Feature

Bringing politics into the union movement

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The low level of industrial struggle in Britain today is frustratingly at odds with the political radicalisation represented by the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. Michael Bradley sets out a strategy to rebuild workers' confidence using our strengths to overcome our weaknesses

Bitterness against years of Tory austerity and the failure of the Labour Party to lead any effective opposition has laid the ground for the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. This political earthquake has opened up exciting possibilities for the left.

For Corbyn to join a mass protest in defence of refugees within minutes of being elected and to make his first visit abroad as leader to refugee camps in Calais and Dunkirk is pretty incredible by previous standards.

Marxism and psychology

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Continuing a strand of debate, Canadian socialist Susan Rosenthal argues that we must look to social rather than individual solutions to mental ill health.

Marx and Engels described capital as a relationship and capitalism as a system of relationships. Did they mean that every aspect of our relations with ourselves, others, and society is shaped by capitalism, so that a socialist revolution would transform all of these relationships? Or were they being too general? Are some aspects of human experience unaffected by society, so that we need something other than Marxism to understand them and something more than socialism to transform them? This is the core of the conflict between Marxism and psychology.

The queer and unusual life of Roger Casement

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Knighted by the British crown for his work in Africa and later executed for high treason for his work in Ireland, Roger Casement was a unique figure. Noel Halifax tells the story of this pioneer of human rights, a gay man at the time of the creation of modern homophobia.

Roger Casement had an extraordinary life. He was born in Dublin from an Anglo-Irish background in 1864. Lauded by the establishment for his work in Africa and knighted in 1911, he became one of the most famous men of his age.

In 1913 he resigned from the Foreign Office. In 1916 he was hanged in Pentonville prison for high treason for his part in the Dublin Easter Rising. Though central to the Irish freedom movement he was largely overlooked by the Irish Republicans because, to their great embarrassment, he was also gay.

Germany after Cologne

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The refugee crisis continues, and so does our rulers' racist offensive. Christine Buchholz explains the situation in Germany since the Cologne attacks.

The sexual assaults that took place in Cologne at New Year were terrible. They sent a shockwave across society. We still don’t have definite details of the backgrounds of the perpetrators, but it is clear that many of the men who were arrested or identified had Moroccan, Algerian or other backgrounds — although some of them have lived in Germany for many years.

A spirit that can never be killed

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In January activists from anti-racist group We Are Wakefield travelled to Dunkirk on the north coast of France to take solidarity to the refugee camp. Raya Ziyaei tells the story of their journey.

We chose Dunkirk, 30 miles east of Calais, because it had been hit by the recent floods, and the camp had doubled in size in the previous few weeks. Calais has an organised volunteer structure which means it is easier for the refugees at “The Jungle” to get what they need. Dunkirk doesn’t have this, with only a handful of volunteers coping with a huge amount of work.

Rock and Roll against racism

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Notting Hill in the 1950s

A pioneering anti-racist organisation was founded by musicians in the aftermath of the 1958 Notting Hill riots. It's time that the Stars Campaign for Interracial Friendship got its due.

In the late summer of 1958 racist violence broke out on the streets of Notting Hill, west London. At its origin were many complicated social, economic and political factors. Against a backdrop of slum housing, concerns over employment and “interracial marriage” was a nascent racism against the newly arrived African-Caribbean and Asian communities. This had been exacerbated by a renewed fascist movement around the Keep Britain White campaign orchestrated by the White Defence League and Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement.

Agenda of fear

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David Cameron targets Muslims

Socialists and anti-racists must counter the Tories' Prevent strategy and the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act.

In 2005 Tony Blair’s New Labour government launched a counter-terrorism strategy called Contest. This was set up after the London bombings of July 2005 and Prevent was a key part of it. Contest was widely criticised as being Islamophobic and fuelling suspicion towards Muslim communities. This was the same government that had led us into a bloody war in Iraq, costing the lives of millions of innocent Iraqi people. Innocent people in Britain also suffered the consequences of the government’s war when it made us a target in the London bombings.

Syria: from inter-imperial rivalry to inter-imperial crash

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Welcome to Syria

Last month Britain joined the many states dropping bombs on Syria. Simon Assaf talks to Socialist Review about the causes and implications of a crisis in which none of the players have control.

With such a messy situation in Syria, where do we even start?

It’s always a difficulty when you have deep complexities on the ground to start with what’s going on there, it just becomes more and more complex. So I think the best way to view it is from the top.

On Corbyn's side for the sake of the wider left

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Jeremy Corbyn

In the face of the Blairites' and the media's continuing vicious assault on Jeremy Corbyn, socialists - whether inside or outside the Labour Party - have a duty to stand up in defence of the principles on which he won the leadership contest

As the real war in Syria intensifies the metaphorical war on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party continues unabated. The offensive has been led by the now familiar alliance between the liberal media (The Guardian and The Observer) and members of the shadow cabinet and the Parliamentary Labour Party, with a dishonourable mention in dispatches for the BBC.

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