Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2066

Dated: 01 Sep 2007

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If young people aren’t valued, why would they value others?

Over the last week the media has been dominated by the terrible murder of 11 year old Rhys Jones in Liverpool. Rhys was shot as he returned home from playing football with his mates – a truly senseless waste of a young life.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Edinburgh school closures will hit the quality of education

In their first week back after the summer holidays, 22 Edinburgh schools were faced with the threat of closure. This amounts to one in six schools, and the greatest impact is on some of the poorest parts of the city.

Council paralysed as 7,000 walk out against Edinburgh cuts

Up to 7,000 council workers in Edinburgh struck for 24 hours on Thursday of last week against the Lib Dem/SNP coalition council’s plans to make up to £10 million of cuts to jobs and vital services.

Did Unite back sacked Belfast airport workers?

Security workers from Belfast International Airport got compensation of £600,000 after being sacked following a strike over pay. However, four shop stewards say that the T&G union (now Unite) failed to back them.

Unique Care workers’ lobby

Seventeen women sacked eight months ago by private care provider Unique Care in Huddersfield are continuing their fight for justice. They were sacked after striking to defend their conditions and a sacked colleague.

Tube strike against lone ‘detraining’

Members of the RMT rail workers’ union on the Bakerloo line of the London Underground struck on Wednesday of last week. They were protesting against management plans to make workers "detraining" passengers at the end of the line do it by themselves rather than with another worker as happens at present.

Cindy Sheehan at Stop the War press confernce

Cindy Sheehan, the best known peace activist in the US, held a press conference at the Stop the War Coalition’s office last week.

Local government workers must reject Gordon Brown’s pay insult

The local government employers made a marginally improved pay offer to over a million local government workers last Friday.

Health workers vote on barely revised pay offer

Health workers in Unison, the biggest NHS union, are voting on whether to accept a revised offer from the government – a revision so small that the Nursing Times magazine suggested that it might just buy a nurse a pair of shorts on eBay!

Civil service workers mobilising against pay cuts and for action

Around 200 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union packed into a meeting at the Carer’s Allowance unit in Preston last week to discuss the government’s pay offer to workers in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The public sector pay revolt

The prospect of a coordinated public sector revolt has forced Gordon Brown to try and head off strike action by offering limited concessions.

Bolton council workers to ballot for strike action

Council workers in Bolton are set to ballot next month to strike over changes to their working conditions.

Remember to defend journalism on 5 November

The NUJ journalists’ union is mobilising for its Stand Up For Journalism day of action on Monday 5 November.

Victory in Crichton campus in Glasgow

The campaign to save the Crichton campus of Glasgow university, which is based in Dumfries, has been a success. This is thanks to the protests of the students, unions, staff and a large local campaign.

Lecturers' gear up for action in the new term

College and university lecturers are returning to work after the summer break and gearing up for action.

Jesse Jackson visit

Hundreds of people attended US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson’s final meeting of the day in Nottingham on Friday of last week.

Join Respect in the council by-election fight in Stonebridge

Respect is campaigning hard in the Stonebridge ward council by-election in Brent, north west London.

Union tour to save Remploy jobs sets off

Up to 100 people assembled on Tuesday morning outside an Aberdeen Remploy factory which is scheduled for closure.

Bus workers: ‘we’re demanding dignity at work’

Over 200 London bus workers demonstrated at sites across the capital on Thursday of last week demanding the right to toilets on their bus routes.

Metronet: We’re walking out to stop tube privatisation

A strike next week by thousands of London Underground workers is part of a crucial battle over the future of our public services. The strike by employees of the failed Metronet consortium is set to start at 6pm on Monday of next week, .

Trust goes private to break NHS strike

Health bosses at a debt ridden NHS trust in Manchester are set to waste thousands of pounds a day – and disrupt the lives of vulnerable mental health patients – in an effort to break a strike in defence of trade union activist Karen Reissmann.

Iraq war round-up

Refugees surge from Iraq The US military "surge" in Iraq has fuelled a further rise in the number of refugees and of civilians detained by occupation forces.

‘Thatcherism destroyed the lives of people here’

The estates of Croxteth and Norris Green in Liverpool, which surround the area where Rhys Jones was shot last week, are blighted by poverty, deprivation and dependence on drugs.

