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Socialist Worker


Issue: 2040

Dated: 03 Mar 2007



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Act now to save the NHS

I urge every reader to be part of the protests in defence of the NHS this Saturday. The marches, rallies and stunts taking place must mark the beginning of a tidal wave of action that can shake the government.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

100,000 protest against the war

A huge demonstration filled the streets of central London last Saturday calling for all occupying troops to be withdrawn from Iraq, no replacement of Britain’s nuclear weapons system, and no attack on Iran.

George Galloway MP on 'the most corrupt election held in Britain since 1872'

George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green & Bow, spoke in the House of Commons on Monday night during a debate on public confidence in the integrity of the electoral system. Here is the full text of his speech, extracted from <a href="http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070226/debtext/70226-0018.htm#07022643000145">Hansard</a>, the official report of parliamentary proceedings (© Parliamentary Copyright 2007).

Birmingham battle over single status

A huge battle is brewing in Birmingham with serious implications for over a million workers across Britain.

Conference planned on social work: ‘ethical career’ or excuse for social control?

Many people will have felt shocked and angry at the recent Unicef report which showed that Britain’s children are both poorer and less happy than children in 20 other Western countries.

Housing campaigners crank up heat on the government

The government’s housing strategy lurched further into crisis last week as tenants, local councillors, trade unionists and MPs came together in defence of council housing.

Disappointment for New Labour from Hills report on council housing

Spin doctors in Ruth Kelly’s department for communities and local government went into overdrive last week to suggest that a report by Professor John Hills would back their plans for an attack on the principles of council housing.

No place like home?

A recent report looking at newly built homes found that a startling 40 percent were of a poor standard and that just 8 percent of the developments could be classed as good or very good. Why is it that in the 21st century we still do not have decent homes?

Video of the demonstration in London, 24 February

100,000 people marched on the Stop the War Coalition and CND 'Troops Out Now – No Trident Replacement' demonstration against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The demonstration was in London on Saturday 24 February 2007.

After rail crash, inquiry is essential into system of contractors

The points on the railway in Cumbria where a Virgin Trains train derailed on Friday of last week were faulty.

NCP workers fight for union recognition

Some 70 traffic enforcement workers across Enfield in north London in the GMB union went on strike for three days last week in their dispute with National Car Parks (NCP).

Lecturers need a fighting union

There are just days left in the election for the UCU lecturers’ union general secretary and national executive.

Fujitsu talks bear little fruit

Talks between the Amicus union and Fujitsu management last week to settle the long-running dispute at IT-services giant Fujitsu appear to have borne little fruit.

Make May Day a huge strike for public services

Activists in the PCS civil service workers’ union are organising to make Tuesday 1 May the next national strike in their dispute over 104,000 job cuts, pay and privatisation.

British Airways

Some 4,500 workers in the GMB union at British Airways (BA) are set to ballot for industrial action over pensions after talks collapsed between the union and management.

Attempt to stifle debate in Unison

Attempts to silence supporters of leading Unison union and NHS activist Yunus Bakhsh took a new turn last week.

Newham council attacks union reps for not striking

The battle to prevent Newham’s Labour council from pushing through vicious attacks on working conditions continues.

Anger mounts against single status attacks

Southampton Southampton care worker Lynda Miller works night shifts looking after the elderly. It’s a job she has done for more than 30 years. Southampton City Council has now cut her pay by £5,600 a year.

Reports round-up

Underground cleaners lobby parliament London Underground cleaners in the T&G union lobbied parliament last week against plans for over 200 compulsory redundancies. The T&G and RMT unions called off a strike ballot after management withdrew the plans

People’s Assembly for democracy

The Stop the War Coalition has convened a special People’s Assembly on Tuesday 20 March—the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq—at Central Hall in central London.

Reject local government pensions deal, back strikes

The long running dispute over the Local Government Pension Scheme, affecting over a million workers, reaches a defining moment next Tuesday when the Unison union holds a special conference.

Afghan war a failure, says new US report

Within hours of Tony Blair’s announcement of troop withdrawals from Iraq, defence minister Des Browne confirmed that an extra 1,400 British troops were to be deployed in Afghanistan.

Deported from Britain to torture

The ruling that Muslim cleric Abu Qatada can be deported to Jordan because he faces "no real risk of persecution" there has highlighted the question of international removal pacts.

Trade unionists get organised

Organising For Fighting Unions (OFFU) will hold a major rally in London on 1 May &#8211; the same day that a quarter of a million civil service workers in the PCS union are likely to strike.

Looming battles for equal pay in the NHS

The government is facing up to 10,000 claims for equal pay by women workers in the NHS.

Manchester dispute at crucial stage

The battle to defend jobs and services by Unison union members at Manchester’s mental health and social care trust was at a crucial stage as Socialist Worker went to press.

John Lister: 'Privatisation driving cash crisis in health service'

Over 100 local and regional rallies, marches and events are planned for the day of action for the health service this Saturday.

Operations delayed in order to balance books

Last week Tony Blair claimed that reduced hospital waiting times would be part of his legacy.

Patricia Hewitt’s budget fiddle

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt’s claim that the NHS has balanced its budget is an attempt to save her own skin.

Video of George Galloway MP addressing the demo in London, 24 February

Respect MP George Galloway addressing the rally in Trafalgar Square at the end of the 100,000 strong Stop the War Coalition and CND 'Troops Out Now – No Trident Replacement' demonstration against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The demonstration was in London on Saturday 24 February 2007.

