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Socialist Worker


Issue: 1945

Dated: 02 Apr 2005




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Iain Hook: Blair buries evidence of murder by Israel

Tony Blair's government is involved in a cover-up over the killing of the British United Nations (UN) official Iain Hook, who was shot in the back by an Israeli soldier in 2002.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

BBC unions move to strike over job losses

BBC UNIONS are set to ballot for strike action unless director general Mark Thompson halts plans to slash 3,700 jobs.

Sheffield Respect gears up for election

Respect activists have hit the ground running in Sheffield. They are preparing for the general election, expected to take place on Thursday 5 May.

Respect round-up

Campaigning in East London The campaign to get George Galloway MP re-elected to parliament on a Respect ticket in Bethnal Green & Bow, east London, started in earnest last weekend. Some 30 Respect activists set up a stall in Roman Road market, one of the most vibrant and mixed parts of the constituency. "There was a fantastic turnout from Respect activists, and our tabloids were being distributed everywhere," says Jackie Turner from Tower Hamlets Respect. The Labour Party also briefly turned up to set up a stall, but soon shuffled off. "We outnumbered the opposition by at least six to one," says Jackie.

Success, but still short of pensions victory we need

We should have had a strike by 1.25 million workers over pensions last week. The events leading up to the decision to call off that strike show the potential, and the problems, of the British trade union movement.

Pensions: don’t fall for one of the oldest tricks in the book

Blair has conceded talks, but nothing on the substance of the pensions issue yet.

Keeping up the local pensions links

Despite last week’s strike action over pensions being called off, Wakefield Unison local government branch and Wakefield trades council went ahead with their planned lunchtime rally.

Allied Steel and Wire pensions campaign

With shouts of "Tony Blair, he don’t care," angry former steelworkers took to the streets of Cardiff last Saturday as part of the campaign to win back their lost pensions.

Defend asylum seekers

A family of Roma asylum seekers from Kosovo has been released from the Yarl’s Wood detention centre after a campaign led by Glasgow school students.

NUT conference

Delegates to the conference of the largest teachers’ union, the NUT, were determined to push home the government’s climbdown over its pension plans.

Unity is the key to beat BNP’s Griffin

UNITE AGAINST Fascism has issued an open letter about the campaign in Keighley, West Yorkshire, where British National Party leader Nick Griffin is set to stand as a general election candidate.

Reports in brief

Hospital workers fight for equal pay Cleaners, porters and catering staff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital planned to strike this week — and have threatened to escalate their action if their equal pay demand is not met.

What has happened to independent bookshops?

There were at least 40 independent socialist bookshops across the country in the late 1970s. Today there are no more than a handful. Last month the Guardian website launched a campaign to support all independent bookshops that still survive, publishing endorsements from loyal customers keen to protect what many see as an endangered species.

Aid money flows to the water privateers

The British government is using international aid money to promote the privatisation of water and sanitation services across the world.

NUT conference: teachers preparing for a fight

The conference of the largest teachers’ union has slammed the New Labour government and the TUC’s policy of working in partnership with it.

NUT calls on members to join Make Poverty History demo in Edinburgh

The newly elected general secretary of the NUT, Steve Sinnott, told the conference he wanted to see thousands of his members marching behind the union’s national banner on the protest at the G8 summit in Scotland in July.

Global super-rich stash $11.5 trillion in tax havens

We have exposed a massive amount of wealth being hidden away by the super-rich — which they pay no tax on at all.

Fall in voter registration is a threat to democracy

Millions of potential voters have not registered in time to vote in the general election expected on 5 May. Government figures have show a dramatic fall in registration since 2001.

MPs slam arbitrary use of Asbos

Police in England are wrong to "dish out Asbos with their conflakes", Martyn Jones MP, the Labour chair of a Commons committee, said last week.

Babar Ahmad sent to Belmarsh

The British IT worker facing extradition to the US, Babar Ahmad, has been moved from Woodhill to Belmarsh prison in south east London.

