Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2111

Dated: 26 Jul 2008




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‘My son was killed by a knife but he was failed by the system’

Leon Francis was just 24 years old when he was fatally stabbed in December last year.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Union’s strength has Argos bosses in a panic

Alison Beesley is the Unite deputy convenor at Argos’s Basildon depot. She joined the company nine years ago and was one of the first shop stewards when the union was recognised a year later.

Zimbabwe solidarity

The Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees last week coordinated a series of meetings to discuss solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.

Staying vigilant against the fascists in Stoke

The fascist British National Party (BNP) has called off its planned national rally in Stoke-on-Trent on 9 August. But anti-Nazi activists are remaining on the alert in case the BNP hold their Muslim-bashing event in the city later that month.

Pat Carmody victimisation

More than 40 protesters gathered outside the offices of Pell & Bales in central London on Tuesday last week to give noisy support to CWU union activist Pat Carmody.

Strikes to hit Network Rail

Network Rail maintenance workers Around 12,000 Network Rail maintenance workers in the RMT transport union are set to strike from 12 noon this Saturday in a fight to win harmonisation of terms and conditions.

People Before Profit Charter strikes a chord across the picket lines

The cost of food, petrol and fuel is going through the roof, with gas bills predicted to hit £1,000 a year in coming years. Meanwhile workers are being told they have to swallow pay cuts in real terms.

London bus workers march for decent pay

There was a mood of determination and defiance as up to 500 London bus workers took to the streets earlier today to demand an equal and higher rate of pay across the city.

Bolton anti-academy activists chalk up a success

A desperate attempt to turn the Hayward school in Bolton into an academy by September came unstuck last week.

Litany of failures at private firm sparks Sats chaos

Almost a third of 14 years olds taking their Sats tests in English at school will have their results delayed this year thanks to bungling by the private company ETS Europe, which was hired to process their exam papers.

Reports round-up

93 percent vote for health strike Members of the Unite union at Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge hospitals have voted by 93 percent for industrial action after the Trust imposed changes from weekly to monthly pay.



Unison postpone Yunus Bakhsh disciplinary

Supporters of Yunus Bakhsh – the high profile nurse and activist who has been sacked for his trade union activities – were encouraged this week as the Unison union decided to postpone its own disciplinary action against him.

Sacking of Aberdeen firefighter sparks industrial action ballot

Firefighters working for Grampian fire and rescue service have voted to ballot for strike action after a colleague with 22 years of experience was sacked for being overweight.

Leeds demonstration for suspended ENEHL convenor

Over 30 Unison union members in Leeds demonstrated outside the Head Office of East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL) last Thursday while a meeting of the board of directors was taking place.

Unite NHS day of action

Members of the Unite union working in the NHS organised a national day of action over the three-year below-inflation pay deal imposed on health workers. Union members in London, Brighton, Norwich, Liverpool, Manchester, Nuneaton, Leeds, Poole, Belfast and Nottingham all held protests.

Government workers striking over low pay

A number of government departments have seen hard-hitting action in the last few days as the PCS civil service workers’ union launched a week of action over low pay.

Powerful strike hits councils

Over half a million workers, including classroom assistants, refuse collectors, admin workers, street sweepers, and other local government staff in the Unison and Unite unions, struck against low pay on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

Back the People Before Profit Charter for workers’ rights

The People Before Profit Charter to defend workers’ rights and conditions in the face of a deepening economic crisis is winning wide support among working class people.

Bus workers to join pay revolt

Hundreds of thousands of workers across Britain are fighting for decent pay, and bus workers in London are set to join them. Workers have resoundingly kicked out pay offers at most of the major bus companies.

Update: Pat Carmody reinstated

Shortly after Socialist Worker went to press this week, the CWU union announced that activist Pat Carmody had been reinstated in his job at Pell & Bales call centre. The CWU announcement is copied below.

Gordon Brown says he is a friend of Israel

Gordon Brown used an address to the Knesset – the Israeli parliament – earlier this week to make new threats against Iran and label those who oppose Israel as "antisemites".

US establishment is split on war strategy

Many of the world’s leaders are treating Barack Obama as the US "president in waiting". They are urging him to find a way to stabilise Afghanistan and cool tensions in the Middle East.

Rowntree report shows ‘Immigration is not the problem’

Many people in Britain value the cultural diversity that immigration brings, according to a new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that disputes many assumptions that underlie recent government policy over immigration.

