Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2298

Dated: 14 Apr 2012




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Hate the Tories? Join the strikes!

Health workers in the Unite union will strike over pensions on 10 May—and teachers in the NUT are set to strike in June.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Who wants to be a Lib Dem?

Lib Dems are having a tough time finding candidates for the upcoming local elections.

Hosepipe MP splashes out

Environment minister Richard Benyon has said everyone should "play their part" in the hosepipe ban in southern and eastern England.

Arrested trader link to Peter Cruddas

An arrested currency speculator traded through a firm owned by shamed Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas.

Olympic legacy is a bit fishy

Rich visitors to the Olympics will be welcome at the 30 luxury suites of the "Fish Island Riviera" in Tower Hamlets, just 100 metres from the games venue.

Victory against Aberdeen council sell-off

Aberdeen City Council’s privatisation plans have been beaten in a victory for the Unison union branch there.

Racism scandals engulf the police

The past week has seen a series of racism scandals hit the Metropolitan Police.

RMT signals a fightback in Stirling

Signal workers in the Stirling area are balloting for strikes in their dispute with Network Rail management over rosters.

Enable Scotland’s care workers ballot

Care workers at homes run by Enable Scotland are taking part in a consultative ballot for strikes after some have been threatened with a 15 percent cut in pay.

Barnsley unions call protest against NHS cuts

On Saturday last week more than 60 people joined a demonstration called by health unions in Barnsley to protest against attacks on the NHS.

Hackney Marsh’s Olympic occupiers are evicted

Protesters camping to stop the building of temporary basketball courts for the Olympics have been evicted.

Teachers back more strikes against Tories

This year’s NUT union conference was watched closely from across the working class movement, as teachers backed more strikes to stop the Tories’ assault on pensions.

‘We have to go on the offensive against Ofsted’

Delegates rejected the idea that Ofsted was an impartial inspection system aimed at improving teaching. Many saw it as a tool to force through privatisation.

Sheffield: Maxine Bowler’s ‘Galloway bounce’

We had a good team out for the bank holiday Monday, even though it was chucking down with rain. We were up at 7am—you have to be if you’re going to get into the flats.

Why are police officers so prone to bigotry?

The racism scandal sweeping the police has smashed the notion that bullying and bigotry are confined to a small number of rogue officers.

Stop Michael Gove selling our schools

Some teachers wanted the union to launch a more urgent fight to stop academies. Annette Pryce said, "If you blink, you’ll miss an academy conversion. It’s time to get out the big guns—it’s time to fight."

NUT conference round-up

No to tests for five year olds Teachers passed a motion opposing the use of phonics reading testing—which would be carried out on children as young as five.

NUT backs June date for national walkout

Teachers at the NUT union’s conference voted to organise another national strike over pensions in June.

Unite NHS workers pick 10 May

The Unite union has called for another national strike over pensions in the NHS.

Teachers push to join May pensions strikes

The NUT teachers’ union will meet in two weeks’ time to discuss further strikes over pensions.

Black unemployment worse in Britain than US, report shows

Black people are more likely to be unemployed in Britain than in the US, according to a study released today, Friday.

Cops pledge CCTV in police vans after campaign

London’s Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has announced his intention to install CCTV cameras in all police cars and vans.

Tories snatch tax credits from poorest families

Some 850,000 families will see their income slashed from today (Friday) as tax credits are torn from low paid workers.

Left candidates in the Unison service group executive elections

Community

Activists: members want a clear strategy with concrete action

Anne Lemon is on the NUT national executive. She spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity

Unite NHS workers pick 10 May

The Unite union has called for another national strike over pensions in the NHS.

Anti-racists unite to take on EDL threat in Luton

Anti-fascist activists, Muslim groups, trade unionists and local councillors in Luton are banding together to see off the threat from the racist English Defence League (EDL).

Stop the Nazi BNP—and their fascist pals

Nazi organisations are gearing up to field candidates at the local elections in England and Wales on Thursday 3 May.

Does Britain have a north-south divide?

When the Tories proposed the idea of imposing lower regional pay on public sector workers, it hit a nerve.

New pamphlet: Time to Get Organised

Time to Get Organised is a tool for all workers, whether in public or private sector workplaces.

‘Destination: Action’ for London’s bus drivers

Bus workers in London are meeting this Saturday to discuss their campaign to win a bonus payment for the Olympic games.

Oil talks to continue

Talks between the Unite union and six fuel distribution contractors resumed on Tuesday of this week at the Acas conciliation service.

Remploy marches planned

A coalition of unions and campaign groups is organising against the government’s plans to close 36 of the remaining 54 Remploy factories.

Four day council worker strike over conditions

Workers at Cheshire West and Chester council struck over the Easter weekend in their battle over conditions.

Traffic wardens: Ealing walkout begins

Traffic wardens in Ealing, west London, have started a fresh two-week walkout in their battle to defend their union rep.

