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Socialist Worker


Issue: 2050

Dated: 12 May 2007




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Into the dustbin with Blair

We are in the final days of Tony Blair. And good riddance to bad rubbish.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Fifteenth Pensioners parliament convenes in Blackpool

The biggest ever poll to look at the government’s record on issues affecting older people was published this week – as leaders of Britain’s growing pensioner movement gathered in Blackpool for the start of the 15th annual Pensioners’ Parliament.

Court in secret memo trial told civil servant wanted to reveal the truth about Iraq

A civil servant accused under the Official Secrets Act of leaking a confidential memo wanted to reveal the truth about Iraq, a court has heard.

Defend Yunus Bakhsh campaign: go to a social and be disciplined

If you attend the "Not the Unison Social", be prepared to disciplined by Unison, your union! That was the bizarre message from Unison to its members at Tyne and Wear Hospital Trust, where leading activist Yunus Bakhsh is facing the sack by his employers and a witch-hunt from his own union.

Macclesfield post strike wins reinstatement

Macclesfield postal workers last week walked out unofficially to support a colleague with chronic renal failure – and won a complete victory against uncaring bosses.

Fury at councils over single status and outsourcing

Birmingham Workers in the GMB union at Birmingham council showed overwhelming opposition to the single status agreement in the first of several mass meetings last week.

Salford refuse workers threaten strike over agency workers

Refuse workers in Salford are on the brink of strike action over the use of agency staff.

Bus drivers say no to veil ban

Members of the T&G union at Lothian Buses in Edinburgh have spoken out against a new rule instructing them to ask women wearing a veil to show their faces if they are using a bus pass.

Wembley Park occupation | Heartsease public meeting | Thomas Deacon academy

Support for Wembley Park occupation Trade unionists from across London came last Saturday with their families and friends to show support for the Brent occupation on the Wembley Park Sports Ground. It has been organised to prevent an academy being built there.

Extra £15 million for Esol gives time to build the fightback

London mayor Ken Livingstone has found an additional £15 million for Esol (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provision in London.

Reports round-up

Harlow College strike ballot Lecturers at Harlow college are being balloted for strike action over management’s decision to make over 200 staff reapply for their jobs with new conditions – including longer hours and less pay.

Politics and the Fire Brigades Union

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will hold its annual conference in Southport this week.

Strangers Into Citizens rally: ‘We are all citizens’

Thousands of migrant workers and their supporters rallied in Trafalgar Square, London, on Monday to demand that the government regularises the status of undocumented workers in Britain.

No platform the BNP at Bath University

Members of the UCU lecturers’ unions in the south west of England are building for a protest against BNP leader Nick Griffin, who intends to speak at Bath university on Monday of next week.

May Day march in Manchester calls for migrant rights

Manchester's May Day march and rally on Monday 7 May brought trade unionists together with refugee and asylum led organisations and community groups.

Speaking out about the reality of life working for Royal Mail

Postal workers from across Britain have been contacting Socialist Worker about the attacks they are facing and the squeeze on pay.

Civil service strikers fighting to build joint action

Activists in the PCS civil service workers’ union are debating the way forward for their campaign against job cuts, privatisation and low

Post workers join the growing pay revolt

Royal Mail bosses want to cut our living standards and make us work much harder. And we’re not having it.

European neoliberals plan treaty to attack workers’ rights

While Tony Blair used the video sharing website YouTube to praise the newly elected French president Nicholas Sarkozy as a "strong leader", a dangerous new consensus is developing among European leaders to push through neoliberalism.

Downing Street protest as Blair announces resignation

As Tony Blair resigned on Thursday anti-war campaigners joined a symbolic protest outside Downing Street in London in memory of the thousands who have died as a result of his war policies.

Stop the War to protest at Downing Street as Blair resigns

Tony Blair is resigning early and in disgrace due to his support for the Bush wars. He will announce his resignation tomorrow on Thursday 10 May.

Legal team calls for accountability in Jean Charles de Menezes case

The legal team for the family of Jean Charles de Menezes have issued the following press release regarding the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) decision not to put any of the officers involved before a disciplinary tribunal.

Jailed for revealing Bush/Blair memo

On the day Tony Blair was forced to resign two people were jailed for attempting to reveal the Blair’s relationship to George Bush and their plans on how to carry out the war in Iraq.


International

Mortgaging Iraq’s oil

Iraqi Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has called it "a gift to all the Iraqi people". But it is profit-hungry oil multinationals who will be the real winners from the new oil law being debated by the Iraqi parliament.

More battles ahead in France as new president lays out his plans for new attacks

Following his decisive election as president of France on Sunday, Nicolas Sarkozy listed the values of a particular form of right wing populism in whose tradition he stands. They were work, authority, morality, respect, merit and national identity.

Reality behind Turkey’s ‘defence of secularism’

What is behind the recent threats by the Turkish army against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)?

Iraq oil strike postponed

The Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU) has postponed its planned strike on Monday over the handing over of Iraq’s oil to multinationals. It postponed the action after it won negotiations with prime minister Nouri al Maliki in Baghdad set for Tuesday.


