Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2294

Dated: 17 Mar 2012

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Tory attacks from cradle to the grave—strike back on 28 March

Some 250,000 children could be plunged deeper into poverty by the government’s welfare reforms.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Tory health bill aims to 'abolish the NHS'

Tory plans to smash up the NHS reach their final stage in parliament this week.

Leaked document shows chaos of Tory health plan

A leaked document shows how convoluted the government’s new "commissioning" procedure for healthcare will be.

Right to Work forum meets

Campaigners gathered in London for the Right to Work campaign’s forum on austerity and resistance last Sunday.

Students plan walkouts over education attacks

Students across Britain are gearing up for a week of action against government plans for the marketisation and privatisation of education.

Vulture funds bring chaos, study shows

When private equity firms buy out public services job losses and bankruptcies follow fast, research by the GMB union shows.

Privatisation does not stop ‘failure’ - but Tories keep pushing academy myths

The Tories are privatising schools in the name of improving education. But their rhetoric has fallen apart.

24 hour pickets in the battle of Bootle

Workers at the Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP) factory in Bootle, Merseyside, are continuing their fight against job cuts and a management lock-out.

What next for electricians?

Over 150 workers attended a rank and file electricians’ meeting in London last week.

Unions say no to Tory pension cuts

The NUT, PCS, UCU and EIS unions could be part of a 750,000-strong strike on 28 March.

Delegates' rage at Unison higher education conference

Anger was on display at the Unison union’s 200-strong higher education conference earlier this month.

Rolling strikes to defend NHS pensions in Scotland

A lively picket line at Ayrshire Central Hospital kicked off the Unison union’s continued campaign across Scotland against attacks on health workers’ pensions this Tuesday.

Protest against nuclear plant marks Fukushima anniversay

Hundreds of people protested at Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset last Saturday. The event marked the first anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

Cambridge protest at Strauss-Kahn visit

Some 200 people protested against alleged rapist and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Cambridge last Friday (see right).

Hundreds attend socialist meetings for International Women's Day

Some 200 people attended the Socialist Workers Party meeting in London to celebrate the socialist tradition of International Women’s Day on Thursday of last week.

Olympics fight still on for London's transport workers

Transport workers in London are still fighting for payments to cover the extra work they will face over the Olympics period.

Second strike on Heathrow Express

Drivers on the Heathrow Express mounted a second 24-hour strike last Sunday. They are protesting at the sacking of a driver and the victimisation of their RMT union rep.

Twelve days of striking for Swindon hospital workers

Cleaning and catering workers at Great Western hospital in Swindon struck for five days from Thursday of last week.

Greek solidarity in London

Activists gathered at the Greek embassy in London last Saturday to show solidarity with the Greek workers’ movement.

Trade unionists meet in Liverpool

Over 100 delegates representing 21 trade unions and four trades councils met at the north west TUC conference in Liverpool last Saturday.

UCU survey to hollow out democracy

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the lecturers’ UCU union, has begun a survey of members over constitutional changes to the union.

Victimised lecturer reinstated

A lecturer at Angus College who was suspended after complaining about a sexist event has been reinstated.

Teachers' strike called off after legal threat

The NUT union has called off a planned strike after employers threatened a legal challenge to the ballot.

Ken Loach backs union election bid

Film director Ken Loach is backing the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Tusc) in May’s London Assembly elections.

Don’t fence off our marsh

Around 200 people gathered last Saturday for a rally against the construction of private Olympic facilities on Leyton Marsh in east London.

MP told: back NHS or we'll sack you

Supporters of Keep Our NHS Public in Nottingham gathered on Saturday to hand over 500 signed postcards opposing the health bill to local Tory MP Anna Soubry.

Crossrail climbs down on landmark

Campaigners in North Kensington are celebrating after victory in an eight-month campaign to save a local landmark from demolition.

Walkout at post depot

Postal workers in Bridgwater, Somerset, walked out unofficially for three hours last Thursday after a worker was sacked for taking "too much" time off sick.

