“Forget the Health and Care and just call them Education Plans”: SENCOs’ perspectives on EHCPs

By Special Needs Jungle

https://specialneedsjungle.com/forget-the-health-and-care-and-just-call-them-education-plans-sencos-perspectives-on-ehcps/

New research from the Centre for Research in Autism and Education has explored what SENCOs think about Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans,

The full research article by Laura Crane, Deputy Director of CRAE at UCL Institute of Education, and Lauren Boesley, formerly a postgraduate student at CRAE, has been published in the Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, but they’ve written a summary of the key findings exclusively for Special Needs Jungle.

Laura Crane

In September 2014, the Children and Families Act introduced reforms regarding how children and young people in England with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) received support. These reforms were made to rectify some of the criticisms and challenges associated with accessing educational support through the previous Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) system.

Two of the key principles that formed the foundation of the SEND reforms were person-centred planning (recognising that young people and their parents are experts in understanding their needs, empowering families to take the lead in decision-making) and multi-agency working (involving collaboration between education, health and care services).

Central to the SEND reforms were the replacement of Statements of SEN with integrated Education Health and Care (EHC) plans. These documents are used to identify the educational, health and social needs for children and young people, and describe the additional support required to meet those needs.
Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) are often responsible for the application of EHC plans yet, despite their critical involvement in the process, surprisingly little attention has been given to SENCOs’ experiences of initiating applications and transferring Statements of SEN into EHC plans.

Our research

Sixteen SENCOs were interviewed about: the process of accessing an EHC plan in their region (application success rate; positive and negative experiences, comparisons to the Statementing process, future outlook or improvements);
their experiences of working with parents and other professionals through the process (ease and difficulty); and any training they had attended on EHC plans (positive and negative experiences; potential improvements).

Three key results

The Perceived Role of the SENCO. While SENCOs felt that coordinating EHC plans was very much a part of their role, they reported that disengagement from health and care professionals made the EHC plan process challenging. SENCOs also felt responsible for supporting and managing parental expectations. SENCOs told us that a lack of understanding about the EHC plan process could contribute to parental anxiety and parents sometimes had unrealistic (albeit very reasonable) expectations about the way the educational system should work. A common misconception was that parents often expected children with a formal SEN diagnosis to get an EHC plan implemented as a matter of course. However this is not always the case; if a child’s needs could be met through school provision and the child was seen to be making expected progress, then a plan may not always be required. SENCOs were concerned that sometimes this meant children weren’t getting support until they were struggling. Acknowledging the impact of these factors was crucial for helping children not just meet expected progress, but to exceed them.

Challenges and Changes.

An Evolving process. SENCOs spoke about difficulties with the EHC plan process. Regional disparities around paperwork and practice was particularly frustrating for SENCOs who bordered more than one county. A lack of transparency around thresholds and EHC plan refusals was seen as particularly obstructive to the process. Further, diminishing funding for SEND was a collective concern as SENCOs felt increasing pressure to support children in schools without the necessary resources and services. Some SENCOs felt that EHC plans were introduced before they were fully defined and during a time of widespread reform, resulting in a continually evolving (and often confusing) process for implementing EHC plans.

Difficulties in Accessing an EHC plan for Children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs. SENCOs reported difficulties with accessing EHC plans for children with SEN who were making academic progress, particularly those with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs. SENCOs were concerned that an over-emphasis on academic progress meant that children were having to fail or reach a crisis point in their behaviour before needs were taken seriously.

Key points

SENCOs felt that EHC plans were still being perceived as education documents and were not yet the wraparound care plans that had been envisioned. Despite frustrations with the process, when person-centred planning and collaborative working came together, experiences and outcomes were encouragingly positive, and SENCOs felt that EHC plans had the potential to be powerful tools.

Improvements to the process may include: the establishment and integration of evidence-based frameworks to improve person-centred and multi-agency working; greater collaboration between Local Authorities and SENCOs to reduce procedural challenges (e.g., regional disparities); and greater awareness of the challenges of accessing EHC plans for children with SEMH needs.

About the authors

Laura Crane is Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at UCL Institute of Education (see crae.ioe.ac.uk). Lauren Boesley was a postgraduate student at CRAE (2016-17) and now works as a Research and Development Assistant at Norfolk County Council. Later this year, Lauren will return to UCL Institute of Education to train as an Educational Psychologist.

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What Does Government’s Neo-liberal Agenda Have in Store for the NHS on its 70th Anniversary?

In the run up to the 70th anniversary of the NHS on July 5 this year, Theresa May announced before Easter that she pledged to bring forward a long-term funding plan for the NHS in response to growing concerns that key health services are being overwhelmed by rising demand. She said,

“This year and in advance of next year’s spending review I do want to come forward with a long-term plan. I want that to be done in conjunction with NHS leaders and provide a multiyear funding settlement consistent with our fiscal rules and balanced approach.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has appealed to his colleagues for ideas, promising in a letter to all Tory MPs that solutions for the NHS and proposals on social care will be settled by the summer. It was expected his Green Paper would appear before the summer, “to jump-start debate” on where future social care funding should come from.

Ahead of this Green Paper, the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee and the Health Committee have been taking evidence on the long-term funding of adult social care.

The scope of this short inquiry is said to be “to identify funding reforms which will command broad consensus”. As an indication of where this is leading, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, told the inquiry on April 24 that in his view the homes of pensioners’ should be used to fund social care rather than any major tax rises on those of working age. It is significant that these are presented as the two alternatives. Simon Stevens cast his proposal in terms of “fairness”, indicating that pensioners’ homes should not be sold until after their death to recoup the costs of social care, thus attempting to distance the proposal from that of Theresa May for a so-called “dementia tax” in her ill-fated election manifesto. Simon Stevens put it this way to the inquiry: “I think there are big questions about intergenerational fairness and what the right way to raise resources is, given the relatively advantaged position of my parents’ generation relative to my children’s generation.” He suggested that any “sustainable” solution would make use of an alleged £1.5 trillion “accumulated housing wealth”.[1]

In addition, it was reported that a cross-party group of MPs including former ministers, is again urging the government to convert National Insurance into a specific tax for the NHS. Following this it was said that the Health Secretary is reported to be be open to the idea of a specific tax for the NHS.

The reports have also said there is a “cross party back-bench revolution” linked to whether a new “centre party may emerge”. MPs who are loyal to Jeremy Corbyn have distanced themselves from any cross party consensus and Corbyn himself has maintained that health care is a right in a modern society.

One thing which is certain is that these speculative announcements, whether for bigger financial commitment to the NHS or a “cross party consensus” on how the NHS and social care should be funded, are all being driven by the government’s neo-liberal agenda in health with no guarantees that the right to health care will be guaranteed and even maintained free at the point of use.

Under present arrangements health authorities are no longer responsible for the health care of the population, nationally, regionally and locally. Councils are no longer able to fund social care out of their decimated budgets. The response of government is to dictate further the transformation of the health and social care services into a corporate-led system. The present system poses as a GP-led system set up under the government’s chief commissioner NHS England with its network of clinical commissioners (CCGs). It is being further transformed with newly proposed “Integrated Care Systems”, previously called “Sustainability and Transformation Plans” (STPs).

