Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2189

Dated: 20 Feb 2010

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Battle lines drawn across Europe

Europe’s politicians and bosses are targeting Greece. They are trying to bulldoze through devastating cuts.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Extra 17 years of sickness for the poor

People living in the poorest areas of England can expect to suffer about 17 more years of ill health and disability than those in wealthier areas.

Tory truths: round-up

Blunder shows contempt for us The Conservatives have let slip how they really see working class people.

British spies complicit in torture of Binyam Mohamed

British intelligence is involved in torture.

2.5 years in jail for London Gaza protesters

Seven people who took part in the protests against the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2009 were jailed last week.

Figure it out: Barclays profits

Workers and students pack into anti-cuts meeting at the University of Westminster

Almost 200 staff and students from the University of Westminster in central London attended the first No Cuts at Westminster rally on Wednesday 17 February.

Judge backs BA bosses

A judge has ruled that changes to working conditions imposed by British Airways bosses are lawful.

Reveal - rapping in Iran

Reveal, from the hip-hop outfit Poisonous Poets, was the winner of the 2000 UK Freestyle Championships. He will be performing at the Beats Beat Sanctions fundraiser in aid of Campaign Iran next week.

Victory for German anti-fascists

German anti-fascists claimed a major victory last Saturday.

Scottish Defence League driven out of Edinburgh

Around 2,000 anti racists and anti fascists united in Edinburgh on Saturday, 20 February, to stop the Scottish Defence League (SDL) from marching.

Palestinian villagers continue to defy Israel's oppression

The villagers of Bil’in in the West Bank, Palestine, and their supporters protested last week to mark the fifth anniversary of Israel’s seizure of their land.

Palestinian NGO takes British Government to court in London

Al-Haq is a Palestinian non-governmental human rights organisation based in the West Bank.

BA cabin crew vote for strike action

Cabin crew workers at British Airways have voted overwhelmingly for strike action against attacks on their jobs, pay and conditions.

Courageous strike ends at Premier Foods

Members of the Unite union at Premier Foods in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, voted last Friday to end their strike action and return to work.

The ‘Defence Leagues’ shall not pass, say activists

Edinburgh Unite Against Fascism and Scotland United are calling for a protest to stop the Scottish Defence League marching in Edinburgh this Saturday 20 February.

UAF conference: Coming together to smash the Nazis

More than 600 anti-Nazi campaigners came together at the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) conference last Saturday.

Support for sacked cleaner Alberto Durango

Activists protested against the sacking of Unite union activist Alberto Durango outside the UBS building in central London on Friday of last week.

Polyflor: We’re workers, not doormats

Workers at vinyl flooring manufacturer Polyflor Ltd are to vote on strike action after rejecting a revised pay offer.

Back Paul Holmes for Unison general secretary

Socialist Worker supporters are backing nominations for Paul Holmes for Unison general secretary.

Wildcat safety walkout at plant

Hundreds of construction workers struck, protested and blocked roads around the Staythorpe power station site in Nottinghamshire on Tuesday.

China move means pay cut for Financial Times workers

Four workers who produce Financial Times Chinese in London have been ordered to move to China – and take a 50 percent pay cut.

Update on Fujitsu IT dispute

Strikes by IT workers at the Fujitsu Services company have meant that planned compulsory redundancies have been postponed again.

Post workers: ‘Why we’ve walked out’

Despite the long-awaited agreement between our national union and Royal Mail to sort out the company’s future, it’s the same old story at Bridgwater delivery office – trouble!

Premier Foods workers in Wisbech continue to strike for fair pay

Around 250 workers at Premier Foods cannery in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, struck on Thursday and Friday of last week and on Tuesday of this week over pay.

Firefighters' sparks of resistance

Up to 500 firefighters from across London protested against cuts to night cover on Thursday of last week.

Afghanistan: 'Nato bombs killed my brother's son'

"We are living in filth like beggars—and it is your fault!" screamed Haji Tor Jan.

Defy the bosses' anti-union laws

The bosses were attempting to use the courts to prevent workers defending their conditions yet again as Socialist Worker went to press.

Raise support for Yunus Bakhsh

Socialist Worker urges our readers to make a big push to build support for victimised trade unionist and nurse Yunus Bakhsh.

Tusc candidates: fighting for change at the ballot box

David Henry - Salford The grassroots campaign Hazel Must Go selected David as its candidate to stand against New Labour’s disgraced ex-minister Hazel Blears in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Bosses set their sights on public sector workers

Almost a third of public sector bosses are planning to cut jobs in the first three months of this year.

