Socialist Worker


Socialist Alliance

The Socialist Alliance is to contest a by-election in Ipswich. The parliamentary seat was made vacant by the recent death of Labour MP Jamie Cann.

We suffer while bosses coin it in

Job cuts and pay cuts for us, bonanza for the bosses. That's the reality of what's happening across Britain as the recession gathers pace. Thousands more workers learned last week that they face the dole. Tens of thousands more were told their pay will be cut. Yet Britain's bosses were celebrating a year of record pay rises, and City money men cheered as shares in many firms pushing through job and pay cuts surged upwards.

World Turned over to Business

US and British government representatives will make decisions this week which will kill poor people as surely as they are doing in Afghanistan. The key votes will come at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar. This is a meeting designed to defend and extend the multinationals' stranglehold on production and trade.

Asylum: Vouchers go but harsher rules to come

New Labour finally caved in to pressure over one of its key policies towards asylum seekers this week. The home secretary, David Blunkett, announced the government is planning to scrap the voucher scheme that forces refugees to live off just £26.54 a week, plus £10 cash.

Institutionalised racism let Surjit's killer stay free

The Scottish legal system was slammed as incompetent and racist by two official reports last week. The reports gave damning evidence of the way the police and courts failed to bring justice to the family of a young Sikh murder victim in Lanarkshire, Surjit Singh Chhokar.

Milburn's answer? More privatisation

Patients are waiting longer than ever to be seen in hospital accident and emergency departments. That is the shocking state of the NHS after five years of the New Labour government, according to official figures released last week. Health secretary Alan Milburn's equally shocking response was to signal a major drive to privatise healthcare in Britain.

Afghanistan: Their blood on Blair's hands

As Blair demands support for US war Picture of slaughter At last this week some sections of the British press gave a glimpse of the real horror of the war on Afghanistan. The Mirror, the Herald and the Daily Record showed pictures of the slaughter in Kabul when Gul Ahmed and his seven children were killed. Two youngsters were also killed in a nearby house.

US refuses to condemn Israel

A brutal massacre carried out by a death squad. That is the only way to describe the Israeli army's attack on the Palestinian village of Beit Rima last week.

Urgent appeal to all readers

The rising opposition to this war has forced itself even into sections of the mainstream media. That should encourage everyone to redouble their efforts to build the anti-war movement.

Strong roots can feed mass protest

Some 1,700 people marching through Sheffield, 2,000 demonstrating in Glasgow, 500 on a Preston march, around 1,600 at a public meeting in Birmingham. Those are just a few of the anti-war protests that have taken place in the last week.

New Labour fears losing propaganda battle...

"The fact is that, whether the government likes it or not, the people of this country remain distinctly unconvinced that bombing the hell out of Kabul will stop Bin Laden carrying out more atrocities." Those words were part of a Mirror editorial on Monday of this week which voiced growing doubts about the war.

An all-out strike is the way to victory

Medical secretaries in Glasgow have won a brilliant victory. The 300 low paid hospital workers, all members of the UNISON union, won because they were prepared to stand up and all take indefinite strike action. The all-women workforce refused to be cowed by a management that issued threats and treated them as second class.

Post: Bosses were wrong, strikers were right

Post Office management suffered another humiliating blow last week when an employment tribunal ordered bosses to reinstate sacked worker Mick Doherty and pay him £15,000 compensation.

Civil servants: Strike rattles New Labour

The strike for safety in job centres around Britain is hitting New Labour. The government is so worried about the effects of the strike that Tony Blair had to meet PCS leaders on Monday of this week.

Scottish Power: Unions stop action again

Strike action by workers at Scottish Power and Manweb has been postponed again after management made a new offer. This was due to be put to a meeting of stewards from the AEEU, GMB, and TGWU unions on Thursday of this week.


THE PAY dispute in DEFRA, the former ministry of agriculture, entered its tenth week at the beginning of this week. A rolling programme of regional strike action, an overtime ban and a work to rule are starting to break the resolve of management.

Journalists: Dear victory

Jeremy Dear has been elected as the new general secretary of the NUJ journalists' union. In the final count Jeremy got 3,437 votes, a clear victory over his nearest rival Bernie Corbett, who ended with 2,159 after transfers from other eliminated candidates had been taken into account.

Defend council housing

Council Housing campaigners are stepping up their fight against New Labour's plans to sell off council houses across Britain. This comes after New Labour minister Stephen Byers' recent announcement that councils will be able to borrow money to improve their housing stocks.

Councils round-up

Around 100 angry social services staff in the UNISON union stormed into Brighton and Hove City Council HQ on Wednesday morning of last week, and occupied the office of the director of social care and health.

In brief

Protesters have launched a campaign against racist treatment of asylum seekers by the US multinational Wackenhut. Under new arrangements asylum seekers within a 25-mile radius of the new Salford "reception centre" must report on the hour. Activists lobbied the reception centre on Thursday of last week.MARK KRANTZ

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