For example, the Health Service Journal[2] reported last month that Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and North Durham; Darlington, Teesside, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby; and West, North and East Cumbria were in talks to become an integrated care system by April 2019. It would cover a population of 3.2 million. The rationale is supposedly to “make difficult decisions” about and provide a “mechanism for managing financial risk” over a vast area of the northern region and part of north Yorkshire. Such organisations are being set up, not to plan and take up responsibility for health and social care services to meet the needs of local populations, but to manage the health market in the interests of competing public and private corporate organisations and to dictate the rationing of these services far away from any control by local populations. This puts aside any responsibility to actually provide and guarantee access to acute, community, mental health and social care services for every region and locality.

This agenda which under present arrangements is already reducing safe access to vital health services for whole swathes of the population in England is being further pursued in the present deconstruction of local District Hospital acute services and the local GP services across England. This is the “long-term plan” to switch funding into a community service that is intended to be predominately dominated by the private sector companies leaving acute services mainly provided by public Trusts chronically underfunded and forced to compete with each other for funds and clinical staff in order to provide acute, community and mental health services.

This is what is behind the increasing crisis in the NHS which is being compounded by hospital service takeovers and downgrading of services, adding to loss of acute services and thousands of much needed beds in many local hospitals. It is also behind increasing contracts given to private companies to manage GP and community services, hospital admissions and private online GP services that will de-register more and more patients and funding from the local GP system restricting further access to local GPs.

What has to be emphasised as we approach this 70th anniversary of the NHS is that society has to have a plan that recognises that health care is a right and that right must be guaranteed by government. The NHS is a vital part of the socialised economy, that needs to operate at the highest level in preventing illness, providing health care and when needed immediate emergency care, to the whole population and cannot be subject to the vagaries of any corporate neo-liberal profit making agenda.

Also, health as a right cannot be planned on the basis of excluding people by any form of insurance payment whether public, or private. Health care is the claim of all on the economy, on the value that is added to society by the working class and people. Health workers provide vital and accessible health services to all and in doing so create value in the socialised economy by curing people when sick and injured and keeping healthy the human resources of society and all those who live and work in it. This new value is consumed by big corporations in contracting to employ the labour power of a healthy workforce. This is value which should not simply be expropriated by them but should be claimed by the government as value that can then be used to fund the NHS as it should be.

In preparing for the 70th anniversary of the NHS, health workers and the people as a whole as they fight in every part of the country to safeguard the future of the NHS need to discuss how to build this fight for a new NHS. Such an NHS must at the very least not exist as a pay-the-rich enterprise, and must meet the claims of all for health care as of right. Ultimately, to fight for the right to health care to be guaranteed it must be recognised that the decision-making power of the working people is required over society and its economy.

Notes:

[1] For further details of this inquiry and the evidence presented, see

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/long-term-funding-of-adult-social-care-17-19/

[2] Health Service Journal “Three STPs to share leader and form integrated care system”, By Joe Gammie, April 10 2018

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Bicentenary of the Birth of Karl Marx


May 5, 1818 — March 14, 1883

 

Biography of Marx

The following biography of Karl Marx was written by Frederick Engels in June, 1877, six years before Marx passed away on March 14, 1883. First published in the Volkskalender, an almanac which appeared in Brunswick in 1878, it was translated from the original German by the Foreign Languages Publishing House of the Soviet Union in 1955 and published in a pamphlet titled On Marx.

***

Karl Marx, the man who was the first to give socialism, and thereby the whole labour movement of our day, a scientific foundation, was born at Trier in 1818. He studied in Bonn and Berlin, at first taking up law, but he soon devoted himself exclusively to the study of history and philosophy, and in 1842 was on the point of establishing himself as an assistant professor in philosophy when the political movement which had arisen since the death of Frederick William III directed his life into a different channel. With his collaboration, the leaders of the Rhenish liberal bourgeoisie, the Camphausens, Hansemanns, etc., had founded, in Cologne, the Rheinische Zeitung[1] and in the autumn of 1842, Marx, whose criticism of the proceedings of the Rhenish Landtag diet had excited very great attention, was put at the head of the paper. The Rheinische Zeitung naturally appeared under censorship, but the censorship could not cope with it.[2] The Rheinische Zeitung almost always got through the articles which mattered; the censor was first supplied with insignificant fodder for him to strike out, until he either gave way of himself or was compelled to give way by the threat that then the paper would not appear the next day. Ten newspapers with the same courage as the Rheinische Zeitung and whose publishers would have allowed a few hundred thalers extra to be expended on typesetting — and the censorship would have been made impossible in Germany as early as 1843. But the German newspaper owners were petty-minded, timid philistines and the Rheinische Zeitung carried on the struggle alone. It wore out one censor, after another; finally it came under a double censorship; after the first censorship the Regierungspräsident[3] had once more and finally to censor it. That also was of no avail. In the beginning of 1843, the government declared that it was impossible to keep this newspaper in check and suppressed it without more ado.

Marx, who in the meanwhile had married the sister of von Westphalen, later minister of the reaction, removed to Paris, and there, in conjunction with A. Ruge, published the German-French Annuals, in which he opened the series of his socialist writings with a Criticism of the Hegelian Philosophy of Law. Further, together with F. Engels, The Holy Family: Against Bruno Bauer and Co., a satirical criticism of one of the latest forms blunderingly assumed by the German philosophical idealism of that time.

The study of political economy and of the history of the Great French Revolution still allowed Marx time enough for occasional attacks on the Prussian government; the latter revenged itself in the spring of 1845 by securing from the Guizot ministry — Herr Alexander von Humboldt is said to have acted as intermediary — his expulsion from France. Marx shifted his domicile to Brussels and published there in French in 1847: The Poverty of Philosophy, a criticism of Proudhon’s Philosophy of Poverty, and in 1848 Discourse on Free Trade. At the same time he made use of the opportunity to found a German workers’ society in Brussels and so commenced practical agitation. The latter became still more important for him when he and his political friends in 1847 entered the secret Communist League, which had already been in existence for a number of years. Its whole structure was now radically changed; this association, which previously was more or less conspiratorial, was transformed into a simple organization of Communist propaganda, which was only secret because necessity compelled it to be so, the first organization of the German social-democratic party. The League existed wherever German workers’ unions were to be found; in almost all of these unions in England, Belgium, France and Switzerland, and in very many of the unions in Germany the leading members belonged to the League and the share of the League in the incipient German labour movement was very considerable. Moreover, our League was the first which emphasized the international character of the whole labour movement and realized it in practice, which had Englishmen, Belgians, Hungarians, Poles, etc., as members and which organized international labour meetings, especially in London.


An original page of the manuscript of the Communist Manifesto.

The transformation of the League took place at two congresses held in 1847, the second of which resolved on the elaboration and publication of the fundamental principles of the Party in a manifesto to be drawn up by Marx and Engels. Thus arose the Manifesto of the Communist Party, which first appeared in 1848, shortly before the February Revolution, and has since been translated into almost all the European languages.

The Deutsche Brüsseler Zeitung,[4] in which Marx participated and which mercilessly exposed the blessings of the police regime of the fatherland, caused the Prussian government to try to effect Marx’s expulsion once more, but in vain. When, however, the February Revolution resulted in popular movements also in Brussels, and a radical change appeared to be imminent in Belgium, the Belgian government arrested Marx without ceremony and deported him. In the meanwhile, the French Provisional Government had sent him through Flocon an invitation to return to Paris, and he accepted this call.

