Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2136

Dated: 31 Jan 2009




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Step up solidarity for Gaza

Israel has reduced Gaza to a wasteland. It has killed over 1,300 people, around a third of them ­children. Thousands more have been left injured, homeless and traumatised. The United Nations describes Gaza as a site of "utter devastation".


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Sacked activist Karen Reissmann takes fight for justice to tribunal

Karen Reissmann’s employment tribunal began in Manchester on Monday.

Carlisle students turn up heat on academies

An angry protest by school students in Carlisle last week has highlighted the failures of the government’s city academies programme.

Journalists fight for jobs and media standards

Journalists are one group at the sharp end of bosses’ attempts to cut back on jobs and pay as the recession bites.

Urgent fight to stop post office privatisation

If the government is serious about minimising unemployment, why is it pushing ahead with plans that will lead to the slashing of tens of thousands of jobs in Royal Mail?

Crisis in pension provision is growing

The state pension is 100 years old this month – but new research shows it has plummeted in value over the past three decades. And the financial crisis is set to make this situation even worse.

Gas bill ‘cut’ is still a rip off

British Gas had the cheek to pretend it was doing customers a favour when it cut gas prices by 10 percent last week.

Gordon Brown wants us to cheer up as the recession deepens

Gordon Brown warned this week against "pessimism" over the economy.

Corus sacks 3,500 to boost its profits

For steelmaker Corus it seems the cost of 3,500 wrecked lives is £200 million.

Wirral organises fight against cuts

Over 50 people attended a meeting on Monday of last week in the Wirral to discuss the campaign against planned cutbacks to services in the area.

Humiliating result for BNP in Haywards Heath, Sussex

Anti-Nazi activists in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, have successfully seen off an attempt by the British National Party (BNP) to gain a foothold in the area.

Amicus election to start soon

Hundreds of thousands of workers in the Amicus section of the Unite union are preparing to vote for their general secretary.

Nazi link to Yunus Bakhsh smears?

What is the role of Nazi activists in the north east of England in the long running campaign to see health worker Yunus Bakhsh sacked from his job and expelled from the Unison union?

Anger in Glasgow at attack on education

Over 200 angry parents demonstrated outside Glasgow City Chambers on Friday of last week.

Action on academies in Croydon

NUT union members at five schools in Croydon, south London, struck on Tuesday of this week over plans to close their schools and replace them with academies.

Solid seven Barnsley teachers strike again

Seven teachers in the NUT union took part in a solid three-day strike at Joseph Locke primary school in Barnsley last week.

Support grows for suspended NUT rep

Support is growing for suspended NUT union rep and anti-academy campaigner Mac Andrassy.

Strikes over further education pay deal

The UCU lecturers’ union’s "IOU" pay implementation campaign will escalate on 5 February when 11 colleges will be taking strike action.

Up to 60 redundancies announced at Chemilines

The dispute at the Chemilines pharmaceuticals factory in Wembley, north west London, took another turn for the worse this week as the GMB union called off further strike action and the company announced plans for up to 60 redundancies.

Glasgow council strike enters fourth week

Some 21 community service supervisors employed by Glasgow council are in their fourth week of indefinite strike action.

Keep Our NHS Public roadshow in Camden

Ballot for strike at Morning Star

Journalists at the Morning Star daily left wing newspaper are balloting for action over pay. This could see the first ever pay strike at the Communist Party-run paper.

Strike threat over new Royal Mail contracts in north London

Royal Mail managers in north London are provoking possible strike action by introducing 35-hour contracts for new workers, instead of the 40-hour contracts that are agreed with the postal workers’ CWU union.

Fightback is needed over post delivery time cuts

Several delivery offices in Oxford are preparing for possible industrial action in protest at attempts by Royal Mail to impose changes to working practices without negotiation with the union. This is a clear breach of national and local agreements.

Bus workers’ pay fight is at a crossroads

The London bus pay campaign has reached a crucial junction. Thousands of Unite union members across several major companies are still waiting for news of a new ballot for strikes – more than three months after their previous action was suspended in the face of legal threats.

The truth behind ‘Valkyrie’ and the coup against Hitler

On 20 July 1944 a group of German army officers attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler by exploding a bomb in his Wolf’s Lair headquarters.

Jobs meltdown as crisis grows

An astounding 80,000 jobs were axed in Britain, Europe and the US in just one day on Monday.

Barack Obama and the order to close Guantanamo

US president Barack Obama has issued a number of executive orders in his first week in office that distance him from his predecessor George Bush – on Guantanamo Bay, stem cell research, reproductive rights and climate change.

