Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2244

Dated: 26 Mar 2011

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Drive out the Tory scum

The Tories want to turn the clock back for working class people in Britain. They want to get rid of things that generations fought to win—pensions, the NHS, rights at work—forever.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Zimbabwe socialists released on bail - but the campaign goes on

Six socialists facing the death penalty for watching a video on the Middle East uprisings were released on bail by a Zimbabwean judge last week.

British Airways strike ballot due to end

A strike ballot of cabin crew at British Airways ends on Monday of next week.

A vote to strike in the Driving Standards Agency

Driving examiners and administration workers in the Driving Standards Agency have voted for strikes over job losses and closures.

Equality and Human Rights Commission strike ballot over outsourcing

PCS union members at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) were to begin a strike ballot this week against plans to cut jobs by over half, close regional offices and outsource key services.

Downing Street protest against nuclear power

Anti-nuclear protesters gathered outside Downing Street last Sunday. They called on the government to abandon plans to build new nuclear plants and close existing ones.

Powys teachers strike to save jobs

Teachers at a high school in Powys, Wales, are striking against compulsory redundancies. The NASUWT union members at Brecon High School struck on Thursday of last week.

Coventry teachers say no to academy

Teachers at Tile Hill Wood School and Language College in Coventry struck on Tuesday of this week against plans to turn their school into an academy.

Suspended teacher, Sue Caldwell awaits ballot result and hearing

Suspended teacher Sue Caldwell was still awaiting her disciplinary hearing this week and the results of a solidarity ballot.

Defend a woman’s right to choose

Activists in the Abortion Rights campaign met on Saturday for their annual general meeting. Kay Carberry, TUC assistant general secretary, spoke about the importance of trade unionists taking up the issue of a woman’s right to choose.

Tube union rep is suspended

Management at the Initial cleaning company have suspended RMT union rep Clara Osagiede following an incident with a manager.

Save the Isle of Lewis coastguard

More than 200 people marched through Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis last Saturday against the closure of the island’s coastguard.

Connexions advice is: strike back

Connexions careers advice workers across north west England protested against cuts to their service on Wednesday of last week.

March says no to post privatisation

Postal workers took to the streets of Brighton to protest against privatisation last Saturday.

Fighting to defend jobs and refugees in Glasgow

Workers at the Glasgow Asylum Support Project are continuing their battle against privatisation that will affect the lives of hundreds of asylum seekers.

Stop eviction of Dale Farm Travellers

Travellers and their supporters are preparing to defend families facing eviction from the Dale Farm site in Essex.

Network to defend NHS

Health workers were to meet in London this week to set up a new network to resist the Tories’ cuts to the NHS.

Victory for unity as an EDL-backed ‘East End Gay Pride’ march is cancelled

Activists last week delivered a significant victory against attempts to divide the Muslim and LGBT communities in Tower Hamlets, east London.

Nuclear disasters: it’s not if but when

The unfolding horror in Japan exposes one very stark truth—the extent to which our rulers are willing to let us die.

Lecturers' strikes hit back against the coalition

The biggest strike yet under the Tory government was to take place this week. Around 120,000 lecturers were to walk out on Thursday to defend their jobs, pay and pensions.

Students and staff unite on picket lines

Students joined lecturers on picket lines across England on Tuesday of this week.

After 26 March - how do we smash the Tories?

The TUC’s national march against cuts this Saturday will be historic.

Why 26 March protest matters

Turn anger into action "We need to turn the enthusiasm of the march into real resistance.

'If we can organise united strikes, so can you'

Just four days after Saturday’s TUC march, teachers in two London boroughs are set to show how to take the battle against cuts forward.

Fury at the bankers on the streets of Tower Hamlets

A battle bus took to the streets of Tower Hamlets on Saturday.

Construction workers: locked out but fighting

Bosses have locked out hundreds of engineering construction workers at the Saltend Chemicals plant near Hull, in Yorkshire.

Blockades, ballots and strikes on the buses

Blockade in Preston Around 30 residents of Avenham in Preston blockaded a Stagecoach bus depot (pictured above) on Thursday of last week.

