Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2218

Dated: 11 Sep 2010




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Don't let Tory cuts wreck lives

Anger is growing at West Midlands police over their decision to prevent demonstrators marching past the Tory Party conference in Birmingham on Sunday 3 October.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

How corruption is built into capitalism

The scandal of the Pakistan cricket team’s apparent cheating dominated the news for a week.

Bolton takes cuts fight to the council

More than 400 noisy, angry protesters greeted Bolton’s councillors as they came to the town hall to vote through cuts on Wednesday of last week.

Sheffield says Clegg’s a Tory

Around 500 people protested against deputy prime minister Nick Clegg’s visit to Sheffield last Friday.

Kirklees demo this Saturday

Council workers in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, will take to the streets this Saturday to protest against massive council cuts.

Protest’s Hope for Salford maternity unit

Some 250 parents, children and campaigners gathered in Salford’s sunny Buile Hill Park last Saturday to defend their local maternity unit.

Yunus Bakhsh celebrates—and vows to fight on

Campaigners from across north east England packed into a victory party for Yunus Bakhsh last week. An Employment Tribunal recently found that Yunus, a nurse and union activist, had been illegally sacked.

Kirklees council blinks first in cuts fight

The proposed ballot of 8,500 Unison union members at Kirklees Council, West Yorkshire, has been suspended as the council blinked first in the long running dispute over cuts.

Fight the pay freeze in Scottish local government

Scottish local government workers may be moving towards action against an imposed three year pay deal.

British Airways: A ballot… but not yet

British Airways (BA) cabin crew will vote in a fresh ballot for industrial action—but as yet there is no timetable for the ballot.

Walthamstow against cuts

Trade unions and community groups are set to hold a rally in Walthamstow, north east London, on Saturday.

Civil service workers protest

The Tories this week began to push through legislation that would slash civil service workers’ redundancy payments.

Burston strike school festival

Hundreds of trade unionists and activists descended on the Norfolk village of Burston on Sunday to celebrate the longest strike in history.

Strike against 'crumby' deal

More than 150 bakers at Maple Leaf in Walsall, West Midlands, were set to strike on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

‘Going into battle’ to elect militant activist Jerry Hicks

The next few weeks are a great chance to turn Britain’s biggest union into a fighting and democratic organisation that can better resist the Tories’ attacks.

Success of Hackney Pride

Over 500 people joined the Hackney LGBT pride march last Saturday—the first in 15 years. Black, white and Asian LGBT people marched through east London.

BBC workers vote to strike over pensions

BBC workers have delivered a stunning vote for strikes in defence of their pensions. Members of the NUJ, Bectu, Unite, Musicians and Equity unions voted by more than 90 percent to take action.

Activists fight to keep business out of the NHS

Some 300 people in the pathology department at King’s College Hospital in London are to be balloted for strike action against privatisation. The workers are in the Unite union.

Solid maintenance strike on Jubilee and Northern Underground lines

RMT union members who maintain trains on the Jubilee and Northern lines in London held a rock solid 24-hour strike from 7pm on Sunday over pay.

Coke workers have the bottle to strike

Workers at Coca Cola’s plant in Edmonton, north London, were set to hold two six-hour strikes on Wednesday over pay.

UCU takes perverse decision not to ballot

UCU union general secretary Sally Hunt and her supporters are behaving like rabbits in the headlights of the oncoming government cuts.

Sign the Right to Work statement

The statement released by Right to Work says: "This is a violation of the right to freedom of speech and our rights to protest peacefully.

Socialist Worker Appeal: Over £31,000 raised in one week

We owe a big "thank you" to everyone who has already donated and helped get this year’s Socialist Worker Appeal off to a great start.

Powerful strike stops the tube

A strike for jobs and safety on London Underground rocked the capital for 24 hours on Monday and Tuesday.

Firefighters plan a mass march in London

Firefighters from across Britain will march in London on Thursday of next week to support their brothers and sisters in the capital.

Firefighters win solidarity from around the world

The London firefighters have received messages of support from across the world.

Fury after leading anti-fascist activist Martin Smith found guilty by court

The right to protest against fascists was outrageously attacked on Tuesday when leading activist Martin Smith was found guilty of assaulting a police officer.

Anger as court finds Martin Smith guilty

Supporters were shocked as a magistrates' court this week found leading anti-fascist Martin Smith guilty of assaulting a police officer.

Show of support for anti-fascist movement at court

There was a huge amount of trade union turnout to support Martin. There were banners from the national NUJ, South Yorkshire NUJ, London Fire Brigade Unison, CWU South Central No1, RMT European Passenger Services and Haringey trades council.

Join the national protest against racism

Saturday 6 November is a key date for every activist as it will see the most broadly-based demonstration against racism, Islamophobia and the Nazis for many years.

Firm’s collapse causes chaos

Connaught plc, a public sector outsourcing and social housing company, was on the edge of bankruptcy on Tuesday—meaning the loss of 10,000 jobs.

