Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2314

Dated: 04 Aug 2012

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A gold medal for hypocrisy

Chris Grayling, the Tory work and pensions minister, launched fresh attacks on benefit claimants this week, despite his smear that they are fakers being proved wrong.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


There's no light at end of Osborne's cuts tunnel

Figures released last week underlined that the Tories’ austerity policies are pushing Britain’s economy deeper into recession.

Reject shoddy local government pensions offer

Ballot papers have gone out in the Unison union’s ballot on whether to accept cuts to the local government pensions scheme (LGPS).

Essex FBU to strike again

Firefighters in Essex struck for four hours on Thursday of last week as part of their continuing battle against job cuts.

Progress, but fight over Home Office job cuts goes on

A planned strike by PCS union members on the eve of the Olympics was called off last week after management concessions.

Reports round-up

Sunderland strike suspended for talks Workers at Paragon printing company in Sunderland suspended a planned 58 hour strike this week for talks. The action was due to start on Tuesday evening.

Strike over staff cuts at the National Gallery

Workers at central London’s National Gallery struck for two hours on both Friday and Saturday of last week.

Pay strike could shut Atos centres

Workers at Atos Healthcare and Atos IT services have voted to strike over pay.

‘Jail Tony’ say anti-war protesters

Protesters from the Stop the War Coalition continue to hound war criminal and former prime minister Tony Blair as he tries to rehabilitate himself.

Corporate greed causes empty seats at the London Olympics

Rows upon rows of empty seats. That was the dominant image of the first few days of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Olympics round-up

Cleaners expose low pay London Underground cleaners in the RMT union struck as the Olympics opened to demand a living wage. They walked out for two days, starting on Friday of last week—the day of the Olympics opening ceremony.

Jury at Sean Rigg inquest considers its verdict

The jury at the inquest into the death of Sean Rigg at Southwark Coroner’s Court was considering its verdict as Socialist Worker went to press.

Bad day in Scotland for Nazi Nick

Fascist Nick Griffin scurried out of Scotland last Saturday after failing to either turn up to his own protest in Glasgow or hijack another demo 50 miles away.

Just weeks left to save Remploy

Disabled workers facing factory closures at Remploy are to strike for a third day on Monday of next week.

Atos hounds terminally ill people off benefits, says investigation

"Why aren’t you dead then?" This was the response of an Atos work capability assessor to an interviewee who said they had attempted suicide several times while suffering with depression.

TUC demo: ‘A mass march can send a message to the Tories’

Trade unionists and campaigners all along the south coast are organising to make the TUC’s 20 October demonstration massive, they have told Socialist Worker.

London marches to save NHS

On 15 September marches against hospital cuts are set to hit four London boroughs.

Blacklisted workers take construction firm to High Court

The campaign for compensation for blacklisted construction workers has stepped up a gear. Some 86 former construction workers have lodged a High Court claim against the Sir Robert McAlpine firm.

Defend Jason Poulter

Rank and file activists gathered outside Ratcliffe on Soar power station in Nottinghamshire on Thursday of last week.

Transport workers round-up

Saturday strikes to hit Stagecoach Winchester coach drivers at Stagecoach were set to hold two 24-hour strikes from 6am on Saturday of this week and next. The workers, in the RMT union, voted to strike over pay and conditions.

Socialist elected to RMT leadership

Former London regional organiser Steve Hedley has been elected assistant general secretary of the RMT.

Homelessness is on the rise

The number of people in Britain without a home has rocketed by 25 percent in the past three years, new research has found.

News round-up

Gove’s attack on teachers Tory education secretary Michael Gove snuck in a fresh attack on education as the Olympics began last week.

Police used 'unacceptable force' on Sean Rigg, inquest jury finds

The jury in the Sean Rigg inquest has delivered a damning verdict on the police, accusing them of using an "unacceptable level of force" to restrain Sean shortly before he died in their custody.

Waltham Forest public meeting pledges to defy the racist EDL

Waltham Forest has sent a message of defiance to the racist English Defence League (EDL), which plans to march in the east London borough next month.

Tube cleaners set to strike again on Thursday over pay

Cleaners on London Underground are set to strike for 48 hours this Thursday over pay and an Olympic payment.

