Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2323

Dated: 06 Oct 2012

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Europe in revolt: let's join them on 20 October

Workers across Europe have been out on the streets this week in a wave of magnificent mass strikes and protests.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Anger as Scottish Labour confirms Lamont's lurch right

A diatribe against welfare provision from Johann Lamont, leader of Scottish Labour, has been supported by prominent Labour figures at the party’s conference this week.

Mau Mau war veterans win right to sue Britain over torture

Three veterans of the Mau Mau war in Kenya have won the right to take the British government to court for torture in the 1950s.

NUT fails to call strikes despite members voting for action

The national executive of the NUT teachers’ union met on Thursday as action short of a strike got underway. But the executive failed to take crucial steps towards calling a national strike this term.

Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan lose final extradition appeal

The High Court has rejected final appeals from Babar Ahmad, Talha Ahsan and three other prisoners who have been fighting extradition to the US.

Tory ministers line up to threaten women's rights to abortion

Women face a new threat to their abortion rights. Jeremy Hunt, the new secretary of state for health, and Maria Miller, the new minister for women and equalities, have both declared support for cutting the abortion time limit.

Rotherham: the real factors behind the sex abuse scandal

A series of leaked documents relating to cases of sexual exploitation in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, were published by The Times newspaper last week.

Action over workload brings teachers together

Teachers in the NUT union were set to begin industrial action on Wednesday of this week to defend their pay, pensions and conditions.

Education round-up

Barnfield strike against for-profit college Lecturers at Barnfield College in Luton struck on Tuesday of this week against attacks on jobs and conditions. College boss Sir Peter Birkett wants to impose new contracts that would force them to work "unlimited" hours.

News round-up

Tories make schools shrink On average new schools will be 15 percent smaller than those built under the previous government.

Workers strike against austerity across Europe

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s government must feel under siege. And on Tuesday of last week it was literally besieged, as more than 40,000 people surrounded the Congress building in Madrid.

'Labour takes our money, so it should stand up for us'

Ed Miliband’s speech to Labour Party conference on Tuesday of this week was mainly about himself.

Alex Marunchak and Jonathan Rees arrested over phone hacking

Police officers investigating alleged computer hacking made new arrests on Tuesday of this week.

Bizarre ruling on Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahasan extraditions

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has refused to proceed with a prosecution of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan through lack of evidence.

A&E cuts will hit the poorest

A new report has revealed the devastating impact that hospital A&E closures will have on working class people.

Crossrail bans safety rep—and then a gantry collapses

Rank and file electricians are warning that targeting union reps for raising safety concerns could lead to tragedy on the Crossrail project. A major accident at Westbourne Park in west London last week shows that the dangers are very real.

Health service staff fight back against South West pay 'cartel'

Workers at NHS trusts across the south west of England protested last week against plans to impose regional pay.

Doncaster bin strike called off, but over a third of workers voted to keep fighting

Bin workers in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, voted to call off their strike in a tense meeting last Friday. Some 50 of the 120 workers voted to keep fighting.

Remploy workers strike for five days as sell-off plans announced

On Monday of this week Remploy announced that three factories—Chesterfield, Springburn and Bridgend—are being sold off.

Azelle Rodney inquiry hears from detective inspector

The ongoing public inquiry into the police shooting of Azelle Rodney heard from detective inspector Christopher Heerey last week.

NUJ cash crisis puts union democracy under attack

Delegates to the National Union of Journalists’ first national meeting in 18 months this week face the biggest attack on democracy in years.

Abortion rights protesters gather outside Houses of Parliament

Around 100 pro-choice protesters gathered opposite the Houses of Parliament in central London on Saturday of last week.

Hillsborough protest calls for Bettison to be sacked

Around 30 people protested outside Millgarth Police Station in Leeds on Saturday of last week, in support of justice for the 96 who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Transfusion workers: there won’t be blood

Blood transfusion workers were set to strike from Wednesday to Friday of next week against the threatened closure of the Colindale centre, north London. They are members of the Unite union.

Manchester lobby against mental health cuts

Workers and service users lobbied against cuts to community and mental health budgets in Manchester last week.

