Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2158

Dated: 04 Jul 2009

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BNP gains led to this racist attack

A brutal racist attack on a 17 year old Asian woman in a park in Rochdale last week left her suffering horrific injuries.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Open letter responses: Why we must unite

The Socialist Workers Party produced an open letter to all those on the left in the aftermath of last month’s European elections.

Open letter responses: 'An opportunity for the left'

‘Millions of people are out of work, despondent and extremely disgruntled. They are seeking a credible alternative to Labour and we must forge it for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

Open letter responses: 'We can win support'

‘The collapse of the Labour vote did not come as a surprise to me. Since the start of the war in Iraq, Labour’s popularity has fallen among its traditional voters.

Open letter responses: 'Why we need radical change'

‘After the recent election of the British National Party (BNP) to the European parliament it is imperative that the left unites against the fascists.

Open letter responses: A viable alternative

‘This is an important opportunity for the left to finally unite around a key battle. Labour’s agenda is now as bankrupt as the economy.

Open letter responses: Take the initiative

‘I have had a positive reaction to the open letter at work. People are keen to discuss the idea of building a united left electoral alternative and the danger of people seeing the BNP as the voice for working class people if we don’t get our act together.’

Harriet Harman’s equality plans are a class fraud

With the leadership of the Labour Party likely to come up for grabs, Harriet Harman has attempted to make herself more acceptable to the centre left.

Kafa launch meeting

Around 200 people attended the launch of Kafa (Arabic for "enough") in east London on Friday of last week.

Where next after the Lindsey strike?

The magnificent victory of workers at the Lindsey oil refinery has turned the tables on bosses’ attempts to drive through attacks on construction workers.

United fight can break bosses’ divide and rule tactics

The bosses and the media portray every construction strike as being about foreign workers. But this is simply not the case.

Funding crisis will hit NHS hard

As bank bosses, think tanks and politicians of all stripes united this week in arguing for public spending to be slashed, a London doctor said that cuts in the health service are likely to lead to services being slashed – and potentially the loss of life.

Corus: ‘Lindsey shows that we can win’

Steelmaker Corus announced plans to cut another 2,000 jobs last week – most of them in Britain.

Fujitsu workers out to defend their pensions

As bosses at private companies across the country attempt to attack pension rights, workers at the Fujitsu Services IT company are setting other groups an example by preparing to fight the cuts – and to defend their pay.

Connect conference debates merger

Delegates at the Connect communications union conference in Blackpool last week took a backwards step in support the union executives' proposals for a merger with Prospect and rejecting an offer to merge with the CWU that they had earlier backed. The whole weight of the union machine was used to force this through in the debate.

Unite United Left meets in Manchester

Around 60 supporters of the United Left met in Manchester last Saturday at the first quarterly meeting of the left wing group in the Unite union.

BAA ballots over pay offer

Unions representing workers at BAA, which owns seven airports, are in the concluding stages of a consultative ballot on pay.

BA can go whistle on unpaid work

Talks between British Airways (BA) management and unions will enter their fourth week with no apparent sign of resolution as the two sides try and reach an agreement on issues such as pay, redundancy and outsourcing.

RMT reject attack on conditions

Members of the RMT transport union at Network Rail Maintenance have voted by over 95 percent to reject harmonisation plans. Some 4,094 members voted to reject the proposals against 151 in favour.

Strike against redundancies

Rail engineers in the RMT transport union at Jarvis Rail and Fastline struck for 48 hours from 6am last Saturday against the companies’ refusal to give guarantees on compulsory redundancies.

Talks continue but Tube dispute live

Talks were continuing this week between management and the RMT transport union in an attempt to settle the dispute at London Underground and Transport for London.

Socialist Teachers Alliance AGM

Around 40 people attended the annual general meeting of the Socialist Teachers Alliance (STA) in London on Saturday of last week. The STA is one of the main left organisations within the National Union of Teachers (NUT), and the one where supporters of Socialist Worker are active.

Battle over Tamworth academy continues with strikes

Members of the NASUWT union at four schools in Tamworth, Stafford, took strike action on Tuesday of this week as part of a long-running campaign to stop a planned academy in the town.

Strike at Manchester college

Lecturers at Manchester college were set to strike on Wednesday of this week against what it calls "unnecessary and punitive" job losses.

Barnsley college strike ballot over redundancies

Workers in the UCU union at Barnsley college will ballot for strike action against plans to impose 53 redundancies.

Gorseinon College to strike against job loses

UCU union members in Gorseinon College, Wales, have voted by over 70 percent to strike against 10 planned job losses at the college. They will strike next Wednesday.

London Metropolitan University joint strike against cuts

Workers in the UCU and Unison unions at London Metropolitan University are set to come together in a day of joint strike action on Friday of this week.

School occupation returns to Glasgow

As soon as the final bell went last Friday, parents from the St Gregory’s and Wynford primary schools campaign reoccupied Wynford primary school in protest at Glasgow council’s plans for massive cuts to education.

Revolt against cuts at Tower Hamlets College

"Sack the bankers – not the teachers!" That was the chant of the hundreds of workers, students and their families as they marched through Tower Hamlets, east London, last Saturday in protest at planned cuts at Tower Hamlets College.

Great Yarmouth protest at sacking of dockers

Trade unionists in Great Yarmouth are disgusted at the news that East Port UK is to sack the remaining 11 dockers it employs at the outer harbour.

Protests to save civil service workers' jobs

Equality and Human Rights Commission Around 70 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union at the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Manchester protested on Monday lunchtime after bosses announced 50 job cuts.

National Shop Stewards Network conference

Around 300 activists from across Britain attended the annual conference of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) in London last weekend. The successful unofficial construction strike initiated at the Lindsey oil refinery was its backdrop.

