Mike Cooley and the Lucas Plan

Mike Cooley, the militant trade unionist, Marxist intellectual and highly skilled technologist, has died. He will be best remembered for his leading role in developing the Lucas Plan - a proposal for avoiding redundancies by converting Lucas Aerospace production from arms to social useful products. John Palmer (who knew Cooley personally) has written an excellent … Continue reading Mike Cooley and the Lucas Plan

Sounding the changes in Unite and the GMB

Above: a shop steward negotiates with a foreman Guest post by Johnny Lewis As with UNISON, both Unite and the GMB will soon face a General Secretary Election - what marks them out as different is they are the last two unions with a private sector membership of any size. As such they are our … Continue reading Sounding the changes in Unite and the GMB

The Socialist Party didn’t like my book on the Poll Tax

Marching against Thatcher's Poll Tax, photo Dave Sinclair   (Click to enlarge) By Simon Hannah When I wrote my book on the Poll Tax movement its primary purpose was to give an overview of the Poll Tax in the context of Thatcherism, to outline the key battles of the movement and draw some perhaps useful political … Continue reading The Socialist Party didn’t like my book on the Poll Tax

Sylvia Agelof and Natalia Sedova were also victims of Stalin and Mercader

Above: Jean van Heijenoort, Albert Goldman, Trotsky, Natalia Sedova and Jan Frankel, Mexico 1937 By John Cunningham Viva Trotsky! I just wanted to add a few comments about a dimension of the assassination [of Trotsky in 1940] that is sometimes overlooked. I am thinking of Sylvia Agelof and Natalia Sedova, both of whom were just … Continue reading Sylvia Agelof and Natalia Sedova were also victims of Stalin and Mercader

80 years since a Stalinist agent murdered Trotsky

Leon Trotsky was murdered by a Stalinist agent 80 years ago. He was attacked with an ice-pick on 20 August 1940, and died in hospital the day after, 21 August 1940. Trotsky was one of the chief leaders of the Russian workers' revolution of October 1917, and the foremost leader of the revolutionary socialist resistance … Continue reading 80 years since a Stalinist agent murdered Trotsky

Orwell’s Animal Farm, 75 years on

Animal Farm was published exactly 75 years ago, after having been rejected by several publishers who felt it was an inappropriate attack on the UK's wartime ally, Stalin's USSR. George Orwell: imagining the totalitarians By Chris Hickey Written on the cusp of the Cold War, Animal Farm (and Nineteen Eighty Four) launched Orwell’s international reputation … Continue reading Orwell’s Animal Farm, 75 years on

Solidarność: the Polish workers’ movement and the Gdansk occupation and strikes of August 1980

By Amina Saddiq Forty years ago, Poland’s Stalinist police-state system was rocked by a massive wave of working-class action. In just six weeks the Polish workers built Solidarność (Solidarity), a trade union movement of 10 million workers that had the potential to be much more. The period from August 1980 to December 1981, when the … Continue reading Solidarność: the Polish workers’ movement and the Gdansk occupation and strikes of August 1980

Srebrenica: after 25 years still no apology from Chomsky & Co.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the massacre in Srebrenica when more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by the Bosnian Serb Army in what was a designated UN “safe area”. Amnesty International’s Balkans Researcher Jelena Sesar said: “As the world remembers those who lost their lives in Srebrenica and shows solidarity with … Continue reading Srebrenica: after 25 years still no apology from Chomsky & Co.

“White privilege doesn’t mean you haven’t suffered or fought or worked hard”

My Facebook friend, the jazz trumpet player Jon-Erik Kellso, sent me this: In the simplest terms: 400 years ago white people brought black people over here, against their will, enslaved them, sold them, and treated them as less than human. So for 250 YEARS, ENSLAVED PEOPLE helped to build the country. White men created its … Continue reading “White privilege doesn’t mean you haven’t suffered or fought or worked hard”

Guilty Men of Covid – go for them, Starmer!

From (of all sources!) the hard-line pro-Brexit Tory (and Johnson/Cummings fanzine) Spectator (author of this particular piece, Stephen Fielding): Starmer’s method of attack – which coolly focuses on the government’s lack of competence – is paying dividends. But will it be enough to ensure his party can emerge from the Covid crisis in a way … Continue reading Guilty Men of Covid – go for them, Starmer!