Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2074

Dated: 27 Oct 2007

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Tragedy in Manchester shows real cost of NHS cuts

The terrible cost of cuts in Manchester’s mental health services is clearly illustrated by the death of William Scott, a 49 year old man from Manchester. William suffered multiple stab wounds that his family say were self inflicted. This tragedy was neither unforeseen nor inevitable.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


James Watson’s 'scientific' racism is inferior science

So the hideous but seemingly immortal serpent that is scientific racism has emerged once again. This time the perpetrator is James Watson, who won the Nobel Prize for his part in the discovery of DNA.

SW appeal reaches £82,002 - keep the money coming in

The Socialist Worker Appeal to raise £150,000 has hit £82,002 in just seven weeks. This puts us over £5,000 ahead of what we had raised this time last year. Thanks to everyone who has donated or organised collections so far.

Eight reasons to reject the EU treaty

Gordon Brown has made it clear there will be no referendum on the European Union (EU) reform treaty.

Anti-fascist campaigners mobilise against the BNP’s threat

Anti-fascist activists have stepped up their campaign to block plans by the Oxford Union debating club to host a pair of Nazis next month.

The SWP leadership is not splitting from Respect

This evening a shocking email has been sent from Respect’s National Office without consultation under the headline “SWP leadership splitting from Respect”.

Respect: there is no split – let the members decide

The Socialist Workers Party has no intention of leaving Respect and will not be "splitting" from the coalition it helped create and to which it has been so central.

Press conference by Tower Hamlets Respect councillors who resigned group whip

Four Tower Hamlets Respect councillors resigned the Respect group whip last week.

Chinatown's restaurant workers: ‘we are refusing to be scapegoated’

Over 200 restaurant employees and supporters marched through Gerrard Street in London’s Chinatown on Thursday of last week. They demanded "an end to racial discrimination" and chanted "It’s no crime to work."

Report shows benefits of immigration into Britain

The right wing consensus that immigration leads to job losses and lower wages took a blow last week from a home office report. Immigrants now account for more than four million of the 37 million working age people in Britain.

Tribunal awards back pay to Northern Ireland lecturers

Twenty two college lecturers in Northern Ireland are receiving back pay after an industrial tribunal found that they had been underpaid for five years.

ScotRail train drivers ballot over disciplinary procedures

The Aslef train drivers’ union is balloting its members on ScotRail in a dispute over disciplinary procedures.

Probation Officers union conference challenges privatisation

The National Association of Probation Officers (Napo) held its annual conference in Scarborough last weekend. Over 400 delegates attended.

Refuse workers in Hampshire plan strike

Refuse workers in Eastleigh in Hampshire are planning to go on strike next month over changes to their working arrangements.

Manufacturing Matters lobby of parliament

Cadbury workers joined a Unite union "Manufacturing Matters" lobby of parliament on Wednesday of last week against plans to move their work to Poland. The Polish union Solidarity backs their campaign. Marek Wytrykowski, from a Cadbury factory in Warsaw, said, "We support the campaign against Cadbury taking part in a race to the bottom for cheap labour. We are not happy to take work from Britain and we send our best wishes."

Police commander quizzed at Jean Charles de Menezes trial

The police commander in charge of the operation which ended in the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes told an Old Bailey jury last week that she had not given an order to shoot him.

Oil workers fighting for a holiday

There is growing tension between the biggest oil companies and thousands of their offshore workers in the North Sea over the issue of holidays.

'We need a strike to stop BBC job cuts'

BBC director-general Mark Thompson’s plans to slash 2,500 jobs and increase outsourcing at the corporation have created shock and anger among workers.

Reports round-up

Protest at the torture flights Stop the War in Manchester held a protest vigil at the city’s airport last week to highlight the way that some British airports have been used to ferry detainees to torture centres abroad under secret rendition flights run by the CIA.

Teachers' activists discuss solidarity with public sector workers

Twenty activists from the NUT teachers’ union in the west of England met on Thursday of last week to discuss solidarity action in the possible upcoming pay dispute in the Unison union.

Civil servants' consultative ballot extended

The consultative ballot of over 250,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union has been extended to Wednesday of next week due to the impact of the recent postal strike.

Pay strike at National Museums Liverpool

Members of the PCS civil service workers union at National Museums Liverpool (NML) struck for the fourth time last Saturday in their dispute over below inflation pay increases.

