Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2234

Dated: 15 Jan 2011

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City bonus scandal grows... Bob the banker is robbing everyone

"There was a period of remorse and apology for banks—and I think that period needs to be over."

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Are there just too many mouths to feed?

Predictions of famine and food riots are growing as the price of wheat spirals to its highest ever level.

Newsquest: Stop press - we’re on strike

Journalists at local newspapers across Britain are battling against a pay freeze and job cuts by their profiteering employer.

Lecturers could strike on budget day in March

University and college lecturers across Britain could be out on strike on 23 March—budget day.

UCU: lay off the left

The Times Higher Educational Supplement (THES) ran an article last week highlighting what it called "splits" in the UCU lecturers’ union.

Rotherham teachers strike

Teachers at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham struck for three days last week over job cuts. They were set to strike again on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Teachers consulted over strike to defend pensions

OVER 100,000 teachers in the NUT union are this week being asked by the union if they are willing to strike to defend their pensions.

Firefighter sacked for speaking out against cuts

An Essex firefighter has been sacked on the spot—just for writing a letter to a local councillor about cuts to the fire service.

Fire and rescue workers ballot

Some 800 fire and rescue staff in London began a ballot for strike last week.

Ribena workers are berry angry

Around 200 workers at GlaxoSmithKline in Coleford, Gloucestershire are to be balloted for strikes over pay.

Vote for action at National Grid

Members of the Prospect, Unite and Unison unions at National Grid have voted massively in favour of industrial action after rejecting a below-inflation pay offer.

Bus workers one minute walkout

The bus workers Unite union has called a national work stoppage for all members on 1 March to highlight the long hours drivers work.

United Left gets back together

The United Left group in the Unite union held a national meeting in Birmingham last Saturday to discuss the best way to take the union forward.

Bin privatisation means council cuts and chaos

Rubbish collection ground to a halt in parts of Britain in recent weeks because of the snow.

Pay cuts won’t save jobs from greedy bosses

The Unison union did a terrible deal for workers at Blackpool council this week.

Kirkless action called off as union settles dispute

The proposed five day strike by 7,500 council workers in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, was called off after the Unison union reached an agreement with employers.

Unison health executive reject bosses’ blackmail

Britain’s biggest health service trade union has thrown out an attempt by employers to blackmail thousands of low paid NHS workers.

British Airways cabin crew hold defiant mass meeting

Fifteen hundred British Airways (BA) cabin crew packed into a union meeting at Kempton Park racecourse on Monday of this week.

Further strikes on tube

There is a possibility of more strikes on London Underground after a key RMT transport union committee voted narrowly to calling 48-hours of action later this month.

Heinz workers reject new pay deal and strike again

More than 1,000 workers at Heinz’s Wigan factory this week rejected an improved pay offer and struck for their fourth 24-hour period.

Birmingham bin workers show their power

Birmingham is becoming a festering trashheap as industrial action and snow has ground refuse collection to a near halt.

Vibrant march hits David Cameron’s home turf

Well-heeled villagers from David Cameron’s Oxfordshire constituency were rudely awakened on Sunday morning last week as over 1,000 postal workers and their friends took to the streets of Witney.

Students return to the struggle

Two upcoming student protests are a big opportunity to step up the pressure on the government.

Millbank protester is sentenced

Edward Woollard has been sentenced to two years and eight months in a youth detention centre. He is the student who dropped a fire extinguisher from the roof of Millbank Tower during protests on 10 November,

Gearing up to stop the racist EDL in Luton

The racist English Defence League (EDL) plans to return to Luton, where it was formed in 2009, on Saturday 5 February. Anti‑fascists will resist it.

New war resister

Michael Lyons, a 24-year old Royal Navy medic, is the latest member of the armed forces to officially object to the horror of the Afghan war.

Strike can beat academies

The Tories want to snatch away a decent education from millions of working class children.

Bankers pig out on bumper bonuses

NHS bill will start Tories' sell-off plan

The Tories want to privatise the NHS. They will publish a new health bill on Monday of next week that will hand over up to 80 percent of the NHS budget to GPs.

Jail Andrew Coulson not Tommy Sheridan

David Cameron’s spin doctor Andrew Coulson is yet again embroiled in controversy over the News of the World’s phone-hacking.

Protest at young offenders institute

Prisoners rioted at Littlehey young offenders’ unit in Cambridgeshire this week. It comes after a riot at Ford open prison two weeks ago.

Control orders: same old story

The government is set to "replace" control orders this week—a form of detention without trial that restrict people’s freedom and include house arrest or curfews.

Guilty MP grabs £54k ‘goodbye’

Former Labour MP David Chaytor was jailed for 18 months last week for fraudulently claiming more than £20,000 in expenses.

New threat to sack London firefighters

Fire bosses were renewing their threat to sack all 5,500 of London’s firefighters as Socialist Worker went to press.

Migrant workers targeted again

An immigration operation led to 15 people at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital in south London being arrested and charged for fraud and ID card offences on Thursday of last week.

Call for protests over VAT rise

UK Uncut and other activists are calling for protests against the government’s rise in VAT.

Students shut down Birmingham RBS bank

Students protesting over cuts stormed a branch of the RBS bank in Birmingham today, angry over news of bankers’ obscene bonuses.

