Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2000

Dated: 13 May 2006

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Blair clears way to attack Iran

Just how far Tony Blair is prepared to go was shown last week when he replaced foreign secretary Jack Straw – because Straw was seen as too soft on Iran. A man who just weeks ago paraded US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice around north west England is now no longer regarded by Blair as being sufficiently enthusiastic about waging war alongside George Bush.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


A stunning result for Respect in Newham

Respect shattered the Labour stranglehold on the east London borough of Newham last week, winning a magnificent 20 percent in the mayoral election and 26 percent across the entirety of the council seats.

Respect gets good results around the country

Respect successes in Birmingham Salma Yaqoob was elected as a Respect councillor in the Sparkbrook ward in Birmingham, winning an astounding 4,339 votes, among the highest anywhere.

Asbestos victims condemned to die in poverty

Thousands of victims of an asbestos-related cancer and the families of those who have already died of the disease will not receive full compensation in the wake of a legal victory by insurers last week.

Defend the LGPS

The battle over the future of the local government pension scheme (LGPS), which saw up to 1.5 million workers strike on 28 March, is far from over.

Indicative ballot by Ministry of Defence workers

Tens of thousands of union members in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) began voting this week in an indicative ballot for industrial action over job cuts and privatisation.

Lecturers in talks with management

Two months into their action over pay, representatives from the university lecturers’ unions Natfhe and the AUT met with employers on Monday.

Keep the privateers off the tube

It was revealed last week that the London Underground’s East London line is to become the first tube line to be run by the private sector.

Omar Deghayes: high court rules against Guantanamo detainees

The high court last week ruled that the British government is not obliged to intervene on behalf of the British residents held at Guantanamo Bay.

Reports round-up

Rail pensions lobby Hundreds of rail union members lobbied parliament on Tuesday of this week in defence of pensions. The unions are preparing to ballot for strikes over the issue.

Get set for a summer of discontent on the buses

Cleaners and engineers for First Bus in south Staffordshire and south Cheshire struck over pay for seven days from 28 April to 4 May.

Defend Council Housing

Defend Council Housing (DCH) holds its annual conference in central London on 22 May.

Department for Work and Pensions strike

The two-day strike by over 85,000 civil service workers in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week was incredibly successful.

National Maritime Museum

A year long campaign for union recognition at the National Maritime Museum in south east London has ended in a stunning victory for its 500 members of staff. Staff have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the PCS and Prospect unions being recognised.

Postal workers should reject this phoney shares scheme

Wednesday 18 May is shaping up to be a crucial day for post office workers and every trade unionist.

CWU Chesterfield

An excellent CWU union local meeting was held in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, recently to discuss the Lib Dems’ idea of part privatisation of the Post Office. This proposal means that 49 percent of the company would be sold off, 25 percent kept by the government and 26 percent kept in a trust by the employees.

Key issues we have to fight over after elections

Imagine if the local government pension scheme strikes had gone ahead on 4 May as originally planned.

Spectacular performance from Respect in local elections

The 4 May local election saw the latest in a series of remarkable electoral results for Respect – especially for an organisation that is only two and a half years old fighting a local election campaign for the first time.

Local elections were not a great day for Tories and Liberals

The Tories were crowing that the elections had opened the way towards a general election victory for them.

Reshuffle is a last stand for Blair

‘Tony Blair’s cabinet reshuffle has brought more Blairites into the cabinet. It is very much a last stand for Tony Blair, refreshing the Blairite wing of the party.

NHS crisis leads to resignation

New Labour's savaging of the NHS has become too much even for some thought of as close to Tony Blair.

Respect kicks out Labour leadership in Tower Hamlets

Respect’s strongest result in the 4 May local council elections was in Tower Hamlets, east London, where it took 12 council seats leaving it the largest opposition group on the new council.

Fighting against Respect's exclusion from ballot

Respect’s lawyers are preparing a legal challenge against Tower Hamlets council over a decision by the returning officer to exclude three Respect candidates from the ballot in St Katherine’s & Wapping ward.

