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Left Unity Wales – February/March 2019 newsletter
Dear members and supporters
A two monthly one this time as we’ve been in NZ visiting our daughter and family.
This is being drafted as the Brexit shambles struggles on in Parliament. We made clear in our January newsletteras Left Unity we oppose the ‘Lexit’ position. We are clear that Brexit will bring unnecessary and self inflicted hardships to workers across the UK as well as legitimating xenophobic and right wing nationalist politics that cut across international unity and solidarity. We see it as a matter of principle that socialists must not support political change that will worsen the situation of working people. We don’t accept that 3.7m EU citizens in the UK and 16m remain voters should be seen as ‘collateral’ damage and we will do all we can to make our voice heard.
We opposed Brexit, support Another Europe is Possible and call upon the Corbyn led Labour Party to move to the next stage of their conference policy for another referendum if other votes of confidence are not to be tabled and support extending article 50 to achieve this. If a general election or another referendum takes place Labour should fight it on the basis of the ‘remain and transform’ the internationalist and socialist policy that Corbyn supported in 2016.
We are with the ‘left bloc’ on the 23 March demonstration in London behind the slogan ‘put it to the people’ making it clear that we are supporting a ‘remain and transform’ case not the EU business as usual ‘people’s vote’ position. See the transport arrangements though AEIP web page linked above.
The rise of the far right and fascism in the UK and globally has to be a central concern of all socialists. The No Pasaran conference bringing 400 people from the left and progressive forces from Europe and further afield two weeks ago in London was a great success and an international coordinating and monitoring group will be set up. A report from the conference can be seen on the Public Reading Rooms UK website together with links to the new publications about the nature and danger of the right and fascism.
As many of you know one of our daughters and family live in NZ and we returned from there last week. I think Jacinda Ardern has expressed it right ‘they are us’ and we should join in and say they are us as well: we are all Kiwis. How else can we express our horror and sympathy with all those families directly affected than by standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow human beings.
Any politician who who deals in hate has blood on their hands, they are directly responsible, their words have consequences.
A terrible terrible blow for NZ and in Christchurch scene of those deadly earthquakes, these people are so low. NZ is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world and the population has increased by 25% over the last 10 years largely through migration without any big issue and has given the society and economy a great boost
We must fight this hate with internationalism, ‘the world is my country’ to quote Thomas Paine.
Tory austerity cuts continue in Wales through through a myriad of routes and a fog of spin, which often makes them difficult to spot until they hit home when a service disappears or charges go up. It is critical to remember that austerity is about us as workers paying the cost of the financial crisis and bailing out the banks, even though this was 10 years ago, that crisis still affects every aspect of our lives. Across Wales councils have been making a range of cuts including above inflation hikes in charges and rates. The NHS in Wales ploughs on with the three year strategic plans to cut £200m per year and the Universal Credit roll out continues. What is happening this year is on top of the cuts that have take place since 2009 and the cumulative impact is even taking its toll on UK life expectancy with rates for both men and women falling by six months.
As Left Unity we work directly through the People’s Assembly Wales groups to support and help to initiate as many campaigns as possible. These have included the huge work that the Pembroke group undertook to campaign to support getting rid of the Tories and calling for a general election on 2 March; big steps forward in the campaign to keep the Welsh Independent Living Grant, though as Nathan Lee Davies states delays are still being experienced and there is uncertainty and confusions about the next steps; and at a local level in Rhondda Cynon Taf a campaign is getting underway to challenge the closure of council run residential nursing and care homes.
If you are experiencing these cuts and increased charges and would like to start campaigning and linking up with other across Wales get in contact with us as Left Unity or your local People’s Assembly group.
How much better it would have been had our Welsh Assembly members who oppose austerity actually took a lead and refused to implement these Tory cuts instead of passing them down to us. Perhaps we will have that general election and sweep the Tories away.
The Global Youth Strike 4Climate and the Extinction Rebellion are huge bright stars of young people mobilising to stop global warming. We’ve supported as many of the actions as possible as Left Unity Wales and for us as socialists fighting the exploitation of people and the planet by capitalism are two sides of the same coin. It is inspirational to see so many young people actively taking part around the world and as the momentum continues to build so will the policy and political impact and, unfortunately, the reaction and associated attempts to co-opt the movement for ends that are less challenging to capital.
As part of the wider initiative we are sponsoring of ‘Let’s build a socialist programme’ we have started one debate on opposing global warming. Widening the engagement in this debate could be one way of helping to sustaining the momentum looking to develop direct action now as well toughening policy demands. What do you think?
The Let’s build a socialist programme initiative that we helped to launch in December has continued with a debate about tackling the housing and homelessness crisis. This was reasonably successful as you can see from the debate so far and it remains open.
We are suggesting that there are two interlinked stages to the development of this programme.
First, we can identify how, those few who own the wealth internationally are exploiting us and the planet, controlling our lives to enrich themselves and making us pay for the social and economic crises they create.
Second, with this understanding we can develop action, policies and demands that directly challenge their neoliberal and climate warming strategies by posing radical and socialist alternatives now, at all levels, local, community, at work, in Wales, the UK, Europe and wider.”
We will start the next debate at our planned Left Unity Wales meeting in Cardiff during April.
Better than Zero Wales
There has been some interest in workplace organising and it is intended to produce a new and updated information flyer – with no mistakes this time! – for a May meeting with Bryan Simpson the Scottish BtZ organiser. In the meantime we keep up the flow of useful information on the Facebook page.
Left Unity internal elections 2019
These have now taken place and with no contests those who were nominate or volunteered  themselves were elected! The results can be accessed here.
Len Arthur Left Unity Wales secretary
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