Video of Lindsey German addressing the demo in London, 24 February

Lindsey German, convenor of Stop the War, addressing the rally in Trafalgar Square at the end of the 100,000 strong Stop the War Coalition and CND 'Troops Out Now – No Trident Replacement' demonstration against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The demonstration was in London on Saturday 24 February 2007.

Video of Mark Thomas addressing the demo in London, 24 February

Comedian and activist Mark Thomas, addressing the rally in Trafalgar Square at the end of the 100,000 strong Stop the War Coalition and CND 'Troops Out Now – No Trident Replacement' demonstration against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The demonstration was in London on Saturday 24 February 2007.

Video of Rose Gentle addressing the demo in London, 24 February

Rose Gentle of Military Families Against the War, addressing the rally in Trafalgar Square at the end of the 100,000 strong Stop the War Coalition and CND 'Troops Out Now – No Trident Replacement' demonstration against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The demonstration was in London on Saturday 24 February 2007.

Video of Tony Benn addressing the demo in London, 24 February

Veteran activist Tony Benn addressing the rally in Trafalgar Square at the end of the 100,000 strong Stop the War Coalition and CND 'Troops Out Now – No Trident Replacement' demonstration against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The demonstration was in London on Saturday 24 February 2007.

Video of Noreen Fatima addressing the demo in London, 24 February

Noreen Fatima, vice president of London Metropolitan University’s student union, addressing the rally in Trafalgar Square at the end of the 100,000 strong Stop the War Coalition and CND 'Troops Out Now – No Trident Replacement' demonstration against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The demonstration was in London on Saturday 24 February 2007.

Reports and video of London Time Troops Out - No Trident demo, 24 February 2007

Reports from the 100,000 strong Stop the War Coalition and CND 'Troops Out Now – No Trident Replacement' demonstration across central London and the rally in Trafalgar Square. The demonstration was in London on Saturday 24 February 2007.

Labour snubs agency workers and the unions

The Labour government showed yesterday the gulf between its own agenda and that of even the most moderate unions when a minister crushed a new law to provide employment protection for millions of temporary and migrant workers.

Brown orders pay cuts for NHS workers

More than a million NHS staff and others working in the public sector are facing a real terms pay cut after Gordon Brown accepted pay review body recommendations that awards be kept within the government’s two percent inflation target.

Thousands march across Britain to defend NHS

Thousands of protesters for the NHS took to the streets in towns and cities across Britain today.


International

Reconstructing Lebanon

Dahieh Thousands of Shiite Muslims packed into the Master of the Martyrs hall in Dahieh, South Beirut, earlier this year for the climax of the Achoura festival – their most important religious date. It is incredible to see thousands packed into the Wembley Arena sized venue for the solemn ceremony. More amazing still is the fact that less than five months ago this hall was a burned out shell after being destroyed by dozens of Israeli missiles.

Photos of reconstruction in Lebanon after Israeli attacks

50,000 Greek students protest in Athens

Around 50,000 students took to the streets of Athens, Greece, on Thursday of last week against the right wing government’s plans to introduce new managers into universities. A huge movement of strikes and occupations has stopped the government changing the constitution to allow private universities, so the government plans to introduce changes by stealth. More demonstrations were planned for Thursday of this week.

Guinea strike wins new PM

The general strike in Guinea, West Africa, ended this week after President Lansana Conte appointed a prime minister from a list supplied by the trade unions.

Strike wave grows in Egypt

Egypt’s winter of discontent is growing. Following victories in major strikes last month, 13,000 workers at the Samanoud textile factory walked out on Thursday of last week, demanding an increase in food allowances.


Comment

What’s behind the Labour leadership battle?

The crisis created inside the government over the Iraq war has spilled over into the debate around who will lead the Labour Party after Tony Blair leaves office.

Italian left facing critical challenge

Romano Prodi resigned as the prime minister of Italy last week. Since taking power last year, his centre left government has sent troops to Afghanistan, supported a US military base in the northern city of Vicenza and passed a neoliberal budget.

Tony Blair’s retreat in Iraq must be pushed further

The government has explained its announcement of a limited troop withdrawal from southern Iraq by saying that the security situation in Basra has improved and that Iraqi security forces can now take over.


Features

Socialism and communism: creating a new world

It’s not long before any discussion about the fight for a better society raises the questions: "What do you mean by socialism?" "Is it the same as communism?" Communism has a long pedigree as a vision of society where property is held in common and a just social order prevails.

Marx and Hegel: Interpreting the world in order to change it

Possibly the most important intellectual influence on Karl Marx was the German philosopher GWF Hegel.

Nick Danziger's photos catch Tony Blair in the act

Tony Blair’s now somewhat haggard features are familiar – too familiar. His made-up face stares at us every day from images in the papers or on television. In this context, the photographer Nick Danziger has done something remarkable – he makes us look at Blair in a new way.


Reviews

Hogarth’s earthy satires are in a class of their own

Welcome to a London blighted by binge drinking and street crime, where young girls are seduced into prostitution and elections are fixed.

Nothing But The Truth

The legendary South African actor and playwright John Kani is touring Britain with a new "post-apartheid" play Nothing But The Truth.

Film festivals

Bradford International Film Festival9-24 March, National Media Museum The 13th Bradford International Film Festival starts this month at the city’s National Media Museum.


What We Think

Lib Dems put weight behind ‘winnable war’

The Liberal Democrats have benefited enormously from being the only establishment party to oppose the war in Iraq. Yet last week their leader, Menzies Campbell, spoke up in support of sending more troops to Afghanistan.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: revolving doors

Letters

Letters

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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