Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2197

Dated: 17 Apr 2010




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Vote against cuts and organise to fight

Ordinary people are really fed up with the mainstream parties—and rightly so.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Picture of Glasgow protest at army recruitment office

Why is the media on the bosses’ side?

The media spreads the same old lies every time workers go on strike.

Left election campaigns hit the streets running

Salford David Henry is standing against tax-avoiding, expenses-grabbing MP Hazel Blears in Salford. Activists canvassed and leafletted for TUSC last Sunday.

Ex-mayor of Carlisle says, ‘Labour is no longer a vehicle for social change’

A socialist election campaign by two former Labour mayors in Carlisle, the north west of England, is making waves.

Racist lies kick off election campaign

No sooner has the general election campaign begun than a great lie about immigration has swamped the news headlines.

How the jobs lie was born

The birth of the Tory immigration-jobs lie tells an interesting story about the manipulation of the media.

Hundreds protest against Tory homophobia

Five hundred protesters demonstrated outside Conservative headquarters last Sunday over shadow home secretary Chris Grayling’s comment that Christian B&B owners should be allowed to ban gay couples.

Fighting health cuts in Camberwell

Activists, staff and service users lobbied to defend a vital alcohol and drug dependency service in south London. The protest at Marina House in Camberwell last Wednesday was small but well received.

Call centre workers organise

The Pell and Bales section of the CWU held its AGM on Saturday of last week.

Vote left in Unison election

Ballot papers will go out next week for elections to the service group executive of the Unison union. Socialist Worker is backing these left candidates in the election:

Protesters say boycott Ahava

Around 30 people demonstrated outside beauty products shop Ahava in London’s Covent Garden last Saturday. They called for it to be boycotted in support of the Palestinian struggle.

Scotrail strikers keep up their guard

Five hundred and fifty Scotrail workers struck over four days this week against management’s plan to remove guards from trains.

Jarvis workers take to the streets against the privateers

Three hundred sacked Jarvis workers marched through Doncaster on Friday of last week chanting, "Work not dole" and, "Our jobs have been stolen".

Talks between unions and Network Rail continue

Talks between the RMT transport union and Network Rail resumed this week at the Acas conciliation service. This comes after the RMT, along with the TSSA union, called off four days of strikes at the company after a court ruling against a strike ballot.

Post workers should reject this shoddy deal

Post workers have begun a ballot over a proposed deal to end the long-running dispute between their CWU union and Royal Mail.

Left challenge at NUS conference

This year’s National Union of Students (NUS) conference takes place against a backdrop of huge cuts in higher education—but of revolt and struggle too.

Let’s wreck the British National Party's election plans

The party is fielding a record number of candidates.

Activists out on the knocker to stop fascists gaining in Barking

Campaigners were out on the streets of Barking, east London, last Sunday to wreck Nazi BNP leader Nick Griffin’s chances of getting elected.

Millions of workers face future without decent pension

New official statistics show that 63 percent of private sector workers will not receive a work-based pension scheme.

Anti-Fascist Round-up

Copeland, West Cumbria Unite Against Fascism activists were out in Millom, Cumbria, last Sunday.  

Glasgow says, 'We won't pay for the economic crisis'

Union activists and anti-cuts campaigners from across Scotland marched in Glasgow last Saturday.

Thousands march in London to save jobs and services

Trade unionists, pensioners and anti-cuts campaigners came together last Saturday to march through central London in defence of the welfare state and public services.

Campaign to reinstate sacked bus worker Abdul Omer grows

The campaign to reinstate sacked Unite union convenor for Sovereign buses, Abdul Omer, is gaining strength.

Growing support for Right to Work conference

Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, is the latest speaker to confirm attendance at the Right to Work post-election fightback conference on 22 May.

Questions over Southampton firefighters' deaths

Two firefighters, James Shears and Alan Bannon, died last week in a fire at a block of flats in Southampton.

Get involved in Right to Work

Is your union branch, student or pensioners’ organisation or campaign affiliated to Right to Work?