In Paris he came out especially against the swindle, widespread among the Germans there, of wanting to form the German workers in France into armed legions in order to carry the revolution and the republic into Germany. On the one hand, Germany had to make her revolution herself, and, on the other hand, every revolutionary foreign legion formed in France was betrayed in advance by the Lamartines of the Provisional Government to the government which was to be overthrown, as occurred in Belgium and Baden.

After the March Revolution, Marx went to Cologne and founded there the Neue Rheinische Zeitung,[5] which was in existence from June 1, 1848 to May 19, 1849 — the only paper which represented the standpoint of the proletariat within the democratic movement of the time, as shown in its unreserved championship of the Paris June insurgents of 1848, which cost the paper the defection of almost all its shareholders.

In vain the Kreuzzeitung,[6] pointed to the “Chimborazo[7] impudence” with which the Neue Rheinische Zeitung attacked everything sacred, from the king and vice-regent of the realm down to the gendarme, and that, too, in a Prussian fortress with a garrison of 8,000 at that time. In vain was the rage of the Rhenish liberal philistines, who had suddenly become reactionary. In vain was the paper suspended by martial law in Cologne for a lengthy period in the autumn of 1848. In vain the Reich Ministry of Justice in Frankfurt denounced article after article to the Cologne Public Prosecutor in order that judicial proceedings should be taken. Under the very eyes of the police the paper calmly went on being edited and printed, and its distribution and reputation increased with the vehemence of its attacks on the government and the bourgeoisie. When the Prussian coup d’étattook place in November 1848, the Neue Rheinische Zeitung called at the head of each issue upon the people to refuse to pay taxes and to meet violence with violence. In the spring of 1849, both on this account and because of another article, it was made to face a jury, but on both occasions was acquitted. Finally, when the May risings of 1849 in Dresden and the Rhine province had been suppressed, and the Prussian campaign against the Baden-Palatinate rising had been inaugurated by the concentration and mobilization of considerable masses of troops, the government believed itself strong enough to suppress the Neue Rheinische Zeitung by force. The last number — printed in red ink — appeared on May 19.

Marx again went to Paris, but only a few weeks after the demonstration of June 13, 1849 he was faced by the French government with the choice of either shifting his residence to Brittany or leaving France. He preferred the latter and moved to London, where he has lived uninterruptedly ever since. An attempt to continue to issue the Neue Rheinische Zeitung in the form of a review (in Hamburg, 1850) had to be given up after a while in view of the ever-increasing violence of the reaction. Immediately after the coup d’etat in France in December 1851, Marx published: The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (Boston 1852; second edition, Hamburg 1869, shortly before the war). In 1853 he wrote: Revelations About the Cologne Communist Trial (first printed in Basle, later in Boston, and again recently in Leipzig).

After the condemnation of the members of the Communist League in Cologne, Marx withdrew from political agitation and for ten years devoted himself, on the one hand, to the study of the rich treasures offered by the library of the British Museum in the sphere of political economy, and, on the other hand, to writing for the New York Tribune,[8] which up to the outbreak of the American Civil War published not only contributions signed by him but also numerous leading articles on conditions in Europe and Asia from his pen. His attacks on Lord Palmerston, based on an exhaustive study of British official documents, were reprinted in London in pamphlet form.

As the first fruit of his many years of study of economics, there appeared in 1859 A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Part I (Berlin, Duncker). This work contains the finest coherent exposition of the Marxian theory of Value, including the doctrine of money. During the Italian War Marx, in the German newspaper Das Volk,[9] appearing in London, attacked Bonapartism, which at that time posed as liberal and playing the part of liberator of the oppressed nationalities, and also the Prussian policy of the day, which under the cover of neutrality was seeking to fish in troubled waters. In this connection it was necessary to attack also Herr Karl Vogt, who at that time, on the commission of Prince Napoleon (Plon-Plon) and in the pay of Louis Napoleon, was carrying on agitation for the neutrality, and indeed the sympathy, of Germany. When Vogt heaped upon him the most abominable and deliberately false calumnies, Marx answered with: Herr Vogt (London, 1860), in which Vogt and the other gentlemen of the imperialist sham-democratic gang were exposed, and Vogt himself on the basis of both external and internal evidence was convicted of receiving bribes from the December empire. The confirmation came just ten years later: in the list of the Bonaparte hirelings, found in the Tuileries in 1870 and published by the September government, there was the following entry under the letter V: Vogt-in August 1859 there were remitted to him-Frs. 40,000.”

Finally, in 1867 there appeared in Hamburg: Capital, a Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production,Volume I, Marx’s chief work, which expounds the foundations of his economic-socialist conceptions and the main features of his criticism of existing society, the capitalist mode of production and its consequences. The second edition of this epoch-making work appeared in 1872; the author is engaged in the elaboration of the second volume.

Meanwhile the labour movement in various countries of Europe had so far regained strength that Marx could entertain the idea of realizing a long-cherished wish: the foundation of a Workers’ Association embracing the most advanced countries of Europe and America, which would demonstrate bodily, so to speak, the international character of the socialist movement both to the workers themselves and to the bourgeois and the governments — for the encouragement and strengthening of the proletariat, for striking fear into the hearts of its enemies. A mass meeting in favour of Poland, which had just then again been crushed by Russia, held on September 28, 1864, in St. Martin’s Hall in London, provided the occasion for bringing forward the matter, which was enthusiastically taken up. The International Working Men’s Association was founded; a Provisional General Council, with its seat in London, was elected at the meeting, and Marx was the soul of this as of all subsequent General Councils up to the Hague Congress. He drafted almost everyone of the documents issued by the General Council of the International, from the Inaugural Address, 1864, to the Address on the Civil War in France, 1871. To describe Marx’s activity in the International is to write the history of this Association, which in any case still lives in the memory of the European workers.

The fall of the Paris Commune put the International in an impossible position. It was thrust into the forefront of European history at a moment when it had everywhere been deprived of all possibility of successful practical action. The events which raised it to the position of the seventh Great Power simultaneously forbade it to mobilize its fighting forces and employ them in action, on pain of inevitable defeat and the setting back of the labour movement for decades. In addition, from various sides elements were pushing themselves forward that sought to exploit the suddenly enhanced fame of the Association for the purpose of gratifying personal vanity or personal ambition, without understanding the real position of the International or without regard for it. A heroic decision had to be taken, and it was again Marx who took it and who carried it through at the Hague Congress.

In a solemn resolution, the International disclaimed all responsibility for the doings of the Bakuninists, who formed the centre of those unreasonable and unsavoury elements. Then, in view of the impossibility of also meeting, in the face of the general reaction, the increased demands which were being imposed upon it, and of maintaining its complete efficacy other than by a series of sacrifices which would have drained the labour movement of its life-blood — in view of this situation, the International withdrew from the stage for the time being by transferring the General Council to America. The results have proved how correct was this decision — which was at the time, and has been since, so often censured. On the one hand, it put a stop then and since to all attempts to make useless putsches in the name of the International, while, on the other hand, the continuing close intercourse between the socialist workers’ parties of the various countries proved that the consciousness of the identity of interests and of the solidarity of the proletariat of all countries evoked by the Intemational is able to assert itself even without the bond of a formal international association, which for the moment had become a fetter.

After the Hague Congress, Marx at last found peace and leisure again for resuming his theoretical work, and it is to be hoped he will be able before long to have the second volume of Capital ready for the press.