Jobcentre Plus call centre workers to strike for two days

Around 3,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in seven call centres are to strike for two days next week after the collapse of intensive talks with Jobcentre Plus management. This is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Unions suspend Birmingham bin strikes

Unions have suspended two planned half-day strikes by some 480 bin workers that were due to start in Birmingham today.

Protest shows anger at RBS bankers

Over 50 protesters came to the Right to Work initiated protest outside RBS headquarters this afternoon (Friday).

Tunisian revolution topples tyrant - and panics Arab rulers

Revolution has ousted the corrupt Tunisian leader President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Protests announced to coincide with parliamentary debate on EMA cut

MPs will debate and vote on the abolition of the education maintenance allowance (EMA) in parliament on Wednesday 19 January.


Riots rock North African regimes

Uprisings are shaking the authoritarian regimes of Tunisia and Algeria in North Africa.

Pakistan: new crisis shows horror caused by ‘war on terror’

The assassination of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer last week highlights the destabilising effect of the "war on terror".


David Hart: the scum's scum

David Hart, the man who did the dirtiest of Margaret Thatcher’s dirty work in the Great Miners’ Strike of 1984-85, has finally died.


Fighting the Stalinist distortion of socialism

Leon Trotsky led the struggle against Joseph Stalin’s counter-revolution. This battle began in 1923, six years after the Russian Revolution.

1911: the great unrest

Events of 100 years ago show that workers, often with no militant tradition and with the most cowardly union leaders, can suddenly explode into militant mass action.

A year after the earthquake in Haiti - the help that hinders

One year on from the devastating earthquake, much of Haiti remains in ruins. Life for ordinary Haitians has got worse not better, even after all the promises of aid, the visits from legions of politicians and celebrities, and thousands of US soldiers and United Nations (UN) forces.

Testimony from Haiti: ‘Soldiers here to control us’

Romel Jean Pierre, 17 years old and a member of Ti Moun Rezistans, a collective in Port-au-Prince

UN’s tried and tested tactics in Haiti

Brazil heads the UN mission in Haiti. Haitians say that terrifying, unannounced and unexplained raids of their areas by Brazilian troops are common.

Pictures from Haiti by Leah Gordon

Student fight has changed everything

The annual conference of the Socialist Workers Party, which took place in London last weekend, was enthused by the excitement of the new student movement.

Build and deepen resistance to cuts

Conference agreed that mobilising resistance to the government’s cuts is a key task facing the SWP.

Recruitment and retention are vital in 2011

The upsurge of student struggle and resistance to the government means that the SWP has real possibilities to grow.

Inspiration of resistance fuels party's debates

"The student demonstrations have been marked by visceral class anger and anti-Tory hatred," said Hannah Dee from the SWP central committee, opening the session on students.

Industrial struggle: 'You have to be the leaders'

The conference session on the SWP’s industrial work saw an important discussion over how to mobilise resistance in the unions.

The democratic involvement of members at heart of conference

The conference saw a series of votes on the party’s policies in the coming months.

Step up the fight to drive out the EDL

The use of Islamophobic arguments by mainstream politicians has encouraged the growth of the far right in Britain.

War and instability still threaten millions

Judith Orr, the new editor of Socialist Worker, introduced a session on imperialism.


Goodbye to London: trying to take down the system squat by squat

In London during the 1970s radical squatters and artists came to see squatting as the new politics.

The Next Three Days

In a nailbiting new thriller a smugly successful middle class family are thrown into chaos when the wife is accused of her boss’s brutal murder.

The Way Back

This Hollywood movie tells how a multi-national group escaped from Joseph Stalin’s gulag and survived climatic extremes to walk 4,000 miles to political freedom in India.

London under siege: Churchill and the anarchists, 1911

This exhibition documents the Sidney Street Siege in east London—where Lithuanian anarchists had a raging gun battle with police in 1911.

10 O’clock Live

A new weekly, live comedy current affairs show sounds promising with hosts Charlie Brooker, David Mitchell and Lauren Laverne.

Going To The Flicks

Barry Norman explores how the experience of going to the cinema in Britain has changed over the past 100 years.

What We Think

Jack Straw opens door to racism again

Jack Straw lent credibility to the barrage of racism in the press when he said that the grooming of young women for sex was, "a specific problem" among Pakistani men. He made the statement after two men were jailed at Nottingham crown court after being found guilty of sexual abuse and rape.

Undercover cops no secret in movement

Few activists will be surprised at the news that undercover police officer Mark Kennedy infiltrated environmental groups in Britain, travelling abroad masquerading as a professional climber and campaigner.

Other Categories

Ayeshah Jones: 1948-2011

East Lancashire SWP members, friends and fellow campaigners were shocked and saddened by the sudden death, after a stroke, of Ayeshah Jones on New Year's Day.

Tim: infiltrators

Tim's view

Leon Kuhn: Money


How protest drove Nazi out of our city centre We found out that British National Party (BNP) candidate Gary Tumulty was working at a local Spar shop here in Manchester, after his details and picture were published online.

The week in quotes

‘You could even argue that the new system is not inconsistent with our principle, although there is a principle with which it is inconsistent, which is that we wanted to abolish them’

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