NHS Jr.Dr’s to strike for 5 days. They deserve our backing.

NHS Junior Doctors will strike for five straight days from Monday 12th until Friday 16th September with a “full withdrawal of labour”

Jeremy Hunt called it “Devastating news for patients”. Hunt also asked the BMA why they had accepted and endorsed the contract in light of this development. 
Jeremy Hunt forgets that the BMA had said they would only consider the contract and as expected the Junior Doctors have once again rejected the contract. 

We fully support the Junior Doctors for two reasons, one being that a move to a full NHS service requires a significant increase in staffing levels to ensure it truly is a seven day service and current staff are not stretched. There is no huge increase in staff numbers expected and considering Hunt has promised a reduction in working hours it seems an impossible situation to force on Junior Doctors and patients. In any case, a recent government report has stated that the plans are unworkable. 

Secondly, if the workers of this country can be told that they must sign and change contracts against their will or face a possible job loss then it would mean all workers can simply rip up their contracts as worthless. They are standing up for your working rights. 

Back the Junior Doctors. Protect their rights, protect yours.

(On another note does anyone know how Hunt retained his job?)


Owen Smith beaten by grammar trickery

On searching Owen Smith under Google images I came across this poster linked to his campaign website. I read the words and something didn’t quite fit. I read it perhaps four or five times before working out what the problem is. Have a read and see if you can work it out before reading on below the image.

First of all, we all know the phrase “breathe life into..” and let’s get out of the way the fact that there is no accepted phrase that says “breathe hope into..”. 

So the passage in the poster can not be meaning to say “breathe hope back into Britain”.

Maybe he just meant ‘hope back into Britain’ to be a separate phrase all together from ‘breath life back into our communities’. Problem with that is that at worst it means nothing, at best it’s poor English and it’s here that I tend to think it is poor English because perhaps it should have read 

“..and put hope back into Britain”

It’s up to us to breathe life back into our communities and put hope back into Britain again

– There, fixed it. (UKI Left)

Get it together Owen! (Scrap that, keep on as you are)

(Original Photo below as seen on Google with link underneath leading to his Web page here)

The game is up and there is only one thing left to say to the Coup plotters

It’s too late Smith. The polls show you are way behind, the CLP’s have overwhelmingly nominated Corbyn up and down the country. The majority of trade Unions are behind Corbyn and the clear majority of new Labour members have joined because of and for Jeremy Corbyn. Andrea Leadsom stepped down from her leadership contest against Theresa May because May was so far ahead. That’s what happens during these contests. For some reason though, you just can’t concede the contest can you Mr.Smith?

In some ways you have to feel for Owen Smith. He must have felt that with the backing of the majoroity of his fellow MP’s and a few encouraging words from a few sporadic Labour members that he was heading for a victory where he would become an overnight hero. From nowhere the little known Pontypridd MP rose to power.. at least that’s what must have been floating around in his head.. even for a fleeting moment. 

The very fact he has not conceded yet however is cause for concern in many respects, not because he might actually win but because you have to ask, is the result already ‘known‘? The sheer vitriol levelled at Corbyn has been immense and to think that wealthy donors have backed Smith’s campaign and shady bastards like Tony Blair and Peter Madelson have made their feelings known from the start is it possible the vote has already been rigged in Smith’s favour? Ok, with the huge lead that Corbyn has it is probably a conspiracy that will never come to fruition. Maybe though if their plans to purge thousands of Corbyn supporters and ban the rest had been immensely more successful than it has been (and they are certainly still trying) then maybe a rigged vote would be more possible.

As it is though, I am not now sure they even have a plan. The entire coup against Corbyn was ill judged and smacked of self entitlement from the those at the head of the coup and that’s one of the greatest mistakes they have made, believing that as MP’s their power is greater than that of the people. They would like you to think that the new members, sorry, ‘entryists’ and ‘trotskyists’ are not the electorate that in fact they are nothing but people to be sneered at and brushed aside as irrelevant. Well sad day for them because every member and the thousands that support Corbyn but are not members are indeed the electorate, likely the very same electorate that removed themselves from Labour under Tony Blair after eventually realising that Labour no longer represented the common man/woman and are now returning. Labour are pulling voters in and with each passing day are creating, under Jeremy Corbyn, policies that are stirring more and more people. 

Perhaps the biggest lack of foresight by the coup plotters is not just the misjudgement of support for Corbyn and his policies but also how fed up the electorate are of the same old politics and politicians. They talk about Corbyn like he is separate from them, like he is different. He is. That’s the point. He is different and they are damned afraid.

