Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 1991

Dated: 11 Mar 2006

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Bush is ready to bomb Iran

The US is ratcheting up the pressure on Iran with the clearest signs yet that George Bush’s administration is planning a military attack on the country’s fledgling nuclear programme.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Rowntree report: the power beyond official democracy

A new report from the Joseph Rowntree Trust provides a damning description of the sickly state of Britain’s democracy.

Post strike in Plymouth

Post Office bosses’ refusal to abide by an agreement they had signed just days before led to a strike at Plymouth’s north central delivery office on Monday.

Northern Ireland post workers

Derry Derry postal workers in Northern Ireland are threatening industrial action if Royal Mail forces through a cost-cutting proposal to transfer its mail transport service from the city to Belfast.

Asda depots

Members of the GMB union at more than 20 Asda depots are balloting on strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions. A strike could affect supplies to about 300 stores.

Hackney dinner ladies

Dinner ladies from schools across Hackney, east London, staged an unofficial strike on Wednesday of last week.

City of London cleaners

The T&G union, together with the London Citizens community organisation, this week launched the latest stage in the campaign against low pay and poor treatment of cleaners in the City of London.

Save the NHS

Over 600 people protested in Wigton, north Cumbria, last Saturday against threats to the NHS in the area. The population of Wigton is just 5,360.

Health managers undermine ambulance agreement

Ambulance workers in Bristol and the wider Avon region are to ballot for strike action over the agenda for change pay and conditions deal. The ballot involves 350 members of the Unison union.

Reports round-up

Bury schools protest Over 500 people marched through Bury, Lancashire, last Saturday against the proposed closure of two local high schools, Prestwich Arts College and Broad Oak High. My local school, Prestwich, is brilliant and has a mixture of students of all races and religions. Campaigners also lobbied the council and forced it to delay any decision on closures for three weeks.

Modernist architecture: utopias in the sky

‘It looks like a concrete spaceship from the planet Crap." This quip from a member of the public in the Channel 4 programme Demolition, about Cumbernauld town centre, is our typical reaction to the naive utopianism of British modern architecture.

Cottam construction workers build a striking unity

The unofficial all-out strike by construction workers at Cottam power station near Nottingham was continuing as Socialist Worker went to press.

Stop the War round-up

Tower Hamlets Over 300 people came to a Stop the War rally in Tower Hamlets, east London on Wednesday of last week. The audience, which reflected the diversity of the local community, heard speakers including George Galloway, Rose Gentle and Tony Benn.

Occupation demanding community development in Dalston

Activists are still occupying Dalston Theatre in east London against Hackney council’s threatened demolition.

Firefighters' pensions

Rank and file firefighters in the FBU union are campaigning to get the biggest possible no vote to a pensions deal put forward by government ministers and the union’s leadership.

PCS position on career average pensions

Socialist Worker last week reported that newspapers were carrying a quote from "a PCS spokesperson" on the current pensions negotiations for the civil service. The PCS says the comments made by the spokesperson were badly misrepresented by the newspapers.

Attack on Bengali Surma newspaper provokes outrage

Some 200 people attended a meeting of the Bengali Press Club in east London on Monday of last week to express outrage at a violent attack on a local Bengali paper.

Hertfordshire firefighters' anti-cuts protest

Firefighters from Hertfordshire protested outside Downing Street against cuts on Wednesday of last week. They demonstrated rather than take part in a reception put on to acknowledge the 600 firefighters who tackled the Buncefield oil depot fire in Hemel Hempstead last December.

Scottish Socialist Party conference debates the possibilities

This year’s Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) annual conference took place against the backdrop of New Labour’s recent defeat in the Dunfermline West by-election.

Unite against Fascism in Sefton

Anti-fascists and trade unionists in Merseyside have vowed to step up their campaign against the British National Party (BNP) after the Nazis came third in a council by-election.

Higher education staff in strike battle over pay

Higher education workers in the AUT and Natfhe unions struck over pay on Tuesday.

New Labour’s attack on comprehensive schooling

Anger among teachers, parents and trade unionists is growing over the education bill, set to be debated in parliament on Wednesday of next week.

Teachers round-up

Teachers strike against job cuts Members of the NUT teaching union at Mayville Primary School, east London, held a one-day strike on Thursday of last week.

