Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2166

Dated: 29 Aug 2009

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Lockerbie: the real cover up

The row over the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who was convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, opens up an enormous scandal.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


How historic was Margaret Thatcher?

There can be little doubt that Margaret Thatcher’s election as Conservative prime minister 30 years ago and her period in power have had a major impact on British society – both politically and economically.

Myths and reality of Thatcherism - a response to Bob Fotheringham

I’m not clear what "myth" Bob Fotheringham thinks he is challenging here. I agree that Thatcher was always deeply unpopular with most of the working class and was highly vulnerable down to the defeat of the Great Miners’ Strike – points in my original article. It is not helpful, however, to underestimate our enemies or refuse to recognise their achievements for the capitalist class, which in Thatcher’s case were considerable.

Battle over trial of British mercenary in Iraq

The case of Daniel Fitzsimons, a former British soldier facing the death penalty in Iraq, reveals a lot about the chaotic hell in which that country is mired.

Mercenaries in Iraq: big profits for private forces

ArmorGroup is just one of the "private security" contractors that have descended on Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. These companies have won millions of pounds of contracts from the US and Britain, and private firms, to provide "security" in Iraq.

Torture report reveals US abuses

CIA agents carried out mock executions and threatened a prisoner with a gun and a power drill as part of the "war on terror".

Naming The Dead in Afghanistan

Wootton Bassett: ‘Why are we fighting this war - nothing good is coming of it, only sadness?’

Wootton Bassett, a market town near Swindon in the south west of England, is now synonymous with the terrible reality of Britain’s war in Afghanistan.

Crisis gets worse after flawed Afghan elections

The European Union’s (EU) chief observer described last week’s elections in Afghanistan as "fair" but not "free".

The London Paper: Hidden jobs toll as free paper axed

One of London’s free newspapers, the London Paper, is to close.

A-level students: passed the exam but failed by the system

Anxious students gathered outside Sir George Monoux College in Walthamstow, east London on Thursday of last week, as they did at colleges and sixth forms up and down Britain.

London protest against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Brighton housing trust strike

Staff at Brighton Housing Trust (BHT), a homeless people’s charity employing more than 200 workers across Sussex, walked out on a one-day strike on Wednesday of last week.

Youth workers revolt over cuts

Youth and community workers in Coventry were set to protest on Wednesday of this week against drastic cuts in services for young people.

Housing activists to meet in Birmingham

Defend Council Housing (DCH) has called a national meeting for tenant activists in Birmingham on Saturday 5 September.

SPCK workers’ prayers are answered

Sacked workers at a chain of Christian bookshops have won a substantial payout after taking their employer to an industrial tribunal.

Unite general secretary election

The election for the Unite union’s general secretary is set to take place next year. Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley are the joint general secretaries at the moment following the merger of Amicus and the T&G unions.

All-out strike at Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Some 150 ServisAir workers at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport are on all-out strike.

Jobs agreement reached after powerful tube strike

The RMT transport union is claiming "victory" over job security on London Underground after a 48-hour strike by thousands of workers in June.

Manchester college strike says ‘no cuts’

Lecturers at Manchester College are set to strike on Thursday of this week in an escalation of their dispute over job cuts.

Vestas plans to sponsor Isle of Wight academies

Wind turbine firm Vestas – which was at the centre of a two-week occupation after closing and sacking all its 600 staff – wants to sponsor city academies.

One in five firefighters taking industrial action

A series of disputes in the fire service over attacks on jobs, pay and conditions will see around 8,000 firefighters in England – almost one in five across the country – taking industrial action this week.

Barrow construction workers refuse to back down from all-out strike

Workers on all out strike at a gas terminal in Barrow are refusing to back down over their pay dispute.

Eurostar cleaners stand up to bosses

Cleaners on Eurostar trains began a ballot for strike action this week over attacks on their pay, conditions and their RMT union rep.

Solid pickets in Go north east bus pay battle

Around 400 bus drivers at Go North East’s depots in Deptford in Sunderland and Washington held a one day strike on Monday.

First Bus drivers in Chester strike over pay

Drivers employed by First Bus in Chester struck on Friday of last week over pay.

