Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2225

Dated: 30 Oct 2010

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The fight is on to stop Tory cuts

Anger at the Tories’ vicious assault on our services and jobs erupted onto the streets last Saturday as tens of thousands protested across the country—from Edinburgh to Bristol.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Nottinghamshire rallies against Tory Sue Cutts’s cuts

Around 1,000 people joined a loud, angry and vibrant demonstration outside Tory-run Nottinghamshire County Council on Thursday of last week against cuts.

BBC battle is in the balance

Workers at the BBC held a one-day work to rule on Friday of last week to activate their ballot for industrial action.

Royal Mail managers ballot for action

The Unite union is to ballot its members who are managers in Royal Mail for industrial action over bosses’ attempts to impose compulsory redundancies.

Astra Zeneca workers strike again

GMB union members at the drugs firm Astra Zeneca’s site in Macclesfield struck for the seventh time over pensions on Friday of last week.

Oxford University Press workers escalate strikes

Workers at the Oxford University Press (OUP) Corby warehouse were to strike for 72 hours from Wednesday over pay.

Fife shipyard workers vote to strike

Shipyard workers at Rosyth in Fife have voted to strike over pay, and the unions were planning to call action as Socialist Worker went to press.

Feminism conference is big - but stage-managed

Up to 1,000 people attended the third annual Feminism in London conference last Saturday— three times the number who came last year.

March against injustice of deaths in custody

Families and friends of people who have died in police custody will march thorough central London this Saturday, 30 October.

Tyneside Safety Glass workers voting on now deal

Unite union members at Tyneside Safety Glass in Gateshead are balloting on a new pay offer.

Tens of thousands take to the streets over cuts

Fury at the Tories exploded onto the streets last Saturday. Ordinary people struck and protested against the government’s assault on working people, on education, jobs and welfare.

Protest and anger sweeps Britain against smug Tories

Saturday saw a great display of resistance to the Tories and their Lib Dem lackeys—with around 50,000 protesting.

Sheffield: a debate on the way forward

The TUC’s regional rally in Sheffield last Saturday saw a sharp debate about the strength of the working class—and the kind of action we need to stop cuts.

Workers to lobby Barnet council

Planners and public health workers are among a large group of workers at Tory-run Barnet council, north London, who are beginning to say, "enough is enough".

Sheffield council tries to impose new terms and conditions on workforce

Liberal Democrat-run Sheffield council is threatening to issue HR1 redundancy notices to all its 8,400 non-school staff in an effort to bully workers into accepting worse terms and conditions.

Reject rotten deal at BA

An appalling sell-out is on the table at British Airways (BA), where cabin crew have been in dispute for nearly a year—and their Unite union backs it.

Step up the action to beat job cuts on London Underground

Members of the RMT and TSSA unions on London Underground are preparing to strike for 24 hours from 7pm on Tuesday of next week.

CT Plus to strike again

Bus drivers at CT Plus at the Ash Grove garage in Hackney, east London, struck on Friday of last week.

Amber cars drivers send clear signal

Two hundred and fifty drivers at the Amber Car firm in Leeds last week refused to work after a £10 a week increase in rental charges.

Hate Crimes vigil—unity, not scapegoating

Over 1,000 people braved pouring rain to attend the annual vigil against hate crimes in Trafalgar Square, London, last Saturday.

Protest against job cuts at Richmond College

Lecturers protested at Richmond College, west London, on Friday of last week against job cuts.

Newport meeting attacks Passport Office closure

More than 35 people attended a Right to Work meeting in Newport, south Wales, on Thursday of last week against the closure of the city’s Passport Office.

Join the 6 November anti-racist demonstration

Many Thousands of trade unionists and anti-racist campaigners are gearing up to march against racism, fascism and Islamophobia on Saturday 6 November in central London.

Charges dropped against anti-fascist after Bolton protest

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has dropped its case against 63-year old anti-fascist protester Alan Clough from Radcliff, Bury.

Resisting the EDL

Activists in Preston are opposing EDL plans to demonstrate in the town on Saturday 27 November.

