Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2299

Dated: 21 Apr 2012




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Police: rotten to the core

The police are in crisis following revelations of racism and corruption. Top cops will once again say that the problem is down to a few rotten apples.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Tories’ dash for gas is a disaster for the climate

The government pretends that its energy policies are good for keeping prices low, cutting carbon emissions and creating jobs.

Climate Caravan tour can show alternatives

Next month the caravan for a million climate jobs will undertake its 2,000 mile tour of 25 towns and cities.

Damning judgement over blacklisting

Employment judges slammed the lack of legal protection for construction worker Dave Smith in a judgement released last week.

Should some be paid more than others?

Capitalism is a world riven by inequality.

10 May strike can boost fight against pensions robbery

Some 100,000 health workers in the Unite union will strike to defend pensions on 10 May.

The battle is on in Unison to reject the Tories’ attacks and join more action

Health workers in the Unison union across England and Wales are balloting on the Tories’ pensions offer.

Teachers: ‘Let us strike!’

The NUT teachers’ union will meet next week to discuss further strikes over pensions.

What you can do to support the strikes

Get together with other workers and put pressure on your union to join the strikes on 10 MayInvite a Unite union member to speak to your union branch about the strikesContact other trade unionists and organise to visit picket linesDo a collection in your union branch or organisation for the strikersFind out if there are any rallies or protests planned on the strike day and publicise them—or organise one yourself

Protest and vote to push back Nazis

Fascist killer Anders Behring Breivik went on trial in Norway this week—cheered on by his Muslim-hating friends in Britain’s far right.

Breivik: the issue is fascism

Anders Behring Breivik appeared in court in Oslo on Monday. He pled not guilty and showed no regret—but burst into tears while watching his own pathetic propaganda video.

Woman falls to her death as police visit

An 18 year old woman died after plunging 17 stories from a tower block window after police visited her on Tuesday of last week.

Glasgow asylum seekers protest to save their homes

Up to 140 refugees in Glasgow face destitution as responsibility for housing vulnerable people passes to the multinational security firm Serco.

Worthing carnival takes on anti-abortion bigots

Around 70 people attended a "Carnival for Choice" in Worthing, West Sussex, on Sunday organised by campaign group Brighton Pro-Choice.

Disabled workers fight closure plan

The fight is on to stop the closure of factories employing more than 1,500 disabled workers.

Three day strike set to hit London’s tube

Maintenance and upgrade workers employed by Tube Lines on the London Underground are to strike for 72 hours from 4pm on Tuesday of next week.

BBC Wales ballot to defend rep

Journalists at BBC Wales are to begin a ballot in defence of Bectu union rep Heidi Williams after she was dismissed.

Campaigners save care homes

Campaigners in West Cumbria have successfully campaigned to save two care homes from closure.

Elections in the PCS union

Voting begins this week in the election for the PCS union’s national executive committee.

Unison elections continue

Elections continue for the Unison union’s service group executives.

Welsh students face funding cuts

Grants for Wales’s poorest students are to be cut by around 15 percent.

Teachers walk out against cuts

Striking teachers in Rotherham were in determined mood after closing their secondary school during a 24-hour walkout over job losses on Tuesday.

Nottingham teachers strike against term change

NUT union members across Nottingham struck on Tuesday of this week against council plans to change their term structure.

Forced academy ballot underway at Downhills

Teachers at Downhills Primary School in Haringey, north London, are balloting for strikes against government plans to force the school to become an academy.

Central Foundation Girl’s School prepares for action

Teachers and support staff are set to strike at Central Foundation Girl’s School in east London on Wednesday of next week.

London Met lecturers to decide on action

Lecturers at London Metropolitan University were set to meet on Wednesday of this week to discuss an ongoing dispute over redundancies.

Petrol tanker drivers have the power to beat bosses

The Unite union was set to decide on Wednesday of this week whether to call almost 2,000 petrol tanker drivers out on strike—or to accept a secret offer from six major haulage companies.

Bitter and angry at Unilever’s shoddy deal

The business press gloated last week at Unilever bosses’ "victory" as most workers at the firm accepted the end of their final salary pension scheme.

BMW workers reject pay offer and could strike

Workers at BMW’s Mini plant in Oxford could be set to strike for the first time in 28 years after overwhelmingly rejecting a pay offer.

Meyr Melnhof protest

Workers sacked by Meyr Melnhof Packaging in Bootle, near Liverpool, have been protesting outside the company’s clients and their shareholders.

Ealing traffic wardens' strike called off

Unite union members in Ealing, west London, have called off a two-week strike for talks with management.

Mark Krantz: We can fight back against the cuts

"I’ve been involved in election campaigns for seven years, and I’ve never seen such a positive response.

Organising Olympic protests

Almost 50 people from a variety of different campaigns and organisations attended a Counter Olympics planning meeting in east London on Saturday of last week.

Public inquiry in Camden health

Camden Council has agreed to launch a public inquiry into the privatisation of the Camden Road GP practice after a public outcry at its closure.

March to save Coventry pool

Vocal protesters marched through Coventry with the message "Save our leisure centre" last Saturday.

London mayoral race gets underway

Boris Johnson’s reign as London mayor has been great for his friends. The number of senior managers earning more than £100,000 a year in City Hall has risen from 16 to 28 during his four years there.