A shield and a sword against the Nazi BNP

What many of us feared became a reality on the night of 4 May, when the fascist British National Party (BNP) won 32 council seats, 11 of them in Barking & Dagenham. They now have 48 councillors around the country.

Socialist Worker's 2,000th issue

The first weekly Socialist Worker appeared in September 1968. We wanted a new paper, one that a militant would read and say, "That reflects what I feel, reports what I’m doing and tells me about other people in struggle."

US moves a step closer to war

Britain and the US are raising renewed threats of war against Iran in the run up to a crucial United Nations (UN) meeting.

Anti-war protests in Brighton

Around 100 people braved the pouring rain to attend a Don’t Attack Iran rally in central Brighton on Saturday.

Royal Mail management imposes rejected pay offer

In a hostile act, Royal Mail has decided to impose on postal workers a pay offer already rejected by the CWU union. The imposition immediately follows the company's heavy-handed attempt to ban the union's consultative ballot on the future of the industry which includes a focus on higher basic pay.

Zimbabwe – International Anti-Eviction Day on 18 May

We, the people of Zimbabwe, do solemnly declare on this day that we shall forever remember with heavy hearts and burning anger, the atrocious brutality visited upon the poor people of this nation by the government of Zimbabwe under the so called Operation Murambatsvina (which translates as "Drive out the Filth").


Athens ESF: movements debate and plan for action

The fourth European Social Forum (ESF) met in Athens at a crucial point following the victory of the French movement against new labour laws and as the US threat of military attack against Iran gathers pace.

Rage in Basra as British kill five

Anger at Britain’s occupation of southern Iraq is growing, with Iraqis demanding that British troops halt all low level flights over neighbourhoods and withdraw all troops from the cities.

Democracy activists detained in Cairo

Egyptian state security forces have arrested 11 democracy activists as part of a crackdown on the opposition Kifaya movement.


New challenges for Respect after the elections

Last year the election of George Galloway was hailed as a bridgehead for Respect – one that had to be consolidated and extended. This May we succeeded in doing that. In east London and Birmingham Respect is breathing down the neck of New Labour.


Abortion: defending the right to choose

The Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) was started in 1936 by three women, Janet Chance, Stella Browne and Alice Jenkins.They were joined on the committee by two other radical feminists, Dora Russell and Frida Laski. All had supported sexual freedom for women and worked on improving access to birth control.

The Latino civil rights movement

It was the greatest May Day in generations. More than two million immigrants and their supporters took the day off work to demonstrate pride and defiance in the downtown streets of a dozen cities.

‘Demonstrate power through strikes’

More than a million immigrants and allies took to the streets in cities across the US on 1 May in the latest of escalating demonstrations for recognition.

‘Who are you calling an immigrant?’

I wore the multicoloured Aymaran flag of Bolivia to the May Day march in Los Angeles, the same day that Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, nationalised the oil and gas fields.

The immigration malaise

School children used to learn Emma Lazarus’s ode to the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door." (The New Colossus).

Change through the ballot or the bullet

Kerri Parke's third and final column on US black radical Malcolm X looks at his last year

Italy – can the party last?

Read our monthly supplement, with a lead article by Chris Bambery on Italy, an interview with French novelist Faïza Guène, Third World Reports on Nepal, Nicaragua and Lebanon, and much more


Why Springsteen is right to revisit Pete Seeger’s folk music

When the folk boom of the 1960s brought a new crop of young, politicised singer/songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Buffy Sainte-Marie to the forefront of popular awareness, an influential critic famously referred to them as "Pete’s children".

The Line of Beauty: don’t say you’re gay in front of the servants

The television series The Line of Beauty asks questions about sexuality and class.

Reviews round-up

Undercover SurrealismThe Hayward Galleryuntil 30 July<a href="" target = "_blank"></a>

What We Think

Chavez in London

When Venezuela's radical president, Hugo Chavez, visits London early next week, he will be a guest of mayor Ken Livingstone.

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Who says?

"Those people who maybe feel or hope that Gordon would take the Labour Party in a different direction from New Labour are completely mistaken.

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