Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2169

Dated: 19 Sep 2009




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As Brown and Cameron declare war on public services - The fight is on

Gordon Brown is planning massive cuts that will devastate working class communities across Britain.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Construction subcontracting scam

Bosses are stealing millions of pounds from thousands of construction workers’ national insurance contributions and taxes.

Visteon Pension Action demo

Injuries follow bus strike breaking

Two pedestrians were seriously injured in a collision between a strike-breaking bus and a lorry in Cowes on the Isle of Wight at the weekend. Police are investigating the incident.

Unofficial action wins in Edgware

Unofficial action gets results. That is the lesson for drivers at bus operator Sovereign in north west London where bosses have now agreed to run a shuttle service to bring drivers back to their garage in Edgware for meal breaks.

Lively picket lines in Lancashire

Over 800 workers from First Bus in Bolton, Bury and Wigan struck on Friday of last week in protest at the company’s plan to impose a pay freeze.

Aberdeen workers settle dispute

The dispute at First Aberdeen has come to an end after workers voted to accept the latest pay offer from the company.

Rally to defend Doncaster union rep

Some 350 defiant trade unionists, socialists and people from the community descended on Mansion House in Doncaster last Saturday in support of suspended Unison union convenor Jim Board.

Leeds bin workers’ fury over bosses lies

The all-out indefinite strike by over 500 hundred refuse collectors and street cleaners in Leeds has entered its second week. Many depots had large picket lines with some agency workers being persuaded to turn back.

Tower Hamlets College workers all out to win

Striking workers who are fighting for jobs and educat­ion at Tower Hamlets College in east London are growing more determined by the day – and their fantastic action has forced management to backtrack.

Solidarity matters

The militancy of the strike is inspiring workers and activists around the country and support is pouring in.

Fresh scandal for Rover bosses

An inquiry into MG Rover has revealed that the so-called "Phoenix Four" who bought the company for just £10 shared up to £42 million in the run-up to the firm’s bankruptcy in 2005.

Striking for state education

Teachers in five schools in Tamworth, Staffordshire, were set to strike on Wednesday of this week in protest at plans to introduce an academy and a privately-run sixth form in the town.

Another failing academy school

New Labour’s academy programme has lurched into a new crisis with news that a £30 million academy school in Sheffield will be placed in special measures following an Ofsted inspection.

No retirement panic for bosses

New figures on pensions and pay show that Britain’s top bosses are not sharing the pain of the recession. Ordinary people have seen a swathe of attacks on their pay and pensions.

‘They treat us like slaves’

Yasmin, from Southwark, south London, is an unemployed worker. She spoke to Socialist Worker about why she is planning to protest against Labour.

Building the resistance outside Labour conference

The rage against Labour is set to explode on Sunday 27 September as thousands march on the party’s conference in Brighton.

Vestas workers say back the fight for green jobs

Thousands of activists across Britain are to hold a day of action in support of the Vestas wind turbine workers on Thursday of this week.

Cleaning union activist sacked

Juan Carlos Piedra has become the latest victim of cleaning companies’ onslaught against employees involved in unionisation.

20,000 pack into Hull anti-racist carnival

More than 20,000 people of all backgrounds packed into a Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) show at the second annual Freedom Festival in Hull last weekend.

Don’t let fascist BNP on BBC’s Question Time

The fascist British National Party (BNP) is attempting to capitalise on the two seats it took in the European elections in June by grabbing as much free publicity as possible. And, outrageously, the BBC is helping it.

Key maternity pledge dropped

One big casualty of Gordon Brown’s cuts came this week as Labour announced that it has abandoned a promise to extend maternity pay from nine months to a year because the state can no longer afford it.

Unions demand ban on Nazis

Union leaders have called for a ban on fascist British National Party (BNP) members working in the public services and for a huge campaign to counter the threat of fascism.

Gordon Brown unleashes new wave of cuts at TUC

Gordon Brown announced that he will cut public services and jobs at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Liverpool this week.

TUC vigil for victims of racism and fascism

Vestas protesters occupy barge in Southampton

Workers and campaigners against the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight have chained themselves to cranes and boarded a barge in Southampton docks.

Vestas day of action reports

A wave of protest in support of the Vestas wind turbine workers took place across Britain on Thursday. The workers occupied their factory in Newport on the Isle of Wight, after bosses announced that it was to close. The occupation, and the workers’ fight for jobs and the planet, inspired tens of thousands of people.

Unofficial post strike spreads across West of Scotland

Postal workers across much of the West of Scotland have walked out on unofficial strike after management punished drivers at Glasgow mail centre for refusing to cross their colleagues’ picket lines.

Police move in to smash Vestas camp

The "blockade camp" outside the Vestas wind turbine factory was smashed up by 50 police officers in a dawn raid this morning.

Middlesbrough postal workers unofficial walkout

Postal workers at Middlesbrough sorting office walked out unofficially this morning after scores of managers from across the north of England descended on the office in an effort to break the union.

Anti-fascists drive the Nazis out of Harrow

"Harrow united – no racists here" read one handmade placard on the 2,000-strong anti-fascist demonstration in north west London on Friday of last week.

