Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2292

Dated: 03 Mar 2012

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We won't work for nothing

The Tories are on the back foot—stung by the backlash against their "workfare" scheme to force unemployed people to work for free.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Pictures from eviction of Occupy London camp at St Paul's

Workfare: 'Why should they get free labour?'

The government claims its workfare scheme has always been "voluntary". But unemployed young people forced onto the schemes say that’s a lie.

Campaigners say: Now get McDonald's

Right to Work campaigners are set to target McDonald's fast food outlets around Britain over workfare.

Work scheme boss has to quit two posts in one week

Emma Harrison, the government’s "back to work tsar" and boss of private firm A4e, was forced to resign twice last week.

Electricians win historic victory

Rank and file electricians have won. They have beaten the building bosses who wanted to tear up their terms and conditions and slash their pay.

‘We’ve beaten bosses over Besna - now let’s fight for better rights’

Defeating bosses over the hated Besna contracts has boosted workers’ confidence.

Fascists fail to divide people in Hyde

Some 800 mostly local people came out to show their disgust at a racist mobilisation in Hyde, Greater Manchester, last Saturday.

Unite Against Fascism conference debates strategy to push back the Nazis

Some 440 delegates attended Unite Against Fascism’s national conference in London last Saturday to discuss strategies against the far right.

UAF activists vow to defend Roma

A workshop on discrimination against Roma people in eastern Europe heard shocking reports.

Occupy London evicted—but activists vow to continue

Police and bailiffs cleared Occupy London’s camp at St Paul’s cathedral in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Locked-out workers fight back in Bootle

The stand-off at the gates of Mayr Meinhof Packaging (MMP) in Bootle entered its second week last Saturday.

Fury as councils set cuts budgets

Brighton The Green Party passed its first-ever council budget last week in Brighton—with £17 million of cuts.

Equality and Human Rights Commission strike to defend jobs

Workers at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) struck on Thursday of last week over the threat of huge redundancies.

Local government workers' pay freeze extended

A pay freeze for council workers has been extended for yet another year.

Day of action against homophobia in football

Former Norwich football star Justin Fashanu was remembered on what would have been his 51st birthday with a day of action against homophobia in football.

Sixth form teachers in London walk out

Sixth form teachers across London struck on Thursday of last week against funding cuts and attacks on their pay and conditions.

Challenging Gove over academies

Teachers have challenged Tory education secretary Michael Gove to visit the borough of Haringey, north London.

Last chance to vote in the UCU

Elections for the national executive committee and national officer positions in the UCU union close on Thursday.

Swindon hospital staff fight for rights

Porters, cleaners and caterers in the GMB union started three days of strikes at Swindon’s Great Western hospital this Monday.

All aboard for Heathrow Express strike

The Heathrow Express between London Paddington and Heathrow airport was reduced to a skeleton service early this week as RMT union members struck.

Unfair pay rules beaten in court

More than 80 workers stopped health bosses docking their wages in a landmark legal battle last week.

Pay dispute at Financial Times

Journalists at the Financial Times newspaper have voted by 75.5 percent in favour of strikes, on a 67 percent turnout.

The pensions fight is back on

The next round of action in the pensions fight has been called. This is great news for every trade unionist who wants to fight the government’s austerity plans.

We haven't gone away over pensions

Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary, NUT "The government shouldn’t think the pensions issue has gone away.

How electricians' campaign humbled multinationals

Electricians won a stunning victory last week when they stopped bosses imposing worse contracts.

A movement that gave voice to the 99 percent

Occupy London started on 15 October last year—an international day of solidarity with Occupy Wall Street in the US, which began a month earlier.

Phone hacking scandal laps at David Cameron’s feet

The latest revelations in the phone hacking scandal have brought it back to the door of Number 10—and prime minister David Cameron.

Trade unions launch fightback over NHS bill

After months of public fury over the plot to sell the NHS, trade unions are starting to mobilise against it. The Unite union is calling for health workers to come to parliament to lobby their MPs on Wednesday of next week.

Tories get in a pickle in Leeds

Hundreds of anti-Tory protesters gathered in central Leeds last Saturday to tell communities secretary Eric Pickles he was not welcome.

Birmingham banner drop student found not guilty

Student activist Edd Bauer has been found not guilty of intentionally causing danger to the public and conspiring with others to do so.

Ken Loach speaks at housing meeting

Around 150 people packed into a House of Commons committee room last Tuesday to build the campaign against Tory attacks on housing rights.

Protest at Ball’s eviction nomination

An angry protest greeted Basildon council’s Tory leader Tony Ball in London on Tuesday as he was nominated for an award for evicting Travellers.

Health campaigners target firms over privatising health bill

Campaigners held a noisy protest in central London this morning, Wednesday, against the Tories’ Health and Social Care Bill.

Let's turn Tories' workfare retreat into a rout

The Tories are retreating over workfare—again. Tory minister Chris Grayling has announced he is scrapping benefits sanctions from his "work experience" scheme.