Events to stop the cuts

Protest at Birmingham budget cuts: 4pm, Tuesday 23 February, outside Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square, B1 1BB

Activists build networks of resistance across the country

Campaigners have wasted no time in following up the Right to Work (RTW) conference held in Manchester last month.

Sovereign bus workers win pay rise

Workers at the Sovereign bus company in west London have won significant gains.

National Gallery strike

Around 100 staff at the National Gallery in central London walked out for two hours on Tuesday of this week in their dispute over pay.

Scotrail guards set to strike

More than 550 guards and drivers at First Scotrail will strike this Saturday against plans to impose driver-only trains on the new Airdrie-Bathgate line.

Spread the education fightback

Lecturers in higher education (HE) met for a special sector union conference on Thursday of last week. They voted overwhelmingly for a co-ordinated strike ballot across all HE institutions to defend jobs.

London Underground signallers’ victory

Signal workers on the London Underground have won a significant victory in their battle against the imposition of new rotas.

BA bosses lash out as strike vote draws closer

British Airways (BA) has suspended 20 cabin crew workers after they made comments on social networking website Facebook.

Olympics is a waste of cash

The cost of the 2012 London Olympics is soaring out of control.

Yarl's Wood hunger strikers jailed

Four women involved in hunger strikes at Yarl’s Wood detention centre have been taken to prison.

Islamophobia is behind these attacks on student rights

Muslims at universities are being attacked as the government and media ramp up rhetoric that they are "hotbeds of extremism".


The sick state of Nigeria

Goodluck Jonathan has been sworn in as acting president of Nigeria after three months with no leader. The only caveat is that "the president will automatically resume office… once he is well enough". The story of the missing president has continued since November, leaving Africa's most populous country with no functioning government. This is doubly strange as Nigeria is a major regional power sitting on large oil reserves.


US war machine keeps lurching on

Soon after the invasion of Iraq, the journalist and academic Anatol Lieven wrote that the run-up to the war had "a peculiarly nightmarish quality in the US.

What's really behind 'Climate-gate'?

Scientists studying climate change are taking quite a battering.


Russia’s sexual revolution after 1917

The Russian Revolution of 1917 changed the lives of gay men and lesbians. Russia became a beacon for workers, the poor and oppressed who saw for the first time how society could be run for the benefit of all.

Greece: ‘War on the capitalist’

The Greek workers who struck and marched last week are our sisters and brothers in a crucial battle. At stake is who will pay for the crisis, and who will meet the bill for the bailout of the bankers.

Forward to a general strike in Greece

There is a lot of anger among workers here. This was to be expected in a country that had put up fierce resistance to attacks by the previous Tory government.

European bosses up the pressure

The pressure on Greek workers intensified in the days following last week’s strike.

The truth about the Broadwater Farm riot and the killing of PC Blakelock

Last week a 40-year old man from Suffolk was arrested and questioned over the murder of PC Keith Blakelock during the 1985 Tottenham Riots. The new investigation has rekindled memories of one of the worst examples of police racism and injustice ever seen in Britain.

The Third International: Revolutionary hope crushed by Stalinism

When the parties of the Second International voted to support the First World War many socialists were left uncertain about what to do next.


Shaped by War: Photographs by Don McCullin

McCullin is famous for his photographs of the Vietnam war. But he also photographed many of the other conflicts that have shaped the modern era.

Soldier Blue - Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie has always been a surprising, talented and radical artist.

I’m New Here - Gil Scott-Heron

Listening to Gil Scott-Heron’s new CD is a bittersweet experience.

A History of the World in 100 Objects - reveals how our labour defines us

I don’t know whether Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, is a secret socialist. I doubt it somehow.

What We Think

Attitudes to rape are forged by the state

The results of a survey this week about rape led to much media comment—and baffled reactions about the attitudes it recorded among people in Britain.

The election brings many challenges for socialists

The swathe of Tory posters disfiguring billboards up and down Britain signal that the general election campaign is underway.

Other Categories

Bert Freeman 1931-2010

St Albans SWP were shocked and dismayed to hear of the unexpected death of our comrade and friend Bert Freeman.

Leon Kuhn: ‘Who says MI5 doesn’t respect human rights?’

Tim: Fit up

Tim: Pigs!


Should socialists vote for the Labour Party? I teach in a primary school in London. At work people are aware of the despicable things Labour has done to our lives and education. During the London mayor elections in 2008 most teachers in my school voted Green or abstained. But things have changed. Teachers are talking about how scared they are of a Tory government – they started Sats, league tables and Ofsted. David Cameron has become the staffroom’s hate figure.

Quotes from the week's news

"Corus have agreed to keep the blast furnace like a baby so that it can come back to work again quickly."Labour MP Vera Baird still has hope that the closed-down Corus steel plant can be nursed back to life

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