Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2109

Dated: 12 Jul 2008

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G8 leaders condemn us to poverty

An enormous economic crisis is gripping the world. In the Global South millions of people are being reduced to levels barely above starvation, as rising food and fuel prices help drive back years of slow improvements to health.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


US planes bomb Afghan civilians

US warplanes killed at least 27 women and children who were escorting a bride to a wedding party in Afghanistan last Sunday.

Israel’s threat to Iran pressures US

The US is so bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan that recent threats by Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear sites has sent waves of panic through the US military.

Argos workers fight a catalogue of insults

Warehouse and distribution workers at Argos, one of Britain’s biggest and most profitable retail chains, have voted by 67 percent to strike against a below-inflation pay offer.

Reports round-up

Last call for new pay offer Cleaners in the Unite union working for Initial Air Services at Manchester Airport will strike for three days from Thursday of next week over pay.

Leeds strike to defend union activist

Workers at East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL) were set to strike this Wednesday in defence of Unison union activist John McDermott

London bus workers to march for pay and conditions

Bus workers across the different companies operating in London are to march on 24 July to demand better pay and conditions.

TUC LGBT Conference

Over 200 equality activists from 31 trade unions met last week at the TUC’s annual LGBT conference to discuss combating homophobia and transphobia.

Thousands join Pride march in London

Tens of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) and their supporters joined the annual Pride march in central London last Saturday.

The PCS DWP executive is wrong to say no to strikes

The PCS civil service workers’ union group executive in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) made a decision last week that is a setback to the campaign against the attacks on public sector pay.

Health and safety walkout Dragon natural gas terminal

About 600 workers at the Dragon Liquefied Natural Gas terminal site in Waterston, Milford Haven, west Wales walked out on Sunday of last week over health and safety following the death of a worker.

Unison turns on health activist Yunus Bakhsh

There was shock and anger in the Unison union this week as it emerged that its leaders plan to proceed with a discplinary hearing into Yunus Bakhsh, the high profile activist who last week was sacked from his job as a psychiatric nurse.

Strike against Bolton academy

In an important fight over city academies, members of the Unison and NUT unions at the Hayward school in Bolton have voted to strike over plans to transfer the school out of local authority control and transform it into an academy.

Less than inflation offer for lecturers

The Association of Colleges made a revised pay offer to lecturers in further education last week. The offer was 3.2 percent – up from the previous offer of 2.5 percent.

Local Government Association endorses council housing demands

The Tory led Local Government Association, representing all councils across England and Wales plus a list of other key local authority and professional organisations, has endorsed the Defend Council Housing’s key demands in a new hard hitting report.

Royal Mail steps up attacks on union activists

Activists in the postal workers’ CWU union are disturbed by the growing number of activists who have been sacked or who face serious disciplinary charges for the "crime"of being good trade unionists.

London Underground cleaners’ strike: ‘We are living on crumbs’

The strike by 700 cleaners on the London Underground for 48 hours from Tuesday of last week brought to public attention the workers who keep the capital running.

Abortion rights: a matter of access

Zoe Williams is a journalist on the Guardian newspaper who has written frequently on abortion and women’s rights.

Marxism 2008: Debating the struggle for a better world

Around 4,100 people from across Britain and the world came to this year’s Marxism festival held in central London last weekend.

Stop the demonisation of Britain’s young people

The Tories and the tabloid press have waded into the debate on knife crime with demands for mandatory and longer prison sentences for those found carrying knives.

Abortion: a chance to improve women’s rights

After successfully beating back a parliamentary attack on abortion rights in May, activists now have a chance to improve abortion law.

Nazi BNP to target Stoke for anti-Muslim rally

The fascist British National Party (BNP) plans to ratchet up its hate campaign against Muslims by calling a "national rally" in Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday 9 August.

Labour’s crisis: Gordon Brown tells us to eat the scraps

Gordon Brown will arrive back from the G8 summit in Japan to face growing speculation that his days as prime minister are numbered.

Knife crime: ‘crackdowns’ are no solution

Most people are rightly horrified at the number of young people who are victims of knife crime or violent attack.

650,000 workers to strike against Brown's pay freeze

Hundreds of thousands of workers are gearing up to take on Gordon Brown's pay curbs.

Gordon Brown shows his true colours on trade union laws

Gordon Brown announced last Sunday that he will not reform the Tory anti-trade union laws. "Successful governments are those whose eyes are fixed on the future not harking back to the past," he said.

British Museum workers walk out on strike over pay

Civil service workers in the Prospect and PCS unions at the British Museum in London came out on strike on Friday afternoon last week over a below-inflation pay offer.

