Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2078

Dated: 24 Nov 2007




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Gordon Brown backs bank robbers

As the vultures circle around Northern Rock the government seems set to feed them with billions of pounds from the public purse.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Keep up campaign to kick out post deal

Postal workers have only a few days remaining in which to vote on the deal negotiated by the leaders of the CWU union to end their dispute over pay, modern-isation and pensions.

Anger in Coventry at bosses’ plans to shut and sell mail centre

Post workers in Coventry are furious at plans unveiled by Royal Mail to close their mail centre and cut hundreds of jobs.

Media workers 'First Casualty' conference a great step forward

Last Saturday Over 400 people attended the remarkable Media Workers Against The War (MWAW) "The First Casualty? War, Truth and the Media Today" event.

Raising the school leaving age: education for all?

On the surface of it, giving all young people not only the right but the obligation to stay on in education or training until 18 could be seen as the liberal educationalist’s dream.

Reports round-up

PCS ballot over jobs and pay The ballot of 80,000 PCS civil service workers’ union members in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over strike action against the threatened imposition of a below inflation pay offer ends on Monday of next week.

Mobilise to defend abortion rights

The Human Tissue and Embryology Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords on Monday of this week. The bill has opened up the possibility of the law on abortion being amend.

Labour Representation Committee conference

Around 250 people gathered at the annual conference of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) in London last Saturday. They heard from speakers including Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and union leaders Mark Serwotka, Matt Wrack and Joe Marino.

The Great Aviation Debate on climate change in Manchester

Around 165 people participated in "The Great Aviation Debate" organised by Manchester Climate Forum on Thursday of last week.

Bus workers fight a multinational for a living wage

A planned strike of around 2,000 bus workers at the East London Bus Group due to take place on Wednesday was suspended at the last minute after management made an improved pay offer. The offer will be put to the drivers to decide whether or not to accept it.

Dundee taxi drivers on strike against council

Over 500 taxi drivers in Dundee struck last weekend as part of their long-running dispute with Dundee council.

Eastleigh refuse workers' strike bites

Refuse collectors in Eastleigh in Hampshire held two more one day strikes over working conditions on Friday of last week and Monday of this week.

150 attend Newham lobby against victimisation

Some 150 Unison union members and supporters demonstrated outside East Ham Town Hall in Newham, east London.

Lecturers vote to stick to planned ballot over pay

Members of the national executive of the University and College Lecturers Union (UCU) in further education met last week to discuss action over pay.

Fighting to save Islington Green school

Islington’s Lib Dem council leader James Kempton is determined to close Islington Green school in north London and reopen it as an academy.

2 percent pay cap for teachers

Teachers in England and Wales look set to have their pay held down to a 2 percent "rise" each year for the next three years.

Protesters blockade Nazis in Blackpool

Over 200 people attended a protest in Blackpool against a British National Party (BNP) conference held in the town last Saturday.

Demonstrate against fascists speaking at Oxford Union

Students, local residents and trade unionists in Oxford are joining forces to protest against the Oxford Union debating society’s decision to host an evening headlined by two Nazis – Nick Griffin and David Irving – on Monday of next week.

Anti-Nazi successes in West Midlands

It was a good day for anti-fascists in the West Midlands on Wednesday of last week.

Daycare strikers: ‘We won’t let Glasgow council bully or blackmail us’

Around 270 day centre workers in Glasgow are entering their seventh week of indefinite strike action.

Socialist Worker appeal reaches £100,644

Now is the time! And Monday 19 November was the time in Cambridge for the 130 people who packed into the Romsey Labour Club for the Cultures of Resistance fundraiser in aid of the SW appeal.

Growing campaign to defend Aamer Anwar

Over 250 people attended a Glasgow public meeting on Tuesday of last week, in support of human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar.

Morale in British army reaches an all time low

The occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq are producing unease in the army.

Students ‘welcome’ US ambassador

Glasgow and Strathclyde university Stop the War groups mobilised to oppose US ambassador Robert Tuttle’s visit to Glasgow University last Wednesday.

Activists across the globe build for World Against War conference

Anti-war campaigners from across the globe are heading to London on Saturday 1 December to attend the World Against War conference, organised by the Stop the War Coalition.