Back the fire strikes to stop mass sackings

London’s firefighters have launched a massive escalation of their strikes by calling a two-day walkout—starting on Bonfire Night. It will come just four days after an eight-hour walkout planned for Monday of next week.

Firefighters’ walkout sparks action on the tube

Many London tube workers refused to work on health and safety grounds during the firefighters’ strike on Saturday, severely affecting the running of London Underground.

Mass pickets to the bitter end

The firefighters’ strike ended at 6pm last Saturday—but the mass picketing continued late into the night.

Fireman Scab lets house burn

A house in Enfield, north London, almost burned down during last Saturday’s firefighters’ strike.

Jerry Hicks is the real alternative in Unite union poll

The election for the key post of general secretary of the Unite union began this week. Some 1.5 million members are to vote in the next few weeks for the leader of Britain’s biggest union.

Independent candidate Lutfur Rahman beats Labour in Tower Hamlets

Lutfur Rahman, standing as an independent, won the Tower Hamlets mayoral election last week—trouncing the Labour Party.

Manchester campaign wins against academy

A Tory council’s plans to close two schools and turn them into an academy have been foiled in Manchester.

Iain Duncan Smith should get on the bus

Iain Duncan Smith, the Tory minister for welfare and pensions, last week said people in Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales should "get on the bus" to go and find a job in Cardiff.

Disabled person: 'I won't cope without benefit'

"I lost my home help a couple of years ago, which means that since then we’ve had to pay for any help with cleaning and so on.

Students forced out of education into poverty

The Tory cuts are tearing into the futures of young people.

Occupation highlights Vodafone's legal tax dodge

Activists blockaded Vodafone’s flagship store in London’s Oxford Street today (Wednesday), shutting it down all day, to highlight the corporation’s £6 billion legal tax dodge.

Leeds protesters shut down Vodafone

Around 30 activists in Leeds shut down all three Vodafone stores in the city centre today, Thursday, in protest at the company’s legal tax dodge of £6 billion in tax.

BBC strikers to join firefighters’ Bonfire Night walkout

The NUJ union has called a 48-hour national strike at the BBC over pensions—for 5 and 6 November, the same days as the London firefighters’ Bonfire Night strikes.

London trade unionists pledge solidarity with firefighters

Trade unionists from across London pledged their solidarity with the city’s striking firefighters this evening (Thursday) – and called on the whole workers’ movement to do the same.

Oxford march scares off coward Cable

Around 1,500 students, trade unionists and others joined a protest march over education cuts in Oxford yesterday (Thursday).

Saturday: Activists call Vodafone blockades across country

Saturday: Activists call Vodafone blockades across country

Reports from a national day of protest against Vodafone

We have reports of protests in Sheffield and Edinburgh, as well as those listed below. Protesters held picnics outside several stores.

Pictures from Vodafone protests on Saturday 30 October 2010

Join London firefighters' picket lines on Monday 1 November

The London firefighters are at the forefront of the battle against Tory cuts. They are fighting to maintain a public service, defend safety and protect workers' rights.

Video of London protests over Vodafone tax evasion

Demonstrators close all three Vodafone shops in Oxford Street, London's busiest shopping street, and several other branches in the centre of the capital

Exposed: The lies the press tell about firefighters

London’s firefighters will walk out on strike twice this week: for eight hours from 10am tomorrow (Monday), and then for two days from 10am on Friday – Bonfire Night.

Manager arrested after firefighter seriously injured on picket line

A man believed to be a striking firefighter has been injured in a collision with a car outside Croydon fire station—and union sources have told Socialist Worker the driver was a manager.

Video of FBU president exposing how firefighter was run over

Mick Shaw, president of the firefighter's FBU union, explains how a firefighter was run over on the picket line at Croydon

Video shows second firefighter run down on picket line

Just a few hours after a firefighter was run over and seriously injured on a picket line in Croydon, London FBU executive member Ian Leahair is seen being knocked down on the picket line by an AssetCo scab fire engine at the LFB Training Centre, Southwark, London, Monday 1 November 2010


French workers and students stand strong against the state

France's right wing government is trying harsh state repression to break the huge movement of strikes and street protests against the attacks on pensions.

