Feature

So why not join the Labour party?

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Many socialists will consider joining Corbyn's party to defend him, but is it the right move for revolutionaries, asks Sally Campbell.

Shaun Doherty has outlined how important it is for socialists — even revolutionary ones — to back and defend Corbyn’s leadership of Labour. But if we’re so keen to help Corbyn hang onto his position, why don’t we just join the Labour Party? Surely that’s where the battle will take place and where Jeremy needs numbers of defenders against the right of the party?

Corbyn the triumph and the challenge

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Jeremy Corbyn's crushing victory over the Blairites sent the Establishment reeling. We must organise to defend him and, even more importantly, the principles he was elected on, writes Shaun Doherty.

In politics as in life always expect the unexpected. Jeremy Corbyn’s astonishing and crushing victory in the Labour Party leadership contest was beyond everyone’s wildest dreams a few months ago. When I think of the local MP who, for most of my 40 years of teaching in Islington would cycle up and down the Holloway Road, the main artery of his constituency, supporting every strike and progressive campaign under the sun, I could barely have imagined his current elevation.

EU referendum debate: Better to stay and fight

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In last month's Socialist Review Joseph Choonara put the case for voting No to EU membership. James Anderson is not convinced, seeing potential for an anti-racist, internationalist Yes vote.

The debate was opened by Joseph Choonara (July/August SR) with standard criticisms of the European Union (EU). Its policies are indeed capitalist, neo-liberal, anti-democratic, racist, murderous, and — he might have added — implicated in Nato’s reckless eastwards expansion to Ukraine. Not unlike UK policies in fact.

But unfortunately, like others on the left, he simply assumes that the only way to oppose EU policies is to leave it. There is no analysis of the likely consequences, no explanation of why we should “go”, or where.

Greece's long hot summer

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Greek workers have refused to surrender despite Alexis Tspiras capitulating to the Troika. Costas Pittas reports on how we can see workers' power in the industrial and political turmoil.

Over the last five years July and August have ceased to be months of relaxation for Greek society. Dramatic political developments and struggles by workers no longer automatically come to a halt in the summer heat. This year the speed with which the situation has evolved since 5 July, the day of the referendum, is unprecedented.

The Tories' war on us all

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Siobhan Brown looks at the likely impact of the Tories' welfare reforms.

The introduction of the Tories’ Welfare Reform and Work Bill in July marked the ongoing viciousness of the Conservative government intent on destroying the lives of some of the most vulnerable in society.

Touted by the Tories as making it “pay more to be in work than out of it”, they are now trying to pose themselves as the real party of working people.

The failure of the Labour Party to mount any serious challenge to the bill shows its continuing inability, in its current incarnation, to provide any opposition to austerity.

The challenge for the unions

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One of the pillars of the Tory government's agenda is the Trade Union Bill. This is an ideological attack aimed primarily at the public sector, and it must be resisted, writes Ralph Darlington.

The Tories’ Trade Union Bill threatens the most sweeping and radical tightening of the rules on industrial action and trade union representation since the Thatcher era of the 1980s. The restrictive measures could potentially rebalance power in the workplace, reduce the capacity of unions to represent their members at work and undermine the basic right to strike.

All eyes on Paris

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The protests before the UN climate talks in Paris this winter can be a crucial staging post for our movement, writes Suzanne Jeffery.

We have a tendency to talk about climate change as something that will affect future generations. But think how old you will be by the end of this century, or how old your children or grandchildren will be. How old will you be in 30 years when we will have reached an irreversible tipping point in global warming?

The problem is not one for future generations but for our generation. And it will require a huge challenge to the system in order to bring about the kind of changes necessary to organise society sustainably.

Argentina's 2001 crisis: The lessons for Greece

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The debt crisis that is tearing Greece apart has echoes in Argentina at the beginning of this century. Heike Schaumberg draws out lessons from the workers' response to neoliberal strangulation.

The similarity of the debt problem, the revolts, social movements, and pending default have all tempted comparisons between Greece today and Argentina’s crisis and popular uprising at the turn of this century. In December 2001 media and activist attention centred on Argentina like it does on Greece today for more or less the same reasons.

In defence of Freud's innovation

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In last month's Socialist Review Susan Rosenthal argued that Marxists have nothing to gain from Sigmund Freud's theories, which simply justify the bourgeois status quo. Sabby Sagall begs to differ, seeing in Freud, and crucially his theoretical successors, a revolutionary potential.

There is much in Freud’s writings that Marxists should criticise, but there is also much of value in the Freudian tradition that needs to be incorporated into a wider revolutionary vision. Susan Rosenthal risks throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Strategies to defend our unions

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The Tories' election victory has provoked moves towards 'doing politics differently'. Shaun Doherty stresses how workers' confidence to fight back lies in industrial struggle.

In April 1974 I attended my first union meeting at a north London comprehensive school. The NUT rep, a member of the Communist Party, read out a request for support for a demonstration in work time protesting at the jailing of Ricky Tomlinson and Des Warren — the Shrewsbury Two building workers. More in hope than expectation I suggested we support it. To my surprise there was a near unanimous vote to take unofficial solidarity strike action in support of the demonstration. I thought, “Yes, this is what unions are about.”

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