Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2124

Dated: 25 Oct 2008




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Stop the repo man

Thousands of people in Britain are threatened with losing their homes and Gordon Brown is refusing to take any action to stop it.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

The US and Britain: a strained ‘special’ relationship

It will come as no surprise to know that British troops helped the US to train the Georgian army. Or that Britain is providing assistance to the US-Ethiopian puppet regime in Somalia, a regime notorious for torture and massacre.

Turmoil means historic opportunity for the left

"This is the left’s once in a lifetime opportunity to push for radical change in the system.

SWP delegates discuss responses to the recession

The depth of the economic crisis and the urgent need for a response from the labour movement shaped a national meeting of elected delegates from Socialist Worker Party (SWP) branches last Sunday.

Glenrothes by-election: Growing bitterness in Gordon Brown’s backyard

The billion-pound bailout of the banks has fuelled widespread bitterness over the way the system is letting ordinary people down.

Voices from Glenrothes: ‘That bailout money could do so much around here’

With official inflation running at over 5 percent, many people in Glenrothes who spoke to Socialist Worker are clear that the government is more interested in saving banks than in helping ordinary people.

Anger after London bus strikes called off

In an outrageous attack on trade union democracy, London bus operators have used anti-union laws to stop a strike that would have seen more than 14,000 drivers take action on Wednesday of this week.

Privatisation threat to post

Business secretary Baron Peter Mandelson this week threw down the gauntlet to the trade union movement by announcing that, in his view, Royal Mail should be "part privatised".

Thousands of civil servants to strike for pay

Some 270,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union are set for a national strike and a programme of hard-hitting industrial action after voting for action over pay.

Reports round-up

Fighting fire cuts in Sedgley Campaigners fighting to save Sedgley fire station in the West Midlands have handed over a petition with 12,000 signatures opposing the closure to West Midlands Fire Authority.

Hotel chef Virgilio Teixira wins reinstatement

Hotel chef Virgilio Teixira wins reinstatement

Jean Charles de Menezes inquest: Military surveillance officer cross examined

Evidence at the inquest into the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes by the Metropolitan Police continues.

Justice for Azelle Rodney

Three years on there is still no justice for Azelle Rodney, a young black man shot dead by police officers in north London in April 2005.

London Underground management back down on suspension

The campaign by the RMT transport union against the victimisation of Andy Littlechild, a union rep at the Metronet maintenance company, has forced management into a climbdown.

Transport workers protest in Brussels

Workers under attack as councils make cuts

Up and down the country councils are launching assaults on the terms and conditions of workers.

Push to build yes vote for strikes over teachers’ pay

Teachers in the NUT union have less than two weeks to build the yes vote in their national ballot for strike action over pay.

Opposing academies in Bolton and Derby

School teachers in Derby and Bolton have been on strike this week against plans to turn their schools into academies.

Higher education union meeting to discuss pay claim

The higher education (HE) sector of the UCU union meets on 7 November to discuss the pay claim that we will be submitting to our employers.

Celebrate Sats victory

There was jubilation in secondary schools last week as the government announced it was scrapping Sats tests for 14 year olds in English, maths and science.

Preston anti-academies campaign

It’s been a busy week for anti-academy campaigners in Preston. On Wednesday local councillor Michael Lavalette was elected as a parent governor at Fulwood high school.

Barnsley college dispute resolved

Members of the UCU union at Barnsley college have voted to call off their campaign of strikes to win the reinstatement of sacked UCU branch official Bob Willerton.

Our unions must fight the scourge of unemployment

Brick factory worker David Salt is among thousands of workers who joined the dole queues this week. The 47-year old from Stoke-on-Trent was made redundant at a just a day's notice.

Ford workers in Southampton walk out against closure

Hundreds of workers at Ford's Southampton plant have walked out unofficially against threats of closure.

Gordon Brown sets his dogs on parents, women and migrant workers

The New Labour government has reacted to the economic crisis by lashing out at working people. The last week has seen a series of ministers mount attacks on parents, women and migrant workers.

Pensioners tell MPs: 'We can't live on £90 a week'

Activists with the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) were to lobby parliament on Wednesday of this week to mark 100 years since the introduction of the state pension – and to demand a rise in the pitifully low current state pension rate. The lobby is backed by many trade unions and by the TUC.

How inflation is eating into your wages

Figures released last week showed that inflation hit a 16-year high in September.

Got lots of money? Then don't pay any tax

More than one in four of Britain's biggest companies do not pay any corporation tax, and many are using tax avoidance measures to get round the rules.

