Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1912

Dated: 31 Jul 2004



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First they poisoned us... Now they want our pensions

MARTIN IS one of up to 40,000 people who heard last week that their pensions could be snatched away from them.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Labour policy drives refugees to suicide

THE TRAGEDY of New Labour’s draconian asylum policy moved north last Friday night, from Harmondsworth to the Dungavel detention centre in Scotland.

Opposition to detention centre spreads

The opposition to Dungavel, a former prison in an isolated part of the South Lanarkshire countryside, has spread across Scotland’s civic organisations.

Blair’s best mate is arch-crawler

TONY BLAIR shocked even his own New Labour colleagues last week by appointing his crony Peter Mandelson, the twice-disgraced former minister, to the European Commission.

Rotten deal at Dagenham?

I AM an assembly line worker of 30 years standing at the Ford Engine Plant, Dagenham. I have taken part in many struggles for better conditions.

Postal Workers

THE DIRECTOR in charge of stamping out bullying and harassment at Royal Mail has herself been investigated for bullying, according to the Times newspaper.

Why I'm fighting for asylum rights

THAM SARKI, an asylum seeker from Nepal, is to appear before an immigration appeal tribunal on Tuesday 3 August at 10am at Taylor House, 88 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1 (Angel tube).

Minister’s shocking revelations

TWO MONTHS ago Tory-controlled Taunton Deane Borough Council met and voted to pursue a costly consultation over housing stock transfer (privatisation).

No pleasure at leisure closure

THE NEW Labour council in Lewisham, south London, has voted for the closure of a much-loved leisure centre—despite opposition from all the other parties on the council.

Fight at the end of the Chunnel

MEMBERS OF the RMT union on Eurostar are to ballot for strikes over pay and regrading.

Walkout is just the ticket

TRAFFIC wardens in Manchester stopped work unofficially on Friday of last week after they were told they had to continue to wear their ties and jackets in the stiflingly hot weather.

Bus workers show full throttle solidarity

STRIKING BUS workers in South Yorkshire have won an important battle in their war against low pay.

Ruffled feathers at the Grouse factory

WHISKY WORKERS at one of Scotland’s largest privately owned companies planned to strike this week over pay.

BBC

WORKERS IN BBC Technology were set to strike this week in protest at privatisation.

Challenge to union

A SERIOUS attack has been launched on the TGWU union representing check-in staff and baggage handlers at Servisair at Gatwick Airport.

Union membership debate

THE TUC is set to reduce its official membership figures by 300,000 to 6.4 million members, according to the BBC’s Newsnight programme.

90,000 workers walk out on two-day strike

SOME 90,000 low paid workers were due to walk out on strike on Thursday and Friday of this week.


International

I’m sorry, you haven’t a Clwyd

BLAIR’S specially appointed apologist for the war on Iraq found herself in an tight spot on Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday of this week.


Comment

Blair mocks democracy

THE MEDIA have been celebrating Tony Blair’s survival of the latest great crisis of his premiership. It is, on the face of it, pretty remarkable.

We want Moore of this truth telling, not less

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 director Michael Moore has been under attack recently. He has been called a self publicist, a propagandist and a paranoiac.


Features

Time for our own agenda in the NHS

DARREN FROM Leeds writes, "NHS employees are being hit hard by New Labour initiatives. I work as a nursing assistant myself and, with the upcoming Agenda for Change, stand to lose a significant portion of my earnings.

Are the occupiers of Iraq the answer here?

TONY BLAIR says 5,000 British troops are poised to intervene in Darfur, western Sudan.

West has already intervened–disastrously

CONFLICTS SUCH as Darfur are never simply about what happens in a local area.

Why you should be a socialist

What would you put in its place?

The Prince of Wales’s latest outburst has exposed him as ‘nothing but a ghastly snob’

AFTER ALL the acres of space devoted to telling us what a serious, compassionate, concerned and public-spirited man the Prince of Wales is, it was a profound relief last week to have incontrovertible proof that he is nothing but a ghastly snob.

'Touch of genius with words'

‘The thing that surprised me was the way Paul Foot could approach workers. The first time I saw this was when I took him to see some pickets out on strike in the 1970s.

What did capitalism do for us?

THE QUESTION of what we owe to the capitalist system is important. In the anti-capitalist movement there is a tendency to argue that capitalism is simply a system of exploitation and oppression, and that nothing good has ever come out of it.

Respect: the new ‘Cockney rebels’

RESPECT SUPPORTERS turned out in force last weekend to campaign in the St Dunstan’s and Stepney Green council by-election in Tower Hamlets, east London.

Plan to follow up election success

RESPECT WON the best ever by-election vote in England for a party outside the three major parties when it fought the Leicester South parliamentary by-election.

Back their fight

The battle by civil service workers and their union, PCS, to resist these attacks is vital for every worker in Britain, particularly the millions employed in the public sector.


Reviews

Mercury has nasty side-effects

IT’S MERCURY Music Prize nominations time again. So the papers have been gushing about how music in Britain is incredibly rich and varied.

Spider-Man 2 | Status Symbols: Identity and Belief on Modern Badges

Spider-Man 2Directed by Sam Raimi Spider-Man is a superhero we can all identify with. Peter Parker, the teenager who becomes the superhero, is an impoverished student. He lives in a squalid flat and struggles to keep up with his rent payments.


What We Think

Who led who up the garden path?

WHO IS right? Trade union leaders emerged from last weekend’s Labour Policy Forum with broad smiles. They claimed to have achieved a "significant shift" in Labour’s stand over pensions, employment rights and jobs.


Other Categories

Victory! I was right to stick up the posters

I’M DELIGHTED to report that Camden council has withdrawn the summons against me for "placing posters on a bus shelter by means of sticky brown tape" (Socialist Worker, 24 July).

Who says we are all apathetic now?

TONY BLAIR can chalk up one achievement for his first ten years in office—a resurgence of political debate and activity sparked by anger with his policies.

Diary

Saturday 31 July Agenda for Change: is this the deal we want? Special meeting organised by Health Worker, the rank and file paper for all NHS workers, 1.15-5pm, Carrs Lane Church Centre Birmingham (near New Street tube). Registration £6.

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