Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2108

Dated: 05 Jul 2008

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Gordon Brown is in freefall

Gordon Brown and New Labour are in freefall.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Airport firefighter strike suspended

A second day of strikes by firefighters at remote airports across the north and west of Scotland has been suspended.

Eddie Fleming takes his victimisation case to an employment tribunal

Victimised civil service trade union rep Eddie Fleming took his case for unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal on Monday.

Preston challenges polyclinics

Central Lancashire Primary Care trust has recently announced plans to open a "primary care assessment centre" – or "polyclinic" – in Preston.

Reports round-up

Chagos islanders protest Chagos islanders protested to the House of Lords on Monday at the start of a hearing into their right to return to Diego Garcia. Labour is oppposing their return home.

Success for Bethnal Green Esol campaign

Activists won a victory in their campaign to defend adult education courses at the Bethnal Green Centre (BGC) in east London last week.

PCS women's forum

The PCS women’s forum which took place last weekend was a great success.

RMT conference threatens pensions strike

The annual conference of the RMT transport workers’ union in Nottingham closed on Wednesday of last week.

Private sector pay round-up

Don’t shop for it – strike for it! More than 1,000 members of the Unite union at retailer Argos are balloting for strike action in a dispute over pay.

National Shop Stewards Network conference

Over 250 delegates and observers attended the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) conference last Saturday.

Pimlico school to strike again

Teachers in the NUT union at Pimlico School, Westminster, have announced three more days of strike action in their ongoing campaign over their lunch break. The strike dates are 3 July, 9 July and 15 July.

Fighting against academies

The Anti Academies Alliance (AAA) has produced a statement in response to schools secretary Ed Balls’ alarming announcement that 638 secondary schools across Britain should "improve or close".

Sadness as east London councillors quit Respect

Two years ago 12 Respect councillors were elected in Tower Hamlets, east London, on the basis of opposition to war and privatisation, and support for council housing.

Peterborough refuse workers walk out over single status

Refuse workers in Peterborough held a wildcat strike on Monday morning this week and were refusing to work until a dispute over their "single status" pay deal has been resolved.

Fife charges campaign shuts down council meeting

Fife council was forced to abandon its full council meeting last week as disabled people from the Campaign Against Charges group chanted and displayed posters asking "Why?", "When?" and "How much?".

Pell & Bales CWU rep sacked

Pat Carmody, a CWU union rep at the Pell & Bales call centre, has been sacked by his employers for writing a short article in Socialist Worker.

CWU rep Simon Furze sacked in Leicester

Postal workers were shocked to hear this week that Simon Furze, a well known and highly effective CWU union rep at Royal Mail’s Leicester North delivery office, has been sacked.

Bristol post workers threaten strike over sackings

The possibility of a post strike across the Bristol area took a step forward as the CWU union stepped up its campaign for the reinstatement of three workers who were sacked for alleged incidents relating to last year’s national dispute.

Battle for Oxford post

CWU union members in Oxford delivery offices are balloting over executive action – changes imposed without consultation with the union – by Royal Mail.

Michael Rosen selects his favourite children’s books

Adults become attached to children’s books in three overlapping ways – as memories of when they were children, as moments when reading books with children in their care and as pleasurable reads in themselves.

Thousands of workers to fight the public sector pay freeze

Street sweepers, school cooks, refuse workers, teaching assistants and the hundreds of thousands of other people doing vital jobs in local councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are gearing up to take on Gordon Brown’s pay curbs with two days of strike action on 16 and 17 July.

40,000 Unite members to join strike

Some 40,000 local government workers in the Unite union have voted by three to one to join the strike on July 16 and 17.

PCS union refuses to tighten its belt

Up to a 100,000 job centre workers, coastguards, driving examiners and other government workers are set to strike alongside council workers.

Action will put Open in the bunker

The local government strike could even see disruption at the Open golf championship at Royal Birkdale on Merseyside.

Council bosses’ pay: the rich get richer

Some 818 local authority bosses earn more than £100,000. In 2006 it was 645.

Socialist Worker arrangements for strike on 16 & 17 July

Socialist Worker will be printing a day later on the week of the local government strikes to carry your reports and pictures from the picket lines.

Joining the SWP: ‘I wanted to make a stand’

Imagine this – you are at home watching TV and a British National Party (BNP) leaflet comes through your door urging you to come to a meeting they have organised on your estate.

Join protests as bosses sack health activist Yunus Bakhsh

Yunus Bakhsh, one of the most prominent trade union activists in the NHS, has been sacked by his employer. There needs to be a storm of protest over this outrage, which is an affront to every trade unionist and everyone who believes in justice.

Iraqi oil to be handed to the West

Global oil corporations are set to return to Iraq, some five years after the US-led invasion of the country that plunged it into chaos.