Unite rallies the health workers

Health workers in the Unite union are gearing up for a day of action over a three-year below-inflation pay rise.

Rallies and marches on day of local government strike

Wednesday 16 July

Head of trust which sacked Karen Reissmann resigns

Sheila Foley, the chief executive of Manchester Mental Health and Social Care trust has resigned following a damning report into the trust's service provision.

Leader of teachers’ union missing in Zimbabwe

Harassment of trade unionists in Zimbabwe has continued since the election.

Workers at C Brown Steels strike again

Over 80 members of Unite struck for a third day on Monday of this week at C Brown Steels, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, in a dispute over pay. Their demand for a 6 percent increase has been met by a management offer of 3.5 percent now and 2 percent next year.


Plan to close mosque highlights anti-immigrant bias of Italian government

The Italian home affairs minister, Roberto Maroni, a member of the hardline, anti-immigrant Northern League, has ordered the closure of Milan’s largest mosque. The Jenner mosque attracts 4,000 worshippers each week.

Teachers’ strike brings Nigeria’s schools to a halt

An indefinite national strike has closed primary and secondary schools across Nigeria in West Africa.

Cry out in anger at Egypt’s show trials

The US-backed regime of Hosni Mubarak is prosecuting 49 Egyptians in the Emergency High State Security Criminal Court. It is accusing them of involvement in the recent two day uprising in the Nile Delta town of Mahalla.

South Korea’s movement is on the streets in Seoul

More than half a million people took to the streets of South Korea’s capital, Seoul, last Saturday in the latest wave of a movement that is shaking the government of Lee Myung-bak.


Speaking out: fear of violence and increased police harassment dominates young people’s lives

Leila Assaf – 16, east London ‘People usually carry knives for protection. I live in Hackney, east London, which is quite a rough area. So all my friends have got knives.


Marcus Garvey: a liberating legacy of challenging racism

Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey inspired millions in the 1920s with slogans like, "Up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will" and "Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men."

Explaining the roots of the global economic crisis

Economic crises are unpredictable. In periods of economic growth there is a powerful ideology at work that insists the good times will last forever. Voices that point to problems ahead tend to be marginalised.

Afghanistan’s history of invasion and resistance

In March 1836 Lord Auckland, the British governor of India, wrote to the Afghan ruler Amir Dost Mohammed with no apparent sense of irony, "You are aware that it is not the practice of the British government to interfere with the affairs of other independent states."

Afghanistan was a pawn in the Cold War between US and Russia

After the Second World War and the independence of India, Britain declined as an imperial power and the US replaced it.

Rising up against imperialism and war

In 1910, the year that James Connolly returned to Ireland from the US, the British Liberal government introduced a Home Rule Bill for Ireland.


There Ain’t No Black In The Union Jack

The Hackney Empire theatre in east London is hosting a season of performances this month exploring notions of "citizenship" and "culture". The season is inspired by the work of the left wing cultural theorist Paul Gilroy.

Through Arab Eyes exhibition

The work of two Arabic artists is featured in this free exhibition in Liverpool this weekend.

Ragga Twins Step Out

The sounds of drum & bass are such a familiar part of the musical landscape these days that it’s easy to forget its roots in the heady brew of reggae and techno that characterised the early 1990s rave scene in London.

Atis-Rezistans: The Sculptors Of Grand Rue

Atis-Rezistans: The Sculptors Of Grand Rue is a new documentary by photographer Leah Gordon that profiles the work of artists from the slums of Port au Prince, Haiti.


Tunisian-born writer and director Abdellatif Kechiche has produced a brilliantly unsentimental portrait of working class life in Sète, a port town on the French Mediterranean coast.

Tony Hancock: comedy, class and conformism in the 1950s

One of the sadder anniversaries of 1968 is that it is 40 years since the suicide of Tony Hancock, one of Britain’s best loved comedians, in June 1968 at the age of 44.

What We Think

Labour MPs’ expensive principles

Socialist Worker would like to apologise. In the past we have suggested that Labour MPs were spineless cowards who would never rebel. But last week 146 of them did.

Don’t join New Labour’s sinking ship

The waves are lapping ever higher around Gordon Brown – yet many figures on the left have reacted by becoming ever more strident in demanding we cling to New Labour’s wreckage.

Stand up to this tide of anti-Muslim hatred

It is now three years since the 7 July terrorist attacks on London that killed 52 people along with the four bombers. Those three years have witnessed a systematic ratcheting up of prejudice and hate propaganda against Muslims.

Other Categories

Tim: Don’t throw out leftovers



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