Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2302

Dated: 12 May 2012

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Strikes can beat austerity

The crisis-ridden Tory party will be hit with a public sector strike over pensions on Thursday of this week.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Tories in the spotlight at Leveson inquiry

The Tories are worried about the evidence that was due to be produced this week at the Leveson inquiry. They have demanded that senior ministers be allowed to see evidence from Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson in advance.

Students not guilty of pulling cop off horse

Two student protesters accused of pulling a police officer off his horse were found not guilty last Friday.

Let them eat cake! The £10m jubilee festival ‘fit for a queen’

It’s a Marie Antoinette moment for the jubilee as we learn it will feature a cake portrait of the queen—made up of 3,120 individual cakes.

News round-up

The private firm that built Guantanamo Bay detention camp is shortlisted for a £1.5 billion contract to run many key police services in Surrey and the West Midlands.

Fat cat of the week

Brian Coleman was the highest paid Tory councillor in Britain, pocketing nearly £130,000 a year from four "jobs"But he lost his seat in the London Assembly elections—and will now likely lose up to £90,000Still, at least he’ll keep £40,000 as a cabinet member at Barnet council

Socialist candidate wins back Preston council seat

Michael Lavalette won an stunning victory in Preston’s council elections. He stood as an independent socialist candidate and took his Town Centre ward seat back from Labour.

Tusc: roots are the key to success

Two candidates backed by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) won their seats in the council elections.

Action against forced academies hots up

Teachers at Downhills Primary School in Haringey will find out the result of a strike ballot on Monday of next week. A yes vote could see the NUT union members strike on 22 May.

Schools start work to rule

Teachers in Scotland will begin a work to rule in protest at the government’s attacks on public sector pensions.

Bolton lobby against academies

Over 300 school workers, parents, residents and students lobbied governors arriving for a meeting at the Muslim Girls School in Bolton to discuss moving towards academy status.

Election news round-up

Labour holds up across Scotland The Labour Party scored an unexpected victory in the Scottish local council elections last week.

Olympic cops arrest blogger

A blogger was arrested on Thursday of last week for filming the Olympic construction site in Leyton Marsh, east London.

Sunderland College lecturers ballot over pay

Sunderland College lecturers are balloting for strikes over pay. College bosses want to snatch £10,000 from some lecturers by reclassifying them as "associate teachers".

VIP fast track at Heathrow

BAA, the firm that runs Heathrow airport, is letting the wealthy bypass immigration queues—providing they can stump up £1,800 for "fast track" service.

Water firms are let off the hook

Water firms across England and Wales leaked more than 3.3 billion litres of water every day last year.

Arms dealers to face questions

A parliamentary group will launch an inquiry into British arms deals to dictators.

Chesterfield lecturers vote to strike

Chesterfield College lecturers have voted for strikes to defend jobs and pay.

Salford university staff block road over job cuts

Workers at Salford University held an impromptu protest against job cuts on Tuesday of last week.

Dockers strike against new shifts

Dockers in Essex struck for the first time in 23 years on Monday this week.

Budget airline sell-off could cost jobs

Hundreds of workers’ jobs are under threat at the budget airline BMI Baby.

Climate caravan set to hit the road

The Climate Caravan, which will tour Britain raising awareness of climate issues is set to begin on Saturday.

Rover workers get just £3 redundancy

Some 6,500 former MG Rover workers will get only £3 redundancy—seven years after they lost their jobs.

Workers protest in London to save Brough BAE factory

Around 500 workers travelled from Brough, near Hull to protest outside the shareholders’ meeting of BAE Systems in London on Wednesday of last week.

Remploy workers to march

Disabled workers from Remploy were set to march and lobby parliament on Wednesday of this week.

East Mids trains on strike

Some 460 train drivers in the Aslef union at East Midlands Trains struck on Tuesday and Thursday of last week over pensions.

Tyne & Wear Metro workers ballot over pay

The RMT union has called two strike ballots over pay and conditions at the Tyne & Wear Metro in the north east of England.

Glasgow May Day march

Hinchingbrooke: a warning from the future of the NHS

The private firm that has taken over the running of Hinchingbrooke hospital in Cambridgeshire is set to make millions in profits by axing services.