Pentagon admits occupation of Afghanistan in crisis

The Afghans know it. The soldiers on the ground know it. And now the Pentagon has admitted it. The occupation in Afghanistan is in severe crisis.

Map: Afghanistan/Pakistan border region

Barking College principal stands up to Nazi BNP’s bullying tactics

Anti-fascist activists have spoken out against the "bully boy tactics" used by a senior British National Party (BNP) councillor against the principal of Barking College in east London.

Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar cleared of contempt

There was cheering on the steps of Edinburgh’s high court on Tuesday morning as supporters heard that civil rights lawyer Aamer Anwar had been found not guilty of contempt of court.

MPs’ new expenses plan shows very little restraint

While many people are finding it ever harder to pay their housing costs, MPs are discussing how to reform their expenses and the second mortgages that we foot the bill for.

Unions could demand so much more from Labour

The Labour Party has avoided bankruptcy for the moment – at least financially – with the aid of city financiers.


Palestine: conference puts demand for one-state solution

Palestine’s most celebrated cartoonist, Naji Al-Ali, would have been so delighted. His iconic character, Hanthala, the eleven year old refugee boy, who, before Al-Ali’s assassination, exposed the Arab world to some bitter truths about the failure of solidarity with the Palestinians, has re-appeared in the most unexpected circumstances.

Indian workers take on the supermarkets

As shareholders at supermarket giant Tesco grappled last week with the question of whether to award more rights to the chickens sold at their British stores, trade unionists and campaigners were raising the plight of another species, the workers in Tesco’s Indian supply chain.

Zimbabwe: resistance from below is the way to challenge Mugabe

The most effective challenge to Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship is to help the Zimbabweans who have been struggling against the regime for the best part of a decade.


Why the NHS is still critical at 60

This month sees the 60th anniversary of the founding of the National Health Service.

Turkey’s ‘slow’ military coup

Here I sit in a small earthly paradise above the Athenaeum Bookshop, as writer-in-residence, while a military coup is slowly progressing back home.

Police officer explains how racism row shakes the Met

Shocking news was released last week that Assistant Commissioner Tariq Ghaffur, Britain’s most senior ranking black police officer, was preparing papers alleging race discrimination against the Metropolitan Police and its commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

Zimbabwe shows West’s hypocrisy

I was fifteen in November 1965, when the racist regime of Ian Smith illegally declared Zimbabwe – or the settler colony of Southern Rhodesia, as it then was – independent of Britain. My family lived in the capital city, Salisbury, today called Harare.


Population: is the world full up?

For more than 200 years there have been people who have argued that the world is overpopulated, and that this is the main cause of poverty, unemployment, homelessness and damage to the environment.

When Irish workers united and revolted

In 1910 James Connolly returned to Ireland after working for seven years as a revolutionary in the US. His return coincided with the publication of his major pioneering work, Labour in Irish History.

Alain Krivine on the French LCR's initiative for an anti-capitalist party

The LCR has initiated the formation of a new broader party that it hopes will become a home for wide layers of people opposed to neoliberalism. The initiative grew out of rising struggle in France.

Why we should defend migrant workers

Anyone reading the press or listening to politicians’ speeches will notice periodic attempts to whip up fears about immigration "running out of control" and to blame immigrants for creating all manner of social problems.

EU attacks on migrants

The European Parliament has adopted a new law known as the Returns Directive which is aimed at fast tracking mass deportations.

Migrant workers in unions: ‘We are on strike for respect’

The current dispute by cleaners on London Underground shows the reality of a migrant workforce that keeps Britain running and that is fighting for decent pay and working conditions.


Radical Light: Italy’s Divisionist Painters

Many Socialist Worker readers will be familiar with The Fourth Estate, the masterpiece by the Italian socialist painter Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo.

Culture at the Marxism 2008 festival

The annual Marxism festival brings together activists, writers and campaigners from across the world to discuss the key political issues and the importance of Marxist ideas today.

The Malkies: folk music that brings hope of a better world to come

Suited and Booted is the first album by the new band The Malkies. It’s a collection of old and new songs that chronicle the struggle of ordinary people against our rulers.

What We Think

Don’t forget Iran

The threat of George Bush authorising an attack on Iran remains a live one.

Trade union rights under threat

The right of trade unions to take action to defend their members is under constant attack from the Labour government and the neoliberal agenda of the European Union (EU).

Gordon Brown faces a new crisis in Scotland

Following the Labour Party losing its deposit and coming fifth in last week’s Henley by-election, senior Scottish Labour officials now fear that they will lose the Glasgow East by-election, which will be called later this month.

Other Categories

Tim: Gordtanic



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