Glasgow council workers vote to suspend all-out strike after offer

Around 450 social work admin workers in Glasgow have voted to suspend an indefinite strike that was due to begin on Wednesday of this week, after voting to accept an offer recommended to them by their Unison union officials.

Post strikes can beat privatisation and cuts

Business secretary Lord Mandelson’s plans to privatise Royal Mail are in deep trouble.

Total victory for Lindsey strikers

Construction workers have won their dispute at the Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR) in Lincolnshire, in an awesome display of solidarity and militancy.

Where next for construction?

The deal won at the Lindsey Oil Refinery means that all 647 workers who walked out will be reinstated.

Construction sites that took solidarity action in support of Lindsey

Fiddlers Ferry, Cheshire Aberthaw, West Wales Boc, South Humberside South Hook, West Wales Dragon, West Wales Drax, North Yorkshire Ferry Bridge, North Yorkshire Eggborough, North Yorkshire BP Saltend, East Yorkshire Staythorpe, Nottinghamshire West Burton, Nottinghamshire Ratcliffe, Nottinghamshire Stanlow, Cheshire Cottam, Nottinghamshire Didcot, Oxfordshire ICI Wilton, Teesside Mossmarton, East Lothian Hinkley Point, Somerset Sellafield, Cumbria BP Dimlington, East Yorkshire Isle of Grain, Kent

Iraq occupation is not over

Iraqis greeted the withdrawal of US troops from their cities this week by dancing in the streets.

G20 protests: ‘Inappropriate force’ the fault of poorly trained officers, say Met police bosses

Police used "inappropriate force" against demonstrators during the G20 protests in April this year.

Hands up, who has two jobs?

Hard-up MPs – surviving on salaries of little more than £60,000 a year, not including expenses – are forced rely on outside jobs to help stay afloat.

British economy in free fall

Despite predictions of recovery, it was revealed this week that the British economy has suffered its biggest fall in more than half a century.

Royals burn through £41m

Ordinary people are being told to "tighten their belts" – but the royal family increased its spending by £1.5 million last year.

Protest in support of refugees in Calais

In the French port town of Calais over 700 refugees queue for food parcels from the Salam charity every day.

Police to release report into death of Blair Peach

The police report into the death of anti-racist campaigner and Socialist Workers Party member Blair Peach should finally be published more than 30 years after he was killed at an Anti-Nazi League demonstration in Southall, west London.

BNP success encourages racist rampage

A cowardly attack on a well-known anti-fascist activist in the West Midlands has confirmed the thuggery of fascist British National Party (BNP) supporters.

Gordon Brown panders to bigoted lies

Gordon Brown is playing a very dangerous game with his pledge that "local people" will get priority for social housing.

Race hate terror suspects on trial

Four recent court cases in different parts of Britain shed some light on what methods those who advocate an all-white Britain would use to achieve their ends.

Teachers' strike against Trust status shuts down east London school

Militant mass pickets gathered outside Norlington boys' school in Leyton, east London, this morning as teachers took part in their first day of strike action against plans to merge the school with two others to create a Trust school.

Packed rally opens Marxism 2009

Over a thousand people filled Friends House in central London last night for a packed opening rally of the Marxism 2009 festival.


Military coup in Honduras reveals faultlines across Latin America

A coup against Honduran president Manuel Zelaya has provoked protests throughout the country. The response of the armed forces, which have taken control, has been the imposition of a curfew and violence.

Iran’s reformist leaders retreat from protests

The Iranian authorities have used heavy repression to help them weather two weeks of mass demonstrations that have rocked the country. But the contradictions inside Iran, and the discontent among ordinary people, remain unresolved.


Stonewall: a dream deferred

This week we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots – three days of revolt led by gay men, lesbians and transvestites, which led to the founding of the gay liberation movement.

Devolution and the neoliberal agenda

Official reports such as the Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution do not usually interest socialists, with good reason.


The ‘Devil’ who helped drive Nazis out of Italy

For somebody who was born just after the First World War, Luigi Fiori is an amazingly busy person.


Imperialism and Global Political Economy

Empire is back on the agenda. Once a dirty word, it is now a mainstay of best-selling books and discussed in the universities. Yet there is considerable disagreement as to what empire really means.

Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution

In the wake of the French Revolution of 1789 one of its leaders, Maximilien Robespierre, made a passionate defence of the use of "terror" against those who wanted a counter-revolution.

Forward To Freedom

This small exhibition is a vivid reminder of the solidarity people in Britain showed with those resisting the injustice of apartheid South Africa.

Katyn: a painful reminder of the depths of Stalinist terror

Like others who grew up in Eastern Europe, I was taught that the Second World War was fought against fascism, and that it ended in our liberation by Soviet troops.

Michael Jackson - a man trapped behind a mask

The words to Nina Simone’s song Young, Gifted and Black could have been written especially for the Jackson Five. When the group’s first single, I Want You Back, smashed its way to the top of the pop charts in 1969 the brothers seemed to some to epitomise the desire for black pride that emerged out of the movement for civil rights.

What We Think

Other Categories

Steven Wells 1960 -2009

A great man died in the US last week. The things he said and wrote entertained, amused and angered a lot of people.

Tim: illegal strike action


Eat anything you like: as long as it’s Nestlé I thought that Socialist Worker readers might be interested to read the following email, which was sent to Nestlé workers from Paul Grimwood, the chief executive of Nestle UK. Unfortunately, it is not a spoof:

The week in quotes

‘You go into an election pretending you are not going to have to make spending reductions, then you have to make them, and then you really do have riots on the streets’Tory leader David Cameron on Labour’s spending plans. The Tories are demanding withering cuts immediately

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