Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1990

Dated: 04 Mar 2006




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U.S. plan to divide Iran

The US and Britain have torn apart Iraq and now they want to do the same to Iran. The US military has been studying ethnic and religious tensions in Iran as part of its preparations for war.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Lecturers’ action needs wide focus

Strike action by about 60,000 workers is set to take place across higher education on Tuesday of next week, followed by action short of strike including an appraisal and assessment boycott.

Does Islington care about voter registration?

The borough of Islington has the lowest level of voter registration in London, which as a city has the lowest rates of registration in the country.

Devon tenants reject transfer

Tenants of Mid-Devon District Council voted overwhelmingly against plans to transfer their homes out of council ownership this week.

NHS protests

Ayr Some 4,000 people demonstrated in Ayr, south west Scotland, last Saturday against the proposed closure of local accident and emergency facilities.

Respect round-up

Manchester Over 800 people packed into a lecture theatre in the University of Manchester on Tuesday of last week to hear George Galloway launch Respect’s local election bid.

Amicus broad left group falls under Simpson’s control

Officials loyal to Derek Simpson, general secretary of the Amicus union, have taken control of Amicus Unity Gazette, the union’s main broad left organisation.

Reports round-up

Marshall workers reject pay offer Union members at Marshall Aerospace in Cambridge have overwhelmingly rejected the company’s offer regarding pay and conditions.

Postal workers: ‘Efficiency drive’ spells danger

Key decisions were made this week which will affect every Royal Mail worker.

Stop the War round-up

Justice for Gordon Gentle Rose Gentle visited the Ministry of Defence offices in Glasgow last week to ask for an inquest be held into her son’s death in Iraq. Military families were due to protest at Downing street on Wednesday this week

The GMB: cleaning up our union

The executive of the GMB union re-convened this week to discuss in detail the findings of the inquiry into allegations of corruption and fraud during the 2003 general secretary election. Some have argued that it is damaging to the movement to publicly display the corrupt practices that may have occurred in the past.

Council workers

Aberdeen City Council Hundreds of school catering and cleaning staff in Aberdeen, overwhelmingly women, have voted in favour of strikes over equal pay.

Dalston Theatre occupation

Activists occupied the Dalston Theatre in Hackney, east London, last week in a bid to save the historic building from being knocked down by the council. The theatre, which used to house the legendary Four Aces reggae club, has been left derelict and uninhabitable for years by Hackney council. Other local campaigners trying to block the demolition plans won a high court judgement against the council last week. The Open Dalston group wants the area developed into facilities for the local community, rather than the high rise buildings favoured by private contractors. For more information on the campaign go to <a href="http://www.opendalston.net" target = "_blank"> www.opendalston.net </a

‘Cut pay or we’ll close Essex care homes,’ says firm

A private company is threatening to close ten nursing homes if workers don’t accept cuts in pay and conditions. This could result in hundreds of elderly, vulnerable people being left on the streets with no one to care for them.

Attack on US abortion rights

The state of South Dakota in the US last week passed a law which outlaws abortion. The only exception is for women whose lives are at risk.

Janet Alder demands justice

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) this week delivered its review into the death of Christopher Alder to home secretary Charles Clarke.

What’s a story for?

The stories written, told and filmed for children pose some interesting questions about how we see ourselves. First, what are they for?

Rotten coalition attacks education

It says everything about New Labour that Tony Blair wants the destruction of comprehensive education to be his lasting legacy. And he’s relying on an alliance with the Tories to do it.

Fiona Millar: ‘Are children just cogs in a great economic wheel?’

Fiona Millar, a local parent and journalist who has co-written A Comprehensive Future with Melissa Benn, spoke at a meeting opposing the White Paper on Thursday of last week in Camden, north London.

GMB joins battle to save local government pension scheme

Fresh forces joined the battle for pensions this week, underlining the immense potential for united strike action by 1.5 million workers.

Scottish Labour conference: Platform gets rough ride over pensions

The Scottish Labour Party conference last week overwhelmingly passed a motion highly critical of the Scottish Executive’s decision to restrict pension rights for local government workers.

