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Socialist Worker

Issue: 2304

Dated: 26 May 2012

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Cameron's message to workers: You're fired!

David Cameron has come up with a new plan to help his rich pals—he wants to give them the right to sack workers whenever they want.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Does means testing help the poorest?

Tory minister Iain Duncan Smith says that only the poorest should get state funding for care in their old age. The idea is linked to government reforms to introducing means testing for certain benefits, which means people have to prove their poverty before they can claim them.

Megrahi: 271st victim of Lockerbie bombing

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man who didn’t commit the Lockerbie bombing, has died.

NHS staff crisis shuts A&E

Stafford Hospital has extended the overnight closure of its A&E department because it says it doesn't have enough workers.

News round-up

Asylum seekers win court case Playwright Lydia Besong and her husband Bernard Batey have won their asylum case after campaigning since 2006.

Tensions simmer as G8 leaders try to find a way out of the crisis

As world leaders gathered for the G8 summit at Camp David, the US presidential countryside retreat, they were all smiles for the cameras. But there were tensions behind the lens.

Tories lash out over Greece

David Cameron and senior ministers have criticised people in Greece for their refusal to accept cuts, unemployment and austerity.

Eurozone turmoil spreads to Spain

Could Spain be the next eurozone domino to fall? With a near-run on one of its biggest banks, Bankia, last week, market chaos has become the norm.

Olympic icon John Carlos electrifies packed meeting

Some 800 people crowded into a meeting in central London last night (Monday) to hear Olympic legend John Carlos speak alongside Doreen Lawrence, Janet Alder and other justice campaigners.

Police to blame for innocent Sam Hallam's seven years in prison

After seven years in prison, Sam Hallam had his murder conviction quashed in the Court of Appeal this week.

Rochdale: The system failed abuse victims in its care

Tory minister Baroness Warsi waded into the debate about the Rochdale abuse case last week. She claimed that some Pakistani men saw white women as "fair game".

Rochdale: companies make millions from running care homes

Government inspectors from Ofsted have launched an investigation into one of the care homes at the heart of the Rochdale sexual abuse case.

Downhills workers: "We'll plan more strikes if Gove doesn't back down"

Teachers at a north London school took part in the first strike in Britain against a forced academy this week. The NUT union members at Downhills Primary School in Haringey walked out on Tuesday.

Workers and students fight cuts in colleges and universities

Lecturers at Sussex Downs College in Eastbourne were set to strike on Thursday of this week against redundancies.

Central Foundation Girls' School: United strike wins victory on pay and jobs

Staff at Central Foundation Girls’ School in Bow, east London, had been repeatedly told that striking wouldn’t change a thing.

Pay ballot begins on London buses

The Unite union sent out ballot papers to over 20,000 bus workers in London on Wednesday of last week.

We're journalists, not police spies

Journalists in the NUJ union have blocked a court order that demanded they hand over unbroadcast footage of an eviction of Travellers at Dale Farm.

Put pay cuts in the bin, say workers

Refuse workers in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, were set to strike on Friday of this week over plans to cut the pay of new starters.

Stansted set for seven strike days

Ground staff at Stansted airport have given notice for seven strike days including Thursday, Saturday and Sunday of this week.

Protest at Toma's extradition hearing

An extradition hearing for Roma activist Toma Nikolaev was held at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday of this week.

Lansley not having a very Nice time

Over 60 people braved hail to protest against health secretary Andrew Lansley when he spoke at the Nice health organisation’s conference in Birmingham last week.

John Carlos interview: Flame of revolt still burns for Olympic black power salute protester

The <a href=''>image of Tommie Smith and John Carlos </a>is famous around the world.

Police given a new gadget to snoop on your mobile phone

The police have got a new gadget that lets them take all the personal data from your mobile phone if they arrest you.

Cameron turns the clock back

David Cameron is often accused of wanting to turn the clock back—and now his dinner preferences confirm it.

The party is over for these Chelsea toffs

London nightclub Public—a favourite haunt of the capital’s toffs—is to shut down after locals said the poshos were puking everywhere.

One plan even the Tories balked at

Top Tory adviser and "blue-sky thinker" Steve Hilton has quit Number 10 under a cloud.

Fat cat of the week: Ian Marchant

He nets £1.6 million a year—but still claims the £140 staff discount on his energy bills

Payday loan boss wants to sack you

Adrian Beecroft has written a report for the government saying bosses should be able to sack workers more easily.

Analysis: Ellesmere Port deal is no model for workers

The announcement that car production would continue on Ellesmere Port was greeted with a media and political unity usually reserved for royal jubilees.

Tilbury dockers walk out on strike

Some 45 dockers at the Port of Tilbury in Essex began a 48-hour strike against attacks on their contracts on Monday of this week.

CSC battle is not over

Information Technology workers threatened with compulsory redundancy at CSC have pushed bosses to postpone compulsory redundancies, according to their Unite union.

