Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2070

Dated: 29 Sep 2007




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Four issues Gordon Brown won’t solve

Public sector pay "Gordon Brown praises public services but fails to mention his plans to make millions of public sector workers suffer pay cuts. He wants to impose a 2 percent pay limit on us all. That’s one reason why postal workers are striking next week, and why thousands of other workers want to join the fight."


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Reports round-up

Labour lets down Unique women The fight for justice by 17 women in Huddersfield was at a significant stage as Socialist Worker went to press.

Save Whipps Cross hospital meeting

Up to 300 people attended a public meeting in Woodford Green in north east London organised by the Save Whipps Cross Hospital campaign and Keep Our NHS Public last week.

Build the NHS Together demonstration

Every trade unionist should join the Unison union’s march to defend the National Health Service, and keep it firmly in the public sector.

Swansea health workers force bosses back at Morriston hospital

Health workers in Swansea have succeeded in winning a month’s suspension of planned ward closures and job losses after threatening to go on strike.

Respect national council passes unanimous motion

Fingers were poised last Saturday evening, ready to email out Respect’s political obituary.

Campaigns in London Underground

The victory of the RMT rail workers’ union over the failed Metronet consortium on London Underground is continuing to have effects.

Fighting back against Islington’s rubbish cuts

Some 36 ICSL Accord refuse collection workers in Islington in north London went on strike last week. Workers formed picket lines outside the ICSL offices in Caledonian Road.

Organising for Fighting unions rally in London

Around 200 trade unionists attended an Organising For Fighting Unions meeting in central London on Wednesday of last week.

Protests around the country against Esol cuts

Campaigners across the country highlighted threats to Esol (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provision on Wednesday of last week.

Rally to defend Unison union in Newham

The fight to reinstate Michael Gavan, chair of Newham Unison local government, was bolstered last week when a rally of 200 people was addressed by a range of speakers including film maker Ken Loach. Ken also introduced a special preview of his new film It’s A Free World.

Construction workers strike against racism

Hundreds of workers building one of Wales’s biggest engineering projects went on strike last week because one of them was taunted with Nazi salutes.

Union meetings in Birmingham over single status

The looming confrontation between Birmingham council and 40,000 of its workers will move a step closer this week when two important trade union meetings take place.

800,000 local government workers to ballot over pay

Hundreds of thousands of members of the Unison union in local government are set to be balloted to strike over pay.

Strikers protest at Fremantle headquarters

Workers at the Fremantle residential and daycare company in Barnet, north London, took their campaign to the bosses’ headquarters during a strike on Thursday of last week.

Additives: food for thought

The fact that many food additives are very harmful has been public knowledge for over 30 years. Two decades ago the disclosure that the red dye ponceau 4R caused allergic reactions such as skin rashes and hyperactivity led to its removal from brands such as Ribena and Smarties.

Royal Mail dispute: ‘We can bring the whole postal system to a halt’

Last week’s announcement by the postal workers’ CWU union that strikes against Royal Mail are to be resumed was greeted with enthusiasm by union activists across Britain.

Post workers lobby Labour

A group of postal workers from London went to lobby the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth on Monday of this week. Martin Walsh, the postal workers’ CWU union London divisional rep, spoke to Socialist Worker about the growing tensions between the union and New Labour.

Bosses hit out at Oxford with plan to shut centre

In a clear case of "If you can’t beat ‘em, close ‘em", Royal Mail announced the proposed closure of Oxford mail centre in 2009 – with the loss of up to 430 jobs – just hours after the CWU union announced further national strike action.

Disciplined at Watford

Postal workers in Watford who are performing their duties exactly as per their contract are being disciplined – for breaking company rules!

Gloucester reprieved as London prepares to strike

On the same day that Royal Mail announced the impending closure of mail centres at Oxford and Reading, it said that the Gloucester mail centre would remain open – for the next two years.

Demonstraton at Send prison after death of Lisa Doe

Angry demonstrators gathered at HMP Send in Surrey on Thursday of last week following the death of 25 year old Lisa Doe, who was found dead in her cell on 11 September. Lisa is the most recent woman to die in prison in Britain.

Socialist Worker appeal reaches £54,262

Support the paper that’s on your side and help us raise £150,000

More strikes to defend activist Karen Reissmann

Striking mental health workers in Manchester were planning to take the fight for the reinstatement of union rep Karen Reissmann to the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth this week.

US prepares for war on Iran

The drums of war against Iran were beating stronger and faster this week.

Rage against the war on 8 October

Iraq is the issue that Gordon Brown would like to avoid. But campaigners are determined that their anti-war message will be heard when they protest outside parliament as MPs return from their summer break on Monday 8 October.