New Labour peers paid fees by business lobbyists

There are many odd things about the House of Lords. One minor anomaly is that lords don’t get paid a salary.

Student occupations light flame of revolt

Students in Britain have been a dynamic and powerful part of the movement that has sprung up in solidarity with the Palestinians over the last few weeks.

Gaza protests still going strong

Protests and activities in solidarity with the people of Gaza are continuing across Britain, despite Israel’s announcement of a "ceasefire".

Journalists’ union condemns BBC’s decision to block Gaza DEC broadcast

The NUJ journalists’ union says that BBC bosses have betrayed the broadcaster’s public service duty by refusing to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) humanitarian aid appeal for Gaza.

Karen Reissmann case settled

Leading health trade unionist Karen Reissmann has settled her employment tribunal case against Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.

Why British jobs for British workers is not the solution to the crisis

Thousands of workers at around 20 construction sites and refineries across Britain have walked out on unofficial strike. At the centre of the strikes is the claim that foreign workers are taking the jobs of British workers.

Protest stops London speech by Israeli officer

Chanting "shame on you", some 100 antiwar protesters blocked a meeting that was going to be addressed by Israeli colonel Geva Rapp last night.


International

Protests bring down Iceland’s government

The government of Iceland became the first to be driven out of office in this recession by a wave of popular protest this week.


Comment

How can we fan the flames of resistance against the effects of recession?

This is a time of contrasts. On the one hand there is anger on the streets and campuses over Israel’s attack on Gaza. On the other a lack of struggle against the huge level of job cuts hitting workers in Britain.

Is racism dead? If only it were true

Could Martin Luther King’s dream of a society without racism ever become a reality? For millions of people, the inauguration of Barack Obama as US president is a sign that maybe it can.


Features

Why is Britain supplying arms to Israel’s war machine?

There has been widespread criticism of Israel and its assault on Gaza – but where do its weapons come from? Israel buys arms from around the world as well as manufacturing many of its own. And it has strong links to Britain’s arms industry, currently the world’s second largest after the US.

Pressures on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood opposition party

Opposition to Israel’s war on Gaza has exposed the shortcomings of the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition movement in Egypt, according to socialist activists in the country.

Turkey stops being a ‘reliable friend’ of Israel

For years the US and Israel have been able to rely on Turkey, a staunch ally of both countries and a key power in the Nato military alliance. But Israel’s war on Gaza has now thrown that relationship into turmoil.

Gaza: a setback for the ‘war on terror’

The US and its close allies have been engaged in an offensive on several fronts since 11 September 2001. Their aim has been to entrench the global dominance of US imperialism. Barack Obama has entered the White House at a key moment in that offensive.

Are the banks to blame?

It’s difficult to believe that bankers could become even less popular, but that is exactly what happened last week. Fresh from soaking up some £200 billion in emergency funds from the government, Britain’s major banks turned round and asked for more.


Reviews

Linha de Passe

This film explores the importance of football, religion and family in Brazil.

Working On A Dream - Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen’s 16th studio album has the feel of a celebration to it, following the election of Barack Obama.

Good Friday: The Death of Irish Republicanism

Anthony McIntyre has been one of the most determined of Sinn Fein’s critics. But unlike most critics of the Irish Republican party he is not coming from the right.

When Do We Start Fighting?

When Do We Start Fighting? is a new play that explores the radical movement of the 1960s and 1970s in the US.

The Hounding of David Oluwale – interview with Daniel Francis

David Oluwale was last seen alive on the night of 17 April 1969, as he was being beaten by police officers in Leeds. Two weeks later his body was pulled out of the River Aire.


What We Think

Pope Benedict and a history of bigotry

The Roman Catholic church has never been averse to taking reactionary positions on a whole range of political issues.

The British government is implicated in torture

Foreign secretary David Miliband has welcomed Barack Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo Bay.

Media impartiality is neither possible nor desirable

BBC executives came up with a thoroughly disingenuous excuse to justify their shameful refusal to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal for Gaza. They claimed that broadcasting the appeal would have compromised the corporation’s "impartiality".


Other Categories

Tim: Children in Need

Letters

Israel’s barbaric attack reveals its true nature There are two military strategies that governments and armies use when fighting insurgency. One is often termed "hearts and minds", while the other is known as collective punishment.

The world in quotes

"I will wear a black armband as a sign of mourning and protest. I want people to know that I do not agree with what is happening in Gaza and throughout Palestine."Rangers FC football player Madjid Bougherra. The Scottish Football Association banned him from wearing the armband



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