Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 1948

Dated: 23 Apr 2005

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Postal vote scandal – it gets worse

Will we be able to trust the general election results?

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Rail Against Privatisation march

The RMT rail workers’ union launched its Rail Against Privatisation march in Glasgow last Saturday.

Election battle hots up on the streets and doorsteps

The Respect election campaign is making a huge impact in east London. Respect councillor Oliur Rahman, who is standing in Poplar & Canning Town, said, "The campaign is going very well. Whenever I am out on the street people ask about Respect.

Reports in brief

Lawyers hit out at attack on legal aid A packed rally of 500 criminal defence lawyers has called for a boycott of government plans to contract out legal aid work to the lowest bidder.

Civil Service workers must start fighting for jobs now

Thousands of jobs are being cut across government departments as chancellor Gordon Brown’s assault on the civil service gathers pace.

BBC unions unite against programme of job cuts

BBC unions are balloting their members to strike against director general Mark Thompson’s plans to slash 3,800 jobs.

ITV strike forces improved pay offer

Strike action by workers in the Bectu and Amicus unions at ITV has forced management to make an improved offer over pay.

Glasgow underground

Striking workers brought Glasgow’s subway system to a complete halt last week. The workers, members of the T&G union, struck on Friday and Saturday of last week.

College lecturers

Staff at Bradford College have won their ballots for strikes against compulsory redundancies. The college lecturers’ union Natfhe won an 87 percent vote for action on a turnout of over 61 percent.

Defend these Liverpool Unison activists

Over 60 people attended a meeting last week in support of five Liverpool social workers who were suspended following strike action which ended in January.

Make Poverty History

Make Poverty History events are planned to take place in schools and colleges.

Campaigning together to pull the plugs on the BNP

Unite Against Fascism held a day of action in England and Wales last Saturday.

End the war on drugs

All three major parties have outlined policies on drugs in their general election manifestos—and all three are putting forward some sort of crackdown.

Babar Ahmad battles on

Some 200 people protested as Babar Ahmad’s hearing restarted in London on Monday. Babar is threatened with extradition to the US on bogus "terror" charges. This site will carry news updates as they become available.

Trade justice vigil — a wake up call for the politicians

Over 25,000 people joined the all night vigil for trade justice that began at Westminster Abbey, London, on Friday of last week.

Whoever is elected, ending the occupation is still the first priority

Despite the best efforts of the Labour and Tory leaderships to keep it off the agenda, the criminal war against Iraq, and the continuing occupation of the country, are critical election issues.

Did you hear the one about Al Qaida’s plot to smear ricin on door handles?

The conviction last week of Kamel Bourgass for conspiracy to cause a public nuisance using poisons sparked a media frenzy over "ricin conspiracies" and "Al Qaida cells".

Rover — betrayed by Blair and the union leaders

The immense anger at the government and the bosses they gave the Longbridge plant to was visible on the streets of Birmingham last weekend.

Workers are robbed of pensions as firms fail

You could feel the raw anger over pensions at a demonstration in central London last Saturday.


Why Tesco profits are rotten to the core

Tesco announced record profits of over £2 billion last week, but that "success" is built on dreadful conditions of workers who supply their goods.

‘Neo-colonial rule’ still exists in Bosnia and Kosovo

A damning report published last week by the International Commission on the Balkans has slammed United Nations and European Union peacekeeping in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Palestinian teachers’ fight highlights their oppression

Around 37,000 Palestinian teachers from across all the Occupied Territories — the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — were on their second one-day strike last week in support of a demand for higher salaries. Most teachers earn a paltry $400 per month. This has barely changed since the Israeli occupation began in 1967.


Brown offers Blairism Mark II

"Vote Blair and get Brown," the Tories used to say. Now they are keeping quiet about this because Gordon Brown is turning out to be one of New Labour’s major assets.


Coming events

Friday 15-30 AprilRMT Rail Against Privatisation march from Glasgow to London. London rally Saturday 30 April. For details go to <a href="" target = "_blank"></a>

Galloway campaign gathers momentum in east London

George Galloway’s election campaign in Bethnal Green & Bow is going down a storm among local people.

Respect councillor aims to make poverty history

Respect candidate Michael Lavalette was at the centre of organising a Make Poverty History event in Preston last Friday evening. Hundreds of campaigners linked hands around the town hall as part of the Trade Justice Movement’s global week of action, before a busload left for the all-night trade justice vigil in London.

Slough Respect voting to incinerate New Labour

Jazz Khan, the Respect candidate in Slough, has had a terrific start to his campaign.

Newham Respect campaign

Rally packs out town hall The biggest political meeting in Newham for two decades gave a huge boost to Respect’s challenge to New Labour in the east London borough on Monday of this week.

Respect in the news

"For Britain’s Labour Party there are few more loyal strongholds than Bethnal Green & Bow in London’s East End. But this time the party’s candidate is in trouble, and the reason is simple — the war." Washington Post

Israel's wall of hatred

Right wing Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is forcing Israeli settlers to move from the Gaza Strip. Why is this?

Cotton: clothed in the cruelty of the global system

When you got dressed this morning, the chances are that at least one of the items you put on was made of cotton. The world uses more cotton than any other fibre. Cotton crops cover 5 percent of the planet’s cultivated land area.

Former Guantanamo detainee calls for Respect vote

Recently released Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg believes that Respect candidate Salma Yaqoob would champion the rights of those still imprisoned at the camp.

Counting the dead in Iraq

Your research on mortality in Iraq, published in the prestigious Lancet journal, made headlines across the globe last November. What motivated you to conduct the survey?

Cardiff three — arrest of former cops

"The whole thing still burns. The memory of what happened to my brother, Tony, to Yusef Abdullahi and to Steven Miller has never gone away," says Lloyd Paris.

South Wales police — a force with a record of injustice

South Wales police have been involved in several high profile cases of injustice, many involving confessions that were later found to be unreliable. They include:

George Galloway: we’ll give a voice to the voiceless

Respect’s "heavy artillery" — its double decker campaigning bus — came to Bethnal Green & Bow last weekend as part of George Galloway’s high profile bid to unseat pro-war Labour MP Oona King.


M.I.A is blatant about defending our rights

Rising star M.I.A, aka Maya Arulpragasam, blends politics and music to devastating effect. Kelly Hilditch spoke to her about her life and work

My Name is Rachel Corrie — an inspirational play about Palestine

My Name is Rachel Corrie The Royal Court, London Runs until 30 April Phone 020 7565 5000 for tickets

Reviews round-up

Supersize MeChannel 49pm, Thursday 28 April

What We Think

Just one Respect MP will make a difference

If the polls are accurate, Tony Blair is on course to form another New Labour government after the general election. So what difference can electing one or two Respect MPs make?

Other Categories

Backing for G8 demo

The Scottish council of the Unison public sector union has passed a motion supporting the protests against the G8 summit which are due to take place in Scotland this July.

Don’t miss Socialist Worker during the election

"Socialist Worker’s election coverage is a real help to the Respect campaign," says Oliur Rahman, Respect candidate in Poplar & Canning Town, east London. "Last week’s article exposing New Labour’s lie that a vote for Respect will let the Tories in was a must for every campaigner."

Forums, events and film showings

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