Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1972

Dated: 15 Oct 2005




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"Blair wants to dismantle the NHS"

Former Labour health secretary Frank Dobson has warned what the government’s plans to further open up the NHS to the private sector will mean.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Join the protest to stop the Nazi BNP

Anti-fascist campaigners from across the country are mobilising for a demonstration to stop a planned protest by the Nazi British National Party (BNP) in Leeds on Wednesday 2 November.

Asbo the academies

Over 80 delegates from across the country met in Birmingham this weekend to launch a national campaign against city academies, as the Times Educational Supplement revealed how ministers "mislead" the public over the scheme.

Oxford Civil service workers

Women PCS civil service workers’ union members at a job centre in Oxford recently protested against threats to cuts nursery subsidies.

National strike ballot looms over DWP staff shortages

The battle for jobs in the civil service is set to move on to a new stage as PCS union leaders in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) look likely to ballot their members for a national strike.

Reports round-up

Socialism 2005 The Scottish Socialist Party’s Socialism 2005 got off to a rousing start on Friday of last week with Colin Fox, George Galloway and Gill Hubbard addressing the opening rally. Over 400 people, many young, attended the weekend of discussion. There was lots of enthusiasm for the anti-war movement. There was also a lot of interest in the meetings on Latin America.

Terminal 5

Steel erectors at Heathrow Terminal 5 were continuing their fight for a pay rise this week.

Respect for Youth

Tower Hamlets Respect for Youth will be holding its launch meeting in the east London borough on Sunday 23 October.

Tube workers

London Underground’s biggest union has demanded double-crewing of all Northern Line trains and daily safety checks after the emergency braking system failed for the fourth time in as many weeks.

Free speech denied to firefighters at memorial

‘A memorial was being held in Islington, north London, for the 11 people from the borough who were killed in the London bombings.

Sacked for being run over?

Tower Hamlets council in east London is attempting to sack a parking attendant and union rep who was hospitalised after being run over by a driver trying to avoid a ticket.

Eileen Short wins big support

Members of the communications team at Tower Hamlets council are being balloted in the coming week by both the National Union of Journalists and the Unison union over the council’s treatment of Unison shop steward and Defend Council Housing campaigner Eileen Short.

£8 an hour must be the minimum wage at First Bus

Some 300 drivers for First Bus in north Staffordshire and south Cheshire, based in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, took 24 hour strike action on Friday of last week over pay.

First Bus Edinburgh

Drivers for First Bus in Edinburgh rejected an offer of £8 an hour by a vote of 61 percent last week.

Scottish Power

Energy unions have vowed to do "all in their power" to avoid compulsory redundancies after Scottish Power’s announcement of 450 job losses.

Student Respect

On Thursday of last week, over 230 students at De Montfort University, Leicester, poured into the college’s largest lecture theatre to hear Respect MP George Galloway.

Sefton council

Escalating selective action by workers at Sefton council on Merseyside is set to ratchet up another notch this week. Some 18 workers in the education personnel department are to join 17 in the creditors department already on strike against the victimisation of union activists.

Labour’s sweeteners for health privateers

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has said she wants £3 billion worth of NHS work to be carried out in the private sector. But because the existing public health system is among the most efficient in the world, the government is having to force the health sector to open up.

Health workers round-up

Equal pay deal won at Aintree Workers at University Hospital Aintree in Merseyside are celebrating a pay deal that secures equal pay for all staff.

Nato and Pakistani army fail to give earthquake aid

In my village, Sir Sayebaan, there are dead bodies lying in the street 48 hours after the earthquake hit. There is no one to pick them up.

Judges given special treatment over pensions

While millions of public sector workers are facing deep attacks on their pensions, another group paid from the public purse are being offered further handouts.

Pensioners set out a charter for a decent life

Hundreds of pensioners from across Britain were to take part in a lobby of parliament on Wednesday this week to publicise the new Pensioners’ Charter.

De Menezes: End shoot to kill

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the 27 year old Brazilian shot dead by police at a London tube station in July, spoke out for justice on Monday of this week.

Over 60 days on hunger strike

Prisoners on hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay are being shackled to their beds 24 hours a day and force fed by the US army, according to Amnesty International and lawyers representing the detainees.

Directive threat to our services

The European Union is currently debating a series of proposals that would mean widespread deregulation of public services, attacks on rights at work, and the destruction of the powers of local councils.

Who says?

