Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2135

Dated: 24 Jan 2009




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Take the banks from the bosses

As economic recession tears into Britain, millions of us spend our nights fearing for the future. More than half of all workers are worried that they might be on the dole by the end of the year.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Gaza protests continue around Britain

Protests against Israel’s assault on Gaza have continued around Britain.

Pictures of Gaza protests around Britain (1)

Pictures of Gaza protests around Britain (2)

Pictures of Gaza protests around Britain (3)

New Derry protest against Raytheon's complicity in Israel's war crimes

Nine women protested in Derry, Northern Ireland, to stop Raytheon selling military components to Israel.

Don’t buy Gordon Brown’s lies on Heathrow expansion

New Labour’s claims to have any sort of green environmental policy are in tatters after it gave the go-ahead for the expansion of Heathrow airport last week.

Socialism or Zionism: a tale of two grandads

I have two Jewish great-grandfathers, Leon Simon and Gustav Mayer. Their different political trajectories cast a light on the history of Jewish people in the first half of the 20th century.

Bailout will mean cuts

The government is committed to £5 billion in "efficiency savings".

A bank worker speaks out

"The anger and bitterness of workers at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is intense.

Gordon Brown throws more money into growing banking black hole

The latest bailout of the banks will cost at least £200 billion according to the government’s own figures – and we will get nothing in return.

World rulers panic as banks’ crisis returns

Gordon Brown’s bailout for the banks reflects a growing sense of panic among the ruling class as the economic crisis deepens.

Reports round-up

Get the housing message out The Defend Council Housing (DCH) campaign group has distributed 35,000 copies of the latest edition of its newspaper since 1 January.

Redundancies threatened at London Metropolitan university

Workers at London Metropolitan university are fighting a serious attack on jobs after management announced it wants to lose 330 full-time equivalent jobs.

Lecturers vote to strike

Members of the UCU lecturers’ union at 11 colleges have voted to strike on Thursday 5 February.

UCU left candidates in upcoming election

The UCU lecturers union will begin electing new national officers and members for its national executive committee at the beginning of February.

Barnsley teachers to strike over colleague's pay cut

Teachers in the NUT union at Joseph Locke primary school in Barnsley are to strike for three days this week in solidarity with a member who faces a pay cut of £4,000.

Defend Oldham NUT rep Mac Andrassy

NUT teachers’ union rep and leading anti-academy campaigner Mac Andrassy was suspended from his job at Counthill school in Oldham on Wednesday of last week on a charge of gross misconduct.

Socialist Teachers' solidarity with Palestine

Building solidarity with the Palestinian people was a key theme of a national meeting of the Socialist Teachers Alliance (STA) held last Saturday.

Anti-academies round-up

Anti Academies Alliance AGM Over 50 people attended the annual general meeting of the Anti Academies Alliance last Saturday, representing 33 campaigns and union branches.

Derby celebrates win over academy plans

Campaigners in Derby won an important victory last week when the council withdrew plans to transform Sinfin community school into an academy school.

Murdoch press to decide on Amicus/Unite union election?

Rupert Murdoch is trying to influence the votes of hundreds of thousands of workers in the election for general secretary of the Amicus section of the Unite union.

Yunus Bakhsh: Revelations, resignation and anger

Kerry Cafferty, the author of a complaint against leading health trade unionist Yunus Bakhsh, has resigned from the Unison union after she was exposed as a member of several Facebook groups that are a focus for racists. She was also a "Facebook friend" of open members of the British National Party.

Public meeting held on Herald crisis

More than 60 people attended a public meeting on the crisis at the Herald group of newspapers in Glasgow on Thursday of last week.

Chemilines campaign shifts down a gear

Plans for a three-day strike, a public meeting and a march by workers at the Chemilines pharmaceuticals firm in north west London have been put on ice.

Where’s the fight to save the post service?

Government plans to part-privatise Royal Mail threaten a jobs massacre and the smashing of one of the best-unionised industries in Britain. But, according to some leading CWU union activists, the leadership of their union has so far failed to deliver a strategy to resist this.

New strikes over London bus pay

Some 300 bus workers employed by Sovereign in north west London are set to strike on Monday of next week and again on 11 February.

Barack Obama sworn in amid hope and uncertainty

Thousands of Americans have travelled to Washington DC this week to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama as the new US president.

A conflict of interests in Obama's different supporters

The fundamental test that Obama faces is not so much about the timescale or extent of his policy changes, but about the conflicting bases of his underlying support.

Eyewitness report: Israel is guilty of war crimes

Israel has been using banned weapons such as white phosphorus and Dime bombs during its assault on Gaza, according to eyewitness evidence from Irish activist Caoimhe Butterly.

