Tuesday, May 31, 2022

No way to end the crisis

Some Western politicians are now talking about a compromise peace with Russia that recognises some of the Kremlin’s just demands including Crimea’s secession to Russia and self-determination for the Donbas. Most of it is behind the closed doors of the corridors of power in Europe and the USA; but others are going public. A New York Times editorial recently argued that Ukraine would have to make “painful territorial decisions” to achieve peace and Henry Kissinger, the US foreign minister during the Nixon era, told a panel at the World Economic Forum at the Swiss spa of Davos this week that Ukraine should cede territory to Russia to help end the invasion.
    Of course the old war-monger wasn’t suggesting putting much on the table but merely calling for a return to the pre-war status-quo, with Russia holding Crimea and leaving the Donbas people’s republics in an ambiguous limbo as breakaway autonomous regions of Ukraine.
    Offering someone what they’ve already got is not usually the best opening for serious negotiations. But the stand of the bogus left and much of the anti-war movement, which is still calling for an unconditional Russian withdrawal, is even worse. They pose as anti-imperialists, but their demands are essentially the same as the total war call of the US war lobby and their European NATO collaborators, which threatens to plunge the whole continent into a conflict that could easily escalate into nuclear war.
The communist stand must be for a just and lasting peace in Ukraine – for a neutral and de-Nazified Ukraine that recognises the independence of the people’s republics of the Don basin, Crimea’s decision to join the Russian Federation and equal rights for all the people of the regions of the Ukraine.

Stand by the rail workers

Whatever differences the Tories have over the EU, the one thing that always unites them is anti-union legislation. The proposed new anti-union laws floated in the Tory media last week may, of course, only be designed to wrong-foot workers preparing for a national rail strike over pay, jobs and safety next month. But the proposed new laws to ban “any strikes that did not provide a guaranteed ‘minimum service’ to limit disruption to passengers” reflects the loathing of the labour movement that runs deep within the Conservative & Unionist Party.
RMT rail union general secretary Mick Lynch rightly says that: “To make effective strike action illegal on the railways will be met with the fiercest resistance from RMT and the wider trade union movement. The government need to focus all their efforts on finding a just settlement to this rail dispute, not attack the democratic rights of working people.
“Britain already has the worst trade union rights in Western Europe. And we have not fought tooth and nail for railway workers since our forebears set up the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants in 1872, in order to meekly accept a future where our members are prevented from legally withdrawing their labour.”
The entire union movement must close ranks around the RMT if last-minute talks to avert industrial action break down, to speed them on to victory throughout the rail network.

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