Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1881

Dated: 13 Dec 2003



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Get out Blair... and take your fees with you

Blair had a free college education


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

They're worth more on Worthing buses

BUS DRIVERS in Worthing, Sussex, were set to strike this Saturday for a decent pay deal. The 86 drivers work for the Stagecoach company.

The tube is now safer

THE RMT union has won significant concessions over safety from the companies that run the tube system after calling industrial action planned for this week.

Housing

A CAMPAIGN group, RAGE (Residents Against GLA Evictions), has recently formed to stop Transport for London evicting people.

Gatwick Express

DRIVERS IN the Aslef union on the Gatwick Express route struck for 24 hours for the second time on Monday over pay. Further strikes are planned for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Nursery nurses

LABOUR-RUN local authorities across Scotland have launched a despicable campaign in an effort to defeat the nursery nurses' pay strikes.

Tyne & Wear Metro

HUNDREDS of workers were set to strike on the Metro in Newcastle this weekend over bosses delaying the introduction of a 35-hour week.

More action wanted over fees

AROUND 200 students attended a lobby of parliament on Wednesday of last week to protest against the government's plans to introduce university top-up fees.

Pensions

FORMER WORKERS from a firm in Ayr were to travel to Tony Blair's constituency this Saturday as they step up a campaign over pension rights.

Haven't got ticket to ride

BAGGAGE HANDLERS at Liverpool's John Lennon airport began a five-day strike on Monday.

Postal workers

ROYAL MAIL, a company that boasts of its equality and anti-racist polices, has appointed a leading British National Party member to a management position at Northampton's main sorting office.

Tight vote in executive elections

THE RESULTS of the executive elections for the new Amicus union were still coming in as Socialist Worker went to press.

Council Workers

THE DISPUTE continues at Highbury Resource Centre (HRC) in north London. It is a day centre for adults with learning difficulties.

European Social Forum

NEXT YEAR'S European Social Forum (ESF) will take place in Britain in October.

Civil servants

AROUND 100,000 civil servants in the PCS union are set to ballot to take strike action over their awful pay deal in January.

Anti-racism

THE NATIONAL Assembly Against Racism wholeheartedly endorsed the new national coalition Unite Against Fascism at its annual general meeting last Saturday.

Declaration for left electoral challenge to New Labour

THE GREATEST mass movement of our age has brought us together. We have marched in unprecedented numbers against war, against racism and in defence of democracy and civil liberties. Our views are shared by millions, often a majority of the people in this country.

Job losses don't have to be 'way of the world'

"THAT IS the way the world is today. The best thing government can do is not offer a false prospectus to people that we can prevent those changes. We live in an economy which is global, in which there is going to be a lot of churning of jobs, in which the old concept of nine to five jobs is changing."

Blair's top-up fees will hit working families

TONY BLAIR claims that top-up fees will make the education system fairer and less elitist. He tries to appeal to ordinary people, asking why low paid hospital workers who did not go to university should pay for "middle class" students to study.

Soldiers' families dig for the truth

A DELEGATION of nine relatives of US soldiers has gone to Iraq to find out what is going on for themselves.

Greed breeds hospital superbugs

A CAMPAIGN of "naming and shaming" dirty hospitals has been launched by health secretary John Reid.

Afghanistan

Nine children in Afghanistan died last weekend after two US attack jets opened fire on their village of Hutala in southern Afghanistan. All that's left of them is their shoes and woven hats lying strewn on the ground.


International

Henry Kissinger: more revelations

YET MORE evidence emerged this week of how the US is harbouring one of the world's greatest war criminals.

Challenge to Italy's pension slasher

AROUND 1.5 million people took to the streets of Rome in Italy last Saturday against government plans to attack their pensions.

Deep disappointment chills Russian election

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin looks set to claim victory in the country's parliamentary elections last weekend.


Comment

Flags swing low for any old chariot

A FRIEND who played rugby union for Lancashire insists there are two ways to get onto any rugby team. One is being able to drink 15 pints and piss in your own mouth. The other is being vaguely good at the sport.

Is Tony Blair Robert Mugabe's greatest asset?

Observing the Commonwealth Conference over the past week, I can't help feeling a degree of grudging admiration for Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe – for all that I detest him for the devastation he has inflicted on his own people.


Features

Anti-asylum porn baron Richard Desmond in tax scam

"Scrounger", "Milking our generosity", "We are a soft touch".

Detonating a Revolution

UPRISINGS have become a regular feature of the modern world. Twice in the last two months mass uprisings have toppled governments-in Bolivia and Georgia. Similar revolts have shaken every continent in the last five years.

Student fees: six of the worst

"Posh vice-chancellor types". That was how the Guardian this week described the people behind Blair pushing for top-up fees for university students.

Who is behind rising racism across Europe?

SUCCESSIVE WAVES of immigrants arriving in Britain have faced racism. Every week in Britain there are attacks on asylum seekers.

Does anti-Zionism mean anti-Semitism?

Zionists accuse anti-Zionists of being anti-Semitic. The reasons for this, they say, are (1) some anti-Zionists express anti-Semitic ideas, and (2) the very fact of denying the right of "the Jews" to have a "homeland" is anti-Semitic.

Anger is growing in car industry

Workers from Peugeot in Coventry, Land Rover in Solihull and MG Rover in Birmingham spoke to Helen Shooter

Small office, but very big sale

SHARON FROM Sheffield has news of a great response to the paper at a local civil service office.


Reviews

Lies exposed and a blast against the liars

Book

Screening a time of revolt

THE GREAT rebellions of 1968 inspired many innovative and exciting films. The National Film Theatre in London is showing a season of films inspired by 1968. But don't worry if you can't make it-some of the best are available on video or DVD, and some are shown regularly on TV.


What We Think

We need more than MPs to beat the fees

THEY ARE only students-but could they bring down Blair?" asked the Independent on Sunday last week. It spoke of "the growth of a rebellion that really does threaten to force the prime minister from power".

The working class at the centre

Under capitalism the working class has a great political advantage compared with all previous exploited classes.


Other Categories

Al Richardson 1941-2003

Al Richardson, who died last month, made an important contribution to the history of the revolutionary socialist movement.

Letters

Abortion – why we defend women's right to choose THE COURT case brought by trainee vicar Joanna Jepson to have a doctor charged for performing an abortion after 24 weeks because of "severe foetal abnormality" has caused uproar in the media.

Double takings for the top loan shark

NEXT TIME you hear or read about destitution in Latin America's shanty towns spare a thought for Kenneth Dart.



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