Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2033

Dated: 13 Jan 2007




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Bush orders more carnage

Tens of thousands more US soldiers are set to land in Iraq. George Bush promises a "surge" in troops to secure a "final victory".


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Strike vote at ITN

Members of the Bectu and NUJ media workers’ unions at news provider ITN are set to strike on Tuesday of next week.

Senior shop steward suspended at E.ON

Anthony "Chub" Czubkowski, the senior shop steward for the Amicus union at Central Networks, was suspended from work just before Christmas, pending an investigation.

Anti academies protests

Teachers, parents and pupils are set to lobby Islington town hall in north London on Thursday of next week, 18 January, at 5.30pm.

Action by British Airways cabin crew likely

Some 11,000 cabin crew at British Airways (BA) were set to vote for strike action this week.

Anti-union laws halt East London bus strike

Management at East London Bus Group turned to the anti-union laws at the last minute to get a court injunction against strike action that was due to take place on Monday.

Pressure is growing for a national fightback in the Post Office

The CWU postal workers’ union was holding a national briefing this week to decide a response to serious attacks.

UCU members get organised for Roger Kline’s election campaign

In less than four weeks the ballots are due to be sent out to elect the first general secretary and national executive committee of the recently merged University and College Union (UCU).

Local government pensions proposals issued

The government has issued new proposals for local government pensions.

Unison must take action to defend Yunus Bakhsh

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

Series of strikes at Denso, Birmingham

Some 160 workers at Denso manufacturing in Birmingham are involved in a series of strikes over pay.

Reports round-up

Iceland workers vote on deal Workers at Iceland’s depot in Enfield, north London, were considering a new offer to end their dispute this week.

The road to change

Since the collapse of the Soviet bloc the left has been in crisis worldwide. The rise of the anti-globalisation and anti?war movements and of the Zapatistas could not hide the fact that the left no longer had credibility for most people.

PCS activists out to win big yes vote

Civil service workers in the PCS union are mobilising to get the biggest yes vote possible in their current strike ballot against job cuts, privatisation and unfair pay.

Single status: this ‘equal pay’ deal cuts women’s wages

Workers From around Britain have been getting in touch with Socialist Worker in response to wage cuts in local government caused by the single status pay deal.

Tube cleaners protest at London's city hall

Around 50 tube cleaners, drivers, signal staff and passengers demonstrated outside London’s City Hall on Monday in opposition to 200 compulsory redundancies being imposed on cleaning staff employed by Tube Lines contractor ISS.

Rail workers' safety pamphlet is ‘a tool for union activists’

The RMT rail union has produced a pamphlet, London Underground I Do Mind Dying – the Politics of Health and Safety. Author Unjum Mirza, an RMT political officer, spoke to Socialist Worker.

Minister Ruth Kelly snubs state schools the voters use

Tower Hamlets in east London, the borough where Ruth Kelly lives, has 20 primary schools – six of them specialising in helping children with dyslexia.

US aerial assault on Somalia

US aircraft rained death on Somalia, east Africa, this week, in a further horrific escalation of the "war on terror".

Worldwide protests on Guantanamo’s 5th anniversary

The global anti-war movement will be marking the fifth anniversary of Guantanamo Bay with protests this week. Activists, including Cindy Sheehan and former prisoners, will lead a demonstration outside the detention facility in Cuba.

Scots mobilise against the war

Activists across Scotland are mobilising for an anti-war demonstration in Glasgow on Saturday 24 February. Scottish Stop the War have organised a conference for Saturday 10 February to help build the movement.

Unite organises against the BNP ballerina

Musicians and workers at the English National Ballet (ENB) have reacted with outrage at the revelation that the company’s principal dancer, Simone Clarke, is a member of the fascist British National Party (BNP).

Protest puts pressure on the BNP ballerina Simone Clarke

Up to 100 protesters demonstrated outside the London Coliseum theatre this lunchtime against the first performance by Simone Clarke, principal dancer at the English National Ballet (ENB), since she was revealed as a card-carrying member of the fascist British National Party (BNP).

British government bans dissident Iraqi MP

Tony Blair likes to pretend that his murderous war on Iraq has "brought democracy" to the country – so why is his government refusing a whistleblowing Iraqi MP entry into Britain?


