1) BILL C-59: ANOTHER THREAT TO DEMOCRACY
2) AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL!
3) YCL-LJC PREPARES FOR 19TH WORLD FESTIVAL OF YOUTH & STUDENTS
4) INDIGENOUS MOVEMENTS & ALLIES CALL FOR JULY 1 NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION
5) 150 YEARS, NO REASON TO PARTY - Editorial
6) CUBANS REJECT LATEST U.S. THREATS - Editorial
7) THE GRENFELL FIRE: AUSTERITY IS TERRORISM
8) THE EVOLUTION OF A SOCIAL MOVEMENT
9) TUDEH PARTY SLAMS WASHINGTON’S AGGRESSION
10) THERESA MAY’S POLITICAL CAREER DEAD IN THE WATER?
11) MUSIC NOTES, by Wally Brooker
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following articles are from the July 1-31, 2017, issue of People's
By Liz Rowley, leader of the
Communist Party of Canada
Bill C-59, the Liberals’ new national security legislation, is a cleaned up continuation of the Tories’ infamous and draconian Bill C-51 - which the Liberals voted for despite mass country-wide protests. Their 2015 campaign promise to amend C-51 if elected were widely understood to mean they would rewrite it to expunge the dangerously authoritarian, repressive and anti-democratic core of the legislation. Two years later, the Liberals have produced C-59, the twin brother of C-51, cleaned-up, but no less dangerous to our civil, labour and democratic rights.
Much attention in this Bill is given to oversight, and with good reason. In 1984, following the McDonald Commission Report into RCMP wrong-doing, CSIS was set up to separate policing from intelligence gathering, and steps were taken to establish oversight to keep the RCMP law-abiding, and to end its extensive illegal activities, which included extensive spying and ‘dirty tricks’ aimed at the labour and democratic movements, political parties and movements in Quebec, and left-wing political parties and individuals (including the Communist Party). The dirty tricks included break-ins, forgeries, a barn-burning in
The McDonald Commission concluded that oversight by a separate new organization was essential. That was to be the function of SIRC – the Security Intelligence Review Committee.
Bill C-59 combines national security and oversight into one conglomerate organization, so that the spies and spooks will now be self-regulating under a new “super-SIRC”. Stream-lined it is, but very dangerous to democracy at home and abroad. Furthermore, much hinges on the political views of the government of the day, since “the Minister” has the power to approve all of the agency’s activities. A Tory government would say “yes” to whole lot of things that Canadians would find unacceptable. What would the Liberals do? We’re getting a taste of that now.
With the new Liberal foreign and “defence” policies of actively participating in US and NATO wars of aggression around the globe, and increasing military spending by 70% to pay for it, it’s clear the government’s policy is not peace-keeping, but regime change. This is illegal under the UN charter, but that hasn’t stopped the
Bill C-59 also makes clear that the government’s domestic policy is to pick up where the RCMP left off in the 1970s, and for the same reasons: protests by the labour and democratic movements are seen as a threat to corporate profits, and to the policies of the governments that serve them. Opposition to resource extraction and pipeline projects, to austerity policies, and to legislation like Bill C-51 are recent examples.
But the Liberals will do the job of tightening up
This Bill defines activity that undermines the security of
This includes: “significant or widespread interference with critical infrastructure; significant or widespread interference with the global information infrastructure as defined in … the National Defence Act; and conduct that takes place in Canada and that undermines the security of another state.”
And this: “For the purposes of this Act, advocacy, protest, dissent or artistic expression is not an activity that undermines the security of Canada unless carried on in conjunction with an activity that undermines the security of Canada.”
So much for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the right to protest and dissent.
C-51 allowed for arbitrary arrest and detention on suspicion of future wrong-doing. C-59 also allows for preventative arrest and detention, but requires a bit better explanation regarding the likelihood of future wrong-doing.
The new Bill also allows for widespread disruption inside and outside
C-59 will continue to gather names and other information of individuals to add to the no-fly list, which arbitrarily prevents access to air transport; but does allows the Minister to inform parents if their child is not on the no-fly list.
C-51 allowed CSIS agents broad powers to act, but Bill C-59 gives them new powers to break the law. The Bill repeatedly and solemnly affirms that security forces, including CSIS, CSE, CBSA, and their agents must obey the law, and especially the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, before going on to explain extensive exceptions to the rule. If someone’s life is in danger, or if time is an issue, the rules can be thrown out the window almost anytime, if the higher ups agree. The only requirement to ignore the Charter rights of an individual or organization, is to secure a secret warrant from a judge. The justification? National security. The agents involved will all be immune to prosecution for their illegal acts. In fact, illegal acts is the name of the game.
