Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2041

Dated: 10 Mar 2007




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Bush’s regime: lynch law in Iraq

Liqa Omar Muhammad is waiting to die. The 26 year old Iraqi mother shares her Baghdad prison cell with her child, who was born in captivity.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

New government benefits scheme targets poor and isolated

In the same week that the big five banks announced profits of £40 billion, the government released a report that targeted lone parents and disabled people as the main problems in society.

Day of action on 3 March - United action for the NHS

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in towns and cities across Britain in defence of the NHS last Saturday.

Speaking out on Esol language cuts

The sight of a queue of around 1,000 students and lecturers winding its way around the houses of parliament greeted MPs on Wednesday morning of last week.

Pictures of NHS day of action, 3 March

Gordon Brown’s pay insult for NHS staff

More than a million NHS staff and others working in the public sector are facing a pay cut in real terms after chancellor Gordon Brown decided to implement their pay review body recommendations in two stages.

Victory for Manchester health workers

Over 300 workers at Manchester’s mental health and social care trust have won a victory against their bosses following a campaign that included strike action.

‘Blair’s legacy is cuts, chaos and closures in the health service’

The full scale of the impending NHS crisis was laid bare last week. It emerged that three out of four primary care trusts (PCTs), which run GP clinics and health centres, are restricting patients’ access to treatment.

Unison special local government conference fails to support fight on pensions

A special conference to discuss the government's new pension scheme met on Tuesday of this week. After 90 minutes of contributions the conference voted to accept the government's proposals by a sizeable majority. All the regions voted for acceptance, except Yorkshire and Humberside and Greater London.

Friday 30 March is next step in civil service workers' campaign

Tens of thousands of civil service workers are preparing for the next round of strikes.

New president for firefighters' union

London firefighter Mick Shaw has been elected unopposed as the new president of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

Labour betrays unions over employment protection

The Labour government showed last week 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.

Metroline | Yorkshire Coastliner | FirstBus Leeds

Metroline Bus workers at Metroline in north London were shocked to learn last week that their final salary pension scheme was being closed. Alternatives to the final salary scheme are cheaper for the company but less secure for workers.

Defending comprehensive schools in Sheffield

Sheffield City Council is at the forefront nationally of implementing the government's Building Schools For The Future programme. They have invited all comprehensive schools in the city to bid for trust Status.

Lecturers' victory at Dundee University

Dundee University has withdrawn its threat of compulsory redundancies. This is a victory for the UCU lecturers' union after a vigorous campaign.

Nine days of action planned at Fujitsu

Amicus union members at Fujitsu Manchester plan nine more strike days.

Reigniting the anti-academy campaign in Brent

When Brent's Liberal Democrats and Tories came to form a coalition administration after last year's local elections one of their first acts was to throw out Labour's plan for a new school as a City Academy in Wembley.

Open letter demands direct investment in public housing

Open letter to government Ministers and Camden councillors

Signal workers set to strike across Scotland this week

Signal workers across Scotland were due to strike for 48 hours from Wednesday of this week in a dispute over pay.

Reports round-up

Unique women fight for rights The 17 care workers sacked by Unique Care in Huddersfield for standing up to bullying continue their fight for justice. The company receives all its funding from Kirklees council.

Launch of modern abortion law campaign

Over 100 abortion rights campaigners gathered near Westminster last Saturday. It was the launch of a year of celebrations of 40 years since the 1967 Abortion Act, and the beginning of a campaign for a modern abortion law.

Manchester launch for campaign against deportations to Congo

Over 200 refugees launched a campaign to stop forced removals back to the Democratic Republic of Congo at a meeting in Manchester last week.

Riverside College occupation against cuts

Over fifty sixth form students at Riverside College in Runcorn, Cheshire, reacted against the removal of IT facilities from the college and the atmosphere of secrecy in which the ill-disguised asset strip was carried out.

Yunus Bakhsh campaign

The campaign to defend leading Unison union and health service activist Yunus Bakhsh is driving those who are attempting to witchhunt him from the union to desperate measures.

