Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2096

Dated: 12 Apr 2008



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How Gordon Brown makes the poor pay more tax

LOSER: Call centre worker Abolition of bottom rate tax band will hit a 24 year old who earns less than £18,000 a year, but must now pay £232 more tax a year


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Flames of anger in London at China's crackdown in Tibet

The Olympic flame relay through London last Sunday descended into an embarrassing farce for both the Chinese and the British authorities as the televised event was dogged by protests against China's brutal crackdown in Tibet.

Brown's tax changes hit the poorest the hardest

Gordon Brown has declared war on many of his own voters by abolishing the 10p starting rate of tax.

Women in custody: a shameful record of deaths in prison

The treatment of women in English prisons is "shameful, deplorable and life-threatening", says Marissa Sandler, co-author of Dying On The Inside, a new report into the deaths of women in prison.

Geert Wilders' Fitna: Islamophobia on film

The far right Dutch politician Geert Wilders made international headlines last week with the release of his anti-Muslim film Fitna.

Across Britain, workers prepare for mass strike on 24 April

Across Britain, workers prepare for mass strike on 24 April

Organising in schools to build links among workers

Many teachers in the NUT union are encouraging other school workers to join them on the picket lines.

Lecturers balloting to join action with teachers

College lecturers in the UCU union are working towards a big strike vote in our pay ballot – which closes on 14 April.

Birmingham workers to shut council over single status

Some 20,000 council workers in Birmingham in the Unison, Unite, Ucatt and GMB unions are set to strike for two days on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 April in an ongoing dispute over single status pay cuts.

Thousands in PCS union to join the battle over pay

Tens of thousands of civil service workers in the PCS union are gearing up to join the day of action on 24 April.

Say no to Gordon Brown's attack on public sector pay

Gordon Brown is pushing ahead with his attack on public sector workers' pay. He said on Monday of this week, "Three-year deals on public sector pay are an important element of what we can do to contribute to a low inflation economy."

Newspaper strikers 'Express' their anger at management

The first strike at national newspapers for almost 20 years took place on Friday of last week as journalists at the Daily Express, the Sunday Express, the Daily Star and the Daily Star Sunday struck over pay.

NUJ annual conference dodges the critical issues

Delegates to the NUJ journalists' union conference were thrilled to hear reports of solid picket lines at the Express and Star's two centres when they gathered in Belfast for their annual conference last week.

Vote blocks attacks on democracy in the NUS

The National Union of Students (NUS) annual conference last week witnessed the defeat of a major attack on democracy.

Stop the War mounts 'wall of sound' against Tony Blair

Over 500 protesters turned out against Tony Blair when he spoke about "faith and globalisation" at London's Westminster Cathedral on the evening of Thursday of last week.

Strike threat wins concessions for Underground workers

The RMT and TSSA unions on London Underground called off a three day strike planned from Sunday to Wednesday of this week after winning significant concessions on safety and staffing from management.

Brighton bus drivers vote for strike action over pay

Bus drivers in the Unite union at Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company have voted by a large majority to take strike action in a consultative ballot over pay.

Abortion Rights meeting debates campaign strategy

Members of Abortion Rights attended the group's extraordinary general meeting in central London on Saturday of last week to discuss the campaign's strategy.

Keele lecturers protest against course closures and job cuts

Around 300 people protested against course closures and staff redundancies at Keele university on Thursday of last week.

Left does well in Unite union executive council elections

The elections to the new Unite union's executive council produced good results for the left. The new executive council takes office from 1 May and consists of 80 seats divided equally between the Amicus and T&G sections.

Vote for United Left slate in Unison elections

Socialist Worker is backing the United Left and other candidates in the Unison service group executive elections, including:

Join the national lobby over Karen Reissmann on 7 May

Health workers and campaigners who support Karen Reissmann, the nurse and trade unionist sacked for speaking out against cuts and privatisation, are asking their supporters to join a national lobby of parliament.

Round-up

Thousands march against cuts Up to 8,000 people marched through Aberdeen last Saturday against proposed cuts of £27 million by the city council.

Ken Livingstone's move to the right is at the root of his crisis

Opinion polls showing Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson neck and neck in the race for London mayor, or even Johnson ahead, have grabbed the headlines.

