Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2180

Dated: 05 Dec 2009




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World leaders won't stop climate change: People power can save the planet

We’ve needed action on climate change for ages, but all the politicians want to do is talk about it. There are too many people making money out of polluting the world—and politicians don’t want to stand up to them.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Defiant CT Plus bus pickets demand respect

"Fair pay, now!" shouted striking bus workers outside the CT Plus bus garage in east London in the early morning of Friday last week.

First Bus in Leeds votes to strike

Drivers at First Bus in Leeds have voted for strikes over pay.

Rotherham bus drivers suspend strike action

Stagecoach bus drivers in Rotherham have suspended strike action for talks after staging an angry walkout on Monday of last week in their fight over low pay.

Meet to discuss boycott of Israel

Soas university Palestine Society and the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine is holding an important meeting on Israel, the Palestinians and apartheid – the case for sanctions and boycott this Friday 4 December, 7pm, Khalili lecture hall at Soas in central London.

Union starts ballot for FE pay strikes

UCU union members in further education colleges will receive ballot papers from 11 December as the union begins a vote over pay.

Barnsley strikes off for talks

Lecturers in the UCU union at Barnsley college have suspended planned strike action after college management agreed to negotiate over proposed changes to job descriptions that would lower lecturers’ grades and pay.

London Met University: wrong data revealed

A damning report into the recording of student numbers at London Metropolitan University has found that management knew of incorrect data regarding student numbers as early as 2004.

Specialist Schools and Academies Trust conference protest

Protesters gathered outside the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust conference on Thursday of last week to expose the continued sell off of schools.

Norlington School trust conversion ‘deferred indefinitely’

Campaigners celebrated this week after plans to turn Norlington School for Boys in Waltham Forest, east London, into a private Trust school were deferred indefinitely.

Strike to stop academy plans

Teachers in the NUT and NASUWT unions at Weston Favell school in Northampton are set to strike on Thursday of this week against plans to turn the school into an academy.

Save Our Sociology protest at Birmingham university

Activists in Birmingham university’s "Save Our Sociology" campaign led a noisy march past the university’s council chamber on Thursday of last week.

Mikey Powell inquest: Pathologist says 'critical event' took place in police van

Mikey Powell died in police custody because of the way he was restrained, a medical expert told the ongoing inquest into the Birmingham man’s death.

Lessons from attempt to turn Leeds university into a business

Labour minister Peter Mandelson wants to turn universities into businesses – and he has chosen to start at Leeds university. Vice‑chancellor Michael Arthur is pushing it through.

Students lead fight over university cuts

Universities across Britain are facing devastating cuts – but students and staff are fighting back.

Iraq inquiry causes new storm for establishment

Many people feared that the Iraq inquiry, which opened last week, was going to be a whitewash.

Leeds bin workers keep an eye on council

Refuse workers in Leeds marched back into work on Wednesday of last week after forcing council bosses to retreat on a number of attacks on their pay and conditions—but workers now have to make sure that the council sticks to its promises.

'My grandson died in an unjust war'

‘I have no idea how we got into this war in the first place. It is so obvious that it is business that is making money and the profits are flowing. But things are terrible for ordinary people in Afghanistan.

More terror raids target Muslims

Police raids in the north west of England on 16 November shocked many people. Five men were arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences.

Report condemns police's G20 tactics

The Metropolitan police got a dressing down at the hands of Denis O’Connor, the chief inspector of constabulary, when his report on the policing of the G20 protests was released last week.

Stop the War die-in outside parliament

Lively protest against east London NHS cuts

Some 30 health workers and campaigners protested on Thursday of last week against privatisation and cuts in east London NHS.

Meeting defends victimised rep Caroline Bedale

Trade unionists from Manchester and beyond last week rallied to defend Caroline Bedale, the longstanding Unison activist who is being victimised by her union’s leadership.

Alan Docherty targeted by Unison leadership

Alan Docherty, branch secretary of Darlington local government Unison, is the latest target of the union leadership’s attacks on left activists.

Visteon pension protest

Ex Ford-Visteon workers protested outside Ford’s factory in Bridgend, South Wales, on Tuesday after the collapse of the company’s pension fund.

Manchester UAF demonstrate against desecration of Muslim graves

Over 100 people joined a Unite Against Fascism rally outside Southern Cemetery in Manchester last Sunday to protest against the desecration, for a third time, of Muslim gravesstones.

Historical Materialism conference analyses the crisis

Over seven hundred people gathered in central London last weekend for a Marxist conference.

Fujitsu talks continue

Talks are continuing between the Fujitsu Services IT company and the Unite union in an effort to resolve an important dispute about pensions, pay and jobs.

Plymouth protest against bus sell off

Up to 150 campaigners joined a march through Plymouth last Saturday against the council’s plans to sell off the city’s bus company.

Vote Mark Serwotka

Voting is continuing in the crucial election for general secretary of the PCS civil service workers’ union.

Virgin West Coast cleaners strike

Cleaners on Virgin West Coast line services have struck for two 24 hour periods in their fight over pay and conditions.

Construction deal is rushed through

After months of negotiation, unofficial strikes and official ballots, the national agreement in construction has finally been pushed through.

First blacklisting employment tribunal in January

The first employment tribunal arising out of the construction industry blacklisting scandal is due to be heard in January, with dozens more set to take place throughout next year.

