Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2300

Dated: 28 Apr 2012




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475,000 to strike 10 May: let’s kick David Cameron and keep kicking

Up to half a million workers will strike over pensions on 10 May.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

What would you get paid under socialism?

Workers’ labour, not the "talent" of bosses, produces wealth under capitalism, as we argued in last week’s column.

Remploy workers protest to stop factory closures

Hundreds of Remploy workers demonstrated outside government offices in London and Sheffield on Friday of last week.

Strike scheduled to bring tube to a halt

London Underground workers employed by Tube Lines were set to start a 72-hour strike at 4pm on Tuesday of this week.

Transport round-up

Bus drivers in Belfast forced their bosses to reinstate a suspended colleague last week by abandoning their vehicles for an hour.

Disabled People Against Cuts: ‘We won’t accept attacks on our benefits’

Over 100 disabled people and their supporters protested in central London on Wednesday of last week against welfare cuts and the closure of Remploy factories.

Glasgow stands up against threat to refugees

The campaign against plans to evict up to 140 refugees who have been refused asylum from their homes accelerated this week in Glasgow.

Tanker drivers could call strikes as deadline looms over talks

Unite union negotiators were in talks with six major haulage companies over the ongoing tanker drivers’ dispute as Socialist Worker went to press.

Fight the MMP sackings

Workers sacked by Mayr Melnhof Packaging in Bootle, Merseyside, are continuing their campaign.

Protests at Branson's health bonanza

Protests hit Virgin stores as part of a day of action against NHS privatisation last Saturday.

IT workers protest over jobs

Workers at IT firm CSC staged a lunchtime protest against compulsory redundancies.

PCS Department for Work and Pensions group executive committee

"If members are up for action it is our job to support them," PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka told the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) group executive committee last week.

Justice for Shanise Paris-Goff

Around 20 people attended a vigil at Plumstead police station in south east London to demand justice for Shanise Paris-Goff on Tuesday of last week.

Debates over resistance at Unison health conference

At the Unison union’s health conference in Brighton last weekend the talk was of the fantastic strikes on

Surrey refuse workers refuse low pay

Refuse workers in Mole Valley, Surrey, struck for 24 hours over pay on Friday of last week.

Strikes underway to save Kilmarnock factory

Some 520 workers at Mahle Engineering in Kilmarnock near Glasgow began the first round of planned strikes on Tuesday of this week.

BAE workers battle for jobs

BAE Systems workers in Brough, Yorkshire, plan to protest at the firm’s shareholder annual general meeting on Wednesday of next week against planned redundancies.

Cheshire West & Chester council staff fight assault on wages

Hundreds of workers at Cheshire West & Chester council were set to protest outside a council meeting on Thursday of this week to defend their conditions.

Schools set for strikes in three cities

Teachers at Swinton School in Rotherham, south Yorkshire, were set to strike on Friday of this week.

Rally to defend Derbyshire youth services

Protesters rallied against cuts to youth services in Derbyshire on Wednesday of last week.

Murdoch - part of the corrupt political establishment

A number of media moguls were giving evidence at the Leveson inquiry into press standards this week.

Call for inquiry into police corruption over Stephen Lawrence

Calls are growing for a new inquiry into police corruption that derailed the hunt for Stephen Lawrence’s killers.

London council accused of ‘cleansing’ the poor

Up to 500 families on housing benefit in east London could find themselves relocated to Stoke-on-Trent if Newham Council has its way.

Scandal hits health firm Care UK

Some 6,000 patient X-ray records were left unprocessed at an "urgent care centre" run by private firm Care UK in London.

‘Spy for us or we’ll deport you,’ say British spooks

British intelligence conspired with Libyan spooks to pressure asylum seekers to work as spies for both countries, leaked documents show.

Keep Breivik's EDL pals out of Luton

Anti-fascists from across Britain are heading to Luton, Bedfordshire, on 5 May to help stop the racist English Defence League (EDL) from holding a march in the town.

