Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1950

Dated: 05 May 2005



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Vote Respect — punish Tony Blair on Thursday

I believe I was the first figure in British public life to call Tony Blair a liar over the war.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

New reports slam US torture regime in Iraq

In the week in which Iraq re-emerged as a central election issue, human rights organisations have slammed the occupying forces in Iraq for creating a regime of torture.

Gleneagles G8 summit is a chance to protest against Bush

From 6-8 July the leaders of the world’s most powerful countries, including George Bush, will gather at Gleneagles, Scotland, for the G8 summit.

New Labour flatlines at Unison health sector conference

The health sector conference of the Unison union met in Plymouth last week and delegates voted to ballot for industrial action if the pension age was raised from 60 to 65.

Royal College of Nursing — 'we’ll fight over pensions'

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has threatened action over pensions.

Strikes continue at Ambala foods

Workers at Ambala Foods in Stratford, east London, held a second successful day of strike action on Friday of last week.

Working poor turn to cash converters

On the main shopping street in Barking, on the outskirts of east London, are the people the election forgot — the hidden poor who are working, but don’t have enough to get by and are forced into borrowing from week to week.

High cost loan firms make £2bn a year

Pawnbrokers have been offering loans to working class people who have been carved out of mainstream financial services for generations.

RMT takes on fight over rail privatisation

The march organised by the RMT rail union from Glasgow to London demanding the renationalisation of the industry reached the capital last Saturday.

Civil service workers debate on fightback over jobs

Civil service workers in the PCS union in London are moving towards further action against job losses. Chancellor Gordon Brown wants to slash 104,000 jobs across the civil service.

40,000 in Trafalgar Square for May Day Music Against Fascism

Forty thousand people - young, old, black, white, male and female - joined together in a massive show of unity at the Unite against Fascism gig in Trafalgar Square on Sunday. Peter Doherty received enormous cheers when he told the audience "Even if you don't love my music, we all hate racism." Other acts included Estelle, Terri Walker, Bigga Fish, Rodney P and Skeme.

Railworkers round-up

Initial City Link strike RMT union members working at Initial City Link were to strike over low pay on Wednesday of this week.

Workers Memorial Day — job can be death sentence

One hundred and fifty people, mainly construction workers, joined a march and rally in London to commemorate Workers Memorial Day on Thursday of last week.

Reports round-up

Broad basis for challenge to G8 About 150 people came to a meeting at Manchester University last week to discuss organising for the Make Poverty History campaign and the G8 protests in July.

TRIPS patent laws matter

Until 1970 strict Indian patenting laws, covering pharmaceuticals, food and agricultural products, meant that most medicines had to be imported at some of the highest prices in the world. India had almost no domestic drug manufacturing capability.

Protest at the education system failing black children

Parents, school students and campaigners gathered outside Downing Street in London last Saturday to protest against the way the education system fails black children.

Resistance grows to Labour’s academies plan, where big business controls education

The adademies programme is central to New Labour’s education policy for the third term. Academies are private schools which sponsors are given millions of pounds of public money to run.

'This is for Iraq' — stunning victory for Respect as George Galloway takes Bethnal Green

Respect's George Galloway has defeated pro-war Labour MP Oona King to win the east London seat of Bethnal Green & Bow in the British general election, in a stunning victory for the left and the anti-war movement.


International

Joy as stolen objects are returned to Africa

An extraordinary event has taken place in one of Africa’s most significant historic sites.

How British imperialism looted Ethiopia in 1868

The pillage of Magdala is well documented in contemporary British accounts.

Revolt in Togo after dictator’s son claims election win

The presidential election in Togo, west Africa, has unleashed protests, strikes and riots. At least 20 people have been killed in the fighting.

Nichi Vendola — Listening to the people

Recent regional elections in Italy saw successes for the left. In Puglia the winner was Nichi Vendola, a gay communist and member of Rifondazione Comunista. Here he explains how he won and looks at the choice in Britain.


Comment

G8 policies that make poverty

The most powerful piece of political advertising that I’ve seen during the general election hasn’t come from any party, not even Respect.


