Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2020

Dated: 30 Sep 2006




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Why I’ve had enough of New Labour

Valerie Wise, the former leader of Preston City Council, told a packed Stop the War meeting last week in the city why she had left the Labour Party. She spoke to Socialist Worker about her decision.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Now it’s a fight for the soul of the NHS

The first national strike in the NHS for 17 years began on Thursday of last week. Unison union members at five depots of NHS Logistics - the not for profit agency that supplies hospitals across England - struck for 24 hours in a battle against privatisation.

Is childhood dead?

In the neighbourhood where I work, four teenage boys recently committed suicide, all within the space of a few months. Boys complain of bullying and fighting. Girls are prone to depression and anxiety.

Unions must act to stop the attacks on pensions

Over one million workers took part in a one-day strike on 23 March this year over the government’s unilateral decision to get rid of the "rule of 85".

Anger in Glasgow council over single status

There is anger in Glasgow City Council workplaces after managers told workers the outcome of the job evaluation, pay and benefits review. In social work services alone, 1,000 workers will lose large amounts, in some cases as much as £6,000 per year.

Coventry school admissions strike over single status

School admissions workers at Coventry Council are set to take indefinite strike action from next Monday.

Falkirk council single status dispute

Workers are opposing SNP-run Falkirk council’s move to "impose" its single-status contract on staff.

Reports round-up

Lobbying Southampton Council against privatisation Some 300 members of the Unison union lobbied Southampton City Council against privatisation last week.

Momentum grows for Organising for Fighting Unions conference

The Organising for Fighting Unions conference on Saturday 11 November, is becoming a central focus for the debates on the future of the Labour movement.

Postal workers ballot for action against privatisation

The rush to privatise Britain’s post offices is accelerating even faster - and could lead to a major strike.

Outrage in York against job losses

York was in shock last week as Nestle Rowntree announced 645 job losses at its York factory - following on from 234 earlier in the year. The move is another step in the multinational’s outsourcing of jobs to lower-wage economies in eastern Europe.

Paul Robeson tribute at Soas

Tony Benn and Sir Willard White were among the speakers and performers at the unveiling of a plaque at School of Oriental and African Studies to honour Paul Robeson.

Strike planned at Rolls Royce, Derby

Around 2,500 Amicus union members at the Rolls Royce plant in Derby are set to strike after rejecting a second pay offer from the company.

Southwark council workers to protest over closure plans

Workers were set to protest at Southwark council in south London over a decision to scrap an 80-year-old building and maintenance department, Southwark Direct.

Unions criticise government project on migrant workers

A government project to curb the exploitation of migrants in the construction industry has been criticised by unions.

Heathrow Express rail workers strike

Over 70 members of the RMT rail workers’ union struck on the Heathrow Express in London on Thursday of last week.

Ballot over industrial action at Sea Containers

It looks likely that workers for GNER will ballot over industrial action against the company who intend to slash ticket office staff by 50 percent.

Tenants’ ‘independent’ adviser accused of backing privatisers

A body which claims to offer independent advice to tenants during transfer ballots stands accused of bias towards sell-offs.

Fire strike fans the resistance

The Merseyside firefighters’ strike against cuts and management bullying was at a critical turning point on Tuesday of this week as Socialist Worker went to press.

‘We are striking to keep the NHS public’

"Hundreds of Unison members in NHS Logistics have taken part in a national strike to oppose the sell-off of essential public services to DHL - a German parcel courier.

An unrepentant Blair says the party’s not for turning

In his final conference speech as Labour Party leader, Tony Blair passed a poisoned chalice to Gordon Brown - pledging that Britain will remain "America’s strongest ally".

Labour Party conference delegates vote for council housing - for third time

On Tuesday of this week the Labour Party conference dealt a crushing blow to the government’s housing policy.

Labour leadership move to block delegates’ democracy

The central issues for many delegates at Labour’s conference were not debated - at least not on the conference floor.

