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Socialist Worker

Issue: 2084

Dated: 19 Jan 2008

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Democracy? George Bush doesn’t know the meaning of the word

Like a criminal returning to the scene of the crime, George Bush is on a tour of the Middle East – dropping in on all the despots, butchers, dictators and stooges that make up his "moderate" allies in the region.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Dustworkers stage single status protest in Waltham Forest

Around 40 dustcarts and other vehicles were gathered outside Waltham Forest town hall in east London today (Thursday) as workers held an unofficial protest over the effects of a single status deal.

Our battle to end the housing crisis

Campaigners will descend on parliament on Tuesday of next week to lobby MPs as an inquiry takes place to hear evidence and amendments to the government’s Housing and Regeneration Bill.

Respect is fighting for change in Waltham Forest

Respect supporters in Waltham Forest, east London, have voted to back Carole Vincent in the Leyton ward council by-election scheduled for Thursday 14 February.

Preston by-election campaign: Respect hits the ground running

Barry Hill, Respect member and candidate for the Preston Tulketh ward, reports a great start to their by-election campaign.

Selecting Respect candidates in London

Respect is organising a selection meeting for its candidates for the London Assembly elections that are set for 1 May. The meeting is at 7.30pm, Thursday 31 January, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square (nearest tube Holborn).

Reports round-up

Wilts bus workers striking back More than 375 drivers at Wilts and Dorset bus company were set to strike for 24 hours on Wednesday.

FBU campaigns against fire station closures

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has kicked off the new year with a series of campaigns against fire station closures around the country.

Rolls Royce workers plan fight against plant closures

Workers across Rolls Royce were dismayed last week at the company’s announcement that it is planning to cut 2,300 jobs from its 40,000 strong global workforce.

Unison black workers’ conference

Around 350 delegates gathered at the Unison union’s black workers’ conference in Glasgow last week to discuss strategies for winning liberation.

Consultation announced on ESOL funding

The government has announced a consultation on the funding and provision of English for speakers of other languages (ESOL).

Vote no in this vital lecturers' ballot

Members of the higher education (HE) section of the UCU lecturers’ union will be taking part in a very important ballot from next Monday.

Teachers' round-up

Michael Rosen says resist dictats Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen spoke to over 120 teachers and parents on Wednesday of last week, at a meeting organised by the Wakefield and District NUT teachers’ union.

Anger at single status pay cut plans in Birmingham

Over 2,000 workers crowded into Victoria Square in Birmingham last Saturday to protest against council plans to downgrade thousands of jobs.

Glasgow refuse workers strike over single status

Refuse workers in Glasgow took strike action last week over their single status deal. Nine mechanics on the backshift at the Polmadie refuse depot are in dispute over the council’s controversial review of staff’s pay and conditions.

Coordinating crucial civil service strikes on 31 January

Thursday 31 January is set to be a major day of action with potentially over 150,000 civil service workers in the PCS union set to take action against low pay and job cuts.

Burslem strike: Royal Mail’s war on CWU activists

Royal Mail bosses are talking peace while making war. Behind the warm words of a "new era in industrial relations", they are trying to break the postal workers’ CWU union by harassing and victimising reps with charges relating to last year’s national postal strike.

The bullying bosses of Burslem

Socialist Worker spoke to Ben and Edgar, two Burslem strikers in the CWU postal workers’ union who between them have over 30 years’ experience in Royal Mail.

Charlie Wilson’s war in Afghanistan and ours

I went to see the movie Charlie Wilson’s War to review it for Socialist Worker. I really liked it – but many readers of this paper and Stop the War activists will hate the film.

Stop the War movement plans for huge protest

The tremendous and enduring strength of the anti-war movement was clear at the Stop the War Coalition’s national steering committee meeting last weekend.

Iraqis pay price for George Bush’s ‘surge’ lies

During his current tour of the Middle East, US president George Bush announced, "Iraq is now a different place from one year ago. We must do all we can to ensure that 2008 will bring even greater progress."

Fighting for abortion rights

Abortion rights campaigners are preparing to resist any attempts to restrict a woman’s right to choose. Amendments to the government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill threaten to restrict abortion rights for women in Britain.

Teachers angry at proposed wage cut

Gordon Brown will face a test of his plans to hold down public sector pay after the announcement of a three-year pay deal for teachers in England and Wales this week.

IPCC decision: police used ‘proportionate force’ in woman’s arrest

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) last week ruled that no action is to be taken against any police officers as a result of the arrest of a young woman outside a Sheffield nightclub.

Northern Rock workers protest

Peter Hain should get a taste of his own medicine

Peter Hain, still New Labour’s secretary for work and pensions as Socialist Worker went to press, should take advice from the adverts his department runs on benefit fraud. They have the slogan "No Ifs, No Buts".

Gordon Brown’s missing £32,355

Gordon Brown broke the Labour Party’s own donation rules after his campaign to become Labour leader last year.


Bangladeshi workers: ‘We won’t be worked to death by bosses’

As 2007 drew to a close, workers from garment factories in the Mirpur area of the capital city of Dhaka protested against the untimely death of Salma, one of their female co-workers.

Argentina: trade unionists predict ‘A year of conflict’

Thousands of public sector workers in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires took strike action at the beginning of this month, with around 30,000 state employees joining a demonstration in the city.


Nuclear power is a dangerous waste of money

Gordon Brown’s government confirmed an earlier U-turn last week when it backed plans for a new generation of building of new privately built and run nuclear power stations in Britain.

Venezuela: the street vs the elite

"Fatherland, socialism, or death." With these words, Hugo Chavez just over a year ago took the oath as president of Venezuela following a triumphant re-election campaign.


1968: the power of the masses

A Labour government elected with great enthusiasm a few years earlier, holding down wages, cutting public services, tightening immigration controls and slavishly backing a US war.

Does Rupert Murdoch control our minds?

In last week’s column I introduced the concept of hegemony, or domination, and how it was developed by the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci.

Why Gordon Brown wants to hold down wages

Gordon Brown has ratcheted up his attacks on workers’ pay by demanding three-year below inflation pay deals in the public sector.

The truth behind wage rises, inflation and prices

"We are going to keep inflation under control. The whole purpose of this is keeping inflation under control." That is how Gordon Brown justified his pay limits for public sector workers at a Downing Street press conference on Monday of last week.

Incomes policy: a dangerous strategy

"Pay restrictions tend to succeed in their first year. Holding them thereafter has all sorts of downsides. The longer you keep on, the more the dangers become."

Ireland - no payback for “social partnership” pay deals

During the 1990s the Irish Republic was the world’s fastest growing economy, creating the so-called "Celtic Tiger".


The British Ambassador’s Belly Dancer

This play tells the true story of Nadira Alieva, who was a drug runner, teacher and lap dancer in Uzbekistan before she fell for Craig Murray, the British ambassador, and came to Britain with him when he was sacked for exposing government torture.

Censorship and conflict: inside the Harold Pinter archive

"Stan, don’t let them tell you what to do." This, according to the Nobel Prize winning writer Harold Pinter, was "one of the most important lines I’ve ever written... I’ve lived that line all my damn life".

What We Think

A ‘grand coalition’ to preserve the union with Scotland

On Tuesday of this week, Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat leaders in Scotland sat down with Des Browne, the Scottish secretary, to agree a major joint campaign to preserve the unity of the United Kingdom.

Other Categories

Ruth Frow 1922-2008

Ruth Frow died unexpectedly aged 85 on 11 January Ruth was the co‑founder with her long time partner Eddie Frow, who died in 1997, of the Working Class Movement Library in Salford.

Tim: Blair makes a killing



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