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Socialist Worker


Issue: 2030

Dated: 09 Dec 2006




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Fury at bosses who stole Xmas

On Monday evening top bankers, bosses and politicians will be sipping champagne at a reception to celebrate the plush refurbishment of the Edinburgh head office of Halifax Bank Of Scotland (HBOS).


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

2,000 at Love Music Hate Racism fundraiser

Around 2,000 people packed into top London club Fabric last Thursday for a massive fundraiser for Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR).

Pictures of Babyshambles, Shane McGowan and David Okoro at LMHR Fabric fundraiser

Surrey council faces revolt over low pay

Around 3,000 council workers in the Unison union struck at Surrey County Council on Thursday of last week over pay.

Don’t lift the pensions pressure on the government

A strike ballot over local government pensions is on hold after Labour ministers decided not to provoke the announcement of a vote among one and a half million workers this side of Christmas.

Tug workers ballot for strike action

Tug workers in the T&G union around Britain’s ports are balloting over industrial action.

Success of Barrow Remember The Holocaust event

Over 100 people came to the "Remember The Holocaust-Stop The Fascist BNP" event in Barrow on Wednesday of last week. The night featured a showing of the film Arek, which tells the story of Holocaust survivor Arek Hersh’s experiences.

Two more housing ballot victories

Two thumping victories for council tenants underline the continuing political backlash against housing privatisation.

Reports round-up

ITN unions vote over pensions Members of media workers’ unions at news provider ITN are balloting for strike action to protect their pension rights.

Alexander Litvinenko and Russia’s killing game

After the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya in October, I predicted that there would be a follow up to this story. Unfortunately, I was right.

Mail centre workers’ strike vote

Approximately 1,000 Royal Mail workers at the Bristol mail centre are set to vote on strike action over the introduction of a new packet sorting machine at this centre.

Student Respect national conference

Over 100 delegates gathered on Sunday of last week at the first full Student Respect national conference.

Birmingham councillor – ‘Why I joined Respect’

Birmingham councillor Abdul Aziz has joined Respect. Councillor Aziz had been an independent in the council chamber after he recently left the Liberal Democrats.

Metroline workers want action

Over 2,000 Metroline bus drivers are set to strike on Monday after they overwhelmingly rejected the latest pay offer from management.

Farepak victims: ‘We were ripped off by Sir Clive Thompson’

A group of dinner ladies who lost hundreds of pounds in the Farepak collapse have challenged the wife of the company chairman to remember the families who face misery and debt this Christmas.

Billions are to be wasted on Trident replacement nukes

The government’s Defence White Paper which was released this week, announced Tony Blair’s intention to upgrade the Trident nuclear weapon system.

City cleaners' fight for pay justice targets a new company

Over 100 cleaners protested outside the headquarters of the financial multinational Merrill Lynch on Monday.

Unity in Barking & Dagenham over single status

Over 1,000 workers from Barking & Dagenham council joined a lunchtime protest on Monday. Council bosses want to cut the wages and conditions of thousands of employees as part of the "single status" agreement.

Demonstrate against the BNP’s racist rally

Trade unionists, anti-racist campaigners and local community activists will be joining a demonstration in Dagenham, east London, this Saturday to protest against a racist rally organised by the fascist British National Party (BNP).

Health service round up

Unison gives its blessing for national demonstration The Unison union’s health group executive last week voted to approach the NHS Together union coalition with a view to building a national demonstration with community groups on a Saturday at the end of March.

Sacked JJB Sports union rep calls for support

The JJB dispute is threatening to erupt again after the firm sacked a leading union representative.

SW appeal total reaches £122,171

Help us raise £200,000

900 postal workers strike in Stoke

Hundreds of postal workers in the Stoke area struck today (Saturday) in a dispute about full-time posts being turned to part-time.

Post Office closures - send us your views

The government is set to announce on Thursday the closure of between 2,500 and 3,000 post offices.

BNP rally in Dagenham drowned out by anti-Nazi protests

An attempt by the fascist British National Party (BNP) to hold a racist rally in Dagenham, east London, ended in humiliation for them on Saturday.


International

Student protests in Serbia beat attacks

Following on from their French and the Greek colleagues earlier this year, Serbian students have helped roll back the neoliberal offensive on higher education in Europe.

United protests put Lebanese government on the defensive

Beirut has become the focus of a new movement that is challenging the US-backed government and the political system that put them in power.

