Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2179

Dated: 28 Nov 2009




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Guilty of wrecking the planet

World leaders are sitting idly by while the planet burns. Those heads of government who can be bothered to attend are due to gather for climate change talks in Copenhagen next month.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Does British politics revolve around the Sun?

The Labour Party is in a panic over the Sun newspaper’s vicious, daily attacks on Gordon Brown and the government.

Superdrug strikes force concessions

Striking workers at the Superdrug distribution centre in South Elmsall, Yorkshire, have forced management to retreat after more than two weeks of all-out, indefinite strike action.

Cabin crew waiting for Christmas strike take off

British Airways (BA) chief executive Willie Walsh went on the offensive this week.

London climate protest set to make waves

There will be huge climate protests around the world next Saturday 5 December.

Details of the Leeds bins agreement

STREETSCENE DISPUTE Final Management Offer

Superdrug settlement explained in joint union/management statement

Joint statement Superdrug Stores PLC and Unite the Union Following a long, sometimes difficult but ultimately fruitful meeting between Unite, the representatives of the employees at Superdrug’s Northern Regional Distribution Centre (NRDC), Superdrug Senior Management and ACAS we would like to put forward this joint statement for consideration of the members with the aim of resolving the current industrial action pending a full ballot.

CWU president resigns from SWP

Jane Loftus, a Socialist Workers Party (SWP) member and the president of the CWU post workers’ union, voted to accept the interim agreement in the post dispute and to call off the strikes.

Climate protesters parade through Norwich

Hundreds of climate campaigners took part in a colourful parade in Norwich last Saturday that brought traffic to a standstill.

March planned against closure of Birmingham care home

Residents, families, staff and trade unionists are planning an emergency march this Saturday against the closure of Edwin Arrowsmith House, a care home for the elderly in Handsworth, Birmingham.

Debating the way forward for the People's Charter

Up to one hundred people gathered in London last week for the People’s Charter convention.

Vote for Mark Serwotka in PCS election

Voting has started in the general secretary election in the PCS civil service workers’ union.

Firefighters train up Palestinians

The FBU firefighters’ union in the north west of England is helping to train a delegation of firefighters who are visiting from Palestine.

Jerry Hicks campaign for Unite leadership launched

Jerry Hicks, the victimised left wing Rolls Royce worker, has announced that he will be standing in next year’s election for general secretary of Britain’s biggest union, Unite.

NUJ conference: Turning words into action

Over 150 National Union of Journalists (NUJ) delegates gathered at the union’s conference in Southport last week.

Joint union meeting against redundancies at University College London

Around 140 trade unionists packed into a joint union meeting at University College London (UCL) on Tuesday of last week.

Protesting against cuts at Leeds University

Up to 300 workers and students from Leeds University lobbied a meeting of the university council on Thursday of last week as managers discussed plans to make £35 million worth of cuts.

Autistic rights campaign meets

The London Autistic Rights Movement held a public meeting on Wednesday of last week to discuss the government’s Equalities Bill and threatened cuts to disability benefits.

Protest against Edinburgh care sell-off

Some 400 people with disabilities, their supporters and carers protested outside Edinburgh’s city chambers on Thursday of last week.

Stop the deportations of Lydia Besong and Bernard Batey

Asylum seekers Lydia Besong and Bernard Batey are being deported to Cameroon – the country they fled from after being tortured.

Waltham Forest school fights on

Teachers in the NUT union at Norlington School, east London, are continuing their fight after three days of strike action.

Teachers strike in Coventry

Teachers in one of Coventry’s biggest secondary schools struck on Friday of last week in protest over rising workloads.

Protest challenges demolition of Haringey sheltered housing

A powerful lobby of up to 40 people on Tuesday of last week urged Haringey council in north London to rethink its plans to demolish 130 sheltered homes.

Afghan regime and US strategy teeter on the brink

Britain’s foreign secretary David Miliband has admitted that the eight years of Western occupation of Afghanistan has built an unstable regime that would fall without the support of foreign troops.

Tube strikes are in the pipeline as disputes come together

RMT transport union members on London Underground this week started a ballot for strikes over pay – just as Unite union members voted for action short of a strike over the issue.

New revelations as Iraq war inquiry opens

The official inquiry into the 2003 Iraq war began its public hearings on Tuesday of this week amid a storm over leaked documents that show the backroom deals George Bush and Tony Blair made in the run-up to the slaughter.

ISS cleaners’ bosses arrested for blackmail

Three managers at private cleaning firm ISS have been arrested on suspicion of blackmailing migrant workers.

Free Joe Glenton—the soldier who refuses to fight in Afghan war

The British army has detained Lance Corporal Joe Glenton for 28 days after a hearing on Wednesday of last week for speaking out against the war in Afghanistan.

Did British soldiers kill Iraqi civilians?

An announcement of another public inquiry into allegations of torture by British troops is expected this week.

Camden NHS campaign stops private GPs threat

Health bosses in Camden, London, have been forced to shelve plans to hand a health centre over to a private firm.

Sussex healthcare rep threatened with sack

Zena Dodgson, secretary of Sussex healthcare Unison, has been threatened with the sack by health bosses.