Of the many important discoveries through which Marx has inscribed his name in the annals of science, we can here dwell on only two.

The first is the revolution brought about by him in the whole conception of world history. The whole previous view of history was based on the conception that the ultimate causes of all historical changes are to be looked for in — the changing ideas of human beings, and that of all historical changes political changes are the most important and dominate the whole of history. But the question was not asked as to whence the ideas come into men’s minds and what the driving causes of the political changes are. Only upon the newer school of French, and partly also of English, historians had the conviction forced itself that, since the Middle Ages at least, the driving force in European history was the struggle of the developing bourgeoisie with the feudal aristocracy for social and political domination. Now Marx has proved that the whole of previous history is a history of class struggles, that in all the manifold and complicated political struggles the only thing at issue has been the social and political rule of social classes, the maintenance of domination by older classes and the conquest of domination by newly arising classes. To what, however, do these classes owe their origin and their continued existence? They owe it to the particular material, physically sensible conditions in which society, at a given period produces and exchanges its means of subsistence. The feudal rule of the Middle Ages rested on the self-sufficient economy of small peasant communities, which themselves produced almost all their requirements, in which there was almost no exchange and which received from the arms-bearing nobility protection from without and national or at least political cohesion. When the towns arose and with them separate handicraft industry and trade intercourse, at first internal and later international, the urban bourgeoisie developed, and already during the Middle Ages achieved, in struggle with the nobility, its inclusion in the feudal order as likewise a privileged estate. But with the discovery of the extra-European world, from the middle of the fifteenth century onwards, this bourgeoisie acquired a far more extensive sphere of trade and therewith a new spur for its industry; in the most important branches handicrafts were supplanted by manufacture, now on a factory scale, and this again was supplanted by large-scale industry, become possible owing to the discoveries of the previous century, especially that of the steam engine. Large-scale industry, in its turn, reacted on trade by driving out the old manual labour in backward countries, and creating, the present-day new means of communication: steam engines, railways, electric telegraphy, in the more developed ones. Thus the bourgeoisie came more and more to combine social wealth and social power in its hands while it still for a long period remained excluded from political power, which was in the hands of the nobility and the monarchy supported by the nobility. But at a certain stage — in France since the Great Revolution — it also conquered political power, and now in turn became the ruling class over the proletariat and small peasants. From this point of view all the historical phenomena are explicable in the simplest possible way — with sufficient knowledge of the particular economic condition of society, which it is true is totally lacking in our professional historians, and in the same way the conceptions and ideas of each historical period are most simply to be explained from the economic conditions of life and from the social and political relations of the period, which are in turn determined by these economic conditions. History was for the first time placed on its real basis; the palpable but previously totally overlooked fact that men must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, therefore must work, before they can fight for domination, pursue politics, religion, philosophy, etc. This palpable fact at last came into its historical rights.

This new conception of history, however was of supreme significance for the socialist outlook. It showed that all previous history moved in class antagonisms and class struggles, that there have always existed ruling and ruled, exploiting and exploited classes, and that the great majority of mankind has always been condemned to arduous labour and little enjoyment. Why is this? Simply because in all earlier stages of development of mankind production was so little developed that the historical development could proceed only in this antagonistic form that historical progress as a whole was assigned to the activity of a small privileged minority, while the great mass remained condemned to producing by their labour their own meagre means of subsistence and also the increasingly rich means of the privileged. But the same investigation of history, which in this way provides a natural and reasonable explanation of the previous class rule otherwise only explicable from the wickedness of man, also leads to the realization that, in consequence of the so tremendously increased productive forces of the present time, even the last pretext has vanished for a division of mankind into rulers and ruled, exploiters and exploited, at least in the most advanced countries that the ruling big bourgeoisie has fulfilled its historic mission, that it is no longer capable of the leadership of society and has even become a hindrance to the development of production, as the trade crises, and especially the last great collapse, and the depressed condition of industry in all countries have proved; that historical leadership has passed to the proletariat, a class which, owing to its whole position in society, can only free itself by abolishing altogether all class rule, all servitude and, all exploitation, and that the social productive forces, which have outgrown the control of the bourgeoisie, are only waiting for the associated proletariat to take possession of them in order to bring about a state of things in which every member of society will be enabled to participate not only in production but also in the distribution and administration of social wealth, and which so increases the social productive forces and their yield by planned operation of the whole of production that the satisfaction of all reasonable needs will be assured to everyone in an ever-increasing measure.

The second important discovery of Marx is the final elucidation of the relation between capital and labour, in other words, the demonstration how, within present society and under the existing capitalist mode of production, the exploitation of the worker by the capitalist takes place. Ever since political economy had put forward the proposition that labour is the source of all wealth and of all value, the question became inevitable: How is this then to be reconciled with the fact that the wage-worker does not receive the whole sum of value created by his labour but has to surrrender a part of it to the capitalist? Both the bourgeois economists and the Socialists exerted themselves to give, a scientifically valid answer to this question, but in vain, until, at last Marx came forward with the solution. This solution is as follows: The present-day capitalist mode of production presupposes the existence of two social classes — on the one hand, that of the capitalists who are in possession of the means of production and subsistence, and, on the other hand that of the proletarians, who, being excluded from this possession, have only a single commodity for sale, their labour power, and who therefore have to sell this labour power of theirs in order to obtain possession of means of subsistence. The value of a commodity is, however, determined by the socially necessary quantity of labour embodied in its production, and, therefore also in its reproduction; the value of the labour power of an average human being during a day, month or year is determined, therefore, by the quantity of labour embodied in the quantity of means of subsistence necessary for the maintenance of this labour power during a day, month or year. Let us assume that the means of subsistence of a worker for one day requires, six hours of labour for their production, or, what is the same thing, that the labour contained in them represents a quantity of labour of six hours; then the value of labour power for one day will be, expressed in a sum of money which also embodies six hours of labour. Let us assume further that the capitalist who employs our worker pays him this sum in return, pays him, therefore, the full value of his labour power. If now the worker works six hours of the day for the capitalist, he has completely replaced the latter’s outlay — six hours’ labour for six hours’ labour. But then there would be nothing in it for the capitalist, and the latter therefore looks at the matter quite differently. He says: I have bought the labour power of this worker not for six hours but for a whole day, and accordingly he makes the worker work 8, 10, 12, 14 or more hours, according to circumstances, so that the product of the seventh, eighth and following hours is a product of unpaid labour and wanders, to begin with, into the pocket of the capitalist. Thus the worker in the service of the capitalist not only reproduces the value of his labour power, for which he receives pay, but over and above that he also produces, a surplus value which, appropriated in the first place by the capitalist, is in its further course divided according to definite economic laws among the whole capitalist class and forms the basic stock from which arise ground rent, profit, accumulation of capital, in short, all the wealth consumed or accumulated by the non-labouring classes. But this proved that the acquisition of riches by the present-day capitalists consists just as much in the appropriation of the unpaid labour of others as that of the slave-owner or the feudal lord exploiting serf labour, and that all these forms of exploitation are only to be distinguished by the difference in manner and method by which the unpaid labour is appropriated. This, however, also removed the last justification for all the hypocritical phrases of the possessing classes to the effect that in the present social order right and justice, equality of rights and duties and a general harmony of interests prevail, and present-day bourgeois society, no less than its predecessors, was exposed as a grandiose institution for the exploitation of the huge majority of the people by a small, ever-diminishing minority.

