John (Jack) Rice played an important role in many organisations. He recognised the critical relationship between theory and activism. He will be greatly missed, writes Paul Petit.
“It is a war between the majority of [Labour] MPs and the overwhelming majority of Labour Party members — hundreds and thousands of them,” says Kate Hudson, the national secretary of English party Left Unity, on the struggle over Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party. Hudson, who is also general secretary for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, was speaking to Melbourne community radio station 3CR's Solidarity Breakfast show on July 23.
The executive committee of Left Unity, a socialist group in England, issued the following statement on the outcome of Britain's referendum on leaving the European Union. *** Left Unity deplores the Leave outcome of the EU Referendum. This referendum came from pressure from the far right — driven by anti-immigration sentiment, fuelled by racism. This has been the most reactionary national campaign in British political history, resulting in an open emergence of the extreme right.
The unity discussions between the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative have come to an end. In a November 3 letter on behalf of the Socialist Alternative National Executive, Mick Armstrong wrote: “The overall political projects of both organisations are not sufficiently similar to carry through a sustained and productive unity that could advance the cause of the revolutionary left in Australia and the broader class struggle.” The Socialist Alternative letter lists four major political differences:
I am a 32-year-old mother of two from suburban Perth. I am writing in regard to the case of Latifa, a 31-year-old woman of the persecuted Rohingya people of Myanmar [Burma], who recently gave birth in immigration detention. Her newborn child is in NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] and her access is strictly limited due to the harsh and inhuman policies of your department. The child has never had any contact with its father also held by your department.
A two-day seminar, "Organising for 21st century socialism", drew 150 people from around Australia to Sydney over June 8-9. The seminar hosted US author and socialist activist Paul Le Blanc. Le Blanc is the author of Lenin and the Revolutionary Party and A Short History of the US Working Class, and spoke at the conference on the topic “Lessons from Lenin for 21st century socialism”. The talk prompted constructive debate about how to organise a socialist party in Australia today.
A capacity crowd of about 350 people filled the room for the opening night of the Marxism 2013 conference in Melbourne on March 28. The forum, called "Uniting the left to resist austerity, war and crisis", heard from six speakers, including Australian unionist Bob Carnegie, striking airline union PALEA president Gerry Rivera, US teacher and socialist Brian Jones, Socialist Alliance co-convener Peter Boyle, Socialist Alternative national executive member Vashti Kenway, and the Revolutionary Socialist Party's (RSP) Kim Bullimore.
Once again the question of left unity is on the agenda in Australia. There have been exploratory talks between the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative and also between the Socialist Alliance and the Communist Party of Australia (CPA). The Socialist Alliance and the CPA worked together in a Housing Action election ticket in the Sydney City Council elections this year.
In a daring and audacious move, Matt McCarten, General Secretary of the Unite Union, announced his candidacy in the Mana By Election in Wellington earlier today. Matt has had a quarter of century's experience fighting for New Zealand's poorest workers, and was a founding member of both the New Labour Party and the Alliance. Now standing as a member of the Independent Left, he would make an excellent champion for the thousands of low-paid and unemployed workers in Mana.