Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2065

Dated: 25 Aug 2007




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Defeated in Iraq

The cat is finally out of the bag. Military commanders, politicians and newspaper headlines all now admit that Britain has lost the war in the south of Iraq.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Heathrow climate camp: protesters shift the agenda

Around 1,400 protesters took part in demonstrations and other actions at Heathrow airport on Sunday of last week, as the culmination of the week-long Camp for Climate Action.

Reports round-up

Kings College Hospital rally Union members and local supporters held a rally last week in support of Unite union representative Tony Anthrobus. Tony’s job is threatened by a reorganisation at King’s College Hospital in south London where he has worked for over 40 years

Cable & Wireless appoints 'union avoidance specialists'

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is angered at what it describes as "the irresponsible decision taken by Cable & Wireless to engage in the services of the notorious American firm of ‘union busters’, The Burke Group".

Respect council by-election campaign in Brent's Stonebridge ward

Following its success in the recent council by-election in Shadwell, Tower Hamlets, Respect is standing in a council by-election in Stonebridge ward, Brent, north west London.

Anti-union company to head up Remploy closures

Gordon Brown’s government has chosen Tim Allan, an ex-New Labour spin doctor, to head up the campaign to cut jobs at the Remploy company that employs disabled workers.

Nippon Express strike | Emcor vote for action | Group 4 ballot

Nippon Express strike Drivers and warehouse workers at Heathrow cargo handler Nippon Express picketed the airport during a strike on Tuesday of last week in a dispute over pay and shifts. The workers, members of the T&G section of the new Unite union, say that they stand to lose over £1,000 a year through new shift patterns. Union membership has doubled at the firm since the dispute started earlier this year. Further strike days are planned.

Support for dismissed Luton Royal Mail driver

Sacked Luton post worker John Peters, who was dismissed by Royal Mail after his postal van was stolen, has been inundated with messages of support.

Strike at One railway over sacked guard

Guards, revenue protection inspectors and retail staff in the RMT union at One railway in north Essex struck last Saturday and Monday of this week, in support of an unfairly dismissed colleague.

Another construction worker killed at work

A construction worker was found dead at the bottom of a lift shaft in offices in central London last week.

Protest at suspension of the chair of Newham Unison

Last week some 50 people attended a lively protest outside Newham town Hall in east London over the council’s attacks on the Unison branch chair Michael Gavan.

Sheffield General hospital walkout over pay cuts

Health workers at Sheffield’s Northern General hospital walked out on Monday of this week over pay cuts imposed when management axed thousands of pounds in allowances.

600 Coventry cab drivers strike against racist attack

A Coventry taxi driver was racially abused and battered with a metal bar last Saturday. Some 600 Coventry taxi drivers went on strike in response last weekend.

Tartan imperialism

It has the seventh lowest life expectancy, the fifth lowest GDP per head and the third lowest level of purchasing power in the world. But it also has the ninth highest level of consumer price inflation and the ninth highest prevalence of HIV/Aids.

Gordon Brown wants to reduce public sector workers’ wages

The rate of inflation fell last month. Gordon Brown’s preferred Consumer Price Index (CPI) rates fell to 1.9 percent in July from 2.4 percent in June.

Crucial council talks

Local government employers have agreed to reopen talks with unions over this year’s disputed local government pay offer in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Health workers must reject this lousy pay deal

The government’s recent "improvement" to the pay offer to health workers in England is being greeted with widespread derision and dismay – particularly in Unison, the largest union in the NHS.

Privatisation and bosses are harming the post

Royal mail management are still refusing to release the company’s full financial accounts – which would reveal the extent of the bonuses paid to company bosses.

Fight against poverty pay offer in civil service

Around 100,000 workers in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have just received a below inflation pay offer. The PCS civil service workers’ union group executive in the DWP has rejected the offer and members are balloting over it until 10 September.

Health round-up

Hospital closures put lives at risk Thousands of patients could die as a result of the closure and downgrading of local hospitals, new research has revealed.

Huge strike vote to defend NHS activist Karen Reissmann

Health workers in Manchester have delivered a stinging rebuke to their management by voting by almost 90 percent to take strike action to defend suspended nurse and Unison union activist Karen Reissmann.

London bus drivers demand the dignity and safety of decent toilets

Bus workers from across London are set to stage a series of protests at key London transport and local government offices on Thursday of this week.