Protest called against health cuts in east London

East London health workers have called a protest against privatisation and cuts in their NHS trust for Thursday of this week.

Victory in Leeds for bin workers

Refuse workers in Leeds have humiliated their council bosses—and shown that militant action can get results.

Striking east London bus workers: 'They pushed and we finally stood up'

Hundreds of bus workers joined picket lines across east London last week as a two-day strike shut down almost 60 bus routes in the area.

De Menezes family’s paltry payout

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the man killed by police in 2005, look set to receive just £100,000 compensation.

Hated Ofsted gets inspected

Ofsted, the hated schools and children’s services inspectorate, is used to branding workers as "failures". This week it got a taste of its own medicine.

Council houses need more cash

The government promised to fund a significant council house building and repair programme – but it has been revealed that it raised repairs funding by just 24 percent.

Jobless rate rise as wages fall

Unemployment up, inflation up and wages down – that’s the cheerful message just a month before Christmas.

BNP’s fascist Franco trip

Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party (BNP), took time out from stoking up race hatred in Britain last weekend to hobnob with fellow fascists in Europe.

Welsh Defence League chanted out of Wrexham

Swansea, Newport, and now Wrexham – each time the racist thugs of the Welsh Defence League (WDL) have threatened to march they have either been seen off or failed to appear.

Liverpool's defiant protest against homophobia

Anger and defiance at the rise in homophobic attacks was seen on the streets of Liverpool last Sunday when more than 1,500 people marched through the city.

Put post strikes back on, say reps across country

Union leaders were meeting to discuss whether to resume national post strikes as Socialist Worker went to press.

Floods in Cumbria - cuts behind the bridge failures

The floods that devastated parts of the country last week have left at least three people dead and thousands with their homes ruined.

Texts show post workers’ anger

"Talk talk talk. Stall stall stall. They’re playin us till Xmas. Nothin has changed. It’s got worse. Bring bak the strikes.""Name the dates. u cant deal with these arseholes. They are just wasting our time.""The dates should be from 1 December to 24 December.""If we don’t act now we’re finished in the new year.""Totally agree. Stand together and we can beat this pile of...""The time has come for action. No going back until we get what we want.""We have taken all they could throw at us so far and we are still standing united. We are fighting for what’s right, for the public

Mourners gather to remember Chris Harman

Hundreds of mourners from all corners of the globe gathered in the late winter sun today to say farewell to Chris Harman, the editor of International Socialism journal and before that Socialist Worker. Chris died unexpectedly earlier this month while in Cairo in Egypt to address a socialist conference.


International


Comment

Nurse training cut by degrees

The tabloids have greeted the news that all nurses will soon go to university by declaring we will become "too posh to wash". But such backward comments ignore the real problems with the plan.

2012 and climate change: off screen, real disaster looms

Socialist Worker asked me to go see the new film 2012 and to use the review as an excuse to riff on climate change. So I went. At the end of the film my date said, "Good luck writing a review of that."


Features

The battle of Seattle

"Those who were arguing they were going to shut the WTO down were in fact successful today." That was the frank admission of Seattle police chief Norm Stamper after the events of November 1999.

The 1999 Seattle protests gave birth to a global movement

Ten years ago, on 30 November 1999, like a lightning flash in an empty sky, the World Trade Organisation summit in Seattle was paralysed by mass protests. Trade unionists, and environmental and debt campaigners came together to expose the damaging effects of the drive for free trade.

Voices from the Seattle protests

‘I came here to protest about the killing of turtles. I’m going home determined to turn the whole world upside down.’Amber Pattison, who travelled 1,000 miles to Seattle

What force can solve Zizek’s antagonism?

Slavoj Zizek sparks the interest of people in a way that few other academic theorists today do.

Is China to blame for climate change?

Bitter rows over who is responsible for climate change lie behind much of the dithering by world leaders in the run up to the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen next month.

The struggle for the heart of Marx

Karl Marx’s ideas have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Most mainstream commentators, however, concentrate on Marx’s economic theories and tend to ignore the other fundamental aspect of his politics – his belief in the ability of the working class to liberate itself.


Reviews

Big Red Diary

This year’s Big Red Diary is all about resistance. It’s a practical, A6-size, week-to-view diary.

Meltdown - Ben Elton

Ben Elton is a strange figure. He rose to fame with his anti‑Thatcher rants back in the 1980s and earned much-deserved praise for his writing for Blackadder.

Who Do We Think We Are? - Imagining the nightmare of a fascist-run Britain

The year is 2030. The fascist British National Party (BNP) has been in power for 15 years.


What We Think


Other Categories

Tim: 45 minutes

Letters

New revolts in Europe The university occupation movement in Austria is now into its fifth week and is going from strength to strength. The media is supporting the protests, and commenting on the international character of the movement – and that the Austrian students have "infected" Germany with their radicalism. The movement is helping to put increasing pressure on the government.

Quotes from the week’s news

‘I’ve got absolutely nothing against women. Who cooks my dinner? How did my wonderful children appear? Women – you can’t do without them.’ Sir Jeremy Bagge, who opposed selection of Liz Truss as Tory candidate for South West Norfolk, responds to accusations he’s anti-women



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