Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2044

Dated: 31 Mar 2007




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George Galloway: Resist the war drive against Iran

The capture by Iranian forces of 15 British sailors in the Gulf brought shrill, bellicose headlines last weekend and calls for retribution.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Support for Solidarity in Scotland

Solidarity: Scotland’s Socialist Movement is standing on the regional lists in the Scottish parliamentary elections. Pat Smith is top of Solidarity’s list in the Lothians region.

Respect’s election fight is a winner

Respect is providing a home for many former Labour Party members who are disgusted with the government’s policies of war and privatisation.

George Galloway one of only three MPs at Commons Esol discussion

While government ministers past and present lament immigrants’ "failure" to learn English and speak it at home, some half a million people have been told that their access to free English language courses is to be ended.

Swansea sinks council house sell-off

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

Reports round-up

Fury at Southall centre closure A lively campaign is developing in west London, against the closure of Southall Community Centre, which has been at the centre of the community for over 60 years.

Solidarity with refugees

Over 700 people crammed into a meeting last week in Birmingham to discuss defending people’s right to stay in Britain.

Walkout at Airbus

Some 4,000 aircraft workers in the Amicus union held an unofficial strike on Friday of last week.

Single status: demanding equal pay and no cuts

Birmingham Around 300 council workers lobbied Birmingham council's cabinet meeting on Monday lunchtime. The meeting was due to decide to implement the single status proposals.

Fighting privatisation at Southampton council

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

Strike in Hampshire libraries

Some 330 Unison union members working in Hampshire libraries staged a two-day strike last week.

Social work conference: a profession worth fighting for

"Social workers have to work with the big picture," said one participant at the "Social Work: A Profession Worth Fighting For?" conference in Glasgow last weekend.

Unison activists rally to Yunus Bakhsh

Anger at the victimisation of leading Unison union activist Yunus Bakhsh continued to grow last week.

Anti-fascism around the country

Anti-fascists around the country have started campaigning against the threat posed by the British National Party (BNP) at the elections on 3 May.

Postal workers stand up to bullying bosses

Edinburgh Up to 500 postal workers walked out on unofficial strike at Edinburgh’s mail centre last weekend in a dispute over new working practices and management bullying.

Labour’s budget backs war and big business

"It shows that if you shout loud enough and long enough, the chancellor will hear." This was a response to Gordon Brown’s budget – not from the trade unionists who fund the Labour Party – but from Miles Templeman, director general of the Institute of Directors.

Corporate profits outstrip tax payments

Zimbabwe demo called

The British TUC is calling on workers to show solidarity with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) during next week’s general strike.

Blogs and pamphleteering: virtual resistance

Since the invention of the printing press, every great social upheaval in modern history has been preceded and accompanied by an explosion of political pamphleteering.

Privatisation and bullying threat to benefits claimants

Tony Blair and John Hutton, the work and pensions secretary, announced plans on Monday to push through changes in the welfare system.

A £42 million pay packet

Barclays Bank president Bob Diamond could grab £42 million for 2006.

Regional pay plan for civil servants is a threat to all workers

New government plans will mean that workers doing the same job, at offices just miles apart, could be paid salaries that are hundreds of pounds different.

Gordon Brown’s attack on wages

Chancellor Gordon Brown has declared war on the pay of every public sector worker. That’s why 20,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union were set to strike on Friday of this week.

Italian MEP points to more corruption in Afghanistan

Italian MEP Vittorio Agnoletto has just returned from a fact finding mission to Afghanistan.

Iranians kidnapped by US forces

Iranian diplomats are still being held in occupied Iraq after being seized by US forces and by kidnappers wearing the uniforms of elite Iraqi army units.

Tony Blair knew 655,000 Iraqi deaths report was right

Its official – the survey that revealed that the occupation of Iraq has claimed over 655,000 Iraqi lives was "robust", despite attempts by George Bush and Tony Blair to rubbish the results.

The surge in poverty that shames New Labour

New Labour's claim to be serious about tackling poverty exploded this week when shameful figures were released revealing the true extent of hardship in Britain.


International

Fight for change in Sierra Leone

The commemoration of the end of the slave trade in the British Empire should bring to mind the fate of Sierra Leone.

Cairo protesters defy Mubarak’s crackdown

The Egyptian regime is attempting to silence any criticism directed against it by pushing through changes in the constitution. The US-backed president Hosni Mubarak is trying to dress up the changes as "democratic reforms".

Invasion did not bring peace to Somalia

Fierce fighting has resumed in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, giving the lie to claims that the US-backed Ethiopian invasion would bring an era of peace.


Comment

Privatising colleges

As further and higher education have expanded over the last four decades, conditions for students and staff have worsened. Thirty years ago there were nine students for every lecturer. Now there are 21. In further education, workloads are at record level. Casual employment is rife.

Academies are part of a neoliberal agenda for our schools

When Gordon Brown appeared at Mossbourne Community Academy in east London last week, it seemed that he was openly endorsing Tony Blair’s programme to undermine comprehensive education by setting up academies across the country.

Will the borrowing boom go bust?

The official view of the world economy put forward, for example, by the International Monetary Fund, is that everything is going splendidly, despite the sharp falls in global share prices last May and at the end of February this year.


Features

‘Personalisation’: window dressing for Gordon Brown’s assault on welfare

‘The next stage of improving our public services is personalised services tailored to people’s needs," declared Gordon Brown last week as he joined Tony Blair’s launch of the government’s policy review on the future of public services.

Days of Glory: remembering the forgotten soldiers from North Africa

This week sees the British release of Days of Glory, a war film that focuses on a hidden fact of the Second World War – the contribution of hundred of thousands of North African soldiers recruited from France’s colonies, known as "indigènes" in French.

Days of Glory director Rachid Bouchareb: 'Indigenes were written out of history'

'I started work on Days of Glory five years ago. I chose to film in a realist style because it was the simplest way to do it. For example, there isn't blood dripping everywhere – it's not like that.


Reviews

Catch A Fire

It’s been 13 years since the fall of apartheid in South Africa, when millions were allowed to vote in a democratic election for the first time.

The Russian artists who drew Futurism to the left

Socialists have often felt rather uncomfortable with Futurism. This Italian art movement, founded in 1909, sang the praises of new technology, aeroplanes and the mass media – but it also exalted war and colonialism.


What We Think

A divisive process in Northern Ireland

Historic moments come and go in Northern Irish politics. Yet the sight of Republican Gerry Adams and Unionist Ian Paisley sitting down together to form a devolved government is an image that will last longer than most.


Other Categories

Peter Bain 1941-2007

Regretfully Socialist Worker reports the death of Peter Bain, a lifelong socialist who made a big contribution to the International Socialists (forerunner of the SWP), the SWP, and the wider movement.

Tim: should I invest?

Leon Kuhn: National Robbery

Letters

Anti-war assembly was a show of people power "All power to the people," was a slogan that I was reminded of while at the recent People’s Assembly. I used to think that the slogan was about the "democracy" that we live under – that was until the country was taken, against its will, into the illegal and immoral wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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