Glasgow strikers and supporters rally for justice

"This is our one and only chance to stand firm for ourselves," said striker Euana Campbell, addressing a crowd of about 150 strikers and supporters gathered in Glasgow’s St Enoch Square. "If we don’t stand up now, we will have to accept whatever the council throws at us. Cuts like this are happening across councils, the public service, and the NHS. We need to show people what can be done if we stand together. We need to show that we can win! We are fighting for our future, and we shall not be moved!"

NHS to be run just like McDonald’s

Evidence that the government plans to extend the privatisation of the NHS emerged last week, just as health secretary Alan Johnson was telling the media that many private contracts were to be withdrawn.

Growing solidarity for Karen Reissmann

Solidarity is pouring in for mental health strikers in Manchester who are fighting for the reinstatement of their union branch chair Karen Reissmann.


International

France rises up against Sarkozy

A major battle is underway in France. The newly elected president Nicolas Sarkozy and his right wing government have launched a wave of attacks on workers and students.

French students: ‘The movement is building rapidly’

Students across France have been occupying their universities and protesting against the government’s LRU laws that introduce the market into university management.

Where next for the movement in Pakistan?

Protesters continue to defy brutal state repression in Pakistan.

South Koreans unite against war, corruption and neoliberalism

Thousands of protesters converged in South Korea’s capital Seoul on Sunday 11 November for the biggest demonstration in recent years. The protests had three focuses:


Comment

Neoliberal logic exposed by Scottish National Party

In a recent article in The Guardian, Scottish journalist Iain MacWhirter noted Gordon Brown’s "apparent capitulation to neoconservatism" and asked what might have happened if Brown had taken a different path.


Features

Tell it like it is: interview with editor Brian Richardson

It is two years since the book was first launched. It sold out very fast and a second edition has just been published. Some large meetings and campaigns have been organised around the book. Why do you think it touched a nerve?

Oppression lies behind the low rape conviction rates

Tory leader David Cameron last week used the low conviction rate for rape as an excuse to condemn the "moral collapse" of British society. This is the latest way that Cameron has tried to tap into a feeling of social crisis.

Africom: the ‘war on terror’ spreads to Africa

The US government is planning to take its "war on terror" into new territory – Africa. Plans to establish a network of US-friendly military bases and a cross-continent command structure are well underway.

Somalia: resistance grows to US-backed occupation

‘The US claims that Somalia is the "third front" in the "war on terror". It supported the Ethiopian invasion in December 2006, saying that it was saving ordinary people from a form of "Taliban rule" by the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), which had transformed the country into a "haven for Al Qaida".

Maps of Africa

How Southall’s Asians fought against racism

The British economy had such a hunger for labour in the long economic boom after the Second World War that government ministers were sent abroad to find workers.

Delegates discuss the way forward for Respect

Some 350 delegates and observers gathered to discuss the way forward at Respect’s fourth annual conference, held at the University of Westminster in central London.

Campaign priorities in months ahead

Chairing the final session Tower Hamlets Respect councillor Oliur Rahman took an emergency motion from Preston Respect on the crisis in Pakistan which condemned General Musharraf’s regime.

Conference voices

Dan Allen, a rail worker in Canterbury and Coastal Respect, was pleased that the organisation is looking forward. "In Whitstable, Kent, we’ve been campaigning against the closure of the job centre," he said.

George Galloway launches Respect Renewal as rival organisation

George Galloway and his supporters launched a new organisation, Respect Renewal, at a rally on Saturday organised in opposition to the official Respect delegate conference.


Reviews

Nueva Vision

The influence of Latin America on dance music is enormous – the dominance of percussion and the use of brass instruments for rhythm became a major contributor to both funk and later disco.

El Barrio - Sounds From The Spanish Harlem Streets

The El Barrio series collects salsa music from the 1960s and 1970s. This latest album concentrates on the period of revolutionary action after 1968.

Mine Eyes Have Seen - chronicling black people’s resistance to US racism

Journalists, we are told, must be impartial. Photojournalists are no exception. Both are trained not to get emotionally involved in the stories they cover in case they allow their feelings to affect their work.


What We Think

Fight for the rights of all workers in Britain

Gordon Brown’s recent promise of "British jobs for British workers" has reignited the debate about immigration. The right wing press is repeating tired headlines about Britain being overcrowded. The fascists will try to exploit those headlines to target vulnerable migrants.


Other Categories

Tim: 'throwing money'

Letters

Letters

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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