Liverpool council workers are fighting for their jobs

Hundreds of workers lobbied Liverpool city council on Wednesday of last week in protest at planned job cuts.

Leeds anti-Nazi protest is music to our ears

The fascists were humiliated in Leeds last weekend after hundreds of young people turned out to block their attempts to whip up race hatred in the city.

Chart of City bonuses

US and British deal hits the buffers in Iraq

A deal that would formalise the occupation of Iraq by the US and Britain has run aground – again.

UCU on strike at Nottingham Trent over derecognition

Members of the UCU lecturers’ union at Nottingham Trent university struck on Tuesday of this week in protest at management threats to derecognise their union.

It's time to take on threat of Nato, vows CND conference

On 4 April next year the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) will celebrate its 60th anniversary. It pretends to be a defensive military alliance – but the recent conflict between Georgia and Russia shows the true purpose of Nato and why the peace movement must oppose its existence.

Government blocks improvements in abortion rights

The Labour government has disgracefully blocked attempts to improve abortion law in Britain for the first time in 40 years.


International

Mass protests in Italy to stop cuts

Cries of "Berlusconi, now you know what people think of you!" rang through the streets of Rome last Friday as half a million people demonstrated against the right wing government. Milan and Turin each saw marches of 50,000 too.

Protests save 800 jobs in India

"Jet Airways lays off 800 staff". So read the headlines in India’s newspapers on Wednesday of last week. Just 24 hours later they had changed to "Jet Airways reinstates 800 staff".

Recession creates trouble for China

Events in the Chinese economy and decisions by the Chinese government will have major consequences for how the global recession develops.


Comment

The White Tiger: how India's poor pay for market's failings

"Growth will be our mount, equity will be our companion, and social justice will be our destination."

SNP’s reforms hit limits of system

The crisis of neoliberal globalisation meant the Scottish National Party (SNP) conference last week was far less triumphal than might have been predicted only six months ago.

Big flaws in Labour’s new spending plans

How quickly New Labour’s old orthodoxies of the free market have come crashing down.


Features

Did the ‘New Deal’ benefit US workers?

The events of the past month have brought the question of state intervention in markets into sharp focus. Since the rise of neoliberalism 30 years ago, belief in the rule of the free market has become absolute among our rulers.

Afghanistan: where now for the unwinnable war?

General David Petraeus, the US military’s supreme commander for the Middle East and Central Asia, has launched a review of the "war on terror" that could lead to a U-turn in military policy in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: eyewitness to the camps

Heading south west out of Kabul the buildings gradually dissipate until the sprawl of semi-deserted workshops give way to the desert. Further down the road a vast sea of flimsy tents come into view.

Images from Afghanistan


Reviews

William Blake: Angels and Imagination

William Blake claimed to experience visions throughout his life and he used these to explore ideas of religion, spirituality and philosophy in his art.

Babul and the Blue Bear

Babul and the Blue Bear is a fresh, anarchic and unique piece of theatre that brings together the worlds of hip hop, mask, puppetry and street art in a bold, dynamic and original way.

La Zona

La Zona is set within a "walled community" in Mexico. It uses a violent robbery to look at class, poverty and corruption.

A Most Wanted Man - John Le Carré

"We don’t ask him to become a traitor. We offer him a new definition of loyalty." And with a comment like that from a spy, you know you’re tucking into a John Le Carré novel.

Robert Capa and Gerda Taro: Capturing moments of suffering and resistance

"If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough," stated Robert Capa, the famous war photographer. Well no one could accuse Capa of not getting close enough.


What We Think

New Labour’s murky ‘coalition’

Some commentators have taken recent noises emanating from Downing Street as an indication of a "leftwards shift" by the government.

More ‘war on terror’ lies from Labour

In May 2004, Tony Blair told MPs that neither he nor any member of his government knew anything about the torture of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison.

Alistair Darling rediscovers love of public spending

We are all Keynesians now, it seems. Last week chancellor Alistair Darling proclaimed, "Much of what Keynes wrote still makes sense." Not so long ago this would have been heresy.


Other Categories

Tony Reid

Comrades in Preston are sorry to hear of the death of Tony Reid, a well-known trade union activist and campaigner in the city.

Tim: 'Send them back'

Letters

Police block anti-weapons protest The campaign against the Brighton-based ITT weapons systems factory organised a march in the city on Wednesday of last week. Over 500 people assembled at Falmer station. They were quickly intercepted by an enormous police operation.



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