Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2089

Dated: 23 Feb 2008




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Egypt: strikes shake US ally

Workers at the Ghazl el-Mahalla textile mill in Egypt staged a mass demonstration last Sunday, calling for the end of the US-backed regime of Hosni Mubarak.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Respect builds new local roots and creditable votes in by-elections

Respect campaigners gained creditable results in two council by-elections in Waltham Forest, east London, and Preston on Thursday of last week.

Campaigners oppose extradition of Omar Deghayes and Jamil el-Banna

Supporters of former Guantanamo prisoners Omar Deghayes and Jamil el-Banna protested outside their hearing on Thursday of last week. The Spanish government is trying to extradite them on terror charges. Both men have suffered severely in Guantanamo Bay and their supporters say they are medically unfit to stand trial

Every little bit helps supermarket bosses

A report by the Competition Commission last week helped highlight the power of the major supermarkets, but offered little to challenge their domination.

New eco-towns will help wreck planet

The government is set to announce the development of ten new "eco-towns", which it says will help fight the danger of climate chaos.

Mortgage madness

As recession looms and Gordon Brown continues to put his faith in the "free market", hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of losing their homes.

New Labour's plans offer more power to business

Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling’s decision to nationalise the struggling Northern Rock bank last weekend ensures the government’s humiliation over the issue is almost complete.

Reports round-up

London Midland pensions fight Train drivers in the Aslef union at the Bletchley depot of London Midland are set to strike on Thursday and Friday of next week after the breakdown of talks over pensions.

Union launches campaign in further education

Further education lecturers in the UCU union have launched a new campaign – Our Schools, Our Colleges, Our Communities, Our Unions.

Lecturers ballot on negotiating structures

UCU union members are currently being balloted over new national negotiating structures in the higher education sector. The ballot ends on Monday of next week.

Keele university lecturers vote for strike over cuts

Lecturers at Keele University have voted for a one day strike on Thursday of this week over job cuts and restructuring.

Wigan leisure centre workers to strike over pay

Over 140 workers at leisure centres in Wigan are set to strike over changes to pay.

Postal workers walk out in Leicestershire

Postal workers in Oakham, Leicestershire, walked out in defence of a sacked colleague on Wednesday of last week and are now set to ballot for official strike action.

Oil workers vote to merge with rail union

Thousands of offshore workers in the oil industry have voted for a new amalgamated trade union.

Remploy workers strike in York

Disabled workers in York and Merseyside struck on Wednesday and Thursday of last week in the fight to save threatened Remploy factories.

Defending Karen Reissmann and challenging Virgin healthcare

Campaigners and health workers in Manchester are continuing to fight for the reinstatement of leading trade unionist and psychiatric nurse Karen Reissmann.

Wildcat strike in Brighton wins for refuse workers

Two days of wildcat strike action by refuse workers in Brighton has won concessions.

Health trust’s latest insult to Yunus Bakhsh

Management at one of the biggest health service organisations in Britain, the Newcastle North Tyneside and Northumberland mental health NHS trust, is going to extraordinary measures to sack respected union activist and psychiatric nurse Yunus Bakhsh.

Mobilise for Unite Against Fascism conference

Anti-fascist activists are mobilising for the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) national conference, which is to take place on Saturday 1 March at the TUC Congress House in central London.

Teachers round-up

Teachers meet to plan action over low pay Around 250,000 teachers in the NUT union are preparing for a strike ballot beginning on 28 February over pay. Union members are mobilising to get the biggest possible vote out.

Attempts to undermine temporary workers bill

Bosses will be lobbying MPs furiously this week in a bid to scupper a private member’s bill enforcing the rights of temporary workers. They may not need to put much effort in as the government is likely to reject the plans.

International delegates assemble at CND Global Summit

Over 200 delegates met in London to hear peace campaigners from five continents discuss strategies for a nuclear weapon-free world last Saturday.

Protests at anti-abortion meetings

There were two lively protests against Tory MP Ann Widdecombe’s anti-abortion tour last week.

Defend Eddie Fleming

Victimised union rep Eddie Fleming was officially sacked last week.

Programme of action can beat the civil service bosses

The PCS civil service workers’ union has called a two day strike of over 80,000 members in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in a long-running battle over pay.

Football - can we have our ball back please?

The agreement by Premier League chairmen to pursue a proposal to extend the football league season to 39 games from 38 has provoked outrage. The extra games would be played at venues around the world, with cities bidding for the right to stage them.

New Labour enforces its anti-union laws on prison officers

New Labour has again turned to the courts to defend its public sector pay curbs.

20,000 to strike over single status in Birmingham

The battle for equal and fair pay in local government is coming to a head in Birmingham council.

Council workers resist single status attacks

Leeds Angry refuse and street cleansing workers in Leeds are to demonstrate on Wednesday of next week against Leeds council’s proposal to take up to £6,000 each year from their pay packets.