Modern, scientific socialism is based on these two important facts. In the second volume of Capitalthese and other hardly less important scientific discoveries concerning the capitalist system of society will be further developed, and thereby those aspects also of political economy not touched upon in the first volume will undergo revolutionization. May it be vouchsafed to Marx to be able soon to have it ready for the press.

Notes

1. Rhenish Gazette — Ed.

2. The first censor of the Rheinische Zeitung was Police Councillor Dolleschall, the same man who once struck out an advertisement in the Kölnische Zeitung (Cologne Gazette) of the translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy by Philalethes (later King John of Saxony) with the remark: One must not make a comedy of divine affairs. (Note by Engels.)

3. Regierungspräsident: In Prussia, regional representative of the central executive.— Ed.

4. German Brussels Gazette: Organ of the German political emigrants in Brussels; published from 1847 to February 1848. In September 1847 Marx and Engels assumed the leadership of the newspaper. — Ed.

5. New Rhenish Gazette. — Ed.

6. Kreuzzeitung (Gazette of the Cross): This was the name generally applied to the reactionary monarchist daily, the Neue Preussische Zeitung (New Prussian Gazette), which began to appear in Berlin in 1848. Its head bore a cross. — Ed.

7. Chimborazo: one of the highest peaks of the Andes Mountains in South America — Ed.

8. New York Daily Tribune: A daily democratic newspaper to which Marx contributed in 1851-62. It appeared in New York in 1841-1924. — Ed.

9. Das Volk (The People): This German newspaper appeared in London from May to August 1859. Marx was one of its close collaborators— Ed.

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Exhibit of Works of Art and Other Items of Interest

Portraits, Paintings, Drawings and Photographs


Left: Marx in 1839 (I. Grinstein); centre and right: Marx (N. Zhukov).


German writer Heinrich Heine visits Karl and Jenny Marx in Paris, 1844 (N. Zhukov).


Left: earliest surviving photo of Karl Marx, taken in London in 1861. Right: photograph taken May 19, 1864, during a four-day trip Frederick Engels made to London. Shown with Marx and Engels are Marx’s daughters, left to right, Jenny, Eleanor and Laura.


Left: Marx and his wife Jenny von Westphalen, at the seaside resort Margate, England at the end of March 1866. Right: Marx, photographed in Hannover in 1867, shortly after delivering the manuscript of Das Kapital in Hamburg (F. Wunder).


Left: Marx with his daughter Jenny in London, 1869. Jenny wears the Polish 1864 Insurrection Cross, as a sign of mourning for the Fenians executed in November 1867, who had fought against
British rule in Ireland. Right: Photo given by Marx to his friend Louis Kugelmann, summer of 1872.


Marx in London in 1875 (J. Mayall).


Left: Marx, circa 1870s (N. Gereljuk and P. Nararow); right: one of the last photos of Marx, taken in Algiers in 1882. Marx had fallen seriously ill and had travelled to Algeria on the advice of his doctor, where he stayed from February 20 to May 2, 1882.

Depictions of Life and Work


Marx speaks with workers (source unknown).


Marx and Engels among the workers (A. Venetsian).


Marx and Engels working on the Manifesto, circa 1948 (V. Polyakov).


Marx at the printing house of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (artist unknown).


Marx arrested in Brussels (N. Zhukov).


“Before the Sunrise” — Karl Marx and Frederick Engels walking in London at night
(M. Dzhanashvili).


Marx and Engels (artist unknown).


Marx speaks to Communist League (source unknown).


Marx speaks in London (N. Zhukov).


Marx and Engels, circa 1870s (N. Zhukov).


(V. Lapin)


Marx in his studio, 1875 (Detail of painting by Zhang Wun).


Marx on a mural by Diego Rivera on the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City (jd).

Historical Events During Marx’s Life


German Revolution, Berlin, March 19, 1848 (artist unknown).


French Revolution, Paris, 1848 (source unknown).


Barricade on rue de Soufflot in Paris during the French Revolution, June 25, 1848 (H. Vernet).


Cavalry patrolling Paris during Napoleon III’s coup, December 2, 1851 (artist unknown).


Barricade at intersection of Voltaire and Lenoir during Paris Commune, 1871 (B. Braquehais).


Barricade, Paris, 1871 (P.-A. Richebourg).

Significant Places


Marx’s birthplace in Trier, Germany, which today is a museum (B. Werner).


The house with the red door was the Marx family residence from October 1856 to
March 1864 on Grafton Terrace in London.


Marx’s grave in Highgate Cemetery in London (Paasikivi).


Marx Memorial Library at Clerkenwell Green in London. This historic building was used by
Marx and later V.I. Lenin, and today features political events by communists and other progressives. It also houses an important archive of historical material of the workers’ and communist movement.


Lenin’s office, preserved at the Marx Memorial Library, where he worked on Iskra (The Spark) during his exile in London.

Some Published Works


The newspapers Rheinische Zeitung and Neue Rheinische Zeitung, both edited by Marx.



The Poverty of Philosophy, 1847; Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1848;
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, 1857; Capital, 1867.

Monuments Around the World


Berlin, Germany.


Moscow, Russia


Czech Republic at Corvinus University (left) and Karlovy Vary.


Shanghai, China


Karl Marx Theatre, Havana, Cuba

Karl Marx’s Hometown Unveils Statue by Chinese Artist


A  statue of Karl Marx is officially unveiled on May 5, 2018 in Karl Marx’s hometown of Trier to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth. The 2.3-ton bronze statue is 5.5-metres tall. It was created by Chinese artist Wu Weishan, and given to the city as a gift from China.

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Video: Marx Memorial Library and Workers’ School in London, England

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May Day 2018: A Call to build the New:

WW Masthead

May 1, 2018

MAY DAY 2018 

May Day is the time for the workers to affirm their own programme.

Society at this time is faced with a multitude of problems. These are problems for solution, but experience has long-since shown how the ruling elite are utterly incapable of finding any solutions.

It is also increasingly evident that none of the arrangements in society function so as to resolve any issues. The need is for the New. The working class is that force that is able to lead the way forward; it is the workers who must shoulder their social responsibility and take the lead in transforming society.

The ruling elite are unable to provide the rights of all with a guarantee. They serve only private interests and refuse to subordinate these interests to the general interests of society. These private interests have become so monopolised and all-encompassing that increasingly nothing is permitted to stand in their way. Public authority and all the arrangements of civil society are being destroyed. The ruling elite are attempting to concentrate all powers in the hands of the executive to implement whatever they decide without fear of being brought to account.

The capital-centric outlook of the ruling elite denigrates workers as a cost of production. This elite resorts to straightforward imposition to deny workers any say over who can claim what out of the very value that their work has created by the application of their labour power to the raw materials of Mother Earth.

The private interests of the monopolies and oligopolies stand in ever-sharper contradiction to the socialised nature of the economy. For the working class, on the other hand, this socialised economy lies at the very essence of their being. It is the working class who must, on behalf of the whole of society, fight vigorously to defend the rights of all, rights which they possess simply as rights by virtue of being human. They can have no illusions that any other force will take the lead in transforming society.

And in conditions of increased contention by desperate falling and fallen empires seeking in vain to make themselves great again – such as “Global Britain”, with its aggressive interference in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere – the working class and people have the urgent mission to deprive the ruling elite of their power to wage war.