Unite 4 Labour in Edinburgh: Derek Simpson fails to deliver

Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of the Unite union, and John Prescott spoke at a "Unite 4 Labour" election meeting in Edinburgh on Thursday of last week.

Supply teachers protest

Top lawyer to speak at Right to Work meeting on anti-union laws

THE WORKING class movement faces a serious challenge from the use of anti-union laws to stop strikes.

Johnston Press journalists ballot for strike

More than 550 journalists across 22 centres at Johnston Press are balloting for strike action.

More action is the key to victory at BA

Leaders of the Unite union are in "talks" with bullying British Airways boss Willie Walsh in a bid to end the cabin crew dispute.

Colleges plan joint strikes

Workers at eleven London colleges are balloting for strikes to save jobs.

Diary

Saturday 17 AprilChris Harman memorial meeting, 5pm, Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, London.Sunday 18 AprilTUSC national day of action with leafletting and canvassing.Go to <a href="http://www.tusc.org.uk">»  www.tusc.org.uk </a>Wednesday 28 AprilWorkers’ memorial day.A series of events around Britain organised by the TUC Go to <a href="http://www.tuc.org.uk/h_and_s/tuc-11563-f0.cfm">»  www.tuc.org.uk/h_and_s/tuc-11563-f0.cfm</a>Saturday 1 May<str

Show support for Joe Glenton

Joe Glenton is facing increasingly difficult conditions in the Military Corrective Training Centre in Colchester.

Health bosses cream off cash

There’s lots of cash floating around the NHS. But it isn’t going to those who keep our hospitals running or look after the sick.

Fat cats get record payouts

Fat cat boss Bart Becht has set a new record for executive pay in Britain by grabbing an astronomical £92 million in cash and shares in one year.

Lib Dems’ threat to jobs

The Liberal Democrats are trying to galvanise public revulsion with bankers and fat cats to boost their vote.

Tory toff of the week: Super rich Henry Angest

Lord Ashcroft might grab all the headlines – but the Tories have plenty of other super-rich backers.

Parties play the race card

The Tories are happy to whip up racism to grab votes.

Labour’s empty phrases can’t hide the horror of war

Labour’s manifesto begins, "This General Election is fought as our troops are bravely fighting to defend the safety of the British people and the security of the world in Afghanistan.

Politicians unite for an assault on workers

The Labour and Tory parties launched their manifestos this week &#8211; and both are squarely focused on making workers pay for the crisis.

Remembering council housing champion Alan Walter

Roy Mayall attacks proposed Royal Mail deal

We've just received our ballot papers for the agreement which was negotiated between the Royal Mail and the CWU following last year's strikes. Obviously this isn't the ballot that is on most people's minds at the moment, but the outcome of it could have serious implications for your postal delivery service, regardless of which party comes to power in the general election.

British Airways: Derek Simpson responds to Socialist Worker

It’s hard to ride two horses with one arse. That was one of the more insightful comments by Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of the Unite union, when he addressed a Unite4Labour meeting in central London last night.

Formal investigation into Nazi BNP accounts

The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced a formal investigation into the Nazi British National Party's (BNP) accounts.

Gaza protester found not guilty

Another Gaza protester was found not guilty yesterday at Isleworth Crown Court. Sulaph Ridha was 17 when she went on the demonstration on 17 January last year against Israel’s attack on Gaza.

Hundreds gather to remember Chris Harman

Comrades, family and friends of the late Chris Harman gathered to celebrate his life at a memorial meeting in London this evening.


International

Revolution kicks out Kyrgyzstan’s president

"It’s revolution here," observed a taxi driver as the people of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia rose up and overthrew President Bakiyev last week.

Thailand's Red Shirts shake the regime

Hundreds of thousands of Red Shirt demonstrators have taken to the streets of Thailand over the last few weeks, demanding democracy.

Warning from Hungary as fascists and right gain in election

The first round of the Hungarian elections last weekend saw a devastating victory for the right wing.The fascist Jobbik party also made major gains.

