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Socialist Worker

Issue: 2043

Dated: 24 Mar 2007

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Gordon Brown signals end to free NHS

Gordon Brown this week made clear his enthusiasm for ending universal healthcare on the NHS.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Gordon Brown's budget: war, privatisation and tax cuts for the rich

Gordon Brown in his budget today has laid down his credentials as Tony Blair's natural heir. His only difference is a little bit of extra Thatcherism thrown in for good measure.

Angry junior doctors take protest to the streets

The latest outburst of anger over New Labour’s attacks on the health service saw 12,000 junior doctors take to the streets of London last weekend.

Council workers fight against pay injustice

Over 2,500 Birmingham local government workers gathered last week at one of the biggest trade union mass meetings for years.

Battle to bust Gordon Brown’s pay limit

Thousands of PCS members are set to strike on Friday of next week as the next stage of their union’s campaign.

Runcorn postal workers vote not to work on Good Friday

Staff at Runcorn Royal Mail delivery office in Cheshire have voted not to work on Good Friday.

Lawyers demonstrate for legal aid

Hundreds of lawyers demonstrated outside parliament on Monday against attacks on legal aid and access to justice.

Anger at plans to close Edinburgh's Meadowbank Stadium

Over 600 angry local people and athletes attended a recent public meeting inside the Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh to voice their anger at the politicians that are supposed to represent them.

NCP strike wins union recognition

After five days of strikes, 70 GMB members, mainly African migrant workers, have secured union recognition from NCP in Enfield, north London.

Organising for Fighting Unions is a focus for resistance

Over 250 people came to the Bristol Organising For Fighting Unions (OFFU) meeting last week. It showed how OFFU can attract a broad range of trade union activists and also act as a forum for other campaigners.

Reports round-up

European rallies against job cuts Some 40,000 Airbus workers protested last Friday in Germany, France, Spain and Britain against plans by the European aircraft maker to cut one in ten of its workforce of 87,000.

Protesting for Colombian trade unionists

Michael Rosen on keeping it in the family

When I run for leadership of either the Labour or Tory Party (either will do), please remind me to gas on about the family.

Respect on the rise in York and Sunderland

Respect is standing candidates in target seats across England in the council elections on 3 May to provide an alternative to the policies of war and privatisation followed by mainstream parties.

Michael Lavalette ready to fight for Respect

Respect is urging its supporters to throw themselves into the campaign to re-elect Michael Lavalette as a councillor in Preston.

Rosemary Byrne: gearing up to offer a socialist alternative

‘Solidarity activists have been delivering pre-election bulletins to houses across Scotland over the last few weeks. Tens of thousands have been delivered so far.

Keep up the pressure in defence of Yunus Bakhsh

The campaign to defend Yunus Bakhsh, a leading Unison union activist and fighter for the NHS, from victimisation by both his management and his trade union gathered pace this week.

UCU Left: Building on success

There is general agreement among lecturers that while many people were happy at the number of UCU Left supporters elected to the executive, the numbers voting were pitifully low.

Three-day strike at Fujitsu

Amicus members at Fujitsu in Manchester continue their long-running battle to defend union recognition and agreements on redundancy, redeployment and pay.

Fighting privatisation threat in local government

Over 2,000 Southampton council workers struck for 24 hours on Tuesday. The strike was called in protest at the council’s proposal to transfer over 700 jobs to private company Capita.

Workers to hit back on May Day

Tuesday 1 May is set to see a major strike in defence of public services as the PCS civil service workers’ union steps up its action against job cuts, low pay and privatisation.

Left candidates win lecturers’ UCU union elections

The left has achieved remarkable success in the national executive elections for the lecturers’ union, UCU.

Delegates flock to anti-war People's Assembly

Jahan Hajipour is an Iranian journalist. He took time off work to join a delegation from Sheffield, where he now lives, to the People’s Assembly held in London on Tuesday of this week.

Picture of the People's Assembly

Union sponsored MPs back nukes in Trident vote

New Labour pushed its plans to renew the Trident nuclear missile system through parliament last week – by relying on the backing of the Tories.

Figure it out: statistics on Iraq

An opinion poll commissioned by the BBC this week offers a snapshot of what ordinary Iraqis think about the US-led occupation of their country four years on from the invasion

People's Assembly reaffirms opposition to Blair's war - full report

"We here at this assembly represent the opinions of the people far more than those in houses of parliament," said Tony Benn, president of the Stop the War Coalition, to hundreds of delegates at the People’s Assembly held in central London on Tuesday.