The peoples of Scotland and Wales must be empowered to pursue their nation-building projects on a modern basis in which the people are the sovereign power.

The need for an anti-war government is not a mere question of policy, but of democracy itself. It is part and parcel of the need for pro-social governance in general, governance with the guaranteeing of the rights of all as its central aim. Starting with the stand that such warmongering is not in our name, we call specifically for all to take up the crucial work to build committees based on the necessity for an anti-war government.

May Day is a time to uphold the high road of civilisation. It is a time for the workers in Britain to affirm their proletarian internationalism, their common cause with the workers of all lands, which is the New.

The workers need no condescending saviours. They are capable of doing better. The situation must be turned around. In affirming their independent political programme, they must strengthen the movement for their own empowerment, bring into play their numbers, organisation and class consciousness. And as a necessary part of this, the political party of the working class must be built.

The workers are already engaged in many just battles in defence of their rights, in defence of health and safety at work, in fighting for decent pensions and affirming their claims on the value they produce for society, in proudly upholding the dignity of labour.

The working class inscribes on its banner the defence of the rights of all, its proletarian internationalism, an anti-war government and an economy which serves the well-being of society and harmonises collective interests with the general interests of that society.

The working class opposes the slogan of the ruling elite, which is to entrench the Old and moribund, with the call to build the New. In this year of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, who affirmed that the old relations must be replaced by new relations in a world of socialised humanity, let the working class affirm that this is the problem they are taking up for solution, defending the rights of all and building the New!
Long Live May Day! All Out to Build the New!
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Arbitrary decision to launch strikes on Syria:

Arbitrary decish strikes on Syria

The Debate over the Royal Prerogative


Bristol protest

In the early hours of Saturday April 14, Britain joined forces with the missile attack on Syria and its capital Damascus led by the US and backed by France.

The Prime Minister’s use of the Royal Prerogative[1] to launch the attack put an end to the 15-year old convention on seeking parliamentary approval for military action. Cross-party calls to recall parliament from its Easter recess, including from sections of her own party, were ignored. A number of senior Conservative MPs joined Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, SNP leader in Westminster Ian Blackford and Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable in calling for a parliamentary vote.

Instead, Theresa May convened a special cabinet meeting, what was essentially a war cabinet, on Thursday. Later the following Monday, in proposing that parliament debate its role in the decision, Jeremy Corbyn labelled the attack “premeditated”; certainly by Thursday, talk of launching the action without parliamentary approval had become open. At the same time, to support forces based at Akrotiri in Cyprus and elsewhere in the region, a submarine was on its way armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles.


Whitehall protest, Friday, April 13, 2018

In a press conference on Saturday morning, May said she took the decision “because I judge this action to be in Britain’s national interest. We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised – within Syria, on the streets of the UK, or anywhere else in our world. We would have preferred an alternative path. But on this occasion there is none.”

The stress has been on presenting the strikes as precise and highly-limited, with the specific aim of responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against its own people on April 7. Yet her own words contain an implicit reference to Russia.

The emphasis on her own judgement as leader and the assertion of “no alternative” form the justification for exercising arbitrary powers. In the preceding week, Jeremy Corbyn had demanded proof, and stated that not only should May seek parliamentary backing but that no action should take place without a UN investigation. May for her part had simply said that “all the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible”.

It is therefore significant that, despite the Syrian government’s denial of the allegations and its request for an inspection by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the attack was launched the day before this inspection was set to begin.

Dysfunctioning Parliamentary Democracy


Manchester protest, Monday, April 16, 2018

The attack on Syria overturns the convention considered to have effectively been in place since the vote held to legitimise the invasion of Iraq in 2003. A House of Commons Briefing Paper explains:

“The deployment of the Armed Forces is currently a prerogative power. Parliament has no legally established role and the Government is under no legal obligation with respect to its conduct. In 2011 the Government acknowledged that a convention had emerged whereby the House of Commons would have the opportunity to debate the deployment of military forces, prior to doing so, except in the event of an emergency. The defeat of the Government in a vote on military action in Syria in August 2013 was widely viewed as an assertion of Parliamentary sovereignty on such matters. Yet many have argued that the convention lacks clarity and remains open to interpretation and exploitation. Indeed, the recent limited air strikes against the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capabilities have been undertaken without recourse to Parliament, with the Government justifying its actions on the basis of humanitarian need. The lack of Parliamentary consultation is sure to reignite the debate about formally legislating for Parliament’s role in such matters. Despite having committed to legislating on this issue in 2011, the Government dropped its proposals in April 2016.”[2]

For this reason, Jeremy Corbyn applied for an emergency debate on parliament’s rights in relation to the approval of military action by British forces overseas, saying:

“The Cabinet manual, published by the Government in 2011, confirms the Government’s acceptance of that convention and guarantees that the Government will ‘observe that convention except when there was an emergency and such action would not be appropriate.’


Liverpool protest

“Two years ago, even while reneging on the Government’s previous commitment to enshrine that convention into law, the then Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, guaranteed in this House that the Government would ‘keep Parliament informed and… of course seek its approval before deploying British forces in combat roles into a conflict situation.’

“Members on all sides are therefore rightly concerned that no such approval was sought by the Government prior to the air strikes against Syrian Government installations, to which the UK was a party last Friday night, alongside the USA and France. Indeed, this House was not only denied a vote, but did not even have the opportunity to question the Government in advance on the legal and evidential basis for their participation in this action, on their new strategy in regard to Syrian intervention, or on why they acted before the conclusion of the ongoing inspection in Douma by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”[3]

Corbyn argued that the Prime Minister should be accountable to parliament, not to the President of the US, and that parliament must “assert its authority”. In particular, he called for a new War Powers Act that would legally enshrine the convention that parliament be consulted on military action.


Edinburgh protest, Saturday, April 14 2018

But the issue cuts much deeper than that. The contradiction between the executive and the legislature, and over the question of where sovereignty lies, goes to the heart of British parliamentary democracy, where it is expressed in the notion that sovereignty lies with the so-called monarch-in-parliament. “Parliamentary sovereignty” is exposed as sham, and talk of “national security” a cover for upholding the primacy of the fictional person of state. Corbyn’s call for parliamentary authority is aimed at the legislature’s present subordination to the executive so highlighted by May’s overturning of the war convention.

In the current conditions, May’s action is a declaration that: this is a government of police powers, not of laws. In other words, the police powers have come to have supremacy over statute laws not the other way round, and the operation of parliament to embody the exercise of those powers. The whole debate is framed in terms of parliamentary democracy, to attempt to reassert parliamentary sovereignty versus the attempt to marginalise it for reasons of expediency or “no alternative”. But May’s action is a plain statement that the old arrangements no longer operate.

The call for a War Powers Act is one to further limit the scope of the Royal Prerogative, to stay the hand of the warmongers in using these prerogative powers. However, the Royal Prerogative itself needs to be eliminated, along with the defunct arrangements of party-dominated representative democracy that have been entirely usurped by powerful private competing interests. Instead, new arrangements that allow the popular will to be reflected in government need to be brought into being, as part and parcel of what is meant by anti-war government. The police powers of the state must be replaced by the power of the decision-making of the human beings that constitute the society, and the arrangements of governance must reflect this.

Notes

[1] The royal prerogative, according to the 19th century constitutional theorist Albert Dicey, is that “residue of discretionary or arbitrary authority, which at any given time is legally left in the hands of the crown”. It can be said that these powers are unlimited and undefined.

