14 May 2007

Hot Iron

Communists like to think that the bourgeois media invariably play a union-busting role when big strikes are on the go. That may often be so. But time and chance play tricks with the affairs of people, including media folk.

When Amy Musgrave and Sue Blaine’s article opining that the forthcoming public-service strike had been “dealt a blow” was given front-page splash treatment in Friday’s Business Day under the heading “
Union split threatens to derail Cosatu strike bid”, the paper’s editors may not have realised that their story would galvanise the eight COSATU and other “independent” public-sector unions into an immediate and firm show of unity.

Musgrave’s next contribution, in Saturday’s Weekender, followed the unions’ unity statement after their meeting on Friday afternoon. It was headed “Million public sector workers set to strike”. A veritable “bouleversement”! See the link below.

Lending strength to the unions’ argument is another Weekender piece by Mariam Isa, showing that the growth in the economy has been understated (see link). The money is there. Let the government pay up. Maybe even the bourgeoisie can see that it is no good squeezing public service workers. The consequences of such a miserable policy are all around us.

Also in the Weekender is a story about the tailing of SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande by unknown surveillance operatives. This is a serious matter and should be given proper attention. Why is it not being dealt with? See the third link below.

Meanwhile in Poland, the Polish Constitutional Court has thrown out an anti-communist witch-hunt law. That can’t be bad. Even bourgeois courts can come through with the goods at times.

And in India, in the 170-million-population state of Uttar Pradesh, an “untouchable” or Dalit woman, Mayawati, in the tradition of the great
B R Ambedkar, the better rival of M K Gandhi. See the link.

For Durbanites, there will be a seminar tomorrow (Tuesday) at the CCS at 12h30 on "Globalisation and Urban Fragmentation" by John Turner’s protagonist Rod Burgess. Turner (see picture), author of “
Housing by People”, is now 80 years old and probably won’t be making the trip, which is a pity. He wrote in the tradition of Lewis Mumford, Steen Eiler Rasmussen and others of that classic ilk. Burgess is only a utilitarian masquerading as a proletarian. The CU has some of Burgess's material, thanks to Patrick Bond. When there is time to take out the "hard returns", it will go up in our archive.

Tuesday evening is
Communist University evening. We meet in the SACP Boardroom, 3rd floor, COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein at 17h00. The text we will discuss on the 15th is extracts from the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, by Karl Marx.

This post is delayed. It should have gone out at least 12 hours ago. Blame Telkom ADSL. It’s time to look seriously at iBurst.

Click on these links:

Million public sector workers set to strike, Amy Musgrave, Weekender (420 words)

Bigger economy is a fact, Mariam Isa, Weekender (507 words)

Spooks under SACP bed, Karima Brown and Vukani Mde, Weekender (699 words)

Polish anti-communist law unconstitutional, Matthew Day, Telegraph (277 words)

Surprise landslide in Indian state election, Randeep Ramesh, Guardian (549 words)


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