Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2021

Dated: 07 Oct 2006




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£76 billion: the real cost of Brown’s new nukes

The cost of replacing the British nuclear weapon system has been estimated at £76 billion - three times the figure given in earlier estimates.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Epsom in revolt against hospital downgrading

Thousands marched through the Surrey town of Epsom last Saturday to protest against attempts to downgrade the local hospital.

NHS Logistics workers strike again over sell-off

Workers who supply hospitals and GP surgeries across England held a 24-hour strike on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, their second such action.

Jack Straw's veil comments threaten to inflame racism

The racist onslaught on Muslims hit new and appalling levels this week.

Brown is in the red

Gordon Brown is no longer seen as the automatic choice to succeed Tony Blair. That may seem puzzling. The prime minister routinely lauds his neighbour as Britain’s best ever chancellor, and yet fails to endorse his succession.

First stage of Coventry council workers' action over pay bites

Workers in Coventry council began indefinite action over pay cuts on Monday.

Time for more strikes over pensions 'rule of 85' after defeat in court

The Unison union’s judicial review against the government’s plans to axe the "rule of 85" in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) has been refused.

Corporate manslaughter bill

Two men died last week when a 165 foot machine collapsed onto a block of flats in Battersea, south west London.

Ballots for action at Guardian and Telegraph

Journalists at two major national newspapers are gearing up to ballot for action.

Student Respect taps into the radicalism

Student Respect groups continue to tap into the radicalism of new students as the academic year begins around the country.

Reports round-up

Derby Rolls Royce sees stoppages Around 2,300 Amicus union members at the Derby Rolls Royce plant are holding a one-hour strike at the end of their shifts every day this week. The workers are also working to rule.

Key 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.

‘We want fairness at work for postal workers’

We’re urging postal workers everywhere to send Royal Mail bosses Allan Leighton and Adam Crozier a postcard we’ve produced which raises three key issues of discrimination.

Fightback needed against the planned closure of three mail centres

The livelihoods of hundreds of CWU union members in Coventry, Reading and Gloucester are under serious threat following Royal Mail’s announcement to close mail centres in 2009.

Carterton and Witney: "Our unity in action has beaten management bullying"

CWU workers from two delivery offices in West Oxfordshire voted overwhelmingly to end their two-month dispute over allegations of bullying and imbalanced application of national agreements.

Housing meeting in Manchester

On Tuesday 26 September - the same day that delegates at Labour Party conference backed a motion for the fourth option for council housing - 80 tenants from south Manchester attended a meeting to discuss stock transfer. Austin Mitchell MP, chair of the House of Commons council housing group, John Thompson, the president of Ucatt and Alan Walter from Defend Council Housing addressed a lively meeting. Manchester City Council is trying to persuade tenants in the areas of Burnage, Withington, Chorlton and Didsbury to transfer their homes to a housing trust called Southway. Over 50 people signed up to get more involved in the campaign and we will hold meetings on all the main estates before th

Walkouts in the DWP

Workers took part in unofficial walkouts in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Norwich on Wednesday of last week after a PCS civil service workers’ union activist was demoted.

Frank Ogboru - another death in police custody

A Nigerian man died last week after being restrained by several police officers in south east London.

East London Love Music Hate Racism gig rallies opposition to the Nazi BNP

Some 500 young people crammed into The Cauliflower venue in Ilford, Essex, to watch Dirty Pretty Things and Roll Deep headline a benefit night for Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) to help boost the local campaign against the fascist British National Party (BNP).

Full extent of Israel's devastation of Lebanon revealed

The Samidoun solidarity network has done a damage assessment of 70 villages across south Lebanon. The figures reveal the shocking extent of Israel’s war.

New attacks on Tommy Sheridan

The News of the World has accused Tommy Sheridan, the socialist member of the Scottish parliament, of lying in the court case the paper dramatically lost after publishing allegations about his personal life.

New strike threat in NHS

The Amicus union is preparing a strike ballot among workers in the NHS blood service to prevent the threatened closure of 14 blood centres. The plans follow two 24-hour strikes in NHS Logistics (see page 5).