NHS reforms: the lethal prescription

The NHS reforms will put us on the road to a system based on insurance, not taxation.That means that if you’re sick, you may not be able to get treatment unless you are covered. And insurers may refuse to cover some conditions if they think it’s too expensive.Private firms will run the service So-called GPs’ groups are just a Trojan horse for profit-hungry companies. Already Richard Branson’s Virgin Care is moving in to take over some key NHS services.

IT workers in NHS could lose jobs

Workers at a major IT firm are bearing the brunt of the chaos that privatisation and outsourcing has brought to the NHS.

BBC workers in jubilee strike ballot

Workers in the NUJ, Bectu and Unite unions are all balloting for strikes at the BBC.

What have toffs done to Cambridge swan?

Concern is mounting for a swan that has been moved to a "secret location"—after attacking posh Cambridge University rowers.

Prison work plan is a ‘jailfare’ scheme

After "workfare" for unemployed people, the government wants to turn prisoners into factory workers—and pay them as little as £10 a week.

Public sector pension strikes: rolling coverage as it happened

News from Thursday's strike by members of the PCS, UCU, Unite, RMT and Nipsa unions

Anger at NUT executive decision against June strike

The vote by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) national executive not to call a national strike on pensions in June was a missed opportunity.

Anti-fascists outnumber humiliated EDL in Luton

The racist English Defence League (EDL) had its hopes of a triumphant homecoming dashed yesterday (Saturday) when it was outnumbered three to one by anti-fascists on the streets of Luton.

Video: EDL humiliated in Luton

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Is waving union jacks just harmless fun?

The Olympics and the queen’s diamond jubilee mean that union jack flags are everywhere in Britain.


International round-up

Crackdown by Egypt’s military The military regime that rules Egypt has launched a brutal crackdown against protesters in the country.

Greece shaken by poll result

The results of the Greek general election have exploded in the face of the ruling class.

New mood of opposition to Putin in Russia

Some 100,000 people took part in an angry demonstration in Moscow on Sunday against the inauguration of President Vladimir Putin.

Hollande victory in France marks anti-austerity backlash

Crowds gathered across France last night (Sunday) to celebrate the presidential election defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy.

Quebec: students’ strike wave has government on the ropes

Striking students have been taking to the Quebec streets for three months.


The Women’s Library is amazing—it should stay free for all

The Women’s Library has the most incredible collection for all those wanting to study the history of the suffrage movement.

Why did Ken lose the London mayor race?

The sight of Tory Boris Johnson winning the vote for London mayor was the most nauseating moment from the elections.

What kind of action can win the pensions battle?

The pensions dispute refuses to go away.

Labour mops up councils as voters reject Tory austerity

The rumbling on the Tory backbenches has confirmed what was immediately obvious—Thursday last week was a very bad day for David Cameron.


Unique women’s library is facing closure from cuts

The unique Women’s Library in east London could be shut by the end of the year if bosses at London Metropolitan University get their way.

Divided States of America

There was a moment, shortly after the primaries in South Carolina and just before Florida, when the Republicans hit the crest of absurdity.

1919: Britain in Revolt

Soldiers returning from the First World War in 1918 faced poverty, not "a land fit for heroes". But they weren’t prepared to take it.


Barrister exposes how the law lets workers down

Struck Out by David Renton Pluto Press, £17.50

The German art school that revolutionised modern design

The Bauhaus was a pioneering German art school that was central to the modernist movement of the early 20th century.

Cushion workers should tell their boss to get stuffed

Tony Caldeira is a boss on a mission—to take manufacturing jobs back from China to Britain.

Stop Search

This play charts the impact of stop and search on young black people and looks at how the policy shapes their attitudes to the police.

The King and the Playwright

This absorbing series features historian James Shapiro looking at the reign of James I in the light Shakespeare’s plays.

Paul Foot’s The Vote

Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop, is raising funds to reprint Paul Foot’s classic The Vote. Please phone 020 7637 1848 if you can help out.

What We Think

We can stop austerity—and change the world

Election results in Greece and France have sent our rulers into a panic. They insist that austerity—savage programmes of cuts, job losses and privatisation—is the only cure for Europe’s ailing economies.

Cops’ march signals a ruling class in crisis

When police officers march against a Tory government it shows that the usual order of things is breaking down.

Other Categories

Maurice Skidmore: 1929–2012

Barnsley SWP is mourning the loss of Maurice Skidmore, who has died in Penistone just before his 83rd birthday.

Tim: Zombie capitalists

Tim's view



The things they say

‘Quite similar’House of Commons speaker John Bercow on the main political parties

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