Devil is in the detail of pensions framework deal

The framework deal agreed over pensions with civil service workers, NHS staff and teachers looks even worse after leaks about the detailed negotiations.

‘This is a back door wage cut’

Some 100 council workers, many from manual sections, demonstrated in Swansea last week to kick off the strike ballot.

Pensions round-up

Sheffield rally The battle to defend local government pensions featured strongly in a 150?strong demonstration to defend jobs and services held in Sheffield on Saturday of last week.

United Iraqi protests against US divide and rule policy

The recent killings in Iraq are not due to entrenched divisions between Sunni and Shia. Dahr Jamail and Simon Assaf explain what’s fuelling hatred – and the battle for unity

Magnificent show of unity at Cottam power station

An inspiring all-out unofficial strike is taking place at Cottam power station, near Lincoln, in protest against the exploitation of migrant workers.


International

Nepal’s deep crisis

For several months towards the end of last year, the prolongation of a unilateral ceasefire declared by Nepal’s Maoist rebels was not reciprocated by the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA). But it meant that ordinary people were able to visit their families with less risk of being caught up in the conflict.

Solid strikes test Germany’s coalition

Strike action in Germany by the public sector union Verdi is now into its fourth week. Roughly 30,000 public sector workers in nine federal states and the municipalities are on strike on any given day.

Port action makes Greek Tory government seasick

Seafarers were ordered to return to their jobs last week by a special "civilian conscription" decree signed by Kostas Karamanlis, the Tory prime minister of Greece. This was an attempt to break a week long strike which has paralysed the country.


Comment


Features

Unequal Britain

We tend to think that societies are either capitalist or not, class societies or not. But ignoring the smaller differences means we fail to see one of the most important processes shaping human sociality.

Neo-liberal offensive on the poor

‘You can see the effects of poverty on health’ by Nahella Ashraf, Respect’s local election candidate for Rusholme, Manchester

Edward Carpenter: socialism, sandals and the Uranian spirit

Noel Halifax’s series on sexuality continues with a look at the life of Edward Carpenter

Marx and religion

What is Karl Marx’s best known quote on religion? Many people know that Marx described religion as "the opium of the people". But far fewer know the whole quote: "Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."


Reviews

Tropicalia: Brazilian rhythms of resistance

Culture from the global south is often presented as traditional, insular and non political. Brazilian popular culture in particular is still packaged in the exotic cliches of the Girl from Ipanema and the Rio Carnival. Tropicalia blows away these stereotypes.

A bold celebration of Cuba’s ‘cinema of urgency’

Cuban cinema first came into its own after the 1959 revolution with the creation of the Cuban film institute, ICAIC. The British Film Institute has put together a selection of ICAIC films which is currently touring the country.

Reviews round-up

RumbleRenegade TheatreOn tour<a href="http://www.rumbletour.co.uk" target = "_blank">www.rumbletour.co.uk</a> "Fight, dance and passion" are promised, but much much more is delivered in Renegade Theatre’s breathtaking, breakdancing reinvention of Romeo and Juliet.


What We Think

Pay gap shames New Labour and bosses

It is a shameful fact that 36 years after the Equal Pay Act women earn an average of 17 percent less than men.


Other Categories

Peter Eldridge (1935-2006)

My earliest recollection of Peter is seeing him reading out the announcements over the tannoy on the platform at Harrow on the Hill underground station.

Letters

Wembley failure is fault of bosses The fact that the new Wembley stadium won’t be ready in time for the FA cup final didn’t come as a shock to workers on the stadium site.

Who says?

"The way in which I had been able to give my evidence (I told no lies, but I turned some very tricky corners, to put it mildly) had kept Mr B out of a great deal of trouble that I would have landed him in if I had said all I knew."David Mills, lawyer to Italian president Silvio Berlusconi and husband of Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary and a key Blair ally. Italian prosecutors accuse Mills of receiving a £350,000 bribe from Berlusconi

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events



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