Bus pay battles are moving up a gear

More than 400 bus workers at First Aberdeen struck on Tuesday and Friday of last week. They are in the frontline of the fight against First’s national pay freeze for bus workers.

Tower Hamlets college: Lecturers go all-out for education

Lecturers at Tower Hamlets College in east London are set to begin an all-out indefinite strike from Thursday of this week to defend education and jobs.

New forces join the post fight

The battle for the future of Royal Mail is hotting up – with over 20,000 postal workers in the CWU union set to strike this week.

Royal Mail workers: ‘The situation is getting worse’

Royal Mail workers say that conditions in the company have been getting tougher – and management even more aggressive – in the last few years.

Racist English Defence League thugs plan protests

Racists in the English Defence League (EDL), who were chased out of Birmingham by hundreds of anti-fascists earlier this month, are planning a series of protests around the country.

Nazis driven out of Codnor

Anti-fascists celebrated a victory this week when the British National Party (BNP) admitted that it would not be returning to the Derbyshire village of Codnor to hold its Red, White and Blue summer "festival".

Protest demands police admit how Sean Rigg died

The first anniversary of the tragic death of Sean Rigg saw more than 200 people march through Brixton, south London, on Friday of last week accompanied with drums and chanting.

Police plan to ‘clamp down’ on Notting Hill Carnival

Police are yet again planning to "clamp down" on and criminalise people attending the Notting Hill Carnival.

‘Good cops’ lies at the climate camp

Climate activists were poised to swoop to a site in London on Wednesday of this week to set up a Camp for Climate Action. But another group is also ready for action – the police.

Lockerbie evidence shows grave miscarriage of justice

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was released from prison in Scotland and returned to Libya last week.

Western interests sit in the way of truth over Lockerbie bombing

The decision to release Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi last week has produced much fury and bluster from politicians in Westminster, Edinburgh and Washington.

Lockerbie evidence that won’t be heard

The real scandal of the last week is that, in forcing Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi to drop his second appeal case, evidence regarding what really happened will not now be heard in court.

Climate Camp established at Blackheath in London

Blackheath in South London is the venue for Climate Camp 2009. Activists gathered at "swoop spots" all over London today in preparation for Climate Camp 2009. They were waiting for a text message to tell them where the camp was to be sited so activists could create a coordinated action.

All-out strike starts at Tower Hamlets college

Lecturers formed mass pickets outside Tower Hamlets college in east London today, on the first day of an all-out, indefinite strike.

Occupation against swimming pool closure makes waves

Protesters occupied Sedgemoor Splash swimming pool in Bridgwater, Somerset at 3pm today. They are demanding that the Tory-run council reverses plans to close the pool.



Carole Vincent: the strange case of the missing police truncheon

It took Judge Pitts just ten minutes to find me "not guilty" of the theft of an ASP type metal police baton at Southwark Crown Court on 17 August.

Turks and Caicos Islands undergo a very British coup

Agents of the British state overthrew the elected government of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) in the Caribbean on 14 August and replaced it with direct imperial rule.

Women's athletics: gender is more than just XX chromosomes

What defines a woman? The way you look? The way you dress?


Vestas workers interviewed: in the eye of the storm

The Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight was Britain’s only significant producer of wind turbines – and one of the biggest employers on the island. But despite government promises of "green jobs", bosses there were able to suddenly close the factory, sacking 600 people.


In the Loop DVD

This satire takes us down the corridors of power in London and Washington where chillingly amoral politicians are putting together tissue-thin justifications for invading a country in the Middle East.

The Mountaintop

This magnificent two person play takes a fictional look at the last night of Martin Luther King’s life.


This acclaimed theatrical production of the inquest into the police killing of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station in 2005 is transferring to the Tricycle Theatre.

The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Edinburgh

This exhibition is a small but important monument to one of the most significant struggles in Britain in the 20th century. It charts the history of the women’s suffrage movement from the setting up of the first groups in 1866 to their eventual victory in 1928.

Broken Embraces

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s new film Broken Embraces is a homage to his own cinematic influences, and the process and paraphernalia of film-making.

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Quotes from the news

"No deal has been made between the British government and the Libyan government in relation to Megrahi and any commercial interests in the country." British Foreign Office spokesperson

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