Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2296

Dated: 31 Mar 2012

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Throw out Tory Trash

Tory prime minister David Cameron will have dinner with you and you can tell him what you want the government to do—if you’re rich.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Solidarity protest as Alfie Meadows' trial begins

Up to 200 people gathered outside Kingston crown court on Monday morning to show solidarity with Alfie Meadows and four other student protesters.

Trials begin for student protesters

Alfie Meadows, Vishnu Wood, Jack Locke, Zac King and Colin Goff are accused of committing violent disorder on 9 December 2010.

28 March strike: London marchers demand more action

Some 8,000 strikers and supporters marched through central London today, Wednesday.

Police ballot and rally on right to strike

The Police Federation is set to ballot its 135,000 members on whether police officers should have the right to take industrial action—including the right to strike.

Mark Duggan inquest withheld

The inquest into the killing of Mark Duggan in Tottenham last year may never happen, a pre-inquest hearing has been told.

Osborne's big budget giveaway to the richest

Tory chancellor George Osborne smugly announced a budget for the rich on Wednesday of last week.

The graph that shows Tory lies on tax

The poorest are the hardest hit by the Tories’ budget.

Tories' fake tax cut for the poor

The Tories made much of "taking millions out of tax" as a result of plans to increase the personal tax allowance to £9,205 in 2013.

Tories not welcome in Troon

Around 1,000 people marched on the Scottish Tory party conference in Troon last Saturday.

Olympics bonus talks break down

Talks between the RMT union and London Underground over Olympic bonus payments for tube staff have broken down.

Job centre workers plan strike

Workers in the Department for Work and Pensions Mersey District Services Directorate are set to strike for three hours on Friday.

Ealing traffic wardens call more strikes

Outsourced traffic wardens in Ealing have begun a five-day strike this week to win the reinstatement of sacked union rep Parveen Bhardwaj.

Strikers teach privateers a lesson

Teachers and support workers in Walthamstow, east London, employed by private firm Babcock struck on Wednesday of last week.

Downhills school - ballot result due

Teachers at Downhills primary school in north London have voted in an indicative strike ballot over plans to force their school to become an academy.

Teachers ballot to defend rep

Teachers in the NUT at the BSix sixth form college in Hackney, east London, are balloting for strikes in defence of union rep James Drummond, who is facing disciplinary action. An indicative ballot recently saw a resounding vote for strikes over the issue.

Library staff walk out

Library workers in the Cheshire West and Chester council area struck on Saturday of last week. They were set to walk out again this Saturday.

Hundreds protest to defend NHS

Around 100 people joined a protest outside the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) on Thursday of last week. It was called in 24 hours after news that the Health and Social Care Bill had been passed.

Time to escalate pensions strikes

Teachers and lecturers across London were set to strike on Wednesday of this week.

We can win pensions dispute, despite right leading a retreat

The retreat by union leaders has not helped the dispute. But the fight isn’t all over either.

Other unions' pension strike plans

Unite’s executive have voted to name a day for strikes in April if no other union does. The union’s members in the health service have rejected the government’s offer and its members in the civil service are being balloted until 18 April. Unison health will ballot its members on the offer in April. GMB has announced a consultation of members on the deal. Ballot dates have not been announced yet. The British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing have already returned big votes to reject the deal. EIS Scottish teachers’ union members are battling to get strikes put back on after the union’s leadership called off action on 28 March.

Tanker drivers deliver huge vote for strikes

Oil tanker drivers in the Unite union have voted to strike over their working conditions at five major distribution firms.

MMP strikers plan London demo

Over 80 people rallied in solidarity with 149 locked out workers at Mayr Melnhof Packaging (MMP) in Bootle near Liverpool on Thursday of last week.

Mahle Engine Systems workers plan strikes

Workers at Mahle Engine Systems in Kilmarnock will strike for three days a week to defend jobs, according to the Unite union.

Workers denounce 'witch hunt' and say defend Ray Smith

Unite union members are calling on the union’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, to drop an investigation into Unite activist Ray Smith.

