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The Morning Star

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Communist Party Meeting 7pm Monday 24th July 2017 WITH MORNING STAR JOURNALIST STEVE SWEENEY

As regular readers of the Morning Star are aware, Steve has covered a wide variety of issues in the paper.

From the repression of journalists and others in Turkey, to the tragedy of Grenfell Tower.

He is happy to deal with any contributions or questions, particularly on these issues.

Steve is also a former mental health nurse, GMB activist and a Health Service campaigner.

He will also be more than willing to discuss the role of the Morning Star in the Trade Union and Labour movement.


Striking Mears Workers Hold Protest As Bosses Talk

Posted by Morning Star in Britain 
Tuesday 18th July 2017
STRIKING social housing maintenance workers in Manchester held a mass protest meeting 
yesterday as their bosses met union officials and councillors.
The 200 Unite members are on strike over attacks on their pay and conditions by privateer 
Mears, which won a contract to maintain some of Manchester City Council’s social housing.
Mears attempted to increase working hours and has brought in pay differentials for workers, 
leaving some workers thousands of pounds worse off for doing the same job.
The workers began a programme of rolling strikes, initially three days a week, on May 15. 
On July 10 they began all-out strike action.
Unite regional official Andrew Fisher told the Star: “Mears introduced a new contract which 
meant three extra hours work, Saturday working, and a productivity agreement which was 
basically a sackers’ charter — and all this for what was effectively a pay cut.”
Mears, Manchester City Council and Unite representatives will reopen negotiations on
The company was ridiculed last month after it banned its construction workers from growing 
beards so they could “wear appropriate dust marks effectively.”

John Green reports on why artist Phil Collins has just shipped a statue of Friedrich Engels from Ukraine to Manchester, where it’s now on permanent display in the city centre

From the Morning Star   Tuesday 18th June 2017

PHIL COLLINS is an unusual artist, in that his strong left-wing political sympathies are directly expressed through his work.
With a passion for, and commitment to, people and human progress, he’s drawn to political movements and ideas, deploying his art as a vehicle for intervention and to make an oblique commentary on contemporary social and political processes.
In the past, his work has often originated in areas of conflict, shifting the focus from sensationalist news coverage to uncover unexpected aspects of life in contested territories, be it from Belfast to Belgrade or Baghdad to Bogota and Berlin.
In They Shoot Horses, he organised and filmed a disco-dance marathon in Ramallah with a group of young Palestinians.
“For me,” he says, “there really is a heroism to live in a place it’s impossible to leave, to be split from families, imprisoned by an apartheid wall and, maybe worst of all, to be forgotten by a world which refuses to understand you.”
His work Marxism Today, shortlisted for the Turner Prize, is two short interconnected films based on experience of life in East Germany which examines what happens when a whole system and culture is demolished overnight.
And his latest project, a statue of Friedrich Engels permanently located in Tony Wilson Place in Manchester city centre, keeps that German connection alive.
Collins feels strongly that Engels, Marx’s friend, financial mainstay and collaborator, should be properly celebrated in the city where he lived for most of his life and which gave him many of the ideas for which he and Marx have since become world-renowned.
It was there that Engels wrote his most celebrated work, The Condition of the Working Class in England.
After two years of seeking a suitable Soviet-era statue of Engels, Collins managed to locate one mouldering away in a scrap yard in the village of Mala Pereshchepina, in eastern Ukraine.
It is 3.5 metres high and made of concrete — not easy to put it in the boot of your car and drive to Manchester, so Collins hired a flatbed lorry to transport it there.
On the way, he visited places of importance in Engels’s life and work, a journey which was filmed and which forms part of the Ceremony event.
The statue also marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution, inspired by the ideas from the Communist Manifesto written by Marx and Engels, and Collins is particularly interested in the history of communism and what happened in eastern Europe during the Soviet era.
He’s also fascinated by the idea of transmission, how ideas travel through time and space.
Ironically, all symbols and icons of the past socialist era have been banned in Ukraine in a manner highly reminiscent of the way the nazis banned such symbols.
That’s how Engels ended up in a scrap yard.
Collins sees Manchester as a meeting point, where the birth of capitalism brought about the emergence of an industrial proletariat. But he stresses that Manchester is also a city with a strong tradition of resistance to the capitalist system, from early demonstrations for parliamentary representation in 1819 that went down in history as the Peterloo Massacre after peaceful demonstrators were attacked by government troops, through the Chartist movement to the battles of the Suffragettes for women’s voting rights.
The inauguration of the statue at the weekend was marked by an innovative ceremony, with music from Oscar-nominated composer Mica Levi and Demdike Stare and a new anthem written by Gruff Rhys, together with a live performance featuring stories of today’s Manchester workers collected by Collins.
They are accounts of everyday resistance to the current political crisis. “In harrowing times for so many, it’s more important than ever to remember Engels’s legacy,” Collins says, “and the spirit of solidarity and dignity which beats at its core.”
Thus the statue marks poignant moments in the city’s history.
But it also chimes with the new mood in the country since Corbyn’s election as leader of the Labour Party, something Engels would surely have been excited about.

  • John Green is the author of Engels: A Revolutionary Life (Artery Publications, £11.99).

Sunday, 11 June 2017

In support of the Morning Star Fighting Fund- Social at the Glossop Labour Club, Sunday 18th June, Chapel Street, Glossop.

Charge at the door is

£4.00 (concession), 
£10.00 (solidarity)

Those who wish to walk in the hills of Glossop are asked to be prepared from 10.30am onwards, with weather resistant clothing & stout footware.

The social will begin at around 1.30pm when the bar will be open, with entertainment by the Glossop Mashers, with prose from our own laureate, Dave Puller.

For those with an appetite there will be food available, where a donation to cover the cost would be welcome.

The grand socialist raffle in support of our paper will take place; we ask for some worthy gifts to be part of the raffle to make this a success.

May Is Dead In The Water

Morning Star Editorial Sat 10th- Sunday 11th June 2017
THERESA MAY warned voters during the election campaign that, if things went badly, Britain could face a “coalition of chaos.” How right she was.
The idea that “strong and stable leadership in the national interest,” to coin a phrase, could spring from an alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and endure a full five-year term invites speculation over May’s grip on reality.
What inducements will she reveal as the price for bringing the DUP on board?
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 UK, which might present difficulties for the DUP if it signs up to Tory welfare cuts.
May’s justification for calling her election — to win a bigger parliamentary majority to strengthen her hand in EU haggling — was never the real reason.
If it had been, having fewer seats would mean that her government will negotiate with Brussels now from an even weaker position.
Her main motivation, after swallowing her advisers’ assessment that a landslide was there for the taking, was to seek a huge parliamentary majority to drive through unpopular public spending cuts.
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 neoliberal 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 Britain would get negotiations with Brussels off to a more positive start than can be expected from a Tory lame duck.
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.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017


This Thursday June 1 instead of an ordinary daily paper, an election special of the Morning Star will hit the shelves, packed with information on the choice facing Britain on June 8.
It will be printed in bigger numbers than ever before and the Star will be available FOR FREE in selected supermarkets and from your usual retailer.
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