Reports round-up

Strike at Amnesty for workers’ rights Workers at Amnesty International UK are set to strike on Wednesday of next week. This will be their second walkout against management’s continued

Ed Miliband's speech takes inspiration from Victorian Tories

Ed Miliband’s speech to Labour Party conference today, Tuesday, saw him embrace the old Tory idea of "One Nation" and compare himself to Victorian Conservative prime minister Benjamin Disraeli.

UCAC calls action as Welsh teachers vote for strikes

Teachers in UCAC, the Welsh teaching union, have voted overwhelmingly for strikes over pay. In a recent ballot they backed discontinuous strikes by 84 percent and action short of a strike by 91 percent.

Lecturers strike against new contracts at Barnfield College

Lecturers at Barnfield College sites in Luton struck on Tuesday of this week against attempts to bully them into signing new contracts.


West wants to control our revolution, says Syrian activist

"The spotlight is now on Turkey, which is firing artillery rounds into Syria. But I don’t think Turkey is going to escalate. It’s not in their interests, and none of the Arab countries have shown support for this.

Chavez re-elected in Venezuela despite mounting problems for his Bolivarian revolution

Hugo Chavez has been re-elected as president of Venezuela with just under 55 percent of the total vote—the lowest since he first took the presidency in 1998.

Transport workers join South African strike wave

The Marikana miners at the British-owned Lonmin platinum mine won a pay rise of up to 22  percent. Now others are taking up this demand.

Syrian rebel offensive bogged down in Aleppo

Rebels launched a fresh offensive in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, on Thursday last week. But it has not seen the gains the rebels were hoping for.

International round-up

2,000th US death in Afghanistan A grim landmark was reached last Saturday when the 2,000th US soldier was killed since the US invasion in 2001.

Doctors in Egypt strike to demand more spending on healthcare

Doctors in hospitals across Egypt began a partial open-ended strike on Monday of this week. They are demanding a rise in health spending to 15 percent of the state budget and a minimum wage for doctors of 3000 Egyptian pounds per month (£300).


We need to tackle sexism instead of using no platform

The National Union of Students (NUS) executive voted to "no platform" MP George Galloway last week for offensive comments he made about rape.

The debt crisis spreads from Greece across Europe

France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and—last but not least—Spain. A storm of anti-austerity protest has been sweeping through Europe.


20 reasons to march on 20 October

» <a href="graphics/2012/keep/20reasons.pdf">Download our poster spread in PDF format</a>


Hysteria: A spurious account of the roots of the modern vibrator

As I was going to watch a romantic comedy about the invention of the vibrator in the Victorian era, I imagined Bridget Jones’ Diary in 1880. But it was even worse.

BBC adaptation of The Paradise brings Emile Zola's classic to life

BBC One’s new eight-part series of Émile Zola’s classic novel, The Ladies’ Paradise, made a promising start last Tuesday. Set in the 1870s it follows Denise, who takes a job in a fashionable department store.

Everything Was Moving: telling history through photography

With 400 works from 12 photographers of the 1960s and 70s, this exhibition aims to tell "a history of photography through the photography of history".

Reviews round-up

The Long March to Equality This exhibition celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Women’s Library being at its purpose-built London home.

What We Think

Will Labour look left? Don't hold your breath

The Labour Party is funded by the trade unions and Ed Miliband won the leadership of the party because of their support.

Tory lies on pensions

Bosses are to be forced to offer pensions to all workers who are over 22 and earn more than £8,105 a year.

Other Categories

Eric Hobsbawm (1917-2012)

Eric Hobsbawm, who died on Monday of this week was one of the most remarkable historians of the 20th century.

Tim's view


Tim: Pocketed


Cameron stabs disabled people in the back I want to thank you for writing about how the government is treating disabled people. I picked up a copy of Socialist Worker on a bus and it was spot on.

Quotes from this week's news

‘They’ve taken my phone away’

Fat controllers rake in cash when our trains are held up

The privatised rail firms make a profit every time there is a delay on the line.

The housing vultures that circle over new students

As the new term begins, private housing bosses are licking their lips at the prospect of cashing in on students.

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