Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2104

Dated: 07 Jun 2008




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Iraq: New US plan for total control

George Bush is ending the pretence that Iraq is a "democratic state". He is imposing new "security accords" that will strip the country of its sovereignty and allow it to be used as a platform to launch more wars.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Reports round-up

Reel anger frames action Projectionists in the Bectu union at Odeon Cinemas have voted overwhelmingly to reject a proposed realignment of the payroll system.

Karen Reissmann seeks Unison executive place

Leading health trade unionist Karen Reissmann is seeking nominations to the national executive of her Unison union.

Anger at health pay cuts

Unions in the NHS are reflecting anger at the government’s three-year below-inflation pay offer.

Unison activist John McDermott victimised by employer

Unison union activist John McDermott is facing an attack from his employer.

Scottish council craft workers 24-hour strike

Thousands of Scottish council workers struck for 24 hours on Monday.

Vote yes for strike in local government

Unison union members now have an increasingly good prospect of a fight over pay in local government, this year. Our members are among the lowest paid public sector workers, and are really feeling the pinch.

Hackney bus drivers strike to defend rep

Bus drivers in the Unite union working for CT Plus in Hackney, east London, struck on Monday morning over the sacking of Dennis Shine, a union rep.

NUS Black Students conference

Some 200 people attended the biggest ever NUS Black Students conference in Coventry last weekend.

Defending adult education at the Bethnal Green Centre

Adult education courses at the Bethnal Green Centre in east London are under threat. The director of children’s services at Tower Hamlets council recently confirmed that there were plans for the building to be "disposed of" after a two-year period.

Sick show trial for health activist Yunus Bakhsh

Health bosses in Newcastle have created a storm of anger as they move to discipline leading trade unionist Yunus Bakhsh – despite doctors saying he is too ill to attend their hearing and urging the trust to delay its action.

UCU conference: rising spirit against market in education

The UCU lecturers’ union conference in Manchester last week was dominated by discussion of how Labour’s neoliberal policies are harming education. It was marked by a growing confidence that lecturers can fight back.

Thousands protest against Heathrow expansion plan

Over 3,000 people protested last Saturday against plans to expand Heathrow airport. A proposed third runway will mean 4,000 homes being demolished, including the entire village of Sipson.

Peter Hain’s aspirations for Wales

Following New Labour’s disastrous election results on 1 May, the Neath Labour MP and former cabinet minister Peter Hain has written a pamphlet, Changing Wales: Changing Welsh Labour.

CWU conference: a key chance to defend future of post service

Privatisation: ‘Postcomm should be scrapped’ In January 2006, the postal industry was opened up by the regulator Postcomm to full competition from private firms.

CWU conference: union set for crucial fight

The CWU union conference, which is to take place in Liverpool next week, is likely to be a watershed.

London lecturers strike over pay

Around 7,000 further education lecturers in the UCU union in London are set to strike on Monday of next week in the next stage of the battle against Gordon Brown’s public sector pay limit.

Unions shouldn’t pay Labour’s bill

Gordon Brown is attacking workers’ living standards while asking the unions to bail out the Labour Party. The rich backers who lent the party money now want it back.

Yunus Bakhsh could be fired within days

High profile health trade unionist Yunus Bakhsh could be sacked this week after health bosses decided to press ahead with a disciplinary hearing against him – despite Yunus not being well enough to attend.

UN food summit ducks the issues

World leaders were meeting at the United Nations world food summit in Rome as Socialist Worker went to press.

British exam board brands PLO as ‘terrorists’

A proposed new history GCSE syllabus could force students to accept the government’s point of view on contentious issues such as terrorism and the Middle East conflict.

Nottingham ‘terror arrests’: ‘The clampdown is about trying to depoliticise us’

The harrowing story of Rizwaan Sabir – a postgraduate student studying terrorism who was arrested for downloading an Al Qaida training manual – is testimony to the Islamaphobia that has been whipped up by politicians and the media.