Shrinking food shores up firms' profits

Multinationals are ripping us off by shrinking products while keeping prices the same.

Tory cuts snatch care from sick

Older and disabled people face a serious threat to their living standards because of the Tories’ cuts.

Gold barge for queen’s jubilee

In the spending spree to mark the run-up to the queen’s diamond jubilee, a million pound row barge has been launched on the River Thames.

Royal in-law is outlaw in Paris

Royal relative Pippa Middleton is in trouble after a friend threatened a photographer with a gun.

Michael Lavalette’s battle for Preston seat

The campaign to get a socialist voice back into Preston’s council chamber is heating up.

Racists humiliated at the ‘March for England’

Over 1,000 anti-racists took to the streets of Brighton last Sunday. They succeeded in reducing a far right march to a miserable and defeated mob that needed a heavy police escort to get out of town.

Hung jury in trial of Alfie Meadows

The jury failed to reach a verdict in the trial of student protester Alfie Meadows last week.

‘We need everyone to get to Luton’

Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, says it is vital that anti-fascists take on the EDL.

Burnley—anti-fascists aim to kick out the last few BNP councillors

Unite Against Fascism campaigners around Britain went door-to-door last weekend campaigning against the British National Party (BNP) and other fascist organisations.

No platform for Nazi BNP in London

Ken Livingstone, Labour candidate for London mayor, pulled out of a radio hustings last week after the BBC insisted on including the British National Party (BNP) candidate.

Attack: working longer for less

The Tories want to drive down the living standards of millions of public sector workers. They hope that this will strengthen them in a bigger battle against the whole working class.

Other sections are fighting to join the action too

As well as supporting the strikes on 10 May, workers are passing motions and pushing to join the strikes too.

Brendan Barber won’t be missed

Without prior warning, Brendan Barber, the TUC general secretary, has announced he will retire later this year. Barber is only the 9th TUC general secretary since its formation in 1922.

Who to vote for near you

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

Anger among delegates at CWU conference

Over 700 workers attended the CWU union’s annual conference in Bournemouth this week.

Successful strike at east London school

Dozens of pickets huddled under umbrellas across the six entrances of Central Foundation Girls School in Bow, east London this morning (Wednesday).

Tube Lines strikers demand decent pensions

London Underground maintenance, upgrade and emergency workers employed by Tube Lines started a 72 hour strike yesterday afternoon (Tuesday).

Nottingham teachers strike against five-term year plan

Teachers across Nottingham struck for the third time yesterday, Wednesday, against council plans to rip up their terms and conditions.

Unite’s defence workers set to join 10 May pensions strike

More than 10,000 workers in the Ministry of Defence and other government departments are set to join the strike over public sector pensions on 10 May.

Lecturers’ UCU union executive votes to join 10 May strike

The national executive of UCU lecturers’ union today voted overwhelming to strike alongside Unite and PCS on 10 May. The union believes that the strike is a welcome step in the campaign to fair pensions for all.

All to fight for in NUT on pensions

The national executive of the NUT union met yesterday (Thursday). The meeting deferred any decision on national strike action in June until a further executive meeting on 10 May—the day when hundreds of thousands of other public sector workers will strike over pensions.

London elections: five reasons to boot out Tory Boris

Boris Johnson has been a mayor for the rich and the bankers—not to mention he’s a millionaire himself. He has pocketed £250,000 a year for his Telegraph column alone while he’s been in the job, but he says that money is just "chicken feed". Meanwhile he has hiked tube and bus fares, hitting the poorest. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, to give him his full name, not only went to posh private school Eton with David Cameron but was in the Bullingdon Club at Oxford with him too. And both are descended from royalty, tracing their ancestors back to King George II. No wonder Boris hates working class people and has been lobbying for even tighter anti-

Socialists enter last week of election campaigning

Socialist election candidates are entering the final few days of campaigning as they step up their efforts ahead of polling day this Thursday, 3 May.