Left List brings an alternative political vision to Peckham

Katt Young, the Left List candidate for Lambeth & Southwark, held a walkabout in Peckham market, south London, on Saturday of last week.

Love Music Hate Racism carnival can stop the Nazis

One dark cloud looming over the elections on 1 May is the threat that the fascist British National Party (BNP) might grab seats on the London assembly.


International

Solidarity statement of Egypt's Centre for Socialist Studies

In light of recent events in Egypt, the Centre for Socialist Studies calls on supporters of freedom and justice everywhere in the world to show their support for victims of repression at the hands of Hosni Mubarak's regime.

Why the US and Britain are determined not to leave Iraq

An occupation without limit and a war without end. This is the message coming out of Britain and the US following the recent uprising by Iraqis.

Zimbabwe vote puts the country at the crossroads

The vote of the people of Zimbabwe against president Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party has shown the desire for change in the southern African country.

Pakistan: Beating of Dr Riaz Ahmed sparks protests against Musharraf's regime

The savage beating of democracy activist Riaz Ahmed by armed police last week is a mark of how little has changed in Pakistan since February's election rebuffed US-backed dictator Pervez Musharraf.

Egypt's workers defy repression in Mahalla

Tens of thousands of Egyptians faced down murderous repression on Sunday and Monday in a historic show of defiance.


Comment

It's the beginning of the end for Robert Mugabe

The outcome of Zimbabwe's elections remains shrouded in uncertainty. But one thing is clear. The country's politics remains dominated, as it has been for the last decade, by the struggle for power between the regime of Robert Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).


Features

Hungry for change: the scandal of rising food prices

The lives of billions of people across the globe are under threat due to rising food prices.

London mayor elections: Ken and Boris launch a war on young people

Both want more police, tougher prison sentences, airport-style scanners and surveillance cameras. Neither offers any real solution to the problem of crime against young people.

London's working poor

London is home to 49 billionaires – the greatest concentration in Europe – and is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in.

'We need to create decent well-paid jobs in London'

Is there something that could be done immediately to tackle poverty and unemployment in London? Yes. But you need a different vision for the city.

How Otto von Bismarck won Germany's unification

As we saw in last week's column, Germany failed to pull off a bourgeois, or capitalist, revolution in 1848. The country remained divided, politically and legally, into many small states.


Reviews

Donald Freed on the cathartic power of political theatre

It's Christmas 2009 in a secret psychiatric unit hidden in the Florida Everglades. A psychoanalyst is about to confront the institution's most famous inmate – former US president George Bush.

You, The Living: Bleak but tender cinema with a unique style – and a twist

You, The Living is a bizarre Swedish film that has had rave reviews from the critics – and with good reason. It's quite unlike anything you're ever likely to have seen.

Last Of The Dictionary Men

Last Of The Dictionary Men is a multimedia exhibition that opened last week at the Baltic gallery in Gateshead.

Celebrating Sylvia Pankhurst

The Redbridge Museum in Ilford, Essex, is hosting an exhibition looking at the life of Sylvia Pankhurst, the radical suffragette and socialist campaigner who lived in nearby Woodford between 1924 and 1956.

Strangely Familiar: Photographs by Eric Jaquier and Peter Mitchell

This is a stunning exhibition of photographs that draws out the changing scenery of the city of Leeds over the last 40 years.

An Enemy Of The People at the Arcola Theatre

Written in 1882 by Henrik Ibsen, this play is an enduring critique of the hypocrisy and corruption of the political system.


What We Think

Olympics: Competition in sport reflects capitalism

The protests that greeted the Olympic torch in London and Paris have re-ignited a debate about whether you can keep politics out of sport. The simple answer is no. As George Orwell famously wrote, sport "is war minus the shooting".

A pay fight across Europe

Gordon Brown is not acting alone in holding down public sector wages. European finance ministers met in Slovenia last weekend and called for wage increases to be held below inflation.

Corporate manslaughter: another toothless act

In the first three quarters of last year, 210 workers died at work according to the Health and Safety Executive. In the previous year 241 workers were killed while doing their job.


Other Categories

Tim: Inquiry costs

Letters

Councillor Oliur Rahman stopped by terror cop I was stopped and questioned by a Special Branch officer at Heathrow airport on Wednesday of last week after I returned to London from Cairo, Egypt.



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