Building for the 15 March demo

There are just three weeks to go until the international day of action against the "war on terror".

‘Dodgy dossier’ draft reveals war lies

The government was forced this week to release an initial draft of the infamous "dodgy dossier" that was used to justify the 2003 attack on Iraq.

Inequality blights African lives, says Save the Children

George Bush visited five African countries last week to promote the alleged benefits of US aid. But at the same time the charity Save the Children has issued a report that exposes the truth behind his boasts.

Figures on the Iraq occupation

4.4% – The portion of Iraq’s national budget that is being spent on reconstruction12,000 – The number of Iraq’s 34,000 doctors that have now fled into exile54% – The proportion of Iraq’s population living on less than 50p a day. Some 15 percent of the country lives in "extreme poverty"75% – The proportion of Iraqi children that have no school place4 million – The number of Iraqi refugees – the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since the fall of Palestine in 194840% – The unemployment rate in Iraq. Inflation is runnin

No crisis for the rich as banks rake in billions

Barclays bank tried to claim that it was being hit by the global economic credit crunch when it announced this week that its annual profits had fallen.


International

Kosovo’s breakaway will inflame 'cold war' tensions

The US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy have rushed to recognise last Sunday’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia made by the parliament in Kosovo.

Bahrain builders down their tools

A wave of strikes and occupations is sweeping the Gulf state of Bahrain. In the latest strike construction workers downed tools and refused to leave their labour camp.

Musharraf humiliated in Pakistan assembly vote

In a blow to US-backed dictators the world over, voters in Pakistan have decisively rejected the country’s president Pervez Musharraf and his crackdown on the county’s democratic institutions.


Comment

Internet ruling is civil rights victory

Civil rights campaigners have welcomed last week’s decision by the appeal court to overturn the convictions of five young Muslims who were jailed under anti-terrorism laws simply for downloading material from the internet.

China’s role in Darfur does not excuse US crimes

Film director Steven Spielberg has won wide praise for his decision to withdraw as artistic adviser to the 2008 Olympics in protest at China’s role in the Darfur conflict.

Stop the War: a mass movement to celebrate and defend

The fifth anniversary of the great anti-war march of 15 February 2003 was celebrated by the anti-war movement last week, as a high point of a truly unique mass movement that brought millions of people into political activity and ultimately led to the downfall of Tony Blair.

Putin’s 'cold war' paranoia is grounded in reality

Talk of a "new Cold War" between Russia and the West seems to be getting more strident by the week.


Features

Culture, commerce and class society

The government’s culture secretary Andy Burnham last week launched a high profile initiative aimed at encouraging children to get more involved in the creative arts.

Alex Wheatle remembers 'stop and search' and Brixton’s anger

When I heard last month about the government’s plans to give police more powers to stop and search, my mind flicked back to the early 1980s and all that happened in the days running up to the riots in south London on 10 and 11 April 1981 that we call the Brixton Uprising.

Dirty South: 'Young people in Brixton are not stereotypes'

My new book, The Dirty South, which is out in April, deals with issues around young people today. It’s set in Brixton and deals with gun crime, alienation, peer pressure, and demonisation.

Images of uprising in Brixton 1981

The tragedy of Germany’s failed revolution

At the 1907 conference of the Second International (the organisation of European socialist parties) Rosa Luxemburg helped write a resolution committing each party to opposing its own government in a time of war.


Reviews

Control DVD

Control is about the life of Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division, as the band shot to fame in the late 1970s. It chronicles his turbulent relationship with his wife Deborah.

Contact: George Rodger’s War Photographs

This exhibition celebrates the life and work of photographer George Rodger on the centenary of his birth.

Oil! by Upton Sincliar

Following the success of the new film There Will Be Blood, Penguin have released the classic novel which inspired it.

The Selfish Capitalist - why we are all miserable under capitalism

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this book from psychologist and media personality Oliver James is the title.

Paul Robeson Collection: Flawed attempts to bring black pride to the screen

Paul Robeson was a fighter against war and oppression, a supporter of the Communist Party and much more.


What We Think

Anything to declare in the ‘war on terror’?

This government is capable of sending tanks to Heathrow to avert a supposed terrorist threat, but when an international criminal turns up, don’t expect the police to arrest him.

Why is nationalisation presented as a sign of failure?

Even as Northern Rock is rescued by the state, we are repeatedly told that nationalised companies are the epitome of failure.

The 1970s - when ordinary people put up a fight

"It’s like going back to the 1970s," says a BBC commentator discussing the Northern Rock nationalisation, to a backdrop of pictures of militant shop stewards, rubbish piling up in the streets and people wearing flared trousers.


Other Categories

Tim: 'may also go up'

Leon Kuhn: 'The sun never sets'

Letters

Letters



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