[2] Claire Mills, “Parliamentary approval for military action”, Commons Briefing papers CBP-7166, House of Commons Library, April 16, 2018.

The Paper further explains:

“In 2011 the Coalition Government suggested that, since 2003, a convention had emerged in Parliament that before troops were committed to military operations the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter. It also proposed to observe that Convention except when there was an emergency and such action would not be appropriate.

“While the convention was broadly welcomed, there was some initial debate as to whether such a parliamentary convention could be said to exist. Between the Iraq vote in 2003 and the Government’s observations in March 2011 there had been no Government-tabled debate, or vote, on any deployment of the Armed Forces, including the commitment of significant numbers of British forces to Helmand province in Afghanistan in 2006. Even the deployment of forces in Libya, which happened in concert with the Government’s acknowledgement of the convention in March 2011, was not the subject of a prior parliamentary debate and vote, which led Professor Gavin Phillipson at Durham University to argue that Libya was ‘not a fully satisfactory precedent’ for parliamentary approval.

“In a May 2011 report the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee called ‘for greater clarity on Parliament’s role in decisions to commit British forces to armed conflict abroad’ and recommended that the Government work toward formalisation of the process, initially through the adoption of a parliamentary resolution, but with a view to the introduction of legislation in the longer term.”

In addition:

“The Syria vote in 2013 was, and continues to be, viewed by many as a turning point in the debate on parliamentary approval. Commentators have argued that the defeat of the Government laid to rest doubts over the convention’s existence and made the deployment of the Armed Forces without parliamentary approval, from a political perspective, virtually impossible in the future.”

[2] Jeremy Corbyn, Military Action Overseas: Parliamentary Approval, Application for emergency debate (Standing Order No. 24), House of Commons, April 16, 2018.

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Sat 28th April, 11.45am, is the Workers’ Memorial Day in Portsmouth at Victoria Park

April 28, 2018 is the 34th annual Day of International Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job. It is a day when workers across the world participate in ceremonies and meetings and observe a moment of silence to mourn the dead and fight for the living.

The working class has long fought for environmental rights and health and safety at work places and the surrounding districts. In striving to provide the right to safe healthy working conditions with a guarantee, they are fighting also for the rights of all.

For many years Workers’ Memorial Day events worldwide. Since 1989, North America, Asia, Europe and Africa have organised events on April 28. In Britain the well known Birmingham Trades Council along with Hazards Campaigner, Tommy Harte brought Workers’ Memorial Day to Britain in 1992 as a day to ‘Remember the Dead: Fight for the Living’. It was adopted in Scotland, by Scotland’s TUC, in 1993, and the British TUC in 1999, [*1] the Health and Safety Commission and Health and Safety Executive in 2000. Many memorials, plaques and gardens have been made and instituted by workers up and down the country. [2]

Orion union bannerWorkers hold their union banner outside of the recycling plant.

Workers continually have to fight battles over and over because governments and laws do not guarantee the right to safe and healthy working conditions. It should be   governments which must hold all those who employ labour to account. Continuously today, employers and especially the big corporations get away with murder thanks to the refusal of governments to enforce regulations on health and safety or hold companies to account that bypass regulations in all manner of insidious ways. Instead, reactionary governments themselves bend the rules and are complicit in changing the goal posts in favour of monopoly capitalist right.

Even today workers fight hard for health and safety conditions. The employers at the Orion recycling plant in East London, ignored the Health and Safety risks for their employees. The management even refused to replace clogged up face mask filters that workers had continuously complained about. They do not want to supply even a paltry mask in a poorly ventilated factory environment. A breathing mask is meant to be changed on a weekly basis, but management ceased to replace them even monthly. The masks’ filters provide minimal protection dust inhalation. The workers, many of which are Latin American migrants, knew that their health is in imminent danger. Further usual complaints about the basics on their work overalls, protections against noise, sight, injuries, air pollution, substances and temperature, include the lack of adequate earmuffs, work gloves (so worn out that the workers often suffer cuts and sores), and poor quality googles. These Orion workers are also not entitled to showers and the toilets on the premises are said to be vermin infested. [See video of actual conditions, 3].

After a hour meeting held on Friday 13th April at the Orion plant, all the workers’ demands over health and safety, hygiene and training were conceded – a victory was won! The workers also secured a guarantee of full payment of their wages throughout the two and half week stoppage. This a victory for Orion workers, migrant workers and workers of the world.

The workers, who are all members of the United Voices of the World (UVW) union, are protesting what they describe as “inhumane working conditions” and “arrogant and callous” behaviour by their bosses.Workers protesting outside the gates were upholding the dignity of labour shouting, “We deserve respect!”

The Orion migrant workers have shown that the Government has long torn up any notion of a contract with the people who work for the good of society. It reveals what interests governments serve, and it is not those of the people it is private business interests. The “illegality” of the strike has been cited in the media. It means that workers who stand up for their rights are criminalised when they oppose degradation of their working conditions.

The monopolies always claim that health and safety is a burden. It is posited as a “cost” of production that must be reduced if they are to succeed in their international competition with their rivals for profit and dominance in world markets. This is the callous nature of the ruling elite and their government and a Prime Minister who does not want to be lectured to about their habitual behaviour when it comes to the rights of migrant workers of any kind. Labour is no cost but adds value to the product and creates wealth. The cost is when it is squandered and lost through injury or loss of life, where the long process of creating the necessary skills and experience is gone to waste.

Every day workers face opposition when they strive to ensure that their needs, rights and dignity are respected and that all workers, without exception, are protected. Safe and healthy working conditions and appropriate compensation for workplace injuries is part of workers’ exchange with their employer of their capacity to work in return for definite conditions that are acceptable to them. These conditions are being denied, creating an unviable situation in relations of production in the workplace and society.

Every passing day brings workers face-to-face with the need to turn the situation around in their favour as regards their health and safety and that of the public by intensifying their resistance and demanding a new direction for the economy which recognizes and guarantees the rights of all.

When we say that, “Our Security Lies in the Fight for the Rights of All” it shows the way forward on all society’s campaigns and struggles and always to build unity in action.

Workers today are thinking about how to pay tribute to their peers who have been injured or killed at work or have died or are ill as a result of their working conditions. Activities are being held across the country involving thousands of workers who will carry the same message, “One death is too many.” The problem of how to participate in production without losing one’s life or seriously injuring oneself is a daily concern for the working class as a whole. We can never leave health and safety the Government or trust the Westminster cartel of political parties. They will never guarantee our rights, so we must always keep the initiative in our own organised hands and strive towards those guarantees.

The oligarchs’ method is very clear: to intensify the exploitation of the working class by increasing hours of work and productivity while extorting concessions from the workers. This is also the privatisation of health and safety prevention, and healthcare by destroying or passing over the instutions of public authority into the hands of private inudstry and agencies.

On April 28, this is what workers must reject. While paying tribute to their peers, workers must hold the political authorities and private corporations accountable.

Workers will persist in their efforts to create the organisations needed to transform workplaces and make them safe. Workers will decide their fate on all matters relating to their safety at work and to consciously participate in transforming the situation in their favour. The state and public and private workplaces should facilitate the affirmation of this right putting the full weight of their’ organisations behind them.