On one final note it’s worth mentioning that the patronising calls for Corbyn supporters to behave with integrity and good grace and to condemn all bullying are nothing short of a public relations stunt for Smith. Bullying should always be condemned, but let’s face it, the PLP almost without exception are getting precisely what they deserve. There is a big difference between rebelling from the back benches or having disagreement behind closed doors to openly sabotaging your own parties chances, to sabotaging your leaders chances, because that’s exactly what has been going on and the electorate is not blind to it. We respect democracy but we vehemently oppose deliberate anti-democratic behaviour at the expense of the people. A large number of the PLP deserve to be castigated, not bullied, they deserve to be called out, not bullied and they deserve to be deselected or sacked, not bullied. Democracy is the single thing we have that separates us from dictatorships and if that is attacked then as far as I am concerned you can expect the full force of the very people that support you. Quite simply, if you want to tell a traitorous, anti democratic MP to fuck off, tell them to. When they try to claim you’re bullying them tell them to fuck off some more. 

No Progress for Planes, Trains & Automobiles 

Whatever happened to innovation and progression? 

The answer to our packed roads yet again is to provide billions of pounds to increase road capacity, in particular the ever jammed A27 which stretches from Portsmouth all the way to Peacehaven on the South Coast. 

We have a myriad of electric cars or hybrids which run on electric and petrol yet the uptake is slow and no one seems intent on making the switch any quicker from petrol to electric and I don’t know about you but I rarely see charging points for cars at service stations.

Even bus travel is ancient in many respects. The idea of mass transit is surely beneficial but where private companies run the services the prices are in places extortionate. Even less financialy beneficial than owning your own car and we know the kinds of costs involved there. Many people spend a huge portion of their wages on running their cars. Why have costs still not come down despite the fact we have reached beyond the tipping point of car ownership?

Meanwhile our railways are increasing their prices year on year yet many people experience nothing but delays, cancellations, ‘ram-packed’ services or generally poor facilities in an industry that relies on profit before anything else. The government meanwhile invests in routes that will bring further prosperity go the South whilst claiming it will be ‘good for the North’ when what people really want is investment in local services in the North but with £50Billion alone spent on HS2 what investment will there be for the forgotten Northern towns? 

Travelling by plane has developed somewhat in terms of comfort and facilities if you can afford the high prices but the reality is most people fly budget airlines where possible and the days of Supersonic flight passed with the fall of Concorde. 

Consider that we are constantly told that we are just years away from the point of no return in regards the damage to the climate, consider that the population is ever increasing and consider that the wallets of the populous are being ever squeezed by rising prices and stagnating wages.

This repeat behaviour has been happening for decades and here we are no further down the line despite some advances in technology. What have we been doing all this time? Why have we come no further down the line. At some point something has to change or we risk concreting over more and more of our land with rail and roads and we will continue to pollute our skies. 

What do we need for progression to occur, at a much faster rate? 

We need money spent on innovation and energy research, we need the greatest minds we have to come up with a cheap, reliable transport solution that doesn’t involve ripping up our current infrastructure layout. Some countries are making slow progress in terms of alternate travel but like any new technology breakthrough, it’s always expensive for a long time until the uptake becomes a cost benefit situation.

Trouble is, no one is prepared to spend the money. After all, until someone finds a solution and makes it financially acceptable then we could be pumping money into nothing for a long while. In the long term though it must be clear that we need something better. Cheap. Clean. Reliable. Most of all though it has to be innovative. 

Jeremy Corbyn may be the most radical hope we have for the future in our political system right now but even he is talking about nationalising the railways and not anything new. Sure, he could be the greenest prime minister we ever have, but those policies are in the long grass right now with the fight he has on his hands just to get elected. In all it means two things; 

One, that no-one is coming to save our transport issues anytime soon and we are destined to continue this cycle for many more decades yet.

Two, that the term ‘radical’ still has yet to be pinned on anyone in politics. ‘Radical’needs to happen for progression. We have not seen radical for decades and decades. Radical was flying to the moon and back. Radical was Supersonic flight. Radical is not repeating the same mistakes again and again. 

Is the political left in the West unfairly pro-Russia?

Many on the left can be considered on the face of things to be pro-Russia or more specifically pro-Putin in many cases. Certainly when it comes to a stand off between Russia and the US it is common to see anti-US sentiment in favour of Russia. 