Daniel Morgan murder: Police corruption at heart of hacking scandal unravels

James Murdoch resigned as the head of News International today, Wednesday. Police officers told the Leveson inquiry into press standards that they felt unable to continue a search at News International headquarters because they felt intimidated.

Right to Work protest at McDonald's after Tories' partial retreat

McDonald’s was once more the target for anti-workfare protesters tonight, Wednesday, as their campaign forced the Tories onto the retreat.

Stop Deportation of Amanpreet Kaur

Amanpreet Kaur is a Punjabi Sikh who is due to be deported today (Thursday) pending the outcome of a judicial review.

Solidarity meeting pledges support for Syrian revolution

A large meeting of British Muslims in London threw its weight behind the Syrian revolution last night (Wednesday). Over 400 mainly local people turned out for the meeting, which was hosted by London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, east London.

'Lost generation' protest in Edinburgh

Over 250 students and their supporters marched in Edinburgh on Wednesday. The demonstration was called by Scottish Students Against Cuts (SSAC) in defence of a generation of young people under attack from the austerity measures being enforced by governments in Westminster and Holyrood.

Right to Work activists corner Tory minister Duncan Smith

Anti-workfare activists harangued Tory minister Iain Duncan Smith outside Tottenham town hall in north London this morning (Friday).

Socialist wins over a quarter of the vote in UCU general secretary election

Mark Campbell, the UCU Left candidate in the union’s general secretary election, has won 27 percent of the vote.

Boycott Workfare protest in Oxford Street keeps up pressure on firms

Protesters exposed central London shops that exploit the government’s workfare scheme on Saturday. The protest was one of 38 around the country on a national day of action called by Boycott Workfare.


Republic Windows workers occupy again—and win again

Workers at a Chicago factory staged a 12-hour occupation on Thursday of last week—and won an agreement that will save their jobs for at least 90 days.

Yemen’s new boss is same as the old boss

Last week saw the fraudulent election of Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi as president of Yemen.

Trade union protesters fill streets of Tunis

Thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Tunisia’s capital Tunis on Saturday to protest against the government.

Syrian leader lashes out at opposition

The cornered Syrian regime is lashing out viciously against pressure at home and from abroad to step down.


The Greek bailout sums don't add up

The second Greek bailout is in trouble before it even starts to be implemented. The idea that the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will "save" Greece despite the massive opposition of the Greek people themselves is just not on.

Right plots attack on abortion rights

There is a propaganda campaign underway over abortion access in Britain. Right wing bigots are trying to create the impression that the law is too liberal and access to abortion is too easy.

Greek solidarity statement


The Real Luddites

Tory minister Iain Duncan Smith said last week that "the government’s opponents constitute a group of modern-day Luddites". Then health minister Andrew Lansley denounced those opposed to his assault on the NHS as "Luddites" too.

Byron's rage at anti-Ludd laws

Two hundred years ago last month the radical poet Byron spoke in the House of Lords against a bill to make frame-breaking a hanging offence. Bitter anger and contempt runs through his speech, made on 27 February 1812.

Syria's uprising strenghtens anti-imperialism

the Palestinian resistance organisation Hamas publically renounced the Syrian regime on Friday of last week. Its public break with its one time ally president Bashar al Assad sent an important message.

The West's imperial disaster in Afghanistan

Protests erupted across Afghanistan last week after copies of the Quran were found in an incinerator at Bagram, the biggest US base in the country.

Guy Smallman's photos of Afghanistan - a country devastated by war

Refugees collect prescriptions in a tent field hospital run by a German NGO. As landless people they are not eligible for treatment in government hospitals, no matter how desperate their condition. 

Do men help to oppress women?

Last week I argued that locating women’s oppression within the family and the rise of class society helps us to understand why it exists.


Plans to bring Engels' 'Condition of the Working Class in England' to modern Manchester

In the early 1840s a young German revolutionary called Frederick Engels spent three years in Manchester. He observed how rapid industrialisation had made working class lives a misery.

White Heat

This new six-part drama series by Paula Milne charts the experiences of seven friends from 1965 to the present day.

I, Bertolt Brecht

The works of left wing German playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht are brought to life in a new theatre production.

Republican Ambition in Victorian England

This lecture by history professor David Nash is part of the Monarchy and Republicanism series running this year at the Bishopsgate Institute in London.

Make Bradford British: Eight lives and the myth of Britishness

"Multicultural Britain needs help. Some people just aren’t mixing. Our communities are becoming increasingly divided. And nowhere is the problem clearer than in Bradford."

What We Think

Protest works - and the Tories know it

The Socialist Workers Party found itself at the centre of a political storm this week after being denounced by various Tory government ministers.

Other Categories

Tim's view

Tim: A small, tightly-knit bunch of fanatics


Teachers and students challenge homophobia It is sad that Michael Gove appears to be giving the green light to homophobia in schools.

Quotes of the week

‘A spirit of anti-capitalism stalks the land, a fire-breathing beast that has shrivelled Stephen Hester’s bonus in its nostril-blast’

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