Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2086

Dated: 02 Feb 2008




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US airstrikes on Iraq rise 500 percent

The US has unleashed a ferocious bombing campaign on Iraq and Afghanistan, with devastating effects on the population. This surge in the "air war" is largely hidden behind talk of "recent successes" for the occupations.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

GMB and Laboursource

GMB and LabourSource Ltd have reached agreement over the pay, conditions and treatment of the company's migrant workforce that resolves all misunderstandings and issues regarding accusations made in October of last year. GMB after being invited to conduct a full audit of the current practices relating to employment issues can confirm that LabourSource seem to be an honest, professional organisation. The GMB are happy to endorse LabourSource's new working practices.

Reports round-up

Ivan Lewis MP lobbied for Karen Reissmann Mental health workers in Manchester lobbied health minister Ivan Lewis on Friday last week to demand the reinstatement of psychiatric nurse and Unison union steward Karen Reissmann.

Success of Manchester Organising for Fighting unions dayschool

Over 80 trade unionists gathered in Manchester last Saturday for a successful Organising For Fighting Unions (OFFU) dayschool.

Standing up against health service privatisation

Doctors and Keep Our NHS Public activists in Tower Hamlets, east London, are planning a protest against the privatisation of GP services in the borough.

Goodrich Actuation aerospace workers strike over pensions

Over 1,500 aerospace workers went on strike on Monday over pensions.

Tony Staunton: expelled from Unison for reading a leaflet

Should a leading activist with decades of service to the movement be expelled for downloading a leftwing leaflet on a union computer? That is the principle handed down in the Unison union last week.

Royal Mail Burslem bosses back down

Around 100 strikers at Royal Mail’s Burslem office, who have been on strike since 18 December, last week agreed to a deal to end their dispute.

Firefighters election result helps the union

An attempt to rejuvenate the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in London has led to a restructuring and an election for the post of borough secretary in Kensington and Chelsea.

Civil service strikes suspended after bosses agree talks

The coordinated strike action by over 150,000 workers in the PCS civil service workers’ union which was planned for Thursday of this week has been suspended following the offer of talks.

Pleural plaques campaigners want action over asbestos

Campaigners are stepping up pressure on the government to reintroduce the right to compensation for victims of asbestos exposure after it was revealed that some senior civil servants dismissed resulting diseases as being as harmful "as freckles".

Ireland and the EU's dodgy 'constitution' treaty

Ireland is the only country in the European Union (EU) that will get to vote on the EU reform treaty, known as the Lisbon treaty. This treaty is a power grab of unprecedented proportion on the part of the EU. It involves the transfer of powers from member states to the European Council and European Commission.

Dangers in TUC's negotiations with government on public sector pay

Union leaders last week met chancellor Alistair Darling and other government ministers over public sector pay.

Teachers and lecturers ballot for national strike

Britain could see its first national teachers’ strike in over 20 years after the National Union of Teachers (NUT) called a ballot for a one-day national strike over pay.

Abortion rights: protests defend right to choose

Campaigners in Glasgow gave the campaign to defend abortion rights a fantastic boost last week with a young and lively protest against Tory MP Ann Widdecombe.

The dates of Ann Widdecombe's anti-abortion speaking tour

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Remploy: New Labour betrays disabled workers

After months of false promises from Labour, it has emerged that more disabled workers at government-owned Remploy factories will lose their jobs than under the original proposal to close 43 factories.

Respect joins growing by-election fight against Labour

Campaigning for Respect is well underway in two council by-elections due to take place on 14 February in Tulketh ward, Preston and Leyton in Waltham Forest, east London.

Cuts to staff on tube put us all at risk

Station staff on London Underground’s Bakerloo Line struck for the sixth time on Friday of last week in their fight against plans to cut safety on the tube.

Birmingham council workers to strike over pay cuts

Thousands of workers at Birmingham City Council, the biggest local authority in Britain, are resolutely resisting their employer’s attempt to cut low paid women workers’ wages in the name of equal pay.

15 March - next stop for the anti-war movement

The Stop the War Coalition, along with CND and the British Muslim Initiative, has called a national anti-war demonstration in London on Saturday 15 March.

Iraq occupation leads to health crisis

Despite George Bush hailing the success of the "surge" strategy in Iraq, evidence that life for ordinary Iraqis continues to get worse is mounting.

London protest for Gaza

Up to 2,000 people protested outside Downing Street in London on Saturday of last week against the Israeli siege of Gaza.

Pakistan spirals out of control

While Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf was in London being praised by Gordon Brown as a "key ally in the war on terrorism", his country’s border with Afghanistan was in flames.

