Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2211

Dated: 24 Jul 2010

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Cuts wreck lives

Jackson is 12 years old. He is in a wheelchair and goes to a special needs school.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Epidemic of underemployment

The true cost of the recession for workers’ living standards is being hidden by an explosion of part-time work.

Cameron snubs TUC invite

Top union sources have told Socialist Worker that Tory leader David Cameron has declined an invitation to speak at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) annual conference.

Guantanamo prisoner court case leads to new evidence of torture

The Tories have put Sir Peter Gibson in charge of a torture inquiry, meaning that the man who oversees the activities of the security services will be investigating them.

Inquiry into death of Baha Mousa hears of 'horrific scene'

The inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa heard this week that Colonel Mendonca, commander of 1st Battalion the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, lied about the conditions of prisoners in Iraq.

Bombing in Iraq is a sign of brewing tensions

The bombing that killed at least 43 people in Radwaniya near Baghdad last week as they queued for their wages shows that instability still rocks Iraq.

Gaza protesters win appeals against sentences

Seven jailed protesters won appeals against their sentences in the Court of Appeal last week.

BP in row with US government

BP announced it had succeeded in plugging the Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico last week.

US barrister Lynne Stewart jailed for ten years

US barrister Lynne Stewart has been given ten years in prison after passing on a message from a client, a terror suspect, to his supporters.

BA cabin crew reject new offer - unite with BAA workers to win!

Cabin crew at British Airways have voted by more than two to one to reject a shoddy offer from bullying boss Willie Walsh.

Vince Cable’s graduate tax is far from ‘progressive’

The attacks on education are coming thick and fast under the new Tory government.

BBC pensions ballot

The five main unions at the BBC met and agreed to call a strike ballot over pensions on Monday of this week.

Protests win vote against cuts at Blackburn council

Hope for all those fighting against the cuts comes from Blackburn in Lancashire. Tuesday evening witnessed a significant milestone in the fight against a programme of swingeing cuts in local public facilities.

Afghanistan: Time to Go - Stop the War rally on Monday

A major rally takes place on Monday in London calling for the troops to get out of Afghanistan

Victory! Yunus Bakhsh wins Employment Tribunal

After a four-year battle for justice, sacked and victimised nurse Yunus Bakhsh has won a landmark victory at an employment tribunal.

Can we work with the Labour Party?

The Tories’ assault on jobs and public services has changed the political situation. Anti-cuts groups are appearing everywhere, many of them involving or being led by Labour Party members, councillors and MPs.

2,000 strike over pay at Glasgow Life

Up to 2,000 workers at Glasgow Life (previously Glasgow Culture and Sport) struck again this Monday in the latest phase of their battle over pay and conditions.

Firefighters' raw deal in Essex

The year-long firefighters’ dispute in Essex has ended – but with a bad deal.

Threat to sack all London firefighters

London firefighters are seething after their boss threatened to sack them all – on his blog.

Civil service union to launch campaign to defend jobs and services

The PCS civil service workers’ union is to launch a campaign in defence of jobs, pay and public services.

Tolpuddle Martyrs festival

Up to 10,000 people came together for the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs’ festival in Dorset last weekend.

Prison lecturers vote for action over pay

Lecturers who work in prisons have voted for industrial action in protest at attacks on their pay and conditions.

Teachers' union executive votes to fight cuts

The NUT teachers’ union unanimously passed a motion to fight public spending cuts at its national executive meeting on Thursday of last week.

St Aloysius teachers fight for a school fit to teach in

Teachers at St Aloysius school in Islington escalated their fight for a school fit to teach and learn in with a two-day strike on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Crisis hits the BNP after Barking by-election disaster

The fascist British National Party (BNP) branch in Barking, east London, is in crisis.

EDL rampage after failure in Dudley

The English Defence League’s (EDL) hopes for a morale boosting success in Dudley were sorely disappointed last Saturday.

Protesters challenge attacks on LGBT asylum seekers in the Express

More than 80 protesters blocked the entrance to the offices of the Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers in London on Thursday of last week.

Sandwell bins ballot for action

Bin workers in Sandwell, West Midlands, were set to start their ballot for strikes this week. The 100 workers, of the GMB and Unite unions, are angry over council "single status" plans that would mean pay cuts of up to £2,900 each.

Recognition at Capita for Unite

The Unite union has won recognition at outsourcing company Capita’s site in Craigforth, Stirling.

Rig workers no to cooked up deal

Catering workers on rigs in the North Sea have rejected a pay offer and paid leave proposals.

DuPont Teijin Films workers voted for action

Employees at plastic film factory DuPont Teijin Films in Dumfries, south west Scotland, have voted for industrial action.

Second strike at Kohler Mira

Workers at bathroom company Kohler Mira in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, struck for a second day on Wednesday of last week.

Right to Work round-up

Manchester Right to Work supporters in Manchester joined Labour Party campaigners to lobby the Lib Dem MP in Chorlton on Thursday of last week.

First strike ballot at Nestle

Workers at food giant Nestle are to hold their first ever national ballot for industrial action over pay.

