Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2350

Dated: 23 Apr 2013

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Bosses cash in on crisis

The 50 richest people in the world are worth £1.046 trillion, up by 23 percent on last year. The figure was revealed in the Sunday Times Rich List last week.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


British troops are accused of ‘hanging and torture’ in Iraq

British troops in Iraq tortured then hanged a teenager, his uncle has told a public inquiry.

US leaders backed cruel treatment

It is “indisputable” that the US government used torture after 11 September 2001—and top officials are ultimately to blame.

Scottish tenants get organised against ‘stinking’ bedroom tax

The people of Uddingston, Lanarkshire, suffered more than most from Margaret Thatcher’s policies. 

I’d rather go to jail than pay bedroom tax

Many of those hit by the bedroom tax have a history of fighting Tory attacks. John Flanagan, who lives in Uddingston, is one of them.

SNP and Labour fail bedroom tax test

The two main political parties in Scotland say they oppose the bedroom tax.

United campaigns to beat bedroom tax

The newly-formed Uddingston campaign against the bedroom tax is affiliated to the West of Scotland Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation. 

Sheridan says, we will stop evictions

Former MSP and socialist campaigner Tommy Sheridan spoke at the Uddingston meeting against the bedroom tax (see main).

Texas blast - the deadly result of inspection cuts

The horrific explosion at a Texan fertiliser plant last week highlights the deadly risks of deregulating health and safety.

£1 billion extra for academies

The Tories have overspent on academy schools by more than £1 billion, according to a committee of MPs.

Lost benefits lead to death

A former sheep farmer and father of two shot himself this month because he was losing his disability benefits, according to a coroner.

Barristers take legal aid action

Over 400 barristers protested against government plans to limit legal aid on Monday of this week.

Student loans won't be repaid

The government estimates that 40 percent of student loans won’t be repaid. The figure gives the lie to the idea that students leave university and head into well-paid jobs.

BBC survey exposes government scaremongering over Bulgarians and Romanians

A new survey has exposed the lies that recent scaremongering about immigration has been built on. 

Tories ignore Stafford health report findings

The Tories came under fire over the Staffordshire NHS scandal at the annual conference of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) this week.

Unison health members campaign to defend NHS

The Unison union healthcare conference began on Monday this week. Unison activists looked for strategy and coordination from their officials. 

Privatisation puts patients' lives at risk

NHS bosses have spent millions of pounds hiring ambulances from private companies as NHS ambulance jobs are slashed. 

We will ‘keep appealing’ against the bedroom tax

Around 1,000 people marched through the streets of Leeds on Saturday of last week while hundreds marched in Birmingham against the Tories’ hated bedroom tax.

A week of protests targets building bosses

Construction workers protested repeatedly over blacklisting last week.

As ballot begins, hundreds protest at Ford Dagenham

Hundreds of workers protested at Ford’s plant in Dagenham, Essex, on Thursday of last week as they began a strike ballot.

IT workers will shut down bosses

Workers at Hewlett Packard were set to strike next week after negotiations with bosses failed to improve a 1.6 percent pay deal. 

Unite against Fascism regional conferences

Wales | West Midlands

Manchester march defends library

Angry chants rang through the streets of Levenshulme, south Manchester, on Sunday as a march against cuts wound its way to the threatened library and Arcadia sports facility.

Unite union political fund

Members of the Unite union face their second national ballot of the year, this time over the future of the union’s political fund.

It’s ballot time on the Piccadilly line

London Underground train drivers on the Piccadilly line are set to ballot for strikes from Thursday of this week.

STUC conference calls for action

STUC conference called for “an industrial action strategy, including a Scotland-wide one day strike, aligned with any industrial action at a UK level as appropriate”.

Strike’s flame is burning strong

Kiln burners at Hanson Brick near Peterborough have entered their third week of indefinite strike.

Unite Leicester’s Resistance

Some 55 trade unionists and campaigners came to a East Midlands Unite the Resistance launch rally in Leicester last Saturday. 

No U-turn for BBC guide dispute

BBC tour guides struck for 12 hours on Tuesday against a 17 percent pay cut. 

Wage board to be abolished

MPs voted without a debate to scrap the last of the wages boards on Tuesday of last week. The Agricultural Wages Board is now set to be abolished on 1 October.

Court victory for Dale Farm activist

A protester has won compensation from Essex Police after being arrested and held for hours with no access to water or a toilet.

Coors workers call time on pay cuts

Some 350 workers at the Molson Coors brewery in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, are to be balloted for strikes from next Tuesday.

Teachers gear up for rallies against Gove

Teachers were set to rally in Liverpool and Manchester on Saturday of this week. The action is part of a joint campaign by the NUT and NASUWT unions to defend teachers’ pay, pensions and conditions.

Seminar to defend school history

Some 60 teachers and students attended the first seminar of the Defend School History campaign last Saturday.

Uclan privatisation halted

Bosses at the University of Central Lancashire (Uclan) in Preston have abandoned plans to privatise the institution after fierce protests from staff and students. 

