Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2015

Dated: 26 Aug 2006




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The power of the Lebanese masses

Socialist Worker’s reporting team in south Lebanon, Simon Assaf and Guy Smallman, travelled alongside the refugees as they flooded back to their homes early last week. They document the mass movement in the articles making up our Lebanon Report through this week’s paper.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Fighting post privatisation

Workers protested in five areas across Britain last Saturday and handed out thousands of leaflets against plans to close post offices and transfer services to WHSmith stores.The CWU union is already balloting hundreds of workers for industrial action over the move.

Caretakers’ battle with Leeds North West Homes

A group of caretakers in Leeds are taking industrial action over pay.

Oxfordshire postal workers postpone strike

Postal workers in Carterton and Witney in Oxfordshire have given management another week to come up with a deal to avoid a strike.

Four Royal Mail distribution centres vote for action

Over 1,000 Royal Mail workers in four distribution centres across England have voted in favour of industrial action against heavy-handed management handling of changes to mail circulation.

Mediation in Merseyside and Cheshire ambulance dispute

Ambulance workers in Merseyside and Cheshire have won independent mediation in a bitter dispute over pay and conditions. The workers are members of the Ambulance Service Unison (ASU) - a breakaway from the Unison union.

Firefighters to strike on Merseyside

Firefighters in the FBU union on Merseyside will strike for four days next week against a programme of job cuts.

Three-day strike planned at Whipps Cross hospital

Workers employed by Initial Rentokil at Whipps Cross hospital in Leytonstone, east London, plan a three-day strike to win the same terms and conditions as colleagues employed by the NHS.

Reports round-up

South West Trains Drivers on South West Trains (SWT) are to stage three 24-hour strikes as part of a long running dispute.

Tommy Sheridan calls for new Scottish party

Tommy Sheridan, and fellow member of the Scottish Parliament Rosemary Byrne, have called a meeting on 3 September to bring people together to discuss launching a new socialist party in Scotland.

Great opportunity to move forward in Scotland

Many socialists and working class people around the world celebrated Tommy Sheridan’s recent libel victory. We should also welcome his call to launch a new party in Scotland, and the momentum which this is gathering.

Activist voices debate the future of the Scottish left

"I would join a new party set up by Tommy Sheridan. I think that a lot of students would join it.

Crucial disputes for tube and rail unions

Rail unions face a series of challenges over the coming weeks after declaring disputes in key areas.

Stansted workers are angry over pay

About 500 GMB and T&G union members, working for Swissport at Stansted airport were due to strike this weekend.

Bus workers

First Centre West buses Members of the TSSA transport union working at First Centre West buses in west London planned a 48-hour strike from noon on Sunday.

Bmibaby pilots to strike

Pilots at UK budget airline Bmibaby have voted to strike in a row over pay and pensions.

Anti-war round-up

York march About 200 people attended a lively rally and demo for peace and justice in the Middle East last Saturday organised by York Against the War and York Palestine Solidarity Campaign, writes James Cussens. Speakers included Suzy Wighton who recently returned her MBE in protest at Blair’s support for illegal wars, and Mohamed El Gomati, representing the city’s mosque.

Behind the airport queues

The furore created by the alleged terror bomb plot last week has generated an intense and bitter row between the airline bosses and the airport operator, BAA, about the handling of the crisis and the ongoing restrictions imposed on air travellers which have made travelling from Heathrow and Gatwick an absolute nightmare for many.

STVA drivers on strike

Vehicle handlers who are employed by the French-owned firm STVA struck on Wednesday of last week over pay.

Resisting relaxation

Holidays. Yes, it’s time to get away from it all. I know what to do - just grab some time to do something trivial. Rest the brain cells. Focus on something restful, like walking in the woods with the kids. Read railway timetables. Study spiders. Kill flies.

'Terror' hype sparks racist backlash against Asians

Tabloid headlines, broadsheet comment pages and ministers’ speeches are once again full of lurid claims about Muslims and "integration" in the wake of the decision on Monday of this week to charge 11 suspects over the alleged "terror plot" to blow up planes with liquid explosives.

Oxford police get busy over Aki Nawaz meeting

Police officers tried to block a meeting in an Oxford church hall because it featured Aki Nawaz of radical Muslim hip-hop act Fun-Da-Mental, according to the organisers.

Time To Go demonstration gathers momentum

‘We really kicked off our preparations with our own demonstration in Preston a couple of weeks ago.

Best Internet coverage

Much rhetoric but little delivery at Toronto Aids Conference

The great powers, and politicians such as George Bush and Tony Blair bear the heaviest responsibility for the death toll of Aids.

