Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2160

Dated: 18 Jul 2009

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‘Bring the troops home now’

AS politicians vie with each other to express their sympathies for British soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan – soldiers that they all voted to send – a brave young man stands ready to be jailed for refusing to fight.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Kenya's Mau Mau war: veterans demand justice from Britain

Veterans of Kenya’s Mau Mau independence struggle came to Britain in June demanding compensation for atrocities committed by the British. Ken Olende tells their story

Corus is killing steel, and Scunthorpe

The future of Britain’s steel industry is in jeopardy. The multinational Corus announced plans for another 366 job cuts at its Scunthorpe plant last week.

New threat to Ford-Visteon workers' pensions

Former workers at Visteon face a new battle to protect their pensions.

Durham Miners’ Gala 2009

More than 60,000 people attended the 125th Durham Miners’ Gala on Saturday.

Vestas: fighting for jobs and the environment

The campaign against the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight swung into action with mass leafleting and petitioning last Saturday.

Tube workers need more strikes

London Underground workers in the RMT transport union are discussing the next stage of their fight against thousands of jobs cuts, management bullying and attacks on pay.

Print workers press for action

Printers at the Newsfax company and the Guardian Print Centre, who share the same building in Stratford, east London, are set to ballot for action over different issues.

Outstanding walk out over deskilling

More than 300 PCS civil service workers’ union members working in three debt management and banking centres for the Revenue and Customs department struck for half a day on Friday of last week.

Dockers march to stop casualisation

There was a lively demonstration of up to 200 people in Great Yarmouth on Thursday of last week against plans to casualise the jobs of 11 dockers at the port.

New attack at Delphi

Bosses at the Delphi car component firm want to cut one in four jobs at their Kirkby plant in Merseyside.

Justice for Mikey Powell

The High Court has ordered that Northamptonshire police allow Mikey Powell’s family access to 4,000 documents relating to the police investigation into his death.

Leeds bin workers to hold mass meeting

Refuse workers in Leeds were to hold a mass meeting on Thursday of this week to discuss resistance to the council’s plans to cut their pay by up to £6,000 – around a third of their annual wage.

Kirklees Unison discuss action

Members of the Unison union at Kirklees council, West Yorkshire, were set to meet this week to discuss their industrial action ballot. Their conditions of service are being attacked as a result of single status.

Bolton protest against care cuts

Members of the Unison and GMB unions held an angry protest outside Bolton Town Hall on Wednesday of last week against cuts to adult care.

Lindsey contractors try to roll back agreement

The contractors at the Lindsey oil refinery, which saw determined strikes last month, are attempting to roll back on the agreement that brought the action to an end.

Contractor given longer to pay fine over site death

Building contractor PC Harrington has been given longer to pay a £150,000 fine for the death of a worker on the Wembley construction site after a judge said that the contractor had been "very greatly affected by the downturn".

Safety must come first in construction

A hard-hitting report on deaths in construction is being used by the government to give the appearance that it is doing something about safety on sites.

Stop the Nazi hate-fest as Nick Griffin shows his true colours

Nick Griffin, the Nazi leader of the British National Party (BNP), has continued to defend comments he made last week calling for boats with migrants on them to be sunk.

Open letter responses: Socialist Party calls for a federal approach

The Socialist Party has always supported genuine left unity, on open, pluralistic terms. An effective challenge in the general election is an urgent task facing the workers’ movement and the left, not least in order to combat the far-right British National Party (BNP).

Open letter responses: facing the Nazis

Dealing with the Nazis in the BNP It’s time for the left to "get its act together" and stop the petty bickering which has bedevilled us for far too long.

Ballot against Edmonton trust school

Teachers in the NUT union at Edmonton Boys School, Enfield, north London, have voted to be balloted for strike action next term. They oppose moves by school management and the borough to turn their community school into a trust.

Strike against redundancies at Haggerston School

NUT teachers’ union members at Haggerston school in Hackney were to strike again on Tuesday and Thursday of this week following a solid strike on Thursday of last week.

East London primary school campaign blocks £70,000 cuts

A campaign against cuts at a Hackney primary school has ended in the Learning Trust promising to reverse a decision to cut £70,000 from next year’s school budget.

Solid strike at London Met

Hundreds of workers in the UCU and Unison unions at London Metropolitan University took joint strike action on Tuesday this week against a vicious plan to axe up to a quarter of the workforce.

Votes for all-out strike at Tower Hamlets college

In June management at Tower Hamlets college presented a cost saving "efficiency" document to workers and their UCU and Unison unions.

Firefighters need a national fightback

All over the country firefighters in the FBU union are battling to defend jobs, working conditions and services.

Outbreak of ballots on London’s buses

Ballots for industrial action are breaking out across London bus garages. London bus drivers have had enough.

Bosses fail to stop First bus strike

Striking bus drivers at First South Yorkshire were jubilant after the courts kicked out the firm’s bid to stop their walkout on Friday of last week.