What is prohibited, without exception? Violating the sexual integrity of a person is not allowed. Torture is not allowed. Causing death or bodily harm intentionally or by negligence – not allowed. Neither are obstructing, perverting or defeating the course of justice or democracy. (This last one is rich, and the first three are not believable given
C-59 also gives broad protections to agents involved in spying, disruption, and other covert activities. While the Bill says the security and intelligence forces must obey the law and the Charter, they then set out the exceptions, which include … national security.
Bill C-59 was introduced June 20 and has just passed first reading. The Tories have panned the legislation as not going far enough. The corporate owned media says it’s just fine. The Trudeau government has indicated it will seek public input – let’s give it to them loud and clear.
The Communist Party will oppose this legislation with all of the tools at hand, including briefs, protests, public speaking, articles, and a campaign to expose and defeat the Bill. We call on the labour and democratic movements to also use all their tools to stop this Bill from becoming law. A mass opposition across the country, that includes protests, petitions, demonstrations, letters to the editor, calls to talk shows, motions and resolutions, are all ways to stop this Bill its tracks, before it is used to attack civil, social, labour, and democratic rights.
Along with this, we demand the repeal of Bill C-51, should it survive this session of Parliament. We call for an end to legislation and political action by the Liberals and Tories that threaten peace and security, including their support for state terrorism and regime change by NATO and the US, and their moves to undermine democracy and civil, labour and democratic rights in Canada.
The time to act is right now.
Pride 2017 Statement from the
Communist Party of Canada and the Young Communist League
In 2017, Pride events across
In that spirit, we salute the actions and spirit of Black Lives Matter, and in particular their action during Toronto Pride 2016, which reminded everyone that the commercialization of Pride, the role of corporations, and the institutional presence of police had whitewashed the ongoing marginalization and oppression, even within the rainbow community, of Black LGBTQ2SIA people, other LGBTQ2SIA people of colour, of Indigenous Two-Spirit people, and of LGBTQ2SIA people who suffer from income insecurity and poverty. Black Lives Matter reminded us that Pride was born in activism and struggle. However, that action also elicited a backlash from the corporate media and in some quarters of the LGBTQ2SIA community who wish to deny or dismiss the experience of racism, sexism and misogyny, transphobia, poverty and exploitation, and Islamophobia in our very own community. The reality is that the commercialization of Pride, and the institutional participation of uniformed police, have made Pride less, not more inclusive.
The social and political climate for Pride in 2017 is one of growing polarization based on class, social position and identity. This is reflected in election of Andrew Scheer as leader of the Conservative Party; Scheer represents the continuity of Harperite homophobia and transphobia, racism, sexism, and Islamophobia. Unfortunately, the Trudeau Liberals talk a feminist and pro-LGBTQ2SIA position, but have done little or nothing to actually improve the lives of most in our community. After decades of struggle led by trans activists and communities, Bill C-16 was just passed, which updates the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include the terms ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression.” It would also extend hate speech laws to include the two terms. Criminal laws now need to be updated to make it a hate crime when someone is targeted because of their gender identity or gender expression, meaning judges would have to consider it as an aggravating factor in deciding what sentence to impose.
On the other hand, the Trudeau Liberal government continues to pursue a corporate-driven austerity agenda, most recently with the announcement that it will increase military spending by 70 percent over the next ten years. This, and the continuing refusal to make corporations and the rich pay their share of taxes, means that working class and poor Canadians will face increasing exploitation and oppression, including attacks on labour, civil and democratic rights such as the security state laws (Bill C-51), introduced by previous Liberal and Tory governments. In fact, the Liberals are a party of big business and continue to follow policies (from pipeline expansion to military spending) that negatively impact LGBTQ2SIA people, women, Indigenous peoples, and racialized groups, and undercut equality gains. Similar austerity measures are on the table in every province and territory.
LGBTQ2SIA youth are particularly affected by persistent and resurgent homophobia and transphobia combined with austerity measures, precarious employment, unemployment and growing barriers to education. This is demonstrated by the fact that as many as 25-40% of
The world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place; for the LGBTQ2SIA community, the urgent imperative of the day is to unite against a corporate agenda that has increasingly fascist overtones. Homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of hate only serve to divide people and to undermine resistance to the corporate agenda of “trade deals,” raw materials extraction and exports, and militarism.
