Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2188

Dated: 13 Feb 2010



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No justice

Manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction can pay their way out of the courts. Young people protesting against war crimes are subject to harsh jail terms.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

The British state’s revenge on Gaza protesters

Up to ten protesters faced severe jail sentences on Friday of this week for joining protests against Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2008 and 2009.

The system protects the police, not us

‘There is unfairness in the way cases are being built against protesters arrested after the Gaza demonstrations.

Victories against BNP and EDL - now let’s stop racists in Dudley

Anti-fascists are celebrating after planned racist events in Durham and Bolton were called off last week.

Anti-Nazis step up the fight to wreck Nick Griffin’s Barking campaign

The campaign to stop fascist BNP leader Nick Griffin becoming MP for Barking hit the streets again last Saturday.

US hotel cancels racist booking

The BNP leader Nick Griffin is planning to appear at a conference organised by "American Renaissance", a US white supremacist group.

Arms dealer BAE gets away with murder

The corrupt arms dealer BAE has always believed itself above the law – and proved on Friday last week that it is.

How New Labour stopped investigations into BAE

Tony Blair cancelled an investigation into BAE providing £600 million in bribes for Saudi Arabia.

Arms cash

Chile – BAE secretly paid £1 million to General Pinochet in return for help over arms deals.Romania – The 2003 sale of two ex-Royal Navy frigates saw payments of £7 million in "secret commissions" to clinch the £116 million ship refurbishment deal.Czech Republic – The 2003 sale of Gripen fighter aircraft to the Czech Republic saw the CIA, rival arms companies and the Czech police confirm bribery attempts by BAE.Qatar – After the sale of UK arms to Qatar in 1996, BAE paid a £7 million "commission" into three Jersey trust funds under the cont

Pension fightback at key Welsh port

Milford Haven Port Authority pilots and launch crews have voted for strikes.

SWP women’s school success

Around 100 people came to a dayschool on women’s liberation last weekend, organised by the Socialist Workers Party.

Bosses suspend union activist

Campaigners are set to protest against the suspension of Unite union activist Alberto Durango by the Lancaster cleaning company at the UBS building in London.

Support the Fujitsu workers

The planned strike at the Fujitsu Services IT company did not take place on Monday of this week.

Rapid response to fire cutbacks

Firefighters at Birchwood fire station in Warrington face cuts that could see them "working from home" at night.

Kirklees council strike vote

Unison Union members at Kirklees council, West Yorkshire, have voted for an industrial action ballot after the council reneged on key single status agreements.

New action called at Wisbech cannery

Workers at Premier Foods cannery in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, have voted to restart their strikes. They rejected a revised pay offer by 208 votes to 96.

Unison elections: the left must unite

The battle for the general secretary of the 1.3 million- strong Unison union is on.

Bilston Delivery office campaign

Over 100 campaigners met in Bilston, West Midlands, last week to launch a campaign to stop the closure of the local postal delivery office.

Signalling resistance on London Underground

A strike by 750 signal workers caused major disruption on London Underground last week.

Leicester fights back

Our city is facing a wave of cuts that could devastate services, destroy jobs, and even cost lives. With up to 2,000 jobs at stake, our unions must lead resistance.

Manchester Metropolitan University ban on-site union meetings

Bosses at Manchester Metropolitan University have launched an outrageous assault on workers’ rights to organise in trade unions.

Leeds University lecturers vote to strike

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

London-wide education demo called for 20 March

Lecturers have called a London-wide demonstration in defence of jobs and education on Saturday 20 March.

Teachers ballot to stop Sats

The NUT teachers’ union national executive will meet on 25 February to decide the terms and timing of a ballot on action over the hated Sats tests.

Vote for national civil service workers’ strike

Strike ballot papers arrived at the homes of more than 270,000 civil service workers last week. The workers’ PCS union is urging them to vote yes to defend their redundancy rights and jobs, and oppose privatisation.

Protest over exploitation in construction

Some 150 construction workers staged a series of protests over exploitation on Wednesday of last week.

Right to Work: the resistance comes together

Activists across Britain are forming networks to fight the cuts, stop job cuts and support local campaigns.

New wave of hospital cuts threatens jobs - and lives

Hospitals across Britain are threatened with ward closures while thousands of health workers face redundancy in a new wave of government cuts.

