Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2097

Dated: 19 Apr 2008




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Make Gordon Brown pay

The next fortnight offers two golden opportunities to shape the future of politics in Britain.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Lindsey German stands up for civil rights in London

Lindsey German, the Left List’s candidate for mayor of London, showed why her message is winning support when she debated other mayoral candidates at a No2ID hustings on Tuesday of last week.

Campaign steps up a gear across the whole of London

Hundreds of Left List supporters have been out campaigning across London as the election fight hots up. With just two weeks to go until the 1 May elections activists are doing everything possible to raise the campaign’s profile.

‘We need a strong left voice on the London assembly’

The Left List is mounting a major challenge to all the mainstream parties in the

A voice for young people in Greenwich & Lewisham

Jennifer Jones, a student at Goldsmiths College in south east London, is standing for the Left List in the Greenwich & Lewisham London assembly consituency.

Tapping into the anger outside London

Respect members are standing Left List candidates in the local council elections across England and Wales on 1 May.

Metronet workers vote to strike again

London Underground workers in the RMT union at the failed private contractor Metronet have voted by more than four to one to strike over pensions, travel facilities and the outsourcing of work.

Local government activists campaign to reject rotten pay offer

The Unison union is urging council workers across England and Wales to reject the employers 2.45 percent pay offer.

Findus bosses are given the big freeze

More than 300 workers at the Findus factory in Longbenton, North Tyneside, struck on Wednesday of last week in protest at a planned two-week annual summer shut-down.

Express strike called off for talks

Journalists in the NUJ union at Express Newspapers called off a strike over pay set for Friday of last week. The workers at the Daily Express, the Sunday Express, the Daily Star and the Daily Star Sunday in London and Preston had struck solidly on Friday 4 April.

Lecturers vote to join public sector pay strikes

The Strike vote by further education lecturers vote is brilliant. It reflects the fact that a lot of hard work from UCU union members has gone into the campaign. People are absolutely thrilled – we now have a two to one in favour of strike action and a seven to one vote in favour of some sort of action.

Welsh FE lecturers to strike

Over 4,000 further education (FE) lecturers in Wales were set to strike on Wednesday of this week.

UCU organises tour by Palestinian academics

The UCU lecturers’ union has organised a tour of Palestinian academics, who will be visiting towns across Britain from this Sunday.

Embryonic bigotry

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which is due to be debated in the House of Commons in May, is proving to be highly controversial.

New push to attack rights on detention

Gordon Brown’s government is pushing ahead with plans to extend the period that people can be held without charge.

Mother’s anger at Law Lords’ denial of inquiry into Iraq war

Anti-war campaigner Rose Gentle has reacted angrily to the decision by nine Law Lords to rule against the right to hold a public inquiry over the invasion of Iraq.

Occupiers face another setback in Iraq

The US is laying siege to the Baghdad slum of Sadr City in an attempt to crush the Iraqi resistance.

Fighting the policies that sent asylum seeker Ama home to die

Campaigners in Cardiff are to highlight New Labour's brutal treatment of asylum seekers this Saturday at a protest in memory of Ama Sumani.

A carnival of resistance to combat the Nazi BNP

The final line-up for the free Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) carnival to be held in east London on Sunday 27 April has been confirmed.

Left List TV election broadcast set to hit the small screen

The Left List campaign for Lindsey German for London mayor is set to receive a major publicity boost.

Reports round-up

Strike to stop sinking pay Coastguards in the PCS civil service workers’ union staged their second one-day strike over pay on Friday of last week.

Unison health conference: Rage against the pay limit

The government’s determination to make more than a million workers in the NHS accept below inflation pay rises for the next three years met a stormy response at the Unison union’s annual health conference in Manchester this week.

Conference ovations for sacked nurse Karen Reissmann

Victimised health trade unionist Karen Reissmann received huge support from conference delegates – despite them being told that any mention of her name on conference floor would lead to the microphone being turned off, in case it weakened her legal case against her former employers!

Debating privatisation at the Unison health conference

The continuing threat of health privatisation formed an important backdrop to many conference debates.

