Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2144

Dated: 28 Mar 2009




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Make capitalism pay - put people first

With millions of jobs and homes under threat and the planet on the brink of environmental catastrophe, the urgent need for global action over the economy could not be clearer.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

G20 plan will leave Africa in poverty

The G20 will do little to help Africa escape the cycle of debt and misery, according to studies by leading NGOs and aid agencies working in the continent.

Capitalism and rape

When London taxi driver John Worboys was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting his passengers, it emerged that many women had been reporting attacks for almost seven years, only to have their claims dismissed by the police as "no crime".

New dossier on Israel’s crimes in Gaza

Evidence is mounting of the scale of Israel’s war crimes against the people of Gaza during its recent offensive.

US’s new colonial plan for Afghanistan

Details of Barack Obama’s new strategy for the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan make for grim reading.

Police admit abuse of Babar Ahmad

Babar Ahmad, the south London IT worker who has been held in jail for over four years, won a small taste of justice last week. The Metropolitan Police admitted to beating him up in December 2003 and paid him £60,000 in compensation.

Betting a trillion on the bankers

The US government this week agreed to hand over another $1 trillion to the banks as part of an effort to "unblock" the financial system.

Rich fear growing anger

"Popular anger around the world is growing as a result of rising unemployment, pay cuts and freezes, bailouts for banks, and falls in house prices and the value of savings and pension funds."

The poorest are paying more

Newspaper headlines that talk of zero inflation are masking two crucial facts – prices for many essential goods are rising fast, and the poor are paying a bigger proportion of their incomes for them.

How New Labour pandering has given Tories and bosses a boost

Gordon Brown wants working class people to pay for the government’s growing budget deficit by cutting pay, slashing jobs and axing services.

Video of Mark Thomas at the Put People First rally in London, 28 March 2009

Comedian and activist Mark Thomas spoke at the Hyde Park rally after the Put People March march last Saturday. He was cheered as he said, "We are here to kill neoliberal capitalism."

Tens of thousands join Put People First protest to demand economic justice

The week of protests against the G20 summit to be held in London this week kicked off on Saturday with the Put People First march in central London organised by a broad coalition of trade unions, NGOs and activist groups.

Prisme workers head for the G20

Workers from the occupied Prisme packaging plant in Dundee will be joining the Put People First march in London this Saturday.

Birkbeck campaign wins a living wage

Staff and students at Birkbeck College in central London celebrated a victory over poverty pay for cleaning and catering staff last week.

Resisting a swathe of education cuts in Liverpool

Two of Liverpool’s three universities – the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moore – are facing attacks.

Seize the time at London Met after head quits

Workers and students at London Metropolitan University were cheered by the news of vice-chancellor Brian Roper’s resignation last week. But they were also clear that the fight to save jobs at the university is far from over.

Glasgow schools protest

Colleges and universities: crisis and cuts threaten a generation’s education

The recession is taking a big toll on further and higher education, as a programme of job cuts and course closures threatens the quality of education and choice of courses for a generation of students.

NHS privatisation is costing patients’ lives

The government’s attempts to drive the free market ever deeper into the NHS aren’t just damaging the ethos of the health service. They are severely damaging patient care – and even costing lives.

Why the government and regulators are also to blame

The scandal in Mid‑Staffordshire Hospitals Trust exposes how the bodies responsible for overseeing the NHS are so committed to implementing government "reforms" that they fail to protect the public.

Get the army out of Hackney!

Around 80 people protested against the newly opened army showroom in Hackney, east London, last Saturday.

Bus workers fight for conditions

Drivers in the Unite union working for First Bus in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster in South Yorkshire have voted by 403 to 42 in favour of strike action in a consultative ballot.

Teachers’ strike over dress code called off

A planned strike in defence of a sacked teacher, due to take place on Thursday of last week, was called off.

Solid action in row over contracts at Sussex Downs College

Workers at Sussex Downs College in Eastbourne struck on Tuesday of this week over proposed changes to their contracts that would downgrade their positions.

Royal Docks teachers strike against academy

NUT and NASUWT teachers’ union members took joint strike action at the Royal Docks school in Newham, east London, on Thursday of last week.

