Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2121

Dated: 04 Oct 2008

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No bailout for banks - seize their profits!

Would any sane person bail out a bank in order to take control of its debts but not its profits? No. Yet that’s exactly what George Bush, Gordon Brown and governments across the world are currently doing.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


London bus campaign is revving up for action on pay

Thousands of London bus workers in the Unite union look set to take part in united strike action in the second half of October.

Solid action shuts down Scotland

Pickets were out in force in Scotland on Wednesday of last week in a strike over the renegotiation of a below-inflation 2.5 percent pay offer.

Reports round-up

Scottish Water workers to ballot Workers at Scottish Water could be the latest public sector workers to take industrial action over a 2.4 percent pay rise.

Colleges round-up

FE pay Further education lecturers in the UCU union are being balloted from Monday of this week over their latest pay offer.

Sheffield academy ballot

Sheffield council is running a ballot of parents over plans to transform Parkwood school into an academy.

Sinfin community school strike in Derby

Members of the NASUWT teaching union at Sinfin community school in Derby took strike action on Thursday of last week over plans to transform the school into an academy.

Teachers out to win pay ballot

Around 250,000 teachers across England and Wales will be balloted from Monday of next week on whether to take national, discontinuous strike action over pay.

Why are City spivs running our schools?

With the global financial system currently in meltdown, surely it is time to stop handing our schools over to the people who are largely responsible for this disaster.

Tubeworkers moving towards action over suspended rep

Around 2,500 members of the RMT transport union at the Metronet tube infrastructure company are to ballot for action over the victimisation of a union rep, plans to reduce signals maintenance and attempts to impose rosters.

Last 'Bristol 3' postal worker wins reinstatement

Kay Gibbs, the last of the "Bristol 3" – three CWU union members who were sacked after last year’s national postal workers’ strike – has been reinstated.

We can beat Royal Mail

CWU union reps are meeting this week for a national briefing in a climate of continued attacks on the postal service and the conditions of its workers.

Mobilising for a big strike vote in the PCS

Activists in the PCS civil service workers’ union are mobilising to ensure that there is the biggest possible yes vote in the ballot of 270,000 members over below-inflation pay.

People Before Profit Charter: Protesting against the crisis is a gas

Around 30 supporters of the People Before Profit Charter held a lively picket outside British Gas’s Cardiff headquarters last Saturday to demand a windfall tax on energy company super profits.

Local government workers’ fury at union leaders’ decision

Workers across local government reacted with anger and dismay at their unions’ decision to go for binding arbitration in their fight against New Labour’s pay curbs rather than call more strike action in England and Wales.

Shockwave hits China and Japan

The epicentre of the economic earthquake might lie in the US, but its echoes are being felt around the world.

Africa: a continent living in fear of starvation

Supporters of the free market crow that foreign investment in sub-Saharan Africa has grown more than 30-fold since 1980. This, they say, proves market deregulation works.

US war woes intensify as instability spreads

As the global financial markets went into meltdown on Monday, US general David Petraeus came knocking at Gordon Brown’s door.

Turmoil on Wall Street hammers Moscow’s markets

The shockwaves from the US credit crisis have started to crash into Russia’s economy.

Europe’s economies teetering on the edge

Gordon brown and Alistair Darling are not alone in throwing good public money after bad private debts.

Labour’s migrant charge plan is a disgrace

Perhaps the most sickening moment in Gordon Brown’s speech to the Labour Party conference last week came when he boasted of plans to introduce a "migrant charge for public services".

Millenium goals review: billions remain mired in poverty

World leaders are nowhere near achieving their goals on reducing global poverty, the United Nations (UN) admitted last week.

Gordon Brown betrays Britain’s poor

Millions of children in Britain are being "failed by the system" and abandoned to a life of poverty, according to a new report released this week.

The SWP: resisting war and recession

The current economic turbulence is leading large numbers of people, students and workers alike, to question the system and look for an alternative to war and capitalism.

Nuclear lobby’s government ties

There has been a steady stream of warnings that Britain faces an energy crisis and blackouts this winter. This has boosted the idea that we need to build more nuclear power stations.

