Socialist Review issue

November 2015 #407

review cover
From The National Gallery to The Trade Union Bill


by Sally Campbell
November is set to be a crucial month for trade union members in Britain. With the third reading of the Tories’ Trade Union Bill due to take place...
by Simon Assaf
The tragedy in Syria has taken another disastrous turn with the military intervention of Russia. This is being played out in its ruined cities and...
by Ron Margulies
Writing one week before the Turkish general election, I pretty much know what the results will be. I should not take the risk of putting them on...
by John Clossick
Shaker Aamer, the last British detainee in the world’s most notorious prison camp, Guantanamo Bay, has seen his release delayed once again as...



After over 100 days of strike action National Gallery workers voted to return to work last month having won nearly all their demands. Socialist Review and five strikers discussed the lessons...

Simon Guy

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...

John Newsinger

Over the past 15 years a creeping process of outsourcing has been taking place inside the military. John Newsinger argues that the use of mercenaries and contractors undermines democracy.


by Kim Hunter
Scarborough’s anti-fracking action group marched in Manchester on 4 October, while Lancashire’s anti-fracking nanas paraded their trademark yellow housecoats and duster headgear. Occasions like...
by Lewis Nielsen

Self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has gathered unprecedented support in the US presidential primaries. Lewis Nielsen looks at how significant a shift Sanders' success represents...

In my view column
by Dave Gibson

On 19 November 1915 Joe Hill was executed by the State of Utah on trumped up charges. Dave Gibson reminds us of the power of Hill's organising and songwriting skills at a time of upheaval in US...


by Jill Chanter
Epigenetics has become a high-profile contribution to understanding what makes us human. A relatively small body of research is portrayed as having discovered that some human conditions can be passed...
by David Paenson
Parrington’s article in my view suffers from two main weaknesses. One is his attack on what he calls “the standard view that the genome changes only very gradually”. Nobel Prize winner Eric...
by Michael Rosen
May I welcome the fact that SR has begun a discussion about Freud on its pages? It’s not often that you can find a discussion of psychology, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis on the pages of a Marxist...
by Phil Webster
Sabby Sagall’s article and Maggie Palmer’s and Iain Ferguson’s letters (September SR) all say that Susan Rosenthal is wrong to completely reject Freud’s ideas. Most of Freud’s ideas are so...
by Sabby Sagall
Lucretia Packham’s letter (October SR) replying to my article on Freud contains some rather obscure statements. She agrees with me that it’s important to differentiate the baby from the bathwater...
by James Anderson
Joseph Choonara (October SR) mistakes a Yes in the EU referendum as necessarily meaning support for its right wing institutions and practices. He wrongly assumes that leaving is the only way of...
by Susan Rosenthal
John Parrington’s article ignores the racist use of genetic research and reduces the social problem of mental illness to the micro-level where it cannot be solved. The human brain is not a super...


by Christian Høgsbjerg

Grace Lee Boggs, who died last month, was an important figure on the US left. Working with CLR James and others she helped to rescue revolutionary socialism from the dead weight of Stalinism, as...


by Matthew Carr

Author Matthew Carr speaks to Socialist Review about the political significance of the current refugee crisis on the borders of Europe.


by David Gilchrist

All you punks and all you teds
National Front and natty dreads
Mods, rockers, hippies and skinheads
Keep on fighting till you’re dead.

This verse...

by Peter Robinson

This little book collects five essays about the Paris Commune of 1871 and some of the writers who looked to it for inspiration.

Ross seems to have set herself the task of marrying the two...

by Paddy Nielsen

Michael Griffin’s study of Islamic State is a useful book for anyone interested in its growth and impact on the Middle East.

Griffin tracks the development of ISIS from its origins in the...

by Tokumbo Oke

Bourne starts off quite badly by stating “anyone that claims to understand Nigeria is either deluded or a liar”. He goes on to repeat the old chestnut that it “comprises so many ethnicities and...

by Brian Richardson

Between the World and Me is one of the most powerful and poignant pieces of literature that I have read this year.

I say read — in actual fact, I downloaded and listened to it on audiotape...

by Tim Sanders

This is a really good book and I’d recommend it to anyone new to the ideas of the great Marxist thinker and activist of the German Revolution, Rosa Luxemburg, or, indeed, new to the genre of the...

by Judith Orr

Fiction based on historic events can suffer from the lack of plot surprises when the conclusion, in this case the 1984 Brighton bombing of the hotel the Tory cabinet were staying in, is well known...

by Tony Phillips

Any book which argues that “capitalism doesn’t work and alternatives are possible” should be welcomed by revolutionary socialists.

The author Derek Wall, a leading member of the left in...

by Peter Robinson

In 1814 Francisco Goya, who was almost 70 years old, was commanded to paint the portrait of the restored king of Spain, Ferdinand VII. Ferdinand’s father, Charles IV, had appointed him first court...

Art / Exhibitions
by Paul Grist

The British Art Show is a five yearly overview of contemporary art and a chance to survey in one place the work of leading, younger generation contemporary artists. Significantly the exhibition...

by Ken Olende

By the time of his death in 2011 a set of fans saw Steve Jobs as a prophet of the future and the most important person on the planet. Jobs was head of Apple — which created the Macintosh computer...

by Sally Campbell

The opening credits of Tangerine — curly script on a pink paper backdrop — suggest an old-fashioned romantic screwball comedy. Although the film is ultra-modern in its themes and techniques, that...

by Saba Shiraz aka Kali Rayt

If anybody should have a film made about them, it should be Malala Yousafzai. Still only seventeen years old, she has a huge story to tell — she survived a bullet to her head, she is the youngest...

by Chris Kelly

This short film documents the demolition of a south London housing estate and its impact on the residents. Seen through the eyes of one working class couple who were forced from their home after...

by Lee Billingham

Rizzla is a New York-based DJ and producer of electronic music, a well known figure in the city’s vibrant underground club scene, part of “queer artist collective” Kunq, and resident at innovative...