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Socialist Worker

Issue: 1973

Dated: 22 Oct 2005

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U.S. delivers bombs, not democracy

George Bush claimed that the US would bring democracy to Iraq and so end the violence there. But as Iraqis voted last weekend, US war planes delivered death from the sky.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Attempt to divide and rule postal workers

Royal Mail have told all their office managers to cut spending by 4.5 percent next year. This is a breach of its commitments to provide a good service.


Hundreds of pensioners and trade unionists marched and demonstrated at parliament last Wednesday.

Lecturers' union ballots for a national strike over low pay

Natfhe lecturers’ union members are being urged to vote "yes" for strike action in a ballot over college employers latest dismal pay offer. The ballot began on Friday of last week.

Heinz workers

The threat of strike action by around 800 workers at Heinz’s plant at Kitts Green in Wigan has won an improved offer by management.


Members of the Prospect union at EDF Energy have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action after management refused to improve a below-inflation pay award.

Tube workers won better safety on Northern Line

Drivers on the London tube’s Northern Line secured an important victory last week after forcing London Underground to withdraw the entire fleet of Northern Line trains.

Victory for Zimbabwean refugees as court halts deportation

Zimbabwean asylum seekers who have been campaigning against deportation have won a major victory in their fight to overturn New Labour’s racist asylum policy.

The only effective housing option is go fourth

Housing is Labour’s biggest failure. More public rented housing is essential as homelessness and waiting lists grow, along with the proportion of first time buyers priced out of the market.

A chance to fight the BNP’s leader

Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP), is set to appear in court in Leeds on Wednesday 2 November to face charges of incitement to racial hatred.

Revolt against academy in Blair’s backyard

More than 300 protesters converged on the town centre in Darlington, north east England, last Saturday to protest against council plans to close two local schools and replace them with a city academy sandwiched between a factory, a lorry park and a recycling tip.

Peace conference gets global backing

Anti-war campaigners from around the world are coming together to discuss their opposition to the current occupation of Iraq. Delegates from the US, Britain and Iraq will come together in solidarity.

We must throw out this shabby pensions deal

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has agreed to increase the pension age for many future public sector workers from 60 to 65.

Avian flu: a preventable pandemic

Avian influenza is the undocumented immigrant from hell that the EU will not be able to turn away from its borders.

Who says?

"Retirement will now be a choice rather than a necessity."Alan Johnson, New Labour’s trade secretary announcing the government’s public sector pensions plan

Gate Gourmet frustration

Gate Gourmet workers are angry and frustrated that even the limited settlement they were offered has been delayed by bickering between their employer and British Airways (BA).

Respect’s solidarity with earthquake victims

Respect members have been collecting money and supplies for the victims of the recent Asian earthquake, and raising the political issues brought to the fore by the disaster.

First Bus on strike

The second 24-hour strike by drivers of First Bus in North Staffs and South Cheshire took place on Friday of last week. Just over 300 drivers took part in a strike that was again 100 percent solid.

Victory as Edinburgh bus strikes win a better offer

First Bus drivers in Scotland have won their strike over pay, with drivers in the east of Scotland accepting an improved offer on Thursday of last week.

Defra workers set to strike on Friday

Workers in the PCS union in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) were to strike on Friday this week over pay disparities in the department.

Department for Work and Pensions

The battle for jobs and services in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) took another step forward last week.

Reports round-up

Robin Goodenough case goes to trial

Sefton council’s weak case shouldn't get a hearing

The disciplinary hearings of six victimised union activists working for Sefton council on Merseyside began on Monday of this week.

Backing the victimised in Sefton

I worked for Sefton council until the careers service was privatised. Nigel Flanagan was an excellent union branch secretary. He worked tirelessly for the members.

Amicus in Birmingham council

The Amicus trade union is balloting its members in Birmingham city council for strike action over plans to privatise the city’s highways services.


Left Bloc makes gains in Portugal

The local elections in Portugal were a disaster for the ruling centre left Socialist Party and its allies. They also saw a significant increase in votes for the radical Left Bloc.

Italians say no to Bolkestein

A 50,000 strong demonstration took place in Rome on Sunday of last week to protest against the Bolkestein directive, a proposal by the European Commission to privatise public services and attack workers’ rights.

Trumpet of liberation sounds out in Africa

Amid the suffering in southern Africa, one event last week was a powerful sign of resistance and hope.

Coming together to bring change

One of the best aspects of the Southern Africa Social Forum was the way it attracted groups like market traders and cross-border traders — very significant groups in southern Africa — and welded them into unity with workers. 

The Zimbabwean crisis could increase struggle

Zimbabwe is in crisis. Rampant inflation, soon to hit 400 percent a year, has debased the currency, wiped out the livelihoods of people on fixed pensions and cut almost everyone’s living standards.

Pakistan’s poorest feel the aftershock

Within a matter of weeks winter will bring snow to the mountains in Kashmir and temperatures will drop below zero. Without shelter, food or warm clothing thousands of people who have already lost loved ones and friends in the recent earthquake will perish.

The occupation and oppression of Kashmir

The state of Jammu and Kashmir, where most of the casualties caused by the earthquake occurred, has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan since 1947. India was partitioned by the British after a long fought freedom struggle.

The US launches a new reign of terror

The United Nations (UN) has accused the US military of war crimes in their offensives against towns and cities in western Iraq.


Zapatistas looking to take power?

One of the disasters that have afflicted different parts of the world in recent months, was Hurricane Stan, which swept southern Mexico and Central America nearly three weeks ago.


Trafalgar: battle for control

Britain’s rulers have reason to be grateful to Horatio Nelson for his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar 200 years ago this week, a victory that would be decisive for the creation of the British Empire.

How we stopped the Nazis in the 1970s

Who Shot the Sheriff? — Alan Miles’s excellent new film charting the history of the Rock Against Racism and Anti Nazi League movements of the 1970s — is set to go on tour in January, sponsored by the Amicus union.

Music was crucial to the movement

Rock Against Racism (RAR) started in 1976 when myself and a few friends wrote a letter to the NME attacking Eric Clapton for making racist comments. That letter brought a massive response from the public.

When midnight struck in Moscow

By December 1905, Russia was gearing itself up for a full-scale counter-revolution.


From Baghdad to Bethnal Green: the movement on camera

"The top image is from Baghdad. The blind woman in this picture was working in a factory — she had been blind for several years, most probably as a result of the Iran-Iraq war when gasses were released on both sides.

The Hot Zone: challenging ‘war on terror’ stereotypes

The Hot Zone By Nirjay MahindruWarehouse Theatre,Croydon, south London18 –23 October,Phone 020 8680 4060

Reviews round-up

John Peel – A TributeWSN RecordsOut now

What We Think

Iraqi constitution is a recipe for a bloody civil war

There was scarcely a part of the world where the British Empire did not intervene to draw a line on the map based on ethnic or religious divisions. This led inevitably to conflict even where none had existed before.

Other Categories


Schools and racism There is no doubt that institutionalised racism exists within British schools.

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