Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2248

Dated: 23 Apr 2011

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Cameron wades into racist sewer with speech attacking migrants

David Cameron feels support draining away and he’s fighting back by sinking into the politics of the gutter—with a speech scapegoating immigrants.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Tube workers don't want shoddy deal

Trade unions on London Underground are furious with management’s planned pay deal. The right wing media has produced shrieks of outrage at this, but the unions are entirely in the right.

Zimbabweans fight on

Six Zimbawean activists are continuing to campaign against treason charges following their arrest at a meeting where they showed a video about the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

Protesting against Connexions cuts in Hull

Hundreds protested against cuts to Connexions careers advice services in Hull last Saturday.

Bradford swim-in to save pool

Protesters have held a "swim-in" to save Rhodesway Pool in Allerton, Bradford.

Teacher reinstated after 'bullying' dispute

Staff and students at Villiers High school in Southall, west London ended last term on a high.

Teachers back strikes to defend sacked teacher Tony Souter

Teachers at a Warwickshire school have voted for strikes to defend sacked teacher Tony Souter in an indicative ballot.

Camden NUT - next steps in fight to defend schools

management are trying to cut costs in several schools in Camden, north London—provoking disputes.

EIS members oppose shoddy deal

There is growing anger among Scottish teachers over an awful deal supported by their union.

Building resistance in the colleges

Redundancies resulting from government cuts are everywhere in higher and further education.

New ballots against job cuts in education

Lecturers at South Tyneside College have voted to ballot for strikes to defend jobs and pay.

Socialist fighter wins backing across Preston

Residents in Preston’s Town Centre ward showed their support for socialist councillor Michael Lavalette as he campaigned for re-election last Sunday.


The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is standing 180 candidates across 55 local authorities in England in the 5 May local elections.

George Galloway at heart of anti-cuts fight in key poll

Elections to the Scottish parliament on 5 May offer the possibility of a breakthrough for the left.

Hands off our fire engine

Ray Holmes is a socialist councillor in Shirebrook North West in Bolsover, Derbyshire. He’s standing for re-election next month and is backed by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Time to drive the Nazis out

The fascist British National Party (BNP) launched its election manifesto in Stoke-on-Trent last Sunday.

Walking out wins job back

A council worker in Ashfield , Nottinghamshire, has got his job back—with a little help from co-workers who walked out as his appeal was being heard.

Council workers begin strike ballot in Southampton

Council workers in Southampton have begun a strike ballot against the Tory-run council’s plan to sack workers unless they sign up to pay cuts.

Engineers strike in Lancashire

Vehicle maintenance engineers in the Unite union at Lancashire County Council struck on Wednesday of last week against cuts to their conditions as part of a "single status" job evaluation.

Nottingham council workers back strikes

Some 2,000 GMB union members at Nottingham City Council have voted by six to one for industrial action in an indicative ballot over pay.

Ballot for strikes at Transport for Greater Manchester

Transport workers in Manchester are to ballot for strikes against compulsory redundancies. One in seven of the Unison members at Transport for Greater Manchester—formerly GMPTE—face losing their jobs.

Scottish council of Unison backs general strike

The Scottish Council of the Unison union has backed the call for a general strike.

'Now we feel like we have a voice'

Nine Journalists at North London & Herts Newspapers started a two week strike on Tuesday.

Charles Atangana wins campaign to stay in Britain

Cameroonian journalist Charles Atangana has won his campaign to remain in Britain.

Civil service workers' round-up

Revenue & Customs vote for strikes PCS civil service workers’ union members in the Revenue and Customs department have voted for strikes over imposed changes to attendance policy.

Unite delays strikes at British Airways - again

The Unite union will not call strikes at British Airways (BA) this month, it has announced. It has agreed to continue talks with BA bosses instead.

Step up the fight at Saltend

The fight of some 400 construction workers who are locked out at Saltend in Hull, Yorkshire, is at a crucial point.

NUS conference backs strikes against cuts

The National Union of Students (NUS) last week held its first national conference since the explosive student protests of November and December.

Ian Tomlinson's death due to ‘blunt force trauma’

The inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper seller who died after being shoved by PC Harwood at G20 demonstrations in April 2009, continued last week.

Police use of kettling 'unlawful'

The high court ruled last week that the police tactic of "kettling" was unlawful during the G20 demonstrations.

PCS strike shows cuts can be resisted

A national strike by around 7,000 call centre workers on Monday, demanding better conditions and public services, was a big success.

Are we ‘hard wired’ to be prejudiced?

Racism, sexism and homophobia are deeply entrenched in our society. While many people reject these ideas, many others don’t.

NUT conference: vote for national strike over pensions–united action can win

Tens of thousands of angry school workers joined the TUC demonstration in London on 26 March. It transformed the feeling about the possibility of resisting the cuts. This will be reflected at the NUT teachers’ union annual conference this weekend.

Anti-cuts protests are vital part of movement

The seaside town of Hastings on England’s south coast was hit by a wave of protest last week. More than 300 people marched against cuts.

Thousands of health workers could join strike

Thousands of NHS workers in the Unite union could join teachers, lecturers and civil service workers in a strike against the Tories’ attack on public sector pensions.

