Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2187

Dated: 06 Feb 2010




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NHS, education, services, jobs...‘We’re fighting to stop the cuts now’

POLITICANS ARE squabbling over just how quickly public spending cuts should be rammed through after the general election. They argue about whether they should be merely devastating or totally catastrophic.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Meeting to discuss Iran, Wednesday 3 February

IRAN: WHAT LIES AHEAD?THE MOVEMENT, SANCTIONS AND THE WEST

Action over dangerous Network Rail cuts

The RMT union is planning to ballot members at Network Rail for strike action.

British Gas strike ballot planned

THE GMB union was to serve notice this week of an official strike ballot of 8,000 members at British and Scottish Gas. It is in protest at attacks on jobs and conditions.

Plymouth post workers victory

A CWU member at the West Park Delivery Office in Plymouth has written an inspiring report on how they won the reinstatement of their union rep.

Latest results in pay fight on London buses

Drivers and engineers at Metroline in London have voted overwhelmingly for action against bullying.

Firefighters keep up the pressure

The threat of eight days of strike action by South Yorkshire firefighters has forced their bosses into talks.

No to subcontracting

The battle over jobs in construction is taking to the streets of London this week.

Anger grows in universities as attacks step up

Resistance to the cuts across higher education is growing. Lecturers at Leeds university are coming to the end of their strike ballot and more groups of lecturers are preparing to join the fight.

Strikes have rattled the Fujitsu bosses

Strikes at Fujitsu Services have clearly worried the IT company.

Ealing give sell-off plan a ticket

More than 40 traffic wardens and their supporters protested outside the Ealing council meeting that decided to privatise them, on Tuesday of last week.

It’s a family friendly council strike

Workers in Bedford borough council’s direct services department have been striking on Mondays and Fridays since 21 January over attacks on pay and conditions.

Industrial roundup

Jobcentre talks with PCS continue Two weeks of "intensive talks" continue between the PCS civil service workers’ union and Jobcentre Plus management.

TUSC left coalition to stand in general election

Two Labour ministers have now let slip that the general election is going to be on Thursday 6 May.

Over 270,000 civil service workers launch strike ballot

Hundreds of thousands of civil service workers will start a ballot this week over attacks on their redundancy rights. It could mean major strikes in the run-up to the general election.

Picture of RMT lobby of parliament over Network rail

Bolton will defy EDL's racist thugs

"I cannot rule out violence," these are the ominous words of English Defence League (EDL) founder Tommy Robinson. He was talking about the EDL’s planned demonstration in Bolton on Saturday 6 March.

Anti-fascists organise to block Nick Griffin in Barking

Anti-fascist campaigners in Barking, east London, are gearing up for a day of action against the BNP this Saturday.

Health cuts are already wrecking our hospitals

The Labour Party and the Conservatives are busily talking up their plans to cut after the election but the attacks on public services have already begun.

Blair: No regrets and I’d bomb Iran

"The decision I took—and frankly would take again—was if there was any possibility that he could develop weapons of mass destruction we should stop him.

Strings attached to US Yemen ‘aid’ cash

The corrupt government of Yemen won international support and funding to do the US’s bidding in the country last week.

Anti-war soldier Joe Glenton's charges dropped

The army has dropped the heaviest charges it was to bring against Joe Glenton, the British soldier who refused to fight in Afghanistan.

Bribe plan for the Taliban

A Nato conference has agreed to set aside $500 million to bribe Taliban members to swap sides in Afghanistan.

Which way forward for the Labour Party

The deep tensions within the Labour Party are intensifying as the general election approaches.

Will Labour charge BAE over arms deal bribes?

The government must decide whether to prosecute over the BAE Systems bribery scandal—after letting the arms trader off the hook last time.

Haiti protests over quake aid

Hundreds of people protested against Haitian president Rene Preval on Saturday of last week.

Biased cuts

The government has thrown 202,700 people off disability benefits in just over a year, new figures show.

Bosses’ offensive puts workers’ future at risk

High street chemist Boots is cutting more than 15,000 workers’ pensions.

Cutter Crozier quits Royal Mail but watch out ITV

Royal Mail fat cat Adam Crozier has quit—but will walk away with a £2 million bonus.

Lovely recovery we’re having

The jobs massacre gives the lie to New Labour’s spin that the recession is over.

