EVERY TRADE unionist should be asking questions about what is happening inside the TUC. While some newspapers denounce the "politically motivated union men" behind the rail strikes, we can show who the real plotters were.
TRANSPORT IS the number one political issue in Britain. For the whole of last year it registered at the top of people's concerns in opinion polls. Now the crisis has blown up in New Labour's face. It has taken industrial action by rail workers to force the government to take notice of the bitterness of millions of people as they struggle to complete even short journeys. Tony Blair's response last week was to attack striking rail workers. But transport was in chaos long before the recent strikes. The biggest reason is that successive governments have spent so little on the basic infrastructure. Spending on transport as a share of national wealth has halved in the last 20 years. In its f
"Street Crime Is So Bad I Fear For My Children". This was the sensationalist front page headline of the Daily Express last Wednesday. The words were from John Denham, New Labour's crime reduction minister. Other alarming headlines screamed "Huge Surge In Mobile Phone Thefts", "The Gangs We Can't Do Anything About" and "Black Youth Carry Out Most Street Robberies".
DO YOU think there's going to be a Winter of Discontent?
I THINK there is a real possibility. Before the attacks in New York on 11 September we saw a rising mood of bitterness in the trade unions over privatisation, and discussions about breaking the link between the unions and New Labour. That was beheaded on 11 September. When the TUC conference was called off, so was the debate over privatisation. Blair got away scot free.
BLINDFOLDED, hooded and manacled-that's how Afghan prisoners have arrived at the US military base on Guantanamo Bay. The Taliban and Al Qaida suspects were dragged stumbling and terrified from a cargo plane. Some had been diagnosed with TB. Others were drugged. Some had their beards forcibly shaved off. They were not allowed to use toilets during the 27-hour flight from Kandahar.
TWO ISRAELI bulldozers rolled into the Palestinian refugee camp in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on Thursday of last week. Guarded by Israeli soldiers, they crushed the homes of 112 families, leaving over 600 people homeless, around half of them children. The Israelis also tore up the runway of Gaza airport.
transport chaos bosses attack union action scares companies and labour
THE UPRISING in Argentina shows that revolution is still possible in the modern world. It has shown mass action from below can topple governments and inflict a defeat on big business policies.
THE PEOPLE who did not vote at the general election last year are not apathetic. They are angry about the present state of the parties and many of them are disillusioned about the entire political set up.
THE EARLY 1970s were years of working class militancy and resistance. The recently released cabinet papers from 1971 show how top government meetings were constantly concerned with what was happening on the industrial scene. They reveal that strikes played a key role in determining government policy. The Tory government and prime minister Ted Heath began with a clear strategy - to shift a greater economic burden onto the working class. They wanted to cut public spending.
THE SOCIALIST Alliance is to provide a focus for a debate which is raging inside the trade union movement. The issue is whether the unions' political fund should go solely to the Labour Party or whether, because of Labour's right wing policies, it should also be open for union members to give money to other parties.
"I HAVE sent you some of the photos I took at the European Union summit demonstrations in Brussels on 13 and 14 December. Please feel free to use them in your publications. Yours in solidarity, Tim Jones."
KASHMIR IS at the centre of the conflict between India and Pakistan. Its total population is 12 million. Roughly nine million are in Indian- administered Jammu and Kashmir, and three million are in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.
ARGENTINA'S CAPITALIST class is split down the middle on how to deal with the economic impact of the crisis that has brought dire poverty to millions across Argentina. The capitalists know this crisis is behind the uprising that toppled two presidents.
WAR, RECESSION, resistance. The three notes which marked last year will ring through the coming 12 months too. In Britain, 2001 began with job cuts and resistance, as 10,000 people marched in defence of Vauxhall workers' jobs, threatened by multinational General Motors.
THE EVENTS of 11 September in the US changed the world. George Bush used the tragic deaths of over 3,000 people killed in the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon to "rally the world against international terrorism" by announcing that "you are either with us or you are with the terrorists".
THE RAIL network stands on the brink of yet another fatal disaster, despite reassurances from rail bosses and the government following the Hatfield crash in November 1999. The entire system is in an even worse state than it was before that crash. That is the conclusion of one of the few top managers at Railtrack who has any great experience of the industry.
The report on Oldham, whose economy centred on textiles, goes some way to acknowledging how racial segregation has happened over the last three decades. It describes how in the 1960s mill owners found it harder to "recruit people for anti-social work such as night shifts.
Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister, is holding Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat hostage in his own home. And the US backs this to the hilt. Israeli tanks surrounded Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Thursday of last week. They were still keeping him trapped as Socialist Worker went to press.
Residents woke just after midnight to the dull sound of the Apache helicopter gunships swooping low across the city. Without warning bombs suddenly began ripping into buildings-factories, offices and residential districts.