Respect's electoral challenge on Merseyside

Merseyside Respect is targeting the Liverpool 8 ward of Prince’s Park in the forthcoming May elections.

Global anti-war protests

The London anti-war demonstration on 18 March will be one of a series of events taking place across the world.

Out to halt the pensions attack

Next week we will know if 1.5 million workers are ready to confront the government in what the unions are calling the biggest action since the General Strike of 1926.

Pensions round-up

BA war council British Airways (BA) bosses are refusing to back off over attacks on pensions and could soon face strikes by thousands of workers.


Activists elected in South Africa

The Operation Khanyisa (Light-Up) movement won a council seat in the Johannesburg region in the recent South African municipal elections. The related Displaced Ratepayers’ Association won three seats in Ekurhuleni – the former East Rand.

Will Silvio Berlusconi steal Italian election?

The right wing Italian government led by Silvio Berlusconi has suffered a number of defeats since it was elected in 2001. These include local and European elections. There has been a wave of protests against its policies.

Painful Hamburg deal will affect other disputes in Germany

A deal has been reached after almost three weeks of strikes by public sector workers in Hamburg, northern Germany. The strikes, part of a series of regional actions by the Verdi public sector union, opposed increases in the working week.

Cairo Conference: discussing resistance to imperialism in Egypt

British anti-war activists have a great opportunity to join hundreds of Arab and international delegates in Egypt later this month for the fourth Cairo Conference against US intervention and occupation in the Middle East.

Anti-war protests in India and Pakistan against Bush’s visit

While a certain corner of our capital was transformed by red carpets in preparation for George Bush’s visit last week, the other corners were lined with banners, placards and posters that reflected the utmost contempt for Bush and his policies.


Francis Fukuyama: neo-con friendship comes to an end

No one should be in any doubt about Tony Blair’s arrogance in saying that god will judge him for invading Iraq. The implication was that he doesn’t care about the judgement of mere mortals such as the rest of us.


From gay liberation to pressure group politics

In 1969 the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) seemed to come out of the blue. It was a movement born from a riot after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York.

Why are women still on the bottom rung?

So it’s our fault. Women suffer discrimination and unequal pay because we make the wrong choices. New Labour tells us choice is everything. Now it claims that if

The Servant Problem: a return to Victorian values

The last 30 years have seen real gains for women in the workplace. Women are more likely than ever to be in professional jobs, to be working full time and to be well paid.

1946: when the iron curtain was drawn

Winston Churchill made a famous speech 60 years ago this month, heralding the beginning of the Cold War. Ian Birchall looks at its consequences

Don’t let privateers tear apart our health service

I've decided to talk today on the title: "Is a patient-led NHS possible?" I went to a conference last October hosted by something called the New Health Network.

Islam and the Enlightenment

Read our new monthly supplement SR, with this issue, with a lead article by Neil Davidson on Islam and the Enlightenment, an interview with jazz legend Courtney Pine and great columnists including Mark Steel.


Tsotsi: life and love on the streets of Johannesburg

This is a film about a young gang leader named Tsotsi who lives on the dangerous and crime-ridden streets of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Reviews round-up

Resurrection BluesDirector Robert AltmanThe Old Vic theatre, LondonUntil 22 April<a href="" target = "_blank"></a> This was Arthur Miller’s last play, completed just a month before his death.

What We Think

Liberal Democrats lurch to the right

The Liberal Democrats are keen to present themselves as the "realistic" choice for those who want to express their dissatisfaction with Tony Blair, over his war in Iraq and so much more. That was the case in the recent Dunfermline West by-election, which the Lib Dems unexpectedly won by posing as a left alternative to Labour.

Other Categories

Linda Smith 1957–2006

It is with great sorrow that Socialist Worker says goodbye to Linda Smith.


The dangers of flying The issue of whether we must reduce air travel to halt global warming can no longer be ignored by socialists.

Who says?

"Upwards of 80 to 85 percent of people... have witnessed or been a part of a traumatic event, including engaging the enemy, killing people... In Vietnam, there were safe areas where people could go to rest and recuperate. That doesn’t happen in Iraq – every place is a war zone."Steve Robinson, of the US National Gulf War Resource Centre, which supports veterans

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events

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