Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 1954

Dated: 04 Jun 2005

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'Non' to Blairism — France's vote was a victory for the left

Working people in France have delivered a defiant no to privatisation, neo-liberalism and Blairite policies across Europe.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


BBC strikes win concessions — but the battle goes on

BBC workers, who struck and took many programmes off the air on Monday of last week, have forced management to offer concessions to its plans to slash 3,800 jobs.

Stop the War demo part of the anti-G8 protests

The anti-war movement scored a big victory in Scotland last week. It overturned a decision by Scottish police to ban a Stop the War Coalition rally set to take place after the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh on 2 July.

Outlining a better world

The G8 Alternatives summit will take place in various venues in Edinburgh on Sunday 3 July. From 10am to 9pm speakers from all over the world will present a serious ideological challenge to the corrupt and bankrupt policies of the G8 in eight plenary sessions and over 30 workshops.

Momentum grows for Gleneagles protest

The former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, has added his voice to those supporting the right to march past Gleneagles Hotel when the G8 summit opens on 6 July.

Bank workers make a statement over pay

The first strike by bank workers in eight years caused major problems for the giant HSBC bank on Friday of last week. Thousands of workers in the Amicus union struck over the bank’s below inflation pay offer.

CWU elections

Elections for the postal executive of the CWU union saw left candidates keep their positions. Socialist Worker supporter Jane Loftus was re-elected with one of the best votes, drawing support from all regions of the union.

March against the G8 in Sheffield on 11 June

Preparations are underway in Sheffield to protest against the G8 justice and interior ministers’ summit.

Reports in brief

Globalise Resistance Some 200 people came to the Globalise Resistance annual conference last Saturday.

Make Poverty History

Canterbury Make Poverty History took to the streets of Canterbury last Saturday with a march to a music and politics festival in a city centre park.

AUT boycott debate that has put Palestine back on the map

Everyone, including the movers of the motions, was taken aback by the vote at April’s conference of the AUT lecturers’ union to boycott certain Israeli universities.

Natfhe conference

The conference of the Natfhe lecturers’ union overwhelmingly endorsed merger with the AUT union last weekend.

Escalation and wider support are now vital for Ambala Foods strikers

Workers at Ambala Foods in Stratford, east London, struck for two days last week.

Dunstable College protests as funding is slashed

.;n¬.º¬rers at Dunstable College in Bedfordshire picketed a meeting of the local Learning and Skills Council last week to protest at a £300,000 cut in funding.

France's no vote was a blow against neo-liberalism

An incredible referendum turnaround last Sunday in France saw 55 percent of voters reject the European Union proposal for a European constitution.

An exciting opportunity for the left

The vote will have a major impact in France. The Tory prime minister Raffarin was sacked on Tuesday of this week. President Chirac announced a new government in an attempt to calm the situation.

It’s time for Chirac to go

Around 700 people, young and old, marched around the historic centre of Montpellier last Sunday night, celebrating the no victory in the referendum.

Bring a storm of protest to the G8 summit

Every day 30,000 children die from the diseases of poverty — and none of the proposals from Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or the other G8 leaders will do anything effective to halt those deaths.

A critical mass in July

Picture the scene. It’s 1994 at the headquarters of the World Bank. A couple of Christian Aid lobbyists are, if not exactly being muscled out of the building, very much being asked to leave.

Gordon Brown’s debt relief plan is a sham, figures reveal

Gordon Brown claims his new proposals for debt relief amount to 100 percent debt cancellation for the poorest countries. But in reality they amount to very little indeed.

Aid gets diverted into corporate pockets

A new report from ActionAid shows that the G8 countries are giving little in real aid to the world’s poorest countries — despite their political grandstanding.

Babar Ahmad — ‘Time for diplomacy is over’

Babar Ahmad, the south London IT worker who faces extradition to the US on trumped up "terrorism" charges, has hit out at the court decision last month to proceed with his extradition.