800,000 local government workers prepare for action over low pay

The result of the ballot of over 800,000 local government workers in the Unison union was set to be announced on Friday of this week.

Vote left in crucial NUT election

The election for the national officers of National Union of Teachers (NUT) national officers opens on Wednesday of next week.

Trade union freedom bill lobby

Some 500 people attended a rally in support of trade union rights at the houses of parliament on Thursday of last week. On Friday two private members’ bills—the Temporary and Agency Workers Bill and Trade Union Rights and Freedoms Bill were blocked by the government. They can still be debated at a later date

Glasgow daycare strikers have council on the run

Day centre workers in Glasgow have entered their second week of all-out indefinite action over a job regrading process.


Carnage in Baghdad after US air raid

A deadly attack by US helicopter gunships killed tens of civilians in Baghdad’s Sadr City.

US tells Turkey: We’ll crush Kurdish rebels

The US has promised Turkey that it will crush Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq who are fighting for an independent homeland in eastern Turkey.

Sarkozy’s attack on French pension rights

France’s transport network was brought to a standstill on Thursday of last week as thousands of railway workers came out on strike against president Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to end "exceptional pension schemes".

Afghan war spreads into Pakistan

The bombs in Karachi that ripped through the cavalcade returning former prime

US wants bases in Lebanon

The US wants to set up a string of military bases in Lebanon as part of its plans to develop a wider military strategy in the Middle East.

Polish voters turn against right wing party

Donald Tusk's neoliberal Civic Platform won the Polish parliamentary elections last Sunday comprehensively defeating the right-wing populist Law and Justice party of prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski – whose twin brother is the country's president.


Stop and search is not a solution to crime

Keith Jarrett, the outgoing president of the National Black Police Association, sparked outrage last weekend by suggesting that police should stop and search more young people.


Post dispute: ‘I voted against the deal, so should you,' says Dave Warren

The postal workers’ strike against Royal Mail has been a crucial fight for all those who believe in public services, run by workers with decent pay, pensions and conditions. With over 130,000 members of the postal workers’ CWU union taking part in eight days of action, the strikers were in the forefront of the battle to break Gordon Brown’s public sector pay freeze.

The rise of apathy?

"I don’t really care about politics. Politicians are all the same and they’re all just out for themselves." You often hear such sentiments expressed these days, and they’re usually taken as examples of how people have become "apathetic" about politics in recent years.

Post workers must reject this deal

More than 130,000 postal workers who struck solidly for a total of eight days in their battle with Royal Mail have spent more than a week in suspense, as their union leadership debated a revised offer from the company.

Union activists discuss response to Royal Mail offer

A group of more than 20 CWU activists came together last Saturday to discuss Royal Mail’s offer and the union’s response to it.

Urgent tasks of learning lessons and organising opposition

The small revisions to last week’s Royal Mail offer are paltry compared to what could have been won with more action.

Views of the deal and the dispute from postal workers across Britain

I have been a post worker in Galashiels, Scotland, for the best part of ten years and in that time the changes in the job have been horrendous.

Liberation of the sexes

It was socialist women who made the first international appeal against the First World War, at a March 1915 conference organised by German revolutionary Clara Zetkin in Switzerland.

Abortion rights – 40 years on

Forty years ago this weekend the 1967 Abortion Act was passed in Britain.

Need for organisation to change the world

Where movements contain real revolutionary potential, they create popular institutions that attract mass support.

Abortion: no return to the backstreets

In 1966, the year before abortion was legalised, around 4,000 women in Britain died trying to end a pregnancy that they did not want, could not afford, or could not cope with.


Leeds International Film Festival

The 21st Leeds International Film Festival aims to give space to the films and documentaries that are often denied mainstream screenings.

Jean Genet: ‘Apostle of the wretched of the earth’

Jean Genet (1910 – 1986) is perhaps best remembered for his extraordinary series of novels which fused fact, fiction and fantasy in a daring and often censored celebration of criminality and homosexuality.

The Blacks: a challenge to the injustice of imperialism

Of all the attempts to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolishment of the slave trade, the Theatre Royal’s current production of Jean Genet’s The Blacks is by far the most successful.

What We Think

Defend socialism and democracy in Respect

Respect, the coalition which has won greater electoral success than any left alternative for decades, is facing a deep crisis. It is a political crisis about the direction of the left in Britain which requires an urgent response.

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