Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1880

Dated: 06 Dec 2003



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Don't let him send our kids this bill

Why the student fees plan will hit working families hardest - Page 5


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

There will be an alternative at next election

A HEAD of steam is building up over creating a left electoral coalition to challenge New Labour at the polls next June. The speakers at a 1,300-strong meeting in London, which called for such a coalition, have now called a national convention to agree and launch it on 25 January next year.

Samarra slaughter shows US brutality

US OCCUPATION military authorities told the world's press they had "killed 46" resistance fighters in the central Iraqi town of Samarra on Sunday.

Gloucester anger over Sajid Badat arrest

OVER 600 people, mostly local Muslims, turned up to try and get into a packed meeting in Gloucester on Monday evening. Only 400 could fit into the hall.

Caught out on toxic lies

NEW LABOUR has been caught out in its defence of the US toxic ships on their way to Hartlepool.

Making life taste bitter for the workers

WORKERS AT Sainsbury's distribution centre covering supermarkets across the north of England have voted to reject the company's pay offer and may be moving to a ballot for strike action.

Defending asylum seekers

TWO HUNDRED people protested against the continued detention of asylum seekers at Campsfield House in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, last weekend.

A flaming betrayal

"THIS VOTE shows just how much we've been ground down by our national leadership."

Housing

ABOUT 1,600 council tenants in TOLLINGTON, north Islington, have voted against the privatisation of their homes.

Jarvis

A LIBERAL Democrat controlled council in West Yorkshire voted last week to award a contract to build four new special schools to Jarvis.

Journalists

NATIONAL UNION of Journalists members at the Birmingham Post and Mail are working to contract in protest at threatened redundancies.

Bath Spa

A TWO day shutdown at Bath Spa University recently forced the directorate to cough up a £300,000 loan to complete the new union building.

NUT

DOUG McAVOY, general secretary of the NUT teachers' union, retires in June. Some 70 NUT activists met in Nottingham on Saturday to try to choose a candidate of the left to stand for the position.

Rent strike win

STUDENTS AT King's College, Cambridge, have won a victory after a rent strike lasting the whole of this term.

We won't accept second class pay

DRIVERS IN the Aslef train drivers' union on the Gatwick Express struck solidly on Friday of last week.

Peugeot plant is in seething mood

WORKERS AT Peugeot's car plant at Ryton are furious after having their hours increased for no extra pay.

London Weighting

THE COUNCIL employers have thrown down a major challenge to workers in the fight over London weighting.

Granada

ALMOST 40 reps from the Amicus, Bectu and NUJ unions representing Granada workers met with their full time broadcast organisers at the ITV unions' campaign meeting last week.

One third vote against Labour affiliation in Bectu union ballot

MEMBERS OF the Bectu broadcasting union have voted to retain the union's affiliation to the Labour Party.

RMT

THREE BRANCHES of the RMT rail workers' union want to switch their support from Labour to the Scottish Socialist Party.

Post workers

MORE STRIKES could soon hit the post, especially in London.

P&O

FERRY WORKERS in Dover who were sacked 15 years ago demonstrated last weekend to protest at their treatment.

Bin workers

AROUND 150 bin workers in north Lanarkshire in Scotland struck on Friday of last week. They are set to escalate strike action after council chiefs hired scab labour.

'We need to pile on pressure over pay'

CIVIL SERVANTS in job centres and benefit offices across London walked out on strike on Thursday and Friday of last week in fury at the government imposing a pay offer.

Tube workers planning action over safety

TUBE WORKERS were set to strike a blow for safety and against privatisation with a two-day go-slow next week.


International


Comment

Turkish tragedy was made here

THE DEATH toll was appalling. But far from the recent bombings in Turkey discrediting the anti-war movement (as much of the media and the politicians tried to do), they tragically confirmed it was right.

Astor Piazzolla and why you should give Tango a chance

I thought now was as good a time as any to take a look at tango music and, in particular, the work of Astor Piazzolla.


Features

Taxing time for the bosses ahead

"I'VE BEEN on the anti-war demos and seen Socialist Worker there but now you've come here to where I work. I love the paper and it's so good to see you. I'll get the paper when I see you every week."

Blair's fees plan a tax on majority

COMMENTATORS ARE already comparing the opposition Blair faces over fees to that hit by Margaret Thatcher when she imposed the poll tax.

Who will feel the pinch?

THE GOVERNMENT has also announced plans to end free bus travel for school students.

Terror laws attack all our rights

"OUR DEMOCRACY and civil liberties could be in danger." That verdict on New Labour's proposed Civil Contingencies Bill is not from some left wing group or human rights organisation.

Unite Against Fascism

THE BNP has 16 councillors. It wants to achieve a breakthrough in next June's elections when MEPs, London Assembly members and councillors will be elected on the same day across Britain.

How close are we to winning equality for women today?

The anti-war and anti-capitalist movements have been compared with the upsurge of the 1960s. What is the impact of the radicalisation on women?

Class divide key issue in Northern Ireland

IAN PAISLEY'S Catholic-hating DUP came top of the poll in last week's assembly elections.

Strike at Shorts: a struggle that should give us hope

For the first time in nearly two decades an all-out strike by workers at Shorts engineering, one of the biggest manufacturing plants in Northern Ireland, started last week.


Reviews

Frankenstein: birth of a monster

Frankenstein's monster is one of the most enduring ghouls of horror books and films.

The Permanent Way: a play on the right track about rail privatisation

"All over the world this year, we are seeing the same phenomenon of electorates waiting, bewildered or furious for their own leaders to catch up with them, and trying to understand the mystery of their refusal."


What We Think

Can you hear the cries of revolt, Blair?

THE EXPLOSION of anger over New Labour's proposals for top-up fees has thrown the government into crisis. Blair has been forced to abandon plans to hold a vote in parliament over the fees before Christmas. He fears he would lose that vote. Labour MPs, whose loyalty he has been able to count on, have lined up to speak out against the fees.

Workers create all the wealth under capitalism

There's A powerful myth, promulgated by Blair, by the Tories, by most of the media. It is that businessmen are "wealth creators". Without them, we're told, there would be no investment, no jobs, an economy in a spiral of decline.


Other Categories

Letters

The Israeli state’s racist policies are not in our name The British press has been full of stories lately about the reported rise of anti-Semitism, hatred of Jews, throughout Europe. It has said that criticism of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians equals anti-Semitism.

'We're not fascists really' say far right

THE ITALIAN far right has been plunged into chaos after its leader attacked Mussolini, the dictator of the 1920s and 30s.



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