Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2058

Dated: 07 Jul 2007

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Why is Sir Digby Jones in Brown’s government?

My union was on strike last week when we heard that Gordon Brown had made bosses’ rep Sir Digby Jones a trade minister in his government.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


‘Executive coach’ hired to investigate Unison activist Karen Reissmann

NHS bosses in Manchester are set to waste thousands of pounds – money that ought to be spent on helping vulnerable people with mental health problems – on a consultant whose "mission" will be to investigate a leading trade unionist currently being disciplined by management.

An explosives trial that's hardly mentioned

A former British National Party election candidate and a dentist stockpiled chemicals as part of a bomb plot, a court heard yesterday.

More, united action can win posties' fight

More action will be needed – and it would be best if it were coordinated with other unions.

Defending a crucial public service

Postal workers rightly insist that the strike is about a lot more than their pay and conditions – although these are centrally important.

Reports round-up

Protest by Wigan care workers Care workers in Wigan held an angry protest against privatisation on Wednesday of last week. More than 600 council staff are under threat.

Union organises disciplinary hearing for Tony Staunton

Tony Staunton, former City of Plymouth local government Unison branch secretary and one of the best known activists in the union, faces a union disciplinary hearing on Monday.

Salford council workers: fighting for the rights of agency workers

In an inspiring act of solidarity between full time and agency staff, about 140 workers for Salford council’s cleansing department – refuse workers, recycling teams and road sweepers – struck for the day on Wednesday of last week.

Edinburgh parking attendants strike again

More than 80 low paid parking attendants working for NCP in Edinburgh struck on Friday and Saturday of last week. Their action follows a successful one-day strike earlier in the month.

Teachers support kitchen staff striking at Haggerston school

Unofficial solidarity action by teachers in support of low paid kitchen staff severely disrupted Haggerston School in Hackney, east London, on Wednesday of last week.

Wider danger in Unison assault on Yunus Bakhsh

The attempt by Unison union leaders to discipline leading activist Yunus Bakhsh is causing them to perform some dangerous somersaults.

Rail workers demand justice

Signallers in Scotland and maintenance workers in Cumbria were set to strike on Friday this week. The Scottish signallers had been denied a bonus for striking to defend an agreement over working hours that the company had reneged on.

Downing Street protest over Esol cuts

Up to 200 lecturers, students and campaigners took part in a protest outside Downing Street on Friday of last week.

London meeting to defend overseas teachers

Over 170 teachers attended a meeting at NUT teachers’ union headquarters on Tuesday of last week to address the situation facing hundreds of overseas teachers in London.

Anger at Harlow College as sacked lecturers forced to leave

On Friday of last week over 100 lecturers and supporters took part in a march from Harlow college against redundancies and the imposition of new contracts.

Stop further education pay insult

The Further Education Committee (FEC) of the UCU lecturers’ union has a policy to reject any below inflation pay offer.

London Met staff prepare their fight

A crucial battle is coming at London Metropolitan University (London Met) over jobs and union rights.

London Pride joined by Respect

Tens of thousands of people attended the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) London Pride event last Saturday.

Flooding: don’t blame the rain

Why is the world becoming so prone to "natural" disasters? The recent floods in Britain have been blamed on "freak weather – a once in a lifetime incident – an act of god!"

Political cartoon exhibition

Council of bosses at the heart of power

When Gordon Brown became prime minister he pledged to be an inclusive leader.

Unions join together to demand decent council pay

Three unions – Unison, the GMB and the T&G section of Unite – have called a national lobby of parliament for Tuesday of next week to demand full funding for local government to pay single status deals.

Unite to lobby Labour Party

The Unite union, a merger of the T&G and Amicus, has called a lobby of the Labour Party conference. It will take place on Sunday 23 September in Bournemouth at 1pm.

DCH presses for fourth option on council housing

Prior to his elevation to the premiership, Gordon Brown’s advisers repeatedly claimed he would unveil a "big initiative" on housing.

NHS budget is underspent

The government’s claim to have improved the NHS with "record investment" looked hollow last week, as it was revealed that the budget for new hospitals and equipment has been underspent by a third.

Digby Jones’s record of attacks on trade unionists

Sir Digby Jones, the former director of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), is to be made a Lord and given a job as a trade minister in Gordon Brown’s government of "all the talents".