When it comes to Ukraine it is rarely seen as Russian aggression as the issue but more US imperialism being the cause of the conflict. In fact many believe that US meddling in Maiden has led directly to the Russia/Ukraine conflict.
Does that view hold up to scrutiny? Is Russia a world threat or perhaps just a local agitator or is Russia unfairly criticised by the imperial West? Just what is the truth? 

Even if Russia has a lot to answer for in Ukraine does that automatically translate into a more global threat? Do the people of Ukraine want to be part of Europe or Russia? 

I will be doing a left wing self-critical investigation into the truth of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. I will be taking comment from Ukrainians and Russians directly from their respective nations via groups, message boards and social mediums such as Periscope as well as taking opinions of Westerners from places such as the US and UK. 

With all the available information from mainstream media and independent media I will be trying to decipher wether our understanding of Russia is fair or unjust. 

I am asking you, our readers, to join the debate tell us why you support Russia or why you back Ukraine and what you think is going on in Ukraine itself. We may use quotes from the responses to make up part of the investigation.

By doing this investigation we aim to give a voice to those in Eastern Europe affected by the conflict and to challenge our own perception as left wing political activists. 

You can help by either commenting on this blog or by contacting us at revsocuk@gmail.com and soon we will release the findings of our investigation.

Our Blog Has Changed – UKI Left

We have changed the name across our social networks from Fifth Opinion to ‘UKI Left’ which is short for ‘UK & International Left’. We are providing the same content as before but we feel our ‘re-brand’ better reflects what we are about. We have a new URL which is https://ukileft.wordpress.com please save it to your bookmarks and replace the old one.

We can still be reached on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/revosoc 

We are also on Twitter @RevoSocUK 

We hope you like our new look and feel.

Syria is no Civil War & Assad must retain power

Over one million people marched against the Iraq War. So many people said the war in Iraq would be futile and would create more problems in the Middle East. They said it would create a power vacuum which would result in far worse consequences than retaining Saddam Hussein as leader of Iraq. They were right. The Chilcotte Enquiry confirmed what everyone knew from the start and confirmed Tony Blair as the liar that everyone thought he was. The report came too late for the war in Syria but there is no gaurantee that it would have changed anything about what is happening now in the Middle East.

The Documentary Film maker Adam Curtis made a documentary short which many will know as ‘Oh Dearism’, in it he describes the world we live today as confusing by design, we are left in a permanent state of confusion by those in Power to ensure we never really know what’s going on. It couldn’t have been a more accurate picture especially when it comes to Syria. 

The U.S was in Syria for over a year claiming to be there to fight ISIS but there was next to zero activity either on the ground or in the air. It was not until Russia joined forces with Assad and released footage of ISIS convoys and bases near oil installations that the U.S then decided to actively engage ISIS. They then also began to release their own footage of ISIS convoys and installations. Suddenly the US was regularly bombing ISIS targets. What had the U.S been doing for the those previous 12 months? 

It transpired soon afterwards that the U.S had been funding, supplying and training rebel groups within Syria. These rebel groups in any other circumstances would be considered terror groups but we were told these were moderate groups, ones that were not hostile toward the West. To think that any arms would not reach the extreme groups such as Al Nusra is laughable. Iraq taught us that having western arms and infrastructure on the ground would likely at some point enter the hands of the wrong people such as when ISIS entered Syria using a convoy of U.S jeeps and trucks that had been left behind after the Iraq war. Now the ‘JfS’ a new group formed from the splitting of Al-Nusra in an attempt to Unite rebel groups will almost certainly see western arms enter the hands of former Al Nusra members.

“This is not a civil war in Syria..”

– Madelyn Hoffman, Director, New Jersey Peace Action, speaking at the US Peace Council (Video Below: 16min -18min +)

They promised at the time that the supplying of arms to rebel groups would stop but it continued, openly, and today we know that the US has given air support to rebel groups fighting alongside Turkish troops in the latest fighting on the Turkish/Syrian border. 

(Video below: 9th August US Peace Council representatives discuss their independent findings on what is happening on the ground in Syria. They agree. This is no civil war.)

Here we have another oddity. Turkey claims it is fighting ISIS but has also made threats to the YPG, the military arm of the Kurds. If the Kurds move into the area vacated by ISIS then Turkey will target them. On Syrian soil. 

