New Nightmares

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Sabby Sagall (September SR) makes important points about the tradition of international solidarity of British workers, but a key point needs to be underlined--the taking of industrial action in solidarity with struggles abroad.

This strand continued well into the post-1945 era with action against apartheid South Africa and Pinochet's Chile. Indeed, it was the horror of the tradition of political industrial action which motivated many of the Thatcherite attacks on unions. In the 1980s and 1990s the tradition waned but, as Sabby suggests, with union support for the Palestinian struggle and opposition to war it is back on the agenda. Walkouts if there is war with Iraq could revive the Tories' worst nightmares and give New Labour some new ones.

Keith Flett
London