Defend Yunus Bakhsh meeting at health conference

Over 100 delegates packed into a meeting to hear leading Unison activist Yunus Bakhsh outline the way he is being victimised by his employers for his trade union activities – and how his fight is being undermined by his own union.


International

Repression in Mahalla fuels anger at Egypt's dictator

The Egyptian regime has unleashed a wave of repression on the industrial city of Mahalla el-Kubra following four days of riots and demonstrations.

Eyewitness from Egypt

US journalist James Buck witnessed the crackdown in Mahalla following the uprising.

Crisis in Haiti as World Bank issues food price warning

The global crisis over rising food prices continues to grow. Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank, warned last Sunday that the price rises have put 100 million lives under threat.

Zimbabwe: General strike as Mugabe clings on to power

An indefinite general strike was under way in Zimbabwe as Socialist Worker went to press.


Comment

Can the Greens be a radical alternative to the mainstream?

Many people are frustrated with the three mainstream political parties and would like to see a left wing alternative to their pro-business agenda. The Green Party is widely touted as an organisation that could fill this role.

Worries at the heart of system

For the past few years the chief role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been to act as praise-singer for global capitalism. Its traditional job of bullying governments into implementing policies of economic austerity had become harder to perform.


Features

The Making of a London Suburb: Capital Comes To Penge

‘Around 1550, England was a medium-ranking European state and London an average-sized European capital city of about 75,000 people.

All aboard for 24 April strikes and protests

Millions of workers are struggling to survive in Gordon Brown’s Britain. But Thursday 24 April is the day we can start to fight back. Hundreds of thousands of teachers, lecturers, civil service workers, council workers in Birmingham and other groups of workers will all be ­walking out on that day over pay.

Unions must resist all the attacks we face

‘The unions in Birmingham council have called for a strike of their 20,000 members on Wednesday and Thursday of next week against their single status pay settlement.

Lecturers will be joining the fightback

‘The attacks on pay and on adult education are being led by the government. These are the issues that have led lecturers in further education colleges to vote for strike action.

Post workers will support your strike

‘It is crucial that all workers back those striking on 24 April. I will be speaking at a strike rally in Oxford on that day as the branch secretary of the local CWU postal workers’ union.

‘It’s a struggle to get by’

‘It becomes more of a struggle to get by for civil service workers each year as we face yet another below-inflation pay offer. My student loans debt is gathering interest as I’m not on a high enough wage to even start paying it back.

Enoch Powell and racism

This Sunday sees the 40th anniversary of Enoch Powell’s "Rivers of Blood" speech – the nastiest and most calculated piece of racism ever to be heard from the lips of a senior politician in postwar Britain.

The Meiji restoration: the threat of West drove Japan’s revolt

Japan is one of the world’s most powerful economies. East Asia is one of the capitalist system’s three core regions largely because of Japan’s development.


Reviews

Charlie Wilson’s War

In December 1979 the Russian army invaded Afghanistan.

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie centres around a poor family living in 1930s St Louis.

Fast Labour

Fast Labour tells the story of Victor, a Ukrainian asylum seeker who has fled to Britain.

Bangladesh 1971: viewing war and resistance from below

The Bangladesh war of independence against Pakistan in 1971 was a bloody conflict that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands.

Extraordinary Rendition: individual tragedy shows up destructive policies

Extraordinary Rendition is the story of Zaafir, a politics lecturer who is abducted on the streets of London, flown out of the country, interrogated at one of the CIA’s secret "Black Sites", tortured, and eventually dumped back in this country. He then has to try and pick up the pieces of his life.


What We Think

The left's death by compromise in the Italian election

The return of right winger Silvio Berlusconi to office in Italy is bad enough. The total elimination of the radical left from parliament verges on the disastrous.

Government's corruption problems come from backing the rich

The government has illegally attempted to cover up corruption – not over donations to the Labour Party, but over a huge arms deal to a vicious dictatorship.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: 'Capital' City

Tim: Sell the house

Letters

New Labour: party of business and the rich Gordon Brown has appointed the US multi-millionairess Jennifer Moses as a Downing Street adviser. She is a former managing director at bankers Goldman Sachs and achieved considerable notoriety when her personal assistant stole £1 million from her bank account.



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