Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2404

Dated: 20 May 2014

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Desperate Labour and Tory politicians tail Ukip’s racism

Mainstream parties are happy to let racist attacks on migrants go unchallenged, writes Ken Olende

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Reports round-up

Demos outnumber EDL and SDL racist protests | Soas cleaners plan event for strikers | Primary Charter rally on 10 June | Join GMB's Dunstable lobby to stop school closures | Sheffield Forgemasters fightback over decent pay | Greenwich Therapists’ action to stop bullying | Max Ukip meeting

Cops hold disabled teen for nine hours

More than 21,000 people have signed a petition in support of a teenager with Down’s Syndrome held by police in a cell for nine hours and then cautioned. 

News round-up

Brief news shorts on a swindling academy school head, abuse at Yarls Wood refugee prison, the IPCC, and SNP government voting down the living wage

Strike at Land Registry shows a mood to fight

Over 3,000 workers in the Land Registry (LR) struck for two days last week against privatisation plans which could slash thousands of jobs.

Fast food rights protests

Protests took place outside fast food outlets in 20 towns across Britain on Thursday of last week. It was part of an international day of action involving 30 countries. 

PCS conference: Let’s put PCS at the centre of resistance

The PCS union began its annual conference in Brighton on Tuesday of this week.

Strike at DWP Garston call centre in Liverpool

Workers at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) call centre in Garston, south Liverpool, struck on Friday of last week.

Care UK strikers say, ‘We can win this dispute’

Doncaster Care UK workers finished a 14-day strike last Sunday in their continuing battle against bosses’ savage attacks on their pay and conditions. The Unison union members have now struck for 34 days since the end of February.

Gwalia care workers: ‘We need to strike again’

Residential care and support workers in Neath Port Talbot, south Wales, struck on Tuesday of last week against Gwalia Group’s attacks on jobs, pay and conditions.

Council workers demand more after Wigan walkout

 Nearly 300 council workers walked out in Wigan on Thursday of last week.

Evidence of a new construction blacklist

The Scottish Affairs Select Committee is to look into new revelations of a secret blacklist that denies work to some construction workers.

Tommy Sheridan: Hope not fear

Over 400 people packed into the Lourdes primary school in Glasgow on Thursday of last week.

Lambeth college workers take campaign to streets

Lecturers, trade unionists and others marched through south London last Saturday in defence of workers at Lambeth College.

College round-up

Union lobbies Association of Colleges pay talks | UCU challenges docked pay | Chesterfield College

New walkout at Ritzy follows successful protest

Workers at the Ritzy Picturehouse cinema in south London were set to walk out at 5pm this Wednesday. 

Heathrow Express staff plan bank holiday walkout

RMT union members working on Heathrow Express are set for more industrial action over the bank holiday weekend.

The Nazi BNP are on the ropes—finish them off

The fascist British National Party (BNP) was polling somewhere between 0 and 1 percent in the local and European elections as Socialist Worker went to press. This is well below its position in 2009. 

Defend Mark Harding

The campaign to defend London Underground RMT rep Mark Harding is calling for support in court. 

Tube technicians blow fuse

Technicians working for London Underground could strike from Saturday of this week until Tuesday of next week—and shut down the Tube.

Tube driver vote for action on safety

Tube drivers on London Underground’s Jubilee line have voted by a solid 88 percent to strike in a dispute over safety.

Firefighters' executive committee should call national action

The executive of the firefighters’ FBU union met on 15 May, but decided not to announce any new strike dates.

London protest against Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni

Around 300 demonstrators gathered outside a London hotel on Thursday of last week to protest against a visit by Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni.

Local government pay ballot could boost united walkouts

The possibility of more than a million workers striking together in July has moved a step closer. The GMB union announced on Friday of last week that it is balloting 220,000 of its members in local government and schools over whether to strike over attacks on their pay.

Birmingham pupils and parents denounce racist lies around 'Trojan Horse'

The anti-Muslim scare stories over Birmingham schools are falling apart, reports Sadie Robinson

Political crisis follows Turkish mining disaster

The number of miners still missing after the disaster in Turkey remains unknown. 

Travel campaigners vow to ride on after bosses pass some concessions

Over 200 people marched through the centre of Barnsley last Saturday against the withdrawal of free travel for disabled and older people. The four South Yorkshire Labour-run councils’ decision has sparked outrage and weeks of Freedom Ride protests, where hundreds of people travel on trains and refuse to pay.

