Dated: 29 Nov 2008
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Gordon Brown’s pre-budget report this week has been heralded by the media as marking the end of three decades of Thatcherism.
Looking at where the people on the British National Party (BNP) list live – and the kinds of jobs they do – tells us a lot about the nature of their support.
Just over five years ago I was sitting at home marking my pupils’ work when a neighbour banged on the front door to say our car was on fire.
The leaked BNP list contains some 12,800 names. Not all of these are members of the party – some of the names have not paid subscriptions for three years.
For years the mainstream media has peddled a myth about racism and fascism – that they are primarily an affliction of the "white working class", and that respectable people steer clear of such unsavoury political affiliations.
"Economic meltdowns are one of the drivers of political revolutions – and the BNP must be ready to take advantage of the mess all of the other parties have made of the economy."
The tax cuts unveiled by chancellor Alistair Darling on Monday were cheered by the Labour Party faithful. But one only has to glance at the recent shocking turn of events in the US to see why these tax cuts will fail to rescue the economy.
A packed pre-launch event for LGBT History Month was held in an east London school on Wednesday of last week.
The fourth annual conference of the Twinning With Palestine Network took place in London last Saturday.
More than 40 supporters of the People Before Profit Charter demonstrated outside the Halifax bank in Hackney, east London, last Saturday.
Some 3,500 workers at Scottish Water are set to strike for 24 hours from Thursday over pay. The workers, members of the Unison and GMB unions, are angry that management has imposed a below-inflation pay deal of 3 percent over 15 months.
Over 100 people from all walks of life came together in Manchester on Thursday of last week to mark the seventh anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan.
Asbestos cancer victims and their families have won an important test case over compensation for their illness.
NHS trade union activists in the Unite union are gearing up for a day of action over pay on Wednesday 3 December.
The Unite union’s pay campaign on the London buses is reaching a critical moment.
Hundreds of bus drivers at Stagecoach Bluebird in north east Scotland struck for 24 hours on Friday of last week over pay.
Britain’s biggest public sector union has expelled one of its best-known activists following a campaign against him that has lasted for nearly two years.
As attacks on jobs, pensions and working conditions grow, the question of whether workers can fight back against them is a crucial debate.
Workers at Calcast in Derry, Northern Ireland, have gone into occupation after 90 redundancies were announced.
"I worked at the Hoover plant for 18 years until 1980," says Huw. "It was good solid work. My whole family worked there – my father, uncle, two brothers and myself. There wasn’t a family round here that wasn’t connected to that place.
The government’s plans announced this week involve suspending a proposed tax increase of 1 percentage point on profits for small business.
Chancellor Alistair Darling announced £5 billion in "efficiency savings" as part of his pre-budget report.
Tax The pre-budget report announced an increase in the top rate of income tax to 45 percent on those earning more than £150,000 – the top 1 percent of earners – to much fanfare.
The pre-budget report announced by chancellor Alistair Darling on Monday of this week was trailed by days of media speculation about its contents. It was widely seen to represent the government’s definitive statement on how to tackle the economic crisis.
Some 40 teachers in the Socialist Teachers Alliance (STA) met last Saturday.
Truck drivers in the Unite union are on strike for the fourth week in pursuit of a pay claim in Barrow-in-Furness. The drivers are employed by TDG, a firm which provides transport for the Kimberley-Clark paper mill.
Meat hygiene inspectors in the Unison union have voted two to one in favour of strike action over cuts to overtime payments and the introduction of a "work anytime" system.
Around 50 members of the CWU union who work for British Telecom protested in Coventry against management’s use of performance management to intimidate staff.
Workers at the University of Sussex took part in a fourth day of strike action on Thursday of last week against planned attacks on their pension scheme.
Over 500 people protested in Rochdale last Thursday over the council’s plans to attack the terms and conditions of its 8,000 workers through pay and grade restructuring. The lively protest had flags and banners from the Unison, Unite and GMB unions.
Anger continued this week over the three-year below-inflation pay deal negotiated by Unison. The deal affects more than one million workers in the NHS and it dominated last week’s meeting of the union’s health executive.
Union activists at the London Fire Authority were buoyed by the news that plans to shut the brigade museum and library have been dropped.
The Three CWU branches in the current ballot for strike action over mail centre closures are the Coventry area branch, the Eastern No 6 branch and the Northamptonshire amalgamated branch.
Hundreds of dock workers in Dover are set to strike for three days from Thursday of this week against plans to outsource 190 jobs. The workers are to kick off this round of strikes with a demonstration through the town on Thursday.
Socialist Worker is appalled at yesterday’s gun and grenade attacks in the centre of Mumbai and offers its condolences to the families of all those who have been killed or injured.
Iraqi supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr, the rebel Shia cleric, demonstrated in their tens of thousands in Baghdad on Friday of last week.
When the Asian tsunami of Christmas 2005 washed ashore on the east coast of Africa, it uncovered a great scandal.
The huge wave of protests by students, teachers, lecturers and school students continues to send shock waves across Italy. The demonstrations are against the Berlusconi government’s assault on secondary and higher education.
Last Thursday around 200,000 teachers and students took to the streets across France against the government’s attacks on education. The strike was called by all the teachers’ and students’ unions. The right-wing administration of Nicolas Sarkozy wants to cut the education budget rather than focussing on improving teaching and learning conditions.
Venezuela went to the polls last Sunday supposedly to elect new state governors and mayors. In reality the election was a confidence vote in left wing president Hugo Chavez.
The parallels between the present crisis and the 1930s are growing. Summing up the steep falls in financial markets, last Saturday’s Financial Times said, "All this is consistent with the fear that the world is heading for a true depression, that will at least bear comparison with that of the 1930s."
Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher famously said, "There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.
In July 1944 the leaders of 44 Allied countries met in a small New Hampshire town called Bretton Woods to discuss how to run the global economy in the post-war world.
The global ruling class is caught in the grip of panic and confusion. Until only recently there were hopes that the world’s newly emerging economies – such as China and others that had undergone rapid growth – could offer a way out.
As the global financial crisis broke one of the countries where ordinary people especially held their breath was Indonesia.
Pakistan is facing economic collapse. Inflation has soared to a 30-year high and in October its currency plunged to an all-time low.
Last year the governing party in Poland proclaimed that it could build a miracle economy.
In an anti-war poem Bertolt Brecht, the German playwright and poet, tells the story of the First World War.
This newly discovered work by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas was written during the Second World War when he was employed by the BBC to write radio talks and features.
An all female line-up of comedians are coming together to celebrate the Abortion Rights group’s work over the last year.
This is the fourth and final work in a series of anti-George Bush albums produced by US folksinger George Mann.
Waltz With Bashir is a film that highlights the horror of war.
Once a vital part of the industrial north west of England, then a post-industrial wasteland, the Salford Quays are now the epitome of "regeneration".
As the number of home repossessions rises, the scandal of empty homes is also increasing – there are almost 900,000 empty homes in Britain.
US president-elect Barack Obama has put forward a "stimulus" package for the US economy that makes chancellor Alistair Darling’s pre-budget proposals taste like weak milky tea.
The Tories and the Murdoch press are crying out that Britain will face bankruptcy in a few years thanks to Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling’s supposed extravagance in this week’s pre-budget report. They claim our children’s future is threatened.