Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1840

Dated: 01 Mar 2003



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Stop their countdown to slaughter


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Blackmail

THREATS, bullying and bribery are the methods the US and Britain have turned to to get a United Nations resolution for war on Iraq. Bush and Blair need nine votes out of the 15 members of the Security Council to get the resolution passed.

Strikers beaten but not broken

THE LONGEST rail dispute in British history is over. The RMT rail union reluctantly accepted an offer from Arriva Trains Northern for conductors and guards last week. "The deal will still leave us the lowest paid guards of any rail company in Britain," says one union rep.

Engineers walk out in the west

WORKERS AT an engineering factory in Hereford walked out on a seven-day strike last week. The 400 members of the GMB union went on strike after rejecting a 1 percent pay offer with reduced overtime pay and limited sick pay. A senior shop steward at the plant, Phil Cogzell, said, "All we want is to maintain a stable income. The offer was rejected by 82 percent." The factory is the second biggest business in Hereford. The workforce are demanding a 3 percent rise.

EWS

DRIVERS ON English Welsh and Scottish Railways (EWS) have suspended their strikes after winning a new offer from management. It means a one-hour cut from April this year and another one-hour cut from April 2004. This will see drivers working a 35-hour week.

We need these two fighters

I WAS shocked and very angry last week on hearing that Candy Udwin and Dave Carr had been expelled from the Unison union for actively opposing PFI. We all thought the witch-hunt against leading left activists had drawn to a close, and that the worst they would face was a period of suspension.

For a different war

"WE ARE an anti-war and a pro-war party. We are opposed, under any circumstances, to the unleashing of mass murder on the innocent civilians of Iraq. But we are also committed to a war - a war on poverty and inequality." In his keynote speech Tommy Sheridan summed up the two key issues that dominated the Scottish Socialist Party's (SSP) annual conference held in Glasgow last weekend.

Set clear priorities

ACTIVISTS IN the PCS civil servants' union from the Left Unity group were to meet in Birmingham on Saturday. They will know the result of the membership ballot for more democracy in the union.

Socialist Alliance

FIREFIGHTER SYD Platt received nearly 5 percent of the vote for the Socialist Alliance in a council by-election in the Haverstock ward in Camden, north London, last week.


International


Comment

The horizon is expanding

WHEN AN establishment paper like the New York Times reacts to the anti-war protests on 15 February by commenting that "there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion", you know things are beginning to move.

A chorus of disapproval

CHORUS SINGERS at the English National Opera (ENO) struck on Tuesday. They are staging a series of one-day strikes to prevent 20 of the 60 chorus singers losing their jobs. Their strike is about much more than the jobs, important though they are. It raises the question of who controls access to art in our society.


Features

What would you do to free the Iraqis?

War is the only way to remove Iraq's brutal dictator, says Tony Blair. His claim is echoed by commentators such as David Aaronovitch, Christopher Hitchens and Nick Cohen. Blair puts to one side the fact that the West hoisted the brutal Iraqi dictator into power.

Tortured on the streets of Britain

THE LIE that refugees are living a life of luxury in "soft touch" Britain was exposed in the High Court last week. Judge Justice Collins ruled that New Labour was forcing refugees to face destitution in Britain or return to the persecution they fled from.

Uprising rocks Bolivia

ONE OF George Bush's staunchest allies in Latin America had to flee his presidential palace in the Bolivian capital, La Paz, last week. Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, the multimillionaire businessman president, escaped hidden in the back of an ambulance as government buildings in the capital burned.

'Bombing won't bring us liberation'

Nadje al-Ali is a member of Act Together: Women against Sanctions and War on Iraq.

Mini nuke, major threat

THE PRO-WAR lobby claims that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and must be disarmed by military force. We do not know what weapons Iraq really has. The United Nations weapons inspectors have so far found nothing.

The avalanche heading for Blair turmoil in Labour

"THE LABOUR leaders appear like the swan gliding serenely on the surface of the water. But like the swan they are paddling like hell underneath. The impact of millions on the streets is immense. And what millions! A large proportion were people who voted for Tony Blair at the last election.

Birth of a new movement

WHAT WE saw on 15 February was incredible. It was not just the demonstrations in Britain - it was the protests right around the world. The Financial Times said they were the biggest demonstrations since the Vietnam War. In fact, there was nothing coordinated on this scale during Vietnam.

Tariq Ali: 'Our marches have had a big impact'

Tariq Ali, writer and broadcaster, has been an anti-war activist since the 1960s

Bush's world of bombs and disease

GEORGE BUSH and his business backers are sentencing millions of people to death by withholding drugs required to combat HIV infection and AIDS. Bush has worked alongside the world's biggest pharmaceutical firms to defend the patents that keep up the prices of anti-HIV and anti-AIDS medicines.


Reviews

Poets speak out against the war

AN INSPIRATIONAL evening of poetry took place on the eve of the great London demonstration against the war. Adrian Mitchell and Michael Rosen performed the poems we print here at the packed event which took place in London.


What We Think

Dictators of war ignore the masses

BUSH AND Blair are desperately seeking new ways to justify their slaughter in Iraq. They have now resorted to claiming they want to bomb Iraq into freedom and democracy.


Other Categories

From the front line

"THE GREATER Manchester Coalition to Stop the War is coordinating an antiwar demonstration on 8 March. This will involve three separate marches converging on the city centre. On the city centre stall on Saturday 5,000 leaflets and hundreds of posters were distributed.

So that's why they call it Bush House

WHAT IS going on at BBC headquarters, Bush House? Two World Service journalists were sacked last week. Adli Hawwari is a Palestinian. Abdul-Hadi Jiad is an Iraqi.



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