UK

Charles Dickens - George Orwell

George Orwell and Charles Dickens

George Orwell's 1940 essay on Charles Dickens.


I

Dickens is one of those writers who are well worth stealing. Even the burial of his body in Westminster Abbey was a species of theft, if you come to think of it.

The lump: an heretical analysis - Dave Lamb

1974 pamphlet by Solidarity criticising the standard left and union response to "the lump": the paying of building workers by lump sums for a job instead of union rates on national terms and conditions. Deeply controversial at the time, it criticised the slogan "Defend the unions, smash the lump!" and pointed out that the building unions agreeing to enforce a government pay freeze in "national interest" bore much responsibility for the development.

The BLSP dispute: the story of the strike - Ken Weller

A detailed account and analysis of an important strike at the British Light Steel Pressings plant against job cuts in 1961, which was undermined by the unions and eventually defeated.

Standard Triumph strike: the full facts - Solidarity

An account and lessons of the unofficial strike by 126 workers at the Standard Triumph Service Depot 24 April-14 June, 1961. Written by George Jacobs, Ken Weller, Tom Hillier and Jim Petter and published as Solidarity pamphlet 5.

Self-management and the limits of recuperation: Solidarity discussion bulletin

A publication of discussion ongoing in Solidarity around the "ideology" of self-management in the group, including whether it could be recuperated into capitalism. The discussion followed publication of Maurice Brinton's Malaise on the left.

What next for engineers? - Ken Weller

1972 reprint by Big Flame of a Solidarity pamphlet by Ken Weller about the learnings for workers from the ten-week strike at Ford Dagenham in 1962, as Ford management begin to get tough at the Halewood plant.

The socialist programme - Socialism Reaffirmed

Second text by Socialism Reaffirmed, later renamed Solidarity, laying out a libertarian socialist programme. Breaking with the politics of social democracy and Trotskyism, it tries to set forth the tasks of the socialist revolution and aims at eliminating the road which the working class can take to emancipate itself. Published around 1960.

UK storms: a vision of the future

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-26169252

The UK has been hit by a series of strong storms throughout January and into February, with no end in sight. This offers a case study of capitalism under climate change.

The current string of back-to-back storms has been described as "an almost unprecedented natural crisis". We should point out that attribution of any single weather event, or even sequence of events, to climate change, is almost impossible. A common American analogy is to baseball.

On union scabbing

Some quick thoughts on the need to respect picket lines and the challenge of the anti-strike laws and multi-union workplaces.

As I detailed all the way back in October, a civil service senior management union has taken a stronger stance over key issues in HM Revenue & Customs than the 'left wing' union PCS.

An account of winning reinstatement for a suspended worker

A short account from a friend of ours of how he and his colleagues managed to get a member of staff who had been suspended on disciplinary grounds reinstated.

A couple of years ago I was working in a local council in a children's social services of 60 people. The team was overwhelmingly female and ethnically very diverse. Half of the workers were Unison members, and I was one of two shop stewards.