We believe that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” Adopting full legal and political protections for sexual orientation and gender expression, and gender identity, and respect for the bodily diversity of intersex people, is urgently needed to strengthen working class unity. This unity is a vital element of the broad labour, democratic and social movement to put people’s needs before corporate greed, austerity and war. Our LGBTQ2SIA community must be a key player in efforts to build a “People’s Coalition” of labour, Indigenous peoples, youth and students, women, seniors, farmers, immigrant and racialized communities, environmentalists, peace activists and many other allies.
Mass resistance in our communities and workplaces, in the streets and at the ballot box, can defeat the parties of big business and open the door to a “people not profits” government. The goal of the Communist Party is to win genuine people’s power in a socialist
The Communist Party and the Young Communist League fight to:
- Strengthen and enforce hate crime legislation, no to all forms of transphobia, homophobia, sexism, Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia;
- Strengthen solidarity with trans people in North Carolina and elsewhere in North America against new transphobic legislation;
- Struggle to expand trans rights including the explicit protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in all Provincial and Territorial laws and human rights codes;
- Make “conversion therapy”, a pseudo-psychiatric or religious practice that tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, illegal in all provinces;
- Expand the rights of LGBTQ2SIA youth: end the two-tiered age of consent laws for LGBTQ2SIA youth and protect Intersex minors from non-consensual surgery respecting bodily diversity;
- End the homophobic and unscientific blood ban for gay men donating blood;
- Increase social services and housing support to meet the needs of the 25-40% of homeless youth who identify as LGBTQ2SIA;
- End the Federal and Provincial governments’ drive towards austerity, and big business’ move towards precarious part-time employment, which disproportionately affect LGBTQ2SIA peoples who are amongst the hardest hit by social program cutbacks.
- Stop imperialism’s pinkwashing in support of reactionary forces around the world. No to the coup in
(Note: In this statement, the acronym “LGBTQA2SI” refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender variant, two-spirited, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and others.)
Central Executive Committee and the Pride Commission of the Communist Party of
By Adrien Welsh
Between October 14–22, Canada’s progressive youth will have a unique opportunity to gather in Sochi, Russia, for the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students. They will gather along with tens of thousands of progressive youth from across the world, united under the slogan “for peace, solidarity and social justice, we fight against imperialism – honouring our past, we build the future!”
The WFYS is the biggest youth anti-imperialist forum, with a history going back to 1947. Its first edition was held in Prague, a highly symbolic place, where on November 17, 1939, nine university students were assassinated and 1200 anti-fascist students were sent to concentration camps by the nazi occupation forces. Organized mainly by the World Federation of Democratic Youth and the former International Union of Students, this first festival launched a strong movement aimed to unite the youth of the world on the basis of the struggle and mobilisation for peace and against imperialism.
In its 70 years history, the Festival movement has been a key player in bringing awareness to the youth and student movement across the world on the need to mobilise in the anti-colonial struggle. In fact, Festivals were the occasion for youth from African, Asian or other colonies in the 1950s to be recognised as representatives of their countries rather than ‘their’ metropolis, allowing them to meet with young activists of the anti-colonial movements who eventually became leaders of the newly independent states of Viet-Nam, Algeria, Angola, etc.
The World Festival of Youth and Students also has a proud history of defending civil and democratic rights, whether it be in the US – for instance, in 1973, Angela Davis participated to the Festival in Berlin – or in South Africa where the ANC Youth League always provided a high participation.
After the counter-revolution in the USSR and in the Eastern Bloc, the Festival movement suffered a crisis, and so did the anti-imperialist movement in general. However, in 1997, with support from Socialist Cuba (even with the personal help of Fidel), Cuban Youth stepped up and organised the 14th Festival in Havana, in a difficult period characterised by the dogma of the ‘End of History’ and by the brutal dismantling of Yugoslavia, the only country consequently resisting the European Union’s ‘Drang nach Osten’.
Two years after the Festival in Havana, NATO was bombing Yugoslavia, but this same year, Hugo Chávez overthrew the pro-US government of Venezuela and engaged his country into a socialistic project of development, showing that another path is possible in Latin America. Eventually, Venezuela’s example paved the way to the election of progressive governments in Latin America. This all shows that the Cuban youth were right, despite the difficulties of the Special Period, to mobilise efforts to revitalise the Festival movement.