PFI in the health service: the price of a light switch? Just £333

HOW MUCH does it cost to change a light switch? £333, if you’re an NHS hospital locked into a private finance initiative (PFI) contract.

Strike ballot starts at NHS Logistics

A GROUP of workers who could bring the NHS to a halt in three days have begun balloting for strikes to oppose privatisation.

Hospital closure plan

The department of health has warned that more hospitals across England will close in order to claw back NHS deficits.

Council homes in Wales in danger

Ballots to decide the fate of council housing are set to take place in six local authorities across Wales in the coming months.

City bonuses could solve the pensions ‘crisis’ overnight

Extraordinary figures released last week showed the scale of plunder by Britain’s top bosses.

George Galloway to present live phone in from Beirut

On next Saturday and Sunday George Galloway MP will broadcast a Middle East special of his Talksport radio phone in show from bombed out Beirut.

Dura workers strike for decent redundancy pay

About 270 car workers at Dura Automotive Systems in Llanelli, South Wales, are on indefinite strike to get decent redundancy money when they lose their jobs.


International


Comment

Nick Danziger: documenting lives shaped by Aids

‘The exhibition looks at how children are affected by the virus. Not all the children were HIV positive themselves. You can have parents who die of the virus and obviously that has a huge impact on the children.

The 14,000 people infected with HIV every day deserve hope

‘There were three big issues for me that came out of the conference. The first is accountability of the political leaderships that were there.

Polish migrants and unemployment

No one knows how many people from the new central and eastern member states of the European Union (EU) have moved to Britain since they joined in May 2004. Estimates vary between 300,000 and 500,000, mainly Polish workers. Certainly in London, they seem to have fitted in very quickly.


Features

Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef on 'bullet censorship'

Saadi Youssef is one of Iraq’s best known poets. His work is renowned throughout the Middle East and beyond. He has translated numerous writers into Arabic, including George Orwell, Federico Garcia Lorca and Walt Whitman. Saadi fled Iraq in 1979 after Saddam Hussein tightened his hold on power. He now lives just outside London.

Lebanon: freedom from below

It was the final day of the war, just before the United Nations (UN) ceasefire was due to kick in, and Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert had a plan that he thought would snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Was Liban Lait milk factory destroyed for profit?

I am being shown around what is left of the Liban Lait plant by Deeb Mounzer, a mechanical engineer and one of the union reps at the factory.

The battle of Aita al-Shaab

The road to Aita al-Shaab is littered with victims of the brutal power of Israeli military might. For mile after mile, houses are in ruins and the sides of the roads are littered with wrecked cars, many hit by rockets or strafed by helicopter gunships.

Hizbollah's media awareness

Never let it be said that Hizbollah are not media savvy. Rapidly produced banners placed around the ruins of the village of Dhayiya make their views of Israel’s sponsors very clear. "The New Middle Beast" proclaims one - a reference George Bush’s recent statements. "Extremely Accurate Targeting" reads another, attacking Israel’s claims that their bombings were somehow "surgical" - the banner in question being sat in the middle of a completely demolished street

Sameh Naguib in Egypt: ‘Israel’s defeat has transformed the region’

JR: Can you give us your evaluation of the outcome of the Israeli attack on Lebanon?

Solidarity actions in Egypt

An emergency meeting of the Cairo Conference organising committee last weekend called for two key solidarity actions with the people of Lebanon.

US and its allies try to regain lost ground

The victory for the resistance in Lebanon is a major blow against both Israeli aggression and George Bush’s plans for a "new Middle East".

Political lessons for the rank and file

The fall of the Edward Heath’s Tory government during the winter of 1973-4 is the most exciting period in recent British history.


Reviews

Pedro Almodovar: an artist hiding behind celebrity?

Pedro Almodovar is already probably the single most hyped director in world cinema.

Volver: Almodóvar returning to the start

Translated, Volver means "To Return" - and this film is, in many ways, a return for director Pedro Almodóvar.

Keith Coventry | Voices of Animals and Men | Three Billy Goats Gruff

Keith Coventry: PaintingsTramway Gallery, Glasgow. FreeUntil 17 Sept<a href="http://www.tramway.org" target = "_blank">www.tramway.org</a> This exhibition brings together several of Keith Coventry’s paintings series’ including The Albany, Estate and White Abstracts.


What We Think

Blame the rich, not migrant workers

Amid the slew of lies about the "crisis" that will be caused by "floods of immigrants" who are threatening to arrive from Romania and Bulgaria (lies echoed by all the major parties), it is important to restate some basic facts.


Other Categories

Tim: Glorifying the Pakistani cricket team

Letters

Palestine solutions

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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