Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2184

Dated: 16 Jan 2010

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The real face of the Tories

David Cameron moved to attack immigrants this week as the Tories proved they’re still the nasty party.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


South Yorkshire firefighters may restart strikes after management threats

Pressure is mounting for the South Yorkshire fire strikes to be put back on after 700 firefighters were threatened with the sack.

UCU pay ballot narrowly lost—but the fight goes on

Further and adult education lecturers in the UCU union have narrowly voted not to strike against a 1.5 percent pay offer.

Leeds university lecturers fight job cuts

Workers at the University of Leeds began a ballot for strike action on Monday of this week. The lecturers, in the UCU union, are facing a massive assault.

PCS union plans fight for jobs

The national executive committee of the PCS civil service workers’ union is to meet this week to finalise its response to the government’s plans to attack workers’ redundancy terms.

Protest at Corus steel factory

A second demonstration over the closure of the Corus steel plant on Teesside is set to take place next month.

Bus workers vote on new pay offer

First Bus workers in Worcester and Redditch have suspended two days of planned strike action while they ballot on a new pay offer.

Memorial for murdered Sri Lankan editor

Over 100 people attended the first anniversary memorial meeting for Sri Lankan newspaper editor, Lasantha Wickrematunge in London on Friday of last week.

Come together for council housing

Tenants’ groups, trade unionists and campaigners will come together for the Defend Council Housing conference in London on Friday 19 March.

Fujitsu: ‘This is definitely a strike worth having’

Striking Fujitsu Services workers braved sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice to hold lively and effective picket lines on the first three days of five days of action over pay, pensions and jobs.

Jean Charles de Menezes' family unveil memorial

Right to work: conference call for all workers

Young workers who are unionising new workplaces will be joining other delegates at the upcoming Right to Work conference.

Yunus Bakhsh: financial support needed for victimised activist

Victimised trade unionist and nurse Yunus Bakhsh finally has a chance to seek justice at an employment tribunal – but he urgently needs the help of the trade union movement and other supporters to make sure his campaign doesn’t fall at the final hurdle.

New strike ballot for BA cabin crew

Some 14,000 cabin crew workers at British Airways (BA) are set to be balloted again from Friday of next week for strikes.

RMT signal and power workers ballot

Almost 750 signal and power workers in the RMT transport union are balloting for action over a number of issues.

Virgin rail booking staff to strike

More than 200 Virgin booking staff have announced three more strikes against ticket office closures.

London rally called against Network Rail job losses

The RMT transport union has called a rally and lobby of parliament on Wednesday 27 January against Network Rail’s plans to axe 1,500 maintenance jobs.

Signal workers’ strike set to spread

Signal workers in the RMT union in South Wales remain in fighting mood after their second six-day strike – despite picketing in the snow.

Devon hospital workers strike back

Over 200 low paid hospital workers took two days of strike action last week following the refusal of their employers, Sodexo and the local NHS trust, to implement a pay agreement dating back to 2006.

Shifts in the ‘war on terror’ that bring more death

A number of significant shifts have taken place in the "war on terror" since Christmas. US rhetoric against Yemen has been cranked up since the failed Detroit plane bomber claimed to have been trained in the country.

Israel keeps up its attacks on Gaza

One year on from Israel’s assault on Gaza, its aggression against the Palestinian people continues.

Stopping the BNP in 2010

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) will hold its annual conference on Saturday 13 February in central London.

The battle for Barking begins

Nazi Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP, has declared that he will stand in the east London seat of Barking in the general election.

Nazis targeting Stoke-on-Trent

Anti-fascists are gearing up for a protest in Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday 23 January to oppose a march by the racist thugs of the English Defence League (EDL).

Bosses get us to work for free

More than five million workers "gave away" £27.4 billion in unpaid overtime last year, averaging a record £5,400 per person, a new study by the Trades Union Congress reveals.

Failed Labour coup shows crisis at the heart of government

Labour is in chaos. The Brownite and Blairite wings of the party are still at each others’ throats as their election strategy collapses in slow motion.

Daniel Bensaïd (25 March 1946-12 January 2010)

The SWP’s Alex Callinicos has sent the following message to comrades in the NPA

Blockade Brown's Afghanistan conference

A Stop the War Coalition meeting on Tuesday evening resolved to attempt to blockade Gordon Brown's Afghanistan conference and prevent it from going ahead.