(More on the YPG and Turkey here)

This has been backed by the U.S yet the YPG have been one of the few entities that had been defeating ISIS in the early days when the U.S and West had been sat twiddling their thumbs. 

Russia themselves have created their own confusion. They stated they would be targeting ISIS in Syria but it quickly transpired that they were also targeting rebel groups aligned to the U.S. It was a recipe for a huge scale war between two world powers but now we know that despite backing different sides it appears that the US is willing to allow Russia to target the rebels provides it steers clear of U.S military interventions. At least for now. In the meantime Russia has been responsible for thousands of deaths in civilian areas. How many of those deaths can be attributed to Russia themselves or the actions of Rebels using the civilians as human shields may never be truly known. 

In another development in the last week or so Iran confirmed that they have a presence on the ground in Syria. It had been long suspected but not confirmed officially. 

What of Assad himself? It is easy to condemn him. A dictator who rules with an iron fist and crushes rebellion. There is little doubt that Assad is a tyrant and a bully and ultimately a murderer. That though would be all too simple, as we sit here in peaceful nations watching from the outside. Assad is in reality Gadaffi 2.0 and the parallels can be easily drawn.

When the uprising in Syria began it was crushed by Assad. No one on the face of it supports a dictator crushing their own people but what has transpired since that uprising is not a civil war. The rebel groups fighting Assad now are not civilians, the civilians have all left Syria or are trapped between waring factions. The rebel groups would be known here as terrorists. You would expect any leader of any country to attempt to kill off any rebel groups. The only difference is that Assad cares little for collateral damage. 

In a region full of warring groups and factions however you have to wonder wether that collateral damage is a necessary evil to retain power. Saddam Hussein kept order also using an iron fist against rebellion and since he was deposed the region has exploded into chaos. It is this historical example as to why Assad may be keen to keep order in his own back yard. 

Like Gadaffi, Assad’s rule has produced relative prosperity for some parts of his country. Shopping malls and job creation and ultimately wealth and some freedoms as well as universal healthcare and free education have been afforded to the people that wanted it or were prepared to tow the line of the laws of the land. This is the Syria he wants to preserve and as yet another historical example we can use Libya as an example of what happens when a dictator is removed from power. Instability and infighting. Yet the West wants to remove Assad from Syria. It’s almost as if the West has its own reason for removing these dictators beyond what we are told in the media. We are told it is to free the people of a dictator but when the evidence of success in removing dictators is thin on the ground you have to ask if there is another agenda at play here. 

(Ice rink within a shopping mall in Damascus)

The people of these countries may have had it bad in many repspects under the rule of dictators but what comes after the or deposing seems more often than not, disaster for the people. 

The West would do well to ask themselves if they think it preferable to have an uprising crushed with limited impact for the country and region as a whole or their country beset by fighting between multiple nations, groups and factions, all intent on having a say on who rules at the end. A country laid to waste and the region destabilised even further, because the latter is exactly what is happening and has happened in Syria. 

It is too late now for the players in all of this to back out now and it seems set to continue for some time. Even after any supposed end to this war the ramifications will likely be felt for many decades to come.

One final historical example of this comes in the form of Iraq and Afghanistan. The hundreds and thousands of lives lost in both of these wars would appear to be little benefit to anyone. Iraq is still in politicial turmoil and ISIS remain on the ground. In Afghanistan the Taliban are trying to regain the ground they lost and Instability and bombings reign supreme. This doesn’t even begin to touch on what is happening in Yemen. 

When all is said and done you just need to look at what is happening, not listen to what the media is telling you what is happening. Turkey is fighting it’s own battles on Syrian Soil, It shot down a Russian jet and has played the West for its own purposes in regards to the Refugee crisis whilst seemingly at times backing ISIS itself. After all, they spent 3 years doing nothing go tackle ISIS in Syria and only now as the YPG threatens to control part of the border with Turkey/Syria have Turkey intervened. Yet the West continues to back this particular dictator, which is exactly what Erdogan is, a dictator. As long as dictators are friends with the West that’s fine. So it appears. The US is backing terror groups, Russia has its own agenda, the YPG has its own agenda. Every player in Syria seems to have its own agenda and meanwhile the remaining civilians are caught in the crossfire. 

Be assured of one thing though. Syria is not a civil war. It never was. This is a proxy war fought for each individuals own interests and as much as it pains me to say, Assad must remain in Power for now at least. Certainly therr must be no ‘unity government’, the West’s solution to all problems in the Middle East.