Iraq war logs expose murder, abuse and torture

Thousands of leaked US military documents have revealed the grisly reality of the murder, torture and abuse of prisoners by US, British and local pro-occupation forces in Iraq.

Protests erupt in Argentina over rail worker's murder

Tens of thousands of trade unionists struck and took to the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Wednesday and Thursday of last week over the killing of left wing rail worker and student Mariano Ferreyra.

Cholera threat in Haiti

More than 250 people have died of cholera in an epidemic sweeping Haiti and doctors are terrified that the outbreak may spread. It could hit the makeshift tent cities surrounding the capital, Port-au-Prince, where 1.3 million homeless survivors of January’s earthquake live.


Will British workers fight like the French?

Any socialist with blood in their veins must be inspired by the fightback in France. Inspired enough perhaps to say to friends and workmates, "We need to do the same."

Polly Toynbee’s glasses are too rose-tinted

As the Tories drive a knife deep into the welfare state, nostalgia for Labour’s years in office may well grow as memories fade.


The Tonypandy miners' strike 1910: Inspiring unrest

On 7 November 1910, thousands of striking miners marched across the Rhondda valley in South Wales. At the front were two scabs they were driving out of the town. The crowd had dressed them in white shirts with notices pinned on, "Take a warning".

Diary 8 - Gaza: the greatest aid is solidarity

Thursday 21 October, 10pm. The road is dark. Few lights. Twenty five miles—border to Gaza City. Thousands—tens upon tens of thousands. Waving, cheering, running. Dense. Children run in front of the ambulance—frightening. It’s happening to all vehicles. Olive branches thrown in.

They’re out to tear down the welfare state

Press baron Rupert Murdoch congratulated the government on its spending review at the inaugural Baroness Thatcher lecture last week. Murdoch said, "Like the lady, the coalition must not be for turning." It was appropriate in many ways.

The spending review cuts at a glance

Benefits Osborne slapped a one-year time limit on contributions‑based Employment and Support Allowance (formerly incapacity benefit). This means a disabled or seriously ill person whose partner works, however low-paid their job may be, will lose their benefits after a year.Up to £2,500 a year is being taken away from 58,000 Disability Living Allowance claimants who live in care homes.Local authorities will get new "flexibility" on council tax benefit. This will mean hundreds of town halls coming up with their own complex systems—and returning us to the days of the poll tax as they chase people who can’t pay for their debts.

A nightmare vision of Britain if we don't fight the cuts

It could have been stopped. But here we are in 2015, in a future where Osborne and his Tory friends got their way and slashed public services down to almost nothing.

Diary 9 - Last thoughts on the Viva Palestina convoy

Furkan Dogan is forever in GazaArshad’s suit is there too


Gauguin’s absorbing art tells the story of his life

The hugely popular Paul Gauguin exhibition at London’s Tate Modern is the first major display of his paintings in Britain for 50 years.

Raging at the bankers—and this time it’s personal

"Nobody’s yet written a play which features the way I am feeling. I feel outrage, fury and massive anger. The overpaying of the financial elite has corrupted our whole society.

The People Speak

The People Speak promises to be an inspiring antidote to sanitised and top-down histories of Britain.


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is the final novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, aimed at 13 to 15 year olds. It sees a rebellion against the dictatorial Capitol.

The Truth is Out There

This event unites documentary makers from around the world to celebrate documentary making.

What We Think

Follow France, follow the firefighters: fight!

Tens of thousands of people took part in demonstrations against the Tory cuts last week. The resistance has begun, and not a moment too soon.

Labour fails key test on trade union rights

Left wing Labour MP John McDonnell’s attempt to make minor improvements to trade union law failed last week.

Other Categories

Eric Thompson, 1926-2010

After a long period of illness Eric died in his sleep on the morning of 23 October.

Leon Kuhn: Broadest shoulders


Students worry Sarkozy Less than a month ago French president Nicolas Sarkozy was asked about the dangers of a massive strike movement against his government’s pension reform.

In their own words

'The cuts aren’t about economics any longer—they’re about ideology. And the ideology is that a big state is bad and state interference is bad.’

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