Taking on easyCouncil

Some 140 regulatory services workers at Barnet council have begun their industrial action against privatisation.

Vote United Left in national executive elections

The crucial elections for the national executive of Unite, Britain’s biggest union, are to begin on Friday.

Reinstate Kevin Hughes now

Sacked Merseyside firefighter Kevin Hughes has won an employment tribunal—but has yet to be reinstated.

Tories try to scrap health and safety

Tory Minister for employment Chris Grayling has announced a major assault on health and safety at work.

Disgraceful - only 13 MPs vote against war on Libya

On Monday MPs in the House of Commons debated the United Nations Security Council resolution authorising military intervention in Libya.

Fury as Royal Mail plans closures and job cuts

Royal Mail announced this week that it is to close down two large mail centres in south and east London. This will throw 1,000 workers on the dole or force them to move if they want to keep their jobs.

The cost of Britain's war on Libya - £3 million a day

While the government claims there is no money to fund public services, it is prepared to spend millions of pounds on bombing Libya at a moment’s notice. These are some of the costs of going to war:

After TUC demo: Put Trafalgar Square at centre of resistance

Activists are planning to ensure London has the spirit of the Arab revolutions this Saturday by taking over Trafalgar Square after the TUC’s demonstration.

Cost of living rises is pricing workers out

More than seven out of ten PCS and Unison union members have cut the amount they spend on food to try to cope with the rising cost of living, a survey shows.

How did Smiley Culture die?

The family and friends of British reggae star Smiley Culture are demanding justice after he died in suspicious circumstances while in police custody.

Pickles in stew about ‘Commies’

Tory axeman Eric Pickles showed his true colours with a ranting speech to the hard right Young Britons’ Foundation last week.

Making it a crime to be homeless

Around 500 campaigners and homeless people protested against a Tory council’s plan to ban soup kitchens in central London last week.

Housing rights under attack

Tory housing minister Grant Shapps is trying to abolish squatters’ rights.

Pay curb won’t freeze MPs

MPs generously agreed to a pay freeze this week.

Libraries face a new threat

The government plans to scrap councils’ legal duty to run any libraries at all.

Unemployment is rocketing

More than 1,500 workers are now losing their jobs every single day, new figures reveal.

Loan safety net to be removed

The Tories plan to scrap crisis loans for essential household items at the end of this month, in a vicious attack on people facing destitution.

Students demonstrate in Edinburgh

George Osborne delivers another Tory budget for the rich

George Osborne said this was a budget for "growth". That’s true—but it’s growth in profits for the rich, growth in bankers’ bonuses and growth in unemployment.

Protests in London against George Osborne's budget

Protesters demonstrated in central London this evening, Wednesday, in protest at Tory chancellor George Osborne’s budget.

Reports on lecturers' strike across the country on Thursday 24 March

Institute of Education Seven National Union of Teachers executive members visited UCU picket lines at the Institute of Education in central London to show their support.

UB40 speaks out against injustice of Tory cuts

UB40 band members Brian Travers and Jimmy Brown spoke out against unemployment at a Birmingham Against the Cuts press conference on Wednesday.

Interview: Omar Barghouti on the boycott campaign for Palestine

Could you give us a brief introduction to the boycott divestment sanctions (BDS) campaign and why you think it is so important?

Pictures of the lecturers' strike on Thursday 24 March 2011

More than 1,000 meet to demand answers over Smiley Culture's death

How did Smiley Culture die? Around 1,000 people demanded the answer to this at an angry meeting in Brixton, south London, last night, Thursday.

All aboard for Tower Hamlets strike

A bus full of activists toured Tower Hamlets, east London, today (Friday) to raise support for the council workers’ and teachers’ strikes there next Wednesday.

Exclusive: Bahrainian government targets family members of pro-democracy campaigners in Britain

At 2.20 yesterday morning, Bahraini and Saudi forces raided 20-year old Sayed Mahmood Shuber’s home in Jidali in Bahrain. They pointed guns at the heads of his family and abducted him. They beat him. He has now disappeared.

TUC march against the cuts as it happened

Over half a million people marched through London today in a magnificent outpouring of working class anger against the government.

