Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 1987

Dated: 11 Feb 2006

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Cartoon row: the issue is racism

This is not about "freedom of speech". It’s not about a "war of civilisations". It’s about racism. Anyone who doubts that need look no further than the right wing Danish paper that commissioned the notorious anti-Muslim cartoons last September.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Naming the dead

The family of Lance Corporal Allan Douglas, the 99th British soldier to die in Iraq, joined a vigil in Aberdeen last week to mark the death of the 100th British soldier.

Bush’s hypocrisy over Iranian nuclear plans

To the delight of George Bush’s government, all the major world powers last week voted to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council over its nuclear programme.

Gifted, black and failed by schools

All the frustration, anger and determination to end the scandal of schools failing black students burst out at a packed meeting in north west London last week.

Edinburgh tenants tell how they fought off privatisation

Tenants, trade unionists and councillors from around the country were set to attend a mass lobby of parliament on Wednesday of this week to protest against the government’s policy of handing council homes to private companies.

SSP by-election campaign

Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) MSPs Colin Fox and Carolyn Leckie join candidate John McAllion (centre) in his campaign in the Dunfermline & West Fife by-election taking place on Thursday of this week. John McAllion is a former Labour MP who has recently joined the SSP. Scottish Socialist Party candidate Angela McCormick is also campaigning in the Milton council by-election in Glasgow, set for Thursday of next week.

Institutional racism – Sir Ian Blair should look a little closer to home

Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Ian Blair is continuing to feel the heat this week following his comments regarding institutional racism in the media.

Thousands join peace vigils

People took part in vigils and protests across Britain this week after the tragic death of the 100th British soldier in Iraq.

Respect groups meet to chose council candidates

Local Respect groups across England are currently in the process of selecting their council candidates for the council elections set to be held on 4 May.

Ambulance workers fighting back over pay

Ambulance workers in the West Midlands were set to start industrial action short of a strike over pay and conditions from Thursday of this week.

Terminal 5 workers to vote on new offer

After three days solid strike action over bonus pay last week, union members working for Laing O’Rourke at Heathrow Terminal 5 were set to vote on a new deal on Wednesday of this week.

Reports round-up

Maryport marches for hospital beds Around 800 people from across Cumbria marched through Maryport on Friday of last week against plans close at least 118 cottage hospital beds countywide.

Bury schools protest puts councillors on defensive

Hundreds of parents, pupils and teachers converged on Bury town hall last week to stop the closures of Prestwich, Broad Oak and Derby high schools. 

Education White Paper

Tony Blair's education White Paper strikes at the heart of comprehensive education. The compromise being brokered by John Prescott between the government and Labour rebels would leave the bulk of the attack in place.

DWP get set for more action to defend public services

PCS civil service workers’ union reps in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were set to meet this Saturday to discuss the next step forward after our successful strike on 27 and 28 January.

Pensions round-up

About 100 people lobbied the Welsh assembly on Wednesday of last week over the threat to public sector pensions. Among those taking part were members of Caerphilly, Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf local government branches of the Unison union.

Council workers: 'We’re sick of bosses treating us so badly'

Council workers in Tower Hamlets, east London, walked out on a one day strike on Tuesday of this week. The workers, members of the Unison union, are protesting against the imposition of changes in the council’s sickness policy.

Northamptonshire council cuts

Tory run Northamptonshire County Council is planning to cut at least 1,000 jobs.

London Undergound action escalates

Action over unfair disciplinary procedures on London Undergound is escalating as 5,000 RMT union members join drivers in balloting for strike action.

Cultural relativism

We live in a society where if a Catholic bishop talks reactionary nonsense about homosexuality there is some mild tut-tutting in the media. But if a Muslim does the same, articles are written about the "failure of multiculturalism" and the need for Muslims to collectively embrace secularism.

Somali community demands justice for Nuur Saeed

Some 600 people took to the streets of Plumstead last weekend to protest over the death of Nuur Saeed. He died on 24 January from injuries sustained following a police raid on a flat in south east London.

‘Racism against Muslims has rocketed since 9/11’

The anger expressed by Muslims over the caricatures of the prophet Mohammed is rooted in the growth in Islamophobia since 9/11. That was the overriding message of Muslims interviewed by Socialist Worker.

Anger as BNP Nazis walk free

Anti-racist campaigners reacted with anger last week as Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP), and his sidekick Mark Collett walked free from a Leeds court.

Babar Ahmad court date set

Babar Ahmad, the south London IT worker threatened with extradition to the US on trumped up terrorism charges, will go to court later this month to fight attempts to deport him.

Cartoon caricatures were designed to offend

Much has been made in recent days of the commitment to free speech in the Danish press.

George Galloway detained in Egypt

The Egyptian state, a key US ally the Middle East, revealed the hypocrisy of George Bush’s vision of democracy for the region when it detained Respect MP George Galloway last weekend.

Belfast post’s defiant walkout

What happens if you are a postal worker who starts making notes in your diary about harassment by managers? In Belfast the manager seizes your diary and accuses you of harassment!

Post workers union must respond to attacks

Belfast is not the only flashpoint as Royal Mail launches a massive national campaign to cut costs and jobs in order to "compete against private operators".

A model to follow over pensions

It's less than two weeks before the first groups of an eventual 1.5 million workers are due to begin balloting for strikes. From 20 February ten unions will start strike ballots over the threats to local government workers’ and firefighters’ pensions.

Defend Council Housing lobby parliament

Around 1,300 delegates from all corners of Britain came to London on Wednesday of this week for Defend Council Housing’s lobby of parliament. The lobby called for an end to the selling off of council housing, and for direct investment.


Greek phone tap scandal erupts

A huge scandal associated with the "war on terror" is rocking Greece’s Tory government following revelations that about 100 mobile phones, including the prime minister’s, were tapped.


15 February 2003: the day two million marched for peace

Next week sees the third anniversary of the great London demonstration against war in Iraq of 15 February 2003. Andrew Murray, chair of the Stop the War Coalition, and leading anti?war activist Jane Shallice look back.


Freedom to spread hate?

The furore over the Danish cartoons shows the growth of Islamophobia, writes Alex Callinicos

The corporate plunder of Iraq

The neo-liberal transformation of Iraq is portrayed as a humanitarian venture. Western corporations and occupying governments now talk of the liberation of Iraq from the "tyranny of Saddam’s planned economy".

Philippe Sands: when Bush and Blair set off to war

New evidence about George Bush and Tony Blair’s drive to go to war against Iraq without a second United Nations (UN) security council resolution or any evidence of weapons of mass destruction was revealed last week.

Protesting against both imperial powers in 1956

Socialist historians met in London last week for a conference on 1956, a key year which saw the Suez crisis and a workers’ revolution in Hungary. Stan Newens, the former left wing Labour MP, was a young activist in London at the time. He spoke to Socialist Worker about the impact of that year on working class people.

Revolution in the Revolution

Read SR, our new monthly supplement, with a lead article on Venezuela, an interview with leading Marxist David Harvey and great columnists including China Miéville.


Soviet Times: photos of war and revolution

This exhibition of 30 photographs from the archives of Novosti RAI, the Soviet Press Agency is a must see. It charts the history of Russia from the 1917 revolution to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

David McVicar’s Figaro: a marriage made in heaven

The Marriage of Figaro, first performed in 1786, is arguably Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s most overtly political opera. It is based on a drama by radical French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais.

Reviews round-up

Comfort of Strangers Beth OrtonReleased Monday 13 February

What We Think

Global domination, global resistance

The Pentagon defence report this week showed the voracious appetite of the US military and its political backers.

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