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Socialist Worker


Issue: 2082

Dated: 22 Dec 2007




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Our world left to burn

World leaders had ample opportunity to make serious commitments to tackle global warming at last week’s climate change summit in Bali, Indonesia. But they failed to take that chance.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Reports round-up

Preston Respect selects candidate Respect members in Preston have selected local parish councillor Barry Hill as their candidate in the Tulketh ward council by-election.

Single status round-up

Leeds workers reject pay deal Leeds council workers in the GMB union have voted two to one against a single status pay deal.

Council workers walk out to defend Michael Gavan

Council workers in Newham, east London, struck on Thursday of last week in defence of their sacked Unison union branch chair Michael Gavan.

Organising lecturers for the pay battle

The UCU lecturers’ union Further Education Committee (FEC) met on Friday of last week. The ongoing campaign against Gordon Brown’s pay freeze was a major issue.

Bosses push cuts at Keele University

Bosses have launched a swingeing attack on jobs and courses at Keele university. They want to axe 38 out of 67 academic staff in the Economics and Management Studies School to create a smaller "corporate style" business school.

300 at defend NHS social back Yunus Bakhsh

More than 300 trade unionists from the north east of England last week packed into a social to defend the NHS.

BNP vote plummets in former stronghold of Sandwell

Anti-fascists in the West Midlands celebrated on Thursday of last week after a council by-election saw the British National Party (BNP) beaten into third place in one of its former strongholds.

RMT protest at East London tube line privatisation

The RMT rail union held a symbolic funeral outside London’s City Hall on Thursday of last week for the East London tube line – which is due to shut down this Saturday and reopen in 2010 managed by a private consortium. The privatisation plans are being pushed through by London mayor Ken Livingstone.

Migrant workers exploited by Marks & Spencer suppliers

Migrant workers at a factory which supplies meat to Marks & Spencer (M&S) are suffering from exploitation in a drive to maximise profits, according to a union report.

EU fudges right to strike

While European Union (EU) leaders were signing the neoliberal European Treaty last week, the fight over whether the right to make a profit is more fundamental than the rights of workers was continuing in the European courts.

Postal workers strike against bullying bosses

Around 100 postal workers at the Burslem delivery office in Stoke-on-Trent were set to commence a strike over Christmas in a long running campaign against a bullying management.

Karen Reissmann: ‘Our fight for NHS is far from over’

Mental health workers in Manchester, who are demanding the reinstatement of their union branch chair Karen Reissmann, remain defiant after deciding to suspend their strike.

Public sector: the new militants

Not very long ago, being a "professional" in a public service – like social work, teaching, or nursing – generally meant that you were less likely to be a trade unionist than if you were a skilled worker in a manufacturing industry.

SNP row over billionaire Donald Trump's golf course plans

A deal to hand over hundreds of acres of beautiful coastline in north east Scotland to golf-loving US billionaire Donald Trump is causing what started as a local planning dispute to spill over into a major crisis about the nature of democracy in Scotland.

Turkish planes bomb Iraqi Kurds

Turkish warplanes launched air raids on Iraqi Kurdish villagers in an escalation of its war on Kurdish militants. The raids were conducted with the connivance of the US military.

New Labour housing minister Yvette Cooper in two homes scam

Labour's housing minister Yvette Cooper is taking her stated aim of wanting "to widen access to home ownership and help more people build up assets" literally.

Abortion: campaigners gear up to defend the right to choose

Pro-choice campaigners are preparing for a battle to defend abortion rights. Abortion rights have recently come under attack from two amendments put to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, currently in the House of Lords.

Cash for honours: Committee set to reveal more on donations

Lord Levy, former prime minister Tony Blair's personal fundraiser, tried to stop publication of a crucial piece of evidence in the cash for honours affair.

Anger as police arrest Tommy Sheridan

Former MSP and long standing socialist campaigner Tommy Sheridan has been arrested and charged with perjury.

Afghan occupation heads into trouble

The Nato occupation of Afghanistan is in deep trouble with the Western military alliance facing defeat unless it sends thousands more troops, tanks and warplanes to crush the resistance.

Police examine possible racial motive for stabbing of Ahmed Hassan in Dewsbury

A Muslim teenager was stabbed to death in Dewsbury on Saturday of last week.

Random anti-terror searches on the rise in Scotland

Some 14,000 people have been randomly stopped and searched under anti-terror laws in Scotland since the attack at Glasgow airport in June, according to figures released last week.

Socialist Worker appeal reaches £119,705

"Socialist Worker has supported Military Families Against the War and my campaign for justice for Gordon from day one. That’s why I’m supporting Socialist Worker, a paper that will continue to campaign for an end to the war. I hope you will give them your support by donating to their appeal."