BNP busted in Sheffield

Plans by the fascist British National Party (BNP) to hold a meeting in Sheffield last week were scuppered after protests by anti-Nazi campaigners.

New Labour yields to business interests over tax

Big business has welcomed chancellor Alistair Darling’s announcement that he has dropped plans to crack down on corporate tax avoidance and retreated on proposals to tax profits made by British companies abroad.

Warwick forum: Bailing out Brown in return for empty policy promises

Labour will hold its national policy forum at Warwick university on Friday, the day after the Glasgow East by-election.

Benefits ‘reform’ will mean misery for the very poorest

New Labour’s plans to shake up the benefits system, announced earlier this week, will hit millions of the most vulnerable people in society.

IVF: a miracle of science

Louise Joy Brown was born on 25 July 1978 at Oldham General Hospital – and the effects of this event still reverberate around the world today.

Video of London bus workers’ demo, 24 July

500 bus workers protested in central London demanding better pay and conditions, Thursday 24 July 2008


International

Zimbabwe socialist interviewed: ‘Our rulers have no answer to the crisis’

How does the current inflation affect ordinary people?

Genoa trials prove state’s violence

The protests against the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, in 2001 were one of the biggest and most important mobilisations in the European anti-capitalist movement.

Genoa protester: ‘I’m still angry at Blair’s support for the police’

Campaigners who faced violence and illegal detention at the hands of the Italian police in Genoa seven years ago have welcomed the conviction of some of those involved.


Comment

Single status judgement: A ‘poor deal’ that could cost the unions dear

In a decision that could potentially cost unions over £100 million, the Court of Appeal last week ruled that the GMB union discriminated against its women members while negotiating a pay deal with their employer.

Economic crisis: triple trouble at bursting bubble

Any illusion that the end is in sight for the global economic crisis has now vanished. One cheerleader for world capitalism, Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, recently admitted, "It has, in all likelihood, not even passed the end of its beginning."


Features

Iraq’s 1958 uprising

Late on the evening of 13 July 1958, the 20th Infantry Brigade of the Royal Iraqi Army broke camp at Jalawla and headed south, supposedly bound for Iraq’s border with Jordan.

Voices from Iraq’s 1958 revolution

Sabah Jawad "I remember the revolution of 1958 very well. A lot of people were excited because the king and his regent were very unpopular and were closely associated with the British.

What we can do to stop gun and knife crime

Not a day passes without a story about gun and knife violence featuring in the news. Politicians and political parties believe they will win or lose power depending on how well the public think they will deal with the issue of crime.


Reviews

Beggar & Co and The Grand Union Orchestra

Beggar & Co laid the muscial foundation for neo-soul, house and broken beat in Britain.

CSNY Déjà Vu

This documentary follows the US Freedom of Speech tour by 60-something rocker Neil Young in autumn 2006, supported by his legendary chums David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash who comprise CSNY.

Wall-E: A robots’ eye view of love, rubbish and Earthly crisis

This film is about a small, rather mucky robot called WALL-E whose main purpose is to compress and stack cubes of rubbish.

Edinburgh Festival: Palestine and Poland to offer highlights

With each passing year the Edinburgh Festival, or, more particularly, the huge Festival Fringe, appears to become increasingly commercial and dominated by stand-up comedians and rubbish cabaret shows.

We Need To See Evidence Of This: relational art that relates to working class people

We Need To See Evidence Of This is a remarkable piece of art made by young socialist artists, Roxanne Chappell and Donna Snell, that was recently shown in the Portsmouth University Space gallery


What We Think

Cheap potato blight

The grip of big business over the food industry means that the poor pay the price not just for rising prices, but also for sudden falls.

British use torture

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said last week, "The UK can no longer rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, and we recommend that the government does not rely on such assurances in the future."

Clinging to New Labour will benefit the right

Last week a senior trade union figure addressed his members in London. Warning that immigration scares could benefit the far right, he argued the need to keep up support for Labour.


Other Categories

Tim: war criminal

Letters

Don’t fall for Hazel Blears’s plan to co-opt Muslims The government last week set out new high profile proposals to deal with "extremism" in the Muslim community.

Who says?

"Labour has clearly lost touch with millions of core Labour voters. It has to do something to reverse that"Derek Simpson joint general secretary of the Unite union



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