Imperialist intervention and capitalism lie behind Haiti's nightmare

Tens of thousands of people in Haiti are dead and hundreds of thousands more wounded or homeless after the earthquake that tore through the country on Tuesday.


Argentina: trials show the unrepentant right

As Argentinian president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner flew over Buenos Aires, a voice interrupted the helicopter’s radio communication. "Kill her, kill the ‘mare’," it said, before playing a military march – the one used by the junta that "disappeared" 30,000 workers, students, intellectuals and political activists during its rule from 1976 to 1983.

Thousands of Tamils still held as Sri Lanka's election approaches

UN investigator Philip Alston has reported that footage of Sri Lankan soldiers executing prisoners last year was authentic.

Iris Robinson: scandal and sectarianism in Northern Ireland

Peter Robinson, the first minister of Northern Ireland, has resigned – temporarily, he claims.

Riots in Italy after racist shootings

"Racial cleansing" returned to western Europe last weekend.


Dennis Brutus: the poet who persevered

"Brutus is dead." That was the text message that woke me up on Boxing Day morning.

‘Failed states’: a loaded term

Yemen began to be described as a "failed state" almost as soon as a link had been established between the failed Christmas bomb attempt over Detroit and the existence of an Al Qaida cell in that country.

A year of Obama: compromise, crisis and capitulation

The first anniversary of Barack Obama’s inauguration as US president comes on 20 January.

Right wing lies are snow joke

Sections of the right wing media have gone on the offensive – over snow.


A dirty war in Aden: Britain’s role in Yemen’s history

The fact that the US has allowed Gordon Brown to host a summit on 28 January about the supposed threat that Yemen poses to the world is obviously of immense satisfaction to the New Labour government.

Interview: ‘US tactics in Yemen play into the hands of Al Qaida’

"The British were in South Yemen, then part of South Arabia, for 139 years – in Aden and parts of the protectorate. The war for independence from Britain was won in 1967.

Map showing position of Yemen

Eastern Europe's exposure to crisis

The economic crisis that has swept Eastern Europe and Russia was the ghost at the feast at last year’s celebrations of the anniversary of the 1989 revolutions.

SWP conference: Socialists must stoke resistance

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) annual conference last weekend saw major debates on how the party should respond to the global economic crisis and the political instability that it is generating.

Branches should be at the centre of struggles

The session on "Building the Socialist Workers Party" was introduced by Martin Smith, the party’s national secretary.

Workers’ confidence to fight attacks is rising

The session on the industrial response to the economic crisis saw a productive discussion about encouraging working class resistance.

Debating the war, students and climate

War The spread of imperialist wars in the age of Barack Obama was a key theme at the conference.

Mobilising against the fascists and the racists

A session on combating the fascist British National Party (BNP) and the Defence Leagues looked at what has changed since the election of two fascist MEPs last June.

More conference decisions

Scottish independence A motion on Scottish independence, proposed by the central committee, was overwhelmingly passed. This said that in the current situation the SWP would back a vote for separation in a referendum.


1848: Year of Revolution

The year uprisings swept Europe is dramatically brought to life in this study of 1848 across a dozen capitals, from Paris to Krakow.

Up in the Air

This film stars George Clooney as a corporate "downsizer" as he travels the world, sacking workers for bosses too scared to do it themselves.

Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

This biopic of Blockheads rocker Ian Dury charts his rise to fame on the cusp of New Wave.

Mugabe and the White African

This film dramatically shows the attempt by two white farmers – Mike Campbell and his British son-in-law Ben Freeth – to stop the Zimbabwean government taking over their 3,000-acre farm.

Bristol: the ‘riots’ that helped us speak out - and party

Britain’s multi-racial music and street style is the subject of two new exhibitions – timely and revealing reminders of the ways society changed during the 1980s.

What We Think

Other Categories

Tim: 'We can't go on like this'



Quotes from the week's news

‘There can be no viler act – apart from homosexuality and sodomy – than sexually abusing innocent children.’Disgraced DUP politician Iris Robinson thinks that gay sex is worse than child abuse

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