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02/03/2015: Disrupt them like they disrupt us!

  Quebec

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02/03/2015: Socialist policies needed, not deals with the Troika

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Greece
Syriza retreats under Troika threats

24/02/2015: Popular mood shows anti-austerity, socialist policies would win huge support

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Britain
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Germany
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Netherlands

Populist right stokes up ‘debate’ on ‘dual nationality’

www.socialistworld.net, 14/05/2007
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

How should socialists reply?

Bas De Ruiter, Offensief, cwi Netherlands

During last March’s provincial elections in the Netherlands (7 March) the nationalist/racist PVV party (Party for Freedom) dominated debate, questioning whether the new Christian Democrats (CDA)/Labour Party (PvdA) national government’s ministers and parliamentarians should have ‘dual nationality’ and questioned whether or not politicians with two passports were "loyal" to the Netherlands (two government Labour ministers hold dual passports, Dutch and Turkish and Moroccan).

The far right PVV did not take part in the provincial elections, but another the right wing party, the VVD, won seats and seemed to profit from the anti-immigrant, nationalist mood stirred up.

Although the Dutch Socialist Party was the "biggest winner" in the 7 March provincial elections in the Netherlands (increasing its seats from four to 12 in the upper house), the ‘dual nationality’ issue shows the dangers of a rise of racism and bigotry, fanned by demagogic, right wing politicians, if the workers’ movement and SP does not show the way ahead with clear, pro-worker policies. Unfortunately, the SP leaders did not give a clear socialist alternative to the anti-immigrant, ‘dual nationality’ issues whipped up the PVV populist right and mainstream right wing parties. Even worse, Jan Marijnissen, leader of the Dutch SP, echoed the ideas of the PVV, in a newspaper interview, when he stated "it would be an added plus" if migrants choose to hold only Dutch nationality.

Along with its electoral rise, the SP leadership, unfortunately ran counter to the mood of its supporters, and signaled a shift to the right in policies. Already, the SP is in local council coalitions that carry out privatisations, such as in Nijmegen, where the local bus service was sold off.

These cuts policies, along with not making a clear class distinction from the policies of the right wing and right populist parties, can lead to many workers becoming disillusioned with the SP.

The Dutch CWI (Offensief), which is part of the Dutch SP, calls for the party to adopt fighting, socialist policies to oppose the pro-capitalist policies of the main parties and their divide and rule attempts.

Below, we carry an article on the ‘dual nationality’ issue, from the current issue of ‘Offensief’, newspaper of the CWI Netherlands.

socialistworld.net

Geert Wilders, a leader and MP for the Party for Freedom (PVV), criticised two Labour Party state secretaries, Aboutaleb and Albayrak, because they hold Turkish and Moroccan nationality, respectively, as well as Dutch nationality. According to this populist right MP, this implies a ‘lack of loyalty’ towards the Dutch state. Wilders demanded both government officials should be obligated to stop holding Turkish and Moroccan nationality.

Socialists reject Wilders ‘loyalty’ arguments. All over the world there are millions of immigrants holding dual nationality, including hundreds of thousands of migrants within Europe. Amongst them, are many Dutch people. In truth, even for Wilders this discussion is not really about so-called ‘loyalty’ to the Dutch state: it is a cynical and opportunist attempt by a right wing populist to emphasise and to deepen existing antagonisms and divisions between different population groups in the Netherlands. If Wilders attack on the Labour Party’s state officials is successful it will be an incentive for the PVV leader and other right wing politicians to try and accuse each immigrant holding dual nationality of a ‘lack of loyalty’.

Wilders uses his rightwing populism to widen the divide between domestic and migrant workers in the Netherlands. By doing so, he tries to weaken collective resistance to the ruling economic policy of neo-liberalism. Wilders’ PVV party, just like other pro-capitalist parties, stands for more cuts in social security, tax cuts for the rich, and more privatisation and liberalisation in public sectors, such as public transport, education and health care.

Poisonous policies

Wilders, however, hides the ‘neo-liberal core’ of his party’s programme by making it seem that the budget cuts which he proposes will only be targeted against "migrant profiteers" and will not have any negative effect on domestic Dutch workers. According to Wilders’ poisonous policies, it is only the migrant population which threatens social security, causes rising unemployment amongst domestic workers, and so on. The fact that migrant workers suffer just as much - or possibly even more - from a policy of cuts in social security and rising unemployment (in times of economic crisis they are the first to lose their jobs), is conveniently not mentioned by Wilders.