Michael Mansfield QC sums up as Alfie Meadows trial ends

The trial of five student protesters concluded on Monday this week at Kingston Crown Court in south London.

Arms trade: Cameron deals in death

David Cameron is on tour, touting for trade for his arms dealer chums in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Burma.

Tory adviser proposes to dock benefits of parents

Government "behaviour tsar" Charlie Taylor has recommended that some parents of children who miss school should have their child benefit docked.

Demonstrations against Virgin’s NHS profiteering

Health campaigners have called a weekend of protests against Richard Branson’s Virgin Care, one of the leading private companies bidding for NHS contracts.

Taliban springs attacks

Afghanistan’s capital Kabul has been hit by a series of brazen attacks by the Taliban rebel group. The attacks have exposed the weaknesses of Hamid Karzai’s Western-backed government.

Students fight rising fee levels

Students are set to join a lobby of parliament organised by the National Union of Students (NUS) on Wednesday of this week.

Taxpayers’ Alliance boss pays no British tax

The Taxpayers’ Alliance—a right wing pressure group with strong links to the Tory party—has admitted one of its directors pays no tax in Britain.

Rich splash out on Titanic watch

A luxury jeweller has come up with a particularly tasteless ornament to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

Hung jury in Alfie Meadows case

The jury returned their verdict in the trial of Alfie Meadows and four other student protesters today, Wednesday.

Oil tanker drivers reject offer

Tanker drivers in the Unite union rejected an offer from six oil distribution firms today (Wednesday). Unite is now seeking further talks through the Acas conciliation service.

Workers in Corby sacked on the spot—without pay

Some 115 factory workers in Corby, Northamptonshire, received the shocking news today (Thursday) that they have lost their jobs—with immediate effect.

BBC workers to ballot on jubilee strike

BBC workers could strike during the queen’s diamond jubilee in June after a ballot for action was announced by the Bectu, Unite and NUJ broadcasting unions today (Thursday).


International

Protesters defy Syria’s dictator

Tens of thousands of Syrians took to the streets on Friday of last week in a mass show of support for the revolution.

Strikes and demonstrations increase tensions in Egypt's fragile ruling alliance

Tens of thousands of protesters filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday of last week.

Bahrain: protests and solidarity

The Formula One grand prix race is due to take place in Bahrain this week despite the continuing government crackdown on protests there.

First round of elections due this Sunday

The first round of the French presidential elections is set to take place on Sunday of this week.

Court victory for Zimbabwe Six

Six Zimbabwean socialists have won a high court appeal against their sentences of community service.

Mass rally in Paris for radical left presidential candidate

The first round of the French presidential election will take place on Sunday. The Socialist Party candidate François Hollande is set to defeat incumbent right winger Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round on 6 May.


Comment

Size does matter if Spain goes Greek

Alex Callinicos recently argued in these pages that the global economic crisis is far from over. The ink had hardly dried on his words when the crisis in Spain started growing to "Greek" proportions.


Features

Chanie Rosenberg interview: By my 100th birthday I want to see socialism

Chanie Rosenberg, along with her husband Tony Cliff, were founder members of what is now the Socialist Workers Party.

Revolt at the ballot box

The leaders of Britain’s political parties have never, as a group, been so unpopular.

Bradford springs into action for May council vote

Some 800 people came to a Respect rally on Sunday in Bradford to hear the party’s 12 council candidates speak alongside George Galloway, newly elected MP for Bradford West.

Michael Lavalette: ‘We need to say austerity is not inevitable’

Michael Lavalette is standing as an independent socialist in Preston in an effort to take back his council seat for the left.


Reviews

Long Day’s Journey Into Night: Eugene O’Neill’s dramatic protest at middle class hypocrisy

The Irish-American dramatist and Nobel laureate Eugene O’Neill is widely considered the father of modern American theatre. His most famous play, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, has just opened at the Apollo Theatre in London.

Sparks fly over Günter Grass poem criticising Israel

Günter Grass, the German writer and Nobel laureate, has been in the headlines recently for his poem "What Must Be Said".

Shakespeare’s Restless World

This new radio series sees presenter Neil MacGregor exploring the world at the time of William Shakespeare by examining the history of 20 objects from that period.

Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself - Sergeant Buzfuz

It’s a brave band who opens an album with a seven minute dirge attacking the venality and hypocrisy of a swathe of early popes.

Conlon Nancarrow weekend

A festival celebrating the works of maverick Marxist composer Conlon Nancarrow takes place at London’s Southbank Centre this weekend.


What We Think

Tax for the poor, dosh for the rich

The US billionaire and convicted tax evader Leona Helmsey once famously said, "Only the little people pay taxes".


Other Categories

Ahmed Ben Bella: 1918-2012

Ahmed Ben Bella became the first president of independent Algeria, after leading the struggle against the brutal rule of French colonialism.

Letters

Racist cops no surprise for young black people The Metropolitan Police has always been institutionally racist. I first encountered them when I was stopped and searched at the age of nine, just yards from my family home.

Quotes of the week

‘This completely understandable mistake amounts to racially stereotyping black people as criminals and this will be portrayed by some of our critics as deliberate police racism of the "racial hatred" variety’



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