Comment


Features

Respect celebrates further electoral successes

Respect made real progress in last week’s elections.

Stunning Respect victory in Bolsover for ex-miner who will be ‘shop steward councillor’

Ex-miner and Respect activist Ray Holmes was elected as a councillor in the Shirebrook North West ward of Bolsover district council in Derbyshire, winning 53 percent of the vote.

Respect rises across the country

Birmingham Respect supporters are celebrating a brilliant set of results that further establish it as a major party across the city.

Is the SNP a radical force for Scotland?

For the first time in any parliamentary election, the Scottish National Party (SNP) polled a higher number of votes than any of the other parties in last Thursday’s Scottish parliamentary elections.

Rejected ballots in Scotland: a system designed to confuse

The Scottish elections were marred by over 100,000 rejected ballot papers, disenfranchising a large proportion of voters.

Grim news for New Labour in Wales

Labour last week suffered its worst share of the Welsh vote since 1918.

Alienation, segregation, privatisation – the reality of Blair’s education policy

Tony Blair’s promise as he won the election in 1997 was that his top three priorities would be "education, education and education".

Law and order agenda has punished the poor

As shadow home secretary, Tony Blair led the charge to take the high ground of law and order from the Tories.

Timeline – ten years of Blair government

1997 MayNew Labour elected with 179 seat majority. Chancellor Gordon Brown gives Bank of England control over interest rates. Tony Blair declares that he is against public sector monopoly. JulyBrown’s first budget promises to stick to Tory spending limits, but he cuts corporation tax to 31 percent Government says it will scrap student grants and introduce tuition fees. AugustFat cats brought into government. New ministers include BP boss Lord Simon.SeptemberSeven people die in Southall rail crash. Government refuses to renationalise rail.

BNP’s bigoted bandwagon brought down by anti-Nazi campaigners

The fascist British National Party (BNP) was halted in its tracks at last Thursday’s local elections.

After Scottish election: Where now for the left?

The emergence of the Scottish National Party (SNP) as the largest party in the Scottish parliament represents more than just a "kicking" for New Labour.

Privatisation and cuts wreck the NHS

Tony Blair’s claim that we had just "24 hours to save the NHS" was one of the finishing touches to New Labour’s crushing victory over the discredited Tory government in 1997.

This disastrous decade for the health service

Paul Harper has worked for the supply organisation of the NHS for the last 18 years. He told Socialist Worker, "I’m a Labour Party member and I thought that Labour would improve the NHS.

Beware of Gordon Brown’s scowling menace

For ten years, the chancellor has been a scowling shadow to Tony Blair’s obscene grin. Whatever the occasion, whatever the policy, Gordon Brown was frowning in the background.

Blair's legacy is Iraq: Nothing else even comes close

A poll last week in the Independent showed that 69 percent thought that Tony Blair would be remembered for the war in Iraq.

Tony Blair: down and out

Nothing could be crueller in exposing Tony Blair’s failure as Labour prime minister than the timing of his departure. It invites us to compare May 1997, when he was first elected, with May 2007.

George Galloway: 'Let’s unite to drive out the disaster of Blairism'

He will, of course, be remembered above all for one thing – Iraq. And rightly so.

Following racism down the wrong path

Hope that the "New" in New Labour meant a turning point against racist treatment saw up to 90 percent of black and Asian people vote for Tony Blair in 1997.

Respect success sets stage for London polls

Respect is gearing up to build on its successes at last week’s council elections. The party won three council seats on 3 May. Michael Lavalette was re-elected in Preston, Ray Holmes won in Bolsover, Derbyshire, and Mohammed Ishtiaq was elected as Respect’s second councillor in Birmingham.

Talk of a Tory revival should not let Gordon Brown off the hook

The election results last week underlined that Tony Blair has succeeded in partly rehabilitating the Conservatives.

Election results highlight problems facing Labour

New Labour has rushed to try and claim that its performance at last week’s elections could have been worse.

New Labour's 'more equal society'

"In politics, the acid test is what you end up achieving. Judge us after ten years of success in office. For one of the fruits of that success will be that Britain has become a more equal society."Peter Mandelson speaking in 1997. Tony Blair’s right hand man was announcing the formation of a Social Exclusion Unit to tackle inequality, shortly after New Labour came to power.


Reviews

Paul Seawright’s snapshot of Africa’s uneven development

Invisible Cities is the latest project by acclaimed Northern Irish photographer Paul Seawright. It is based around a startling fact.

The John Sayles DVD Collection

John Sayles has worked at the margins of US cinema – both thematically and financially – for some 30 years now.


What We Think

Division and poverty behind Northern Ireland legacy claims

Tony Blair flew into Belfast this week to witness the handing over of control of Northern Ireland to an executive led by Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionists with Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuiness serving as his deputy. The retiring prime minister is keen to claim peace in Northern Ireland as part of his legacy.


Other Categories

Tim: 'Mirror, Mirror' | Leon Kuhn: 'Take the wheel'

Letters

Labour policy attacks the weakest in society I am a disabled woman with osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis that leaves me in pain a lot of the time.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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