Peter Hain forced into Remploy deal

Desperate to avoid a row at their conference, the Labour leadership look set to offer a deal to save thousands of jobs for disabled people at government-owned Remploy factories. Remploy plans to close 32 of its 83 factories

Labour conference: we deserve better than Brown’s plans for Britain

Gordon Brown got his four minute standing ovation at the Labour Party conference. But that won’t be enough to deal with the disgust and disquiet millions of people feel at what his government has done – at home and abroad.

Angry workers demand action from the government

Over 2,000 workers from across Britain joined the Unite union’s demonstration at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth last Sunday.

Unions’ troubled relationship with the Labour Party

Most union leaders cling to the idea, despite all evidence to the contrary, that their link to the Labour Party is the way to get a Labour government that meets the aspirations of workers.

CWU announces start times for new post strikes

The postal workers’ CWU union today announced the start times of the two 48-hour strikes.


International

Subprime crisis hits poorest Americans

The recent Northern Rock crisis showed how problems in the financial markets can hit ordinary people. The chaos was caused by massive problems in the subprime mortgage industry in the US.

Protests in Burma show force for change

Burma’s military regime was being rocked by mass protests across its major towns and cities as Socialist Worker went to press.

General Motors strike hits US

The US’s biggest industrial strike for seven years hit General Motors (GM) on Monday of this week when tens of thousands of UAW union members walked out. The workers are striking over healthcare benefits and job security. The action brought the world’s second biggest car-maker to a virtual standstill.

Living Silence: the struggle against military repression in Burma

What are the origins of the military regime in Burma?


Comment

Mohammed Atif Siddique: civil rights queries over ‘terrorist’ conviction

The family of Mohammed Atif Siddique – known as Atif – wept as the 21 year old student was found guilty of several counts of terrorism in the high court in Glasgow last week.

Israel boycott plan has potential pitfalls

A new mortal threat confronts civil liberties in the Western world. This is not, as you might think, the use of torture and detention without trial by the US and its allies.


Features

Stalinism, the Cold War and ‘the end of history’

The world was divided into two competing imperialist blocs at the end of the Second World War – the capitalist West and the state capitalist Soviet Union along with its satellites and allies.

Yunus Bakhsh: the fight goes on after a year of injustice

Leading health trade unionist and psychiatric nurse Yunus Bakhsh was suspended from work a year ago this week after anonymous accusations.

2. How the Third International began

John Riddell, the pre-eminent historian of the Communist Third International, continues his series, by looking at the origins of the International. The series started with a prologue on the 1907 Stuttgart conference in Germany.

Pakistan on the edge of turmoil

Regardless of the outcome of presidential elections planned for 6 October, massive changes of one sort or another seem inevitable in Pakistan.

Bhagat Singh and the spark of revolt in India

The struggle for freedom from British colonial rule in India is usually presented as the result of the leadership of one man – Mahatma (meaning "great soul") Gandhi, whose non-violence strategy set him apart from those have fought colonial oppression since.


Reviews

The Whistle Blowers

This new six-part ITV drama series is the latest to put the issues thrown up by the "war on terror" on to the small screen.

A Disappearing Number: globalisation, creativity and the beauty of numbers

A Disappearing Number is the latest production from Complicité, one of Britain’s most innovative and original theatre companies. It has drawn attention thanks to its unusual subject matter – mathematics and its relationship to reality, beauty and human creativity.

Kader Attia at the Baltic

Square Dreams, a new exhibition by the French Algerian artist Kader Attia, opened at the Baltic gallery in Gateshead on Friday of last week.

Hip-hop gets back to its politically conscious roots

Hip-hop is a multibillion dollar industry whose influence can be seen in fashion, advertising, TV, magazines – and even in everyday language itself.

New exhibition of anti-war art

War Art by Gerald Laing is an exhibition inspired by the war in Iraq and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. It is to be shown for the first time at the StolenSpace gallery in Brick Lane, east London, between 28 September and 13 October.

Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten

Julien Temple’s film combines archive footage of Joe Strummer and interviews with his friends and colleagues to create an intimate portrait of The Clash’s frontman, who died in 2002.

Russian Revolution 90th Anniversary

The Edinburgh People’s Festival and Edinburgh May Day Committee are hosting this celebration concert to mark 90 years since the Russian Revolution.


What We Think

Gordon Brown signals new assault on the young

When it comes to young people and crime, the message delivered by Gordon Brown at Bournemouth this week was more of the same.


Other Categories

Joe Zawinul 1932-2007

Jazz musician Joe Zawinul recalled his experiences palying in Cannonball Adderley's band during the 1960s: "I often had to sit in the bottom of the car when driving through certain parts of the South… those things never fazed me, I wanted to play with the best and I could play on that level with the best".

Tim: blue tongue and brown nose

Letters

Making links at grassroots level The wave of neoliberalism driving cuts in the NHS is the same force imposing fees and marketisation in our universities and other public services.

Who says?

"Tony Blair has now left office, he’s gone. The other architect of New Labour is taking the project forwards."Peter Mandelson, on Gordon Brown

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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