Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2282

Dated: 10 Dec 2011

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We've got the power to win

N30 was a historic day for the trade union movement. It could be a turning point in the fight to defend our pensions and stop the government’s austerity measures.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Case collapses as police corruption probe destroyed evidence

The biggest police corruption trial in British legal history collapsed in farce last week.

Former British agent says News of the World hacked his computer

The hacking scandal continues to cover the Metropolitan Police, News International and David Cameron in filth.

Daniel Morgan’s murder exposes a murky world of lies and deceit

The unsolved killing of Daniel Morgan in 1987 is one of Britain’s most investigated murders.

Eurozone teeters on a knife edge

The Eurozone’s political leaders are battling to prevent the collapse of their economies. This week Standard and Poor’s, the US credit rating agency, warned that all eurozone countries—­including France and Germany—could lose their credit ratings.

Tories lash out as strike hits them hard

The Tories reacted to the 30 November public sector strike by dismissing it as a "damp squib". But their actions since the strike tell a different story to their words.

Ed Miliband has little to say to workers

Dozens of Labour Party constituencies and thousands of Labour activists declared their support for the 30 November strike.

John Hutton: a toxic Tory collaborator

One former Labour cabinet minister had no trouble working out which side he was on.

Newham teachers’ strike escalates and spreads

Teachers in Newham, east London, have called for borough-wide strikes to support strikers at Langdon School.

Pupil's parents 'gagged' in Leeds

Parents of children at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley, Leeds, protested wearing gags outside the school on Thursday of last week.

Students talking about a revolution

Over 150 people took part in the Students for Revolution conference last weekend, organised by Socialist Worker Student Society (SWSS).

Essex student: occupation in solidarity with N30

Students at the University of Essex have occupied a lecture theatre in solidarity with the 30 November strikes.

Revenue and customs staff to walk out

PCS union members in revenue and customs (HMRC) are set to walk out next Monday in two ongoing disputes.

Motion on action after the success of the 30 November strikes


UCU votes for more strikes

The UCU lecturers’ union has voted unanimously to escalate action to defend public sector pensions.

Defence workers resist attack

Over 400 skilled workers at defence electronics company Selex Galileo were set to strike on Thursday of this week over pay.

Southampton: Unite sectors discuss next step

The Unite union held its biannual sector conferences last week. Delegates told Socialist Worker there was real mood of excitement after the 30 November strike.

Ferry support to Wightlink strike

RMT union members on Wightlink’s ferry service between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight are balloting for strikes over the dismissal of a union rep on 11 November.

Olympic deal for RMT in London

Around 500 London Overground (LO) workers will be paid normal time plus 25 percent for shifts worked during the Olympic and Paralympic games next year.

‘This action has opened up the possibilities for us’

The Unison union’s national executive was set to meet this week to decide the next steps after the 30 November strikes. Helen Davies from the executive spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity.

Lies, damned lies and OBR inflation statistics

The Tory-led government set up the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in May last year. It is supposed to provide "independent and authoritative analysis" of Britain’s public finances.

Public sector workers face massive pay cut

London protest against Congo repression

Hundreds of people protested in Whitehall, central London, last Saturday against repression in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

John's Occupy London Diary: ‘Occupy everywhere on 15 December’

Occupy London activists backed the 30 November public sector strikes by marching to Lincoln’s Inn Fields to join the main London demonstration.

Passengers back Barnsley bus strike

Stagecoach bus drivers in Barnsley and Rawmarsh struck on Friday and Saturday of last week in protest at their low wages.

Firefighters alarmed at privatisation plans

Firefighters and fire authority workers are raising the alarm at plans to privatise firefighter training in London.

Financial Times journalists set for ballot on pay

The NUJ chapel workplace union branch at the Financial Times has voted to ballot for industrial action.

EDL members sent to prison for attack on socialist meeting

Alan Spence, the north east organiser for the English Defence League (EDL), was jailed last week after attacking a Socialist Workers Party meeting in Newcastle.

Stop the 'riot' evictions

Over 60 people attended a meeting in Battersea, south London, on Monday of this week.

Shut down the sites to beat bosses

The war in construction is at a crucial stage.

Sparks take to the streets in protests across Britain

Some 200 electricians gathered at the Balfour Beatty site at Blackfriars in central London on the day of the public sector general strike last week.

Thousands march in Durban against climate Cop-out

The UN climate negotiations—the Conference of Parties, or ‘the Cop'—in Durban, South Africa, are deciding to do nothing about climate change for many years to come.

Unilever: first ever strike over pensions

Over 2,000 private sector workers in three trade unions were set to walk out on Friday of this week at multinational company Unilever.

