Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2288

Dated: 04 Feb 2012




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99% get pay cuts under the Tories

A shocking 99 percent of workers suffered below-inflation pay deals last year, according to a new report from the TUC.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Disabled people block roads in central London against Tory cuts

Up to 200 people blockaded Regent Street in central London today, Saturday, in opposition to attacks on disabled people in the government’s Welfare Reform Bill.

‘Academy calamity!’ shout children marching to save north London primary schools

Children led a march last Saturday against plans to force their schools to become academies. Up to 1,000 people including parents and teachers joined the demonstration through Haringey in north London.

Profiteers circle schools

A profit-making company will run a Suffolk school on a ten year contract worth £21 million.

Results show that Gove’s academy plans are ‘failing’ students

Education secretary Michael Gove used the latest school league table results to accelerate his drive to privatise schools. But his figures don’t add up.

Action accelerates on Barnsley buses

Stagecoach bus drivers in Barnsley and Rawmarsh have stepped up their fight to improve their wages. They plan strikes on alternating days next week.

Unite launches Olympic bonus campaign

The Unite union in London has launched a campaign to win £500 bonus payments for its bus drivers to cover the Olympics period.

Channel Tunnel cleaners vote for action

Cleaners in the RMT union on the Channel Tunnel rail network have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action over pay.

Strikers have the power to save Birmingham school

Around 100 people joined a picket line at Montgomery Primary School in Birmingham on Wednesday of last week.

TUSC conference: Socialists prepare for local elections

Activists gathered in central London last Saturday to discuss the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaign for this year’s local elections.

Disabled workers down tools over privatisation

Remploy workers in the Unite and GMB unions struck in Glasgow and Chesterfield on Thursday of last week. They are fighting what they call the "semi-privatisation" of their factories.

Walthamstow meeting draws on past lessons to see how to fight fascism today

Waltham Forest Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Amnesty International held a Holocaust Memorial Day public meeting at Harmony Hall in Walthamstow last Sunday.

Defend Len Hockey

Workers employed by Initial at Whipps Cross Hospital in East London protested last week against an attack on Len Hockey, a porter and their joint Unison branch secretary.

Sixth form teachers vote for strikes

Sixth form teachers in the NUT union have voted overwhelmingly for strikes in two ballots.

EIS union says strike as soon as possible

Scottish education union EIS will lobby other education unions to organise a joint strike as soon as possible.

UCU Left organising conference

Around 60 activists attended an organising conference of the UCU Left last Saturday. It came at a critical time for the union’s disputes over the TPS and USS pensions schemes.

Unions ready to call new pension strike

More unions have called for strikes in March to defend public sector pensions.

Strikes build unions—fact

The latest union membership figures show that unions grow when they fight back.

NUT teaching union unanimously backs a March walkout

The NUT teachers’ union is pushing for a coordinated, national public sector strike in March over pensions.

‘Tremendous’ tanker drivers' strike

Striking tanker drivers are in a buoyant mood as they prepare for more strikes on Thursday of this week after talks with management broke down.

Escalation can win in the battle for fair pensions at Unilever

The second wave of strikes to defend pensions at consumer giant Unilever concluded last weekend.

Electricians' ballot result due as fight spreads

The result of the strike vote of electricians at Balfour Beatty is due this week. And protests are still spreading around Britain against attempts to force workers to sign new contracts.

Revenue and Customs strikers slam sell-offs

Revenue and Customs (HMRC) workers struck on Tuesday against privatisation. Some 20,000 PCS union members took action.

A hard fight to stop easyCouncil in Barnet

Council workers in Barnet, north London, plan to strike for a third time against privatisation on Thursday of next week.

Journalists stop the press in Essex

Newspaper journalists at Newsquest in Essex are taking industrial action against a pay freeze. NUJ union members voted by 90 percent for strikes and 95 percent for action short of a strike.

Gallery staff walk out to save jobs

The National Gallery in London was largely closed last Saturday as gallery assistants in the PCS union walked out for two hours from 4pm.

Don’t take us for a ride, say Arrow Taxis drivers

Scores of drivers at Leeds-Bradford Airport’s private hire taxi provider walked out on Friday of last week after 11 of them were suspended.

Scots organise against the cuts at Right to Work AGM

The Right to Work campaign in Scotland held its annual general meeting in Glasgow last Saturday.

Belgium strikes against austerity

As European leaders met in Belgium on Monday to plot more austerity, the country was rocked by a general strike.

Tories’ benefit plans will punish the poor

The government’s benefit-busting Welfare Reform Bill was set to return to the House of Commons on Wednesday of this week.

Murdoch scandal spreads to the Sun

Four employees of the Sun newspaper were arrested as part of the ongoing corruption scandal over News International (NI) and the Metropolitan Police last week. One police officer was also arrested.

'Shredded' Cardiff Three evidence turns up - in original boxes

Evidence that was supposedly destroyed by police—which led to the collapse of a multi-million pound police corruption trial—has been found.

'Scottish Stephen Lawrence’ case reopens

Police in Strathclyde are to reopen investigations into what murder lawyer Aamer Anwar has dubbed the "Scottish Stephen Lawrence case".

Medics attack NHS plans

Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley has been slapped in the face by leading medical publications over his attacks on the NHS.

Occupy violently evicted from its ‘Bank of Ideas’

Protesters were evicted from Occupy London’s "Bank of Ideas" on Monday—and nearly run over by a bailiff.