DWP: 700 contractors walk out

Members of the PCS union who work for contractor Balfour Beatty at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) walked out for two hours on Tuesday of this week.

Packaging workers target clients

Locked out workers from Mayr Melnof Packaging (MMP) factory in Bootle near Liverpool were in Manchester on Thursday of last week.

Unison elections

Voting has begun in the elections for the Unison union’s service group executives.

Bradford campaign hopes to build on Galloway’s win

George Galloway’s Respect party has launched its campaign for the local elections in Bradford.

Tax avoidance is sky high

A millionaire Tory donor slept in the air in his private jet —to avoid paying tax.

Court rules that nightmare must go on for Babar Ahmad in US extradition case

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday of this week that British terrorism suspects wanted by the US can be extradited there.

Preston socialist Michael Lavalette launches fight to take back his seat

The victory of George Galloway in the Bradford West by-election has spurred on local election campaigns that were already on the way—and inspired some new ones.

Meet the Socialist Worker candidates in the May elections

Socialist Worker supporters are also standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and as the Scottish Anti Cuts Coalition (SACC) in Scotland.

Evidence of MI6 role in torture flight

More evidence is emerging that the British government is responsible for torture.

Police quizzed in student protest case

The trial of Alfie Meadows and four other student protesters has continued at Kingston Crown Court.


International

Syria: Assad won’t call off his troops

Moves to impose a Western-brokered ceasefire in Syria have collapsed after president Bashar al-Assad insisted the opposition be forced to obey the ceasefire too.

Bahrain: Queen’s invite to dictator

The queen has invited the king of Bahrain to her Jubilee jamboree.

Egypt: who will stand in election?

Egypt’s first presidential elections since the revolution that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak will begin on 23 May.

Anger as Florida authorities refuse jury hearing in Trayvon Martin case

There will be no jury hearing to decide whether George Zimmerman, the man who shot black teenager Trayvon Martin in February, should face charges.

Greek pensioner’s public suicide sparks outrage across the country

A 77 year old pensioner shot himself dead in the main public square in Athens today, Wednesday.

Left surge shakes French ruling class

The streets of Toulouse in the south of France were alive with red flags and banners on Thursday of last week.

Italy: one crisis follows another

Mario Monti’s government in Italy is in a deepening crisis. He has watered down his flagship labour reforms, and now business leaders have slammed them.


Comment

Rise up and defend abortion rights in the US

The war on women’s rights in the US has taken centre stage in this year’s Republican presidential primary race.

Fight the Tories on two fronts at once

The Tories are under pressure in more ways than one. They may have hoped the withdrawal of some larger trade unions from the pensions fight might have finished it off.


Features

Are volunteers the way to save our libraries?

Libraries are always at the top of the list for spending cuts. The librarians’ body CILIP estimates that 600 are currently under threat.

Oil industry: the hands on the tap

The prospect of an oil tanker drivers’ strike threw the establishment into a tailspin.

Titanic: a disaster built on class

You can rely on the playwright George Bernard Shaw to have a good remark to say about almost anything.


Reviews

The Undateables: a look at disabled lives beyond the stereotypes

I had distinctly mixed feelings when I read that the new series of Mad Men on Sky attracted 47,000 viewers, compared to a whopping 2.9 million for the first part of Channel 4’s The Undateables, which looks at the love lives of disabled people.

Damien Hirst blockbuster is neither fraud nor fresh

The Tate Modern gallery in London unveiled its summer blockbuster exhibition last week—a retrospective of Damien Hirst, the infamous "Young British Artist" whose work shook up the art scene in the 1990s.

Jarvis Cocker’s melancholic take on life at night

Jarvis Cocker’s made-for-radio voice graces a new BBC Radio 4 series Wireless Nights.

For Most Of It I Have No Words

Simon Norfolk’s haunting landscape photographs record the physical remainders of past atrocities.

Down With The Dictator

This play by Cameroonian playwright and activist Lydia Besong explores themes of power, political corruption and the absurdities of censorship.

La Grande Illusion

This anti-war classic by French director Jean Renoir has been reissued in a restored print for its 75th anniversary.


What We Think

Syria’s two sides are not the same

Even the pope has joined the calls for a ceasefire in Syria. It is being posed as the only solution to violence that the Bashar al-Assad regime has inflicted on ordinary Syrians.

Getting rid of racism and injustice means tearing down the state

There has been a slew of revelations about the casual and brutal racism that pervades the Metropolitan Police.


Other Categories

Mick Shaw: 1958-2012

Mick Shaw, firefighter and former president of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), has died aged 53.

Tim: Titanic

Tim's view

Letters

Remploy factories offer the only work we can get As an employee at Neath and Port Talbot Remploy I am very worried about our futures.

Who says?

‘You can hear all those whispering voices saying "play it safe if you want to win a majority" and "don’t rub too many people up the wrong way" and say "No, that is not us"’



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