Features

Algeria — the war didn’t end in 1945

Sixty years ago, on 8 May 1945, millions of people celebrated VE (Victory in Europe) Day. There was genuine enthusiasm that the Nazis were gone at last. But in North Africa things looked rather different.

West Ham’s rebel history

In 1892 a man was elected to parliament who transformed the political landscape. Breaking with the two established mainstream parties of the day — the Tories and Liberals — he became the first independent Labour MP, a worker representing other working people in parliament.

Maurice Foley — 50 years fighting for union rights in the London docks

West Ham’s rebel history has passed down from the 19th century to today. In 1937 Maurice Foley, aged 14, went to work in the Royal Docks. He spent more than 50 years there as an active trade unionist and still lives in the area.

‘We drove out the NF’

Newham, the borough which encompasses West Ham, is now one of the most ethnically mixed areas of Britain. Black and Asian people who arrived from the 1950s onwards have added to the area’s battling tradition by facing down racists and Nazis.

Campaign round-up

Birmingham The Respect campaign team continues to expand as more and more people are volunteering and canvassing.

How water offers a river of profits for global capitalism

Every Major city in Europe is near a river — Rome on the Tiber, Paris on the Seine and London on the Thames. The earliest civilisations grew in river valleys. For most of human history water was a communal resource.

Coming events

Friday 13 MayLaunch of Socialist Film Club with a showing of classic Vietnam documentary Hearts and Minds, introduced by Jonathan Neale, 7pm, University College London, Gower Street WC1 (Euston Square tube). Price £5/£3. Phone 020 7637 1848 for tickets.

Respect’s campaign outside schools reaches those who usually get ignored

Newham Respect has tried to connect with the many groups that the Westminster political classes don’t reach.

Respect — on the threshold of a historic victory

Hundreds of Respect supporters from across London and around the country converged on east London last Saturday. They formed an army of campaigners for the general election.

Guerrilla art

Two billboard posters appeared in Bristol last week which highlight how the three main political parties support the continuing illegal occupation of Iraq. They were put up by Guerrilla Art.

Lifelong Labour voters are turning to Respect

Leading trade union and labour movement figures in Newham, east London, released a letter last week calling on people to vote for Respect at the general election.

A warm response to Respect on Newham doorsteps

Respect canvassers in Newham are reporting a political shift on the doorsteps of the east London borough. New Labour’s stranglehold on the borough is being loosened as people turn to Respect.

Respect is sinking real roots in Bradford

A teacher in Bradford North asked her pupils to name the parties contesting the general election. After a long pause one student volunteered the name of the Labour Party.

Challenge to New Labour in Wales

"A vote for anyone else will let the Tories in" has been a theme of Labour’s national campaign. That’s desperate anywhere — but it reaches new depths in South Wales’s Blaenau Gwent, the seat centred on Ebbw Vale.

Janet Alder has won wide support

Independent polls in Tottenham, north London, indicate that Respect candidate Janet Alder is now the number one challenger to David Lammy, the sitting Labour MP.

Respect in the news

"There are totemic seats where a non-Labour result would be a delight: Oona King losing Bethnal Green & Bow to Respect’s George Galloway."John Harris, author of So Now Who Do We Vote For?


Reviews

Machuca — Chile’s coup through the eyes of a child

I was eight years old on 11 September 1973, the day General Augusto Pinochet overthrew Chile’s elected government.

Bookmarks highlights — Empire, resistance and a high school unlike any other

Speaking of Empire and Resistance: Conversations with Tariq Aliby Tariq Ali and David Barsamian

Reviews round-up

Gregory Crewdson’s Beneath the RosesWhite Cube, LondonUntil 14 MayPhone 020 7930 5373


What We Think

Good Respect vote will start Labour panic

When New Labour tells the voters of Blaenau Gwent — Labour majority 19,313 — that they must vote for the Blairite candidate or the Tories might win, it is scarcely convincing.


Other Categories

Liberation of Saigon inspires struggles today

The coverage of the liberation of Saigon by Vietnamese fighters 30 years ago is a reminder of the inspiration of that victorious struggle against US imperialism

Come to Marxism 2005

The protests and events surrounding the G8 summit end on 7 July. But there’s no reason that the discussion has to stop there.

Forums, events and film showings

Meetings And Events



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