Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2309

Dated: 30 Jun 2012

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Crooked Cameron's Class War

Millionaire toff David Cameron paraded his hatred of working class people this week with a wide-ranging assault on benefits.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


South London NHS trust could go bust in weeks over PFI debts

Three London hospitals could close as an NHS trust has been formally warned that it could be declared bust within weeks.

News in brief

Theresa May in contempt rap Theresa May has been found guilty of contempt of court—only the second time in history this has happened to a sitting home secretary.

Unite conference: Len McCluskey attacks Tory anti-union laws

The second policy conference of the Unite union began in Brighton on Monday of this week.

Ballot for DWP call centres

Over 6,000 PCS members in 32 call centres are voting in a consultative ballot on industrial action over working conditions. It closes on 11July.

Socialist Teachers Alliance AGM: Vote yes to strikes in autumn

The Socialist Teachers Alliance (STA) held its annual general meeting last Saturday. There was serious discussion of the prospect of major campaigns and strikes in the coming months.

Education round-up

Birmingham university strikes over pay Support staff at Birmingham University struck over low pay last Thursday and Friday.

Kimberley School on strike

Teachers in the NUT union at Kimberley School in Nottingham began a three-day strike on Monday of this week.

Gove says he will force Downhills school to become academy

Tory education secretary Michael Gove plans to force Downhills Primary School in Haringey, north London, to become an academy.

Dewsbury says no to racist EDL

Anti-racists were set to stand up to the English Defence League in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, this Saturday.

Cambridge student Owen Holland has his suspension cut

A Cambridge university student who was suspended for taking part in a protest against Tory minister David Willetts has had his punishment dramatically cut.

RF Brookes pie workers fight bosses' carve-up

Workers at the RF Brookes pie factory in South Wigston, Leicester were set to strike again from this Thursday.

Fire authority cuts plan burns out

London’s fire authority has reversed its decision to privatise fire control in a victory for the unions.

Pensioners on the march in Blackpool

More than 1,000 angry pensioners marched through Blackpool on Tuesday of last week at the start of the annual Pensioners’ Parliament.

Downing Street protest against extradition

Some 300 people protested outside Downing Street last Saturday against the extradition of British citizens to the US for trial.

Sheffield journalists ballot over job losses

Journalists working for newspapers in Sheffield are preparing to ballot against job losses. Eight page production roles have been targeted at the Johnston Press division covering North Midlands and South Yorkshire.

Unite conference: Debate over union link to Labour Party

The Unite union’s conference debated the union’s link with the Labour Party on Tuesday morning. The union donates more than £20 million to the party each year.

London bus dispute: Unite union is ready to call more strikes

The Unite union warned on Wednesday that it would call further strikes if London bus operators continue to refuse an Olympic payment for the capital’s bus workers.

Households turn to payday lenders as four in five struggle to make ends meet

The squeeze on working class wages is driving families and individuals into the arms of "payday lenders" that charge exorbitant interest rates, according to a new survey commissioned by the Unite union.

Unite union announces new dates for London-wide bus strike

Bus workers in London will strike on Thursday 5 July and Tuesday 24 July to demand that bosses award them an Olympic payment, the Unite union has announced.

BMA doctors vote for more action

Doctors at the British Medical Association (BMA) conference have voted to take more industrial action against government attacks on their pensions.

Unite flash protests target bus bosses that ran to the courts

At least 40 bus routes across London were disrupted this morning as garages were blockaded by Unite union activists and supporters.

Health protesters target Virgin and Sainsbury's in London

Around 30 health campaigners protested outside a Virgin store on London’s Oxford Street on Saturday against the company’s plans to take over NHS services.

London march shows solidarity with demonstrations in Sudan

Hundreds of Sudanese protesters marched though London on Saturday.

Protest after man sets himself alight outside Birmingham job centre

Around 50 people came to a protest outside Selly Oak job centre in Birmingham yesterday, Saturday, at just a day’s notice after a desperate man set himself on fire there.

Action by doctors hits four out of five NHS employers

Doctors in the British Medical Association (BMA) took industrial action for the first time in 40 years on Thursday. They refused to undertake non-urgent care in surgeries and hospitals across the country.

Ballots: the height of democracy?

Our rulers encourage us to see ourselves as individuals, not as a class with collective interests and strength. They want us to feel divided and weak.

Tax workers walk out to stop job cuts that will cost us all

Around 60,000 tax office workers struck on Monday of this week. As the row over the rich avoiding tax grew, the PCS union members pointed out that they face 10,000 job losses and privatisation.

'We all face the same attacks, but united we can stop them'

The theme of how workers can challenge the Tories’ austerity has run through this year’s union conference season. Everyone, from union general secretaries to rank and file activists, agree that we need action against the cuts.

