Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2249

Dated: 30 Apr 2011

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Royal wedding: a match made in heaven!

Sick of the wedding? Had enough William and Kate to last a lifetime? You’ll love our centre spread on the feckless royal scroungers who live it up on state benefits.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Does a monarchy make a difference?

Why do we still have a monarchy? England led the way in abolishing the absolute rule of monarchy when King Charles I was executed on 30 January 1649.

NUT conference: boost for 30 June fight as teachers back ballot

Teachers in the NUT union will hold a national strike ballot over the Tory assault on their pensions—and aim to ­coordinate action with other public sector unions.

NUT conference: 'If we can do it, everyone can'

Some 250 NUT delegates discussed "Where next after 26 March?" at what was the biggest Friday night fringe meeting at NUT conference in years.

Judge orders trust to reinstate Yunus Bakhsh

Yunus Bakhsh, the high profile nurse and activist who was unlawfully sacked for trade union activities, won reinstatement at an employment tribunal last week.

Yunus Bakhsh: Trade unions must defend members fighting back

Health bosses are not the only ones who will find the judge’s ruling uncomfortable—national and regional leaders of the union Unison will be squirming too.

Saltend workers revive protests over lock-out

Locked out construction workers at Saltend in Hull have resumed their protests.

EDL outnumbered in Brighton

Hundreds of police swamped Brighton to facilitate an event by the far-right March for England (MFE) last Sunday.

Campaign to stop the BNP

Anti-fascist activists are working hard to ensure the defeat of British National Party (BNP) candidates in next week’s elections.

Glasgow teachers angry at union proposal to accept deal

Teachers in Glasgow met with EIS union leaders last week to discuss cuts to pay and conditions, which the union is urging members to accept.

Ian Tomlinson: evidence ends in case of G20 protest death

The inquest into Ian Tomlinson’s death concluded hearing evidence on Thursday of last week.

Ballot means council fightback is on the move

Some 2,500 workers at Lincolnshire council are to be balloted for strikes over job cuts—with all three council workers’ unions set to fight together.

Dundee council workers unofficial walkout

Hundreds of council workers in Dundee walked out unofficially for the day on Thursday of last week after management reneged on an agreement.

Journalists: overworked, underpaid and fighting back

Striking journalists at the North London & Herts Newspapers took their message to the streets in their first week of action, which began on Tuesday of last week.

Tube drivers strike vote over reps victimisation

A strike ballot of all London Underground drivers in the RMT union over the victimisation of reps was to end on Wednesday of this week.

PCS round-up

Clean up the royal wedding As the royal family spend millions on William and Kate’s wedding, the people who will clean up after their party are on just £6.45 an hour.

Fighting for jobs and opposing racism at Royal Mail

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

Stirling strike by lecturers

Lecturers at Stirling University struck on Tuesday of this week in a battle to save jobs.

Left wins seats on NUS executive

Left wing candidates did well at this year’s NUS student conference.

United Left make gains in Unite

elections for the national executive of Unite, Britain’s biggest union, saw the United Left (UL) group make major gains.

Hull protest against cuts

Around 80 protesters marched into Hull Guildhall and invaded the council chamber on Thursday of last week. The protesters then debated alternatives to the cuts.

Unison national executive

Voting continues in the elections for the national executive of the Unison union.

Protest to save NHS is gathering momentum

NHS campaigners across London are in a buoyant mood as they prepare for a major demonstration in May against the government’s health service "reforms".

Scottish election campaign cuts through 'uninspiring' main parties

Activists in Scotland continue to push for votes against the cuts ahead of next Thursday’s elections for the Scottish parliament.

Step back from the NHS, Tory boy

A doctor who runs a sparsely-supported campaign in support of the government’s health "reforms" has been revealed as a leading Tory—and the head of a body that expects to profit from the changes.

Local elections: 'We have to make a stand and fight back'

Trade unionists in Lancashire have given their backing to independent socialist councillor Michael Lavalette, who is standing for re-election in Preston’s town centre ward.

NUT conference: Fighting academies and free schools

Delegates at NUT conference voted unanimously to fight plans to turn schools into academies and free schools. The debate showed the understanding among teachers that these schools are about turning schools into businesses – and the widespread determination to resist.

NUT conference: Blair Peach award

The Blair Peach award was given out for the first time at this year’s NUT conference. Fittingly, the award was made on the 32nd anniversary of Blair’s death, on Saturday 23 April.

NUT conference: Education for liberation

Teachers crammed into an Education for Liberation fringe meeting organised by the Socialist Teachers Alliance on Saturday.

NUT conference: No to cuts in special education needs funding

Delegates passed a motion condemning the impact of government cuts on Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision and warned that the cuts, combined with the proliferation of academies and free schools, threatened the chances of children with SEN being taught in mainstream schools.

