Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2098

Dated: 26 Apr 2008




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Together we can beat Gordon Brown’s attacks

Gordon Brown is facing the biggest political crisis of his premiership over the abolition of the 10 percent income tax band for Britain’s lowest earners. There is now serious speculation that he could even be forced from office.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Fightback Thursday: wave of strikes against Gordon Brown’s attacks on pay

The fightback started today. Up and down the country more than 400,000 workers are on strike. Teachers, lecturers, civil service workers and 20,000 Birmingham council workers are out.

Migrant catering workers hit by government rules

Uniting under the banner of "Save Our Livelihood", around 7,000 British Chinese, Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Turkish catering employers, workers and supporters gathered in Trafalgar Square in central London last Sunday to protest against Britain’s draconian immigration rules.

How to navigate the London ballot papers on 1 May

Most of the local elections in England and Wales on Thursday 1 May will be of the traditional "first past the post" variety. But the London elections will be more complex, involving three different voting systems to select the mayor, constituency candidates and the London assembly.

‘Why you should be a socialist’ meetings strike a chord

The combination of war, economic crisis and disillusionment with Labour is opening up a new debate among thousands of working class people about the sort of politics we need to ensure a better future for the majority of the world’s population.

Labour in crisis as anger rises at government's attacks on workers

Class politics returned to Britain this week as 450,000 workers prepared to take strike action against Gordon Brown’s 2 percent pay limit.

Turmoil leads to growing debate in Labour

The growing Labour rebellion is adding to the government’s crisis.

The soaring cost of living that New Labour tries to deny

The latest figures show the cost of food in Britain is rising at 15.5 percent a year.

Reports round-up

Shelter workers to walk out again Around 450 workers at the Shelter housing charity are set to join the action on "Fightback Thursday". Shelter workers in the Unite union have called a 48-hour strike starting on 24 April – the same day that hundreds of thousands of other workers are set to strike.

Unison local government workers campaign against low pay offer

Local government union activists in the Unison union are campaigning for a rejection of the employers’ 2.45 percent pay offer.

Sharp words over health pay offer at Unison's health conference

Delegates to the Unison union’s health conference last week rebuked their leaders for seeking acceptance of the government’s three-year below-inflation pay offer.

Justice for cleaners protest

24 April - it’s just the start of teachers' campaign

Schools across the country are buzzing with discussions about the teachers’ strike due to take place on Thursday of this week.

Civil service workers set to strike on 'Fightback Thursday'

Over 100,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union were set to join other public sector workers on strike on Thursday of this week.

Lecturers strike to defend income and education

This Thursday will see tens of thousands of lecturers in further education colleges walk out, joining the 250,000 teachers and 100,000 civil service workers in the biggest show of opposition over pay for many years.

LMHR carnival: smash the Nazi BNP

Anyone who opposes racism and wants to live in a peaceful multicultural society needs to join with us to counter the threat posed by the British National Party (BNP) in next week’s elections.

Vote for the Left List - the radical alternative

As a young Muslim woman in London, I know only too well what the dangers would be if the British National Party (BNP) gets a presence here.

Express journalists call off strike

Members of the NUJ journalists’ union at Express Newspapers voted on Monday of this week to call off a three day strike set for Tuesday to Thursday.

Keele lecturers to boycott student assessment

Keele University lecturers, who have been under threat of redundancy since last December, are continuing to fight back.

School students strike against academies

Over 800 students walked out of St Aelreds Catholic Technology College in St Helens, Merseyside, on Thursday of last week. The students were protesting over a planned merger with Newton High School and the creation of a new academy at the Newton High site.

Civil service workers to fight Glasgow redundancies

The PCS civil service workers’ union has pledged to combat any plans for compulsory redundancies in the Glasgow Identity and Passport Service (IPS).

London Underground workers call off action as rights secured

The threat of strike action by maintenance workers on London Underground has won written guarantees from management over the outsourcing of work, pension rights and travel facilities.

Protest at Pizza Express

Yunus Bakhsh gets a hearing

Unison union activist Yunus Bakhsh, who is involved in a bitter battle against his employers, took part in a hearing against his union last week.

Fight for fair pay to shut down city of Birmingham

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

Leeds council workers to strike over single status

Leeds council refuse workers and cleaning staff are set to stage two 24-hour strikes over the next week, including on the day of the local elections, over single status pay cuts.

UB40 and Steel Pulse at anti-'Rivers of Blood' press conference

Birmingham bands UB40 and Steel Pulse joined Yaz Alexander at a Love Music Hate Racism press conference on Friday of last week.

BNP courts Jewish voters, but their bigotry is unchanged

One of the worst epithets that one Jew can apply to another is that of the "self-hating" Jew. But I feel absolutely justified in so labelling Patricia Richardson, the first Jewish councillor for the fascist British National Party (BNP).

Assault means new tragedy for Iraqis

Imagine a helicopter gunship firing missiles into your home, or troops storming into your neighbourhood to round up all the men. This is the life ordinary people in Iraq face today.

It’s principles, not prejudice, that wins support at the Stonewall London mayoral hustings

All of the main candidates for London mayor went head to head at a 400-strong hustings organised by the Stonewall LGBT rights group last Saturday.