'Dubai dream' is over as the bubble bursts

Dubai, the once-gleaming playground of the rich, has become the latest victim of the global financial chaos. Its powerful investment arm, Dubai World, is close to bankruptcy, and its fate dependent on the largess of other Arab governments.

Chaos from Dubai could spread to Britain

Last year Gordon Brown visited Dubai and, with his usual level of insight, praised the country for helping mitigate the global financial crisis.

Why Britain’s recession is a long way from over

"Unbelievable, literally". That was the response of one economist at US investment bank Goldman Sachs to the news last month that Britain was still in recession.

Unite local government reps' conference

Ninety delegates attended the first national conference of the Unite union’s local government sector last week. From the start, there was argument against the union’s call for activists to build support for New Labour in next year’s general election.

'The Sun used me to push its own agenda'

The Sun newspaper is not known for its sympathetic portrayal of asylum seekers—so Urginia Mauluka was a little surprised to get a call saying that it wanted to interview her about her experiences.

Stop racist EDL marches in Nottingham and Harrow

Anti-fascist campaigners in Nottingham and Harrow are preparing to counter two demonstrations by the racist thugs of the English Defence League (EDL).

Defend Assed Baig from attacks

A number of officers from the National Union of Students have launched a statement in defence of anti-Nazi activist and Staffordshire University union president Assed Baig.

US Afghan surge shows the deepening crisis

Barack Obama’s new troop surge to Afghanistan is a desperate attempt to get out of the crisis Nato troops are in.

Does war make Britain safer from terrorism?

"A more stable and secure Afghanistan and Pakistan will help ensure a safer Britain."

Post workers say there is still a mood to resist Royal Mail's attacks

Newspapers were rife with speculation this week that post workers could resume strikes during the crucial Christmas period.

'Failing hospitals' report slams NHS privatisation

A damning report into hospitals last week claimed many were so sub-standard that over 5,000 patients had died in their care—despite being admitted with low-risk conditions.

Support growing for the Right to Work conference of resistance

Trade unionists, unemployed people, students and others will gather in Manchester at the end of next month for a massive conference of solidarity and resistance, hosted by the Right to Work campaign.

Reactors could be dangerous says safety watchdog

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) last week said that it could not recommend the government’s plans for new nuclear reactors because of safety concerns.

Dubai crisis shows capitalism is built on sand

Just as hopes were being raised that the worst of the recession might be over, the lunacy of the market strikes again.

Britain's biggest ever climate protest hits London

A blue sea of protesters flowed through central London today calling on Gordon Brown to take serious action to cut carbon emissions and stop climate change.


International

Student struggles sweep Serbia

A wave of student struggle is sweeping over the streets of the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Three marches of some 1,500 students held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday last week have marked a new phase in student organisation.

US legitimises right wing coup in Honduras

There was never any possibility that last weekend’s Honduran presidential election would be legitimate.


Comment

Labour’s welfare plans far from radical

Over the last few weeks both Labour and the Tories have announced plans to restructure education, health and social services after next year’s election.

Switzerland's vote to ban minarets boosts European racists

Across Europe, racists have cheered the result of last Sunday’s referendum in Switzerland, which saw a vote to impose a ban on the building of minarets on mosques.


Features

Car workers: being driven to destruction

"They call them the Area Improvement Team. All they do is go round trying to shave seconds off jobs. Their job is to take a second off here, a second off there. They don’t take it completely out of the job and make you work a second harder. Oh no, they’re cuter than that.

We don't have to abandon industrial progress to beat climate change

Massive corporations are wrecking the planet, burning huge amounts of fossil fuels and causing climate change as they disregard everything in a frenzied race for profits.

We need to look for collective solutions to climate change

Growing concerns about climate change, fuelled by the failure of governments to address the problem, have led many people to ask what they can do to stop the destruction of the environment.

Is global warming all your fault?

Small changes in individual lifestyles are promoted as the best we can achieve.

Can we change the world enough to save the planet?

Capitalism is causing climate chaos. It is a system based on blind competition between companies, each trying to make the most money. They see the natural world as something to be exploited for short term gain – a seemingly endless mine of resources and an infinitely large rubbish bin for waste.

Graph showing proportion of waste by sector in the UK

Trading the planet's future on credits and carbon offsetting

Many claim that carbon trading is an effective mechanism for reducing emissions. It has failed spectacularly – yet lots of governments remain committed to it.


Reviews

Philosophy Football September competition winners

Congratulations to Sylvestre Balazard, Matija Medenica, Wendy McLoughln, Barry Olson and David York.

Bookmarks bookshop’s Christmas Events

Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop, has put together a great programme of events for December.

Love Music Hate Racism Christmas Party

Love Music Hate Racism has organised a superb Christmas fundraising party.

Socialist Worker Appeal: Christmas competition

The Socialist Worker Appeal team has put together a great selection of gift ideas for this Christmas, ranging from coffee sets to T-shirts, a Big Red Diary to jewellery, mugs to a Russian Revolution snowstorm.

Philip Kerr interview: Bernie Gunther and the crime of the century

By choosing Nazi Germany as his setting, Philip Kerr has turned crime thrillers into something far more than pulp fiction.


What We Think


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Boots on the ground Afghanistan

Tim: unlikely, but…

Letters

Letters

Quotes from the week's news

"An Orwellian consensus based not on scientific agreement, but on bullying, censorship and fraudulent statistics."



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