London's Olympic plans hit cash crisis

The chaos on the money markets has impacted into the building of the London 2012 Olympics – and the government will expect us to pick up the bill.

Time to step up the campaign for abortion rights

There is a renewed attack on abortion rights in Britain. Anti-abortionists are still trying to hijack the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill by tabling amendments attacking a woman’s right to choose.

Tories hedge their bets in attempt to relate to crisis

What faces us if David Cameron is elected prime minister? The Conservative leader and his party faced two ways at their conference this week as they struggled to respond to the mounting financial turmoil.

Talk of stability can’t hide New Labour’s problems

One unexpected side effect of the economic crisis is the – hopefully brief – return of smug arrogance to Gordon Brown.

Good riddance to police commissioner Ian Blair

Ian Blair the chief of the Metropolitan Police force has resigned – and London is a slightly safer place because of it.



Playing a dangerous game with our pensions

In the midst of all the headlines about banks going bust and billion dollar bailouts, one aspect of the chaos currently ripping through the financial markets has gone relatively unmentioned – the looming crisis in pension funds.

Irish banks are smiling

The collapse of Irish bank shares on Monday panicked the Irish government into announcing that they will guarantee the debt of at least six banks.

Panic and division hits US ruling class

Karl Marx famously wrote that "the executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie".


Slumps and struggle

George Bush’s apocalyptic televised address in the US last week will have signalled the seriousness of this economic crisis – even to those not already aware of it.

Karl Marx: interpreting the world in order to change it

The financial crisis has reached such levels that even Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has said that Karl Marx’s critique of "unbridled capitalism" is correct.

Northern Ireland 1968: Derry’s days of rage

On 5 October 1968 a few hundred demonstrators assembled in the mainly Protestant area of the Waterside in Derry in Northern Ireland.

New Labour’s affair with the super rich

The sheer scale of the global financial crisis has forced Gordon Brown and the government into making a few critical noises about "excesses" in the City and corporate greed.



This TV movie dramatises the turbulent 35 days after the 2000 US presidential election, when the result hung in the balance.

The Malkies at Cumberland Arms, Newcastle

Renowned folk artist Alastair Hulett and his new band the Malkies are performing in Newcastle this Sunday.

Yasser Alwan: The Liberty Of Appearing

Yasser Alwan’s photographs of Egypt’s workers raise questions of representation and photography.

Day By Day: Femi Kuti’s Afrobeat outrage at poverty and war

The tradition of thrilling Afrobeat, developed by the late Fela Kuti, is kept alive by his son Femi. With its hypnotic pulsing rhythms punctuated by bursts of brass, Afrobeat was always influenced by US music, from jazz and soul through to funk.

Beyond The Jiving: a sympathetic view of Britain’s youth in the 1950s

The London of the late 1940s was scarred by Second World War bombing and life was hard. Basic goods were in short supply and subject to rationing.

What We Think

The US, cluster bombs and 'weapons of mass destruction'

You might have thought George Bush’s administration had enough on its hands with the financial meltdown, but last week it was announced that the US air force is pressing ahead with a new generation of "intelligent" cluster bombs.

Building society demutualisation: Banking on success?

The state takeover of Bradford & Bingley brings the curtain down on one of the key chapters of Margaret Thatcher’s supposed "revolution" of the 1980s.

The Labour Party - to heal the system or to hasten its end?

According to Gordon Brown, "The stability of our system is something that we are doing everything in our power to maintain." In every crisis Labour governments have to choose between the interests of ordinary people and the interests of capitalism.

Other Categories

Julie Fowler

Activists on Tyneside were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of Julie Fowler last week.

Tim: splatnav

Leon Kuhn: 'We will clean up the City'


The real benefits scam Gordon Brown’s attitude to the desperate housing crisis faced by the poor became clear this week.

Who says?

"It’s not based on any particular data point. We just wanted to choose a really large number." US treasury spokesperson on being asked how the treasury came up with a $700 billion price tag for its Wall Street bailout plan

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