In this context, it is, to say the least, very disturbing that Jan Marijnissen, leader of the broad left Dutch Socialist Party, said in an interview with the right wing newspaper, De Telegraaf (The Telegraph, 31 March 2007), that even though "giving up the dual nationality is anybody’s free choice (…) it would be an added plus if migrants would choose to only keep the Dutch nationality".

By stating it is a matter of ‘personal choice’ as to whether people hold single or dual nationality, Jan Marijnissen wants to prevent the SP being cast in the same political light as the PVV or the neo-liberal Union for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) - two parties which stated that having dual nationality should be forbidden or is not preferable.

Socialist alternative needed

But this ‘differentiation’ by Marijnissen has no practical relevance. In the struggle for a socialist alternative to the capitalist system - a profit-first society which creates the problems facing migrant and domestic workers across the world - the question of holding more than one nationality should not be allowed to divide working class people. The struggle against cuts, privatisations, and for better wages and living conditions, needs workers’ unity, across all national, religious, gender and other divisions.

The workers’ movement is weakened when the working class is divided, including on the basis of nationality. And this danger lurks if socialists do not put a clear class alternative to the propaganda and lies of the right wing. The fears and anxieties of Dutch workers, which the anti-immigrant, populist right try to play on, must be answered with socialist policies. Socialists must oppose bosses’ attempts to push down wages and working conditions by using cheap, super-exploited immigrant labour. All workers need to be united in unions to resist big business attacks and to protect and vastly improve workplace conditions. Furthermore, the workers’ movement must not allow immigrants to become scapegoats for the lack of affordable and social housing, or the continuing erosion of the health service and welfare state - it is neo-liberal governments, acting on behalf of big business, that is responsible for this, and only a united workers’ movement can successfully stop the attacks and win new rights.



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NEWS

Greece: “Yes there was a different choice!”
02/03/2015, Interview with Nikos Kanellis, Volos City Councilor (Xekinima/ CWI Greece) by Sascha Stanicic (SAV’/CWI Germany):
Socialist policies needed, not deals with the Troika

Scotland: Why Tommy is wrong to call for a vote for the SNP in May
27/02/2015, Clear anti-austerity alternative necessary:
Philip Stott Socialist Party Scotland

Britain: Labour MP shows contempt for workers
24/02/2015, :
Three decades ago he debated with Militant leaders who warned about degeneration of his party

Germany: Pegida at an end?
24/02/2015, Michael Koschitzki, SAV (CWI Germany):
German racist mobilizations split but danger continues

Malaysia: Stop arrests of government opponents!
20/02/2015, Statement on arrests from Socialist Alternative (CWI Malaysia):
Respect the right to freedom of speech!

Solidarity: Five Dublin anti-water charge protesters jailed
20/02/2015, Socialistworld.net:
International solidarity protests needed!

Congo: Forty two killed during street protests in January
20/02/2015, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
Senate quashes Kabila’s plan to extend presidency

Greece: What does Tsipras’s endorsement of Prokopis Pavlopoulos for President signify?
19/02/2015, Statement by Xekinima (CWI Greece) Editorial Board [edited translation]:
Economic and social crisis requires independent pro-worker, socialist policies!

Britain: 2015 Socialist Party Congress:
19/02/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) reporters:
Preparing the forces to fight capitalist austerity

Ireland: Socialist questions Taoiseach on political policing
18/02/2015, socialistworld.net:
International solidarity protests continue

Denmark: Terrorist attack in Copenhagen
18/02/2015, Arne Johansson, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
United struggle needed against right-wing policies

Ireland: “Dogs of war” unleashed in Jobstown
16/02/2015, Cillian Gillespie and Councillor Mick Barry, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
The Gardai have simultaneously targeted the community of Jobstown, the anti-water charges movement and the Anti-Austerity Alliance

Malaysia: Opposition leader imprisoned
16/02/2015, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Malaysia):
Government conspires to quell growing opposition

Hong Kong: Erwiana’s court victory – now to step up the struggle for migrant rights!
14/02/2015, Vincent Kolo, Socialist Action (CWI) in Hong Kong:
Hong Kong court finds employer guilty of torture-like crimes

Ireland: Interview with Paul Murphy TD following arrest
13/02/2015, socialistworld.net:
Socialist Party (CWI) and AAA TD Paul Murphy speaks following five days of political arrests of anti-water

Greece: If the Troika does not back down?
13/02/2015, Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Let the Greek people decide!