International

Hunger striker’s daughter: Formula One in Bahrain is salt in our wounds

David Cameron brushed off calls to condemn the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix today. "Bahrain is not Syria," he declared. "There is a process of reform underway."

Surge in fascist vote as French politics polarises

The first round of the French presidential election has revealed a dramatic rise in support for Marine Le Pen’s fascist Front National (FN).

Bo Xilai fall shows divisions among China's leaders

The British press has been full of lurid stories about Bo Xilai, the Chinese politician who has just fallen from grace.

Flytilla activist detained in Israel for joining Palestine protest

Karolin Hijazi, a pro‑Palestinian activist from Aberdeen, was arrested in Israel and held for four nights after attempting to join a protest for Bethlehem.

Crisis deepens in Syrian cities

The arrival of United Nations observers has triggered a new round of protests in the Syrian cites that remain under siege. In return the cities of Idlib, Hama and Douma could face attacks by government forces.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood faces two ways

Tahrir Square in Cairo saw a massive mobilisation last Friday which exposed the contradictions of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Who's who in the French elections

Jean-Luc Melenchon

Days of rage against Formula One in Bahrain

Protesters in Bahrain undermined the Formula One grand prix last weekend by holding three "days of rage".

Austerity protest shakes Czech coalition

Last Saturday more than 120,000 people gathered in Prague’s Wenceslaus Square to demonstrate against government austerity. It was the climax of a week of protest—as well as the biggest demonstration in the Czech Republic since the "Velvet Revolution" against the old Stalinist regime in 1989.


Comment

The left must lead the fight against Le Pen

The leadership of the Front National (FN) around Marine Le Pen has tried very hard to ditch the party’s fascist image.

What do we say about the French Elections - video of Jim Wolfreys

Jim Wolfreys author of The Politics of Racism in France spoke at a meeting in central London on 25 April


Features

The guilty secrets of the British Empire exposed in newly released documents

The government has been forced to release secret colonial documents it claimed were lost. Ken Olende examines the evidence of Britain’s imperial crimes

Are white people to blame for racism?

The shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin in the US earlier this year sparked a wave of anti-racist anger across the country.


Reviews

The 70s: Fantasy history that pours scorn on the working class

Dominic Sandbrook is a historian and a Daily Mail columnist who rails against "metro­politan liberals" who reject Britain’s imperialist past.

London Recruits: Thrilling tale of students who battled apartheid

In 1967 a little-known chapter in the history of the anti-apartheid movement began. Radical students from London universities, mostly socialists, travelled to South Africa to take part in illegal activities against the regime.

Class Actions: Salford duo spits at the Sun

Salford-based hip-hop duo Class Actions return with their latest single "Rip Up The Sun". The track doesn’t stop short at attacking the newspaper—it mounts a scathing onslaught on Rupert Murdoch’s entire empire.

Picturing Politics: exploring the political poster in Britain

Picturing Politics is a free exhibition at the People’s History Museum in Manchester that charts the history of the political poster in 20th century Britain.

Bread and Roses centenary festival

Studio Strike, a radical artists’ collective, is holding a series of events in London to mark the 100th anniversary of the famous "bread and roses" strike by US textile workers.

Black & Blue

Black & Blue is a new literary publication that aims to bring a radical and socialist perspective to drama, prose, poetry and other forms of writing.


What We Think

Austerity backfires on Europe's rulers

The political crisis faced by the ruling classes of Europe deepened this week.

Elections are a chance to show Tories how much they are hated

The Tories are trying to impose their own austerity package in Britain.


Other Categories

Tim's view

Tim: Congratulating Marine Le Pen

Letters

Workers want to fight As a Unison member fighting for a reject vote in the pensions ballot, it has been great to be able to point to the Unite union health workers and PCS planned national strike on 10 May.

Quotes from the week's news

‘This is the premise on which members of the Occupy Whatever You Like movement take over public parks and interrupt businesses’The Daily Mail’s Thomas Fleming compares the "civil disobedience" of Norwegian fascist Anders Breivik to the Occupy movement



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