A society that makes it harder for everyone

In the wake of the shooting, the media and politicians have raced to give their "solutions".

Time to take a new direction

The media and politicians demand harsher laws to deal with "youth crime". But the only way to deal with the problem is to take a take a radically different direction:

The crisis facing young people

55 percent of excluded pupils and 49 percent of young people have been the victim of a crime. Young men aged 16-24 are most at risk of violent crime. In 2005-6 12.6 percent of this group were victims of violent crime.90,000 boys in Britain leave school every year with not a single GCSE.9,400 children were permanently excluded from school in 2004-5. Black pupils are up to three times more likely to be excluded than white pupils.2,878 under 18 year olds in custody in February this year. The number of 15 to 17 year olds locked up has more than doubled in the last ten years. Around 85 percen

Prison officers’ unofficial strike rattles government

Some 20,000 prison officers in England and Wales took illegal unofficial action on Wednesday 29 August against Gordon Brown’s public sector wage cuts and the disastrous overcrowding in prisons.

Prepare to strike again, say post union activists

The likelihood of a resumption of strike action in Royal Mail is growing as talks between management and the CWU union have produced little in the way of an improved offer.


Western Sahara: intifada and occupation

The Moroccan government has occupied Western Sahara since 1975. It moved in following the withdrawal of Spanish colonial forces.

Greek fires threaten to engulf Tories

The Greek Tory government has been increasingly blamed for what many see as an avoidable tragedy as forest fires continued to rage, killing at least 63 people.

Bangladesh: against the Emergency

Two weeks ago a student revolt against military rule erupted in almost all of Bangladesh’s higher education institutions. In the capital Dhaka the students were joined by workers who fought pitched battles against the police in the streets of the city.

Hundreds of Malaysians protest against Free Trade Agreement

On Sunday 26 August more than 500 people staged a strong anti US-FTA (Free Trade Agreement) protest in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman Road at the centre of Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. The state propaganda machine preferred to concentrate on the coming Merdeka Bash to celebrate 50 years of independence.


Vietnam vet on George Bush’s false history lesson

In his speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention last week, president George Bush urged Americans to "resist the allure of retreat".

The anti-war movement: the radicals have not gone away

"Where are the students on the rampage?" Polly Toynbee asked plaintively in the Guardian recently. "Compare this inertia with the fury over Vietnam back in the late 1960s, when Britain had no troops in that war.


Subprime and the stock market's mortgage madness

There has been panic on world financial markets in recent weeks, triggered by the fear that millions of poor Americans will default on their mortgages.

Sacco and Vanzetti: murdered in an American crusade against ‘terrorism’

The last 100 years of the US’s history has been punctuated at regular intervals with crusades not just against the enemy without but the enemy within. That has involved the legal death sentence and extra-legal lynchings and assassinations.

Why the market is a mortal threat to the NHS

The NHS is one of the most valued institutions in British society. But its very basis is under threat from the neoliberal policies that Gordon Brown’s New Labour government, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, subscribe to.

Growth in Chinese inequality leads to rise in protest

Sometime this year, China will overtake Germany to become the world’s third largest economy. The Chinese economy has grown by more than 10 percent every year for the last 17 years.



This is a disturbing and beautifully shot film about tensions in a small Australian town in New South Wales.

From The Boat To Beacon Hill, poetry by Bill Siret

Bill Siret was born in 1929 and served in Palestine 1947-8, an experience which greatly influenced him. Some of this was explored in his poem Apology To The Palestine People.

We The People play

This new play is written by Eric Schlosser, the US-based historian and writer best known for Fast Food Nation, his exposé of the fast food industry.

Picasso on Paper: prints and illustrations brought together

This exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s prints spans almost his entire career of over 70 years.

International slavery museum: a refreshing approach to history

The new International Slavery Museum in Liverpool quotes prominently the former slave William Prescott asking us to "remember not that we were freed, but that we fought".

What We Think

The rich get richer as City bonuses soar

Leona Helmsley, the US billionaire tax fraudster died last week. She once said, "Taxes are only for little people." Her legacy lives on in Britain’s largest companies’ attitudes to tax.

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Tim: postcode gangs



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