Day of action for Palestine

With the people of Lebanon still reeling from Israel’s brutal bombardment which killed over a thousand civilians, let us not forget that Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinian people of Gaza and the West Bank has continued unabated. Since 25 June, when Palestinian militants took an Israeli soldier prisoner, some 240 Palestinians have been killed, of whom at least 197 were civilians and including 48 children.

Tower Hamlets tenants’ victory over housing privatisation

Four estates in Tower Hamlets, east London, voted no to housing privatisation last week in a "clean sweep" that will help bury New Labour’s privatisation agenda, locally and nationally.

Housing round-up

Anger in Labour Party at sell offs Privatising housing is causing great political upheaval, even when the ballot goes the government’s way.

Defiant action by Merseyside firefighters forces bosses back

Some 1,000 firefighters on Merseyside returned to work last Saturday after 26 days of strike action, following an agreement over principles hammered out between the fire authority and Fire Brigades Union (FBU) negotiators.

A terror raid that doesn't make the headlines - despite chemical explosives and a rocket launcher

Here's a police seizure of weapons that wasn’t splashed all over the front pages.


International

What has gone wrong with Rifondazione Comunista?

A major crisis has opened up on the Italian left since the election of the centre-left government in April. The main radical left party Rifondazione Comunista is part of this government

Brazil: 6.5m vote for left alternative

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of the Workers’ Party (PT) won 49 percent of the votes in the presidential election in Brazil last Sunday.

From hope to despair in four years

Lula was first elected as president of Brazil in 2002. He raised hope among millions of ordinary Brazilians that change was on its way.


Comment

Organising for Fighting Unions is a chance to shape future of the left

The Organising for Fighting Unions conference on Saturday 11 November will see hundreds of activists debate the future of the labour movement.


Features

Robin Hood rides again

Every generation seems to get its own version of the legend of Robin Hood. Most of the recent Robins, such as the one played by Kevin Costner in the 1991 film version, are wronged British noblemen who teach corrupt, often French, officials a lesson before being reconciled with the king and resuming their rightful status.

Inside the Labour bubble

The Labour conference underlined just how right wing the party’s leaders have become.They are for war, neo-liberalism and for preventing real debate.

Labour conference: Anger and dissent on the floor

For a brief moment there was a whiff of the 1980s about the conference last week. There was a real sense of left against right as a motion against NHS privatisation passed with a big majority against furious opposition from the party’s leaders. 

John McDonnell’s challenge from the left

John McDonnell spoke strongly at conference fringe meetings promoting policies against war and privatisation, and for workers’ rights.  He was not called to speak from the conference floor.

Lebanon was last straw - Tony Woodley

Tony Woodley, the general secretary of the T&G union, summed up delegates’ frustration with New Labour, but also the limitations of that opposition.

Life & Lyrics: ‘a positive film that is close to our lives’

The new Life & Lyrics film stars Ashley Walter, better known as Asher D of So Solid Crew.

Tony Cliff: Always facing the harsh truth of reality

Tony Cliff was born in Palestine in 1917. He came from a staunchly Zionist family. From an early age his anger about the way Arabs were treated in their own country led him towards socialism.


Reviews

How To Improve The World - 60 Years Of British Art

A new exhibition entitled How To Improve The World - 60 Years Of British Art has just opened at the Hayward Gallery in London.

Children of Men | Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair | Homestead

Children of MenDirected by Alfonso CuaronIn cinemas now Don’t let the fact that this film is based on a book by the Tory novelist PD James put you off going to see it. I found it incredibly moving.

This Robin Hood is a battling rebel

The new TV series has all the key ingredients of the legend as it has developed over the last two centuries.


What We Think

David Cameron can’t conceal the Tories’ true agenda

Behind David Cameron’s fluffy new image, the beast remains the same. Delegates meeting at the Conservative Party conference in Bournemouth might want a media friendly leader who can restore their fortunes - but little has changed beyond that.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Drive reform deeper

Tim: Tory logo redesign

Letters

Letters

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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