"The Iraq war, low unemployment and a greater reluctance of parents to approve of their children’s enlisting are the main factors behind the US army’s failure to meet its recruiting target. The shortfall comes despite the increase of recruiters from 9,000 to 12,000."Washington Post

Iraq: constituting tyranny

The US and British occupation is driving Iraq towards disaster by spreading the poison of sectarianism and ethnic divisions.

Join the International Peace Conference

The Stop the War Coalition is calling for delegates to the first International Peace Conference on 10 December 2005. The conference will bring together anti-war activists from across the globe, including the US, Britain and Iraq.

£110m reward for Hatfield rail disaster firm

Engineering firm Balfour Beatty received a £10 million fine for its part in the Hatfield rail disaster on Thursday of last week.


International

Chance for credible alternative in France

One million French workers struck and protested on Tuesday of last week. The popular strikes were called in opposition to attacks by the right wing government on the social security system and laws protecting workers.

Colombian unions take a stand against neo-liberalism

Colombia’s unions and social movements were set to hold a national strike on Wednesday of this week.

I may die trying to win freedom

I come from Bamoko in Mali, about 2,000 miles from the Nador in Morocco where I am now. It was the death of my child which made me leave my wife behind, along with my two other children and my father and mother.

G8 does nothing as Malawi famine unfolds

Before the recent famine in Niger there was a long period when there were increasingly strong appeals for aid, but nothing happened. We have now reached that time in Malawi — and people have already begun to die.

How the Zarqawi myth was made in America

The first time I heard the name of Musab al-Zarqawi was on 5 February 2003 when the then US secretary of state Colin Powell singled him out as the link between Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein.


Comment

Withdrawal would bring better future

The debate over Iraq has shifted significantly over the past few months. The central issue has become the withdrawal of the occupation forces in Iraq.


Features

More than just an anniversary

What is it about a government that provokes a conservatively minded people to wholesale revolt?

How schools fail black children

Tell It Like It Is has come out of the crisis facing school students, particularly black children, in our education system. African-Caribbean boys are four times more likely to be excluded from school than their peers. A recent Joseph Rowntree report suggests that that in some areas they are 15 times more likely to be excluded.

It takes a nation of millions (and a particular type of education system) to hold us back

The dominant examination at the end of compulsory schooling in England is the GCSE, the General Certificate of Secondary Education. In most subjects, GCSE examinations are now "tiered" — that means that instead of sitting a single common examination paper the entrants are separated into different papers, depending on their teachers’ assessment of their chances of success.

‘Movin fawod to freedom’

No Problem I am not de problemBut I bare the bruntOf silly playground tauntsAn racist stunts,I am not de problemI am a born academicBut dey got me on de runNow I am branded athletic,I am not de problemIf you give I a chanceI can teach yu of TimbuktuI can do more dan dance,I am not de problemI greet yu wid a smileYu put me in a pigeon holeBut I am versatile.


Reviews

Black Victorians exhibition

Black Victorians — Black people in British Art 1800–1900Manchester Art GalleryUntil 8 January 2006<a href="http://www.manchestergalleries.org" target = "_blank">www.manchestergalleries.org</a>Phone 0161 235 8888

Degas, Sickert and Lautrec: when realism shocked the establishment

Degas, Sickert and Toulouse Lautrec — London and Paris 1870–1910Tate Britain, central London, until 15 January

Curse of the Were Rabbit: not just a cheesy animation

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were RabbitDirected by Nick Park and Steve BoxAt cinemas now

Fitting the music industry’s formula

It’s ten years since the height of Britpop — the chart battle between Blur’s Country House and Oasis’s Roll With It that was considered so important it was covered on major news programmes and in the broadsheets.

Dickens: a twist in the tale

Author, poet and regular Socialist Worker columnist Michael Rosen is a man on a mission. His latest book, Dickens: His Work and His World, published by Walker Books, is a lavishly illustrated introduction to the Victorian writer Charles Dickens. It is aimed at opening up his novels to a new generation of readers, both adults and children, while underlining their often neglected social and political aspects.

Oliver Twist: an indictment of Victorian cruelty

Before there was the welfare state there was the workhouse. Those who could not support themselves by working for a wage were more or less kept alive in this most grim of institutions.


What We Think

Challenges opened up by German ‘grand coalition’

The formation of a "grand coalition" government of the social democrats and Tories in Germany is a sign of the crisis gripping Europe’s elites.


Other Categories

Letters

Is Britain segregated? Trevor Phillips has got his facts wrong. The census analysts at the Greater London Authority, and leading researchers nationally, have found that London and the rest of Britain are becoming less, not more, segregated.

Socialist Worker appeal

The appeal to raise £150,000 for Socialist Worker has gone well past £40,000.

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events



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