Marx tour a success

Over 1,000 students, workers and activists attended the speaking tour based on the title of Terry Eagleton’s new book, "Why Marx Was Right" last week. Eagleton spoke alongside Alex Callinicos.

Southampton strike called off

Unions in Southampton have called off a strike and protest they had planned for 10 April.

Remploy: Tories to sack 2,000 disabled workers

The Tories have cut the jobs of some 2,000 disabled people.

Tory government pushes councils and tenants to sell off homes

Tory ministers want to sell off even more of Britain’s remaining council housing stock. The "reboot" of Margaret Thatcher’s right-to-buy scheme means tenants will be bribed to buy their properties with a discount of up to £75,000.

Hackgate: ‘power couple’ Rebekah and Charlie Brooks arrested

Police arrested top Murdoch lieutenant Rebekah Brooks on Tuesday—along with her husband Charlie Brooks.

‘Special forces’ botched rescue

The British government sent in an elite army force to rescue two hostages in Nigeria last week. The raid ended with the two hostages dead.

Doonesbury goes into battle for Texas abortion rights

A row has erupted over a newspaper cartoon strip portraying a woman seeking an abortion in Texas.

A right royal moneyspinner

Royal scrounger Kate Middleton’s family are cashing in on their new found aristocratic connections.

Fortnum & Mason tax protesters found guilty of trespass

Nine activists who occupied a luxury department store last year have been found guilty of "aggravated trespass with the intention to intimidate".

Jury speaks out to criticise firm over Battersea crane deaths

A inquest jury has returned a verdict strongly criticising Falcon Cranes, the company involved in a 2006 crane disaster that killed two people in Battersea, south London.

Teen charged for war comments

An Asian teenager has been charged with a "racially aggravated public order offence" for making critical comments about British soldiers on his Facebook page.

Cops pay out for gunpoint raid

The Metropolitan Police has paid out £120,000 after it stopped a group of four friends in a car at gunpoint.

Egyptian military targets revolutionaries

Egypt’s ruling generals have referred complaints against 12 prominent critics of their rule to military prosecutors for investigation.

Deaths in custody: RMT meeting calls for justice

A meeting organised by the RMT transport workers’ union saw over 100 people come to hear speakers talk about racism, police and the state in London on Monday.

Disabled workers join protests over unemployment

Disabled workers facing the sack joined a central London protest as the latest unemployment figures were announced this morning (Wednesday).

NUT teachers’ union calls London strike on 28 March

The national executive committee (NEC) of the NUT teachers’ union met today, Wednesday, and agreed a London strike on 28 March.

Lecturers back further pensions strikes

Lecturers in the UCU union have voted for more strikes over pensions in a survey.

Students march through London against cuts to higher education

Some 700 students marched through central London yesterday (Wednesday) to protest against government attacks on higher education.

Outrage as Cambridge student is suspended for Willetts protest

A Cambridge university student has been suspended after taking part in a protest against universities minister David Willetts. The ruling by the university states that he will not be allowed to return to his studies until 2014.

Protesters occupy Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust HQ

Around 20 people have occupied the main meeting room at Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust this afternoon (Friday).

Boost to pensions fightback as UCU votes to strike

The fight to stop the government's attacks on public sector pensions got a boost today, Friday.

EIS calls off strikes despite yes vote

Thousands of teachers and lecturers in Scotland will be angered by the decision of the EIS union's executive committee to call off the strike planned for 28 March over pensions.

PCS members vote to continue strikes

Civil service workers in the PCS union have voted resoundingly for more strikes over pension reforms in a consultation.

PCS executive votes not to strike on 28 March

The PCS civil service workers union will now not join strikes on 28 March after a vote by its national executive today, Monday.


Kony 2012 campaign is war propaganda

Viral web campaign Kony 2012 has shone a light on atrocities committed by Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in east Africa.