Respect councillor challenges Bosals redundancies in Preston

Belgian multinational Bosals have just announced redundancies at their Preston plant.

Argos workers in Ireland set for third day of strike action over pay

Workers in Argos in the Republic of Ireland were set for their third 24-hour strike today (Tuesday) in a dispute that has seen Argos management flying in scabs from England to try and break the strike.

Anger as four Bristol postal workers sacked

Four postal workers have been sacked in Bristol as a result of events during the recent national strike. Two have been sacked at the South East delivery office (SEDO) after alleged clashes on the picket line.

SWP condemns arrest of Tommy Sheridan

The Scottish Steering Committee of the SWP condemns the recent arrest of Tommy Sheridan on charges of perjury. We also deplore the manner in which he was arrested at his place of work and the harassment and intimidation suffered by his wife and young daughter as nine police officers searched their home on a Sunday afternoon.

Further destabilisation as Benazir Bhutto murdered in Pakistan

Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was murdered today in a brutal suicide bomb attack that also claimed the lives of at least 20 of her supporters.


International

General strike victory in Greece

The employment minister responsible for implementing controversial pension reforms in Greece, Vassilis Magginas, resigned last Saturday following a general strike that brought the country to a standstill.

Break up of Bolivia planned by bosses

Ever since Evo Morales was elected to the presidency of Bolivia in late 2005, the country has lived through permanent tensions. It was only to be expected.

Coca-Cola activists face death threats in Colombia

Three workers at Coca-cola in Bucaramanga, Colombia, face death threats for their trade union activities.

Victory for Iraq war resisters in Canada

US war resisters – soldiers who fled to Canada rather than serve in Iraq – have won a significant victory in their campaign for asylum.


Comment

The bosses want to buy politics wholesale

When corruption stories emerge, they are usually presented as being about individual rotten apples. While a few together create a general atmosphere of sleaze, there is always the search for the specific bribe.

Children’s Plan: Gordon Brown’s scheme ducks the key questions

The "Children’s Plan" is a bold attempt by Gordon Brown’s allies to present a new child-friendly image. It will take time to digest it properly, since it contains hundreds of proposals, ranging from positive but token measures to others which are suspect and downright harmful.

Child poverty: the growing gap between ‘leafy suburbs’ and ‘estates’

The government’s Children’s Plan focuses on child poverty and nursery provision, as well as education. The government aims to halve child poverty by 2010 and eliminate it altogether by 2020.

Disability benefits: ‘Why are we made to feel like criminals?’

Having a disability changed my way of life. I used to work as a community artist, teaching art to groups of children in schools or in schemes run by the council, but I had to give all that up when I developed osteoarthritis in my spine.

Bali: a wasted opportunity to save the planet

As delegates gathered in Bali, Indonesia for the latest United Nations (UN) talks on climate change, millions of people hoped they would kick start the urgent action that the world desperately needs.

Kosovo: a ‘triumph’ for the West?

If you want to get the moral measure of the so-called "international community" look at what they claim to be their successes.


Features

Foucault and history

Michel Foucault (1926-1984) was one of the most controversial and original historians of the 20th century. His ideas have been under constant attack from right wingers – but they have also been used to attack the revolutionary left.

Resistance and the Chinese boom

On 27 November, approximately 1,500 workers blocked the main trunk road leading out of the south China city of Dongguan. They work for Alco, a major Hong Kong based transnational company producing consumer electronics.


Reviews

Voices of A People’s History Of The United States CD

The radical historian Howard Zinn is best known for his book A People’s History Of The United States.

Return to Palestine DVD

Ed Hill is a Bristol based activist who visited Palestine in 2005 and 2006 for the olive harvest as part of the Zaytoun collective, which imports and sells fair trade Palestinian olive oil.

Lyrical Healer: a searing new voice from the spoken word scene

South London has traditionally been a fertile ground of black cultural expression and militancy. In recent years it has been home to a new wave of black poetry that picks up on the tradition of spoken word pioneers such as the Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron.

Sinners, Scroungers, Saints: Lone Mothers Past And Present

Single mothers are for many one of the last acceptable scapegoats for society’s ills. They are blamed for everything from hogging council flats to creating "yob culture", and frequently portrayed as a morally degenerate and selfish group that we would all be better off without.


What We Think

From Brown bounce to Labour meltdown?

In a few short months Gordon Brown has gone from the leader who would rescue New Labour from Tony Blair’s legacy to the leader who has mired the party in ever deepening crisis.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: planting evidence

Tim: Get a roasting

Letters

Letters



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