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Socialist Worker

Issue: 2152

Dated: 23 May 2009

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Jail these corrupt ministers

The government hammers those most affected by the poverty and misery of Gordon Brown’s Britain with hypocrisy and draconian laws. Every week people are jailed for not paying their council tax or are dragged in front of the courts for not paying their TV licence.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Workers march in Birmingham against jobs massacre

Anger over mounting job losses brought more than 7,000 people onto the streets of Birmingham last Saturday for the Unite union’s national march for jobs.

Keep pressure on union leaders for action

Workers across Britain are desperate for a fightback against the bosses’ offensive.

Fight for the Right to Work conference is key step in campaign

The next major date in the jobs fight is Saturday 13 June. That is when the Fight for the Right to Work conference will take place in central London.

Celebrating victory at Ford-Visteon

Ford-Visteon workers left their plants on Monday after inflicting a humiliating defeat on their bosses.

BT hangs up on workers

British Telecom (BT) is to make over 15,000 workers from across Britain redundant this year – a tenth of its total workforce. This follows the culling of a a similar number of jobs last year.

Unions must fight attacks

Fujitsu, the giant computer and IT corporation, has announced it will close its final salary pension scheme to 4,000 employees.

Not what I call care

The horrifying death of Baby Peter brought an outcry with people asking, "How could something like this happen again?" But will this outcry significantly change the lives of children?

Thousands rally in support of Palestinians

Support flows in for Coseley Baths campaign

The campaign to keep Coseley Swimming Baths open in Dudley is gaining support from a number of organisations and individuals.

Five Tamworth schools strike

Teachers at five schools in Tamworth, Staffordshire, are set to strike on Wednesday of this week.

Uniting together to stop the Nazi BNP

Anti-fascist activists have been out in force over the last few days campaigning to stop the British National Party (BNP) making gains in the European elections on 4 June.

Sacked after doing safety inspection

Penny Gower, a longstanding activist of the EIS Scottish teachers union, has been summarily dismissed from her job at Carnegie College.

More groups ballot in Glasgow

Community service supervisors employed by Glasgow council are now in their fifth month of indefinite strike action over regrading.

PCS group conferences

The group conferences of the PCS civil service workers’ union this week recognised that the government’s promises on pay, made at the end of a national pay campaign last year, have not been fulfilled.

Ship’s crew stranded without pay

The Russian crew of the freighter OMG Kolpino have now been marooned in Avonmouth docks for over two months.

Michael Rosen joins Sats protest at department of education

Stop the War public hearing in Manchester

Around 60 people attended a Greater Manchester Stop the War Coalition public hearing last week held in response to the G20 policing and the arrest and detention of Pakistani students.

Scotland Yard protest will pile pressure on the police

Campaigners against police violence are planning to "kettle" Scotland Yard this Saturday—turning on its head the police’s tactics of surrounding demonstrators and not allowing people to leave.

Firefighters' conference: 'We need fight on pay and jobs'

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) conference took place in Scarborough last week.

Rail round-up

London ballot Some 10,000 members of the RMT transport union across London Underground and Transport for London are reballoting for strike action over job cuts, pay and management’s breaches of disciplinary and attendance agreement.

Copland teachers reinstated

Three suspended teachers’ union reps at Copland community college in Wembley won an important victory last week when they were reinstated and all charges against them were dropped.

Postal workers refuse to deliver BNP leaflets

A growing number of postal workers are taking a stand against the fascist threat by refusing to deliver election leaflets for the British National Party (BNP).

Lecturers' ballot suspended

Lecturers in the UCU union in higher education will be disappointed to hear that the Higher Education Committee (HEC) has suspended their ballot for industrial action to defend jobs.

Rally to defend sacked union rep Rob Williams

The campaign to defend Rob Williams, the sacked Unite convenor of the Linamar factory in Swansea, stepped up a gear last week with a 200 strong rally and the launch of a ballot for industrial action.

Furniture students turn the tables on London Met management

Students at London Metropolitan University occupied their building on Monday of last week in protest at planned job cuts at the university.

How much did unions know about construction blacklist?

The government has announced that it will "consult" over proposals to outlaw blacklisting after the Information Commissioner revealed that up to 40 construction firms had subscribed to a "blacklist".

The fight is on for London post workers

Royal Mail’s reported annual profits have doubled to £321 million, but the government is still determined to push ahead with privatising it.

House of Commons Speaker resigns - who’s next?

Michael Martin became the first commons speaker in more than 300 years to resign on Tuesday.