International round-up

Egypt Dedak campaign | Boko Haram and Nigeria | Abu Wa’el Dhiab in Guantanamo

Lambeth College workers defiantly vote for all-out strike

Lecturers in the UCU union at  Lambeth College have overwhelmingly backed an all-out strike in a battle against hated contracts imposed by bosses. Over 89 percent backed the strike on a turnout of 72 percent.

Local elections show disillusionment with establishment parties

The government took a drubbing in the local elections. The Tories and Liberal Democrats crashed. But the anger hasn’t gone to the left. 

Newly elected socialist in West Belfast says, “People are fed up with the status quo.”

A local election result in Belfast signals a significant shift in the politics of Northern Ireland. 


India's hard right BJP election win stokes fear for future

Socialist Worker analyses the right's victory and concludes that although there is much to fear from India’s new ruling party it won’t all be one-way traffic

Thailand: a coup in slow motion

General Prayuth Chan-ocha has declared martial law in Thailand without consulting the caretaker government or any elected representatives.

Striking South African platinum miners need solidarity to win

South African platinum miners last week defied a concerted attempt to break their four-month strike for a living wage. But to win they need solidarity from workers everywhere.

Greek left swing in Greek elections brings Tory defeat a step closer

The local and regional elections were very bad for the Tory government in Greece. For the first time ever there is no New Democracy conservative candidate in the second round for mayor of Athens or in the surrounding region of Attica.

Raw anger at Tory budget cuts hits Australia

The first budget of Australia’s new Tory government has produced widespread outrage and anger. Tens of thousands hit the streets last weekend, with 15,000 joining Sydney’s March in May and up to 25,000 at four days’ notice in Melbourne at a rally to “bust the budget”.

Anger after Egyptian court jails leading Revolutionary Socialist Mahienour el-Massry

A court in Alexandria has jailed leading Revolutionary Socialist Mahienour el-Massry for two years and fined her over £4,000.

US fast food strikers stage mass sit-in at McDonald's shareholder event

More than 2,000 fast food workers and their supporters joined a mass sit-in outside a McDonald’s corporate shareholders event in the US city of Chicago on Wednesday 21 May.


Far right feeds from eurozone depression

Alex Callinicos considers how the recovery of the eurozone is not quite the success our complacent rulers believe


Labour's surrender to racism

Simon Basketter traces the history of the Labour Party’s attitude to immigration and argues their leadership have always opted for a filthy compromise with the system

Would you like strikes with that? Interview with Fast Food Global activists

They are among the poorest paid people in the US and many thought they could not be organised. But last week workers in the fast food industry hit back with a strike that reached 160 cities. Julie Sherry met activists in New York and discussed how their fight has changed their lives—and why it needs to spread to other workers


Mark Thomas interview: Taking on authority one small and imaginative step at a time

Political prankster Mark Thomas told Socialist Worker about his mission to carry out 100 Acts of Minor Dissent—and why he loves to see Ukip shown up

Godzilla: Nuclear horrors are the real monster... with or without the latex costumes

First an old folk tale, now a cinema remake that stalks the globe

A World to Win: political poster exhibition at London's V&A

A World to Win brings graphics from the frontline of the fight against the Nazis in 1930s Germany right the way to the revolutions in Egypt and Syria

What We Think

Whatever the election results - resisting austerity can undercut the racists

Racism has dominated the run-up to the European and local elections in Britain. Anti-racists mobilised as the mainstream media gave maximum publicity to Ukip leader Nigel Farage and his party’s foul views on immigration.

Hypocrisy over Abu Hamza ignores brutal violence of the state

The tabloids’ favourite terror suspect Abu Hamza was convicted of supporting terrorism in a US court this week. The British government used the case to extradite others, such as Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, to the US. 

Other Categories


Ice melt and climate change | Ukip voters | Diamonds and Israel | Council housing

The Things They Say

Quotes of the week, in their own words

£518 billion for the filthy rich getting richer under Tories

Troublemaker takes on the Sunday Times Rich List, attends the very exclusive Gulls' Egg Luncheon, wanders into the gift shop at the 9/11 museum ans evades SS uniforms in a Yorkshire tearoom

Coalition plans more laws to block any union activity

Bosses have always hated unions. Raymie Kiernan looks at new plans to restrict workers’ ability to organise against attacks by their employers

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