Simon Guy

News shorts

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Fast food action in US

On 29 November tens of thousands of fast food employees, airport workers, childcare and home care providers, and university graduate students are set to hold the “largest, most disruptive protest” in the US so far. They are demanding a living wage of $15 an hour and the right to unionise.

The strikes and actions will take place in 340 cities across the US and will include civil disobedience at McDonald’s and 20 of the nation’s largest airports.

fightfor15.org

A strike a day keeps the Tories at bay

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*UPDATE* The first round of strikes in September have been suspended by the BMA, whose leaders have caved in to pressure from managers. The subsequent strikes set for October, November and December are still going ahead (so far).

Junior doctors will be on strike for five days from 12 September. This escalation comes out of a rejection by members of the deal put to them by the leadership of their union, the BMA.

Further action has already been announced for October, November and December.

The use and abuse of the Arab Revolt

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In June 1916 thousands of Arabs rose up against the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled over the region for four centuries. They fought with the backing of the British and French governments, not realising they were being used as a weapon in the First World War, writes Simon Guy.

On 5 June 1916 the ruler of Mecca, Sharif Husayn, called for an Arab uprising against Ottoman rule. The goal, agreed with the British High Commissioner in Egypt, was to unite the Arab people, establish and then rule an independent Arab kingdom, ending 400 years of Ottoman domination of the Arab world. Britain promised funds, guns and grain in return for helping to defeat the Ottomans as part of the First World War.

Junior docs strike again

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Junior doctors announced three 48 hour strikes as SR went to press: 9 to 11 March, 6 to 8 April and 26 to 28 April. As this comes after the imposition of the new contract it is a significant escalation.

A poll found 66 percent of people in England support for junior doctors’ strikes, with 41 percent saying they are strongly supportive. Only 16 percent of people say they oppose the walkout.

The BMA will also launch a judicial review as the government failed to undertake an Equality Impact Assessment before making the changes.

Trump is relishing his media storm

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Billionaire Donald Trump has pulled the debate for the US Republican presidential nomination so far to the right that we saw the spectacle of left-winger Michael Moore appearing on Fox News, defending one of their hosts.

Fox anchor Megyn Kelly has won the wrath of Trump by calling him out over sexism. She is not radically different to Trump, praising him for not caring about that politically correct culture.

Corbynomics: can it work?

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell are championing economic policies that challenge the neoliberalism of the past four decades. Simon Guy argues that to make them work will require not just reforms in parliament, but workers' struggles from below.

‘What’s happening?’ Corbyn asked a young man with a ‘CORBYN OUT’ placard. ‘He’s refusing to give free gap years and iPhones to the under-25s’. ‘CORBYN OUT!’ Corbyn shouted. ‘DOWN WITH CORBYN! END THE CORBYN JUNTA NOW!’”

The Daily Telegraph’s depiction of a delusional, childish movement forever unsatisfied with so-called economic realities tries to distract from the key reason for Jeremy Corbyn’s rise — that he represents a popular break with austerity.

Gallery bosses sack Candy

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The National Gallery in London has sacked leading PCS public service workers’ union rep Candy Udwin in a bitter fight over privatisation.

National Gallery bosses wanted to privatise 400 out of 600 jobs as part of its plans for the gallery.

In response the PCS union launched a campaign of strike action that won a number of concessions, including the living wage.

The strike left management with red faces. Now bosses want to take their revenge. They shipped in a union busting firm and targetted Candy.

Battle for tower Hamlets

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Rabina Khan, mayoral candidate for Tower Hamlets, has launched her campaign with a strong anti-austerity and anti-racist message.

The election on 11 June was called after the government intervened to depose former mayor Lutfur Rahman.

The election has become a key battle for democracy. Eric Pickles, the Tory communities and local government secretary, deposed Rahman in April and is running the borough through unelected commissioners — among them Chris Allison, the former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Back to the Future of Socialism

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The title of Peter Hain’s new book represents an attempt to assess the state of the Labour Party judged through the vision put forward by Tony Crosland, a central figure in its history. Crosland’s book, The Future of Socialism, argued that socialism could be achieved within a market system. During the 1950s, when it was written, this seemed plausible as workers were given a greater share of an expanding economy.

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