Media workers round-up

Unions representing workers at the BBC have settled their dispute. Workers were being balloted for strikes but NUJ, Bectu and Unite officials have backed off from a walkout.

Kirklees council staff set to strike

Some 430 admin workers at Kirklees council in West Yorkshire have voted to strike by 70 percent on a 45 percent turnout.

South London meeting against housing crisis

Tenants and workers in Southwark, south London, attended a public meeting last Saturday about the housing crisis.

Climate caravan tour wins widespread support

Climate activists are touring Britain with the Caravan for a Million Climate Jobs. Some 30 people attended the caravan’s meeting in Leeds last week, with a similar number turning out in Derby.

Scandal of charities that bully people off benefits

Charities and voluntary organisations that claim to be helping vulnerable people are instead enforcing government plans to throw them off benefits, Socialist Worker can reveal.

Fight for a June strike

The prospect of a strike over pensions in June hangs in the balance.

Fury at NHS workfare scheme

Bosses at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust are getting "unpaid jobseekers" to provide patient care on wards.

PCS calls for ballots

The PCS union’s annual conference this week will see an important debate on the next steps in the pensions fight.

Fuel bill hike to pay for nuclear

A new generation of dangerous nuclear power plants is on its way—and we will be forced to pay for them with a levy on our fuel bills.

Strauss-Kahn in new rape charge

Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces new charges of rape in France. The former head of the International Monetary Fund is already being investigated by French authorities on charges of running a prostitute ring.

Teachers angry after retreat by union leaders

The NUT union’s leadership says it will not strike in June but will coordinate action with the NASUWT teaching union in the autumn.

Tories plan to lock up teens

Home secretary Theresa May wants to replace Asbos (anti-social behaviour orders) with a "streamlined" system.

Special PC gets fined for racism

A special police constable has been found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence.

20 October: the next monster march against the Tories

The TUC has called a mass demonstration on Saturday 20 October—a follow up to last year’s huge protest on 26 March.

Greek socialist: ‘We stand for the cancellation of all debt’

Greek socialist Giorgos Pittas welcomed the huge vote for the radical left in Greece and called for a "people’s default" at a meeting in London last night (Wednesday).


What are the next steps for Greece?

What will an exit from the euro mean?

Anti-war protesters say no to Nato summit in Chicago

Around 15,000 anti&#8209;war protesters took to the streets outside the Nato summit in Chicago last Sunday.

Quebec student movement defies new crackdown law

The government of Quebec in Canada is bringing in a special law in an attempt to crack down after 14 weeks of student protests. But students and workers are standing strong.

Blockupy: big protest hits Frankfurt

At least 25,000 people marched through Frankfurt last Saturday as part of a "Blockupy" weekend of events.

Police and fascists attempt raid on Greek socialists

Around 30 police attempted to break in to the headquarters of the Socialist Workers Party (SEK) in Athens this morning (Thursday).


Germany: the odd man out inside a surging European left

The biggest demonstration in Germany since the onset of the crisis took place last Saturday.


Mexico 1968: Massacre at the Olympic games

The Mexico Olympics opened on Saturday 12 October 1968. I know the date because it was exactly a week after the 5 October civil rights march in Derry, generally accepted as the day the Troubles in Northern Ireland started.

The euro and the bosses

The political establishment—in Britain and across Europe—is filled with dread at the prospect of the single European currency project falling apart.

Britain's rulers and their love-hate relationship with Europe

The European Union (EU) can trace its roots to industrial arrangements founded after the Second World War.

Booms and busts get bigger

One reason why European rulers are so keen on the euro is that it is meant to unite individual European economies into a larger bloc. But why does size matter?


Lee Hall on Close the Coalhouse Door: "Populist art doesn't have to peddle an anodyne politics"

The playwright Lee Hall is best known for the movie and musical Billy Elliot and his more recent work The Pitmen Painters.

Film: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp still dazzles

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp fails as propaganda. That is one of the reasons it is a great film.


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TV: Britain's Hidden Homeless

Hip-hop artist Speech Debelle takes a look at the plight of young people who are homeless but don’t qualify for local authority accommodation.

The Skatalites: Walk With Me

The Skatalites originated the ska beat in the 1960s.

What We Think

Pensions battle still key to beating Tories

The TUC’s call for a march against austerity on 20 October is a brilliant opportunity to bring more workers into the struggle against the Tory attacks on our class.

Drop the dead Liberals

The Liberal Democrats’ vote crashed in local elections this month. Their candidates lost their deposits in several seats—as well as in the high-profile London mayoral election.

Other Categories

Tim: Chill-ax

Tim's view


Don’t believe the lies behind attack on disability benefits The idea that there are hundreds of thousands of people who are fit to work but claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) benefits is absurd.

Who says?

‘It really was just a massive drubbing’

Modern slaves: migrant workers in Britain today

"Contemporary forms of slavery" exist in Britain. That’s the conclusion of research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Tory attacks are making migrant workers more vulnerable

The Tories are making life harder for those at risk of forced labour.

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