The rise of these new anti-imperialist forces paved the way for a new future to the WFYS. Since 1997, four editions of the Festival were organized in Algeria, Venezuela, South Africa and Ecuador. All of these mobilized between 5,000 and 10,000 young anti-imperialist and progressive activists, who clearly stood against NATO-US imperialism, for peace and social justice, but also in solidarity with all the people struggling against imperialism and colonialism such as Western Sahara, Palestine and Cuba. The most recent 18th Festival, organized in Quito in December 2013, was the occasion for the youth of the world to see the Citizen’s Revolution and honour the legacies of Kwame Nkrumah and Hugo Chávez Fías.
This year’s edition will take place in an international context where imperialism’s aggressiveness in search of new markets, new access to resources and cheap workforce to fulfill its never-ending appetite, is leading the world to the verge of a globalised war, to the destruction of our environment and to the rise of misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism and the ultra-right as it dangerously plays with fascism as a foil to safeguard its interests. As a result, attacks on the youth are reaching a point never seen since 1945.
As mentioned in the Pan-Canadian Call for Participation in the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students, approved by the Central Committee of the YCL-LJC last March, “Globally, the current system offers lives of poverty, precarious employment, unemployment, migration, criminalization, imperialist war and little access to education.”
The youth, however, are resisting. Here, against tuition fees, for fair wages, for sustainable development, for full gendered equality, against racism and islamophobia, for national equality and for peace. In
This is the youth that will participate in the WFYS. To them,
This year’s edition will also be special because the programme of the Festival will count a celebration of the Great October Revolution as one of its main items. This will be the occasion to reiterate the importance of this event, which literally changed the world, and to show that the October Revolution remains an example for tens of thousands of young activists from across the world.
The Festival will also be the occasion to honour the commitment of three anti-imperialist and freedom fighter who continue to inspire millions of youth in their struggle: Fidel Castro, Ernesto Che Guevara and Mohammed Abdelaziz. Fidel and Che led the Cuban Socialist Revolution and liberated this Caribbean island from
As a member organization of the World Federation of Democratic Youth, the main political force behind this Festival, the YCL-LJC
Young communists and allies will take this summer’s opportunity to organize fundraising and promotional activities to popularize the Festival movement and raise awareness of the dangers of war and the crimes of imperialism, and about the need to organize, unite and fight against this main enemy of the peoples and of the youth.
Circulated by Idle No More
In the spirit of Arthur Manuel, we want to make July 1 a National Day of Action. This day of action is to celebrate our Indigenous and human rights to self-determination, our lands, territories, and resources. It is also to educate Canadians about how their constitutional framework, first established 150 years ago in the British North America Act (1867), illegally confiscated our lands, territories, and resources, spawned the post-confederation Indian Act and attempted to write Indigenous jurisdiction— and Indigenous Peoples— out of existence.
This assault has not stopped. If anything, it has accelerated under the current government. Prime Minister Trudeau has been approving pipeline projects and continues to bank on the exploitation of our resources. He does not want to recognize Indigenous land rights. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls continues to fall short and fail many families. We will be demanding that the Trudeau government respect our internationally recognized right of land and body self-determination, including our absolute right to Free, Prior, Informed Consent to any activities in our territories, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This is a grassroots movement that will never accept any behind-the-scenes attempts to weaken our rights, like the closed door meetings of the Cabinet and a Ministerial Working-Group now underway with the three National Aboriginal Organizations (Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Metis National Council), led by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.
Instead of backroom manipulations, we demand:
- a new open truly Nation-to-Nation recognition process that begins by fully recognizing collective Indigenous rights and Title, and our decision-making power throughout our territories.
- full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls for Action, including rejecting the colonial doctrines of discovery and recognizing Indigenous self-determination.
- full implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the ground.
We recognize and affirm that jurisdiction over our lands, territories, and resources is inseparable from the issue of self-determination over our peoples. Violence against women, trans, and two-spirit Indigenous people is connected to the loss of authority over our lands. It is worsened by extraction industries that attempt to claim ownership to our lands and our people through acts of violence.
People’s Voice Editorial
The 150th birthday of
We particularly object to the sickening propaganda trumpeting the contributions of indigenous peoples to the building of
The truth is that the Canadian state was constructed on the theft of indigenous lands, imperial conquest and oppression of the French-Canadians, and the brutal exploitation of generations of immigrant workers. None of this is a reason to party, let alone to make us pay for the celebrations.