EDL: Fascism’s street fighting wing

The EDL has been touted as the street fighting wing of the BNP. Although both the EDL and the BNP deny such links, several of the EDL’s leading organisers are listed as BNP members.

Bus workers join the anti-EDL protest

There were groups of bus workers on the Harrow demonstration from at least four local garages.

EDL beaten at al-Quds march

The EDL thugs tried to threaten the al-Quds pro-Palestine march in London’s Trafalgar Square last Sunday – but they failed.

Terror racist is jailed

A white supremacist who was planning a campaign of terror against black and Asian people was sentenced at the Old Bailey last week.

Nazi scum off our screens - why we say no to the BNP on the BBC

BNP leader Nick Griffin is to be welcomed onto the BBC’s Question Time programme. Chris Bambery answers common sense views on the Nazis and free speech

The economy: lying to justify cuts

‘Voters back Tories to cut public spending", screamed the Sunday Times this week. A YouGov poll shows that people want public spending cuts rather than tax increases, Rupert Murdoch’s paper claimed.

Mail piles up as post strikes bite

Royal Mail bosses, who are being battered from pillar to post by a series of regional strikes, now face the prospect of a nationwide strike. The CWU union this week begins a ballot of its 120,000 post worker members.

Management think Royal Mail cuts are a ‘rollercoaster’

Has David Brent from BBC comedy The Office got a job as a Royal Mail manager? Two leaked letters seen by Socialist Worker suggest this possibility.

Strike against Kellogg’s cereal job losses

Workers at a breakfast cereals factory are to ballot on strike action over redundancies.

Battle continues at London Met

Workers at London Metropolitan University look set to take further strike action in their fight against job cuts.

Massive vote for action at Barnsley college

Lecturers in the UCU union at Barnsley College are set to strike on Thursday of this week after a 76 percent vote for action.

Manchester lecturers out against cuts

Lecturers at Manchester College are set to strike on Thursday of next week against course cuts and redundancies.

100% for Eurostar cleaners' strike

Cleaners on the Eurostar trains at St Pancras International in London have voted by 100 percent to strike.

Anti-Sats day of action

Activists took to the streets across Britain last Saturday to campaign against the hated Sats tests.

Firefighters' mood is hotting up

Firefighters across the country are engaged in a series of disputes that reflect a rising mood of anger at cutbacks in the service.


International

Student protests in Australia

A student protest movement has exploded across Australia in recent weeks against racist attacks and the collapse of private colleges.

Spate of suicides in France after ‘management by terror’

Trade unionists are blaming a brutal management culture at communications giant France Telecom for a spate of suicide attempts by workers.

Israel steps up its drive to dominate

Barack Obama’s attempt at a new "peace process" in the Middle East is already in serious trouble.


Comment

Doctors: when torture is the treatment

Shocking evidence has emerged that CIA medical personnel were centrally involved in torture at US detention sites such as Guantanamo.

Justification for Afghan war is collapsing

A large chunk of the already ramshackle case for the Western military occupation of Afghanistan has now collapsed.


Features

What causes child violence?

The horrific case of two brothers aged ten and 11 who violently assaulted two other boys has re-opened the issue of children and violence. The media coverage has sparked panic, with a sharp rise in calls and referrals to already stretched social workers.

US health plan is trapped by free market ideology

US president Barack Obama addressed a joint meeting of Congress last week about the need to reform the US health system, which was one of his central electoral promises. This followed months of sniping from the right.

Climate change: are people part of the problem?

Climate change is threatening the future of the planet. Millions of people around the globe are already feeling the effects of environ­mental damage and are asking what we can do to stop it.

Are there just too many people?

There is another "common sense" belief that has been at the heart of much discussion on the environment for many years – that there are simply too many people on the planet.

Is there an alternative to how things are run?

If we want to produce to meet people’s needs, we need planned production to replace the anarchy of the market.

Russia was a crucible for new development

Most socialists dream of taking part in a revolution. The revolutionary Leon Trotsky was involved in two, playing a leading role in the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917.


Reviews

Win Counter Culture T-shirt

The anti-capitalist movement pioneered a politics of subvertising.

Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction

Science fiction and socialists have always had a relationship that derives from our shared desire to discuss possible futures.

Theme Time Radio Hour with your host Bob Dylan: season two

Now something of an institution, Bob Dylan’s radio show divides the world into a series of somewhat random categories, such as work or guns, and then builds a playlist of songs around them.

Wounded: Soldiers that the army would rather you didn’t see

This harrowing documentary follows two British soldiers who have been horrifically injured while fighting in Afghanistan.

District 9: 'aliens' are already among us

A group of soldiers swaggers through a slum backing up callous bureaucrats as they serve eviction orders on the malnourished residents. Anyone who objects faces abuse. Anyone who resists is shot down.


What We Think


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: No plug for Nazis

Tim: hard choices for bankers

Letters

Gordon Brown’s tragic hypocrisy Gordon Brown has confirmed that Britain will support compensation claims being made against Libya by the families of IRA victims.

Lehman Brothers collapse a year on

"With or without Lehman Brothers we were headed for a crisis. But we learnt the wrong lesson. We’ve created a financial system with more institutions that are too big to fail."Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz warning one year on about problems in how the collapse of Lehman Brothers was handled



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