This is why on, April 28, 2018, the Day of International Mourning takes place and has become more popular on an International level. This is why the call to observe a moment of silence takes place.

Our Security Lies in the Fight for the Rights of All!

One Death Is One Too Many!

Sat 28th April, 11.45am, is the Workers’ Memorial Day in Portsmouth at Victoria Park

Workers Memorial and Memorial Garden

This memorial was dedicated on Workers Memorial Day 2007 by Portsmouth Trade Union Council members and local MPs. It commemorates the 250 people a year who die from work related illnesses in the UK. A Memorial Garden to those who died from asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma was also opened. The siting of the memorial in Portsmouth is particularly poignant as thousands of workers in Portsmouth Dockyard were exposed to asbestos dust without being informed of the dangers.

Notes:

[1]

(Source: wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers%27_Memorial_Day )

[2]

British, A-Z of Permanent Memorials to Workers.

http://www.sheilapantry.com/memorial/permanent.html

Aberbeeg, South Wales

Six Bells Colliery Disaster Memorial

Aberdeen, Scotland

Piper Alpha Memorial

Alrewas, Staffordshire

National Memorial Arboretum

Barnsley, Yorkshire

Oaks Colliery Disaster Rescuers’ Memorial

Barnsley, Yorkshire

Town Hall Memorial Gardens

Birmingham

Worker Memorial

Blackburn, Lancashire

Memorial Tree

Bootle, Merseyside

Health and Safety Executive HQ – 28 April Memorial

Bradford, Yorkshire

Bradford City Fire Memorial

Bradford, Yorkshire

Low Moor Memorial to the Firefighters

Bradford, Yorkshire

Memorial of the Newlands Mill Disaster

Bradford, Yorkshire

Workers’ Memorial plaque

Bramhope, Yorkshire

Bramhope Tunnel Memorial

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire

Railway Workers Memorial Headstones

Chelmsford, Essex

Memorial Tree

Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Memorial Plaque to John Walter Hardy in St Thomas’ Brampton and St Peter’s Holymoorside, Chesterfield

Chorley, Lancashire

Unite Workers Memorial Tree

Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire

Workers’ Memorial Pier Gardens

Conisbrough, Yorkshire

Miners’ Memorial

Cresswell, Derbyshire

Memorial Garden

Dover, Kent

Channel Tunnel Memorial

Dundee, Scotland

Memorial Bench and Tree

Edinburgh, Scotland

Worker’s Memorial Tree and Plaque

Eyemouth, Scotland

Fishermen memorial

Flixborough, Lincolnshire

The Flixborough Disaster: The Nypro Memorial Pond and Tapestry

Folkestone, Kent

Battle of Britain Memorial

Glasgow, Scotland

Cadder Mining Memorial

Gresford, Wales

Gresford Colliery Memorial

Grimethorpe, Yorkshire

Grimethorpe Colliery Memorial

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Workers’ Memorial

Hamstead, Great Barr, Birmingham

A Memorial to Hamstead Miners

The Hamstead Miners Memorial Trust raised funds to create a permanent memorial to those who died in the 1908 disaster and to remember the mining community of Hamstead. On 4th March 1908 a terrible disaster occurred when fire broke out in Hamstead Colliery causing the deaths of twenty-five miners.

Hanbury, Staffordshire

The Fauld Explosion Memorial

Hartlepool, Teesside

Workers Memorial

Hereford, Herefordshire

Railway MemorialHulton, Lancashire

Pretoria Pit Memorial

Immingham, Lincolnshire

Workers’ Memorial

Jarrow, Tyneside

Memorial Plaque

Liverpool, Merseyside

Franny Kelly Memorial

Liverpool, Merseyside

‘The Hod Carrier’ UCATT Memorial

Liverpool, Merseyside

  1. Ball and C. Higgins Memorial

Liverpool, Merseyside

Memorial to the Engine Room Heroes of the Titanic

Liverpool, Merseyside

The Queensway Tunnel Memorial

London

Construction Worker Memorial Plaque

London

Firefighters Memorial

London

Firefighter Memorial Plaque

London

Firemen Remembered

London

Ladbroke Grove Rail Disaster

London

Lloyd Park, Walthamstow

London

National Police Memorial

London

Postman’s Park Memorial

London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5

Matthew Gilbert memorials

London, Red Lion Square

Unite Union Memorial Bench

London, Tower Hill

“Building Worker” – 9-foot high bronze memorial for building workers

Manchester

Usdaw Workers’ Memorial Day Tree

Manchester

Workers’ Memorial Day Plaque

Manchester

Workers’ Memorial Day Plaque

Manchester

Workers’ Memorial Day Tree

Markham Colliery, Duckmanton, Derbyshire

Markham Colliery Memorial

New Hartley, Northumberland

Hartley Memorial Monument

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

UCATT memorial plaque

Nottingham

Workers’ Memorial Window

Oldham, Lancashire

Memorial Bench

Poole, Dorset

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Memorial Sculpture

Portsmouth, Hampshire

Workers Memorial and Memorial Garden

Address: Victoria Park, Portsmouth, Hampshire (50 metres north-east of the aviary)

Potters Bar, Hertfordshire

Memorial Plate

Rochdale, Lancashire

Memorial Stone

St Newlyn East, Cornwall

Mining Memorial

Salford Quays, Lancashire

Asbestos Victims Memorial

Senghenydd, Wales

Mining Memorials

Shap, Cumbria

Rail Workers Monument

Sheffield, Yorkshire

Workers’ Memorial Tree

Stanley Crook, County Durham

Memorial Window in the Church of St. Thomas

Sydenham, Kent

Workmen’s Grave, 1853 re-dedicated 2003 at St. Bartholomew’s Church

Tebay, Cumbria

The Tebay Rail Memorial

Wolverhampton

Workers Memorial Day Tree

[3] Includes, video clip of internal working conditions at the plant.

https://leftfootforward.org/2018/03/orion-recycling-workers-walk-out-after-bosses-ignore-health-risks/

and United Voices of the World (UVW) union,

https://libcom.org/news/health-safety-victory-recycling-plant-workers-16042018

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘We Are Our Own Liberators’ – The Black Liberation Front Documentary Film

By the Young Historians Project

https://www.younghistoriansproject.org/blf-film-we-are-our-own-liberators

YHP presents this short film about the history of the Black Liberation Front. Along with an exhibition, the following film is the finished product of our debut project which focused on the BLF as representative of the hidden history of black activism in Britain.

This film, entitled ‘We Are Our Own Liberators’  – The Black Liberation Front, is available to watch as an educational tool for people of all ages. ‘We Are Our Own Liberators’, created by the young historians, is a broad step in consolidating the little known history of black activism in Britain, and features testimonies from nine former members of the BLF and Fasimbas, who provide fascinating first hand accounts of their experiences as black activists in late 20th century Britain.

Additionally, this film highlights the major contributions and achievements made by the BLF to the black community in Britain and internationally, these include the BLF’s influential Grassroots newspaper, black bookshops, international links, support for African liberation struggles, Ujiima housing association, and supplementary schooling. This production also allowed these nine former members of the BLF and Fasimbas to reflect on the main challenges faced by the BLF; such as state attacks and issues surrounding gender tensions, as well as providing advice for the young generation of today.

Please watch and share with friends, we hope you enjoy!

​https://www.younghistoriansproject.org/blf-film-we-are-our-own-liberators

 

 

Each one, teach one

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