Division over Afghanistan exposes lies

A war of words has broken out between Afghan president Hamid Karzai and the British government following his last minute veto of the appointment of Paddy Ashdown as the United Nation’s envoy in Kabul.

Alan Johnston addresses NUJ New threats to Media Freedom conference

Last Saturday the National Union of Journalists hosted a packed out conference entitled "New Threats to Media Freedom &#8211; how we fight back".

World Against War events

The World Against War Demonstrate 15 MarchTroops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Don’t attack Iran.Assemble 12 noon, Trafalgar Square, London. Called by the Stop the War Coalition, CND and BMI as part of a global protest.

Protest against Condoleezza Rice's visit to London this Wednesday

US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice will be visiting London on Wednesday 6 February. She is coming to talk to prime minister Gordon Brown about Afghanistan. Stop the War has called a protest from 12 noon until 3.30pm on Whitehall, by the entrance to Downing Street.


International

Popular revolt in Lebanon brings unity to the streets of Beirut

The US-backed government in Lebanon is attempting to crush a popular revolt over electricity shortages and rampant inflation.

Western responsibility for Kenya's ethnic violence

There has been an upsurge in violence across Kenya in east Africa.

Breakthrough for left in German elections

The left in Germany were celebrating this week after making a significant breakthrough in two regional elections.


Comment

Peter Hain: radical activist turned sour

It may be easy to dismiss Peter Hain, who was forced to resign last week over donations to his deputy leadership campaign, as just one more sleazy politician with his nose in the trough. Was he just one more sharp suited ambitious greedy product of the New Labour era?

Pro-choice activists demonstrate against Ann Widdecombe in Glasgow

In light of anticipated attacks on the Abortion Act of 1967 and an imminent visit from Ann Widdecombe to our university union as part of her "Passion For Life" tour, we organised a public meeting on Abortion: A Woman’s Right to Choose. Over 30 people turned up and out of this we built a picket of well over 100 to protest against the Widdecombe meeting.

Lindsey German: Respect’s fight for Londoners

London is a divided city. It contains some of the richest people in the world, but most Londoners see little of the wealth.

Clintons get nasty in US elections

When does victory really mean defeat? When Barack Obama won the Democratic primary election in South Carolina last Saturday.


Features

How Hitler took power

Seventy five years ago the working class suffered its greatest ever defeat when Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933.

Gaza: ‘The week we broke their prison state’

The Middle East witnessed the dizzying potential of mass movements from below over four days last week. Walls tumbled, a dictator was humiliated and US strategy to isolate the Palestinian resistance was smashed into ruins.

Economic turmoil and class struggle

The instability within the capitalist system means that no one knows what is going to happen in the economy over the next year – and that uncertainty is striking fear into the ruling class.


Reviews

France And Its Cinema

There’s a real treat for French speakers in London every Tuesday until 18 March with this season of classic films.

Say It As It Is

This exhibition highlights four contemporary artists and their takes on modern society.

African Soul Rebels

The now annual African Soul Rebels tour is with us again highlighting the best in African music. This year Mali’s Salif Keita – the "golden voice of Africa" – is headlining with an acoustic set.

Intimate Enemies: a distant portrayal that ultimately fails the test

Two million French soldiers fought in Algeria between 1954 and 1962 in a vain attempt to stop Algerian independence. An estimated 300,000 to 600,000 Algerians died compared to 27,000 French people. France did not officially recognise that a war had taken place until 1999.

David Garner: Whatever They Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

Whatever They Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not might seem like an unusual collection of work to be found in a tiny museum in a small town in South Wales, but David Garner is a somewhat unusual figure in the field of British modern art.


What We Think

Back London left challenge to war and neoliberalism

Respect’s Lindsey German offers a clear and consistent alternative in this year’s race for London mayor. In response to her campaign, supporters of mayor Ken Livingstone have resorted to a tired old theme reiterated whenever Labour faces a radical challenge from the left – "don’t split the vote and let the Tories in".


Other Categories

Peter Thomas

It’s with sadness that we report the death of Peter Thomas, a member of the Swansea branch of International Socialists, the SWP’s forerunner in the 1970s. As a young worker Pete was inspired and recruited by SWP founder Tony Cliff.

Suharto (1921–2008): from Cold Warrior to “model pupil” of neoliberalism

The former president Suharto, who ruled as a dictator over Indonesia for 30 years, has died of organ failure aged 86. A popular revolution deposed Suharto in 1998 during the Asian Crisis that afflicted many economies in the region.

Leon Kuhn: 'The markets need appeasing'

Tim: 'burger all'

Letters

Letters



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