Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1975

Dated: 05 Nov 2005




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Guilty men are in the White House

George Bush's tower of lies over Iraq is threatening to come crashing down around his ears.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Unspinning the US’s web of lies against Galloway

Two reports last week announced with great sound and fury that they had the "smoking gun" linking Respect MP George Galloway to the payroll of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime.

Anti-fascist demo humiliates BNP leader at court appearance

Over a thousand anti-fascists rallied outside Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday morning for a vibrant and united demonstration against Nick Griffin, leader of the Nazi British National Party (BNP).

Families demand an end to shoot to kill

Hundreds of people whose loved ones who killed by the police or died in custody held a procession through central London last Saturday.

Anti-fascist pressure forces the police to cancel Nazi rally

Holocaust Survivor Leon Greenman movingly outlined the threat of fascism on Monday of this week as activists geared up to protest against the Nazi British National Party (BNP) in Leeds.

Angry mood over public sector pensions deal

Meetings of public sector union members are revealing disquiet with the pensions deal brokered by the TUC which, while preserving the pension age for existing workers, means future entrants will face higher contributions or retiring at 65.

Postal workers

The Communication Workers’ Union held a national briefing in Leeds on Thursday of last week over its campaign against the threat of post privatisation.

Tell It Like It Is — great turnout for book launch

The launch of the new book Tell It Like It Is: How our schools fail black children, at City Hall, central London, on Wednesday of last week was a magnificent event.

Parliament cleaners strike

About 140 cleaners at the Houses of Parliament are set to strike on Wednesday of next week.

BBC workers

The NUJ and Bectu unions are campaigning against the BBC’s plans to axe foreign language services at BBC World Service, threatening 283 staff with redundancy.

Anti-racist gig in Liverpool

Over 1,200 people packed into the Liverpool Academy on Thursday of last week for a tribute gig organised by Love Music Hate Racism for Anthony Walker, the black teenager murdered by racists in July.

Respect

Aberystwyth We ran a Respect stall at a 350 strong "Audience with George Galloway" in Aberystwyth, Dyfed.

Gate Gourmet workers’ tribunal plan

Some 144 Gate Gourmet workers are considering going to an industrial tribunal. They were offered compulsory redundancy under the deal hammered out between unions, the employers and British Airways earlier this year.

City academies — Darlington trick or treat?

An impressive crowd of ghouls, ghosts, devils and witches gathered outside Darlington Town Hall this Halloween, in order to remind councillors that their proposals to privatise local education provision were nothing short of monstrous.

Newcastle hospital workers' strike

Over 500 hospital workers in Newcastle were on strike on Monday. The strike is to oppose "leapfrogging" where, because of the agenda for change pay structure, new staff join the workforce on higher pay than their more experienced colleagues.

Abortion rights

Over 200 people packed into to the first public meeting of the campaign to defend the present time limit for abortion. The meeting, on Wednesday of last week, was called by the group Abortion Rights.

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

Council workers in Sefton, Merseyside, were due to join trade unionists from across the region on Tuesday of this week to lobby Sefton council over the victimisation of leading trade union campaigners.

Teachers' fury at TLR pay cuts

Anger is rising in schools across England and Wales as thousands of teachers discover they are facing pay cuts of up to £10,000 a year under a new salary structure.

Eileen Short wins big support

A lobby of Tower Hamlets council is set to take place in support of Eileen Short next Monday, 7 November, which is ban bullying at work day.

Critical Mass bike riders defy threats

The London Critical Mass bike ride on Friday of last week was a great celebration of cycling.

Bus workers

Over 300 First Bus drivers in north Staffordshire struck again last Saturday and on Monday of this week.

Reports round-up

Glasgow City Council Around 100 workers protested on Monday outside Glasgow City Council chambers at £18 million of cuts. This includes £7.9 million cuts in education and £5.2 million in social work

Leadership questions and community tension

Recent community tensions between the African Caribbean and Asian communities in Birmingham have starkly exposed the gross racial inequalities suffered by both communities.

Tariq Aziz pulls plug on Senate’s Galloway smears

The key prop of the new allegations against Respect MP George Galloway spectacularly fell away this week.

New Labour fails its own tests over education

The government's own research has shattered one of the central planks of Tony Blair’s educational philosophy — that the way to raise standards in schools is by putting more pupils in sets.

‘Don’t let the rich get their hands on our homes’

Tenants from council estates across the country met in Birmingham last Saturday at a meeting organised by Defend Council Housing.