Videos of 26 March demonstration

Videos of the demonstration from Dominic Kavakeb which will be updated throughout the day.

Pictures of 26 March demonstration

Pictures of the 26 March demonstration (2)

Pictures of the 26 March demonstration (3)


Voices from Japan: 'The government is not trying to protect us'

More than 20,000 people are confirmed dead or missing in Japan. This is now the biggest disaster here—natural or otherwise—since the Second World War.

Disaster exposes Japan's gap between rich and poor

Japan is traumatised by the suffering and devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

Imperialism's bloody grasp on the Middle East

The revolutions in the Middle East have thrown the imperial powers into crisis.

The West's history of intervention in Libya

The shadow of imperialism has dominated Libya’s recent history.

Western intervention in Libya means devastation and war

The West’s interference in Libya began a new chapter this week.

UN: a council of murderers

The fact that the United Nations (UN) Security Council has voted to create a "no-fly zone" over Libya has led many to claim that West’s air attacks are legitimate.

There is an alternative to Western intervention

Many people who are on the side of the Libyan uprising worry that we can’t just sit back and let it be crushed by Gaddafi’s forces.

The 'precision' bombs that kill

Tomahawk cruise missiles fired by British and US forces are raining down on Libya.

Cameron's hands bloodied by arms sales

David Cameron says he wants to support the Libyan rebels. But he has sanctioned arms sales to Gaddafi’s regime. In September­ last year Cameron authorised sales worth £3.2 million to Gaddafi.

The West is no friend of Libya's revolt

Western military intervention in Libya is being sold to us as "humanitarian intervention" to defend the revolution.

'Kill team' shows the horror of Afghan war

Some 4,000 photographs and video clips have been discovered in the possession of US soldiers, depicting the murder, torture and humiliation of Afghan citizens.

Eamonn McCann on Colonel Gaddafi

I once challenged Muammar Gaddafi when he suggested that Libya could support revolutionary movements around the world while maintaining agreeable trading relations with world powers.


Nuclear power isn't green and it won’t save the planet

Following the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, the nuclear power industry has the almost impossible task of justifying its existence.

Wisconsin: the bill is passed but we'll fight on

The governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has passed a bill to remove the trade union rights of some 175,000 workers in the US.

We marched in our hundreds of thousands… now it’s time to strike together

<a href="graphics/2011/keep/tucdemo.pdf">Download article as a leaflet</a> 246kb PDF


Capitalism’s crisis

There seems to be no let up in the economic crisis. How did we get into this mess?

Workers at the heart of the Egyptian Revolt

There was a deceptive sense of normality in Cairo when I arrived there last week. At the airport, groups of tourists discussed the temperature in Luxor and arrangements for their tour. Roads were full of the usual traffic.

From Tunisia to today: the revolutions continue

A single act of resistance in Tunisia last December sparked a revolt that has brought down two dictators and continues to sweep across the Middle East and North Africa.

Egyptian health worker: 'We've won so much'

Ahmed al-Sayyed, president of the Health Technicians Union

Egyptian worker: 'Our victory is a victory for workers of the world'

Kamal Abu Aita, president of the Property Tax Collectors Union


Ken Loach interview on Route Irish

Route Irish is an engrossing thriller. Why base it around private security contractors?

Route Irish: In the wrong place at the wrong time

When Fergus (Mark Womack) asks how his friend Frankie died on the Iraqi road codenamed Route Irish, his former bosses explain, "Wrong place, wrong time."

Ken Loach's best films

Kes (1970) Billy, an alienated working class boy in Barnsley, finds meaning in life as he cares for and trains a fledgling falcon.

What We Think

A world in crisis... Join the socialists

Has the world gone mad? If you switch on your television and watch the news you could be forgiven for thinking so. We are faced with war, nuclear disaster and economic crisis.

Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Imperialism

Tim: Do you like this cruise missile?

Tim: That's not the big society


The Tories’ attack on women is a big mistake In Huddersfield, like many towns and cities across Britain, we are facing the biggest cuts in public spending for generations.

Quotes from the week's news

‘We are worried sick, stressed, not sleeping through worry. There is a very real danger of throwing the disabled and their carers into poverty and removing their dignity’

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