News in brief

Fight to save fire engine Firefighters and their supporters will flood the streets in east London next Tuesday in protest at life-threatening cuts to the service.

Who says?

"They gave us a choice: vote yes or vote yes. They were constantly beating that into us, like no other choice was possible."Anne-Marie Latremoliere, who voted no in last Sunday’s French referendum


New alliance poses a challenge in Germany

Following a disastrous defeat for the governing SPD, the equivalent of Britain’s Labour Party, in its North Rhine and Westphalia heartland, it has called for early elections in a desperate move to ward off rebellion in its ranks.

Why the support for the SPD has faded away

The SPD won only 37.1 percent of the votes in North Rhine and Westphalia, down 5.7 points since the last state election five years ago.

Schröder’s policies have led to growing bitterness

The SPD’s crisis has been sharpened by resistance to Schröder’s policies.

Egypt — the ‘democracy’ the US wants to spread

Laura Bush, wife of the US president, visited Egypt last week to shower praise on the country’s regime. She described Egypt’s dictator, Hosni Mubarak, as "bold and wise", claiming that he was "taking the first step" towards democracy.

Poll stitch-up in Beirut

The first round of voting in Lebanon’s elections has exposed the reality behind the "new dawn for democracy" in the Middle East.

Eyewitness to the Cairo violence

Egyptian police and ruling party thugs turned 25 May, the day of the "historic referendum", into a public show of power and violence.

Strike against telecom privatisation in Pakistan

A massive strike by telecom workers in Pakistan is threatening to derail the government’s privatisation programme which would cut up to 4.2 million phone lines. Over the last two weeks over 55,000 workers at the Pakistan Telecom Company Limited (PTCL) have been involved in strike action. The government’s first response was to postpone the privatisation in the hope of demobilising the workers, and then to announce that privatisation was back on. At the time of writing, the unions had just announced the resumption of the strike.


Far left on the rise in Europe

The past fortnight has been a very significant one for the radical left in Europe. The most obvious reason for this is the defeat of the European consitution in France.


Marx's idea of value

Marxist economics has an image problem. In recent years a new movement has challenged the idea that there is no alternative to the neo-liberal capitalism espoused by the multinationals, governments and global bodies such as the International Monetary Fund and G8.

Rose Smith — a woman Communist at the heart of the struggle

There are only a handful of leading women activists associated with the trade union rank and file Minority Movement in the 1920s. None of these is as well known or documented as AJ Cook, JT Murphy or Tom Mann. Why was this?

Seymour M Hersh — from My Lai to Abu Ghraib

In 1968 you exposed the US massacre at My Lai in Vietnam. Last year you exposed the torture of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib. How can things like this happen when those prosecuting the war talk about bringing "freedom" and "democracy" to the world?

Respect — our hopes for this new party

Respect — our hopes for this new party

Coming events

Monday 20-26 JuneRefugee Week.<a href="" target = "_blank"></a>


Swiss isn’t neutral about racism and society

Growing up in a working class area in South London, 22 year old Swiss began his musical career as an MC in a group called 2 Hype 2 Young with Sef, Mr Shabz, Megaman and Kaish.

Folk Archive exhibition — putting up a banner for contemporary popular art

Folk ArchiveBarbican Gallery, London Until 25 July, FreePhone 0854 121 6828 or go to <a href="" target = "_blank"></a>

Reviews round-up

<emMcLibelSunday 5 June, BBC2 10pm

What We Think

MPs must defy Blair over ID cards

Labour backbenchers face an early opportunity — and a test. The second reading of Charles Clarke’s identity card bill is expected soon. New Labour’s majority is reduced to 67 and with the opposition parties saying they will vote against the bill, the votes of just 34 Labour MPs could be enough to scupper it.

Other Categories


A left ‘no’ to Europe The position trade unionists should take on the EU constitution will be a live debate at next week’s annual delegate conference of the PCS civil service workers’ union.

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