Benefit cuts hit poor children

More than 50,000 children who already live below the poverty line will be hit by new housing benefit cuts.

Video of protests outside anti-fascist Martin Smith's court case

Drew McConnell sings and Martin Smith speaks

Boris Johnson’s friend gets bank job

Bob Diamond, a banker with a fortune estimated at £95 million, is to be the next chief executive of Barclays.

Phone scandal taps the Tories

David Cameron’s chief spin doctor Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World, has denied any knowledge of journalists tapping phones during his time in charge of the paper.

Movement's support for Martin

"The National Union of Teachers sends its support to Martin Smith and has full confidence in the aims of UAF and Love Music Hate Racism and support their democratic right to demonstrate."

Travellers resist Tory assault on their rights

Protesters gathered outside the French embassy in London last Saturday to demonstrate against president Nicholas Sarkozy’s recent expulsion of Roma communities from the country.

Unity on march as French resist scapegoating of Roma

Around 100,000 people took part in over 130 demonstrations across France last Saturday against the government’s attacks on immigrants and Roma people.

Mark Serwotka makes statement on Martin Smith's conviction

I am shocked at the verdict delivered in a magistrates court today, in the absence of any evidence, that Martin Smith, national co-ordinator of Love Music Hate Racism, was guilty of assault on a police officer at the demonstration outside of the BBC on October 22 2009, against Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time.

Martin Smith - 'I will appeal and clear my name'

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) national officer Martin Smith will appeal against his conviction by magistrates this week for assault on a police officer. He has issued a statement, thanking his supporters and confirming that he will challenge the verdict.


International

Afghanistan: US hasn’t liberated us, say women

The Kabul district of Khoshal Khan Mina has a dark history. In 1992 the worst massacre of Afghanistan’s bloody civil war took place here.

Kabul demo targets occupation

Around 500 protesters took to the streets of Kabul last Monday to demand an end to the US occupation.

Millions strike in France to defend their pensions

Millions of French workers joined strikes and marches on Tuesday against plans to savage their pensions.

South Africa: action suspended, but it’s not over yet

A strike by over a million South African public sector workers that had lasted three weeks was suspended by union leaders on Monday.


Comment

Tony Blair: the real criminal who should be jailed

"You’ve got to put in prison those who deserve to be there," said Tony Blair this week—criticising the Tories. Of course he doesn’t believe that those who ram through cuts and attack workers should be locked up.

Return of riots as food crisis grows

Police in Mozambique killed ten people and injured more than 400 during protests against crippling price increases last week. The fighting is a symptom of a growing global food crisis.


Features

A Journey: Tony Blair’s dead end

The late comedian Bob Monkhouse said, "If you can fake the sincerity the rest is easy". As a mantra, it is as true of Tony Blair’s interminable memoir as is it of his political career.

Paddy Hill: ‘I was taken out of prison. But prison wasn’t taken out of me’

‘The experience never goes away," says Paddy Hill. He still burns with anger at the British state 35 years after he was imprisoned for a bombing he did not commit.

Gerry Conlon: ‘I confessed after being kidnapped and brutalised’

‘I was arrested on 30 November 1974. I was dragged from my bed at home in Northern Ireland. I was handcuffed and thrown in the back of an army personnel carrier with squaddies in.


Reviews

This is England ’86

It’s 1986, somewhere in Britain. Shaun is finishing his final exam at school—a History CSE, for nostalgics.

Dog Pound: a gritty, believable look at a violent system

Three teenage boys arrive to serve sentences at a juvenile offenders’ facility in Montana as this new prison drama opens.

The Lower Depths

Maxim Gorky’s play about life in Russia in 1902 is perfectly suited to the tiny warren that is the Baron’s Court theatre.

For The Win

Cory Doctorow, web-famous for his part in promoting free culture on the internet, weaves an inspiring tale of rebellion against globalisation in his latest novel.


What We Think

We will not tolerate attacks on services

The TUC trade union congress meets from this weekend in the context of an onslaught of cuts from the Tory government. The key question it faces is how to respond to government attacks.

Opting out of Tory education policies

Tory education secretary Michael Gove’s flagship policies are a flop.


Other Categories

Tom Behan: The Story of a Man who stood up for the Masses

As part of our tributes to Tom Behan, we are pleased to feature this appreciation by Carmen Casaliggi

Tom Behan 1957-2010

Tom Behan, who died on Monday of last week, made a lasting contribution to the left in two countries and in two languages. Born in London he was most at home in his adopted Italy, above all in his beloved Naples.

Tom Behan in his own words

‘I grew up in Harrow, or more precisely Rayners Lane. The public school up on the hill had nothing to do with our world. In fact one of the first times me and some mates ever went up there was when we bunked off one afternoon.

Tim's view: Bomber Blair

Leon Kuhn: Peace process

Letters

Letters



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