University applications plummet over new fees

University applications from students in England have fallen by 8.7 percent in the past year. The most notable is the plummet in over-21s applying.

Tommy Sheridan freed from jail

Scottish socialist Tommy Sheridan was freed from jail on Monday after a year inside.

Repossessions hit a new high

More than 16,000 homes were repossessed in the last three months of 2011—the highest for three years.

Academies let off the hook

The Tories are to exclude thousands of vocational courses currently classed as equivalent to GCSEs from school league tables.

Paras to be let loose on rioters

Soldiers from the Parachute Regiment are being trained to be deployed if there are more riots in Britain.

Leicester stands up to racist EDL

The racist English Defence League (EDL) has received police permission to march through Leicester on Saturday. But they will have to deal with the town’s anti-racist majority.

Exclusive: EDL’s Lake suspended from post at City bank

A key strategist and funder behind the English Defence League (EDL) has been suspended from his management post at a major international development bank.

Fascists behind the English Defence League and British Freedom Party

EDL thugs like to pretend they are "peaceful protesters". But nothing could be further from the truth. The EDL is a group of violent racists led by Nazis.

Hundreds attend Islington UAF launch

Nearly 200 people packed the Finsbury Park Mosque to attend a brilliant launch public meeting of Islington Unite Against Fascism (UAF) on Wednesday of last week.

The revolution is still getting stronger, Egyptian revolutionary tells London meeting

The revolution is still getting stronger, Egyptian revolutionary tells London meeting

Video: Egyptian revolutionary Gigi Ibrahim speaks in London

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Racist EDL outnumbered in Leicester, but police protect their march

Anti-fascists took to the streets of Leicester today (Saturday) to make a stand against the racist English Defence League (EDL).

Egypt's Revolutionary Socialists: We want to expose the lies of the elites

The Revolutionary Socialists (RS) in Egypt are a recognised part of the revolution with a profile way beyond their size. They can be seen selling their paper on Tahrir Square with stalls and megaphones. Graffiti around Cairo advertises their website and slogans.

A year on from the Egyptian Revolution: Socialist Worker editor reports from Tahrir Square

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International

Syrian regime hits back as revolution spreads

The revolution in Syria is moving closer to the centre of power in the country—and the regime is responding with brutality.

Attack on Occupy Oakland sparks new protests

Thousands marched in 27 cities around the US last Sunday in solidarity with Occupy Oakland in California.

Zimbabwe's public sector workers strike to double pay

Government workers in Zimbabwe struck for four days last week, demanding a doubling of their wages, medical insurance and travel allowances.

Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists on the football stadium massacre

In defence of the Ultras: their message and our response What message was the crime committed against the Ahly Ultras—that killed more than 75 martyrs—meant to deliver? Was it to punish the forces and groups that &#8232;participated in the revolution and that still continue to oppose the SCAF The ruling army council? This crime occurred on the anniversary of the "Battle of the Camel"—was it meant to confirm that those responsible for that battle still have their influence and power and can commit new crimes?


Comment

The dangers of double jeopardy

Every decent person will have rejoiced at the conviction of two of Stephen Lawrence’s murderers.

Rulers’ solutions deepen the crisis

European Union (EU) leaders held yet another summit meeting this week as the crisis of the euro continued.


Features

Are the Brics on the brink?

The US and the eurozone are the world’s largest two economies by some margin. Both are in the throes of a deep economic crisis. But could China, their nearest competitor, and other emerging economies pick up the slack and keep global capitalism going?

Egypt one year on: ‘This is a revolution not a celebration’

The one year anniversary of the Egyptian revolution has marked a new turning point in the struggle. It came in the first week of the newly elected parliament where the Muslim Brotherhood gained two thirds of the seats.

Alexandria marks anniversary with protests against the military

We started marching from different parts of Alexandria on the morning of 25 January. At noon there were not many of us, but then the numbers exceeded all our expectations.


Reviews

John Keane captures Blair’s lies and Iraq’s horrors on canvas

John Keane is best known as a war artist. In 1991 he was the Imperial War Museum’s official artist during the Gulf War. His criticism of the horrors of war—and particularly of the US’s conduct—outraged the political and military establishment.

W.E.’s tale of Nazi royals takes tedium to uncharted heights

A ghost story spliced with a romance spliced with a biopic. About a pair of Nazi royals. Directed, written and produced by Madonna. What could possibly go wrong?

LGBT History Month: Alan Turing lectures in London and Liverpool

Alan Turing was one of the 20th century’s pioneering mathematicians. He developed the abstract theory of computation before moving on to work on early computing machines.

LGBT History Month: OutStories Bristol talks and tours

OutStories Bristol aims to collate and preserve the social history of LGBT people in Bristol. It has scheduled a string of talks in the city throughout February.


What We Think

U-turns show up Tories’ problems

Millionaire bankers and bosses are furious that RBS chief executive Stephen Hester has been forced to give up his obscene bonus.

Government sees blue skies ahead–thanks to climate change

Climate change could be good for British businesses, according to Tory environment secretary Caroline Spelman.


Other Categories

Tim's view

Tim: 'Refuse my bonus'

Letters

Privatised school not welcome in Hackney The people planning to set up a privatised free school in Hackney, east London, got a hostile reception when they called a public meeting last Saturday. Around 100 people attended.

Who says?

‘Broken’



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