Civil service workers fight closure of north London offices

The PCS civil service workers’ union is resisting plans to close down the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) at the Archway Tower in north London and relocate its 500 workers to the north and across London.

Thousands of tube workers balloted over pay, jobs and bullying

The RMT transport union began a strike ballot of its 10,000 members on London Underground and Transport for London this week over pay and job cuts.

Action planned on at two rail lines

Around 1,500 RMT transport union members at National Express East Anglia and First Capital Connect are set to strike on Monday of next week over job losses.

National strikes loom at BBC over job cuts

Thousands of journalists in the BBC are poised for strike action after workers voted for two one-day strikes against attacks on jobs and conditions.

Wigan march against job cuts

Some 150 people marched through Wigan against job cuts and privatisation last Saturday.

No To EU - RMT launches election campaign

The RMT transport union has initiated a challenge in June’s European elections, to oppose the dominant neoliberal policies of the European Union.

Yunus Bakhsh fights for reinstatement

High profile union activist Yunus Bakhsh is this week fighting for reinstatement to his job as a psychiatric nurse.

Glasgow strike reaches 12 weeks – and more could join soon

Striking Community Service Supervisors in Glasgow are now in their 12th week of action. Last week 100 Glasgow City Unison union members, local students and school closure protesters joined the supervisors to lobby Glasgow City Chambers.

Growing fight in the post

There is a new sense of urgency in the battle to save Royal Mail from privatisation and to stop tens of thousands of job cuts.


International

Irish workers unite for general strike

Hundreds of thousands of workers in the Republic of Ireland are set to take part in a general strike on Monday of next week.

French strike sees millions rally against Sarkozy

The second general strike in two months brought France to a standstill last week.

El Salvador - Another left turn in Latin America

A left wing candidate has become president of El Salvador in Central America, as part of a sweeping defeat for the right.

Defiant Waterford Crystal occupation secures 176 jobs

Workers at Waterford Crystal in south east Ireland have ended their determined and inspirational occupation of their factory after eight weeks.


Comment

A neoliberal attack on the public sector

There is an increasingly ugly and strident – but also quite ridiculous – campaign building up against the public sector.


Features

Do activists really need to join a party?

Last week I set out the differences between a revolutionary socialist party and a mainstream socialist party.

A man-made food crisis

The financial meltdown that is spreading across the globe may have drawn attention away from the world food crisis, but it continues to fester and even grow.

Young people and the recession: a precarious life

It seems that life just gets tougher for young people. Tested at school from an early age, demonised and criminalised by a hostile media, police and politicians and daunted by huge debts should they go to university, young people are now also being hit hard by the recession.

Can tighter regulation prevent a future crisis?

The governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, last week admitted that the regulatory mechanisms of the world’s financial systems "all failed to some degree to prevent the accumulation of risks that finally produced the crisis".


Reviews

The Brits Who Fought For Spain

These two 60 minute documentaries tell the story of seven British people who fought for the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9.

We’re All Criminals Now - The Pet Shop Boys

The Pet Shop Boys have just released Yes, their brilliant tenth studio album.

The Devil’s Whore dvd

Channel 4’s recent drama based on the events of the English Civil War has just been released on DVD.

Land of Marvels: digs up the crimes of the great powers

Land of Marvels is a novel about the decline and fall of empires. It is set in 1914, with the First World War looming.

The Age of Stupid: Changing the world to end a stupid age

Capitalism is stupid, and there’s a new film that says so. The Age of Stupid is about the very real threat of catastrophic climate change, but it doesn’t stop there.


What We Think

New Labour’s expensive scam

Millions of people across Britain struggle through decaying public transport systems every morning to get to work.

Profit-hungry system at the root of the problem

Tens of thousands of people will converge on London this Saturday for the Put People First demonstration in the run-up to next week’s G20 summit of world leaders.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Stamp out privatisation

Tim: Housing allowance

Letters

Letters

Statements on the G20

‘The government has put its eggs in that basket and it’s now in a very vulnerable position.’Robin Niblett, director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs on Gordon Brown’s attitude to the G20 summit



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