Election victory shows Venezuelan masses’ radical mood

Hugo Chavez has once again been elected to the presidency of Venezuela with just under 62 percent of the total vote, an increase on previous elections and referendums. More than ever, it was an election posed in stark class terms.


Comment

Why detained refugees rioted at Harmondsworth

"Freedom" was one of the messages spelt out with bedsheets by detainees who briefly took control of parts of Harmondsworth immigration detention centre last week.

Farepak – the poem!

<blockquote> With Christmas a coming, shops colours ablazeThe shopping has started, there’s how many days?Each worn shopper with boxes and bagsSome who have frayed nerves, outside with fagsMost shopaholics have saved up all yearTo make life much easier, to buy Christmas cheerBut, there are others, with tears in their eyesTheir Christmas was taken, and no reason whyAnd all of these people comitted no crimeThey all paid their money, they paid it on timeSo now they will struggle, but never replaceTheir funds, for Christmas, oh ,what a disgraceThousands of people, are all left distraughtBut where is

The Farepak dinner ladies' letter to Mrs Thompson

So Mrs Thompson, we wish you, your husband and family no ill will or malice, in fact we hope that you all have a truly wonderful Christmas, as it will at least give us some sense of satisfaction to know that your family is at least reaping the benefits of the values that we had instilled in us as children, that if we wanted something we worked for it, and by us doing so it may not have proved very beneficial for us or our families, but, on Christmas morning, when you turn over in bed, and your husband hands you a gift, beautifully wrapped, and in the moment before you unwrap it, when you are feeling excited, and wondering what it contains, could you just stop a minute, and ask yourself, a

It’s time to stand up and defend the health service

Health campaigners from across the country will gather in central London on Saturday 20 January for a national conference of the Keep Our NHS Public campaign.


Features

The Chartists turn left after the defeats of 1848

The Year 1848 represented a serious defeat for the Chartists. The main left wing Chartist grouping, the Fraternal Democrats, had to cease public operations for a period. One of the leaders of the left, Ernest Jones, was jailed, along with many other activists.

Mark Serwotka interview: out to defend vital jobs and services

Why is the PCS union planning to ballot over 280,000 members for strikes in the new year?

Venezuela: The Struggle after the Vote

Read our monthly supplement, featuring Michael Lebowitz, Steve Mather and Jess Hurd on the situation in Venezuela as Hugo Chavez wins the presidency again.

Richard Layard, inequality and the 'science' of happiness

Walk into any high street chain bookstore these days and before very long you are likely to encounter a stand packed with books devoted solely to the subject of happiness.

New evidence: Mexican state planned massacre of students on eve of the 1968 Olympics

For a generation of Mexicans, the events of 2 October 1968 – ten days before the inauguration of the 19th Olympic games – remain an open wound. On that day dozens of students and their supporters were gunned down in the Tlatelolco district in the heart of Mexico City.

London bus workers interviewed about the battle over transport

Bus drivers working for Metroline in London are in dispute with their bosses over pay – and have taken two days of strike action so far to press home their point.


Reviews

World Saxophone Quartet's Political Blues - blowing George Bush away

The extraordinary new jazz album Political Blues by the World Saxophone Quartet is a howl of rage at the state of the US.

Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? by Caryl Churchill

A new play by Caryl Churchill is a genuine cultural event. The author of such acclaimed plays as Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine and Top Girls, is one of the most distinctive, intelligent and (both artistically and politically) radical playwrights of her generation.

Living History | Kneehigh plays | Stray Dogs | Voices For Bethlehem | Marx

Living HistoryTate Modern, central Londonuntil 28 JanuaryFree Living History explores the response of artists to major political events of the past 100 years. Highlights include Chris Ofili’s No Woman No Cry, a moving painting about the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.


What We Think

Corporate manslaughter law will change little but the label

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill is currently rumbling through parliament. It was a key element of the Warwick agreement between Labour and the unions.


Other Categories

Andrea Lowe 1944–2006

Andrea’s cruel and untimely death has deprived the movement of a comrade who was loved by all who knew her for her rare ability to combine political commitment with a tremendous sense of humour and zest for life.

Tim: please give

Leon Kuhn: One last push

Letters

Letters

Labour on Trident - now and then

"We don’t need dangerous and costly Trident and Cruise missiles."

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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