Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2315

Dated: 11 Aug 2012

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The banks are still robbing us

Years of economic crisis have pushed ordinary people around the world into poverty and despair. But bankers have seen their wealth soar.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Dale Farm Travellers: no water, no toilets and nowhere to go

Travellers at Dale Farm in Basildon, Essex, face a renewed threat of eviction. The council forced the Travellers from their land in October last year. Dozens are now living on a nearby road.

Homeless hunger strikers take on Tory attacks on housing benefits

Three men went on hunger strike and camped outside Camden Town Hall in north London for three days last week. They were protesting because housing benefit cuts had made them homeless.

East London public meeting pledges to defy the racists

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.

It's not just the weather that's causing food prices to rise

It will be a hungry summer for billions around the world as global food prices head to an all-time high. The prices of corn, wheat and soy have surged by 30 to 50 percent.

News round-up

Phone hacking: Brooks charged Police have formally charged ex-News International boss Rebekah Brooks with a series of offences related to phone hacking. Six others journalists from the News of the World, including David Cameron’s former aide Andy Coulson, have also been charged.

New Tory attack on disabled poor

Hundreds of thousands more disabled people will face humiliating assessments that could see their benefits snatched away.

Setback for Remploy workers as strike over closures is suspended

The fight to save jobs at Remploy has suffered a setback—but disabled workers’ battle against the Tories and Remploy management continues.

Royal Mail to pay out in Blackburn racism case

The shocking case of Abdul Musa, an Asian worker sacked by Royal Mail after he complained about racism at his office, was highlighted again last week.

Secret NHS privatisation revealed

Health bosses are plotting to privatise a London hospital ward where elderly patients with mental health problems are cared for.

National construction workers meeting aims to kickstart revolt

Construction bosses are trying to turn back the gains made by rank and file electricians.

Local Government Pensions Scheme: vote against the deal

Members of the local government pension scheme (LGPS) are voting on a deal that could end their dispute. Many on the left in the Unison union are coming under pressure to keep quiet about how bad the deal is.

There's no plain sailing for tax dodger Philip Green

Billionaire tax dodger Philip Green, holidaying on the Greek island of Skiathos, found his multimillion pound yacht picketed last week.

Cleaners and transport workers strike back against attacks

Tyne and Wear Metro cleaners staged another successful and well supported strike on Monday of this week. The strike was part of their ongoing fight for decent pay and against the victimisation of one of their colleagues.

Supporting Sudan’s revolt

Sudanese activists and their supporters protested outside Downing Street in London last Saturday in solidarity with the Sudanese revolt.

Fox's Biscuit workers to ballot

Members of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) at Fox’s Biscuits factories in Batley and Kirkham are to be balloted for strikes. Workers have rejected plans to change their working terms and conditions.

Reports round-up

Camden traffic wardens to strike Traffic wardens working for Camden council in north London plan to walk out for three days this week. The 160 workers, employed by privateer NSL, are fighting for better pay and conditions.

Traffic wardens in Camden start three-day strike for decent pay

Traffic wardens in Camden were in confident mood today, Thursday, for the start of their second strike over pay.

Tube cleaners walk out for their second two-day strike over pay

Cleaners on the London Underground walked out today, Thursday, for the start of a two-day strike over pay and conditions.

Leeds council sacks a leading strategist behind the racist EDL

A key figure in the shadowy network of strategists behind the racist English Defence League (EDL) has been sacked by Leeds City Council.

Abellio Surrey bus workers to strike against pay freeze

Bus workers in the Unite union at Abellio Surrey are set to strike tomorrow, Monday 13 August, against a planned pay freeze for this year.

Sunderland anti-fascists protest against the National Front

Anti-Nazis outnumbered the fascist National Front (NF) in Sunderland last Saturday as it tried to hold a demonstration in the city.

National call centre strike solid in face of management tactics

In a long running battle over conditions, 6,000 PCS members in Job Centre Plus call centres struck on Monday. Pickets were defiant across the country, despite dirty tactics by Department for Work and Pensions management.

Solid bus strike hits Abellio

A strike by bus workers in the Unite union shut down the Abellio garage in Byfleet, Surrey, on Monday morning.

Unions rally against rail fare rises

Trade unions, transport campaigners and passenger groups are holding a day of action today, Tuesday, to protest against increases in rail fares.


Focus on India: Has the fledgling superpower lost its sparkle?

"India is shining," is the slogan that advertises the would-be superpower to the world.

New austerity package gives Greece's rulers a headache

Greece’s new government has agreed to implement a savage new cuts package. This follows meetings last week with the "Troika"—the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union.

International news round-up

Spanish miners end their strike The majority of Spanish miners have ended their solid all-out strike and returned to work. The 8,000 miners, from the north western Asturias region, walked out against government cuts to coal subsidies.

Syria's revolution enters dangerous new phase

Kofi Annan resigned as United Nations (UN) special envoy for Syria last Friday, signalling the failure of one part of the West’s intervention in the revolution.


Pedlars of Hate: new report shows Breivik was no lone wolf

Judges at the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the fascist who murdered 77 people in Norway last year, are deliberating whether he is criminally insane.

The Long Depression is going from bad to worse

"Better enjoy Games while they last. Hangover coming with bad economic outlook truly worldwide." I don’t usually quote Rupert Murdoch approvingly, but this tweet of his is spot on.


Jamaica: an island of rebellion

The Union Jack was lowered over Jamaica’s capital Kingston on 6 August 1962, watched by Princess Margaret for the British crown.

Marcia Rigg speaks out: When will there be justice for Sean?

Sean Rigg died at Brixton Police station in south London on 21 August 2008. He had been arrested while in a state of mental distress.


Theatre that battles against the Edinburgh Fringe money makers

Taken together, the cultural programmes that take place in Edinburgh each August and September amount to the biggest arts festival on the planet.

Gore Vidal: a rebel in the American establishment

Eugene Luther Gore Vidal, who died last week, was a ruling class dissident—a radical leftist who came from the establishment. Many admire him for his elegant, incisive essays on US politics. But just as radical in their way were his novels and plays.

Reviews round-up

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists 1-27 August, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh EH8

What We Think

As the coalition cracks, we need to get organised

The coalition between the Tories and Lib Dems was never a match made in heaven. But the fractious relationship is now breaking down in full public view.

The media, crime and racism

The horrific case of Shafilea Ahmed, who was murdered by her parents for refusing an arranged marriage, has sparked outrage. The press has raged about how South Asians and Muslims have to learn "British values".

Other Categories

Tim: Mars Explorer


Tim's view



Rio Ferdinand isn’t the racist Chelsea footballer John Terry admitted using racist language during a football match last October. But he said he used it sarcastically—and a court cleared him of racist abuse last month.

Quotes from this week's news

‘The curse of Cameron’

No Olympic boost as the Games just add to economic misery

The Olympics was going to be the event that saved Britain from the recession. Like the royal wedding and the jubilee before it, the hype was that it would provide huge economic growth.

Tory cuts mean that life is far harder than a decade ago

Workers are poorer today than they were a decade ago. That’s the shocking finding from an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report last week.

Recession or no recession, the bosses take the cash

Even before the recession less money was going to workers. Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP), the total economic output of the country, rose by 11 percent between 2003 and 2008.

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