Sheffield recycling strikers are going all out to win

Some 35 GMB union members from Sheffield Recycling Centres began an all-out strike last Saturday.

Essex firefighters set to strike

Over 1,000 firefighters in Essex were set to strike for eight hours on Thursday of this week.

Reclaiming Our NHS: activists challenge government's assault

Around 400 people gathered at the Reclaiming Our NHS conference last Saturday in London. The conference was jointly organised by the NHS Support Federation and Keep Our NHS Public.

Unison conference: Leadership wants to move on from pensions

There was little debate on pensions at the Unison national conference in Bournemouth last week. The union’s executive did its best to try to move on from the issue.

Sean Rigg inquest hears from hostel manager

The inquest into the death of Sean Rigg has heard how staff at the hostel he was staying in made five 999 calls to police.

PC Simon Harwood trial

The manslaughter trial of a police officer accused of killing Ian Tomlinson has heard a witness describe Tomlinson as "not posing any threat to the officers".

Fighting to save jobs at Coryton

Around 100 people protested in Purfleet, Essex, on Monday of this week as part of the fight to save the threatened Coryton oil refinery.

London bus workers on strike: this is the power of our unity

Hundreds of bus workers took to picket lines across London last week as they struck to demand an Olympic bonus. The Unite union members’ walkout last Friday was the first London-wide action on the buses since 1982.


Egypt's relief at election result

The announcement that Mohamed Mursi from Muslim Brotherhood had won Egypt’s presidential election was met with relief and celebrations across the country.

Eyewitness: 'Workers have the power to win this revolution'

The president of the republic, Mohamed Mursi, won’t be allowed to go to bathroom without Field Marshal Tantawi’s permission. Scaf will remain political leader.

Right's election victory leads to fresh chaos in Greece

Greece has a new coalition government—but it is already in crisis. The finance minister resigned on Monday of this week.

Rulers' Rio meeting fails to deal with climate change

The agreement reached at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development contains almost no binding commitments.

Eyewitness from Spain: 'If the miners win, the government is stuffed'

I’ve worked in the mines for 31 years. Life is tough, it’s dangerous. But I wouldn’t change my job for anything else.

Syrian rebels hold strong against Assad's demoralised forces

The shooting down of a Turkish jet fighter by Syrian forces marks a dramatic turn in the Syrian revolution.

Sudan's poor fight against cuts

Police used batons and tear gas to break up anti-government demonstrations in Sudan’s capital Khartoum last Saturday. Students have been demonstrating for weeks, but last weekend they were joined by sections of the urban poor.


Immigration row: concessions to racism will always weaken us

The Tories know that their austerity policies will hurt ordinary people and that this will make them unpopular.

Europe is stuck in a banking 'doom loop'

One sign of how serious the eurozone crisis has become is the brevity with which every supposed "solution" brings relief.


Drones: Waging war on civilians with a click of a mouse

Drones, or unmanned aircraft, have become a defining feature of the seemingly endless "war on terror". The missile-loaded planes have been tested and used by the US since before 9/11.

Britain's Industrial Revolution: the birth of a new power

During this summer of royal and sporting spectacles, we seem to be surrounded by the warmed up leftovers of Britain’s patriotic myths.


Edward Burtynsky: Lifeless landscapes that only oil makes possible

The Photographers’ Gallery in London has reopened its doors with a new exhibition by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky.

Line of Duty: Is this corruption thriller a drama for our times?

The police are corrupt. That is the simple premise of the new BBC thriller series Line of Duty.

Film: Where Do We Go Now?

Nadine Labaki is the Lebanese director of Caramel. Her latest film is set in an unspecified Middle Eastern village where Muslims and Christians live.

TV: The Secret History of Our Streets

From 1886 Charles Booth spent 17 years visiting and mapping every street in London, recording the social conditions of the space and its residents.

What We Think

The lies the Tories use to attack benefits

David Cameron’s latest assault on benefits rests on the idea that there’s a distinct group of people living on the fringes of society.

When fear is selective

The ruling elite are deeply racist—but sometimes they put their racism on hold to benefit their own interests.

Other Categories

Tim's view


Tim: Moral High Ground


Labour council oversees deskilling of its workforce All this week I’ve seen about 30 young people in Braunstone Park lopping off branches and trimming the grass as I walk my dogs. They didn’t seem to have any special clothes or equipment so I asked some of them what was going on.

Quotes from this week's news

"Spending cuts could last seven, eight, maybe ten years"

Forget Jimmy Carr: the real tax dodgers are the Tories

David Cameron called comedian Jimmy Carr "morally wrong" for using Jersey to pay just one percent tax on his £3.3 million income.

The tax scams that shore up the profits of the rich

Avoiding tax isn’t just for comedians and ageing boy bands—it is the way British capitalism operates.

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