Sudan activists protest in central London against massacre in Nyala

Sudanese activists demonstrated outside Downing Street on Saturday in solidarity with the Sudanese revolution.


Syrian regime continues its brutal assault on rebels in Aleppo

The Syrian government used helicopter gunships, tanks and artillery to bombard the country’s second city Aleppo this week.

Tunisian workers protest in new battle to stop privatisation

Workers in Tunisia have been protesting, and in some places striking, against the privatisation of factories that were nationalised during the revolution.

Eurozone leaders panic as bailouts fail to stem crisis

A coordinated eurozone bailout of Spain’s economy looks increasingly likely. But there is also deep confusion about when and how this could happen.

Strikers march in Madrid as economy shrinks further

Government workers marched through the Spanish capital Madrid on Monday of this week while striking against the cuts.

Greek steelworkers go back

Steelworkers in Greece have ended their nine-month long strike against job cuts at the Hellenic Halyvourgia plant in the west of Athens.

Pussy Riot trial is part of Putin's crackdown on protest

The trial of three members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot began in Moscow this week. They are charged with "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" after performing a protest song at the altar of one of Moscow’s major Orthodox cathedrals in February.

Gunman at Sikh temple was a Nazi, says US anti-fascist group

The man who gunned down six people at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, yesterday was a white supremacist with a web of links to the neo-Nazi music scene, according to US anti-racists.


America doesn't always get its way

There is a puzzling contradiction in contemporary discussion of American power. The theme that the US is in decline, being elbowed out of the way by China, is well established in mainstream discourse.


One year on, the rage still burns

For four days in August last year the streets of England burned. There were riots and other forms of disorder in at least 66 towns and cities, involving anything up to 15,000 people—most of them young. The police took a hammering as cars and buildings were set ablaze and shops were looted.

'The police are the biggest gang'

"It’s a very difficult time to be young," says Nanda, who lives in Barking. "I’m broke and unemployed. I’m surviving off £53 a week on jobseeker’s allowance.

Police raids and night courts

Anderson Fernandes took two scoops of ice cream from a Manchester cafe after finding the door ajar during last summer’s riots.

Standing up against harassment

The Stop Criminalising Hackney Youth campaign was set up in the weeks after the riots. Some 150 people came to a public meeting on the riots, including many from nearby estates who saw riots on their doorstep.

Justice for Mark Duggan

The police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham sparked riots on 4 August 2011 when local people went to the police station to demand answers.

The August Riots: one year on

One year on, the rage still burns

When the law lost: how mass strikes freed the Pentonville Five

Today’s working class movement faces an urgent task. In order to spur on the fightback to austerity, organisation and confidence must be rebuilt at a rank and file level. But 40 years ago, rank and file workers’ power in Britain was a reality impossible to ignore.


Hitchcock: suspense, voyeurism and a drive to entertain

The film director Alfred Hitchcock emphasised that all he wanted was to entertain people.

The Devil's Music: Alexis Korner's classic BBC series on the blues

Despite being born out of brutal and systematic oppression, blues music is not about being depressed or defeated.

Exhibitions round-up

A Lowry Summer The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ

What We Think

Isles of Wonder? This is a land of class conflict

Official events are so often simply a parade of nationalism and militarism that it came as a surprise to many when the Olympics opening ceremony did not just follow that pattern.

What Romney reveals

The US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s recent international tour has revealed the vicious politics peddled by the US ruling class. Romney is super-privileged and ultra-rich—and he is not good at hiding that fact.

Other Categories

Tim: Closing ceremony


Tim's view



Let’s reclaim Pride as a protest Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) activists are organising to reclaim the Pride march in London after the event was dramatically scaled back this year.

Quotes from this week's news

‘Hang 20 bankers at the end of the street’

Bankers break the law but they still walk off with millions

Barclays boss Jerry del Missier has walked off with £8.75 million despite admitting illegally rigging Libor interest rates.

Milk pricing row turns sour as farmers blockade cartels

Several thousand farmers have staged demonstrations outside dairies in Britain. They have blockaded entrances with machinery and poured milk down drains. But why?

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