Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2049

Dated: 05 May 2007




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It is time to bury Blairism

Gordon Brown, Tony Blair's proposed successor, gave "Blair's decade of achievement" in government "ten out of ten" in the Sun on Tuesday.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Rich List shows the rich getting even richer

The fortunes of Britain’s wealthiest 1,000 people has grown 20 percent in a year, the Sunday Times Rich List has revealed.

Demonstrating for Esol: out to stop language cuts

"This is not just about language. We will lose everything if these cuts go ahead," said Somali refugee Ibrahim Abdullahi as he joined a lively protest on Saturday against proposed cuts to the provision of English for speakers of other languages (Esol).

Respect campaign: anger builds against New Labour policies

Left wing campaigners reported growing anger against New Labour everywhere in the run-up to Thursday’s local government, Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly elections.

Reports round-up

Greenwich single status lobby Over 250 Unison union members met in Greenwich, south east London, last week as part of the campaign against the single status pay offer. This was despite the council refusing time off until just two days before the meeting. A lobby of the council brought together around 50 workers. Another lobby is planned for Wednesday 16 May.

'Anonymous witnesses' to be used in Yunus Bakhsh hearing

Management at the Tyne & Wear NHS Trust continued their victimisation of leading Unison union activist Yunus Bakhsh this week, insisting that they will use "anonymous witnesses" in their disciplinary hearing against him.

Strike as sacked BA baggage handler hangs himself

Piara Kalayan, a baggage handler at Heathrow airport devastated at being sacked hanged himself last week.

'The Facts': Royal Mail's big lie to postal workers

Post bosses are pumping out propaganda in an effort to stop a pay revolt. But it's based on lies.

Plaque to crane victims unveiled on Workers' Memorial Day

Over 100 family and friends of two men who were killed after a crane fell in Battersea protested as part of Workers’ Memorial Day last Saturday.

Questions that remain over fertiliser 'bomb plot'

This week’s "bomb plot trial" verdicts have not satsified all questions about the case.

First Bus drivers sacked for being early

First Group, which has a near monopoly on the inner city buses in Bristol, has recently increased its attacks on bus drivers.

Anti-academies action

Wakefield public meeting Nearly 50 people attended the first public meeting against a number of schools in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, leaving local authority control and becoming trusts.

City College Manchester strike on hold

Lecturers at City College Manchester have put strike action on hold after management said that proposed new contracts would not be implemented for new starters.

Harlow college: 'Everyone must now reapply for their jobs'

The 205 lecturers at Harlow College in Essex are holding a strike ballot after management announced redundancies and changes to terms and conditions.

Decade of NHS cuts

Ten years after Tony Blair announced that there were "24 hours to save the NHS" the extent of the financial crisis in the health service and the mania for privatisation has become even more apparent.

Eileen Short proved right to fight sacking by Tower Hamlets council

Tower Hamlets council in east London has been forced into a humiliating climbdown over the case of sacked journalist Eileen Short.

Regeneration game

If you live in a large town or city, it’s easy to walk, drive, ride on a bus or train without knowing how the space you’re in was divided up, shared out and indeed goes on being divided up and shared out.

Tackling issues in Preston

Respect councillor Michael Lavalette stood for re-election in the Town Centre ward in Preston on Thursday.

CWU rep Dave Ward to stand down from Labour NEC

Dave Ward has decided to stand down as the CWU union’s representative on the Labour Party national executive committee (NEC) because he believes it conflicts with the best interests of union members.

Solidarity's campaign has won a great reception in Scotland

The Solidarity campaign for Thursday's Scottish parliament elections struck a chord with working class people across the country. Candidates and members report receiving a great response everywhere.

Main parties will face major problems after elections

Thursday's elections took place before Socialist Worker went to press but look likely to mark a sea change in Scotland. Labour is set to lose ground to the Scottish National Party (SNP).

PCS workers strike against Brown's cuts

Some 250,000 civil service workers in the PCS union struck on May Day against job cuts, low pay and privatisation.

Together on May Day in a foretaste of what's needed

Across Britain workers joined May Day marches on Tuesday or took the chance to hold protests in their own workplaces.

Tommy Sheridan: Taking socialism to the people

Last Wednesday George Galloway came to Scotland to back Solidarity, taking time out from Respect's council campaign in England to lend his support.

Postal workers push for strike ballot over pay

Royal Mail workers are pushing for a strike ballot over pay cuts.

'You can stick your NHS pay offer'

The likelihood of a summer of discontent in the health service increased last week as the NHS Pay Negotiating Council (PNC) – which sets wages for over 300,000 non-clinical staff like porters, cleaners and cooks – announced the same 1.9 percent "pay rise" that has been offered to clinical staff.

British corporal jailed for abuse of Iraqi hotel worker

Baha Musa, an Iraqi hotel worker, died with 93 separate injuries to his body as a result of severe beatings he received while detained by British troops in Basra.

