Socialist Worker

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How Blair stitched up row with BBC

16 August 2003
THE ROW which led to death of David Kelly and sparked the Hutton inquiry centres on a report by BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan on Radio Four's Today programme at the end of May. In the weeks leading up to Kelly's death the government, and Blair's lieutenant Alastair Campbell in particular, furiously attacked Gilligan and the BBC. Curiously their anger seems to have been a delayed reaction.

Proud of links with Muslims

09 August 2003
JOHN REES'S timely article (Socialist Worker, 2 August) was an important statement on the tasks facing the left. I want to focus on one particular element-the link between socialists and radicalising elements in the Muslim community. I was elected as the Socialist Alliance's councillor in Preston.

New generation can challenge sexism

26 July 2003
I REALLY enjoyed Judith Orr's article in Socialist Worker, "The Body for Sale" (12 July). I agree that many of the gains of the women's movement of the late 60s and 70s have been lost. I would add sexism in advertising and merchandising starts from the cradle. Children's TV carries more advertising than other programmes, and almost every BBC programme has merchandising tie-ins.

Does the movement need any leaders?

26 July 2003
"WE DON'T need leaders." "We're for the widest democratic participation - leadership stands in its way." "Leaders betray, only the rank and file is reliable." We often hear such ideas in movements today. I think they involve a mistake, but a very understandable one.

Biggest lie of all

26 July 2003
In all the flurry of little lies we need to concentrate on the main question. Did the government, in particular the prime minister, the foreign secretary and the defence secretary, deceive the people in the run-up to the war?

Tension with New Labour

28 June 2003
Tension with New Labour

GM: government tried to hide risks

28 June 2003
MICHAEL Meacher was New Labour's environment minister from 1997 until he was sacked by Tony Blair a fortnight ago. In government Meacher was in charge of policy on genetically modified (GM) crops. Now he has blown apart the whole case for GM crops pushed by Blair and that government. In a devastating article in last weekend's Independent on Sunday, Meacher accused Blair of ignoring scientific evidence on potential dangers from GM crops.

Ros Gardner

28 June 2003
IT IS with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Ros Gardner, who had been suffering from a long term illness. She will be remembered by many comrades in London, Bournemouth and Southampton. She was a very committed member of the SWP and was an inspiring speaker. She was particularly active during the miners' strike and helped collect large amounts of money to keep Shirebrook, Derbyshire miners going.

Change from below

07 June 2003
WHAT MICHAEL Albert called participatory economics in last week's Socialist Worker might more straightforwardly be termed democracy at work. But whatever we call it, workers' control of production and distribution has to be central to our vision of life after capitalism.

Sandwell protest at BNP councillor

31 May 2003
AROUND 80 people protested against the first council meeting of Nazi BNP councillor John Savage in Sandwell, West Midlands, on Wednesday of last week. The protesters were mainly members of Sandwell Unison union. Tony Barnsley, the assistant branch secretary of Sandwell Unison, said, "We think the BNP have conned their way into power by blaming asylum seekers. Our members, particularly our black and Asian members, feel threatened by the BNP. I will refuse to work for them and we are encouraging our members to do the same." Another BNP councillor failed to show up for the meeting.

India - 50 million strike at privatisation

31 May 2003
UP TO 50 million Indian public sector workers joined a powerful one-day strike in protest against government privatisation plans on Wednesday of last week. Workers in banking, insurance, the post office, transport and mining joined the action ensuring major disruption nationwide. For the second time this month, a strike has hit the financial sector particularly hard.

SARS: how bad is the threat?

03 May 2003
THE MEDIA has reacted in typical fashion to the SARS flu-like disease. Truth has been the casualty in a media frenzy driven by the need to sell newspapers, outdo rivals, and push particular ideological agendas over issues like racism. Some, headed by the Daily Mail, talk as though we were all about to be wiped out by SARS.

Dissecting the system that carves up the globe

29 March 2003
ANTI-IMPERIALISM: A Guide for the Movement (Bookmarks, £10) is a new book which critically analyses key aspects of imperialism. It begins with an excellent introduction from Tariq Ali and continues with articles on oil and imperialism, racism, nuclear weapons, civil liberties and much more.

They are killing to keep the oil flowing

23 March 2003
SUPPORTERS OF the war pour scorn on anyone who says it has to do with oil. But there would be no war if Iraq did not have the world's second largest proven reserves of oil. Oil is by far the world's most important raw material. Control over it is an asset to any state - and its business interests - wanting to gets its way in disputes with other states. This is particularly true of the US.

'Big' men and old questions

08 February 2003
RETURNING FROM the World Social Forum (WSF) at Porto Alegre in Brazil, I feel as if I have just emerged from a vast, multicoloured sea that swept all the participants along in a great exuberant wave.

Police guilty of racism, violence and lying

08 February 2003
POLICE OFFICERS racially abused and violently assaulted a black man in Brixton, south London, a judge ruled last week. Sylbert Farquharson, aged 57, was awarded record damages of nearly £250,000. Judge Dean said Sylbert was "subjected to explicit racist abuse in the street, and a particularly vicious and cowardly form of racist abuse at the police station.

Gun law for royal family

18 January 2003
POLITICIANS AND columnists have been queuing up to condemn the glorification of guns among young people, launching particularly bitter attacks on hip-hop and rap music.

Troubles ahead for New Labour

04 January 2003
"THERE IS every reason to think we are about to enter the most dramatic year in the story of New Labour." "At home and abroad in the year ahead the prime minister and New Labour will be tested as never before." These predictions (from key articles in the Financial Times and the Observer) are spot on.

Victory for Mehmetis

21 December 2002
THE MEHMETI family have won the right to stay in Britain after a ten-month campaign to stop them being sent back to Kosovo. Thousands of people in Bristol backed the campaign - trade unionists, community groups, political groups and even the local Evening Post newspaper. The adjudicator in the case said that given "the level of community ties and huge local support for them remaining, and given their particular difficulties, the balance is in favour of the family remaining in the UK". Jo Benefield

Defending refugees

14 December 2002
ON THE anniversary of the declaration of Human Rights last Saturday, 100 asylum seekers and their supporters joined the annual "speak-out" in Manchester. Young asylum seekers read articles from the declaration, and through poems and songs, dance and drumming showed their strength of spirit. This government excludes many asylum seekers from even the most basic rights - a home, family life, work and refuge.

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