Hundreds of thousands march against war across the world

Spain Some of the biggest demonstrations took place in Spain. Hundreds of thousands marched in Madrid and more than 10,000 in Barcelona. Protests involving thousands more took place in many other Spanish cities.

Swansea votes against council house transfer

Council tenants in Swansea have delivered a resounding no to the council's plans to transfer their entire housing stock to a private limited company.


Growing repression in Egypt

Opposition groups in Egypt have demonstrated against a constitutional amendment that would silence criticism of the regime.

Pakistan protests throw Musharraf’s regime into crisis

A growing crisis threatens military rule in Pakistan, a key US ally in the "war on terror".

Outrage after Indian state kills peasants in Nandigram

"Bodies were scattered all over the paddy fields, smeared with blood. The injured were screaming for help – and police kept kicking them."

Teachers in Iran face repression

Around 1,000 teachers were arrested in the Iranian capital Tehran on Wednesday of last week, as they gathered for what would have been their third protest outside Iran’s parliament in recent weeks.

Revolt from below can bring down the regime in Zimbabwe

Thirty-year old Nelson is waiting and hoping for a mass riot. Like many other residents of the Highfield township in Harare, he knows Zimbabwe is on a knife-edge.


Tony Blair can't wriggle out of blame for the war

Tony Blair is spending what is meant to be the twilight of his premiership rushing around in a frenzy of policy initiatives meant to define his famous "legacy". The decision to update the Trident submarine-launched nuclear missiles is apparently part of this.


Radicals and rebels behind the abolition of slavery

In the coming months, it will be hard to turn on the television or pick up a newspaper in Britain without seeing some mention of the 200th anniversary of parliament’s abolition of the slave trade. A flood of forums, lecture series, museum exhibitions and commemorative ceremonies are also marking this event.

The revolt against slavery

Here are articles about the revolt against slavery including Adam Hochschild and Marika Sherwood, on the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.

Mark Lynas: ‘It’s up to us, not the government’

‘If you take a step back and look at how the political landscape has changed over the past couple of years you can see how much has been achieved. Climate change was barely mentioned during the last general election. Now it seems to be top of many people’s priority lists.

Government carbon bill does not go far enough

Gordon Brown is in competition with David Cameron as to which party takes global warming more seriously.

Books on the fight against the slave trade

Books on the fight against the slave trade

Events commemorating the end of the slave trade

Ms Dynamite in Search of Nanny Maroon Niomi Daley, the British hip-hop star better known as Ms Dynamite, travelled to her ancestral land Jamaica to make a TV documentary about slaves who fought back.

British companies continued to profit after abolition of slave trade

Within days of the 1807 anti-slavery act coming into force, British slave traders were already deploying a number of ruses to circumvent it.

Frederick Douglass on William Wilberforce

"When Wilberforce came forward, public attention became directed to the matter.

The role of William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce is presented as "the man who freed the slaves". Often this is done in an incredibly patronising way that removes or diminishes the role of the British mass movement and, above all, the struggles of slaves themselves.

The beginning of racism

Racism as we know it today developed during the Atlantic slave trade. In the 17th century it emerged in its roughest form in the mouths of the plantation owners who wanted to justify their treatment of the slaves.

Slavery and the brutal birth of the capitalist system

Slavery was not a one-off event – a single horror confined to the 18th century or simply to Africa.

Treaty of Rome anniversary: a European union for neoliberals

There will be no street parties or popping of champagne corks in Britain to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome. The best that this country could manage was a half-hearted friendly football match between a Manchester United team and a motley collection of European footballers.

Olaudah Equiano: fighter for freedom

The former slave Olaudah Equiano was a key figure in the British campaign to end slavery.

Bloody price of the slave trade

March marks the 200th anniversary of the act of parliament that officially ended direct British involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. The act of 1807 made it illegal for a British ship to transport captive Africans across the Atlantic for sale into slavery.

The role of the slave revolts in ending slavery

Africans resisted slavery at every point. There were rebellions on board the ships that carried them across the oceans, which often resulted in the cruelest retaliation. But it was on the plantations that the most serious challenges to the slave economy took place.

Slavery in precolonial Africa doesn't justify Atlantic trade

Very few people these days would question the barbarity of the Atlantic slave trade. Nor can anyone easily deny that vast profits were made from slave labour in the plantations.

Map of the triangular slave trade


What We Think

Iraq: Hope amid the horror

On the fourth anniversary of George Bush’s invasion of Iraq, just one in five Iraqis have confidence in occupation forces.

Other Categories

Tim: 'Am I bovvered?'


Trident is an outrage In the dim and distant past, namely the 1970s, I was a British soldier.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events

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