People’s Voice Editorial
Donald Trump, the shill who speaks for the big energy monopolies and a wide range of racist and fascist movements, has issued another verbal assault against Cuba, which has seen many US presidents utter similar words since 1959. Speaking in
Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez spoke about the situation at a recent news conference in Austria, pointed out that countless voices within and outside of the
The Foreign Minister added that the announced measures will “restrict the freedoms of
Rodriguez concluded that these attacks will reinforce the patriotism and dignity of the Cuban people, and their determination to defend national independence by all means, in the spirit of José Martí, Antonio Maceo and Fidel Castro Ruz. His words ring true, and we express our solidarity with the people and government of
By T.J. Petrowski
On June 14, the 220 ft. tall
The fire was no accident; it was an attack on the poor by the capitalist system and its political supporters.
As far back as 2004 concerns were raised about the safety of the building. The EMB Property Management Committee found that the lighting system was in such poor condition it would fail in an emergency situation, with two-thirds of the batteries dead. A 2012 fire risk assessment report found that some portable firefighting equipment hadn’t been inspected or tested in years. Some portable firefighting equipment even had the word “condemned” written on the side.
The building’s residents’ organization, the Grenfell Action Committee (GAC), expressed concern about the existence of only one escape route and the lack of a building-wide sprinkler or alarm system. In November 2016, the GAC warned of “dangerous living conditions,” but after years of being ignored, concluded that “only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO.”
When the building was under renovations in 2016, The Guardian reported, the owners requested the more flammable exterior cladding to save £2 (a little over $3 CAD) a square foot. Cladding of a similar material is banned in Germany and the U.S.
In the aftermath of the July 7th, 2005,
Weren’t the victims of the Grenfell fire also victims of such indiscriminate mass slaughter? Like the
And like the men responsible for the
Central austerity budgets, moreover, ensured that when a did fire occur, it would cause terrible human suffering. Budget cuts of up to 80% in some communities have drastically reduced frontline services, “visible to all in unrepaired roads, uncollected bins and closed libraries, gyms and children’s centres,” writes George Eaton. Cuts to legal aid made it more difficult for Grenfell’s mostly low-income residents to obtain legal advice, Eaton argues, while the loss of 7,000 firefighters in the last five years, resulting in longer response times and less fire prevention visits, all but guaranteed a major disaster.
Austerity kills. Capitalism kills. The only difference between those responsible for the
Queer Progress: from Homophobia
to Homonationalism, by Tim McCaskell,
Between The Lines (2016), 520 pages, Paperback
$39.95. Reviewed by Domenic Bellissimo
How did a social movement evolve from a small group of young radicals to the incorporation of LGBTQ communities into full citizenship on the model of Canadian multiculturalism?
That is the key question that Tim McCaskell struggles to explain through his forty-year saga of gay, queer and AIDS political activism. Queer Progress is both a personal and political journey stretching from 1974 to 2014. Those forty years of intimate involvement allow McCaskell to use a first person narrative in telling a most fascinating and meticulously referenced history of the gay rights and gay liberation movements. The book feels like both a memoir and a social movement history, with political theory relevant to virtually all struggles for equality today.
McCaskell uses first-hand accounts, as he says, “not to inflate his own importance, but to make the account more vivid and accessible.” In fact his gift includes a sharp analysis when deconstructing events in a respectful manner, along with a witty sense of humour.
Despite its length, the book is accessible and a pleasure to read. Broken up into four parts and four very different decades, it employs a Materialist analysis to explain that individuals’ ideas, thoughts and beliefs are shaped by the experiences they have in society. The struggle for LGBTQ rights have also been shaped by the economic reality of the time period being examined in
The conclusion, “Looking Back, Looking Forward,” is brilliant. It rewards the reader with a summary of the process
As the publisher notes, “Queer Progress tries to make sense of a political transformation by narrating the complexities and contradictions of forty years of queer politics.” McCaskell himself acknowledges, “that in the process of transforming laws, we also transformed ourselves. Quoting a famous South African activist and friend, the author says that history will judge our communities not by how many friends we had in high places, but by what we did to support social justice for all.”
Tim McCaskell is a former OSSTF/FEESO member in the District 12, Toronto PSSP unit, and the author of Race to Equity: Disrupting Educational Inequality. Domenic Bellissimo is the Director of Communications/Political Action at the OSSTF/FEESO Provincial Office.
Soaring tensions across the Middle East are part of
The statement highlighted three recent
The Tudeh Party said
Iran’s Quds Force, the IRGC-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) and Iranian ally Hezbollah of
PMU forces recently took control of the border with
On June 23, US presidential envoy to the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition Brett McGurk said Washington would not “allow Iran to jeopardise our gains and fuel instability in ISIS’s wake, by placing foreign proxies anywhere near the border regions with Jordan and Israel.”