Who Says?

"This ambassador didn’t speak out about human rights here."Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara, the chair of Indonesia’s human rights commission, on World Bank presidential nominee Paul Wolfowitz’s time as US ambassador


International

Trouble brewing on Sri Lankan tea plantations

I WANT to start by explaining a few things about the history of the tea plantations. The plantation industry was introduced around the world by countries such as Britain during the colonial period.

Bushmen's rights ignored by mining company in Botswana

The Gana and Gwi Bushmen have launched an appeal against attacks by the government of Botswana in southern Africa, and the mining corporations.

Iraq in brief

Minister warns against protests Iraq’s interior minister has told Iraqis not to demonstrate against the regime. Falah al-Naqib told journalists on Monday that protests were among "attempts to destabilise the situation" in Iraq.

Middle East democracy that the US fears

Cairo, in Egypt, is at the heart of the Arab world. The talk in the city is of coming change. For nearly 25 years Washington’s ally, Hosni Mubarak, has ruled the country. In each of those years emergency laws have been in force.

Iraq: ‘We can see there are different forces in Britain’

Sheikh Hassan al-Zarqani is the foreign affairs spokesperson for Moqtada al-Sadr, the rebel Iraqi Shia cleric. Sadr’s Mahdi Army launched an armed uprising against the US occupation of Iraq in April 2004. Sheikh al-Zarqani lives in exile in Lebanon after the US issued a warrant for his arrest. He represented Moqtada al-Sadr’s movement at the Cairo Conference.


Comment

Will the French say ‘non’ to the EU constitution?

Anticonstitutionnellement, meaning anti-constitutionally, is the longest word in the French dictionary. The referendum campaign on the European Union (EU) constitution promises to be very long indeed for the French president, Jacques Chirac, and the Socialist Party leader, François Hollande.


Features

Why is children's food so bad?

School meals have been thrust into the political spotlight recently. But how do they fit in to wider patterns of children’s food today?

Marx and Engels on food adulteration

A grim history Bad food produced by profit-hungry companies has been a hallmark of capitalism from the beginning.

How Einstein explored the light fantastic

I showed last week how Isaac Newton developed laws of motion that allowed a materialist picture of the universe to emerge. This materialism was of a mechanical kind — with matter interacting like parts in a giant clockwork mechanism set into motion by god.

Travellers have been made objects of hatred

The Tory leader, Michael Howard, talks about the Holocaust and how he’s Jewish, but he’s a very racist man. He’ll never be able to tell Gypsies that he’s not. He’s the man who said in 1993 to stop building council sites, and that Travellers should go and buy their own land and live on it. But now he’s twisting it all.

Coming events

Coming events


Reviews

New play will tell the truth about Genoa

Black Sun Over Genoa, is the story of the people who went to Genoa, Italy, in 2001, the reasons they went and the impact of the events on them. The play involves around 60 volunteers from the local Edinburgh community. We are using a lot of media footage, film footage of what happened.

Three decades of Joni Mitchell’s idiosyncratic talents

A Woman of Heart and MindJoni Mitchell, £15.99

Reviews round-up

International Arts and Crafts exhibition Victoria & Albert Museum, London until 24 July Go to <a href="http://www.vam.ac.uk" target = "_blank">www.vam.ac.uk</a> The Arts and Crafts movement of the 1860s and 1870s was a response to the soulless nature of capitalist development. Architects, designers and artists pioneered new apporaches which drew on less industrial techniques, instead venerating individuality and the dignity of labour.


What We Think

Kyrgyzstan: Akayev’s unexpected departure rattles US

On paper the events in Kyrgyzstan seem to be another of the "democratic revolutions" that the US has been calling for across the world. But Washington has been less than enthusiastic about events in this former Soviet republic.


Other Categories

Respect for school students

Jill Russell, Respect’s parliamentary candidate for Tyne Bridge constituency, took part in a question and answer session at a school recently in the north east of England.

Forums, events and film showings

Meetings And Events



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