NUT conference: Other motions

Delegates also condemned rising workloads, stress and bullying in schools. They passed a motion to "support action, up to and including industrial action" in cases where teachers faced excessive lesson observations. Delegates noted that cuts would make the situation worse and backed strikes over workload too.

NUT conference: Solidarity and international

Delegates showed solidarity with people fighting back in Britain and around the world.

Teachers vote for strikes

The possibility of a mass strike involving nearly a million workers on 30 June came one step closer this week.

People will defy the Syrian crackdown

The Syrian government’s crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations will not keep the country’s people silent.

New attack on Bahrainis in Britain

Seven young Bahraini citizens training to be commercial pilots in Britain have been ordered to return to their home country and present themselves to the government’s Gulf Aviation Authority (GAA).

Guantanamo files show US horrors

Some 700 leaked US government files about Guantanamo Bay show the brutality and paranoia at the heart of the regime.

Riots in Bristol have sent rich a warning

The press has dubbed disturbances in Bristol on Thursday of last week the "Tesco riots"—but the explosion of anger I witnessed went far beyond that.

Deaths in custody: Don’t fall for cops’ story on Smiley

Police are attempting to spin their version of how reggae artist Smiley Culture died during a raid on his home last month.

Old Firm battle reveals old prejudices

The media discovered the issue of sectarianism in Scotland last week after letter bombs were sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon, the lawyer Paul McBride and Trish Godman MSP.

Defend Bryan Simpson—student who faces jail

Activists are rallying around Bryan Simpson, a Glasgow student arrested last year after protesting against the government’s raising of tuition fees.

Sacking banker pockets millions

RBS banker Stephen Hester took home a £7.7million pay package last week—even though the bank has cut more than 9,000 jobs.

March against cuts this May Day weekend

This year May Day celebrations around the country are coming together with anti-cuts campaigns. Here are some of this weekend’s events:

Police use royal wedding to clampdown on protest

Police are using the royal wedding as an excuse to take their revenge on activists. They have launched a major crackdown over the past week—including raids on squats and social centres, arrests and fresh charges for protesters.


Truckers close Shanghai port

Truck drivers have shut down the world’s biggest port—for five days.

Botswana shut down by first mass strike

A strike by more than 90,000 government workers has paralysed Botswana in southern Africa for more than a week.

India: Left Front facing possible election defeat

Voting started this month for elections in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Sri Lanka: UN atrocity report out

A damning new report confirms human rights abuses by the Sri Lankan government during the last months of its war against the Tamil Tigers.


Reclaim the true spirit of May Day

The Tories want to get rid of the May Day bank holiday—and replace it with a day later in the year when we can "celebrate Britain".

Financial crisis is far from history

Hardened boosters of capitalism must be tempted to dismiss the global economic and financial crisis as history.


Meet the right royal scroungers

They live in a palaceYou hand them £180 million every year...and now they want YOU to pay for their wedding

Ivory coast crisis

Thousands have been killed in recent months. Who is behind the killings?

Ivory coast crisis: Without politics from below resistance is difficult to build

‘There hasn’t been a major breakthrough for the struggles from below since Laurent Gbagbo came to power in 2000.

Libya: West’s mission is to hijack the revolution

There is no "mission creep" in the Western intervention in Libya. What is happening is "mission reveal".

Yemen: protests stay on the streets

President Ali Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 32 years, announced last Saturday that he intended to stand down in 30 days.

Egypt: the struggle continues

Thousands of workers in Egypt continue to hold strikes and sit-ins as they fight for their rights under the new regime.


I & I The Natural Mystics: the roots of Bob Marley and the Wailers

Bob Marley is a towering musical talent who popularised reggae around the world. But he is often lost in his own fame.

Paul Graham: Photographs 1981-2006

This exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in east London presents over 25 years of work from British photographer Paul Graham.

Budrus DVD

Budrus is the name of a village in Palestine on the border with Israel. The Israeli government planned for the apartheid wall to be built through Budrus—but not for the resistance that followed.


As the film opens with women clocking into a large textile factory this looks like a gritty French version of Made in Dagenham.

What We Think

How can 'Arab Spring' win fundamental change?

It looked like the rulers across the Middle East and North Africa might fall like nine-pins in January and February.

Coalition's in crisis: now's the time to strike

The Tories are calling the Liberal Democrats "whingers" and "yapping dogs". The Liberals are calling the Tories liars.

Greece can break from the cuts consensus and default on debt

Greece is being buffeted around in the financial markets as speculation grows that it will default on its huge debts.

Other Categories

Tim: Cameron's next speech

Tim: Avoiding the Royal wedding


Government cuts will ghettoise sick people I have been following your coverage of the damage being caused by government cuts and it is clear that this is only the start.

Quotes from the week's news

‘There were four or five of us who knew that our friends were digging a tunnel from the outside. When the time came, we opened doors for friends in other rooms’

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