Fife military deaths stack up under Gordon Brown’s watch

The mother of a soldier from Gordon Brown’s Fife constituency has called on the new prime minister to bring the troops home.

To stop the bombs, get the troops out

Following the failed bomb attempts at Glasgow airport and in central London last week, lurid headlines speak of a doctors' plot to bomb Britain. Armed police sealed off airports and the City of London.

Brutal occupation brings rising death tolls in Iraq and Afghanistan

In Iraq and Afghanistan the bloody toll is still rising as the daily brutality and terror of war and occupation continues.

Help Respect do well in Southall

Salvinder Singh Dhillon will be standing for Respect in the Ealing Southall parliamentry by-election in west London on Thursday 19 July. He stood for Respect in Green ward, Southall, in the council elections two years ago, coming second.

Picture of Respect selection meeting in Ealing & Southall

Mordechai Vanunu sent back to prison by Israeli courts

Mordechai Vanunu, who spent 18 years in prison for telling the world about Israel's secret nuclear weapons programme, was sent back to jail on Monday of this week by an Israeli court – for the "crime" of talking to foreigners.

George Galloway says sack the privateers following tube derailment

Reacting to news of this morning’s Central Line train derailment between Mile End and Bethnal Green, in the heart of his constituency, Bethnal Green and Bow MP George Galloway said:

Marxism 2007 festival opens with international rally

Over 1,000 people packed into the opening rally at the Marxism 2007 festival of resistance in central London tonight. The rally celebrated the struggles of workers and movements around the world against neoliberalism and imperialism.

Photos of Marxism 2007 opening rally


Palestinian demonstrators shot dead in cold blood by Lebanese troops

Lebanese soldiers opened fire on a demonstration of Palestinian refugees in the Beddawi camp near Tripoli in northern Lebanon on Friday of last week, killing at least two people and wounding dozens more.


Not too late to save the Post Office

I write after the fantastic support for the union’s stance last Friday against Royal Mail’s "slash and burn" race to the bottom strategy.

Abortion: a women’s right to choose under attack

Last week’s conference of the British Medical Association (BMA) passed policy calling for women to have easier access to abortion.

Swelling cities of the Global South

Some time next year more people will live in cities than in the countryside. According to the State of the World Population report published last week by the United Nations (UN), humankind is experiencing a second great wave of global urbanisation.


Material Girls: women, men and work

Today, women are working in unprecedented numbers, have broken their chains to the home, thrown out the traditional "feminine" roles, and have choices that our grandmothers couldn’t have imagined.

Two visions for the future of Venezuela’s revolution

Ciudad Guyana is not one city but two. Several hundred kilometres south east of the capital Caracas, it is split by a tributary of the Orinoco river. On one side of the bridge is San Felix, a crowded poor town of potholed roads and very basic houses.

Biofuels are not an eco solution

Biofuels sound like the perfect way to save the environment and cut spiraling carbon emissions. They are made from plants and leave no nasty waste products. They produce less emissions than fossil fuels and, supporters argue, their emissions are offset by the carbon absorbed by the plants as they are growing.

Colombia: Agrifuels and death squads

In Colombia biofuel projects are expanding in different parts of the country – though now we tend to use the term "agrifuels" rather than "biofuels", since the processes used to make them are no more biological than many other energy sources.

Post workers defiant strike that shocked the bosses

The post strike last week showed how Gordon Brown’s pay assault against millions of public sector workers can be stopped almost as it’s launched.

Post strike reports from around the country show anger and strength

Glasgow At the mail centre in Springburn, the strike began with a walk-out at 4.45am. A driver refused to cross a picket line at the nearby Baird Street delivery office.


How We Are: photographing Britain through the lens of class

The How We Are: Photographing Britain exhibition currently showing at London’s Tate Britain gallery certainly can’t be faulted on grounds of scale or ambition.

1933 And All That: Brecht’s cabaret comeback

This excellent production is written and performed by singer Anna Zapparoli and songwriter and pianist Mario Borciani.

Fighters For Life by Michael Rosen | Revolution in the 21st Century by Chris Harman

Fighters For Lifeby Michael Rosen£7.99 The writer, poet, broadcaster and regular Socialist Worker columnist Michael Rosen has been gaining wide recognition of late with his recent appointment as children’s laureate.

What We Think

South African general strike shows victory is possible

The South African mass public sector workers’ strike ended last week with much improved pay rises for over a million workers.

Other Categories

Tim: car bombs



Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events

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