30 June: we must seize opportunity for a mass strike

The first steps to achieve a mass strike in Britain were taken last week.

Protest at BP's crude profits, one year on from Deepwater disaster

A range of protesters laid siege to oil company BP’s annual general meeting in east London last week.

NHS protests can force Tories back

The Tories are in crisis over the NHS. There is significant opposition to health secretary Andrew Lansley’s plans to hand over services to his fat cat friends.

Cuts deny patients operations

Thousands of patients are waiting in agony because health bosses have cancelled their operations, leaders of Britain’s surgeons have revealed.

Cuts threaten capital's ambulance service

Many Londoners will have been shocked and maybe a bit frightened by the news that the capital’s ambulance service is to cut 890 jobs over the next five years.

Smiley Culture protest: 'We'll keep on fighting over deaths in custody'

"If we don’t get answers, what do we do? We march every day, we stop the roads, we stop going to work and come to them!"

University fee levels will create chaos

As more universities declare their fees levels, the government’s "progressive" plans are disintegrating.

ATL union backs united strikes - ballot to start in May

Delegates to the ATL teaching union’s conference have backed coordinated strikes to defend pensions.

British cover-up over torture continues

The Ministry of Defence must release some information on people held or captured by British forces in Afghanistan, according to an administrative appeals tribunal ruling.

Kiss-in protest over homophobia

over 300 people protested outside the John Snow pub in London’s Soho area on Friday of last week.

Climate group could appeal

The director of public prosecutions, Kier Starmer, has advised 20 climate activists to appeal against their convictions.

CWU union prepares fight for jobs and against racism in Stoke

Hundreds of people from across the Midlands are set to join with trade unionists on Saturday of next week as part of a fight for jobs in Stoke on Trent.

Journalists striking to save 'dearly beloved' newspapers

Journalists at the North London & Herts Newspapers took their message to the streets in their first week of strikes, which began on Tuesday.

Public sector strike paralyses Botswana

A strike by tens of thousands of government workers has paralysed Botswana in southern Africa since Monday.

Wildcat walk-out shocks Dundee council bosses

Hundreds of council workers in Dundee walked out unofficially today when their management reneged on a temporary worker agreement. The workers include the council’s joiners, painters, plumbers, scaffolders and others who carry out essential work in the city.

Victory for Yunus as judge orders reinstatement

A judge at an employment tribunal this week ordered the reinstatement of Yunus Bakhsh, the high profile nurse and activist who was sacked illegally for his trade union activities.


Libyan suspicion grows at role of Nato

The euphoria that greeted Western intervention in Libya has given way to deep suspicion as the fighting drags on.

International round-up of revolt

Yemen Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flooded towns and cities across Yemen last Sunday.


Nuclear power: ‘Powerful groups are out to skew the debate’

The environmentalist George Monbiot has recently spent his time attacking anti-nuclear campaigners. He claims they misrepresent scientific research and lie about the health risks of radiation.


The American Civil War: war against slavery

The American Civil War began 150 years ago this month when forces bombarded Fort Sumter, a government base in South Carolina. Some claim the war between Northern and Southern US states was about the rights of states. In reality, it was a conflict between two different ways of organising society.

Should we all unite to save the planet?

More and more people are worried about the environment. Despite the efforts of climate sceptics, people can see that climate change is causing havoc around the world.

'Disabled people won't be victims any more'

The Tories have launched an all-out attack on disabled people in Britain. As the economic crisis continues to bite, they have turned on people they consider are not making their contribution to society.

‘We can work, but can’t get the jobs’

"I’ve got a degree and a qualification in law. But it took me over a year to get an interview for a job.

Benefit cuts are blow to welfare state

The Tory and media smear campaign against benefit "fraudsters" deliberately confuses fitness to work with disability. They want us to believe that only the "genuinely disabled" are unable to work.


The Killing is riveting and essential viewing

Those of us who were consumed by the first series of Danish television thriller The Killing will have to wait until the autumn for series two.

Animation: It’s school holiday time - and the spending is easy

Every holiday has its traditions. A key one is that there must be a new children’s film to wile away the money from parents on every school break.

The Turner Contemporary gallery

The Turner Contemporary gallery opened in Margate last week. A brand new art gallery on the seafront, it rises from the site of the lodging house where JMW Turner lived and worked.


Lines is a clever play about the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in London in 2009.

Marriage of Convenience memorabilia

The Red Stuff Shop is proud to announce a new range of memorabilia in preparation for the Marriage of Convenience 2011. Get your anti-royal wedding bunting, mugs, stickers, badges and more.

Joan Miro is marvellous at the Tate

Joan Miro is one of the supreme artists of the 20th century and the current exhibition of his work at the Tate Modern is a wonderful experience.

What We Think

Austerity has just made crisis worse

Austerity doesn’t work. The Greeks tried it—and they are now in danger of defaulting on their loans. Portugal tried it—and it has now had to ask for a bailout of up to 80 billion euros.

Revolutionary wave is still rising across Middle East and Africa

The media want us to believe that the revolutionary wave is over—that Tunisia and Egypt were the end of it, not the start.

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Quotes from the week's news

‘Increasingly Goebbels-like’Energy secretary Chris Huhne attacks Tory Baroness Warsi’s campaigning against the AV voting system

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