Defend Tony Staunton campaign

Tony Staunton, Plymouth branch secretary and leading Unison union activist in the south west of England, has been informed that he cannot stand for election to the union’s national executive committee.

Postal workers round-up

Beeston Postal workers at the Beeston mail centre in Nottingham walked out spontaneously and unofficially last week.

Is China going bust?

There used to be a saying, "When the US sneezes, the world catches a cold." It's a measure of China's power in the world economy today that a shiver in Shanghai can cause panic in the world's financial centres.

US troops kill Afghan families

It was a six mile rampage of indiscriminate murder. US troops in Afghanistan gunned down tens of civilians following an attack on their army convoy in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan.

People's Assembly is our chance to join the war debate that parliament will not hold

From across Britain, delegations from trade unions, mosques, anti-war groups, colleges and all walks of life will heading to Westminster Central Hall on 20 March – the fourth anniversary of George Bush and Tony Blair's disastrous attack on Iraq.

'Single status' equality deal punishes women council workers

The mainstream media this week discovered the local government "single status" agreement with lurid headlines such as "£250 on your council tax to fund equal pay".

Organising for fighting unions in Birmingham

Around 100 people came to an Organising for Fighting Unions meeting in Birmingham on Monday – despite roads around the venue being closed by police after a stabbing.

Report shows poverty still blights Scotland

A quarter of Scottish children are growing up in poverty, according to a new report on poverty in Scotland.

Battles against council budget cuts across London

Pensioners storm Lambeth town hall Startled councillors cowered in fear when a group of furious pensioners and disabled people stormed Lambeth town hall in south London on Wednesday of last week.

Solidarity set for Scottish elections

The conference of Solidarity: Scotland’s Socialist Movement last Saturday gave a kick start to its campaign for the May elections to the Scottish parliament. Some 200 delegates met in Glasgow to plan strategy and decide the shape of its manifesto.

A crucial discussion about the future of local government pensions

The future pensions for millions of local government workers are hanging in the balance.

Inequality still reigns supreme in modern Britain

Three reports released last week revealed the gender and racial discrimination that prevents people getting jobs in Britain.

The neoliberal north of Ireland

The most likely outcome of the Northern Ireland Assembly election this week is that the radical Republican party Sinn Fein will enter government with the Unionist bigot Ian Paisley.


International


Comment

Eamonn McCann: Fighting for workers and trade unions - and against war and water charges

The Socialist Environmental Alliance is not running in this election just to make a point. We are in to win a seat – and we believe it can be done.

Labour to blame for Tories’ revival

The Channel 4 fantasy programme The Trial of Tony Blair had the next general election culminate in a photo finish between a tongue-tied, terminally indecisive Gordon Brown and a vacuously trendy David Cameron.


Features

Where do capitalist profits come from?

Karl marx spent much of his life analysing how capitalism works.

A woman's right to choose?

There was a lively meeting with women from a range of ages and backgrounds on a woman’s right to choose at the Respect women’s day school.

Women’s rights still to be won

Respect women's conference voices

"Ten years ago we all had high hopes and aspirations for the Labour government. But the Labour Party has let us all down, especially the British Muslim community and especially Muslim women.


Reviews

Femi Kuti interview: ‘We are not independent if Africa is still begging’

Nigerian musician Femi Kuti was recently in Britain as part of the third African Soul Rebels tour.

Steve McQueen – Queen And Country

Hot on the heels of Mark Wallinger’s State Britain installation in the Tate Britain, London, comes another exhibit from a major British artist addressing the issue of the Iraq war.

The Trap - a new documentary from Adam Curtis explores individualism and freedom

"Human beings will always betray you. You can only trust the numbers."


What We Think

Two days to fight war and for services

There should be two dates in every workplace activist's mind – 20 March and 1 May. The People's Assembly on 20 March is a tremendous opportunity to root anti-war opposition at work.


Other Categories

Sandra Wilkins 1951-2007

Sandie died last week following a respiratory arrest after a brain haemorrhage at the beginning of the year.

Tim: benefits and peerages

Letters

Protest and survive As a participant on the huge CND and Stop the War demonstration in London on Saturday 24 February I felt compelled to write about it.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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