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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 April 2019

Socialists say we need a workers' Brexit at Young Labour debate

No worker in Britain, the EU or anywhere else should be made to pay for the bosses' economic and political crisis, photo Paul Mattsson

No worker in Britain, the EU or anywhere else should be made to pay for the bosses' economic and political crisis, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Leicester Socialist Party member Tom Barker put the case for a socialist Brexit at an EU debate, organised by Leicester Young Labour, on 21 March. Blairite MP Liz Kendall and MEP Rory Palmer were due to speak, but unfortunately both backed out at the last minute.

However, the Labour Parliamentary candidates for Loughborough and Nuneaton, Stuart Brady and Zoe Mayou, and De Montfort University politics lecturer Alastair Jones, were on the panel.

Tom was the only speaker to put forward the case for a workers' Brexit. All the other speakers expressed illusions that the EU helped protect workers' rights, and put forward a Remain position.

Most tellingly, when asked if they would prefer a Tory victory with Remain, or Brexit with a Labour government, the other panellists avoided the question.

When it was argued that trade unions were responsible for gains made by workers, rather than these being protected by the EU, the response of Zoe Mayou was to lambast the Tory anti-trade union laws for making it difficult for workers to take strike action.

There was no acknowledgement, other than from the Socialist Party speaker, of the critical role of the working class or that workers can fight back, particularly if given a lead.

The Socialist Party pointed out the strikes by homecare workers and refuse collectors in Birmingham against a Labour council. The bin workers have won 3,500 for every worker, while the home carers are still fighting.

Tom raised the despicable use of false accusations of antisemitism by right wingers in an attempt to discredit supporters of Jeremy Corbyn like left-wing MP Chris Williamson. He was sadly met with comments of "shame", and "anti-semite apologist", but only from a few, more vocal members of the audience. Our socialist arguments got an echo with many of the young people attending.

It is clear, if this meeting represented a microcosm of the Labour Party, that it remains two parties in one. Mandatory reselection of MPs could clear out those who oppose Corbyn's anti-austerity programme.

A real people's vote is not a re-run of the EU referendum, but a general election to kick out the hated Tories.

We need to continue the fight for socialism, through fighting, democratic trade unions, both within and outside of the Labour Party.

Andrew Walton, Leicester East Socialist Party

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 3 April 2019:


What we think

Corbyn and workers' movement must lead fight for general election and socialist alternative to EU bosses' club


International socialist news and analysis

Mueller report underlines Democrats' weakness

40 years after Three Mile Island disaster

Corporate capitalism jeopardises air safety


News

Cuts and chaos. Enough. General election now!

End Tory cold cruelty: life under austerity in Merthyr

Working families in poverty: fund homes and childcare

Toxic Grenfell fire residue threatens survivors

Poor doors, segregated playgrounds

Probation privatisation failure


Workplace news

Thousands of Honda workers march in Swindon

Greenwich Unite demands workers brought in-house

Well-supported strike against cuts at Bradfield school

Chesterfield hospital privatisation plans

Workplace news in brief


PCS elections

PCS elections: Support socialist candidates


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist change not climate change

Vote for socialist mayor and council candidates

NHS marches in Yorkshire and London

Financing the fightback

Discussion and debate at Leeds Trans Pride

Socialists say we need a workers' Brexit at Young Labour debate

Reclaim the Game book launch


Opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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