Labour Party conference: bursts of anger, but much silence

The Blairites and Brownites fiercely debated their ambitions by leaking copiously in the media. Meanwhile on the floor of conference you’d hardly have guessed for much of the time that anyone had any doubts about the direction of New Labour and its key policies.

Health union activist Yunus Bakhsh suspended

Yunus Bakhsh, a leading activist in the Unison union, has been suspended from his job as a health worker in Newcastle.


International

Crisis in Hungary

In May, Hungarian voters returned the reigning socialist-liberal coalition to office, hoping that it might continue its moderate policies which claimed a balance between neo-liberal orthodoxy and a few elements of social justice.

Resisting the Thai military’s assault on democracy

A military junta in Thailand staged a coup and overthrew the democratically elected prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on the evening of Tuesday 19 September.

Election warning from Germany

The recent German regional state elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern brought losses for the Left Party - the former East German Communist Party the PDS - and gains for the Nazi NPD party.


Comment

The World Bank during neoliberal and neoconservative fusion

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings just completed in Singapore were a disaster for the Third World, especially Africans who face a dramatic decline in voting shares on the IMF board, at the same time a few middle-income countries led by China recapitalise the institutions.

John Reid’s record of opportunism

When better than the week of the Labour Party conference to talk of low, crawling things? I mean, of course, John Reid, the home secretary.


Features

Reports and video of Manchester Time to Go demonstration, 23 September 2006

Reports from the Time to Go demonstration in Manchester, England, where more than 50,000 marched past the venue of the Labour Party conference demanding British troops go from Afghanistan and Iraq and Tony Blair goes from Downing Street.

Mutiny at Invergordon

In September 1931, the crews of the largest warships of the Atlantic fleet of the Royal Navy ignored their orders. The unrest was quickly hushed up by the government and the story is relatively unknown.

Fred Copeman: ‘The strike leaders will decide what orders are carried out’

MI5 documents recently released under the Freedom of Information Act show how the naval mutineers attracted the attention of the security services.

Protest surrounds Labour conference

Between 50,000 and 60,000 anti-war protesters converged on Manchester city centre on Saturday of last week for the Stop the War Coalition’s "Time To Go" demonstration.

Picture of 50,000 marching through Manchester on Time to Go demo

‘We’ll have to fight, whoever is in office’

The prospect of the end of Tony Blair’s rule has created a debate inside the anti-war and trade union movements about what needs to be done to get real change.


Reviews

John Le Carré’s Mission Song - challenging lies and political hypocrisy

John le Carré’s latest novel, The Mission Song, is a powerful book. It plays on a theme present in much of Le Carré’s work - brave individuals tilting at the windmills of huge, implacably evil organisations.

In Prison: Afroamerican Prison Music From Blues To Hiphop

That prison is as big a reference point for black America as basketball or the church tells you a lot about racism in US society.

Cézanne in Britain | Pinter: A Celebration | To Kill A Mockingbird | Ta-Dah, Scissor Sisters

Cézanne in BritainNational Gallery, London, 4 October to 7 January, admission free<a href="http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk" target = "_blank">www. nationalgallery .org.uk</a> This October marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the artist Paul Cézanne. The National Gallery is celebrating with Cézanne in Britain. Cézanne never came to Britain, yet his work has had a remarkable impact here. This exhibition includes 40 works, with paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints, and covers his wide range of subject matter - portraits, still life and landscapes.


What We Think

Life after Blair - it’s time to debate a fresh, radical start

No mention of health service privatisation, Trident or council housing, but a firm pledge to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Other Categories

Dunkan Tickner (1964 - 2006)

It is with great sadness that everyone in Portsmouth Stop the War Coalition, Respect and the SWP records the death of our friend and comrade, Dunkan Tickner from cancer. Dunkan served as chair of Portsmouth Respect from its foundation until his death and was a key campaigner in all local anti-war activities.

Tim: Agendas

Letters

Two sides of New Labour How sickening it was to see the Blairite clones signing a letter asking for the prime minister to stand down.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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