Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2293

Dated: 10 Mar 2012

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Tory cuts mean NHS patients kicked to the back of the queue

The Tories want to flood NHS hospitals with private patients—and give NHS patients a worse service.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Bosses sack six oil tanker drivers

Six oil tanker drivers working out of Grangemouth oil refinery were sacked on Tuesday of last week. This was the day that the Unite union announced a national strike ballot of tanker drivers.

Carillion cleaners to strike again

Cleaning and catering workers employed by the Carillion agency at Swindon’s Great Western hospital have voted to continue their strikes against racism, corruption and bullying.

Call for action on custody deaths

A meeting demanding justice for those who have died in police custody has been called by the RMT transport workers’ union in London.

Ealing traffic wardens walk out

Ealing Traffic wardens struck on Thursday and Friday of last week to demand the reinstatement of their union rep Parveen Bhardwaj.

Left candidates launch London list

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition is set to launch its campaign for the London Assembly elections. Speakers at the launch rally will include Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT.

Support grows for Amanpreet

Amanpreet Kaur is an Indian lesbian whose application for asylum has been denied. She was due to be deported on Thursday of last week.

Merseyside DWP workers on strike

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff in Merseyside struck against job transfers on Monday morning.

Tenants resist rent rises and privatisation

Some 50 people marched to Haringey Civic Centre in north London on Tuesday of last week to oppose council budget cuts.

Social housing residents vote for council control in Sheffield

Residents in Sheffield have voted overwhelmingly to return the management of their social housing back to the local council.

28 March is our day to strike back against the Tories

The mood is there to take on the Tories. That’s the clear message from public sector workers who are preparing to strike on 28 March.

Packaging workers step up their action

Locked out workers at Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP) in Bootle are stepping up their action after a "disgusting" offer from management.

28 March pension strikes union by union

Could strike on the day UCU—members under consultation until 13 March NUT—consultation vote closes 14 March PCS—consultation until 16 March EIS—consultation until 15 March UCAC (Wales)—rejected government offer, in negotiations about joining strike INTO (Northern Ireland)—also rejected and in negotiations with other unions NASUWT—rejected the government offer, unclear whether it will join strike Unite (Ministry of Defence)—Rejected offer and discussing action with the PCS</l

Southwark protests against cuts

Around 70 campaigners demonstrated outside Southwark town hall in south London last week as the Labour-led council passed a budget with £18 million of cuts.

Students hound Tory minister in Portsmouth

David Willetts, the multi-millionaire minister cutting access to higher education for the poorest, spoke at Portsmouth university debating society last Friday.

Unions go for gold in London pay dispute

The Unite union has stepped up its campaign to win a £500 Olympic games bonus payment for 28,000 bus workers in London.

RMT settles Glasgow trains dispute

The RMT union has settled a dispute at the West of Scotland train signalling centre in Glasgow.

Stop the War activists debate how to fight imperialism

Over 150 delegates and observers attended Stop the War Coalition’s annual conference last Saturday.

Important battles for teachers in Scotland

Members of the Scottish EIS teachers union are voting to elect their vice president. In recent years no-one has challenged the leadership candidate.

Strong vote for UCU Left

Sally Hunt was re-elected general secretary of the UCU lecturers’ union last week by a comfortable margin.

Sixth form teachers to walk out

Sixth form college teachers in the NUT union outside London are set to strike for half a day on Thursday of next week over funding cuts and pay.

NUT elections: who to vote for

Biennial elections for the National Union of Teachers national executive run from 7 March to 28 March.

Protest outside Housing Innovation Awards

Around 20 workers in the Unite union protested on Thursday of last week outside the plush London hotel where the Housing Innovation Awards were being held.

Socialists win Unison appeal

An employment appeal tribunal has ruled in favour of four Socialist Party members who were barred from holding office in the Unison union.

Solidarity meeting for imprisoned students

Over 200 people came to a Defend the Right to Protest public forum on Monday of this week. The London meeting was organised to raise solidarity for imprisoned student protesters.

Anger against workfare forces Tories to retreat

Anti-workfare campaigners forced the Tories into an embarrassing climbdown last week. The government was pushed into promising it would remove all mandatory aspects of its "workfare" scheme.

Welfare bill is bad news

The government’s Welfare Reform Bill was passed by parliament last week.

Stephen Lawrence case: new proof of police corruption

New documents have emerged that confirm the extent of police corruption in the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

Tax Credit: benefit change will hit the working poor

The Tories want to rob around 212,000 families of almost £4,000 a year by changing the rules on Working Tax Credit.

Doctors lash out at Tory plot to privatise the NHS

Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley claims doctors support his health bill.

Police and spies under fire for their blacklist collusion

The scandal of companies blacklisting construction workers hit the mainstream media at the weekend when the Observer reported on the case of Dave Smith.

Nick Clegg lies over health bill

Liberal Democrat party leaders are terrified of the flak they could take at their spring conference in Newcastle this weekend.

Letwin on NHS: It is privatisation

David Cameron and Andrew Lansley are desperate to avoid the suggestion that they are privatising the NHS.

Hypocrite Hague to join NHS protest

Tory foreign secretary William Hague says he’ll JOIN a protest against health cuts in his Yorkshire constituency on 5 May.

Protests against ‘slave labour’ spread across Britain

Protesters exposed shops that exploit the government’s workfare scheme last Saturday.

Defend lecturer Cherry Hopton

A lecturer at Angus College in Scotland has been suspended after objecting to a sexist event.

Computer says you’re sacked

Worcestershire council is using computer wallpaper to tell workers they could be sacked. The workers are furious and around 250 of them have complained.

