylum in the UK. This is dwarfed in relation to the number of refugees in the world - over 60 million, over 80% of which stay in extremely poor, war-torn countries in their home area.

The right to asylum is a fundamental human right which must be defended. The use of repressive measures such as detention centres and brutal deportations must end.

Years of austerity, forcing working class people to pay for the economic crisis while the super-rich increased their wealth, have created the conditions for social revolt. Mass, united working class action can challenge this vicious government and take on the interests of the rich. Knowing this, the Tories set out to divide us, playing on the fears many working class people have about the impact of immigration.

A third of people who voted for Brexit in June say they did so because of immigration. But as the Socialist Party has explained, for the vast majority this vote was an expression of rage and rejection of the establishment politicians. Contained in the fears about immigration are the reality of lost jobs, pay and benefits, a housing crisis, an NHS crisis, library closures and so much more.

So it is essential that support for refugees is linked to the fight against austerity - for homes, jobs and services for all. We campaign for a mass council house building programme, for rent controls, for empty speculative property to be taken over and used for social housing, for a 10 an hour minimum wage, for an end to the cuts and privatisation in the NHS.

Massive cuts

Councils have had massive cuts over the last five years, and now some say they have no money to look after refugees. The resources should be provided by the government to support refugees properly - and we must fight to stop cuts and for all council services to be fully funded.

The Socialist Party has campaigned for Labour councils to refuse to make the Tories' cuts and to fight to defend jobs and services for all instead. A bold stand, starting by using reserves and borrowing to buy time to build up a mass community and trade union campaign, would defend jobs, homes and services. This could allow councils to engage their communities in democratically drawing up budgets that would serve the needs of their boroughs and towns.

Several trade union struggles have recently shown how the race to the bottom can be fought, bringing migrant workers into the unions and fighting for the rate for the job for all. For example, cleaners organised by Unite and the RMT, lively struggles of workers in small independent unions such as the IWGB; domestic and portering staff at Whipps Cross hospital; oil refinery workers at Fawley and many more.

Vital to building a mass campaign against Tory austerity and racism is the battle for a mass anti-austerity socialist party, a key part of which means organising to clear the Blairites out of the Labour Party. Such a party would cut across the risk of the far right capitalising on this crisis.

A socialist government would nationalise the banks and the tops of the economy so that the vast wealth that is currently held in the hands of the few can be owned, controlled and planned democratically.

The fight for a socialist alternative is the fight for the future of humanity, so that we can bring an end to the wars, poverty and persecution that force people to flee, and can create a world in which people can move, live and work in decency and with dignity.

  • 'Socialists and the EU free movement debate' - one of the sessions at Socialism 2016

In this issue


What we think

Corbyn movement must seize initiative - or face defeat


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight for decent jobs for all

Fight the 'burning' of our museums and libraries!

Battle of Orgreave: Establishment cover up continues

One third of 2010's new teachers have already quit

We are all Daniel Blake: no more deaths from benefit cuts

LGBT people need militancy, not false 'allies' like David Cameron

What we saw


Refugee solidarity

Solidarity with refugees

Demolition of Calais 'Jungle' camp - eyewitness report

My time in a detention centre


Socialist Party youth and students

Mass student strike rocks Spanish state

Glasgow School of Arts students "let us learn" revolt


International socialist news and analysis

EU-Canada trade deal battle points to Corbyn's Brexit opportunity


Environment and socialism

Heathrow expansion exposes Tory divisions


Socialist Party feature

Will workers on company boards make bosses accountable?


Workplace news and analysis

Sheffield bin workers' action strengthens in numbers and mood

Solid Southern strike continues against Britain's 'worst' train company

Newsquest strike: "It's impossible to do our jobs"

Outsourced ambulance workers strike in Tooting


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Glenfield heart unit closure: Over 1,000 march

Massive demo against A&E closure

Campaigners call on Greenwich council to oppose the Housing Act

Haringey care services face ruthless cuts and privatisation

Teaching assistants stage vigil and rally

"Our problems cannot be solved by capitalist politics"


 

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Related links:

Refugees:

triangle27 dead in channel migrant tragedy

triangleBelarus refugees - caught between a rock and a hard place

triangleAfghanistan disaster - Unite to fight for funding for refugees and local communities

triangleTamil Solidarity asylum victory

triangleKent: Chaotic privatised asylum process

Solidarity:

triangleLeeds solidarity protest says stop Sudan coup

triangleSupport for all-out scaffs strike spreads

triangleChile: International solidarity campaign to free political prisoners

triangleScunthorpe scaffs strike for pay

Socialist:

triangleKickstart scheme 'insufficient and flawed'

triangleBulb bailed out, nationalise energy to solve price crisis

triangleArgentine elections see deepening polarisation

Cuts:

triangleNottingham and Mansfield trade unions rally against cuts and for better pay

triangleKhan threatens further London transport cuts

Austerity:

triangleSouthampton People's budget Building an alternative to Tory and Labour austerity

Jobs:

triangleRMT strikes against abolition of night tube train operators

Immigration:

triangleAre Biden's immigration policies a break with Trump's?

Iraq:

triangle9/11 and the 'War on Terror' twenty years on

Refugee:

triangleHunger strike in Calais for refugee rights

NHS:

triangleNHS workers - vote yes for action to win a decent pay rise

Asylum:

triangle"Rights are won not given" - London refugee wins housing debt campaign

Homes:

triangleEnd fuel poverty

Housing:

triangleEast London mass non-payment wins housing victory

Migrant workers:

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

War:

triangleTV review: Valley of the Tears

Far right:

triangleNottingham: Socialists and anti-racists oppose right-wing march

Racism:

triangleCricket's history of racism and elitism

Calais:

triangleDemolition of Calais 'Jungle' camp - eyewitness report

Detention:

triangleCovid outbreak at Kent asylum detention centre: Napier is not fit for purpose

EU:

triangleCovid 'vaccine wars' underline failure of capitalist nation states to deal with the global pandemic

Economic crisis:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: House the homeless - take over the empty homes

Europe:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: The rise of Eastern Europe's right-wing populist movements