Anger over threat to transfer NHS jobs

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has challenged the government’s plans to transfer up to 250,000 health workers out of the NHS.

Refugees reveal horror at a detention centre

Zimbabwean refugees have told Socialist Worker of appalling treatment at the Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire.

Who says?

"The detainees who are choosing not to eat are bedridden but active... and are allowed to practise their religion, and we’ve also rotated the involuntary feeding schedule to accommodate Ramadan."Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Martin, Military spokesman at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre

‘Let’s keep fighting to get our boys home’

Yvonne Stewart’s son Sammy is on his first tour of duty in Iraq. He is stationed in Basra until next May.

Rachid Taha to headline peace concert

The Stop the War Coalition is working with musician Brian Eno to put on a huge Bring the Troops Home concert in London on 27 November.

Students ready for conference

Student groups around the country are setting up meetings to elect delegates to the International Peace Conference in London on 10 December.

David Blunkett's resignation and arrogance of the Blair set

The resignation of work and pensions secretary David Blunkett is a further sign of the decay of the Blair regime. Almost daily there is a sense that this rotten government is being run from an embattled bunker where all but the most faithful have departed and even the previously loyal acolytes have slunk away or engaged in self-destructive behaviour.


International

US sprays death from the air in Colombia

I became interested in this issue after speaking to people in Colombia. One woman told me she was working in the fields with her family when aeroplanes came down and started spraying.

Left Party congress is a step forward

Several hundred people gathered in Athens last weekend for the second Congress of the European Left Party. This unites a number of socialist and communist parties — including Respect — which oppose the European Union’s neo-liberal agenda and support participation in the broad movements that have gathered strength in recent years.

Italy’s student revolt

A huge series of demonstrations and occupations in Italy over the last few weeks has seen the return of the student movement. Students across the country have been protesting against the new university bill recently introduced by the ministry of education.

Schiphol disaster

Eleven detained refugees were killed in a fire at the Schiphol airport prison last week. The deaths were a direct result of racist anti-immigrant policies and negligence of safety regulations. The Dutch government is to blame.


Comment

Will they bomb Iran or Syria?

The Bush administration had a couple of bits of good news recently, at a time when the picture facing it was generally pretty grim.


Features

What contributes to ‘human nature’?

I want to examine the debates among those who accept that evolutionary theory has something to say about human nature this week.

Britain's prison crisis

The number of prisoners in British jails has reached an all time high. Who exactly are the people getting caught up in the prison system?

Fear and self harm

There are 77,800 people in custody in Britain today, of which 4,600 are women. This compares to 44,600 people in prison in 1993. There are 11,300 people under 21 in prison today. There were 3,400 children in custody in September 2005, an increase of 10 percent from October 2004. Some 800 men, women and children took their own lives in jails in England and Wales between 1995 and 2004. Over half of those who take their own lives in custody are on remand. Overcrowded local jails suffer from the greatest number of suicides. Around 40 percent of suicides occur within the first month of being in custody. There have been 64 self-inflicted deat

US prison system targets blacks and poor whites

The US prison system today incarcerates some 2.1 million adults. That prison population has increased sevenfold from 300,000 since 1980.

Farewell, sister Rosa

‘My life’s mission has been simple — that all men and women are created equal under the eyes of our Lord," wrote US civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Rosa died two weeks ago, aged 92.


Reviews

Rubens — his brush was the sword of counter revolution

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) was a great painter. Anyone who enjoys painting or is interested in the history of art will gain pleasure, and perhaps inspiration, from the exhibition of his work, Rubens: A Master in the Making, now showing at the National Gallery in London.

Two documentaries revealing the truth about US occupation

A Day for FallujahFilms and discussionTuesday 8 NovemberThe ICA, central LondonPhone 020 7930 3647<a href="http://www.ica.org.uk" target = "_blank"> www.ica.org.uk</a>

Reviews round-up

At This TimeBurt BacharachColumbia Records


What We Think

Blair and Blunkett aren’t in Wonderland

Downing Street more and more resembles a mad hatter’s tea party these days. Not content with lecturing European Union leaders on the joys of neo-liberalism Tony Blair let it be known that he regarded minister for work and pensions David Blunkett as being too soft in his proposals to force those on disability benefit back to work.


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Letters

Letters

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The appeal to raise £150,000 for Socialist Worker is gaining pace with money coming in from readers and supporters across the country.

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events



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