Police shoot man dead in Cheshire

Police killed a man in Culcheth, Cheshire, last Saturday. Anthony Grainger was sat in a car when police shot him.

Students plan week of action

The National Union of Students (NUS) has called a national week of action against government attacks on education from Monday to Friday of next week. Many walkouts are planned for Wednesday.

Protesters lobby MPs and form ‘human chain’ to defend NHS

Around 300 health workers and NHS users formed a human chain around parts of St Thomas’ Hospital in central London today, Wednesday. The action was part of a day of events to stop the Tories’ health and social care bill.

One week left—How to vote yes for more strikes

There is still time to vote in the consultations for more action over pensions.

Thousands rally to fight for NHS

Nearly 2000 people rallied in Central Methodist Hall opposite parliament in London last night, Wednesday, to oppose Andrew Lansley’s health and social care bill.

Health workers march against Lansley’s bill

Well over 500 doctors, medical students and supporters marched to the TUC Save the NHS rally from the British Medical Association (BMA) headquarters yesterday, Wednesday. Protesters chanted "Kill the bill" and "Andrew Lansley get out!".

Is Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army the world's most evil man?

A viral web campaign Kony 2012 is publicising Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in east Africa, as the world's worst war criminal.

Tories end pension talks-now we must resist their attacks

Talks over plans to "reform" public sector pensions are over, the government has declared.

Pictures: Two Oxford Street McDonald's shut by workfare protesters

Come to Right to Work's Forum on Austerity and Resistance, this Sunday, 11 March, 12noon-4pm at Canterbury and Hughes Parry Halls, 12-26 Cartwright Gardens, London WC1H.


Zimbabwe socialist tells court 'Mugabe must go!'

Munyaradzi Gwisai, coordinator of Zimbabwe’s International Socialist Organisation (ISO), finally got his day in court on Wednesday of last week. His blunt statement from the dock that "Mugabe must go" stunned prosecutor Michael Reza into silence. But it led to cries of jubilation from the public gallery.

Syrians defy assault on Homs

Mass executions, families butchered in their homes, checkpoints and disappearances. This is reality for those living in the Baba Amr district of Homs, Syria’s third city and the capital of the revolution.

Syrian witnesses to regime's onslaught

One resident of Inshaat in Homs spent six days in a basement sheltering from regime bombardment. He spoke out about the experience.

Palestinians join revolt against Assad after repression in camps

Growing numbers of Palestinians in Syria are joining the revolution—despite harsh repression by the regime and its proxy militias.

Russia: anger erupts after election

Around 20,000 people protested in Pushkin Square in central Moscow on Monday against Vladimir Putin’s claim to have won the presidential election.

Greece: cuts lies fall apart as crisis deepens

European leaders say that cuts stave off crisis.

Spanish government feels the heat from education protests

Some 750,000 school and university students marched throughout Spain on Wednesday of last week against government plans to slash education funding.

Unprecedented strike in India shows growing workers’ anger

Millions of workers took part in what is being described as India’s biggest ever general strike last week.



Alexandra Kollontai: defining International Women's Day

A celebration of International Women’s Day in February 1917 was the spark that ignited the Russian Revolution.

How do we get rid of oppression?

Some feminists and academics see class as just another inequality.

The Daniel Morgan case and Hackgate: anatomy of a scandal

<a href="#fru">Force Research Unit</a> | <a href="#cam">David Cameron</a> | <a href="#mor">Daniel Morgan</a> | <a href="#met">Metropolitan Police</a> | <a href="#cook">David Cook</a> | <a href="#reb">Rebekah Brooks</a> | <a href="#rees">Jonathan Rees</a> | <a href="#sid">Sid Fillery</a> | <a href="#chip">Chipping Norton set</a> | <a href="#mar">Alex Marunchak</a> | <a href="#coul">Andy Coulson</a>


A Place to Call Home

Over five million people in Britain are currently on the waiting list for social housing—and most of them will probably never be offered a place.

Black British Rebels: A history of resistance from Equiano to Jayaben Desai

This short but informative pamphlet offers a history of black British rebels, writes Arnie Joahill

Gok Wan: Made in China

TV presenter Gok Wan is usually known for fashion and beauty shows, but he branches out into economics in this documentary.


This new play by Middlesbrough-based writer Ishy Din looks at the lives of four British Pakistani young men.

Ways of Seeing

Next month sees a rare chance to see all four episodes of this classic 1972 TV documentary by Marxist art critic John Berger. BFI Southbank is showing Ways of Seeing alongside a question and answer session with director Michael Dibb.

Local Stranger

Songwriter Alkinoos Ioannidis mixes traditional Cypriot and Greek music with classical and rock elements.

What We Think

We can save the NHS if we act now

The Tories are reeling from public anger at their attacks on the welfare state. They have been forced into humiliating U-turns over their "workfare" scheme that compels the unemployed to work for free.

Ed Miliband’s patriotism is the last thing the movement needs

You might expect Labour leader Ed Miliband to be revelling in the Tories’ difficulties—and building support out of their pain.

Other Categories

John Chopping 1938-2012

John started work at the Thorn EMI factory in Enfield in 1972. He soon became a shop steward for the T&G union. Thorn Workers News, a rank and file bulletin, was established.

Tim's view

Tim: Flogging a dead horse


When we walked out to stop workfare last time I’m struck by the similarities between today’s workfare schemes and the ones we fought in 1985.

Who says?

‘Stand up against the Trotskyites of the Right to Work campaign’David Cameron delivers a message to the public in parliament last week

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