Week of action at Sussex University

The campaign against the privatisation of 235 posts at Sussex University held a week of action last week. 

Trade unionists remember Lucy Meadows

Over 100 people marched in Accrington, Lancashire, last Saturday in memory of Lucy Meadows.

Strike hits the Home Office bosses

Home Office workers in the PCS union took four days of industrial action last week.Walkouts were organised on a rolling and targeted basis across the UK from Tuesday to Friday. 

Communication workers call for a fightback

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) held its conference in Bournemouth this week.

Thousands strike in Crown Post Offices

Up to 4,000 workers struck at 373 Crown Post Offices for half a day on Friday afternoon of last week.

Brighton beats the racists

Fascists were humiliated in Brighton last Sunday, and outnumbered ten to one by anti-fascists.

Disability support workers strike back

Some 150 workers at Thera East Midlands, which supports people with learning disabilities, struck on Thursday of last week over pay and conditions.


Bahrain: Protests for democracy defy the ‘Formula of Blood’

Yusur Al Bahrani looks how the arrival of the Formula One Grand Prix in Bahrain has sparked off a new round of protests

Confusion in Boston as bombing suspects shot

The police manhunt for the people who planted the Boston bombs targeted two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. 

Irish inquest rules on Savita’s ‘barbaric’ death

Savita Halappanavar died because of “medical misadventure”, an inquest jury in Ireland has ruled unanimously.

Voters 'unsatisfied' with French president

French president Francois Hollande reached record unpopularity in the polls last week. More than three quarters of the population say they are unsatisfied with him.

Italian president faces protests

The Italian parliament has re-elected Giorgio Napolitano as its president in the sixth round of voting. The country has been gripped by a political crisis since a general election in February failed to deliver a majority.

Judges on strike across Tunisia

Judges in Tunisia struck last week against a threat to the independence of the judiciary. There was a split in their professional association. 

Greece - fury at racist shootings

Farm supervisors opened fire into a crowd of 200 migrant workers on a strawberry farm in the village of Manolada, western Greece, last week. 


‘Don’t support US aggressive gamble against North Korea’

Tensions around Korea are making many people nervous. Some are reminded of the Cuban missile crisis. 

If I use an umbrella, will it lead to rain?

One of the many puzzles about the economic crisis is that people still listen to economists after they failed to anticipate the financial crash of 2007-08, writes Alex Callinicos.


Waiting for peace in Korea

North Korea is demonised as a pariah state. Sadie Robinson argues that its fear of attack is not so irrational if you know its history

Syria: the struggle within the revolution

The Syrian revolution is portrayed as degenerating into anarchy and sectarianism, now at the mercy of outside powers. But Simon Assaf interviewed revolutionaries taking part in the committees determined to take control of their own lives in the midst of the fighting

Palestinian revolutionary: 'Assad is no friend of the Palestinians'

Haitham is a revolutionary from the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. He spoke about the role of Palestinians in the Syrian revolution at last month’s World Social Forum in Tunisia


Profitable possession as the Evil Dead rise again

The remake of cult classic Evil Dead shows us good old fashioned demonic possession without misogynistic, sexual violence says Sally Campbell

Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan - A beautiful exploration of a different way of seeing

This is one of the most exciting, vibrant and enjoyable art exhibitions mounted in London for some time.

South Africa: The Massacre That Changed a Nation

Peter Hain’s documentary on last year’s massacre of striking miners at Marikana, South Africa, shows the distress of a natural supporter of the governing ANC.

The Prisoners

This is a four part documentary that follows prisoners in jail, on their release and for some who reoffend the return to prison.

The Promised Land

Matt Damon stars as Steve, an energy company salesman who has to buy permission to drill for gas from struggling farmers. 

What We Think

Rich bosses create poverty, not wealth

 Britain is more unequal today than it was a year ago. 

Britain's police are still rotten to the core

The racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence opened up the institutional racism at the heart of Britain’s police 20 years ago.

Other Categories


Measles, Mauritius and more on Margaret Thatcher

Gove pushes on in his quest to make children miserable

Not content with making school life even more of a misery with his Victorian-style curriculum, Tory education secretary Michael Gove wants to slash holidays.

Things they say

Comments from the week's news

Crisis didn't stop traders gambling with our lives

A small number of largely unregulated commodity trading houses have seen their profits rise astronomically over the last decade. And their wealth has come at the expense of poor people, largely in the Global South.

Food hoarding profiteers generate mass hunger

The commodities market is notoriously volatile. Just last week the market for the most reliable commodity, gold, dropped 15 percent.

All the profit, none of the tax

Commodity firms pay low rates of tax, on average no more than 15 percent. 

Toxic trash of the tin Titans

Trafigura accounts for 40 percent of trade in refined copper, lead and zinc. But the one time it made world headlines was in 2006 when a ship it owned was responsible for dumping toxic waste in Côte D’Ivoire. 

Oily trader's Tory access

Ian Taylor is head of the world’s largest oil trading company, Vitol. While the company is based Switzerland, he has donated £550,000 to the Tories. 

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