The next day CIA director Mike Pompeo called
Commentary from the
Theresa May warned voters during the election campaign that, if things went badly,
DUP priorities seem to be flying the union flag on public buildings more often in Northern Ireland than in Britain, rejecting equal marriage and lobbing significant cash sums to community organisations run by “former” unionist paramilitaries.
But it represents some of the poorest communities in the
If it had been, having fewer seats would mean that her government will negotiate with
May’s failure stems from a shambolic election campaign in which she was hidden from contact with the voters and chickened out of face-to-face debate with Jeremy Corbyn.
However, Corbyn was a revelation to the overwhelming majority of voters who witnessed on TV, radio, in mass rallies and on walkabout a man who bore no resemblance to the feeble-minded, incompetent extremist caricature sketched by the media and many disloyal Labour MPs.
He refused to adopt the neo-liberal consensus that making big business and the rich elite pay more tax is unthinkable while squeezing low-paid workers, single parents, the disabled, the self-employed, students, young unemployed and state pensioners is just the way things are.
Many of his most trenchant inner-party critics have had to acknowledge his role in enthusing Labour supporters and bringing particularly young voters into political activity.
Above all, Corbyn has tossed into the dustbin of history the reactionary assertion that Labour cannot prosper with distinctive progressive policies.
The Morning Star was alone in the media in sharing from the start the Labour leader’s confidence that offering class-based policies and making clear arguments in their favour could alter the course of a campaign in which May appeared to hold all the cards.
Whatever dodgy deals the Prime Minister does with the DUP, she is dead in the water. She should step down now. It is only a matter of time before her time runs out, which could precipitate an early election but need not do so.
Corbyn’s readiness to answer the challenge of leading a minority government, advocating policies capable of being supported by other parliamentary forces as well as widely outside Westminster, merits a positive response.
His commitment to guarantee on his first day in office the residence rights of EU nationals living and working in
But at least as important is how well people will live after leaving the EU, so Labour’s agenda of investment for jobs, housing, public ownership, education and the NHS must be given its opportunity when the Tory Party runs out of road.
Backing public ownership, abolition of tuition fees, supporting trade union rights, building council houses and rejecting private-sector penetration of the NHS had all been put forward inside Labour but were spurned by New Labour as being unaffordable or unacceptable to the Tory media.
The new leadership showed that they were all affordable and welcomed by former, current and potential Labour voters, irrespective of what the fistful of tax-dodging Tory newspaper barons thought.
Who inside Labour now argues openly against these policies?
The fact that Corbyn’s 2016 leadership challenger stressed his acceptance of this agenda while projecting himself preposterously as enjoying leadership qualities the likes of which the incumbent could only dream of spoke volumes for the political change working its way through Labour. It signifies that, whatever the inner thoughts of Corbyn’s most virulent back-bench critics, the New Labour project is dead, over and unlamented.
While political change was vividly apparent in the party manifesto, inner-party organisational reform has run up against barriers of bureaucracy, where members of the old guard have fought a rearguard action.
Blocking thousands of membership applicants, expelling many on pretexts that would never be applied to disruptive Blairites and excluding leadership supporters from candidate selections have all been deployed to minimise the extent of change.
Corbyn remains central to the process of modernising the party apparatus to match the political advances already made.
Tony Blair forecast before Corbyn was elected leader that a left-led Labour Party could never win a general election, stressing that, even were it possible, he wouldn’t want to see it. His view, shared by other parliamentary members of Labour’s City boardroom faction, illustrates both how far Corbyn-led Labour has come and how much further there is to go.
The rich and powerful will do everything they can to scotch Labour’s manifesto policies, but that approach remains essential to modernise
Consensus around a capitalist cuts agenda must give way to acceptance of progressive change.
scores hit with "Liar Liar GE2017"
On the eve of last month's U.K. general election, Captain Ska, a group of session musicians who came together in 2010 to record "Liar Liar" - a protest song against tuition-fee hikes - released a re-worked and updated version of the same song. "Liar Liar GE2017" was launched on May 26, just two weeks before the election. Within a week, it reached #4 on
Indonesian women's choir Dialita
AFM President calls for unity
The American Federation of Musicians of the
Jimmy LaFave: 1955-2017
American singer-songwriter and guitarist Jimmy LaFave died at his home in