Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 1999

Dated: 06 May 2006

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Sweep away Blair’s regime

How much lower can this government sink? The stench of sleaze and hypocrisy lingers all the time – nowhere is it stronger than round the carcass of Charles Clarke.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


50,000 flock to London anti-Nazi music event

Some 50,000 people turned out in London’s Trafalgar Square last Saturday for a carnival against the fascist British National Party (BNP) organised by Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) and Unite Against Fascism.

Anti-Nazis out in force in Barking & Dagenham

Last Sunday, the day after the London LMHR event, over 60 people took part in a day of action in Barking & Dagenham, where the BNP are hoping to make a breakthrough in the 4 May local elections.

Resistance grows as health cuts bite

Over 1,000 more NHS job losses were announced last week, bringing the total to over 5,000.

Health workers debate strikes that could take effect in three days

Paul Harper is the branch secretary of Unison at the NHS Logistics depot in Maidstone, Kent

Rail action over pensions moves closer

The pensions dispute on the railways is moving towards a strike ballot of tens of thousands of rail workers.

BBC pensions

‘The four BBC unions met last week – the NUJ, Bectu, Amicus and the Musicians’ Union – and everyone agreed that the BBC’s pensions proposals were completely unacceptable.

Uniting lecturers and students in higher education

University lecturers continued their exams and marking boycott this week as the bosses conceded that they must offer a better pay deal to end the dispute.

Allied Glass

For a second successive Friday, over 200 workers at Allied Glass containers in Leeds struck last week over an imposed two-year pay freeze.

Reports round-up

Peugeot Workers who face losing their jobs at Peugeot’s factory near Coventry took their protest to London on Monday. Workers also demonstrated in Coventry and Birmingham about the planned closure at Ryton with the loss of 2,300 jobs. On Monday, staff joined the London May Day union rally to gain more support for their campaign.

Palestine twinning campaign

‘When the twinning conference in Palestine was planned in 2005, there was not yet a date for the Palestinian election. Following a conference in Camden last September, Palestinian delegates wanted to take the twinning movement forward by hosting a conference in the West Bank. The Hamas government had not been elected.

Strike shocks DWP bosses

Around 85,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union struck on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) workers were taking action against 40,000 job losses that will devastate the vital services they provide. We print reports from around the picket lines

Learning and Skills Council

Over 2,000 PCS civil service workers’ union members struck on Friday of last week in the Learning and Skills Council, including at the Coventry headquarters. They were striking over plans to slash 1,120 jobs and management’s refusal to offer a no compulsory redundancy guarantee. The one-day strike saw a number of offices close across England and others operate on skeleton staff.

Military families take their protest to Downing Street

Military Families Against the War held a moving lobby of parliament on Wednesday of last week. Relatives and friends – of serving soldiers and some of the 104 British soldiers who have died – laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Civil service round up

The elections for the national executive of the PCS union have begun. Socialist Worker is urging its supporters and readers to campaign and vote for the Democracy Alliance slate.

Firefighters’ action over cuts

Firefighters in Hertfordshire Fire Brigades Union (FBU) were set to announce the result of a strike ballot on Tuesday of this week, with strike action possibly starting as soon as Tuesday of next week.

This is why we’re backing Respect

Lesley Ellis has lived on the Cranbrook estate in the Globe Town area of Bethnal Green for the past 19 years. She drives a black cab for a living, as did her father before her.

News round-up

Day of action to stop Iran attack The Stop the War Coalition is organising national protests against an attack on Iran.

Preserving unity on the German left

A debate has been raging in Germany for over a year now. How do we build a new left party across the whole country?

Iraq – the crisis deepens

US troops and their Iraqi allies are facing a better coordinated and more effective insurgency. Over the last month 81 coalition troops have been killed, the highest tally since November 2005.

Respect is the only force fighting for clean politics in the local elections

Respect activists in Tower Hamlets, east London, have uncovered evidence of systematic postal vote fraud going on in the borough. Police have been called in to investigate.

Respect local election results

Salma Yaqoob wins in Sparkbrook – results for all council wards where Respect candidates stood and mayoral elections in Hackney and Newham. Results will appear as councils delcare on the night of Thursday 4 May or, for councils with mayoral elections, on Friday 5 May.

Respect makes gains in local elections

In the borough of Tower Hamlets in east London, one of Labour’s historic heartlands, Respect has won a significant number of seats, making it a major player in that council. Further gains are expected there and in neighbouring Newham.

Respect conquers new territory

No reshuffling of the cabinet, no sackings and no demotions of ministers can hide the fact that Thursday’s local elections were New Labour’s worst performance since it came into being under Tony Blair.


Egypt’s regime steps up the repression

Egyptian security forces last week seized leading members of the Kifaya movement – Enough in Arabic – during an attack on a sit-in held in support of a protest by 80 judges in the capital, Cairo.

ESF in Greece will see beginning of a hot summer of struggle

Activists from all over Europe and the Middle East will arrive in Athens this week to participate in the 4th European Social Forum (ESF).


Evo Morales, Bolivia’s radical president, addressed crowds of supporters on Monday to announce he had ordered troops into the country’s gas fields. "The time has come – a historic day on which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources," he said. "The looting by foreign companies has ended." The mass movement that brought Morales to power has long demanded nationalisation of the gas fields.

US immigrants strike to defend their rights

It was a May Day to remember in the US. Well over a million immigrants and their supporters marched in towns and cities across the country on Monday. Workers struck in order to show what a "day without immigrants" would be like, and school students walked out of classes.

Anti-war marchers in US say troops home now

Hundreds of thousands marched through New York City (NYC) last Saturday in a demonstration for peace, justice, and democracy. Marchers demanded that the US pull its troops out of Iraq and protested against the possibility of a war in Iran.


Maoism in the 21st century

"Maoism Rises Again" lamented a Financial Times editorial a few weeks ago.


The 1926 general strike: nine days of hope

Over recent weeks Socialist Worker has discussed the contrast between the victorious campaign against the CPE labour law in France and the capitulation by the trade union leaders over pensions rights in Britain.

The Nation of Islam and the fight for dignity

In the second column in our series on Malcolm X, Kerri Parke looks at his radicalisation

CIA: the terrible history of the terrorists within

There is a terrorist organisation operating in Britain today with the full knowledge and support of Tony Blair and the New Labour government.

Asbos: the politics of fear

Law and order was the main issue being pushed by many Labour Party candidates in the local elections. Having driven through neo-liberal policies that are ripping apart communities and are tearing down the welfare state, all


Roll Deep: anti-racism runs deep through this music

One of the highlights of Saturday’s Love Music Hate Racism carnival against the BNP was a storming set from east London grime crew Roll Deep. They spoke to Socialist Worker about why they were standing up against racism.

What We Think

Tony Blair is reaping what he has sowed

For 12 years Tony Blair and his coterie have driven New Labour towards its slavish worship of the free market. Its decision to back George Bush and his wars flowed from a shared commitment to serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful. At each stage the Blairites have treated Labour’s traditional working class supporters with contempt.

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Peter Law 1948-2006

Peter Law was a grand friend, comrade and socialist, who spent all his adult life serving the local community, as a councillor, member of the Welsh Assembly and in his last year as MP for Blaenau Gwent.



Who says?

"There’s two kinds of Iraqis here, the ones who help us and the ones who shoot us, and there’s an awful lot of ’em doing both."US Staff Sgt Jason Hoover, in Hawijah, Iraq

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