Education under attack as cuts hit

Education is being attacked as the government plans to cut a staggering £449 million from university budgets.

Activists’ diary: upcoming dates for the movement

Saturday 13 FebruaryUnite Against Fascism national conference 9.30am-5pm,TUC, Great Russell Street, London WC1B

Uncovering roots of scab ‘union’ at British Airways

The "scabin crew" at British Airways is getting jittery.

Greek workers won’t pay for bosses’ crisis

Workers across Greece’s public sector are set to strike over cuts on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

What does euro gamble mean?

Speculators have bet a record £5 billion in the last few days that the euro is about to fall sharply in value. Why is this happening?

Carbon report slams trading

The government’s favoured method for "reducing" carbon emissions is failing.

Don’t touch scab nickel

Nickel products made by scab labour in Canada are heading for a refinery in Wales.

Yarl’s Wood hunger strike

Women held in Yarl’s Wood asylum detention centre were subjected to a brutal lockdown on Monday.

Insolvency hits record high

The number of people declared insolvent has reached record levels.

Postal worker sacked as he heads for a war zone

Royal Mail bosses in Wimbledon, south London, have sacked Kevin Tester, a CWU postal workers’ union rep. He is also a part-time soldier awaiting deployment to Afghanistan.

Salford selects candidate to take on Hazel Blears

The grassroots campaign to get rid of Salford MP Hazel Blears has nominated its candidate for the general election.

Afghan offensive will only bring more tragedy

Tens of thousands of Afghan people fled the city of Marjah in Helmand province this week, just before a planned Nato assault.

Leeds University workers set strike dates

Lecturers at Leeds University have set three days of strike action.

Gaza protesters jailed

The courts jailed seven young people on Friday who had taken part in the protests against the Israeli assault on Gaza.


International

General strike in Turkey

Five Turkish trade union federations held a one-day general strike in solidarity with 12,000 Tekel workers on Thursday of last week.


Comment

Don’t overstate China’s power

An enormous amount of nonsense is talked about China these days. Generally it takes the form of what Perry Anderson has described in the London Review of Books as "Sinomania". This is the proclamation of China as a new superpower that will soon displace the US at the top of the global pecking order. That’s if it hasn’t already.

Banning the fascists?

Preston City Council was presented with a "Delegation of Powers" report at our full council meeting on Thursday of last week.


Features

Who do you vote for?

The prospect of the Tories in government rightly fills many workers with horror. The party of Eton boys and bonus-grabbing bankers, the party that openly celebrates capitalism, could soon be in Number 10.

Roy Mayall: ‘My subversive testament to the dedication of postal workers’

It was my mate Charlie who started it off. "Do you still have access to the media?" he asked at work one day. "Can you still get stories published?"

South Africa’s World Cup stadium of slums

When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, 50,000 people turned out to hear him speak.

The Second International: From class war to imperialist slaughter

Last week I explored how divisions over the question of revolution led to the break up of the First International.


Reviews

LGBT history month events

Drawn Out & Painted Pink This exhibition documents LGBT history from the 1970s to the present day – through cartoons.

Edge of Darkness doesn’t measure up to the moving original

In his first film for eight years Mel Gibson plays Thomas Craven, an ex-forces police officer.

Historical Actuality of the Socialist Offensive - Parliament’s problems go deeper than duck houses

British politics is increasingly being dominated by the looming general election. Yet, paradoxically, parliament is viewed with widespread and growing contempt.


What We Think

Right to Work: build broad networks of resistance

The Right to Work conference of resistance and solidarity on 30 January was a stunning success. It needs to be quickly followed up.

Business agenda at the heart of parliamentary corruption

Parliament is rotten to the core. Three Labour MPs – David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine – and one Tory peer are facing criminal charges over their expenses.


Other Categories

Diane Mitchell

Diane Mitchell died on 14 January.

Tim: ‘Can’t lock up every dishonest politician…’

Letters

Climate sceptics don’t prove science wrong Listening to the radio last week, I was told that recent revelations about climate change scientists must have "shaken my belief" in climate change.

Quotes from the week’s news

"There’s always got to be a scandal as to why you hold your view."Tony Blair explains why people are so upset about the Iraq war in an interview on Fox News



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