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Socialist Worker

Issue: 2001

Dated: 20 May 2006

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Pensioners robbed of £52 a week

The government has stolen £52 a week from every pensioner in Britain – and now they expect us to be grateful when they give back £1.40 and also put up the pension age for every worker!

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Respect councillor: ‘We are the opposition to New Labour here’

Abdul Karim Sheikh, Respect councillor in Newham, east London, spoke to Socialist Worker after the successes in the local elections on 4 May

Latin left’s spirit of revolt hits Europe

Venezuela’s radical president Hugo Chavez received a rapturous reception at a packed meeting in London last Sunday. "We are participating in a revolution," Chavez told his audience.

Northumbria lecturers to strike against pay attack

Lecturers at Northumbria university are due to begin indefinite strike action from Tuesday of next week after effectively being locked out by their employers.

AUT conference

University lecturers met in Scarborough last week for the last time prior to the merging of the AUT and Natfhe lecturers’ unions to form the Union of Colleges and Universities (UCU).

Reports round-up

Health Service lobby Over 1,000 nurses from the Royal College of Nursing and Unison took part in a mass lobby of parliament on Thursday of last week to protest against job cuts in the NHS.

Walkout shows how to fight at Vauxhall

Over 3,000 car workers and office staff walked out at the Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port on Merseyside on Thursday of last week. All three shifts at the Cheshire plant downed tools in protest at the threat of losing 1,000 jobs.

Court considers how Mikey Powell died

Mikey Powell died after he was detained outside his home in Lozells, Birmingham, on 7 September 2003. The trial of ten police officers charged in connection with his death began at Leicester Crown Court last week.

Action to defend Hertfordshire firefighters' jobs

Firefighters in the FBU union in Hertfordshire are likely to start an eight-hour strike this Saturday. The strike will go ahead if, as expected, a new set of employer proposals over fire service cuts is rejected by members at a meeting later this week.

Richard Chang campaign

Richard Chang died after falling from the fifth floor of Abbey’s headquarters in central London during July 2004. An inquest returned a verdict of suicide.

Bus strike gets the go ahead at Go-Ahead

Some 700 RMT members at Go-Ahead’s Wiltshire and Dorset bus operation were to strike for 24 hours on Thursday this week and a further 48 hours on Thursday and Friday next week over pay.

Barking & Dagenham needs more homes, not more racism

The arguments about why the Nazi British National Party (BNP) won 11 seats in the borough of Barking & Dagenham, east London, in the recent council elections continued to rage last week.

Sack Allan Leighton, the post privateer

Allan Leighton, the chairman of Royal Mail, should be sacked and all his privatisation plans should be binned with him.

Post bosses’ imposition of pay deal sparks Oxford wildcat walkout

CWU postal workers’ union members at the Oxford mail centre walked out spontaneously at lunchtime on Wednesday of last week.

Students call for solidarity with lecturers

University lecturers in the Natfhe and AUT unions are continuing to boycott marking as part of their fight for decent pay.

British troops lose out in battle for Basra

The British occupying forces in Basra have all but lost control of the southern Iraqi city. Last weekend saw two more soldiers killed in a roadside bomb attack, bringing the total number of British fatalities in Iraq to 111.

Mind your language?

If you’re wiser and luckier than me, you won’t have chosen to watch a pair of programmes on BBC4 last week, The Pedants’ Revolt and Never Mind the Full Stops. The idea that lay behind the first was that we are living in a time when more and more people are trying to hold the line on correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Rail unions signal start of major pensions battle

The failure of employers to guarantee secure pensions for rail workers could see the biggest strike in the industry since the General Strike of 1926.

Union leaders must not accept rotten compromise

The proposals leaked from Labour’s pensions White Paper were denounced by pensioner activists and some union leaders.

Pensioners' parliament to savage Blair

Just days before the government publishes its White Paper on pension reform, Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation – the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) – opened its annual Pensioners’ Parliament.

Shame of inequality

The NPC has just published its second annual Age Audit of life for older people in Britain.

Sainsbury’s new attack on staff

Sainsbury workers could lose out on large chunks of their pension if they do not contribute more from their wages.


High court ruling is ‘step forward’ for exiled Diego Garcia islanders

A group of exiled islanders who were forcibly removed from their homes by the British government won a victory in the high court last week.

Lebanon: anger on the streets as the Cedar Revolution wilts

A quarter of a million workers, students and professionals marched through the streets of Beirut on Wednesday of last week in one of the biggest workers’ demonstrations in Lebanon’s history. Schools, shops and businesses closed for a day in solidarity with the demonstrators.

Rebel Egyptian judges interviewed

Two Egyptian high court judges, Mahmud Mekki and Hisham Bastawisi, have become unlikely heroes of the country’s movement for democracy.

Mubarak steps up repression

About 50 people picketed the Egyptian embassy in London last Saturday against the continuing arrests and beatings of democracy activists in the cities of Cairo and Alexandria.


Respect isn't a communalist organisation

The media blackout on Respect’s breakthrough in the local elections is, I suppose, par for the course in the era of Tony Blair, the master of the sincerely uttered Big Lie. But simply ignoring the results is only one way of dismissing Respect’s achievement.


Maoism and Marxism

The political crisis in Nepal has focused the attention of the Western media on Maoism for the first time in decades. An avowedly Maoist organisation – the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) – has led an insurgency which holds most of the countryside and is within an ace of toppling the autocratic king.

Struggle from below in the darkest of times

The British working class movement experienced some of its darkest days in the 1930s. It had suffered three major blows to its confidence and organisation – the defeat of the 1926 General Strike, the collapse in 1931 of the second Labour government and the impact of the world economic slump that began in 1929.

Afghanistan the myth of reconstruction

Near Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, in the village of Qalai Qazi, stands a new, bright yellow health clinic built by US contractor The Louis Berger Group.


Daniel Barenboim's music brings harmony

Daniel Barenboim is recognised as one of the greatest pianists and conductors alive today. He started off as a child prodigy, playing his first concert at the age of seven in his hometown of Buenos Aires. At the age of ten, in 1952, his family emigrated to the new state of Israel.

Tosca’s Kiss

Focusing on the trial of Hjalmar Schacht, Tosca’s Kiss is a play about the Nuremberg trials.

Reviews round-up

Pick A Bigger WeaponThe CoupCD out now Proving that hip-hop isn’t all about sexism and guns, the anti-capitalist band The Coup have returned with their first album in five years.

What We Think

Big business to blame for climate chaos

A single British company produced more carbon dioxide last year than all of Croatia. Eon UK, which owns Powergen, is Britain’s biggest corporate emitter of greenhouse gases. Last year it produced 27 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Other Categories


Amazing May Day in LA Last week Socialist Worker published a picture of Kim Jones and her friends on the massive May Day protest for immigrant rights in Los Angeles, US. We got in touch with her and she sent this message to our readers

Who says?

"As far as the size goes, we are committed to rebuilding Iraq and to restoring the economy and to stabilising the security. The size of the embassy is in keeping with the goals we have set ourselves for Iraq."US State Department spokesman Justin Higgins, defending spending $600 million dollars on the new US embassy in Baghdad, the largest embassy ever built in the world

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events

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