Friday, August 24, 2012

News and Action

Dear Comrades
This is the third of our (just about) weekly email and blogs and thanks for the comments on the first two. The blog is still in an experimental stage so bear with us if we have some technical problems. Don’t forget, if you have any information and you think it is the sort of thing that would fit the ethos of the blog and email, send it to us to circulate and post; if you wish to comment please feel free to do so on the blog; and if you are a WLG member, please submit posts.
Next Welsh Labour Grassroots meeting and other forthcoming events

The next WLG meeting will take place on Saturday 8th September at Newport Centre, Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH, between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm. Further details will follow soon. Please also note that our AGM will take place in Cardiff on Saturday, 27th October.

You may also be interested in these other forthcoming events:

Cardiff, Saturday 25th August: Cymru-Cuba will be presenting the film, 7 Days in Havana – in which seven directors present their own different (fictional) views of the Cuban capital – 8.00pm at Chapter Arts Centre, Canton, Cardiff  CF5 1QE. Cymru Cuba will be giving a brief introduction to the current situation in the country just before the film starts. They invite you to join them for a drink afterwards and to visit their stand selling CDs, books and T-shirts.

Cardiff, Wednesday 29th August: Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) will be holding a mass 'die-in' at the Aneurin Bevan Statue, Queen Street, Cardiff, at 5.00 pm, as part of nationwide protests against ATOS, the French IT company that carries out Work Capability Assessments for the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP). The ‘die-in’ is intended to represent all the disabled people who have been driven to suicide after ATOS has found them ‘fit for work’ and stopped their benefits, or for other reasons associated with the draconian ‘welfare reforms’ introduced by the UK government. For further details, see:

Left Week

The case of Julian Assange has been one of the most significant issues this week, dividing opinion, including on the left. Owen Jones in the Independent and Seamus Milne in the Guardian are among those who have commented. While drawing different conclusions, both writers agree on the need to separate the serious allegations of rape, for which Assange must answer, from the important work done by Wikileaks, which has so antagonised the political establishment in the USA and elsewhere. Another cause celebre has been the disgraceful imprisonment of the Russian feminist punk band, Pussy Riot, for daring to antagonise the Putin government and the Orthodox Church. Amnesty International, among others, is rallying support for these courageous women. Following on from the economic discussion pieces of the last two weeks, Michael Roberts again provides two very accessible pieces that supports the points made and provides more evidence here and here.

Whilst there is a build up to the Paralympics the Tories, who will try again to bask in reflected glory, have shut down half of the 54 Remploy plants around the country and some have vote to take four day strike action from 28 August.  The thick skin and hypocrisy of this government knows no bounds.
Events in China need some unpicking after the murder trial and again Seamus Milne has managed to provide an insightful context.

Left Roundup

Red Pepper is a socialist magazine that manages to keep sectarian point scoring to the minimum and work to unite a socialist as well as a green analysis. The latest edition is full of good articles – Syriza; defending the NHS; community unionism; disabled fightback; - some of which are on the website and others will be gradually posted over the next two months. The magazine is in need of financial support so please consider a subscription and a donation.

CLASS (Centre for Labour and Social Studies) the new left research, activist and policy organisation has been up and running since May and already has some excellent work and arguments published.

CRESC is a social and economic research unit based at Manchester University. I came across them this week as an article in Red Pepper is based upon one of their publications. There is no reason to be put off by the unit being based in a university; it is providing a very high standard of evidence-based left analysis.

False Economy continue to provide a constant supply of hard hitting arguments against the Tories; here is their latest, a factsheet providing all those important arguments about why the deficit is not the problem.

Labour Party

Here is the UK Labour Party link with all the recent Party statements covering education and the Tories continued inability to understand how get themselves off their own deficit hook even though they are borrowing more, to no avail.
Here is the Welsh Labour Party link which still needs keeping up to date. The Welsh Government has just started a consultation on the future of the NHS in Wales which requires a response by 24.10.2012. All the documents can be found here and contain issues that we should take seriously as socialists. Which ones do you think we should home in on as WLG?

Labour MP Stella Creasy who has undertaken some excellent work on loan sharks and around Wonga, the company that loans money against wages, made the headlines this week when she argued that the next Labour government should prioritise value for money, trying to shift the policy agenda to the right, away from the rich paying for the crisis. What do you think?

Left Futures reported that Plaid has indicated that it could be prepared to work with the Labour Party in a progressive alliance after the 2015 election. What do you think?

20 October must be in every member’s diary to get themselves, family, friends, brothers, sisters, comrades up to London for the TUC ‘A Future That Works’ demonstration. Everyone who wishes to see an end to this Tory government should attend. Here is a link to the Coalition of Resistance leaflets and posters supporting the demonstration.

Resolutionary socialism
Left motions for the Labour Party conference are being circulated and it is important that all socialists in the Labour Party raise at least one of these at your next branch or constituency meeting, both to try to ensure the issues are discussed at conference and that the debate is had with members.

Here are the LRC motions.

Here are the motions from the CLPD.
All the best

Darren Williams WLG Secretary
Len Arthur WLG Assistant Secretary

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