Mark Serwotka wants election debate

The huge anger at the corruption in parliament is reinforcing the need for a political alternative that working people can vote for. The PCS civil service workers’ union conference in Brighton this week saw debates over this issue.

The spooks they tried to hide

A key part of the "gentlemen’s club" that is the British establishment is the hidden agreement between the media and the security services to cover up information.

Lord ‘felt like Guantanamo inmate’

A former Labour minister is facing a temporary suspension from the House of Lords for offering to change legislation in exchange for money. Lord Truscott has compared his treatment to that of a "Guantanamo inmate".

The Tories: 'We needed the cash to deal with dangerous trees'

The lavish lifestyles of the Tories are still emerging as the expenses scandal unfolds.

Corruption goes right to the heart of the system

There is a range of different ways of making money out of parliamentary expenses – and our politicians have milked them all.

Hazel Blears: no ifs no buts graphic


Hollow 'victory' over Tamil Tigers won't bring peace in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan army finished its brutal conquest of the areas of the island previously controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)—the Tamil Tigers—this week. Most of the Tigers’ leaders are now dead.

Indian voters give Communists a battering

India’s ruling Congress party this week returned to power following the country’s month-long election process which concluded at the weekend.

Nigerian workers march against government attacks

Around 10,000 trade unionists marched through Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital on Wednesday of last week. The march grew in size as people joined it on route. It was protesting against government plans to deregulate the price of fuel, demanding a substantial increase in the minimum wage and calling for electoral reform to guarantee free and fair elections.


Obama is marching into the graveyard of empires

Two events last week underlined the fact that Barack Obama is not kidding when he says he intends to escalate the war in Afghanistan.


Unravelling Capitalism: A Return to Marx

‘Since the first signs of the current crisis began to emerge in 2007 there has been growing interest in Karl Marx’s greatest work, Capital, especially in universities.

Europe 2009: The new fascist election threats and how they can be stopped

Imagine a group of thugs, implicated in terrorism and racist attacks, becoming our representatives in Europe. In the days following Thursday 4 June, the date of elections to the European parliament, we could wake up to find that this is exactly what has happened.

BNP’s Euro friends are thugs and bombers

The British National Party’s (BNP’s) "friends" in Europe are an assortment of violent fascist organisations.

Hungary: fascist menace emboldened by capitalism’s crisis

‘Marching neo-Nazi paramilitary guards, openly racist members of parliament, ghetto walls erected around Roma Gypsy slums, laws slanted so that social welfare recipients from ethnic minorities are losing their benefits, fingerprinting and mass deportation of ‘guest workers’, judicial and bureaucratic bias against immigrants and unpunished race murders.

Gramsci and the phases of war

In November 1930 the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci wrote from his prison cell on the effects of the unfolding economic depression and the possibilities for revolutionary advance.


Clampdown T-shirt competition

Five Socialist Worker readers have the chance to win a new Philosophy Football Clampdown T-shirt in our May competition.

Armando Iannucci In Milton’s Heaven And Hell

Writer and director of the recent film In The Loop, Armando Iannucci explores John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost in this part of the BBC’s poetry season.

Who’s Watching You?

The proliferation of CCTV cameras has made Britain one of the most observed countries in the world. In this new series, Richard Bilton explores the world of surveillance.

Fascism in Ruins: Uncovering the overgrown ruins of fascist Italy

Artist Dan Dubowitz and architect Patrick Duerden have been tracking down abandoned fascist buildings in northern Italy since 2005.

David Rovics: Lay-offs, empty highways and songs of inspiration

US anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan has described singer and activist David Rovics as "the peace poet and troubadour for our time".

What We Think

Sports plan fails to score

The launch of a bid for the 2018 football World Cup this week saw Gordon Brown attempt to ease his worries by hanging out with David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.

Netanyahu tells it like it is over Palestine

When it comes to arrogance, no one can fault Benjamin Netanyahu.

No sign of crisis easing despite bank bail-outs

What has the government’s largesse in splashing out £1.4 trillion to bail out and guarantee the banks actually achieved?

Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Cash machine

Tim: Shameless


Hypocrites, fraudsters, gluttons and thieves The ongoing MPs’ expenses scandal is in essence a reverberation of Labour’s outright capitulation to free market Tory ideology throughout its 18 years of opposition and 12 years of government.

Sleazy quotes

‘Otherwise I might be in line for divorce!’Culture secretary Andy Burnham explains why he needed £16,000 to do up a flat

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