Police continue to evade responsibility for G20 violence

The report into the policing of the G20 protests was released last week. The 106 page Adapting to Protest document was produced by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

G8 fail people and planet

The G8 summit of world leaders held in L’Aquila in Italy committed itself to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Rally of resistance against Gordon Brown’s Afghan war

Anti-war protesters surged to the gates of Downing Street on Monday evening after the prime minister’s office refused to take delivery of a letter calling for troops to be brought home from Afghanistan.

Truth behind Britain’s torture of Iraqi prisoners

Shocking images of British soldiers abusing Iraqi civilians were shown for the first time at the start of a public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa.

No Trident replacement

Opposition to spending billions of pounds to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system is growing across Britiain.

Quagmire deepens for Britain in Afghanistan

Britain’s failed enterprise in Afghanistan has been exposed. Fifteen British soldiers have died in the past two weeks, along with countless numbers of Afghanis.

Step up the post strikes to win

The fight by postal workers against Royal Mail bosses and the government that stands behind them is at a crucial stage – and the stakes could not be higher.

Should the CWU union fund Labour?

The attacks that postal workers are facing are being driven through by Royal Mail bosses who know they have the backing of the Labour government.

We’re still paying to prop up banks

Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have run up a huge debt in bailing out the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank.

Heathrow climbdown over minicabs

Unions showed that militant action can win when BAA airport management at Heathrow were forced into a major climbdown last week.

BA bosses face lemming protest

British Airways (BA) workers are furious at management plans for job and pay cuts at the airline.

British soldier interviewed: ‘I realised the Afghan war was wrong’

‘In 2006 my regiment was posted to Afghanistan for seven months. And if I had to describe my feelings about the tour in one word, I would say "confused".

Thousands march against Corus job cuts

A whole town united on Saturday in a fight for jobs. Around 5,000 people marched through Redcar in the north east of England in bitter anger at Corus’s threat to axe their steel plant.

Vestas plant occupied

A group of workers have occupied the Vestas plant on the Isle of Wight. Their brave stand is in defence of 600 jobs under threat and to keep production going at almost the only British producer of wind turbines.

Vestas workers speak out from the occupation

Workers from the occupation have issued the following statement.

Take action for Vestas occupation now!

Your solidarity can make a difference!


Greek left’s obstacles and opportunities

The eyes of Europe were focused on Greece after the revolt that broke out here last December.

Iranian movement defies state repression

Pro-democracy protests in Iran have continued despite a bloody crackdown by the authorities.

Chinese state crackdown brings more fear

Violent clashes in the Xinjiang region of China have thrown a spotlight on ethnic divisions in the country and the role of the heavily militarised Chinese state.


Dominique Walker: ‘Unite against racists who killed my brother’

"It is like he was dancing on my brother’s grave." That is the response of Dominique Walker to fascist British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin’s claims that the murder of her brother, Anthony, was not a racist attack.

Moon landing anniversary: Walking to a dark future?

Forty years ago Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon. I was only five years old on 20 July 1969 but I still remember the thrill of staying up to watch the event on television.

Afghan war brings political fallout

FURTHER EVIDENCE has appeared this past week about how corrupt British politics is. No, this isn’t about MPs on the take or reporters phonetapping. It’s about Afghanistan.


Using nationalism to divide and rule

The shocking scenes of poor people violently attacking each other in the Xinjiang region in the west of China will surely have added to the feeling that there is something inexplicable about national and ethnic tensions.

Drastic cuts? British parties turn to the Canadian option

A meeting that may be a sign of things to come took place in London a few weeks ago. Two former Liberal government bureaucrats from Canada – Jocelyne Bourgon and Marcel Massé – met with leading British Tories and senior civil servants.

Mau Mau veterans case: Seeking justice after 50 years

The delegation of three men and two women veterans presented their case to the high court in London at the end of June.

Kenya's ugly tale of colonialism

The British arrived in East Africa in the 1890s and took what is now Kenya by savage military conquest. The invaders took the best farming land for themselves. This became known as the White Highlands where no African could own land. Much of the area had previously been home to the Kikuyu people.


We Don’t Want Them - Lowkey

British-Iraqi rapper Lowkey penned this hard‑hitting assault on the British National Party (BNP) in response to their election to the European parliament.

Soul Power

In 1974 a roster of the top soul acts in the US travelled to Kinshasa, Zaire, (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to play a three-day concert timed to coincide with Muhammad Ali’s world championship challenge to George Foreman.

The Street: powerful drama that transcends stereotypes

Pub landlord Paddy has barred the local gangster’s son and so put his life in danger.

Nicholas Dane: we must not try to hide brutality from teenagers

If Dickens was around today what social issues would he be writing about? If he were a children’s author would he shy away from the controversial subjects or tackle them head on?

Win Paolo Pasolini football T-shirt

Paolo Pasolini was a dissident communist, expelled from the Italian Communist Party because of his sexuality.

What We Think

Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Sink Griffin

Tim: the good war

Tim: 'The mice have come out'



The week in quotes

"This is hard fighting and, as we have seen, the risks are considerable. But we are making progress."British defence secretary, Bob Ainsworth on the war in Afghanistan

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