EU loan deal won't solve Greek crisis

Greece is back in the eye of the storm—if it ever went away. European leaders this week agreed to loan the government up to £26.4 billion, if it asks for it.

Israel's new military order could lead to mass expulsions of Palestinians

A new military order to enable Israel to capture or deport every Palestinian resident in the occupied West Bank who does not have a permit issued by the Israeli authorities came into force on Tuesday 13 April at 5pm.


Comment

Sexist spin flows from oppression

"Women will decide this election."

The party leaders' TV debate: a lot of spin but not much argument

The media went into overdrive over the party leaders’ first televised debate. There were many inanities, including Liberal MP Chris Huhne being asked if the debate was shallow, responding with "Yes it’s shallow but less shallow than what went before." And ex-Labour MP Oona King offering, "The problem with television is that it's very televisual".


Features

BNP's Barking housing myths demolished

The British National Party (BNP) has exploited the issue of housing to get a foothold in Barking. It says that Barking & Dagenham council prioritises immigrants for council housing, and that this stops other people getting a decent place to live.

So why can’t anyone in Barking get a council house?

Margaret Thatcher’s election in 1979 marked a turning point for housing in Barking—and the rest of Britain as well.

The myth of 'Africans for Essex'

The BNP claimed that the Labour Party was giving Africans grants of up to £50,000 to buy houses in Barking & Dagenham.

Why are so few there so few council houses now?

Tory Harold MacMillan’s government built a record 220,000 council homes. Yet in 2006-07, under Labour, it was just 250.

Who really holds power in Britain?

For the next three weeks there is no government in Britain. Parliament has shut down for the election, and every MP and minister is running around the country desperately trying to shore up their vote. So who’s running the country in the meantime?

The rich men who don't like any taxes

A small number of very rich men, and a few women, dominate British companies. Just a few hundred people make the decisions about investment and employment that affect the lives of millions.

Eugene Debs - the revolutionary who won a million votes

Eugene V Debs (1855-1926), a heroic revolutionary socialist, did as much as anyone to make socialist ideas and politics an important current in the US working class movement.


Reviews

The election: What kind of twit thinks it’s Twitter wot’ll win it?

The advent of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter will herald a new age of voter-driven, grassroots politics. So says Labour’s new media spokesperson Kerry McCarthy.

Theatre: A Model for Mankind

The career of composer Dimitri Shostakovich and his relationship to the rise and fall of the Russian Revolution is a fascinating and complex subject.

Music: New Amerykah pt.2 by Erykah Badu

Lovers of Erykah’s more political lyrics might be disappointed with her second take on America today.


What We Think

Rulers' fear as world becomes less stable

WORLD RULERS are in crisis. A revolution erupts in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, in Russia’s "backyard". An open Nazi party takes nearly one in five votes in the first round of the Hungarian elections. In Thailand, a mass movement shakes the regime. In Greece, the fear of meltdown forces the EU to offer emergency funds—at a price.

Not heading for a nuclear free world

US President Barack Obama is playing host to the leaders of 47 nations for discussions about nuclear weapons.


Other Categories

Corin Redgrave (1939-2010)

Corin Redgrave, as both artist and revolutionary, was an exceptional person. Born into a well-established middle class family, the son of actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, he was the scion of Britain’s most famous theatrical dynasty, the middle child of its third generation.

Leon Kuhn: All Quiet on the Afghan Front

Tim: Welcome cuts

Tim's view

Letters

Rover gives a warning on the future of Corus Bosses and some politicans are telling Corus steel workers on Teesside that the only way to save jobs is to look towards a buy-out by a private equity consortium. The workers should remember what happened at Rover Longbridge in Birmingham after a similar takeover.

In their own words

‘The biggest gaffes will likely be made by candidates on Twitter &#8211; what are the odds it’ll be me?’Labour candidate Stuart MacLennan on Twitter &#8211; days before he was sacked for comments he made on Twitter



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