Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2042

Dated: 17 Mar 2007




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Blair’s deadly legacy

Four years ago Tony Blair took this country to war over a lie – that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Union leader co-authors attack on people’s future pensions

A wide-ranging new attack on the pensions of millions of private sector workers was unveiled last week – on the basis of a report co-authored by a top trade unionist.

Forced to queue for jobs in Britain

Groups of up to 100 workers stand in line outside at dawn to see if the boss will pick them to work for the day. This is not a scene from the beginning of the last century – but the reality of being a local authority worker in the 21st century.

Michael Lavalette's campaign in Preston is a key election battle for Respect

Respect is throwing itself into the campaign to get Preston Respect councillor Michael Lavalette re-elected in local elections on 3 May.

'LGBT month was life changing in my school'

When new government policies on LGBT issues came in I felt compelled to make sure our school was celebrating properly. What better way to ensure change than by being heard and seen to be "normal" by the young people of Hackney, east London?

Battles continue over single status deals

Argyll & Bute Irate council workers in Oban, Argyll, have said they want to strike over single status proposals which would cut their pay by thousands of pounds a year.

Why did Sally Hunt win the UCU general secretary election?

Sally Hunt has been elected general secretary of the UCU lecturers’ union.

National backing for Fujitsu industrial action now urgent

Amicus union members at Fujitsu’s Manchester site restarted strike action and travelled to London on Wednesday of last week to present their case to MPs and ministers.

Reports round-up

Tanker drivers win 20 percent Oil tanker drivers in the T&G union at ConocoPhillips contractor Suckling Transport have won a 20 percent pay increase after threatening a strike.

Heerema workers plan indefinte strike

Workers at Heerema, a rig-building plant in Hartlepool, are set to start an indefinite strike this week over pay.

Airbus workers plan rally

Airbus workers from Chester will take part in a mass rally this week in protest at plans to axe 800 jobs.

Amicus/T&G merger: what should the new union do?

Amicus and T&G union members have voted to merge to create a new union with around two million members.

North Staffordshire post strike set to spread

Postal staff from all over North Staffordshire may strike after Royal Mail managers were brought in an attempt to weaken a strike at the Burslem delivery office.

London Underground maintenance workers ballot for action

Over 2,000 London Underground maintenance workers in the RMT rail workers’ union were set to be balloted from Wednesday of this week. Their Metronet employer plans to transfer employees to other companies.

Big coastguard vote to reject pay offer

Members of the PCS union working for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have voted by over 80 percent to reject management’s 2006 pay offer.

Civil servants build action for 1 May

Thousands of members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in the Ministry of Defence and the Identity and Passport Service are currently taking part in a consultative ballot to strike on Friday 30 March over pay.

Signal strike hits hard

Signalling staff in the RMT union in Scotland struck for 48 hours from Wednesday of last week. The dispute is over implementation of a national agreement on the 35-hour week with Network Rail.

Respect group challenges cuts at emergency Tower Hamlets council meeting

An emergency council meeting in Tower Hamlets, east London, on Thursday of last week showed why we need Respect councillors to oppose the neoliberal agenda of all three mainstream parties.

Health workers angry at pay insult

The government’s recently announced 1.9 percent pay increase for more than a million NHS workers is provoking widespread anger, particularly among those on the lowest grades.

Fight to defend key NHS activist Yunus Bakhsh

In the course of a few days this week Yunus Bakhsh, a leading Unison union and health activist, could be both disciplined by his union and sacked from his job as a psychiatric nurse.

Tony Staunton: guilty until proven innocent?

Plymouth Unison union branch secretary and leading activist in the area Tony Staunton has appealed against the outrageous decision to bar him from the national executive elections.

Substantial left vote in Northern Ireland

The elections last week to the Northern Ireland Assembly, produced gains for the anti-Catholic Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Republican Sinn Fein party.

George Bush sends even more troops to Iraq

In the US they are calling it "surge creep". George Bush plans to boost the number of US troops in his "surge on Baghdad" to 30,000 – up from the 21,500 announced earlier this year.

Three women still due to be hanged in ‘free’ Iraq

Three women still due to be hanged in ‘free’ Iraq

Activists hang anti-Trident banner outside parliament

Delegates set for People's Assembly debate parliament won’t have

On the fourth anniversary of the start of the war on Iraq, the Stop the War Coalition is holding "the debate that parliament won’t have".


International

George Bush runs gauntlet in Latin America

Brazil Demonstrations marking International Women’s Day were different this year. They were organised to protest against inequality between men and women, but also to protest against the visit of George Bush.

Facing brutality in Zimbabwe

The turmoil in Zimbabwe reached new heights this week as the government unleashed a further wave of repression.


Comment

Four years after invading Iraq, Bush’s Middle East strategy lies in tatters

Four years ago, when George Bush and Tony Blair embarked on the conquest of Iraq, the US loomed supreme over the world.


Features

Franz Kafka: writing of the system’s despair and alienation

The Trial, perhaps Franz Kafka’s finest literary accomplishment, draws us into the strange and yet oddly familiar world of its protagonist, Josef K.

What is the real legacy of Kwame Nkrumah?

On Tuesday 6 March Ghana, the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve its freedom, commemorated 50 years of independence from Britain. In 1957 Kwame Nkrumah, the man who led the nation’s freedom struggle, declared, "The independence of Ghana is meaningless until it is linked with the total liberation of Africa."

Why workers must liberate themselves

For radicals of Karl Marx’s generation the French Revolution of 1789 was a source of inspiration which dominated their thinking.

Falklands: war and lies

On 19 March 1982, the Argentine military junta seized control of the Falkland Islands – also known as the Malvinas – plunging Britain’s Tory government into crisis.


Reviews

New DVDs | A Disappearing Number | Human Rights Watch film festival

Pan’s LabyrinthDVD, £18 (Optimum)I Saw Ben Barka Get KilledDVD, £19 (Artificial Eye) Two of last year’s best political films are out now on DVD to buy or rent.

The Gossip: a political commitment to action, passion and drive

Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last few months, you’ll have heard of The Gossip, a punk rock outfit from Arkansas. The band recently topped NME magazine’s "cool list" – or rather their lead singer Beth Ditto did, since she’s the one who’s been generating headlines.

Carlos Latuff: a comic-strip take on Iraq rebellion

Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist who deploys the style of classic US superhero comics – but for very different political ends.

Tom Fool captures the dynamics of life under capitalism

When Tom Fool, Franz Xaver Kroetz’s 1978 drama about the implosion of a working class family in West Germany, was staged at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow last November, audiences were astonished by the power of a play that gets right to the heart of family life under capitalism.


What We Think

Brown and Cameron are spouting hot air on climate change

This week saw New Labour’s Gordon Brown and Tory leader David Cameron arguing over their "visions" of how to save the planet. The truth is that neither of them has a solution to the climate change crisis.


Other Categories

Tim: frequent flyer tax

Letters

Letters

Who says?

"We should be looking at the subject of Asian women and whether we need to require them to speak English before they are given a settlement visa."Jack Straw, continues his obsessive vendetta against Asian women

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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