Electricians protest in Glasgow and London

Around 30 Unite union members joined a dawn leafleting protest outside the new Southern General Hospital site in Glasgow on Friday of last week.

RMT backs TUSC for elections

The RMT rail union is supporting the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the 3 May elections, its general secretary has announced.

Anti fascists march in Bolton

Around 100 local anti-fascists marched through Bolton town centre on Saturday of last week in response to a racist protest by the North West Infidels (NWI).

People hold Olympic protest

Around 70 people joined an "unofficial gentrification tour" of the Carpenters Estate in the shadow of the Olympic site last Saturday.

News in brief

Christopher Alder memorial protest A memorial protest for Christopher Alder, who died in Kingston upon Hull police station in 1998, was set to take place on Sunday.

Tories make tax cuts to save themselves cash

It wasn’t just the Tories’ rich chums who pocketed big sums from George Osborne’s tax cuts last week—the cabinet got some extra cash too.

NHS 'reforms' put lives at risk

A leaked document reveals that the Tory health bill puts patients’ lives at risk.

George Galloway wins support in Bradford

Former Respect MP George Galloway was in the closing stages of his by-election campaign in Bradford West as Socialist Worker went to press.

New attack on the right to choose

Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley launched the latest attack on abortion rights last week.

US blood money in Afghanistan

The US has had to pay compensation for the people killed and injured when US troops murdered 17 civilians earlier this month.

Posh bash for Top Shop boss

Topshop tycoon Philip Green celebrated his 60th birthday last week with a £6 million bash.

Strauss-Kahn on more charges

Alleged rapist and former boss of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces new charges of "complicity in pimping in a vice ring".

Fortnum & Mason sit-in activists found not guilty

The final batch of defendents in the trial of Fortnum & Mason activists have been found not guilty.

New scandal hits Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is accused of giving a hacking website the information needed to produce smart cards that offered free access to a rival pay-TV broadcaster.

Donors' dinners reveal Cameron's corruption

The rotten core of the British establishment was exposed this week, with revelations of huge sums of money paid by some of the richest people in Britain to gain access to top Tories.

We pay for Cam dine with me

Cameron spent £1.8 million of public money on doing up the Downing Street flats where he held dinners for donors.

How the rich got their money's worth

What sort of perks can a "premier league" donor look forward to?

Meet the Tory go-betweens

Peter Cruddas is a billionaire with a private jet and a £10 million apartment in Monaco.

Top 10 Tory donors since 2010 election

Mark JC Bamford, Construction—£1,500,000 David Rowland, Finance—£1,200,000 Peter Cruddas, Spread betting—£1,200,000 Michael Farmer, Hedge funds—£770,000 Stanley Fink, Hedge funds—£390,000 May Makhzoumi, Pipe manufacturing—£358,000 Jean Palmer, Unknown—£350,000 Robert Edmiston, Motor trade—£230,000 Flowidea, Investment—£222,000 MECM, Capital management—£200,000

NUT plans Nottingham strike

NUT union members in Nottingham were set to strike on Thursday of this week against attacks on their terms and conditions.

FT journalists call off strike

Journalists at the Financial Times in the NUJ union have called off their planned strike and accepted a 3-3.5 percent pay deal.

Pictures from the London education picket lines on 28 March

Reports of school and college strikes across London on 28 March

Schools The strike has had a big impact on many schools in Tower Hamlets.

George Galloway storms to victory in Bradford West by-election

George Galloway has pulled off a spectacular political comeback by winning Thursday's Bradford West parliamentary by-election by a landslide.

Police officers give evidence in student protesters' trial

The trial of Alfie Meadows and four other student protesters continued in Kingston Crown Court this week.

Voices from Respect’s Bradford West campaign: ‘It’s all about dignity’

Wasab Khan, 24, is one of many young volunteers that drove Respect’s by-election victory in Bradford West. He spoke to Socialist Worker on polling day about what had attracted him to the campaign.