42-day detentions will do nothing to stop terror

Gordon Brown came up with a wonderful Blairite and Orwellian phrase this week saying he wants "to protect the security of all and the liberties of each" by extending detention for terrorist suspects to 42 days.

Labour MPs put party loyalty before principles in detention vote

The crisis racked New Labour government is whipping up terror scares in an effort to divert attention away from its own problems.

College workers’ national day of protests at below inflation pay offer

College workers held a national day of protests on Wednesday of this week to demand fair pay. Workers in six trade unions – the UCU, Unison, GMB, Unite, ATL and ACM – have rejected an initial below-inflation offer of 2.5 percent.


International

Zimbabwe regime attacks activists to intimidate opposition

Zimbabwe’s government is sanctioning attacks on the opposition in the run-up to the country’s presidential election on 27 June.

King removed from throne in Nepal

There were celebrations across Nepal last week as the Himalayan kingdom declared itself a republic, and gave the former king notice to quit his palace.

Voters punish Indian Communists for neoliberal land grab

On the face of it, it was business as usual last week in the Indian state of West Bengal as an alliance of parties headed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI(M), won the state elections.


Comment

Europe’s radical left gets together

The radical left in Europe has reasons to be cheerful. That was certainly the message from a 1,000 strong rally held in Paris’s Left Bank on Friday of last week organised by the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR).


Features

‘The Great unrest’ and the limits of radical syndicalism

A Labour Party that courts respectability while refusing to stand up for the working class, and trade union leaders that turn their backs on strikes to curry social peace with the bosses. Sound familiar? Well we’ve have been here before.

Aldo Moro killing: a miscalculation that almost destroyed the Italian left

There’s an old saying that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thirty years ago in Italy a political drama played out that justified such a saying – the kidnapping and killing of Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro.

Stop the BNP!

"I could never understand why all those people were calling the BNP fascists. Well, I do now." Those were the words of Maureen Stowe, who was elected as a British National Party (BNP) councillor in Burnley in 2003 – but left the party a few months later after discovering the ugly truth about it.

How we stopped the fascists before

Some people say we shouldn’t worry about the BNP because fascism "just isn’t part of the British character". But there is a long history of fascism in Britain. And the reason fascists have never triumphed is that they have been confronted, not ignored.

Nye Bevan’s capitulation and the left’s defeat

The defeat of the Labour government in 1951 led to a huge convulsion in the party.

Ford machinists’ strike, 1968: an inspiring demand for women’s rights

Some 850 women sewing-machinsts at Ford Dagenham in east London struck against sex discrimination in their job grading on 7 June 1968.


Reviews

The Pitmen Painters

Lee Hall’s new play is based on a true story about a group of miners from Ashington in Northumberland who, in 1934, hired a professor to teach them art appreciation.

The Roots: Rising Down - conscious hip-hop’s resurrection

<blockquote> Watch us inside riotsBlue cars and light firesWe already been knocked ScrutinizedPlus cops rush to brutalise usAmerica’s polluted by lust</blockquote>

The Lure of the East - how the British pictured the ‘orient’

The Tate’s new exhibition The Lure of the East shows how British painters sought to represent the Near and Middle East from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries.


What We Think

Equal pay: the fight 40 years on

Forty years ago this week a strike for better pay by women machinists at Ford’s Dagenham plant began. Their fight thrust women’s demands for equal pay with men to the centre stage.

Nuclear power is no solution to fuel crisis

Gordon Brown says his answer to the spiralling cost of oil is to cut dependency on fossil fuels by building more nuclear power stations.

Bradford & Bingley: panic spreading as credit crunch bites

Bradford & Bingley (B&B) is the latest lending company to get caught up in the credit crunch. B&B’s share price collapsed earlier this week after it issued a profits warning while simultaneously asking investors for an extra £300 million in funding.


Other Categories

Tim: Food and bombs

Letters

Letters



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