Gordon Brown gives Israel a licence to kill

The Israeli army’s murderous assault on Gaza has been carried out with weapons made in Britain.

Israel’s bloody war fails to achieve aims

Israel claimed victory over Hamas and other Palestinian resistance organisations as it announced a unilateral ceasefire last Sunday after spending three weeks pounding Gaza.

Start of Karen Reissmann's employment tribunal

Karen Reissmann, the nurse sacked after speaking out against the privatisation of mental health services in Manchester, this week presents her case for unfair dismissal to an Employment Tribunal.

Beirut conference calls for solidarity with Palestine

Palestine has become a unifying force across the globe. That was the main sentiment of a conference against imperialism that took place in Lebanon last weekend.

A revival of student militancy over Gaza

A mood of militancy and radicalism is sweeping Britain’s campuses following Israel’s attack on Gaza.

Activists take to the streets against the slaughter in Gaza

The scale and breadth of the demonstrations against Israel’s assault on Gaza has underlined a resurgence of the anti-war movement in Britain.

Councillors condemn Israeli terror

Preston council passed an emergency motion last week to condemn Israel’s military attack and economic blockade of Gaza, and to call for the suspension of the economic agreement between the EU and Israel.

London demo targets Israeli embassy

Up to 10,000 people attended a rally in Trafalgar Square on Saturday of last week.

Mass march in Middlesbrough

The biggest political demonstration in Middlesbrough’s recent history took place on Saturday of last week, as around 2,500 people filled the streets in support of Palestine.

Student occupations in solidarity with Gaza spread around Britain

A wave of student occupations in solidarity with the people of Gaza is continuing to spread across Britain. There are currently occupations at Kings College London and Oxford, Sussex, Newcastle and Kingston universities. There have also been sit ins at Warwick and Manchester Metropolitan.

Outrage as BBC blocks charity appeal for Gaza

The BBC is refusing to broadcast a charity appeal for the people of Gaza, breaking an agreement stretching back to 1963 whereby charities are granted free airtime for responses to major humanitarian disasters.

Socialist Worker student occupation special

Download the four page special issue of Socialist Worker detailing the student protests for Gaza and how they have spread

Scottish anti-war protesters occupy BBC headquarters in Glasgow

Over 150 supporters of Stop the War Coalition and Palestinian solidarity groups occupied the BBC's headquaters in Glasgow on Sunday evening.

Success of BBC Scotland occupation

An 150-strong occupation at BBC Scotland headquarters in Glasgow on Sunday finished after four hours.


International


Comment

Obma's scramble to buy time from voters

The conventional view is that Barack Obama’s presidency is going to struggle with the contradiction between the huge expectations invested in him and the glum realities of office. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that.


Features

Iran’s 1979 revolution

The US government hates Iran. One reason for this is that when the Iranian people overthrew a brutal dictator in 1979 they also inflicted a massive blow to US imperialism in the Middle East.

Malaysian skeletons refuse to stay in the cupboard

Skeletons rattle in cupboards. What do you do? Block your ears? Play some loud music to drown out the sound? Or gingerly open the cupboard to see what it is that is disturbing you?

Money shops: Pushing us into the red

The recession in Britain is deepening and ordinary people are paying the price – with hundreds more losing their jobs every day. But not everyone is suffering. For some the economic crisis represents a huge opportunity to make a cheap buck from other people’s misery.

Smashing the myth of a united Wales

By 1925 poverty in Wales was becoming unbearable.


Reviews

Film round-up

There are a number of interesting and political films to see at the moment. Here are Socialist Worker’s recommendations.

Flat Earth News

It should come as no surprise that the media is in crisis. Lies, distortion and omission are all par for the course.

Medicine and War: is war ever responsible for human progress?

The horrors of war are usually hidden from public gaze. The images we are allowed to see are those of soldiers setting off for war, on parade on their return, and – very occasionally – being carried home in flag-draped coffins.


What We Think

Trevor Phillips is wrong: Police are still racist

In a speech marking the tenth anniversary of the Macpherson report into the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, the equalities and human rights commissioner Trevor Phillips argued that the police should no longer be accused of institutional racism.

Beware nationalism in jobs fight

How our unions respond to job losses matters. Too often there is "disappointment" but little thought of action.

Hamas has the right to resist Israeli terror

Herschel Grynszpan, a young Jewish man, walked into the German embassy in Paris in November 1938 and shot a Nazi diplomat dead.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Oliver Twist?

Tim: Baby (killer) on board

Letters

We must stand together against imperialism The murderous Israeli bombardment and invasion of Gaza have rightly angered many people here in Britain. Tens of thousands have taken part in protests against Israel’s actions and in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Israeli leaders condemned with their own words

"If we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day."Arnon Soffer, head of research at the Israeli Defence Force’s National Defence College



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