News in brief

Suicides rise as recession bites Suicide rates shot up as the recession started, new figures show.

Official: Unison branches broke union rules on political funding

The Certification Officer, who monitors trade unions, has ruled that Unison broke its own rules over political funding.

Bosses threaten to use scabs on Tube and at BA

Bosses and politicians are putting profits before safety in their attempts to crush two high-profile groups of workers.

Leeds University workers vote to strike

Lecturers at Leeds University have voted strongly for strike action over job cuts.

Strike disrupts London Underground

A strike by 750 signals workers has caused major disruption on London Underground today. The RMT transport union members are angry about management's plans to enforce shift changes, break agreements and outsource work.

Students occupy roof at Sussex University

Around 150 students have occupied the roof and conference centre of Bramber House at Sussex University, near Brighton, today. They are protesting at management’s plans for cuts across campus. The conference centre is often hired out to private companies.

Hunger strike at Yarl's Wood detention centre

Women in Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre have been on hunger strike since Friday of last week against their treatment in the centre. The detention centre is used to hold people before they are forcibly removed from Britain.


International

Demonstrate to support Turkey’s Tekel workers

The Turkish TUC has called a national day of action in support of the ongoing Tekel workers’ action in the capital, Ankara.


Comment

A new debt crisis stalks capitalism

Remember the Third World debt crisis of the 1970s and 1980s? The First World debt crisis of the 2000s and 2010s may make it look like a tea party.


Features

Inequality and the return of class

Inequality is alive and well in Britain, as a new government report has admitted. But although politicians and the media will accept that inequality exists, few acknowledge that class is the basis for that inequality.

The First International was forged in struggle

Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez has called for the formation of a Fifth International to unite socialists around the world.

Right to Work conference: ‘We can fight, we can win’

Over 900 people packed into the Right to Work conference last weekend. Socialist Worker reports on the key themes of the day and looks ahead to building on broad networks of resistance

Right to work conference voices

Participants in the conference in Manchester speak about the day

Where next for Right to Work campaign?

"Today has been inspirational but we have to move on from just being inspired", Raymond from the steering committee told the conference’s final session.

Right to Work conference: workshop reports

How can we stop the jobs massacre? by Tom Walker


Reviews

The Spirit Level

This book is a devastating and forensic look at inequality across the world – and the terrible problems it causes in society.

Identity: Eight rooms, nine lives

Eight rooms, nine lives is part of the Identity season at the Wellcome Collection. The exhibition is made of plywood rooms, all in different shapes and angles, with doorways you have to look for.

The Hostage

It’s Ireland 1958 and a young IRA man is sentenced to death by the British. The IRA reply by taking a British soldier hostage and bringing him to a squalid Dublin boarding house.

Precious: a movie that shows the value of our everyday battles

I had to suppress a cringe when I heard that Mariah Carey and Oprah Winfrey were associated with this film. Surely any movie with those two involved would be a saccharine, fairytaleish, shiny story of impossible optimism?

The Real Van Gogh - extraordinary paintings of ordinary life

A new exhibition highlights the democratic spirit of Van Gogh’s art, argues John Molyneux


What We Think

Tory flip-flop over cuts shows their weakness

Spot the difference. Last April, David Cameron strutted the stage at the Tory spring conference, talking tough. He declared an "age of austerity", and boasted that the Tories would face up to the "incredibly tough decisions" on government spending.

Climate change deniers are real fakes

CLIMATE CHANGE deniers are on the offensive. They are using small sections of correspondence between climate scientists to claim that the evidence for global warming is faked.


Other Categories

Howard Zinn: a life of insubordination

LESS THAN a week has passed since the death of one of the most beloved figures on the US left, the 87 year-old "people’s historian" Howard Zinn. But already his legacy of inspiring generations of fellow activists is plain.

Alistair Hulett, 1951–2010: musician, activist, socialist

Alistair Hulett died suddenly last week after a short illness.

Leon's view

Tim: "Break your legs"

Tim: Cameron wobbles

Letters

Our leaders have failed Haiti – but we haven’t Students, teachers and non-teaching staff at Filton High School, south Gloucestershire, raised £500 for Haiti last week.

The week in quotes

"It’s just over £1 billion, £1.5 billion, something like that."



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