India: Massive defeat for ruling BJP in Delhi election
12/02/2015, Youvraj B, Pune, New Socialist Alternative (CWI India):
Result reflects growing mass discontent

Video: Brazilian housing movement presents Kshama Sawant with flag
12/02/2015, socialistworld.net:
MTST one of Brazil’s most important social movements

Video: Ruth Coppinger challenges government over political policing
12/02/2015, socialistworld.net:
Heated exchange in Irish parliament between deputy Prime Minister and Socialist Party (CWI) MP

Brazil: CWI Latin American summer school 2015
12/02/2015, Socialistworld.net:
8th Latin American school largest ever held by the CWI on the continent

Solidarity: Sweden protest against political policing in Ireland
11/02/2015, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
"No more arrests"

UPDATE: Further Dublin arrests as anti-protest clampdown continues
11/02/2015, socialistworld.net:
Organise international solidarity!

Poland : Miners’ strikes shake the country
11/02/2015, Wojciech Orowiecki, Alternatywa Socjalistyczna (CWI in Poland):
Biggest workers’ struggle for many years

UPDATE: More dawn arrests of Irish water-tax protestors
10/02/2015, socialistworld.net:
Solidarity protests needed

UPDATE: Paul Murphy and others released from police custody
09/02/2015, socialistworld.net:
Send protests against political policing and repression

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Quebec: Towards a hot spring
02/03/2015, Deirdre and Bruno, Socialist Alternative (CWI Quebec):
Disrupt them like they disrupt us!

Greece showdown
26/02/2015, Article to be published in the March issue of Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party, CWI in England and Wales):
Niall Mulholland interviewed NICOS ANASTASIADES, of Xekinima (CWI Greece), just as Syriza leaders agreed a four-month bail-out extension with the EU.

Libya: War-torn country becoming new hub for IS activities
25/02/2015, Serge Jordan (CWI):
Libyan people bearing the brunt of NATO’s fiasco

Europe: Eurozone time-bomb
25/02/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party of England and Wales):
Mired in recession, the eurozone is haunted by the spectre of stagnation

Greece: Syriza retreats under Troika threats
24/02/2015, Nicos Anastasiades, Xekinima (CWI Greece), Thessaloniki:
Popular mood shows anti-austerity, socialist policies would win huge support

History: The political legacy of Malcolm X
21/02/2015, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative:
50 years after his assassination

Spain: Is ‘Podemos’ the Spanish Syriza?
16/02/2015, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Dangers of “moderation” and domestication

Egypt: Regime brutality on fourth anniversary of revolution
10/02/2015, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Masses will regain confidence and willingness to fight

Greece: Not a single step back!
08/02/2015, Statement by the Editorial Board of Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Conflict between SYRIZA government and EU escalates

Kurdistan: ‘Islamic State’ driven out of Kobanê
02/02/2015, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Will the end of Kobanê’s siege turn the tide against IS?

Greece: Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?
29/01/2015, Article from Xekhinima (CWI Greece) website [dated 26 January 2015] translated and slightly edited:
For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

Greece: Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse
27/01/2015, Niall Mulholland, socialistworld.net, interviews Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

Cuba: Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased
24/01/2015, Tony Saunois, CWI:
Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

Russia/Ukraine: Facing a turbulent 2015
21/01/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

Greece: Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes
20/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

Nigeria: The Massacre in Baga
19/01/2015, H.T Soweto, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Socialism or Barbarism

Germany: What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?
13/01/2015, Wolfram Klein, Socialist Alternative (SAV- CWI Germany):
Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

Greece: Towards a Syriza government?
08/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
General elections on 25 January

Northern Ireland: The Stormont House Agreement
05/01/2015, Michael Cleary, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

New Year: Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015
31/12/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
As crisis of capitalism worsens, vital to organise and continue the struggle

Latin America: The end of one cycle and the beginning of another
17/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
Document on Latin America, agreed by CWI International Executive Committee

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
15/12/2014, CWI International Executive Committee:
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Sri Lanka: Presidential Election January 8, 2015
11/12/2014, Interview with Siritunga Jayasuriya, USP (CWI Sri Lanka):
Socialist candidate challenges all other forces

Australia: Major community victory stops Melbourne’s East-West Toll Road
08/12/2014, By Socialist Party (CWI Australia) reporters, Melbourne:
Socialist Party leads successful campaign against Toll Road and for investment in public transport