Huge mandate for action over Metronet

London Underground workers at the failed Metronet consortium have voted overwhelmingly to strike in defence of their terms and conditions.

Edinburgh council strike fights £10m cuts

Almost 8,000 council workers in the Unison union in Edinburgh are set to strike on Thursday of this week in a clash with the Liberal/SNP coalition council over proposed budget cuts and the threat of compulsory redundancies.

Pensions hit by bankers’ crisis

Some £30 billion was wiped off the value of employee pension schemes during last week’s turmoil in the world’s financial markets – putting workers’ pensions further at risk.

Anti-war school students in Edinburgh pledge to Shout It Out!

Anti-war school students in Edinburgh are kicking off the new school term with plans for a day long event in the city centre on Saturday 8 September.

British government fouls Palestinian football team

"The opportunity of a lifetime" was how organisers described a tour by the Palestine under-19s football team culminating in a match against Blackburn Rovers’ youth team on 8 September.

Tube strikes from 3 September over Metronet

Workers at the failed Metronet tube maintenance company are to mount two 72-hour strikes as the bankrupt company’s administrator has not secured guarantees over jobs, conditions and pensions.


International

Mexico: fight continues on the streets and in forests

Women from the village of San Isidro Aloapam in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca are struggling to save an ancient forest from a US-sponsored logging company.

Miners' victory in Chile is part of an awakening of workers

At the beginning of August, contract miners in Chile’s new CTC union federation celebrated a significant victory against Codelco, Chile’s state-owned mining corporation.

Canadians protest against George Bush


Comment

Britain’s failing presence in Iraq and Afghanistan

The game is pretty well up for the British presence in Iraq. Opinions as diverse as Menzies Campbell, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, and rebel leader Moqtada al-Sadr, whose base is among Shia in Baghdad’s Sadr City and in the south of the country centred on Basra, agree.

Attacking Iran - this genie will not go back in its bottle

George Bush’s administration continues to try to tighten its vice around the Islamic Republican regime in Iran.


Features

Victor Grayson: remembering an independent socialist MP

One hundred years ago a fiery socialist, independent of the Labour Party, was elected to parliament, creating hysteria in the media. He inspired thousands of working people across Britain, yet today many people would not even know his name.

0. The Communist International - Socialist Worker’s major nine part series

Historian John Riddell writes on the Communist International, known as the Comintern - an organising centre for revolutionaries formed in the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution.

1. Stuttgart 1907: debating reform and revolution

As the opening of a major nine-part series on the Communist International, John Riddell, examines discussions on war and socialist unity at the 1907 Stuttgart conference in Germany.

Eyal Weizman interview: Israel's oppressive architecture of occupation

The occupied West Bank, 1999. A group of Israeli settlers complain that their mobile phone reception cuts out on a bend in a road from Jerusalem to their settlements.

Deng Xiaoping: economic ‘dynamism’ that ended in chaos

In the second part of our series on China, Charlie Hore looks at China’s transformation in the 1980s


Reviews

12.08 East of Bucharest | Illegal Attacks - Ian Brown

12.08 East of Bucharestdirected by Corneliu Porumboiuout now How deep were the Eastern European revolutions of 1989 against the Stalinist dictatorships? That’s the question asked in 12.08 East Of Bucharest, a new film by director/writer Corneliu Porumboiu.

Ian Rankin's The Naming of the Dead - Murder mystery at Edinburgh's G8 protest

The penultimate Inspector Rebus crime thriller, The Naming of the Dead, is set in Edinburgh and Gleneagles during the week of protests at the G8 summit in early July 2005, when the enormous Make Poverty History (MPH) march took place.

The National Youth Theatre's dramatic approach to the question of identity

It’s the final performance of a new play. One of the main performers has never acted before, but he’s doing really well. Then, in the middle of the show, his mobile rings.


What We Think

Resist our rulers’ new battle for the earth

The Chinese army is invading the US through tunnels beneath the Pacific Ocean and is planting atomic bombs under military bases. So ran the plot of a 1967 B-movie, Battle Beneath the Earth.


Other Categories

Tim: Military role models

Letters

We pay for the crisis It’s quite possible that some of your readers may have missed the significance of the hundreds of billions of pounds recently injected into the economy by the world’s central banks to rescue the US sub-prime market.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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