The Left List’s ten steps to a better London

1. Housing – An emergency council housing building programme.2. Transport – Decent and cheap public transport to encourage less car use. Cut fares and increase provision with new tube and rail lines.3. War – Bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. No attacks on civil liberties. Spend the money used for war on welfare.4. Education – Good schools for every child in every borough. No academies, no tuition fees for students.5. Health – No health rationing, stop hospital closures, no privatisation of doctors’ surgeries.6. Poverty –

Carole Vincent wins support in the east

Carole Vincent is the Left List candidate in the Havering & Redbridge constituency in outer east London.

Fightback Thursday: reports from London

Across London schools and colleges shut down along side Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) sites.

Fightback Thursday: reports from Birmingham

There is far less traffic on the roads of Birmingham today as the city has essentially shut down. That’s no surprise in a city with 25,000 people on strike.

Fightback Thursday: reports from north west England

Striking teachers were marching through Manchester today as hundreds of schools closed across the region.

Fightback Thursday: reports from north east England

Across the region there were solid strikes including a number of colleges. Tracey Errington, a lecturer in the UCU union at Newcastle College, said, "I continue to be appalled that an organisation which repeatedly projects a corporate image of continual improvement and success, will not reward those who are paramount in ensuring both, on a day to day basis. Lecturers only ask for recognition and to be valued for the excessive workloads and achievements that are credited to the college as a whole."

Fightback Thursday: reports round-up

In Sussex teachers report successful picketing in the Burgess Hill/Haywards Heath area of West Sussex closed all four local schools.

Fightback Thursday: pictures 1/3

Fightback Thursday: Shelter strikers

Workers in the Unite union at the charity Shelter were striking around the country on Thursday as part of a 48 hour strike against longer hours and low pay. The picket line at Shelter’s Old Street headquarters in east London fluctuated between ten and 15 people, while there were at least ten at the City offices. Pickets at Old Street said the strike was absolutely solid.

Fightback Thursday: the London rally

Public sector workers held well attended strike rallies up and down the country today as part of their campaign against Gordon Brown's public sector wage freeze.

Fightback Thursday: pictures 2/3

Fightback Thursday: pictures 3/3

Fightback Thursday: vibrant rallies up and down the country

The strikes on Fightback Thursday against Gordon Brown's public sector pay freeze were strong in all areas the country – as the size and vibrancy of the strike rallies called by unions demonstrates.

100,000 rock the Nazis at LMHR carnival

Around 100,000 people from across London and far beyond attended the Love Music, Hate Racism carnival in Victoria Park, east London, today.


International

More trouble for the US in Pakistan

The US "war on terror" strategy has come so badly unstuck in Pakistan since president Pervez Musharraf was humiliated in February’s election that leading politicians are being forced to push a new conciliatory tone.

Victory for left bishop in Paraguay

The election of Fernando Lugo last weekend as president of Paraguay has shaken the country’s elite and unseated the longest ruling party in the world.

Maoist win creates a storm in Nepal

The victory of the Maoist communists in Nepal, who won almost half of the seats in last week’s constituent assembly elections and are now set to form a government, has rocked the country.

Bangladesh price rises fuel workers’ confrontation with the state

Bangladesh stands on the brink of a major social explosion. Huge rises in the price of basic food stuffs means that hunger is stalking the poor – leading to the violent repression of strikes on the one hand, and suicides among those who have lost all hope on the other.


Comment

Behind the crisis of the Italian left

The right wing can hardly conceal their glee over the rout suffered by the Italian left in the recent general election. For the first time since 1945 there will be no communists in the Italian parliament. This is being put forward as further evidence that socialism is doomed.

Vote Left List

We have just days left to ensure that on 1 May the fight starts for a different London – one not in thrall to City financiers and bankers, one where ordinary people come first.


Features

Why Marx matters

The past decade has seen the emergence of new movements of resistance. They were initially provoked by the form of corporate globalisation imposed by the neoliberal policies of the leading Western governments.

Busting myths about the food crisis

Rocketing price rises are threatening to plunge tens of millions around the world into hunger and food insecurity.

Kemal Ataturk and the birth of modern Turkey

The roots of the Turkish revolution from above lie in the crisis of the Ottoman Empire that occured before the First World War.


Reviews

Memphis 70

In the mid-1960s Memphis was with Detroit at the centre of the burgeoning soul scene.

What Do You Want?

What do You Want? is a collection of work from five female artists living in India and working among a new politically aware generation of artists.

Endgame

Endgame, seen as one of Samuel Beckett’s most important plays, tells the story of Hamm, an ageing wheelchair-bound master, and Clov, his servant.

Linton Kwesi Johnson leads cultural resistance

Acclaimed reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson is to headline the Cultures of Resistance gig in central London in July, it was announced this week.

Persepolis: breathtaking animation, but not enough reality

Persepolis is the cinematic adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel, which is based upon her life growing up in Iran.


What We Think

The class divide and the power of strikes

An influential lie pushed by Gordon Brown, the Tories and most of the media, is that business bosses are "wealth creators". Without them, we’re told, the economy would collapse.

Publicity for fascists feeds the hate

The British National Party (BNP) is desperately trying to conceal its Nazi roots and pose as "respectable" in its bid to grab a seat on the London assembly next week.

Stephen Lawrence anniversary: Racism in the police has not gone away

Fifteen years ago this week Stephen Lawrence, a young black man, was stabbed to death in south east London by racist thugs. To this day no one has been prosecuted for his murder.


Other Categories

Tim: Liquidity

Letters

Letters



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