Profits come first at Durban talks

Hopes of a new agreement to replace the soon-to-expire 1997 Kyoto treaty on carbon emissions were fading this week.

Revealed: August riots were motivated by anger at police

When riots broke out in August, the Tories and the press rushed to explain them away. It was just looting by gang members, they declared, or "criminality, pure and simple" as David Cameron put it.

Race bias in court sentencing

People from ethnic minorities who face court are more likely to be sentenced to prison than their white counterparts for certain categories of crime.

Exclusive: Do as little teaching as you like, academies are told

School managements in privatised academies can teach children for as many or as few days as they like.

Students hit by fees chaos

The government’s constantly shifting plans for higher education funding have thrown students into chaos.

Rich are getting richer globally, new OECD survey reveals

The gap between the rich and poor is soaring in rich countries—and it’s growing faster in Britain than anywhere else.

HSBC caught in savings scam

Banking giant HSBC has been fined £10.5 million. It will have to pay almost £30 million in compensation after one of its subsidiaries scammed thousands of older people out of their life savings.

Olympic shows get double cash

The government has doubled the budget for ceremonies at the Olympic and Paralympic games. It has thrown another £41 million into the pot for shows on the opening and closing nights.

Life’s a gas for energy fat cats

Christmas has come early for energy companies. They are paying the lowest wholesale rate for gas for a year. But the rest of us have seen a 21 percent increase in energy costs over the same period.

Electricians strike and protest - and defy Balfour Beatty

Rank and file electricians walked off jobs, protested and blocked roads in towns and cities across Britain this morning, Wednesday.

Occupy London's 'Bank of Ideas' survives its day in court

Occupy activists squatting a disused UBS bank building in London, now known as the Bank of Ideas, scored a major legal victory today (Wednesday).

Unilever workers strike against pension attacks

Over 2,000 workers at nine factories, two research and development facilities and one IT office are on strike today (Friday) to defend their pensions at manufacturing multinational Unilever. They are members of the Unite, GMB and Usdaw unions.


General strike against Belgium's new government

Tens of thousands of people protested against austerity in Brussels on Friday of last week. Large parts of Belgium’s transport system were shut down by strikes.

Italy: unelected leader imposes new austerity measures

Unelected leader Mario Monti has forced through 30 billion euros of austerity cuts by parliamentary decree. These new cuts will be implemented before Italy’s parliament can discuss them.


What the papers said about N30

It was the week that support for strikes helped to sell newspapers. While most of the press jumped on board the union-bashing bandwagon, for a few days before the strike the Daily Mirror went back to its roots.

Videos of speakers at After N30 – how do we bring down the government

Speakers at the After N30 – how do we bring down the government in central London on Tuesday 6 December 2011


30 years after the New Cross fire: challenging racism today

For 30 years, there has been some activity on the anniversary of the New Cross Fire of 18 January 1981. This year saw more interest than I can remember for many years. It included the unveiling of a plaque at the south London address where the tragedy occurred.

Stephen Lawrence trial examines forensics

A leading scientist cast doubt on claims that key forensic evidence he found in the Stephen Lawrence case was flawed.

France 1995: striking lessons in how to keep your pension

Jacques Chirac was elected president of France in 1995 and promised to mend France’s "social fracture". Alain Juppé, his new prime minister, said it was time to deal with the county’s debt problem.

Voices from the N30 strike: ‘Now we all feel stronger’

Margaret Davies, PCS, Merthyr Tydfil tax office


Sarah Palin: vicious? You betcha!

For the millions who hate Sarah Palin and her reactionary politics, the rise and fall of the former governor of Alaska makes a gripping spectacle.

Stewart Lee - Carpet Remnant World

Stewart Lee has become one of the few alternative comics from the early 1990s to keep his clout.

An African election

The West African state of Ghana held a presidential election in 2008. This documentary follows the campaign, interviewing candidates and filming rallies and electoral officials.

Black Mirror

This series of twisted comedy dramas from Guardian journalist Charlie Brooker offers some disturbing food for thought.


Mikhail Bulgakov, the Russian dramatist, routinely had his plays banned by the Stalinist authorities in Russia.

What We Think

Lobbying sleaze is business as usual

Tory sleaze was back in the headlines this week when the Independent newspaper ran an exposé on PR firm Bell Pottinger.

Regime change in Iran must be left to the Iranian people

Western powers, fresh from their intervention in Libya, are keen to assert themselves elsewhere.

Other Categories

Tim's view

Tim: irresponsible actions


Why I backed the strike I retired from local government in April of this year but that doesn’t mean I’m inactive.

Quotes of the week

‘An institution that confuses active citizens with criminals and equates Al Qaida with efforts to reimagine the City is an institution in grave danger of losing its way’Statement by Occupy London after police briefed against them in a "terrorism update".

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