Meeting opposes police Olympic headquarters in Forest Gate

Around 200 people came to a meeting in Forest Gate, east London, on Wednesday of last week to oppose a "temporary Olympic headquarters" for the police in a local park.

Sovereign Buses battle over pay and union convenor

Drivers at Sovereign Bus company, west London, have hit back against attacks on their pay and union organisation.

East London Bus Group on the market

East London Bus Group (ELBG) is up for sale.

Glasgow Pride

Resistance ends at Linamar

Workers at the Linamar car parts factory in Swansea have voted at a mass meeting to reluctantly accept the company’s closure terms.

Potters Bar inquest

Mick Cash, the senior assistant general secretary of the RMT union, told the Potters Bar inquest last week that the 2002 train crash was caused by the standards of contractors’ work slipping since privatisation.

London DLR workers anger against firm

Two major disputes are planned to hit the London transport network.

Police evict peace campers

Police in London have removed the Democracy Village that was set up in Parliament Square on May Day.

‘GP-led’ funding will mean cuts

Health funding is becoming an ever more contentious issue as more and more groups realise what the "GP-led" funding system will mean for them.

Organising against the cuts

Lewisham: workers angry vote for fight over cuts Members of Lewisham Unison union in south London voted by 120 votes to four for industrial action last week.

Tories rush their academy law through parliament

The Tories’ Academies Bill could be law within days – because they are using special rules to rush it through parliament.

Tories 'big society' is a massive rip off

David Cameron claimed on Monday that his "big society" agenda was about the "biggest, most dramatic redistribution of power" from the state to individuals.

London education protest: ‘I teach in a classroom that used to be a corridor’

Hundreds of parents, children and teachers joined a rally and protest in central London on Monday of this week against education secretary Michael Gove’s school rebuilding cuts.

Unions back anti-Tory demo

Two more national unions last week backed the demonstration at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham on Sunday 3 October.

Portsmouth march against school cuts

Around 300 people marched through Portsmouth on Monday of this week to protest against the Tory cutting of the Building Schools for the Future programme.


‘You’re not Woerth it’ scandal rocks the French right

France’s right wing president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his closest cabinet allies are under increasing pressure after the revelation of a string of financial scandals.

French veil vote will boost Islamophobia

The French parliament voted last week to outlaw the wearing of full-face veils, like the burqa or niqab, in public. Only one deputy voted against, with the Socialists and Greens abstaining.


Raoul Moat: sick in a sick society

"I would like to have, erm, a psychiatrist, psychologist, have a word with me regularly, on a regular basis… Why don’t we just have a psychiatrist sit me down and say: ‘Right, OK, I want to see you regularly, then we can move towards where your areas of fault are’."

Celebrating the Tolpuddle festival

Last weekend saw thousands of trade union activists, students, workers and their families arrive in Tolpuddle, Dorset to celebrate and remember the Tolpuddle Martyrs fight over 175 years ago.

Roots of riots in Northern Ireland

Four nights of rioting in Northern Ireland saw much media talk of "men of violence" orchestrating trouble.


Bonfire of Illusions

The World Bank’s recent report on global economic prospects is a bumpy and entertaining read – if terror stories are your idea of fun, that is. It contemplates the possibility of 3.5 percent economic growth for the next three years.

Jean Charles de Menezes: shoot to kill in Stockwell

It took 30 seconds for the police to kill Jean Charles de Menezes. The cover-up took a little longer. At 10.06am on 22 July 2005 Jean Charles sat down on a tube train in Stockwell, south London.

Could a revolution ever happen here?

Will workers in Britain overthrow capitalism and make a socialist revolution?



The greatest world music festival will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 for all the people who haven’t managed to get tickets for the sold out event.

The Great Game: Afghanistan

This is an impressive festival exploring Afghan culture and history through 12 plays, a five-day film programme, a ceramic exhibition and discussion sessions.

BFI Mediatheque

The BFI’s hugely popular Mediatheque is launching at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum this month, meaning that visitors can now view more than 1,800 films and television programmes from the BFI National Archive.

The Spanner Experiment: Agitprop theatre’s radical comeback

Just Press, an independent publisher of books and art, was officially launched last week, at the Cartoon Museum in London.

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire: illuminating the English Revolution

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire is a play set in the 1640s and centering on the English Revolution.

What We Think

Racism against Muslims is unveiled

Recent attacks on Muslim women wearing face coverings are simple Islamophobia.

Market gambling on food hurts the poor

The rich are getting richer by sending food prices through the roof. A multimillionaire trader, Anthony Ward, was exposed this week as deliberately hoarding tons of raw cocoa to push up the price – and increase the worth of his stock.

Other Categories

Tim's view

Tim: 'Not big…'


History shows Tories are not friends of freedom It is a sign of just how authoritarian the Labour government was that the Tories can now seem to some to be defenders of freedom.

In their own words

"The private sector likes the clarity it has seen from the new government. The services that are now likely to be privatised are those such as probation and care homes." James Hulme of the New Local Government Network

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