International

Dewhirst sit-in in Morocco

Workers at Dewhirst’s factory in Tangiers, Morocco, are staging a sit-in outside the factory gates after the company sacked 486 workers.

Egyptian strikers beat privatisation

In late December over 20,000 Egyptian textile workers in Mahal el-Kubra went on strike against privatisation and won.

Victory for Zanon (Fasinpat) workers in Argentina

Despite protests from creditors the Zanon ceramics factory in Neuquen Argentina has won a historic three extension of its license to operate as a workers cooperative. The threat of eviction has temporarily been lifted and the factory continues to grow and increase output under workers control.

Pictures of Zanon workers


Comment

US troop ‘surge’ to Iraq is last, desperate gamble

George Bush’s decision to send more US troops to Iraq means still more death, devastation and misery for its people.


Features

Challenges for the Euro left

The present political period is characterised by the development of mass resistance to neoliberal imperialism, represented most spectacularly by the great protests against the war in Iraq.

Can the German left unite against neoliberalism?

A strong Left Party will be needed to resist neoliberal policies in Germany in the coming year. VAT (value added tax) rose by 3 percent on all goods and services except food on 1 January.

Can the left in France rise to the level of the struggle?

The year 2006 was a crucial one for social struggles and the radical left in France. Social mobilisations reached a peak when millions of students took to the streets last spring and forced the right wing government to withdraw the CPE, its labour neoliberal reform law.

Tommy Sheridan: Scotland is on the front line against New Labour

Following the tumultuous events of 2006, Solidarity – Scotland’s Socialist Movement goes into the new year as the new force on the Scottish left.

The Indian Mutiny: rejection of empire

This year is the 150th anniversary of the greatest armed rising against British imperialism the world has seen. It began as a mutiny of the largest army in Asia – the East India Company’s Bengal Presidency Army – and turned into a general rising of the peasantry across the whole of what today is northern India.

SWP conference 2007: debating crucial tasks that face socialists

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) conference last weekend was an exciting two days of debates and discussion about how socialists can best understand the world and act to change it.

The party and the movement

Martin Smith, the SWP national secretary, introduced a session on "Building the party in the age of mass movements".

We need vibrant and political trade unions

The building of political trade unionism was the theme of the discussion on industry, workplaces and neoliberalism.

Now let’s broaden the base of Respect

John Rees, the national secretary of Respect, introduced a discussion about building Respect.

Unity is needed to fight against the fascist BNP

The threat posed by the fascist British National Party (BNP) – and the best strategy for combating its rise – was discussed by party conference on Saturday afternoon.

Conference decisions

Important decisions about the future policies of the SWP were taken at the conference. Delegates voted on resolutions about building the party, the anti-war movement, Respect, fighting fascism, and many other issues.

Delegates’ voices

"A critical point for students at Warwick this year in building the Stop the War group was a meeting we held with George Galloway and a really wide platform of other speakers. It was the biggest political meeting held at the university for years.

How Britain’s Nazis were smashed in the 1970s and 1990s

One argument concerning contemporary fascist movements such as Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front in France claims that they cannot be fascist because they do not deploy stormtroopers against the left, blacks and Muslims.

Low paid nurses who have to work two jobs

Phil Weinand is training to be a nurse, but he’s also a Tesco worker.


Reviews

Peter Howson: Andrew, Portrait of a Saint

According to the New Testament, St Andrew was the first disciple to be called by Jesus Christ. He was later executed by the Romans at Patras in present day Greece on the X-shaped cross which now bears his name.

The Angel of History: a vivid reconstruction of Walter Benjamin’s final days

In September 1940 the Marxist literary critic and essayist Walter Benjamin committed suicide in the Spanish border town of Port Bou.

A State of Denmark | The Star | Media Burn

A State of Denmarkby Derek Raymond£7.99 Serpent’s Tailpublished 18 January Cult crime novelist Derek Raymond wrote this dystopian novel in the mid 1960s. It concerns a future England where an openly fascist regime has taken power, led by Jobling, a former Labour politician.


What We Think

Britain can’t avoid its carbon commitment

This week Tony Blair suggested that since Britain only produces 2 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, any reductions in our greenhouse gases would be dwarfed by increases in countries such as China.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Whitehaul

Tim: Private special needs

Letters

Letters

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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