Kenya nurses strike despite mass dismissals

The Kenyan government seriously escalated a public sector health strike by sacking more than 25,000 strikers on Friday of last week.

Sarkozy ramps up the racism to pitch for fascist vote

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has launched a vicious racist campaign against Muslims, Jews and immigrants.

Afghanistan’s Bloody Sunday

Protests have erupted in Afghanistan in outrage at the news of the killing of 16 civilians in the villages of Alkozai and Najeeban in the south of the country.

Syrian regime assault has backfired

Mutinies and defections in the Syrian army have grown since last week’s murderous assault on Homs—considered to be the capital of the revolution.

Eyewitness: Israel’s brutal attack inflames anger in Gaza

Israel has been raining bombs down on Gaza once more. The latest assault began on Friday of last week when Israel assassinated Zuhair al-Qaissi and his son‑in‑law Mahmoud Hanini for allegedly planning a terrorist attack against Israel. A missile was fired at their car.

Zimbabwe prosecutor demands heavy sentences for socialists

A state prosecutor in Zimbabwe has made an incendiary new statement in the trial of six socialists accused of "conspiring to commit public violence".

Disgraceful verdict as Zimbabwe socialists found guilty

A magistrate in Zimbabwe convicted six socialists of "inciting public violence" on Monday. Some 160 supporters in the public gallery showed their outrage.


Most Greeks aren't getting sweeteners

The agreement reached between the Greek government, the eurozone authorities and private bankers has been hailed as a turning point in the economic crisis.

The Road to Wigan Pier—a searing account of 1930s poverty

"It hardly needs pointing out that at this moment we are in a very serious mess—so serious that even the dullest witted people find it difficult to remain unaware of it."


Why picket lines matter and how to organise one

Picketing may seem a very strange thing to do at first.

A long, proud history of working class struggle

Picketing has an important history in the trade union movement.

Strikes - know your rights

If you are on strike you have a legal right to picket "to peacefully communicate with and seek to persuade colleagues" not to go in to work.

The real game at the Olympics is profit

ATOS, IT partner IT services will be provided by Atos, which is particularly proud of being a sponsor of the Paralympic games.


Wrecking Ball: a knockout blow against the bankers

Bruce Springsteen is a very angry man right now if his new album Wrecking Ball is anything to go by.

Someone to blame - a powerful play that lays bare injustice

Political theatre has made something of a comeback in recent years, from the long run of the Pitman Painters at London’s National Theatre to smaller productions detailing cover-ups and corruption.

The Reluctant Revolutionary

Kais is a tour guide in Yemen’s capital city Sanaa. He is steadily drawn into the revolutionary movement engulfing the country, despite his initial cynicism.

Four Horsemen

Four Horsemen, which is released this week, is the latest independently produced documentary feature to examine the 2007 global financial crash and its aftermath.

Death Row

Acclaimed documentary maker Werner Herzog starts a three-part series on Channel 4 next week looking at the death penalty in the US.

What We Think

Workers can push back Tory attacks

The Tories are waging war on the working class. From selling off the health service to attacking pensions and benefits, they are determined to drive down our living standards.

Afghan slaughter shows the brutal truth of ‘humanitarian’ war

Tensions in Afghanistan were already running high before the massacre of 16 Afghans, mostly women and children, as they slept in their beds last week.

Other Categories

Tim's view

Tim: Lone gunman did not act alone


Force Research Unit: well done for printing pictures other papers won’t Well done to Socialist Worker for continuing to expose the links between Philip Campbell Smith and Ian Hurst of the Force Research Unit (FRU) and their friends in high places (Socialist Worker, 10 March).

Does life make us too selfish for socialism?

The biggest selling newspapers in Britain are viciously right wing. The Sun has the highest circulation, selling around 2.7 million issues a day. Its nearest competitor, the Daily Mail, sells just over 2 million.

Who says?

‘Take a look at a great image and discover the link between suffragettes and the first women police. #IWD’

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