Bootle packaging workers protest in London against redundancies

Workers from Mayr Melnhof Packaging (MMP) in Bootle, near Liverpool, protested outside the Austrian embassy in London today, Friday, against their treatment at the hands of the Austrian-based firm.


Hoodies rally in New York after death of black teen Trayvon Martin

Thousands of black and white protesters took to the streets of New York on Wednesday of last week. They wore hooded tops and chanted "We are all Trayvon Martin" in protest at the slaying of a black teenager in Florida last month.

Huge strike hits Portugal as eurozone misery spreads

Portugal’s transport system was paralysed by a public sector general strike on Thursday of last week. Workers were taking action against labour reforms and austerity measures imposed by the country’s creditors.

Strikes sweep Egypt but old regime bites back

There is no mistaking the raw class anger in strikers’ chants across Egypt these days. "Who are they and who are we?" is a favourite of striking workers at Cairo’s Public Transport Authority (PTA).

Zimbabwe: it's the system that's on trial

Tatenda Mombeyarara, ISO activist To us the meeting hadn’t seemed unusual. We regularly gather and have discussions on neoliberalism and what is going on in the world.

Mugabe faces electoral test in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s ruler Robert Mugabe is pushing for an election this year.

Britain has played a foul role in Zimbabwe

The mining magnate and politician Cecil Rhodes conquered the land that would become Zimbabwe for the British Empire in 1890.

Protests defy police in Bahrain

Thousands of protesters converged on Bahrain’s capital Manama on Friday of last week over a year after an uprising began there.

More areas defect from Syrian regime

Previously "loyal" towns and districts in Syria are abandoning the blood-stained regime of Bashar al‑Assad and are joining the popular uprising.

Protests defy crackdown and parades in Greece

The official Greek independence day celebrations last Sunday were another disaster for the government.

Video of new strikes in Egypt

Interviews and reports from bus workers and other strikers.


Alcohol strategy - unfair and unhelpful attack on the poor

Tory plans to bring in minimum unit pricing for alcohol dominated headlines after the budget.

Where next for the pensions fight?

Lots of workers are disappointed that the strike on 28 March won’t be national. Some in the unions thought this meant teachers wouldn’t respond to a London-only strike.

Has the economic crisis nearly ended?

Is the world economy past the worst of the crisis? This is what the stock markets have been signalling these past few months, pushing share prices upwards.


The Toulouse killings and racism in France

The murders of three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, last week were horrific acts. They followed the shooting of three soldiers, two of them Muslims, in Toulouse and nearby Montauban the week before.

Left challenges in French presidential campaign

It remains to be seen what impact events in Toulouse last week will have on France’s presidential election campaign.

Class and the benefits system

Last week we looked at how unemployment is built into capitalism. The system produces a "reserve army of labour"—a pool of jobless workers—and plays them off against those with jobs to drive down wages for everyone.


The Hunger Games - dark science fiction with class struggle

In the not too distant future what remains of North America is now the country of Panem. It is split into 12 different districts, each poorer than the last, ruled over by the wealthy Capitol.

Cards depict Chartist leaders

The Chartists of the 18th century were Britain’s first mass working class movement. They demanded basic democratic rights such as vote by secret ballot and the abolition of property qualifications for MPs.

Bulgakov’s biting satire on Stalinism brought to life

Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita does not lend itself to adaption for stage. Set in Moscow during the darkest days of Stalinist rule, it tells of a visit to the city by Satan and his retinue.

Reviews in brief

Love Against Death

What We Think

London strike shows the mood to fight - now we need escalation

The thousands of teachers and lecturers who were set to strike in London on Wednesday are keeping the spark of resistance alight.

Other Categories

Tim's view

Tim: Dinner and Downing Street


Dropping the 28 March strikes was big mistake Tory chancellor George Osborne gives the impression he is helping over 23 million taxpayers by increasing the threshold before income is taxed to £8,105.

The week's news

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