Soldiers admit: 'Iraq war is lost'

The war is lost. That's the message coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan by those sent to fight it.

Lynda Holmes: Military families are speaking out against war

April has been a bloody month for British troops in Iraq. Twelve soldiers have been killed and scores wounded – the highest monthly figure since the invasion four years ago.

Time's up for New Labour in Scotland

Tony Blair pleaded with Scottish voters not to give New Labour a "kicking" in this Thursday's elections. But that hasn't stopped them expressing their revulsion at New Labour's record.

May Day 2007 across Britain: readers' reports

<h4Barnsley About 60 staff and students joined a lively dinnertime protest outside Barnsley College today to protest at the threatened cuts to Esol language classes.

Macclesfield postal workers stand up for their mate

MACCLESFIELD POSTAL workers last week walked out unofficially to support a colleague with chronic renal failure &#8211; and won a complete victory against uncaring bosses.

May 2007 election results for Respect and Solidarity

Results for Respect and Solidarity in the English Council, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly elections held on 3 May 2007

Michael Lavalette re-elected

Michael Lavalette has been re-elected as Respect councillor for Town Centre ward in Preston. He won 1,179 votes compared to 717 for Labour, 206 for the Lib Dems, 87 for the Conservative and 63 for the Green Party.

Success in Sparkbrook, Birmingham

Mohammed Ishtiaq has been elected as Respect councillor in Sparkbroook, Birmingham. He won 3,514 votes compared to 2,503 for Labour, 919 for the Lib Dems and 548 for the Conservatives. Congratulations to Mohammed Ishtiaq and everyone who helped with the campaign.

Respect gains one in Bolsover

Ray Holmes won the Shirebrook North West seat on the Bolsover District council in Derbyshire. In a close fought election, Ray won 53 percent of the vote – 295 votes to the Labour candidate's 264 votes.

Crisis of mainstream parties highlights need for Respect

The May 2007 election results have underlined the urgent need to create a radical alternative to the party of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

BNP fails to win seats in key target areas

Early results from the local elections make grim reading for the fascist British National Party (BNP). Despite standing 750 candidates across the country in an attempt to take advantage of anti-immigrant hysteria coming from press and politicians alike, the Nazis have failed to win any seats in their key target areas.


International

Ethiopian army kills thousands in Somalia

A savage bombardment of the Somali capital Mogadishu by occupying Ethiopian forces has left thousands dead and driven over 350,000 people from their homes.

Africa pays the price for Western intervention

A large swathe of Africa is either on the verge of war, or actually at war – and outside intervention by the great powers will only make it worse.

Turkish 'secular' demonstration prepares way for military coup

Generals in Turkey have threatened "military intervention" to halt a vote in the country's parliament that could see Abdullah Gül, the current foreign minister from the mainstream Islamist party Justice and Development (AK), elected as president.

Defend Turkey's elected government as 'secular' movement pushes aside democracy

On two occasions in April hundreds of thousands of Turks took to the streets of Istanbul and the capital Ankara to defend "the Republic".


Comment

Capitalism and migrant labour

"More migrants please" &#8211; so read the headline of last week's Investors Chronicle magazine.

Democrats play a double edged game over Iraq

It’s hard to judge how serious the confrontation over Iraq between George Bush and the Democrats in the US Congress is.


Features

American Torture: the US and the abuse of prisoners

Abusing hooded prisoners is not the work a few rogue soldiers, but a systemic US policy of torture that dates back to the start of the Cold War. The US military watched with interest the Russian show trials of the 1930s and 1940s, in which opponents of the regime stood up and admitted to anything and everything they were accused of.

When workers beat government pay freezes

Every Labour government has been elected on a promise to protect and improve workers’ living standards, and each has tried to impose cuts in pay.

What causes inflation?

It's not often that a politician's actions can rally together millions of ordinary people from all walks of life. But that's what chancellor Gordon Brown has managed to do by imposing a maximum 2 percent wage rise across the public sector.


Reviews

Both Eyes Blind - The Tribunes | Battle for the Ballot exhibition

Both Eyes BlindThe Tribunessingle out now The Tribunes are a fiercely political up-and-coming jazz act. They combine music with spoken words to create what band member Gary Duke describes as "a head-on collision between The Streets and John Coltrane".

Hey Eugene! - an optimistic album that mixes its musical ingredients

Imagine music that falls somewhere between French cabaret, classical symphony, Latin jazz and pop &#8211; and throw in a few touches of Japanese film noir, big band anthems and romantic melodrama.

Interview with Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale

Pink Martini are a big band with a big sound, a big live presence &#8211; and big ideas. Thomas Lauderdale, a classically trained pianist, formed the group in 1994 to play political benefits in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, on the West Coast of the US.


What We Think

Blair’s wars have made Britain a target

The convictions of five men for plotting to attack targets in Britain has set off a predictable furore in the mainstream media.


Other Categories

Tim: The boot of history

Letters

Letters

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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